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Sell a Bus Guide

Sell a bus, bus conversion, tour bus, Class A RV, or church shuttle bus? Follow these guidelines to ensure your bus, motorcoach or recreational bus conversion sale goes well. Most sellers want maximum profit in the shortest time while incurring the least hassle and cost. Just remember the buyer wants the same things. Everything you as the seller does must be designed, angled, prepared, presented and directed at the BUYERS point of view in order to net the most money in the shortest time.

The biggest problem with selling a used bus is that there is a very limited market for such luxury purchases combined with the fact that EVERY bus is custom. There is no such thing as a "stock" bus or RV. This means you are selling a very particular item to a minuscule or sometimes nonexistent customer and most importantly you have to FIND that customer. For smaller groups try a mini-bus. These look like the airport shuttles you take to hotels except all the seats face forward.

 

See our Bus Make & Model charts and RV Types Explained coverage for the advantages and disadvantages of each make and model. Use this information to emphasize the advantages of your particular coach. Visit Bus Selling Options for a list of the good + bad of selling the bus yourself verses dealer listing it.

Disadvantages - never address the disadvantages listed unless the buyer brings it up. Be prepared if they do though. Sometimes it is best to simply reply using the least words possible. For example if the buyer says "I heard that Eagle buses were better than this Prevost your selling" You may answer simply..."really?".

Going into a lengthy defense can often just cause the two of you to spend too much time on negative issues. Of course if the buyer's information is mistaken feel free to gently and courteously disagree with them, present your contrary opinion or facts and move on.

The "why are you selling" question - Be prepared to answer this one. I advise all buyers to ask this question and look right into the eyes of the seller and watch for the sellers reaction when they do. Even someone who does not pratice this technique can often spot a "seller" who is hesitant and may be covering something up, offers a wierd answer, is caught off guard, slips up and tells you something they did not intend to, etc. So, as the seller BE PREPARED. If you don't have time to use the bus, say so. If it is not what you thought it would be when you bought it, so be it. Be ready to offer a simple, "look them in the eye" answer - "uh...well to tell you the truth, I just need the money right now". will do.

Service Records - Many buyers feel very wary of purchasing anything without paperwork. Repair receipts, title documents, service records, and original purchase price paid.

Pricing - the buyer doesn't usually care how much you owe, so instead figure out the real value of the vehicle and adjust lower depending on how FAST you want serious offers. Do not bring up what you paid for the bus unless it is relative to the current value and in YOUR favor to do so. It is rare that a bus, motorcoach or RV is sold by a private individual at a premium price. Today's buyer has substantial resources available to them in determining what they THINK your bus is worth. Be ready to discuss this with them. You will have to substantiate everything you say when it comes to price.

Condition - Everything should work on your bus. If something is broke, either fix it or disclose it to the prospective buyer. This will validate your trustworthiness and add value to everything you say afterwards. If possible have a quote ready to show the buyer so they can see what the repair will cost.

Get help - from a professional salesman, used bus dealer or broker: especially if you are selling a bus for more than $20,000. Go here to sell a bus for free and will get you a fair price for your coach. The site showcases buses from dealers ans individuals all over the US. Also see Bus Links for other dealers I know are reputable, experienced and intelligent enough to be worth every penny they may cost you in "markup". I say "may" cost you because usually they MAKE you money. They can often sell the bus with their markup in place and get you more than you might get on your own.

 

Preparation - Clean everything out of the coach before you show the bus for sale. This will be especially difficult for a full-timer. Full-timers should simplify and get rid of absolutely everything that is not completely necessary for day to day living.

Put the rest in storage.

Buyers expect that the bus they buy should be ready for them to drive away because they are used to making purchases at automobile or rv dealerships where preparation is taken seriously. This helps with first impressions, which are very important. Rarely will a vehicle be purchased without a good to excellent "first look".

Make sure the bus is perfect when the prospective buyers show up. Polish, clean, repair. If something doesn't work, tell the buyers upfront. Give them a copy of your descriptive list with pictures. Give them a quick tour of the bus then leave the buyers alone. This is VERY important, buyers will often be shy about snooping around but if they are really interested, given the chance to look at everything without you staring at them, they will be more likely to turn into a real buyer.

Buyers will often come in pairs. Serious buyers will discuss features they like, and since they have traveled to see your bus, let them spend as much time as they need to look at what they are considering. Tell them where to find you for questions and tell them to TAKE THEIR TIME.

Marketing - take 100 photographs using a digital camera. Shoot close-ups, full views, bays, storage, engine compartments, tire depth, dash close-ups, special or significant features of the bus, upholstery, floorplans, new or upgraded items. List every feature of your bus.

You cannot be too redundant. If your list is long, and makes sense, the buyer will read it and be impressed or glance it over and say to themselves "hey this person is thorough and probably took care of this bus" Either way you win. List how many air conditioners you have, heating units, entertainment and electronic equipment, lighting, furniture, engine, transmission, exhaust, chassis, roof type, flooring. Pick up a brochure from the original manufacturer for your exact bus or rv. If it's too old for that pick up an equivalent modern version and use it to build your amenities list.

 

Closing the Deal - if the buyer just will not make the purchase and you have done all you can do, make sure you FIND OUT WHY! Sometimes they are just tire kickers and dreamers, or maybe they had a problem behind the scenes that came up during the negotiations. But then again maybe not. Maybe there was a real legitimate reason why they didn't buy your bus for sale.

Make them tell you truthfully what you could have done differently or what you could do to the bus to help you sell it to the next guy. This is valuable information don't miss that chance to get it from them. Sometimes it is better to call them later as they will be more willing to be candid when they are not standing in your front yard.

Visit Bus Selling Options for a list of the advantages and disadvantages of selling the bus yourself verses listing it with a used bus dealer.


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