Avoid Getting Scammed When Selling An RV

There are various ways to sell an RV, whether you’re ready to stop RVing or you’re thinking of an upgrade.  Staying safe and avoid getting scammed when selling an RV should be your priority. Your options to sell include …

  • trade it in with an RV dealer
  • sell it on a consignment lot
  • dispose of it through a wholesaler
  • or take advantage of the more profitable for-sale-by-owner marketplace

Some options are better than others, it’s best to have an understanding on how  to protect yourself and your assets. Here 6 tips to get you started:

Tip 1 The first step is to know what your RV is worth

By knowing the value of your RV, you’re armed with the most critical information needed to facilitate an RV sale. Knowing its value lets you bargain in good faith and negotiate from a position of strength.  Regardless of how you choose to sell your RV.  When you’re armed with this vital information, you will ensure you are getting paid what you should for the RV you are selling.  Get your free valuation from National Vehicle then follow the rest of these tips to avoid getting scammed, so you can safely and confidently sell your RV to a private buyer.

Tip 2 Be polite but stay vigilant

Many scam artists and con men are very good at what they do, and they are much more experienced at scamming others than you are at protecting yourself.  After all, these people run scams all-day every-day, but you may only be involved in a transaction like this once in a lifetime. Scammers master the skill of being believable and charismatic and they become experts at disarming your suspicion or cynicism.

This creates a dilemma for people who are selling an RV.  If a potential buyer is legitimate, you certainly don’t want to sour the relationship by coming across as suspicious and guarded.  After all, a buyer needs to trust you as much as you need to trust them. So, when you’re meeting or communicating with a potential buyer, you’ll need to walk a tight rope between candor and reservation.

The best way to do that is to be honest, humble, helpful, and polite… but be aware of the buyer’s spoken and unspoken communication. Later you can reevaluate the conversation to see if there are any clues, that the potential buyer is a con artist.  If you listen carefully, you’ll probably detect something that doesn’t feel quite right. Don’t ignore your intuition or even the slightest misgiving because it might be your only warning that something is just not right.

Don’t be fooled by people just phishing for information.

Tip 3 Don’t give out too much personal information

One way to avoid getting scammed when selling an RV is to provide only essential personal information. Shared information should be relevant to the RV, it’s use, and its condition.  Don’t withhold information about your RV and always tell the whole truth. If it was wrecked, or damaged, say so. If you camped with pets and children say so. That information will reveal details about the RV’s condition, but don’t share information (either intentionally or inadvertently) about your family, your lifestyle, finances, or even your pets. There are all kinds of scams, even people who are looking for opportunities to steal your pets.

It may be important to a buyer to know that the RV was stored outdoors in the Pacific Northwest or in Texas, or Connecticut, but they don’t need to know that you spend your winters in Hawaii. Tell prospective buyers all about your RV but not your family, your business, political affiliations, financial circumstances, or religious beliefs.  Never over share with any stranger. You have no idea how they might use that information and its best to keep some information to yourself so you can avoid getting scammed when selling an RV.

The wrong person with the wrong intentions can turn a transaction into a nightmare scenario. 

Tip 4 Don’t be fooled by offers to pay more than the asking price

Scammers and con men look for ways to disarm the “mark” (and unfortunately, if a scammer is trying to buy your RV, you are the “mark”).  They often create a false sense of urgency. To disarm any resistance to that urgency they may offer to pay more than your asking price.  This should be a red flag warning.  People who are spending their own hard earned money rarely volunteer to spend more of it than necessary. If someone offers to pay more than your asking price, then proceed with extra caution. Fianlize your transaction at a bank, so you know their money is legitimate before you release the RV and title.

Tip 5 Don’t accept personal checks and verify cashier’s checks

You should never accept a personal check for your RV. Even cashier’s checks should be presented to your bank for verification and acceptance before you release the title or the vehicle.  Even cash could be a problem if it’s counterfeit, so your best protection is to finalize the sale during regular business hours at your bank. If the buyer is legitimate, they will not object to your caution.  If the buyer doesn’t want your bank involved, you should take that as a warning.  Once you transfer the title and release the vehicle you have almost no recourse to get the vehicle back. If the buyer turns out to be a scammer (who paid you with a bad check or counterfeit funds) it is very likely you will never recover your losses.

Tip 6 Have your paperwork ready at the time of the sale

The transfer of ownership of an RV will involve (at a minimum) a bill of sale and a title transfer. It could also involve the transfer of an extended warranty or the documentation that your RV loan is paid in full. Much of this documentation could be controlled by outside organizations and may take time to acquire. When you’re ready to sell your RV start getting your paperwork in order, so when you have a  buyer, you can provide the documentation in exchange for their full payment.

Consider all types of scams

To avoid getting scammed when you selling an RV you should consider all the possible types of scams. They may be after your identity or bank account information. Scammers could feign an interest in your RV just to learn more about your family, lifestyle, and personal habits.

Therefore, to avoid being scammed when selling your RV…

  • know the true value of your RV
  • follow the tips above
  • complete all the paperwork at the time of the sale
  • listen and evaluate the buyers’ communications
  • don’t ignore red flags if they show up
  • only accept bank verified payments
  • and don’t be afraid to ask for help from the professionals at National Vehicle.

About Anne Blanco, Sales Consultant

Anne Blanco has been working for National Vehicle for many years. Her love for the outdoors and RV lifestyle led her to work in the RV industry. Anne spent many years traveling the national parks, beaches and lakes with her children and has started doing so now with her grandchildren. Anne is a firm believer that getting out on the road, viewing and experiencing the beauty around us is one of the best ways to learn. Anne has visited over 40 states and looks forward to going to more with her grandchildren.