Listen to this story
By Randy Fisher
Large RV shows with multiple dealers and vendors can be a bit daunting, but if you put on your comfortable shoes and take advantage of all the great things they offer, you can accomplish a lot.
Here are some of the advantages of attending an RV show:
See all the makes and models in one spot
Most people have many dealers within a 50-mile radius of their homes and the task of visiting all these dealers takes time and effort. The nice thing about RV shows is you can see all the top makes and models in one place.
This also allows you to do some real time comparisons. Often people go from dealership to dealership and see several things they like in different models. However, they then forget what they liked about Brand X and they need to walk through it again. This would require them to go back to the previous dealer that could be miles away.
At an RV show, you can look at one RV and then walk over to another dealer’s booth and look at another, allowing for a fresh comparison between the two.
Make sure to take good notes and keep track of the models you like best so if you don’t buy at the show, and want to revisit them at the dealer’s lot, you know where to go and who sells what.
Manufacturer’s representatives are available
While many dealership salespeople have tremendous product knowledge, it is sometimes helpful to speak to a manufacturer’s representative who works directly for the company that builds the RV.
They tend to be able to give more technical information and can speak first hand to how things are built and why the company does the things they do. They have the unique advantage and understanding of how their models are built, and the quality features and technology that is used to produce their products.
They also deal with many dealerships across the United States and can give you recommendations on service centers in areas you may frequently travel to visit.
The deal might be better than you think
I am not a fan of the old school sales technique of saying “today only” for the best deal. Reality is that the dealer paid $X for the unit and after the show they still paid $X for it.
It is in the dealer’s best interest to sell a unit as quickly as possible since they are likely paying interest on the unit while it is on their lot. However, there are some things that you need to consider during a show that are time sensitive.
First, many of the manufacturers provide extra incentives to dealers to be passed on to consumers for shows. This could be some extra discounts or upgrades.
Many of the banks and lenders that are involved may offer discounts on their loan rates for the show. Extended warranty companies and chemical protection companies may also offer dealers some discounts to help facilitate sales.
Lastly, some aftermarket companies may offer discounts on accessories or provide some free products for people who buy at the show.
All of these extras tend to expire after the show. So, is it a good place to buy? If you find the right RV for you and feel comfortable with the dealership, then the answer is likely, yes.
Randy Fisher is the RV product manager for Six Robblees, a supplier based in Tukwila, Wash. He wants to share his sales experience with consumers to better equip them to work through the sales process at dealerships.