The Consignment Dilemma
Updated: Aug 8, 2019
The Consignment Dilemma…. Should I? Shouldn’t I?
I read a FB post recently from someone who was trying to figure out if he should sell his unit himself. The comments were nothing but negative about dealers. It made me feel sad. I felt sad for the customers and for the reputation of the dealers.
So, why not sell outright? Or, if you’re in the market to buy, why not BUY directly from an individual. Here is the answer to both of those and a few pro’s to using a dealer for buying/selling that you may not have considered.
The seller: I want to sell my unit, but I’m not sure why I shouldn’t do it myself! If you’re the seller, sometimes selling your own unit can be tricky. Not only do you have the influx of strangers calling and coming, but you get no-shows, people who want to haggle prices, and those who can’t really afford your unit but don’t know how to finance through an individual.
At Camp Oaks, we really do try to give the owner the price they need. We don’t make up some number in the sky, we use NADA (National Automobile Dealers Association) to take the guesswork out of it. NADA is our guide, so we BOTH know we are getting a fair price.
Like a realtor, we pull comparisons, use the NADA, and figure out what your unit is actually worth. We don’t guess just based on what we feel that day. That’s not how we do it. Also, once you’ve been in the business long enough, and seen enough units, you get a pretty good feel for these things.
There are several ways to consign: we can set the price you need outright, or we can just set a flat 10% commission to us.
Once you decide to consign with us, and we’ve taken the guesswork out for you, we deal with the haggling customers, the advertising and marketing, and the financial questions. We can also sometimes provide financing for our customers that an individual cannot (a pro for the buyer, as well!). There’s no strangers coming to your private property and there’s no waiting around for someone to show up who never comes.
Also, as a service to you, the owner, we will wash the unit and often even fix minor repairs at no cost. When someone buys, we make sure that they are set up to tow correctly and we go through a demonstration of the entire unit, making sure they know how to properly set the unit up/down, tow and maintain it. That’s our time spent with them, not your time. All you have to do is wait for the check!
Not only do we do the marketing, but our prime location in a heavy traffic area is also a great benefit to you! We count trailers by the dozens passing by us headed to the mountains in prime camping seasons. This is a great location for selling trailers!
Not only do we spend time advertising through our website and online, as well as other resources, but also a great advantage to you is the customer database we have been collecting. We keep a long list of customers who are looking for specific units. One of those may just be waiting for yours! And all we have to do is give them a call.
The hardest part about selling your unit with us is towing it here and waiting on a check!
The Buyer: Why shouldn’t I just buy directly from an individual? I used to be one of those people who avoided the dreaded dealership at all costs. I just saw additional fees, commissioned sales people and high-pressure sales. BUT if you can find an honest dealer, there are so many pro’s for the buyer, I now understand why that should be the preferred route, for everyone!
We recently got a unit in that looked GREAT. It was a high dollar unit and the customer wanted a good bit for it, understandably. It was new and clean and in good condition. But, as the dealer, we go through it extensively and found some unreported water damage that was causing some issues in the underbelly. Aaron opened up the underbelly to see what was going on and sure enough, it had significant damage. A damaged unit isn’t necessarily a problem, but we also knew we couldn’t sell it at the original price with undisclosed damage. In this case, the owner decided to have the work done rather than decrease the price. It meant taking the unit off the sales lot for awhile, but the floor and underbelly are better than new now, and we got to ensure that the work was done to our high standards.
We make sure to do a complete systems check on every unit that comes in. We check the A/C, the furnace, the refrigerator… We make sure there’s no hidden damage. It would be nice to think you could trust owners to disclose all the information on their units, but in the case of the original story, the owner didn’t even know the damage was there and that significant.
We eliminate the need to meet strangers or drive to their private homes. We eliminate the pressure of the sale and we can offer financing on most of our units.
The other major benefit is that we schedule pickups for a time when you can spend a couple hours with us. We go through an entire demonstration of the unit so that you know how everything works and are clear on maintenance, such as winterizing the unit annually. You have time to ask questions and get familiar with your new unit. We also make sure you are comfortable with the towing and we help you hook up.
Yes, this does mean we charge sales tax and a minimal prep fee, but there are so many advantages that it’s worth knowing you are getting the right unit, at the right price.
I have another example to share. Right now we have a unit sitting in our service bay that came in for some work. They JUST bought the unit elsewhere (an individual) and knew it needed a little work. But, we had to give them the bad news that it needs THOUSANDS of dollars of work. The entire roof is cracked and water has been leaking in for quite some time. That soft roof is a MUCH bigger issue than they realized. I really don’t want this to be you. We want you to ENJOY camping and we want to take the hassle and the guesswork out of it for you.
If you ever have any questions on our used/consigned units, we would love to chat further! And, as always, be sure you keep up with us on Facebook and Instagram! We post units there, and our website is ALWAYS updated with the units we have on our lot!
Our customers are important to us, whether they are buying or selling. They become family and we want to treat them the same way we would want to be treated – with honesty and respect, with openness and without any hidden agendas. We just want to help you camp and make memories. Buying a trailer, or selling one, just shouldn’t be so stressful. So, please, let us help.