If you have an RV that you don’t use as frequently as you’d like, it might be time to consider your options. For those not quite ready to part with their rig, renting it out to others on a peer-to-peer platform like Outdoorsy is a solid option. Your other option is to sell it, going the usual route of parking it in your driveway with a “for sale” sign on it or listing it in the classifieds. But if your time is budgeted elsewhere and you don’t relish the thought of buyers knocking on your door at all hours, consignment might be a better option for you.
Let’s take a look at how RV consignment works.
What is consignment?
Consignment is the process of hiring someone else to sell or rent out your RV for you. If you use an RV consigner to sell your RV, you’ll likely pay an upfront fee. The fee may be a percentage of the RV sales price or a flat rate. If you use a consigner to rent out your RV, they’ll receive a portion of the total rental cost once a trip is completed.
Services that handle RV consignments are usually RV dealerships or pro RV dealers themselves. This means that your RV would be placed in their inventory for an agreed-upon period of time, all while still under your ownership. They will handle advertising, showing prospective renters or buyers your vehicle, and the final transaction.
How does RV consignment work?
For starters, you need to contact an RV consignment business. A Google search for “RV consignment” should provide you with a number of options. Typically, you’ll want to look for a consigner that is in your immediate area or reasonably close by. Otherwise, you may face additional costs getting your RV to the consignment lot. As we stated before, most consignments are handled through an existing RV or pro dealer. However, on occasion, you may find a service that only handles consignments.
There are a few things to consider when selecting a consigner:
- If it is an RV dealership, do they have plenty of rental “traffic”? In other words, the more prospective renters the dealer attracts, the more your RV gets rented. The more your RV gets rented, the higher return you’ll see on your investment.
- Do they have an existing contract in place for all consignments? This agreement should have the length of time they will market your RV, the percentage of the total booking cost the consigner takes, and how and when the money earned on the rental will be distributed.
- Is the lot where your RV will be parked safe and secure?
Once you’ve found a consigner, they will examine your RV and appraise it to come up with a rental rate or sales price they think is appropriate for the vehicle. They will most likely consider their past experience with similar vehicles. Mileage and other costs like cleaning fees may also be a factor. From there, the consigner should provide you with a contract.
What are the benefits of using a consigner?
We have already covered a few of the benefits of using a consigner, but here are a few more:
- It will save you time and effort
- They will advertise and market your RV, reaching a larger number of prospective buyers and renters than you can
- You will not have to show the vehicle to interested buyers or renters
- They usually have buyers roaming their lots, and may already have a buyer in mind for your RV
- If you live in a cold-weather climate (here’s looking at you, Chicago) consigning your RV to a consigner in a warmer climate could help your RV drive more traffic and revenue in the off-season
- The consigner will handle all transactions and paperwork
- They may offer financing options, broadening your prospective customer base
What are the downsides to using a consigner?
There are a few limitations to consider when using a consignment service:
- If you sell, you’ll get less money overall because of the consignment fee. The fee can be pretty steep.
- If you rent, your revenue from each rental will be less, because of the commissions paid to the consigner.
- The consigner may not give as thorough a walk-thru to renters as you might, either because of time or lack of knowledge of vehicle specifics.
Only you can decide how much or how little effort you want to put into renting out your RV. If you feel you can make more by renting out the vehicle yourself— advertising your RV via channels like social media, local newspaper ads, or word-of-mouth— then bypass the consignment service and give it a go.
If, however, you are okay with someone else doing the work it takes to sell or rent your RV, then consignment might be just the ticket.