RV consignment is a way to get help selling your RV, and can be helpful when your time or resources are limited. When you consign your RV, you’re agreeing to let a third party – usually a dealership – sell your RV on your behalf and share in profits from the sale.
Getting assistance in marketing and selling an RV can free up lots of time for you and turn over tasks you may not enjoy to people who do this for a living.
What is RV Consignment?
RV consignment works somewhat like clothing consignment. You’ll turn over your RV to a dealership or other consignee to sell on your behalf. They’ll handle the phones, appointments, and financing. Once it sells, they take some of the money made from the sale as a commission.
What to know about consigning an RV:
- Some owners choose to consign because they’re in rural areas and don’t want to deal with advertising and showings. Dealerships have better foot traffic and marketing, meaning your RV will get more exposure than if you sold it yourself.
- Typically, dealerships will offer a one to three-month consignment period.
- Consignment fees vary. Some dealers charge a set commission (like 15%), others charge an amount based on the final sale price.
- Some dealerships offer extra services, like detailing and tune-ups. Those are an extra fee.
- You may want to consider consignment insurance on your RV, which we’ll detail later in this post.
How Much Does RV Consignment Cost?
RV consignment costs are tricky to calculate because different factors determine the rate. Fees also vary depending on how the dealership structures them. You’ll start with the fair market value of your RV, which you can find at J. D. Power. They give you a suggested listing price based on your RV’s mileage, age, and amenities.
Consignment fees work one of two ways:
- Either you’ll pay a flat percentage of the sale price, usually between 10 to 15%, or
- You and the dealer will both agree upon a target sale price, and the dealer will collect anything over that as their commission.
So, let’s imagine the fair market value for your Class A RV consignment is $100,000. You agree to list it for $85,000, and it ends up selling for $92,000. In the first scenario (at 10%), the dealer’s commission would be $9,200. In the second, it would be $7,000. In this case, the second scenario is favorable. But this might not always be the case. Also, it’s possible a dealer could list the RV at a low price and then try to sell it higher to bump up their profit. That’s why it’s important to know the true value of your RV. It’s also important to try and determine if you have a reputable dealer handling your sale.
Do You Need RV Consignment Insurance?
RV consignment insurance can be confusing. Your RV is already insured as a vehicle, so why wouldn’t it simply be covered while it sits on the dealer’s lot?
But many insurance companies don’t cover RVs when they’re in consignment and you’ll want the extra protection.
Most dealerships have security cameras, gated access, or guards, but you’re still taking a risk by not having consignment insurance for your vehicle. It might be helpful to factor RV consignment insurance into the final cost of your sale along with the dealer commission.
Should You Consign Your RV?
There are some great reasons for consigning your RV…and some great reasons why you may not want to. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons so you can make an informed decision.
- Consignment is a good option if you don’t have the time to handle advertising, answering inquiries, and showing the RV yourself.
- Working with a dealer widens your net – your RV will have more exposure. If you live in a rural area, this can be especially helpful.
- You’ll be able to consider buyers who need financing since the dealer will manage that aspect of the sale.
- Dealers try to get your RV sold fast. If you’re not motivated enough to market your RV rigorously, it could take you a long time to sell it privately.
- The biggest drawback is that you have to pay a commission which can be thousands of dollars. You may not end up with as much money as if you sold it yourself.
- You’ll have to pay for consignment insurance if you want it. You’ll also have to pay for extra services, like cleaning and prep fees. This eats even more into your final profit.
- You’re under contract while the RV is consigned, so you can’t sell it anywhere else. If you find a buyer on your own during that time, you have to send them to the dealer to purchase the RV.
- You can’t use your RV while it’s consigned. No more weekend trips, despite the fact that you still own the rig and pay for it to be insured.
Finding the Best RV Consignment Near Me
Consigning your RV can involve a lot of money, and you’ll want to do a fair amount of preparation. You’ll need to get a fair market value for your RV, do some basic maintenance and cleaning, and find a reputable dealership. A preliminary Google search will pull up motorhome consignment services in your area. Read the consignment terms for each dealership carefully.
As you research, consider the following:
- Do they charge a flat percentage, or do they base the commission on the listing vs. sales price?
- How long is the consignment contract?
- Do they offer extra services, like tune-ups and cleaning?
- Are there fees to set up your RV? What are the cancellation fees?
- How much exposure does the dealership have and how aggressive is their marketing?
- How tight is their security?
- What do customers have to say about the dealership?
By answering these questions, you should be able to narrow down your list to a few of the best dealerships in your area. Try and get it down to just two or three dealers to meet with them in person so you can get a feel for their customer service.
Step-by-Step How to Sell an RV on Consignment
Selling your RV on consignment isn’t a difficult process, but you’ll still have work to do on your end. Plan to do each task below to ensure your RV sells quickly and makes you a decent profit. These steps will also help ensure you aren’t surprised by fees down the line.
- Do your research first. Find a target price and a suitable dealership.
- Clean your RV and do some light maintenance like fixing leaky faucets and replacing lightbulbs.
- If you need mechanical repairs, get them done at your auto shop. The dealer will charge you if they have to make the repairs themselves and they might charge more than your regular shop would.
- Meet with the dealer to discuss consignment terms and your price. Bring a printout of your pricing estimation. You should also have your maintenance records handy.
- You’ll agree on a listing price, commission, and consignment term. Don’t forget to ask about any extra fees before you sign.
- Don’t be afraid to call and check in once in a while – it’ll let them know you’re eager to sell.
A List of RV Consignment Dealers, Services, and Specialists
Not sure where to begin looking for a consignment dealer? There are dealers scattered across the country.
- Family Motor Coach Association has some helpful tips for consigning your RV. You can also search their site for dealers in your area.
- RV Consignment at Camping World is a popular service. They have hundreds of locations across the United States, so there’s likely one near you.
- RVT has a nationwide dealer search based on your location. They advertise for hundreds of dealerships. You can look at their ads to get an idea of how well the dealership will market your RV.
- PPL Consignment specializes in consigning used motorhomes and is the largest consignment dealer in the United States. They have three locations throughout Texas.
- National Vehicle is a nationwide consignment company with a great reputation and some wonderful staff.
Renting: An Alternative to Selling
If you’re not sure you’re ready for consignment but want to earn some money with your RV, consider renting it out instead.
Renting your RV is a great way to earn some money when you’re not using your rig. And you can still use it between rentals for your own trips.
There are some drawbacks to renting out your RV – it will get more mileage and wear and tear if it’s used more often, and there’s always the risk that a renter could damage the rig. But many people choose to rent using RVshare, and have a successful experience (and earn some extra cash!).
If you rent with RVshare, you’ll advertise your own listing and fees, choose your renters, and collect money each time it’s rented. You’ll also have the advertising power and liability coverage of a big company.
Best of all, you retain ownership and full control of your RV, meaning you can still take it on trips whenever you want. With peer to peer networks like RVshare, you can make an ongoing profit on your rig, instead of collecting one lump sum.
If your RV is sitting unused for most of the year, there are a few options for earning some money on it. One is RV consignment, if you’re ready to be rid of your rig. Another is peer-to-peer renting with a company like RVshare. Consider your future plans and whether you want to continue to use your RV as you decide what to do next.