You have a bus for sale and you are wondering what the best way to go about selling it is. When selling anything, exposure is key! Getting your item in front of as many people as possible, but also the right people - buyers! Here are some things to consider:
Before you sell your bus, the first thing you should do is get a professional evaluation on it so you know what it is worth! We recommend www.BusAppraiser.com
Broker/Dealer - This can be a very effective way to sell your bus. They often know people looking for good pre-owned equipment and have good connections throughout the industry. The negatives are high selling fees/commissions, often they require bus to be in their possession, long selling times. Just be careful. Do your homework on the company/agent and be sure to ask the right questions, such as:
- What is your average turn around for a bus like mine?
- What is your commission/selling fee
- Are there any other fees I might incur?
- How often do you start and drive my bus while it's in your care?
- What do you do with my bus if there is a mechanical issue with it while in your care?
- Do you have a current insurance certificate I can examine?
- Once the sale has been finalized, how long before I receive the funds?
- How do I receive the sale proceeds? (we recommend a wire transfer)
DO IT YOURSELF - Who knows your bus better than you do? As a previous bus dealer myself, I can tell you that often times I would have to contact the owner several times throughout the sales process with questions or concerns. So the thinking of "I will let someone else handle that for me" really doesn't apply, as you are still very much involved as the owner. So here is how to best sell your bus on your own and keep that commission as $$$ PROFIT $$$...
Print Classified Ads - Years ago, this was a great way to sell your bus. Today, with the power of the internet, readers are way down and with the cost of printing and mailing, it can be quite expensive compared to online classifieds. if you chose this method, be sure to place your ad where it will be best received. For instance, if you have a late-model bus with a high asking price, don't put an ad in a local weekly auto magazine. At the same time, the local weekly might be a great place to advertise your older bus that is no longer ideal for charter/tour businesses.
Online Classified Ads - This is by far the most effective way to sell your bus. You can reach buyers 24/7 - and at their convenience. It can also be the least expensive option. Of course like anything, you want to be sure the online service you choose will reach the right people and as many of those people as possible. Make sure they continuously update their search engine optimization (SEO) and that their contend and use of keywords is optimal for the equipment you are selling. I have written many articles on HOW TO SELL YOUR BUS and VIDEOS can also be seen, so I won't cover that in this article.
Ok, so you have decided to go with an online ad...now how do you choose the right one???
Here are some examples...
eBay - by far the largest online marketplace. But beware of their fees that can get quite high. There is also a very large number of spam and non-buyers "pulling your chain". It has been reported many times that even the winning bidder often never follows through with the sale - only to leave you with the choice of having to relist your item or find something else - wasting all that valuable time and money (oh yes, you are still responsible for the selling fees even though the sale was never completed)!
Craigslist - Also a very popular resource, especially because it is a free service. But seller-beware...LOTS of spam and scammers!!! Because of it's simplicity and popularity, Craigslist is a favorite for these bad institutions to try and take advantage of unsuspecting users. Many a virus has been spread this way. I have also experienced myself, many people who contact the seller have absolutely no desire to purchase your item, they just seem to like to take up your time.
BusesOnline.com - This is the largest online marketplace for the bus industry and has been very successful in helping owners of buses, bus conversions (motorhomes), mini-buses, school-buses, transits, trolleys and limousines sell their equipment. Almost all of their visitors are buyers, and the right buyers....BUS buyers. BusesOnline.com gets over a million visitors annually - which means excellent exposure for you the seller! Prices are extremely reasonable, starting at just $25.00 per ad, and your ad remains on their website until it is sold - no other fees or commissions. No spam or unsolicited email...just real bus buyers looking for a vehicle just like yours! And unlike print ads, you have full control over your classified ad - you can change your photos, price or description at any time and as often as you'd like.
I hope this has been helpful to you. As always, if you have any questions or if I can be of any assistance to you, you can reach me via email, Facebook, LinkedIn or Google.
FULL DISCLOSER: Jim was a partner in Michaud Bus Sales, Inc., a leading bus sales company. He is also is the owner and creator of BusesOnline.com. He is the fourth generation in the bus industry - his family has been involved in the bus industry since 1914.