Sell an RV on Craigslist
If you’re ready to part with your cherished RV, there are a number of easy things to consider to attract a buyer and get the price that you want for it. Craigslist provides a helpful medium for advertising any item for sale to a wide audience. You will want to set your price and prepare your vehicle for sale, create your Craigslist ad, and complete some final sale steps in order to successfully sell your RV online.
Setting Your Price
- Compare your RV to other similar ones being sold. Setting your price is one of the most important parts of selling an RV. Doing a preliminary online search of your RV’s make, model, and year can give you a starting idea of around how much your RV is worth. Look on Craigslist and other websites like AutoTrader to find out current prices for your particular RV.
- Setting a price that’s too high may make it hard to sell your RV because buyers will know it’s not worth that much. Setting the price too low will get your RV off your hands quickly, but you’ll lose out on money that you could’ve made from it.
- Use a price estimator for help with setting your price. For more help in figuring out how much your RV is worth, use an estimator guide on websites like Nadaguides.com, Kelly Blue Book, and Autotrader.com. You can browse by types of RV on these sites, including motorhomes, camping trailers, and truck trailers.
- Search your RV manufacturer and model type on a price estimator website to find out the suggested list, low retail, and average retail prices of your RV.
- Factor in the mileage and any damage when setting your price. High mileage or broken parts on your RV will lower its overall value. Use the price estimators as a starting point for determining the value of your RV and subtract any decrease in the overall average retail price because of high mileage or repairs.
- For every $5000 you’ve done in repairs due to accidents, expect your overall value to go down $2500.
- Some of the price estimators online factor in mileage when giving you a value on your RV. Note that if it has more than 100,000 miles on it, that may be a red-flag for potential buyers and can make your RV harder to sell.
- Make any necessary repairs if you want to get more money. If your RV has any problems that you can fix yourself or that would be inexpensive for you to have fixed, it’s worth it to get this done so that your buyers don’t have reason to hesitate once they come look at your RV.
- Being able to say that your RV runs well and is mostly free of problems will help you get the amount of money you want for it.
Photographing Your RV
- Clean the inside of your RV. A clean vehicle means a well-maintained vehicle to most buyers. Many people are immediately turned off by looking at a vehicle that looks dirty or needs simple cosmetic repairs.
- Empty your RV of all your personal belongings, unless you plan to include any of them in the sale, and do an overall cleaning of surfaces with cleaning solution and rags.
- Vacuum or sweep out the floor of your RV and wash your windows with glass cleaner and paper towels.
- Wash your RV’s exterior. Take your RV to a manual car-wash with high overhead to spray it down with soapy water and give it a good rinse. Wash the window exteriors with glass cleaner. Remove any bumper stickers or other personal touches you’ve added to the outside.
- Take pictures in the morning, evening, or a cloudy day. During these times, the sun is low and provides a warm glow that’s free from harsh shadows and glare. Find a good background for your RV’s photos; you don’t want distracting clutter or extra cars in the background to take away from the focus of your RV.
- Move to different angles and experiment with your camera settings. As you move around to get different angles of your RV, you may actually have to move it to get better background and lighting. Provide 4 exterior pictures of your RV - 1 of each side, the front, and the back.
- Take lots of different pictures, especially if it’s bright outside and hard to get a good look at the digital screen while you’re photographing.
- Take pictures of various interior features in your RV. Take close pictures of any cupboards, kitchen equipment, the bathroom, or other special features to show buyers a detailed look at your RV before they come see it in person. Take at least 5 interior pictures. If there is anything that makes your RV feel homey and fun, photograph that too!
- Make sure all of the lights are on and the shades are up so there's as much light as possible before taking your picture.
Creating Your Craigslist Ad
- Go to the Craigslist main page and click on the closest city to you. You may be automatically taken to your nearest city’s Craigslist page if you’ve ever searched the site before, or if your computer browser knows your exact location. If not, you’ll need to find your nearest city under the main page at www.craigslist.org.
- If your city doesn’t automatically pop up under the list of cities, try searching by state first and then finding your closest city.
- Click on “rvs+camp” under the “for sale” category. You will see an option to “post” in the upper right corner of the screen. Click on “post.” Next click “for sale by owner” under the “what type of posting is this?” options, and click Continue. Under "choose a category," pick “rvs - by owner” and click Continue, unless the site automatically redirects you to the next page.
- Fill in the posting title and all other small boxes under posting details. In the creation of your ad, you will need to come up with a posting title, which normally includes the make, model, year, and color of the vehicle you’re selling. Then you fill in the price box and your specific location.
- Fill in as many other details as you can, including the year, make and model, sizing dimensions, condition, cylinders, drive, fuel, paint color, title status, and transmission.
- Explain why you’re selling in the posting body. Your posting body is where you actually do the selling part of your ad. This is where you get people interested. Imagine you are talking to someone face to face about why you’re selling, making your RV sound appealing to them while being realistic about why you’re personally not able to keep it.
- Say, “I really wish I could keep this but…” and complete the sentence about why you need to sell it.
- Define your accepted forms of payment in the posting body. You will want to say that you will accept cash or money orders at the time of the sale. Explain this in your posting body in your ad.
- It’s not a good idea to accept personal checks in a craigslist car transaction, since you most likely don’t know the buyer personally and their check could bounce.
- Be honest about your RV’s highlights and problems in the posting body. Make buying your RV sound like the best choice the buyer could ever make. Explain all the details about why you loved having it. At the same time, don’t be evasive about major problems that your RV has.
- If a prospective buyer decides to do a formal history report check, they will find out about any problems with your RV. If you weren’t honest about problems in your ad, they may feel you misrepresented your RV and may no longer be interested.
- Possible problems could include cosmetic damage, problems in the motor or operating system, or the timing belt needing to be replaced soon.
- Provide your contact information. You will need to provide a way for prospective buyers to contact you. Some people are comfortable listing their phone numbers on a Craigslist ad, others are not.
- Craigslist has an anonymous email option that gets routed to your personal email if you feel uncomfortable providing any type of direct contact information online.
- Click Continue after finishing the main posting part of your ad.
- Upload pictures of your RV. Most people want to see pictures of a vehicle right away when they’re browsing online. You will attract more buyers by providing pictures. Click on the “Add pictures” option after you’ve finished the main posting, and upload your pictures from there.
- Follow all Craigslist directions for posting and maintaining your ad. You will need to preview your ad before it’s posted, and check your email to confirm posting the ad. Craigslist will provide you with directions over email on how to finish posting your ad, how to repost, and how to take it down when you’re ready to.
Negotiating the Sale
- Answer prospective buyers promptly. When someone really wants to buy something, they could be immediately discouraged if you delay responding to their calls or emails. It may make them feel as if selling your RV isn’t a priority to you, or that you’ve already sold it, and they will stop wasting their time trying to contact you.
- Your potential buyer will initially make contact via email. Respond to them within a few hours, or the next morning if they email you at night.
- Once you've answered preliminary questions and the person is still interested, share your phone number for faster contact.
- Be polite when answering questions. Listen carefully to your prospective buyer to determine what they’re most looking for in an RV. If they ask questions, it may be about things that you didn’t address in your ad. Or, they may be looking at many ads at once and got yours mixed up with another.
- Answer their questions professionally and accurately, because many people will not want to continue trying to buy something from someone who is rude or who doesn’t know very well what they are selling.
- Offer to let prospective buyers test drive your RV. When a prospective buyer wants to come see your RV, schedule a time that works for you that will provide them with enough time to look as long as they want. Don’t have other plans you that will cut your meeting with them short.
- Offer to let them test drive your RV, and provide them with directions on where to go on their test drive if they ask.
- Negotiate the price. Your buyer may offer you a price that's lower than your listed price. Be open to hearing why they are offering a lower amount. If it's because they found legitimate problems with your RV that you weren't clear about in the ad, take into consideration that other buyers may notice the same things.
- On the other hand, if their reasons seem shaky or it's because they simply can't afford your price, remain firm and politely say that you think your price is fair. Highlight the reasons that you set the price at what you did.
- Make arrangements for the sale transaction. If your buyer is seriously interested and makes an offer that you like, arrange to meet them at a time that works for both of you a notary office if that is required in your state, or if you feel more comfortable handling the sale that way.
- If you are able and willing to just sign the title over to them, be sure that you have their cash or certified money order on hand before giving them the signed title.
- Have a clean title and other necessary documents available at closing. You want to be sure the title on your RV is clean before the final sale. If you bought the RV used and are unsure about its title history, you can check the title by searching the VIN number on your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles website.
- If you still owe money on your RV, you will need to have documents prepared by an escrow company or lawyer in order to process your sale.