A First-Time Bidder’s Guide To RV Auctions

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Contrary to common belief, auctions are not limited to real estate, jewelry, and valuable works of art. Almost any item can be auctioned off, even Recreational Vehicles (RV). And like other vehicle auctions, buying at any live or online RV auctions can be very exciting too.

If you’re a first-time bidder, read on as we run you through some useful tips on how to snag great auction deals on an RV. Find out what to expect before and after the bidding process as well.

How Do RV Auctions Work?

There’s not much difference between car auctions and RV auctions; more so in online and live RV auctions. A few distinctions between the two is that in the latter method, you’ll need to schedule an actual viewing before making a bid. Live auctions, on the other hand, allow bidders a few minutes to inspect the RV before the bidding process.

Online auctions can be far-reaching, but you can filter the search results to focus on your locality. The auction process may vary slightly from one company to another. But most common procedures typically include the following:

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  • Registration or Account Creation: Before having access to bidding, you’ll be required to register by keying in a few personal information, typically a contact number, email, and social media accounts. You can either register online or on-site.
  • Bidding Process: Once your application is approved, you can now participate in online or live auctions. This is where the fun starts. Most, if not all action companies, require a security deposit before you’re allowed to bid on any of the items.
  • Payment: If you’re the winning bidder, get ready to receive an invoice and payment instructions. All the fees and charges are reflected in the invoice. You’ll be given a few days to settle the payment before claiming the item.
  • Shipping: Most auction companies offer shipping services in-house or with a third party. This is where local and live actions can benefit you, as you can take the RV home after the transaction is completed.

RV auctions are a good way to get a vehicle-cum-accommodation in one, as you’ll get a wide range of choices fit for your needs. Gently used RVs may be offered in auction sites rather than in dealerships. Similarly, some RVs being offered may need major repairs.

For these reasons, RV auction prices vary wildly, mainly due to the manufacturing year and its current condition, as well as the amenities included, according to CrankyApe.com.

Compared to buying privately, there’s a low chance of getting a ‘lemon’ at an auction, especially if you know how to do the following tips for first-time RV auction bidders.

7 Ways to Prepare And Snag The Best RV Auction Deal

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  • Do Your Homework

You can’t just show up at a live RV auction and expect the process to go through smoothly. There’s the registration and security deposit, as well as the actual viewing that needs to be done. And as all biddings go, you won’t be the only person interested in the RV that you’ve been eyeing. There are likely a few more people eager to get their hands on the apple of your eye.

The best way to go about this is to search up to five best RV choices so that you still have a fighting chance to have the best deal if you’ve been out-bidding on your top RV choice.

Also, check online for different RV types, and how each new and used models are priced at in the current market, including those in dealerships and other RV selling channels. If you can, try to find out more information about the specific RVs you’re mulling to bid on, for instance, repair history and the reason(s) for auctioning off the vehicle.

  • For Live Auctions: Arrive Early and Check Out Your RV Options

Don’t wait until the last minute. Like an early bird that catches the worm, a bidder who arrives early has higher chances of getting a great RV auction deal.

By arriving early, you’ll be able to check out the vehicles up for auction. You’ll get a better idea of which RVs you really need or if you may need to opt for other options, being that the RV of your choice looks good on photos but may need more repairs than expected.

These types of vehicles come in different sizes and with diverse amenities included. If you’ll only have two or three people to travel around with, you may need a smaller type of vehicle like a camper van.

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  • Establish A Bidding Strategy

There’s no one-size-fits-all strategy that bidding pros swear by. It all depends on how the ‘bidding war’ goes. Some bidders are eager to outbid others, while some wait for the last minute to outbid everybody else. As it’s your first bidding, it may be best to get the ‘feel’ of the bidding, but don’t waste time bidding for your best option.

  • Always Have a Plan ‘B’

As mentioned, always list down your RV choices in order of preference. This way, you still have a chance to snag a great deal despite losing your first choice. Leave room for flexibility, such as changing your list of most preferred RVs after taking a closer look at the vehicles.

  • Know When to Give Up

Avoid falling into the trap of outbidding others just to get the RV of your dreams. For all you know, you might end up paying for an overpriced vehicle or one that doesn’t match your needs. Sometimes, bidding can get out of hand. In these instances, leave the competition to other bidders.

  • Set A Budget Ceiling

Part of good preparation is to set a price ceiling on the specific RVs on your list. You’ll come up with these figures based on your research results. Doing this can help you pay reasonably for an item that suits you best. If a bid has surpassed your budget limit, don’t hesitate to give up.

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  • Refuse to Get Intimidated

If you really want to get what you want at a reasonable price, don’t get intimidated by other bidders shouting their prices that are higher than yours. It may be part of their strategy to prevent you and other bidders from outbidding them.

Don’t get ‘blackjacked’ by bidders who love a grand entrance or one who loves to flaunt his or her riches. These persons are part of the reasons why auctions are interesting. So, don’t be afraid to show them that you mean business too.

Final Thoughts

The best way to experience an RV auction for the first time is to plan properly and map out a strategy. If the plan doesn’t work the first time, try another technique and do this until you find the best method that works for you.