Dealer vs. Private Seller

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kalauver

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Hi all!

Ok -- dealer vs. private seller? I've been looking at different dealers and listings on RV Trader and I can't decide which is better. I see lower prices with private sale in most situations, but my issue is not knowing if what I'm getting is a good buy or a lemon where with a dealer, I feel they have the service centers, etc to do a thorough run through of everything. Thoughts? And yes -- I know dealers can screw ya over just like an individual, haha but in your opinion, which is better ?

Thanks !
 

HueyPilotVN

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It also somewhat depends on what State you are in. As an example Arizona does not collect sales tax on private sales but does on dealer sales. This can make a significant difference.

If your concern is relative to finding issues with the RV then you can get a NRVIA inspector who will probably do a better inspection than the Dealer. Dealers sometimes have a bias toward not finding issues that they then have to address.

I guess that you can tell that my preference is to buy from a private party, especially since I live in Arizona.
 
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donn

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Just because a dealer has a service center is no guarantee they run the used rigs through it.
Go with a private party, when you find one you like hire an independent inspector to give you a report and negotiate price from that point.
 

SpencerPJ

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Always a private seller over Dealer unless you must finance. Private sellers don't have middle men to pay, etc. My experience, a private seller is less apt to try and pull a fast one, rather than a seller that traded a problem to a Dealer.
 

Isaac-1

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In my opinion the only thing used RV dealers bring to table is one stop shopping where you can usually compare several different coaches side by side, as well as consistent business hours. When shopping a private sellers classified ad, you may find that they are only available to show the coach at very limited times, such as on the weekends.
 

kalauver

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I need to finance so a dealer may be the best option ? I'd love tips on finding an I spector for hire. How do I do that ? THANKS
 

TheBar

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One thing to watch with a private seller is the title and expired tags which can be expensive. I ran into some real scams when shopping on Craig's List. If you buy sight unseen chances are you'll never see it. Others will meet you at a parking lot and once they drive away you'll have a hard time tracking them down. I will only buy from a private seller when I can get the title notarized in my presence or changed over to my name at the DMV. In some states you are liable if there is a bank lien on the tittle.
 

SpencerPJ

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I need to finance so a dealer may be the best option ? I'd love tips on finding an I spector for hire. How do I do that ? THANKS
A Dealer might be your best option, certainly don't plan on a bargain, especially in these pandemic times. Personally I'd do without before I went to Camping World. I know and have heard way to many unpleasant stories, although I'm sure there are a few good stories.
 

donn

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Look for a mobile RV tech, call them and make arrangments.
 

uchu

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If you need financing, you may be better off with a credit union or maybe using a HELOC, if you own property and have a mortgage with a good interest rate. That way, you wouldn't be stuck with a dealer and go instead with a private seller.
 

Isaac-1

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Dealers can make financing easier, though it is certainly possible to bring your own financing for a private party sale. I did it with my coach, it was a simple matter of going to my local bank, having them do the loan, and going back and forth with the seller a few times to get them to send the bank various bits of information like scans of their drivers license, copy of the registration and title, etc. over the course of 2 or 3 days. Then the bank loan officer handed me a cashiers check and I got on the plane to fly to Florida to but the coach, sellers and I signed paperwork sent by the bank, and I handed them the cashiers check, and I headed home in my new to me coach.
 

donn

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Keep in mind most places will not finance anything older than 10 years.
 

Isaac-1

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True, though I had no issue with my local bank financing a then 14 year old coach, of course this may not be a typical situation, as I have a substantial relationship with this bank worth many times the cost of the motorhome.
 

NSRV

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I worked in a dealership in the past and I'll tell you that you are just as likely to get a lemon from the dealer as you are from a private seller. Its hard to say which one is better as location is everything, and what the vehicle needs and condition is also a huge factor in all of this. Dealers and private sellers both do not like to put a lot of money into repairs on something they want to make a profit on.

Your best method is to have the vehicle inspected by a trusted third party. Bring a mechanic with you and have him look it over. Write down the VIN and get the service and insurance history on it. If the dealership or private seller want to make a fuss about you wanting to do your own inspection and research, that is a red flag, and you should kindly take your business elsewhere.

P.S. as for financing, some say the dealer is better for this, but if your credit is good enough for financing you can go to a credit union and get a loan from them personally, instead of the dealership pinging your credit report with a dozen applications through their own sources.
 

SpencerPJ

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One more bit of info, if you buy off private seller and they have a loan (ie the bank has the title), this can take some time to ultimately get the title with basically a useless RV, you can not get plates or anything until you get the title. With a Dealer, you might leave with paper plates that work for the 1-2 months this process can take.
 

Jayflight

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Please don't use your home as collateral.
You got that right, especially if a home is paid for in your senior years. Of course if you have tons of funds in some investment accounts and can offset any loses if you end up with serious health issues and a forced off the road and out of using your rv, then maybe consider it if you just want to rent your rv to yourself for a while. This is all you are doing when paying a monthly payment.
 
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uchu

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I understand the apprehension of using home as collateral. Flashbacks to 2008/9 probably come quickly to mind. However, a house can be a financial tool as well, and a well managed equity, as long as is kept carefully under control, can be used to one's advantage.

That being said, I agree that this is a decision that's very well tied to each person's individual situation and how comfortable they are in terms of keeping debt in check.
 

phil-t

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We just went through an 8 month search for a, new to us, class A coach. We knew what we wanted for a floor plan and looked at many private and dealer units. Private sale can be good - you need to get to know the seller and have some faith in their honesty. We walked away from 4 possible private sale purchases. Dealers a bit safer, still know what you are looking at and be prepared to walk away. We ended up at a dealer with what we wanted, were able to negotiate a decent deal and they definitely make the purchase, financing and registration a much simpler process. We ended up at one of their banks and were actually able to negotiate our interest rate down.
 

JayArr

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Thinking that a dealer will inspect and fix everything is nuts, the only reason they have that old trailer is because they took it as a trade to sell something else, now all they want to do is move it at a reasonable profit. They don't want to use shop hours on a non-billable unit. They may inspect brakes and safety gear but don't expect them to go over the plumbing or electrical systems, check the Air Con or test appliances too closely.

Another thing to remember is that you will probably be 1000 miles from that dealer when something breaks so they won't be able to help you with it. If it's non-critical it could wait until you return home but if it's major you'll need cash or credit to have it repaired wherever you are at the time. (This WILL happen)

No matter where you buy it there will be something(s) wrong with it so determine your budget and then take 10-20% and withhold that for repairs and look for something you can buy with the 80-90%.

Are you handy? I'm lucky to be "maintenance inclined" and I do all my own repairs, you can save a lot if you know which end of a wrench is which.
 
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