The Art of Buying an RV Online

So you’re looking for a deal on a RV, eh? Well unfortunately, the cruel game of cat-and-mouse which is RV shopping can often lead to missed opportunities followed by heartache for many.

Thankfully, there is a remedy for such an ailment – The Internet.

The Internet is a valuable resource when it comes to shopping for an RV.  For some, unfamiliarity not only with the World Wide Web, but how to use the Internet as a whole, can be disheartening. This unfamiliarity in turn leads to frustration and confusion which can be a lethal combination when trying to shop online.

Think about it. You can shop for any RV in the world, from pretty much anywhere in the world, and you can do it right from the comfort of your home. The best part is the only thing you need is a computer and an Internet connection.  

So what’s the main advantage of shopping for an RV online? Well essentially, you can know exactly what kind of RV you want to buy before even stepping foot on a dealership’s lot.  You can know everything about an RV you’re interested in before a sales specialists can say, “How are we doing today folks?” But most importantly, you go into a possible purchasing situation more confident because you’re better informed about what you’re looking for.

Considering all of this, I’ve never been one to put the cart before the horse so let’s start from the very beginning when it comes to the art of buying an RV online.

The Search
Regardless of who you are, most will start their search for an RV by using a search engine. The search engines aren’t the only place you can begin your quest for finding an RV, however. There are also a slew of other valuable resources, like online RV classified sites such as RVTrader.com. All of these can deliver a slew of RV options right to your computer screen. Got a particular RV you’re already interested in? Just type the name in the search box and hit enter.  

Don’t forget when you’re in the search phase, all you’re doing is looking. There is no pressure!  All you’re doing is simply gathering any and all information about an RV you’re interested in.  You’re free to explore any and all RV options swimming out in the sea of dealer sites on the World Wide Web and the best part is it will only take a few mouse-clicks to do so.

The Inventory
Ever go to a dealer’s website and somewhere on their homepage they boast some crazy pitch, like having “More than 500 RVs on the Lot!”, only to later find they actually have less than a 100 in their inventory? I have and I can tell you it’s incredibly annoying and frustrating.

The way a dealer has their inventory organized on a website says a lot. Before deciding to buy, these are just a few things to consider:

-          The info: Is the information in the RV listing correct? Most dealers, at least the good ones, include a list of basic specifications for RV units including length, height, gross weight and more with their listings. With that said, human error is still always a possibility so it’s always good to double check a floor plan you’re looking at with the manufacturer’s website.  After all, the last thing you want to do is make a long trip to a dealership in another state, only to find the RV you‘re interested in isn’t what you thought it was.

-          The Photos: Does the listing have enough photos to adequately display the “ins” and “out” of the RV? For example, 10 photos of a Class A motorhome isn’t a good representation of such a luxurious unit. Most good dealers who are trying to develop a strong Internet presence make it a point to add as many photos of possible of every RV in their stock – the more the better.  This is especially true when it comes to a used RV listing. If a dealer displays a ton of photos for an RV, then it shows they’re trying to be as upfront as possible with their online customers about the condition of it.

-          The Video:  These days, most dealers have made it a point to include some sort of video walkthrough with each of their inventory listings. Some dealerships even go as far as to providing a video walkthrough which parallels the same walkthrough they would receive had they visited the dealership in person.  Additionally, the quality of the video (camera shots, accuracy of information presented, etc.) should also be considered.

The Wrap-Up
When it comes down to it, there really is no right or wrong way to do things when it comes to shopping online. With so many valuable resources, from dealer websites to classified websites, finding exactly what you’re looking for has never been easier thanks to the Internet.

The only mistake an RV shopper can make is by choosing not to take advantage of it.

Author Bio:  Darrin Michael currently serves as the eCommerce/Marketing Director at DaveArbogast RV Depot in Troy, Ohio. In addition, he also teaches Internet Development at Edison Community College.  He’s been featured on a number of other industry related blogs including Woodalls, RV-Pro.com, DealerRefresh.com and more.

Trader Online Web Developer

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