By Russ and Tiña De Maris
How consignment selling works
You and the consignment operator agree on a sale price. From there, the dealer keeps anything above your minimum. The dealer may also require a “commission” or percentage fee of your “bottom line price.” You ask $50,000, the dealer keeps a percentage of the $50,000—above what he sells the rig for. He may also require a “dealer fee” of a set amount.
Here’s how this might work out
Your asking price: $50,000
Dealer sells the RV for: $70,000
Dealer commission percentage (10%): $5,000 (based on your asking price)
Fee charged by Dealer: $100
Bottom line: Dealer gets $25,100; you get $44,900
No matter your “asking” price, the dealer will probably tell you it’s too high, that you’ll need to lower it. You can counter by doing your homework before bargaining. Check out internet prices and NADA guides; walk RV dealer lots for a similar rig and try to establish a fair price. It’s subjective: We all tend to figure our “stuff” is worth more than the next guy’s. And watch out for crooks. “Fly by nights” are known to take RVs on consignment, sell them, take the cash and vanish. Before you consign, check with the Better Business Bureau and your state’s Attorney General for complaints.
Another shady trick
They have a buyer for your rig! But (“sigh”) the customer is offering the exact price that you want to walk away with. However, if you’d be willing to give us X dollars for our trouble, we’ll waive the commission percentage. No, you won’t get your exact asking price. But, hey, you’ve still sold that rig! The trick is, the customer came in with a good offer, above your asking price. The dealer is selling you a fish story to pad his pocket. Either refuse to buy his story—don’t budge on your sales price—or tell the dealer you’ll come look at his “customer’s” signed purchase offer. If he refuses to show the offer, you know there’s a problem. If it’s legitimate, you’ll need to decide whether the deal is worth it to you.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Recommended consignment dealer: PPL motorhomes.