Vanlife Trader

Let's talk van sales

Published 4 months ago • 3 min read

Understanding the "Market"

The pandemic was a fluke. It was a wild ride for humans, the world, and the van market. We are no longer living in a utopia of van sales. The market has relaxed, and while more and more people are interested in weekend van camping and full time vanlife than ever before, this is not a profit-frenzy market for used rigs. But vans are selling. Expensive vans are selling. Sprinters and Econolines and Skoolies are all selling.

Amount of sales and the price they’re selling at do change by season and location so we work to keep up resources to give our sellers (and buyers) an idea of the current marketplace.

So what does that mean for sellers?

It means that while demand is still strong (and getting stronger), supply is also strong. As the seller, you have to put in a little elbow grease to market your van. Think eye-grabbing photos. Think interest-piquing titles. Think persistence and flexibility with buyers. Ask yourself, what would the used car salesmen do? And then take a few pointers from them. Selling your rig is not impossible, you just have to put in the effort.

Read the full sales scoop on our newest resource and check back next month for a deep dive into 2024 van events plus some surprises (tell your friends to sign up!).

Online Marketplaces

We live in a digital world and there are a ton of resources out there for selling your van online. From free marketplaces to Vanlife Trader, you can choose your adventure when it comes to the platform. But since you’re here, let’s talk about what we see performing well on our site.

Great Copy

Get creative with your title. Our site automatically adds in the year make and model. Change it up!

Photos, photos, photos!

If copy is important, imagery is 10x that. People want to see your rig. They want to see wide shots, they want to see details, they want to see your favorite highlights, they want to see the parts that may need some work. Take high quality photos, and you’ll have a great chance at selling that van.

Active outreach and flexibility

Even when you pay to list on our site, the buck can’t stop there. Send your listing link to friends, family, acquaintances, heck, print off a QR code and post it around town! Slap a for sale sign in your window and go on a killer last trip. The more your van is in people’s faces, the better.

Everyone’s favorite subject: PRICING

This is by far the most important aspect of your listing and ultimately, your sale. For more info, we have a resource on pricing your van and partner with a professional appraiser.

Ask yourself how long you have to sell the van

If your answer is yesterday, offer a great deal. If you’re not in a rush, you have more room to play with the price of your van.

Do your research

Our site is a great resource to see what vans have sold recently. You can filter for vans almost exactly like yours.

Don't expect pandemic profit

We know a lot of professional builders and mom-and-pop shops that are doing good business post-pandemic. They’ve had to tighten up here and there, streamline processes, and get creative with their distinctive offerings, but it’s been for the best! At the same time, we’ve noticed DIYers and private owners are not seeing the huge profits they were seeing in 2020. Doesn’t mean you can’t make back what you put in, just that most likely you’ll see a price that’s reflective of depreciation. You had fun in that rig! Fun takes a toll on camping vehicles but it doesn’t have to take a toll on your finances. Back up your rig with a professional appraisal and impeccable records and you’ll be able to more confidently ask for what you believe the van is worth.

Practice patience

This can be a time consuming process. Campervans are big purchases for people and even if you’re a motivated seller, these things take time. We do see vans sell in 2 days, but the average is 2-3 months, and for higher priced rigs, it can be 6+ months.

We love this industry but we’ve also felt the pain points of selling our used rigs. While the site is ultimately just a marketplace, a platform for our sellers to (creatively!) post what they’ve got to thousands of daily users, the people behind the site want to see you buy and sell your dream van with as little stress as possible. Shoot us your questions, give us your feedback, or just say hi! We’re here for ya.

Vanlife Trader

Selling the dream since 2018

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