Tips For Selling Privately

Here is a complete guide to getting the most from the sale of your car, caravan, boat, bike or motorhome. If you follow the directions below you give yourself the best chance at getting the dollar amount that you're hoping for. 

Preparation: 

Step 1 Cleaning: 

Preparation is everything, you need to give your second hand unit a good clean before presenting it to the public. Truck wash is what we use in the yard with water (make it warm if you can) to get rid of all the grit and road grime. You can use mentholated spirits with a non-static cloth on the windows for a streaky clean look. 

When cleaning the inside, get rid of anything you don't want to sell with the van, and any other clutter that might be in there, in fact, the more empty it is the better (you can always have the stuff you want to sell, in a box to the side). Use standard surface cleaner on all bench and table tops, and make sure you give the floor a good vacuum and mop (depending on floor type). I recommend using a vanilla based cleaner in the fridge. Open up every window you can and let the van air out as much as possible, and maybe even put a couple of car air fresheners in there, this helps give a great first impression for potential buyers. Tyre shine on the wheels will give it a great look too and finish it off nicely.

Remember, the better you present the van/vehicle the more you can sell it for, so it is worth spending a bit of time to get it looking amazing.

Step 2 Photography: 

Getting the right photos are just as important as step 1, this is where you really need to show off the van/vehicle. Having a great lead photo is paramount to the success of the advert, so make sure you take your time getting the right lighting and the right angle for the first pic. If it's a Caravan you're photographing, the first pic should be a front 3/4 door side shot (see example 1), if it's a car take the first pic from the non-drivers side, 3/4 angle shot (see example 2). 
Remember the staff at helpyousellit.com.au can improve the shots for you by making them bright and vibrant, contact us below to get a free sample of our work. First impressions are everything, so getting any leads are a good sign you have it priced right and presented well. 

The Background: Having a great background can help with the overall presentation of your ad. If you can tow your van to a picturesque area like a beach or a river, this will definitely look a lot better in the ads. If you are taking the pictures at home make sure you have the space around your caravan neat and tidy, and consider anything moveable in the background as a distraction. The same goes for the foreground, don't leave anything like a shovel or washcloth hanging over the A-frame, these are also distractions. 

Time Of Day: Taking your photos during the day is by far the best time to take your shots, high noon is often best as the light is spread very well over the object. If you cant turn your van to get the light on all sides, just make sure your lead shot (Front 3/4 door side) is in the sunlight.

Step 3 Advertising:

When writing your advert it is worth getting all the information you have on your van, i.e. weights, length, height, width etc. We do have a form that is Downloadable from Here, this form will help you get all the information you need to write a great ad. We do have ad writing services available too, contact us below if you are interested. 
Make sure you be as descriptive as possible, and it is recommended that you outline any issues the van might have, especially if you are not going to fix them before selling the unit (water leaks/stains, broken window etc.) tell the customer it has been priced accordingly. 
When writing, explain what the features are, and then the benefits of that feature straight after i.e. the reverse cycle air conditioner will keep you cool in the summer and the warm in the winter.

Where do I advertise my Caravan?   
There are a few variables here, as it also depends on the retail price of your caravan/motorhome. 
If your unit is at the lower end of retail pricing then I would just recommend Gumtree and Facebook seller groups, it's free and they both get a great amount of traffic to potentially sell to. 
If your caravan or motorhome is at the higher end of retail, then it's probably worth putting it on as many sites as you can.
Caravan and Camping Sales, Trade RVs, trading post and Gumtree are big players here, but the costs do vary. 

Best Places to advertise:

Caravan and Camping Sales URL: www.caravancampingsales.com.au: This site is the big daddy when it comes to traffic and exposure. We highly recommend advertising your Caravan on here. Consider the boosts only if you have great photos, a well-written ad, and a competitive price.
Price: Free to $170

Trading Post URL www.tradingpost.com.au: Trading post used to be the place everyone sold everything, it is not as proficient as it used to be but is still a great placed to get some extra eyes on your caravan 
Price: Free with options to boost your ad.

Gumtree URL www.gumtree.com.au: Gumtree is owned by eBay and is a place you can advertise for free, they use a freemium model in the hopes you boost your ad to get better exposure, and once again, if your ad is right it may be worth boosting your ad to attract more buyers.
Price: Free with options to boost your ad

Trade RV's URL www.tradervs.com.au: Is another great place to consider, they might not have the traffic as some of the above but they still have a good amount of potential buyers visiting their site.
Price: $50

Facebook URL www.facebook.com: Facebook is the biggest social network on the planet and their marketplace is fast becoming a great (Free) option to post your ad. Just do a quick search and you should find a plethora of Facebook groups you can advertise too. Try to choose the groups closer to your suburb with the most members. 
Price: Free

When considering what sites you should put your caravan on, remember the wider you cast your net (your ads) the more fish (potential buyers) you might catch. 

The Sales Process:

Here is a crash course on how the sales process can help you not only close the deal but get top dollar when it eventually sells.

Leads: leads are the emails you get from the site/s you have your RV advertised on, it goes without saying, you need to get back to these ASAP as market research shows that for every lead you get that same customer has sent out 2 more (on average, customers send 2.8 leads at a time). The early bird gets the worm so to speak.

A polite, friendly phone manner will go a long way here, it is also worth having a pen and pad to write down any notes or answers to the following qualifying questions (use these to find the potential buyers needs or wants): 

  • Are you in the Market for <insert brand here> in particular? 
  • *Caravan* What is the tow capacity of your vehicle?
  • *Motorhome* Are you looking to tow with the RV?
  • Have you had a Caravan/Motorhome before? 
The number 1 thing you need to work on when it comes to sales, is relationship building, being friendly and helpful can be the difference between the customer buying from you, or someone else. 

Remember to retain all of the information you get from every potential buyer, especially names and phone numbers. Write down any offers they give you even if it's well below what you are after as you may consider their price later if you don't get any better offers.

Offers: If you're not an unmotivated seller and you are convinced you have the price right and your advertising is generating enough leads then holdfast on your price. If you are a motivated seller and need the money.

ABC Always Be Closing: The most important part of the sales process is closing the deal, simply asking for the sale can be the difference of selling it while the customer is there, or not selling at all if they leave, as your chances of selling once they have left are more than halved. Some of the best closing lines you can use are; "This seems like a good fit for you, would you like to buy it?" "I have others looking at this unit, would you like to hold it with a small deposit?" 

Questions the potential buyers will ask:
  • Why are you selling?
 

Advanced Tips:

Price Board/Printed ad: It is good practice to have a printed ad inside of your caravan or RV, as people come out to view the van it makes it easier for them to get a quick reference of what the van has as not everything is obvious. We have a great template available on our website: www.howtosellprivatley.com

QR code URL http://www.qr-code-generator.com: consider adding a QR code to your price board/printed ad, this acts as a hotlink and can make it easier for people to find the ad online, as most customers will view again when they get home to discuss the potential purchase.

Have you considered getting a cash offer? We have companies waiting to buy Caravans, so give us a call and sell your van today!

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