In the early years of the pandemic, Americans bought RVs at record-breaking levels. Now, we’re seeing a decrease in RV sales as the RV craze starts to level off.
What if you bought an RV in 2020 but find that you haven’t used it in the past year or two? What if you’re a seasoned RV traveler and you’re ready to level up or scale down?
No matter your reason, when you’re ready to sell your RV, you have a few choices. These days, the internet is one of the best tools at your disposal to start selling your RV.
Not sure how to get started? Read on for nine tips that will make selling your RV online a smooth process.
1. Know When to Sell
When are people looking to buy RVs? You’re going to find the highest number of interested buyers when camping is top of mind for the people in your area. In other words, if you want to sell your RV not long after you’ve listed it online, you’re going to want to list it a month or two before camping season begins.
Camping season varies from region to region. While Southern Californians can comfortably camp nearly all year round, your typical camper in the northeast is only hitting the campground between spring and fall.
Can you secure a sale in the winter? It’s always possible to find a seller that enjoys winter camping or wants to get a jumpstart on RV prep for the coming warm season, but your chances of selling your RV fast are a lot lower in the off-season.
2. Depersonalize and Clean
There are a few things you’re going to want to do before you list your RV for sale. One of the first is depersonalizing and deep cleaning.
Depersonalizing is the process of getting rid of any decor or features that appeal to your subjective taste or make your RV seem “lived in.” This can include family photos, customized artwork, and other decor that remind your buyer that the RV was already used by another camper. It also includes design choices that are particularly unique or subjectively attractive, like bright colors, bold art, and anything else that might make it difficult for a buyer to envision their own life in your RV.
Next, it’s time to declutter and deep clean your RV. The goal is to get the interior to a state that’s as close to new as possible. Vacuum, scrub, dust, and wash—and don’t forget to wash the exterior, too.
3. Get Needed Service
Even if you had your annual inspection less than a year ago, it’s not a bad idea to get that engine checked out before selling your RV. A little tune-up can increase the value of your RV as well as the appeal for buyers. Make sure to include in your listing that you recently got the RV serviced and mention any warranties that are still valid.
What if the RV needs a lot of work and you’re selling because you don’t want to take that work on? While selling your RV as-is is always an option, you’re going to be looking at a significant price cut. Plus, the pool of buyers who are willing to take on a fixer-upper is a lot smaller, so your sale may take more time.
4. Stage the Space
In real estate, staging is a tool that provides visual aid. Real estate agents use furniture and decor to bring a property to life, demonstrating how different rooms can be utilized and providing a sense of scale in the process. When you’re selling an RV online, it’s not a bad idea to apply this same principle.
It’s no secret that RVs require planning and strategic organization. By staging your RV, you can show interested buyers (especially those who are new to the RV lifestyle) how functional your RV is and how they can make use of the space.
In this process, make sure not to over-clutter your RV. You still want to create space and reassure buyers that they won’t feel suffocated.
5. Take Great Photos
Just because you want to sell your RV online doesn’t mean that you’re an e-commerce expert. You may not realize that an estimated 75% of shoppers rely on product photos when deciding what to buy. This includes major purchases like homes, cars, and RVs.
Your listing photos create a first impression, which means that they need to be good. Make sure that you’re using a good camera (even modern smartphone cameras take high-quality photos) and allow the lens to focus before snapping the picture. Let in as much natural light as possible to capture your RV at a flattering moment.
If you really want to sell it, take your RV to a campground to get your listing shots. Like staging, this will function as a useful visual aid. Plus, it’s a much more attractive backdrop than your driveway or storage lot.
6. Price Realistically
Many RV sellers overestimate the resale value of their RV. It may seem reasonable to take the original price and subtract the cost of wear and tear, but it isn’t that simple. You also need to take into account things like demand, which isn’t at its highest right now.
One way to get started is to look at other listings for used RVs that bear similar features to yours. You can also use tools like Kelley Blue Book to more accurately assess how much your RV has dropped in value based on mileage, maintenance, and more. If you’re not happy with the realistic price point that you discover, you can always try to sell your RV for a higher price—but keep in mind that you may have to drop it if buyers are finding what they’re looking for at a lower price.
7. Describe Selling Points and Flaws
When you’re putting together the written part of your listing, your job is to generate appeal. What features does your RV have that other RVs on the market don’t have? What features did you find most useful (like functional plumbing) or appealing (like Bluetooth connectivity)?
If you’ve made any upgrades or changes since purchasing your RV, make sure to mention those changes. If you still have all the original paperwork, make sure to mention that, too. The original paperwork proves when you purchased your RV and for how much, assuring the buyer that you’re being honest.
You should also be honest about any flaws. A listing that mentions no flaws will raise suspicion. Plus, buyers will likely perform at least a visual inspection before finalizing the sale, and those flaws will come out.
8. Work With a Third-Party Seller
If you want to sell your RV online, you don’t have to do it alone. While you have more control over things like pricing when you sell it yourself, you also have to do all the work.
There’s nothing wrong with reading a guide like this and thinking, “I don’t have the time or resources to complete all of these steps.” If this sounds familiar, consider selling or trading in your RV to a third-party seller.
For example, take a look at the Class B motorhomes found here. This is a great example of a company that will buy your RV or let you trade yours in. As you can see, you’ll get a fair price or a huge selection to choose from in a trade-in.
9. Avoid Online Scams
Unfortunately, there are always scammers floating around the internet. Typically, they’re looking for ways to get money out of online sellers and have no intention of purchasing anything. How can you spot them before it’s too late?
One of the most obvious signs is that the buyer is offering way over asking price, particularly when your RV hasn’t sparked a bidding war. If they ask for any of your banking information (they may say that this is to make a direct deposit), do not share it. Only accept secure online payments, verified checks, or cash.
If it seems strange, you should pull the sale. There is no reason why selling your RV should lead to a mutual exchange of money. The transaction should be as simple as the buyer giving you the agreed upon sum of money.
Sell Your RV Online in 2023
If you’re ready to sell your RV and move on from the RV life or get yourself a new RV, selling online is a great option. With this guide, you can prepare your RV and your listing to secure the best price possible.
Are you looking for new ways to travel without your RV? Take a look at our travel content to find out how to travel in style and where to go in 2023.