Buying an RV is not always the best thing to do. If you think you can just buy an RV the way you bought your car, or your house, you are wrong. Buying an RV is different from buying a Toyota Camry or a duplex in a sprawling neighborhood in California. You have to remember doing some things or tips you can follow to get the best deals for you. If you do not have an idea on how to negotiate the best price for your RV, then worry not because I am here to help you, based on personal experiences.
What are the tips for negotiating the best price for your RV? Always do your research, widen your horizons, do not settle on only new models or a single brand, treat your dealers nicely, read the fine print all the time, check on RV shows, and never be afraid to demand and walk away if you do not meet the deal.
This article is about negotiating for the best price on buying your own RV. I will be telling you tips on what to do before, during, and after you have bought your RV. I will also discuss the different negotiating hacks you can do to snag that RV for a lower and more affordable price. Lastly, I will tell you things that you should not do in negotiating for your RV price.
Things To Do Before You Buy Your RV
Always Do Your Research Before Paying For Anything
This is a very important step before buying an RV of your choice.
You have to do a ton of research before going to the RV dealership or contacting your RV dealer. Determine the needs and preferences that you might have in buying an RV, such as the size of the RV, the state of the RV, its amenities, different perks you want to have, and other optional attachments that you want to have.
After determining your choices, you can start searching online to get a grasp on what RV models are available on the market.
I also advise you to check not only one RV dealership but widen your horizons and check the other dealerships in your locality or if you are willing to go intercity or interstate, then do so. Some cities and states might sell high quality RVs for cheaper prices compared to the others with higher living standards, so it helps to search far and wide.
However, set a radius as to where you will search. Ideally, try to keep your search confined to not more than 200 miles from your area. If you go beyond the radius, this might give you false estimates and you might end up having not enough money for your RV.
You can also check websites dedicated to RV buying and selling. These websites allow you to have a general feel on the actual selling price of the models available in your area. This is a good thing because this will give you an idea on how much you need to save.
Explore Your RV Shopping Options Wisely
The RV industry is highly cyclical, and RV prices tend to reflect this.
People usually do not go camping in the winter, so there are not many people looking to buy an RV at that time. Keep in mind that an RV dealership can be more likely to negotiate at some times of the year than at others.
For example, late autumn is a good season for you to buy one since dealers can get more lenient. Dealers need to give space to new models for the next season so they have to dispose of the old models that they have in the dealership.
Around the end of the camping season, you can get a really good deal so keep that in mind as well. As at the end of the camping season, numerous dealers work on monthly, quarterly and annual objectives. In order to meet the sales quota for that term, you may find that your dealer will sell at a lower price at the end of the month or quarter.
Knowing the right time for shopping and benefiting from the dealer can save you a lot of money and help you to negotiate the best RV price.
You can also visit RV shows available in your area. Similar to car shows, RV shows exist for RV sellers and manufacturers to show off their latest models, as well as some best sellers, for the potential buyers. It is a great place where you can easily compare the prices to each other because all the sellers are in the same place.
The dealers must pack up their unsold inventory and tow it back to their lot at the end of the show. Many of them would rather sell the units at a lower price than deal with the hassle of returning them to the lot. Some dealers will go to great lengths just to sell that one unit. Use this opportunity to your advantage and negotiate with them as much as possible.
Monitor And Check Your Finances Regularly
Usually you can use more levers when negotiation of the best RV prices if you reach the dealer by your own pre-approved financing.
This demonstrates to the dealer that you are serious and can buy. Once you know that you are not just a puller, you can really reduce the cost of purchasing to persuade you to buy. Although applying for financing at the dealership is easy, they can not always have your best interests at heart.
You can also search around for financing on your own to find the best rate and conditions, but it will take a little more effort. When you walk into the dealer pre-approved for your loan, they will take you seriously and work with you to make an RV purchase deal.
Things To Do During The Price Negotiation
Bring Someone Good At Negotiating With You
Let’s face it: not everyone is a good negotiator. Some of us might find it embarrassing to demand for their purchases and just want to get over it.
Bringing someone who can haggle and negotiate on your behalf is a good idea. You can bring your parents, your siblings, your partner, or even your friend who is good at negotiating. Tell your lead negotiator of your wants, needs, and the exact things you want him or her to negotiate for you before you go to the dealership.
Do not be embarrassed to bring a negotiator with you as it could help you save money and they might even get you free stuff.
Be Alert On The Hidden Fees And Charges
Some dealers want to tack on extra fees, such as prep or doc fees, that you were not aware would be included in the price. Keep an eye out for these and always try to negotiate your way out of paying them.
Confirm that the agreed-upon price is reflected in the final paperwork. A lot of people do not check the price on the final papers and they just sign everything, only to realize that they have to pay more than what they have agreed upon.
Some additional fees are mandated by law. For example, sales tax must be added to the purchase price. However, prep and doc fees, as well as advertising fees, are not required by law and are a way for the dealer to profit from the sale.
If they refuse to waive the charge, you’ll have to decide whether or not you are willing to pay the extra few hundred dollars. It’s possible that the RV is still a decent deal.
Walking Away Is Never A Bad Thing
It is perfectly okay to walk away if you and your dealer cannot agree on the price of the RV or if he keeps on pushing you to avail on other models instead of the one that you like. It is your right, after all.
If the sales manager refuses to waive particular fees or cannot meet your budget’s price, do not be afraid to walk away without purchasing. Do not ever feel obligated to complete the transaction only because they’ve taken you around the property or prepared paperwork.
As long as you have not signed any contracts, you are free to refuse the sale since you are not obligated to buy from them.
Sometimes, walking away can lead you to good deals. For example, your dealer does not waive the prep fee and then you decide to walk away, they will call you the next day and agree to your demands eventually.
Dealers have quotas to meet and trust me, they will do anything just to meet their quota and get the incentives tied in upon reaching their numbers.
Do Not Ask For The Moon And The Stars
Even though making demands or walking away is a good thing, do not abuse that. Use it sparingly and do not walk away each time your demands are not met.
Do not ask for things that are impossible for them to provide, such as free state-of-the-art appliances or high insurance premiums for your vehicle. Remember that you have to negotiate on terms that are doable, feasible, and easy to achieve. If you keep on asking for demands, they will just ignore you as they do not see you as a serious buyer.
Use your negotiating tools to your advantage and never overuse them because it might backfire and you will end up getting nothing.
Things To Do After The Negotiation
Always Read And Reread The Paperwork
Okay, so let’s say you have already read the terms and conditions on your paperwork before signing it. It helps to read your papers after the negotiation for verification or clarification, although it is best to do this before signing the papers to avoid any complications or unpleasant clauses.
Feel free to ask your dealer about clarifications since it is still a part of their job to attend to your concerns even after the deal has been settled.
You can always confirm about the perks or incentives you are entitled to get and if you do not get them as promised, you can use the information you read on your papers for evidence that they missed something. Reading and rereading will help you in the long run.
Inspect The Vehicle Once You Get It
The moment they delivered the RV to you or they asked you to pick it up in the dealership, you have to inspect the vehicle to see if everything you have agreed upon in the deal was fulfilled.
Check the interiors and see if it was the same, exact model based on your agreement. Some sellers might change it up and show you a similar-looking model with entirely different interiors.
Inspect if they have given you your demands as well. If they did not give you that specific item or feature you have agreed upon with them, feel free to call them out. They might have forgotten it for real and they would fulfill it for you.
Always Keep Your Dealer’s Contacts With You
This is very important as it can come in handy especially if you are in emergency situations.
Always have your dealer’s contact details with you, so in case of an accident or an emergency, you can always call them to let them know about your problems with the vehicle.
They would give you tips on troubleshooting, numbers for helpful people or establishments for your concern, and even contact some people who can help you with your concern on your behalf. Always keep a good communication path with your dealer so that they can assist you whenever you need them.
Avoid Doing These Mistakes When Negotiating
Settling Only On Newer Models
Many people feel that buying a new house, car, or something else is the best way to save money in the long run.
It seems that buying new would result in less problems, less maintenance, and a longer lifespan for your purchase. However, this is not always the case. Buying a used RV gives you more flexibility over your spending, upgrades, customizations, and other factors.
By investing less money up front, you will be able to put more money into your rig over time, resulting in a true home away from home with features and functionality that you won’t often find when buying new in this industry.
Also, by adding used RVs in your radar, your options will get bigger and you might find the ideal RV for you for a lower cost, especially if you buy them from people who took care of their RV to the fullest.
Not Exploring Other Brands Available
There is always a reason why some brands are above the others. It is because people tend to be loyal to brands.
Same goes to RVs but it all boils down to the fact that all RVs have the same purpose. They are made to provide you with a comfortable place to rest at the end of the day. Even if you have your heart set on a specific brand, compare similar RV styles to find the rig that will become your home.
Also, expanding your options to other brands might lead you to other options that are much better, since this brand is offering something that your brand does not.
Not Having The Best Relationship With Your Dealer
Always maintain a pleasant relationship with your dealer, even if you have finished buying your vehicle.
You should be polite and friendly towards him or her. Develop a good rapport with them. You do not have to always talk to them. Just have that sincere, genuine approach whenever you talk to them.
Treating your salesperson like a friend would give you a good deal, or even hook you up with some incentives, upgrades, or free stuff that they can give you even if you did not buy a lot from them.
They are helping you find the best RV for you so you should do the other end of the deal — helping them reach their quota by buying from them or referring them to other people or friends for their RV needs.
Buying an RV can be a challenge as there are a lot of things you need to consider before laying your hands on one. The global pandemic has made RV a much more favorable option to enjoy the outdoors and dealers want to capitalize on that. Always do your research, look around for better options, and follow the tips given above to secure that dream RV for you at a lower price. Always remember to be nice to other people too, especially your dealers, since they can make your life easier from the moment you decided to buy an RV down to the last stages of the buying and negotiating process.