How Does RV Consignment Work?

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Close up of RVs at an RV dealership

Eventually, you and your beloved camper will go your separate ways. When that time comes, you have a few options for navigating the process.

While many owners think they must sell it themselves or trade it in, that’s far from the truth. One additional option to consider is an RV consignment sale.

However, you want to do whatever you can to protect yourself and get as much as you can from the transaction. So what is an RV consignment sale, and is it right for you?

Today, we’re digging in and taking a look to help you answer these questions. Let’s get started!

What Is RV Consignment?

RV consignment is a service often provided by RV dealerships and other companies. Individuals using these services when selling a camper maintain complete ownership until the transaction is complete.

The dealership or specialized company handles marketing, selling, and execution of the sale.

Businesses won’t work for free. We’ll discuss fee structures later, but you should know that you do pay them. If you’re not careful, you could find yourself with the short end of the stick. The consignor will laugh their way to the bank with cash that should have gone into your pocket.

How Do I Find the Resale Value of My RV?

You need to know the value of anything you’re trying to sell, especially an RV. If not, you could limit the number of interested buyers or miss out on potential profits. Luckily, a few resources help give you a general idea of how much your recreational vehicle is worth.

One of the best places to start is the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA). This can be a great resource, whether you’re buying or selling.

You input the specifics regarding the vehicle, and it will provide you with an estimate. Is it 100% accurate? Absolutely not. It’ll give you a ballpark figure that’ll help get the ball rolling on your deal.

After getting an idea from NADA, head on over to RV Trader. You can search through new and used rigs from private sellers and dealerships.

You can use filters to narrow down the results to find campers close in age or in the same condition as yours. Seeing what others ask for similar RVs can help you price your rig competitively.

You can also go to professional appraisal companies or local dealers if you want to get the value directly from someone. However, you’ll likely pay a premium.

Appraisal services are accurate, and dealerships often undervalue used rigs. They need to turn a profit, which means you’ll sell it to them at a discount from its actual value.

How Does RV Consignment Work?

The process of RV consignment is relatively straightforward. However, it’s vital that you thoroughly understand the entire process. Let’s look at the typical procedure!

Find a Consignment Service

The first step is to find a consignment service near you. Thanks to technology, you no longer have to run and find a copy of the Yellow Pages. Open up your favorite web browser on your smartphone, tablet, or computer and search “RV Consignment.”

This will likely generate some results, including potential options near you. If you need help, reach out to local dealers near you. They may offer these services or point you in the right direction.

Know the Value of Your Rig

The next thing you need to do is take the time to know the value of your rig. Unfortunately, many people overestimate the value of their possessions.

Potential buyers don’t care about the sentimental value the camper has for you and won’t pay a premium because of it.

Be honest in your assessment of your RV. Resources like NADA and RV Trader are great for research, but only if you compare apples to apples. Comparing a standard camper to one that’s been renovated or had serious upgrades is not a fair comparison.

Keep in Mind: We managed to sell our I under 30 days! Here’s how!

Set the Selling Price

Once you know your RV’s value, you can agree on a selling price. The consignment location will likely work with you to set a fair price. They may have access to various data.

Find a new consignor if they don’t value your rig accurately. Ultimately, you need to ensure you’re selling your recreational vehicle for a price you are comfortable with.

Close up of RVs at an RV dealership

Agree to Consignment Structure

Once you set the price, you’ll agree to a consignment structure. This states exactly how the transaction will take place. It should include the terms between you and the consignor, especially regarding how payments work.

Most consignors take a fixed percentage of the total sale at the agreed-upon sales price. Additionally, some consignors work deals that allow them to keep more profits if they can sell for more than the initially agreed-upon price.

Knowing the details can help you and the consignor work together to sell your camper.

Prepare Your RV for Sale

Once you’ve ironed out the details of your RV consignment, it’s time to prepare your camper. You’ll want to ensure you have emptied it of your possessions and cleaned it well. A consignor may do a quick wipe-down, but they won’t spend more time than they have to.

You want potential buyers to feel like it’s clean and well taken care of. If it’s not, it could scare them away. So make sure you take the time to thoroughly clean the inside and outside and flush the system before dropping it off at the consignor.

Let Consignor Do Their Job

Once you drop off your RV at the consignor, they do all the work.

They’ll handle the marketing, advertising, showings, and negotiations and then complete the transaction. If potential buyers have questions, the consignor will act as a third party to help answer them.

One of the biggest mistakes you can make during this process is getting in the consignor’s way. Let them do their job and sell your RV. If you hire the right consignor, they should be equally as excited to sell your camper as you are.

Pro Tip: Are you ready to purchase an RV? Before you do, check out these Tips for Buying an RV to Live In!

A woman walking around an RV dealership with her dog

Agree to Sale

If all goes as planned, the consignor will contact you on behalf of an interested buyer. There should be no issues as long as the offer is for the asking price. However, a consignor can negotiate between the two parties to strike a deal.

Once you agree to the terms of the sale, the consignor will handle all of the paperwork to complete the transaction. This is extremely helpful in the RV consignment process, especially when financing, titling, and registering the vehicle.

Get Your Cash

After the deal and all the paperwork get signed, the consignor will send you your cut. You should know that if you have a loan for the RV, they’ll send the required payoff amount to the financial institution that funded it.

Your check will be whatever remains after paying off the loan and any fees charged by the consignor. They’ll likely send it to you in the mail, but be aware that these things can take time.

It could easily be seven to 10 business days before you have a check.

Is RV Consignment Worth It?

Selling a camper can be a very stressful experience. RV consignment can make the process easier.

When we sold our fifth wheel, we created a listing on RV Trader and did all the work ourselves. We weren’t willing to let a consignor take even a tiny percentage of the sale.

For us, the fees charged for an RV consignment weren’t worth it. Selling a recreational vehicle doesn’t have to be complicated. However, we know plenty of people have sold their rigs through it.

If you’re the type of person who doesn’t want to deal with the logistics, it’s worth it. On the other hand, you could be wasting your money if you don’t mind doing it yourself.

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