Tips > Buying & Selling Tips for BusesOnline Users
BUYING TIPS - Helpful suggestions on what to look for and what to ask when buying a bus
SELLING TIPS - Read tips on how to sell your item more effectively
SALE DOCUMENTS - What you will need as a buyer or seller to complete your sale
RESEARCH – Know what you are looking for and research and compare prices. If you were buying a Ferrari, you would want to know as much about that car and what similar models were selling for before you purchased it wouldn't you? You would want to know about specific traits and areas of interest to pay special attention to, wouldn't you? Talk to other owners, talk to people who repair the same vehicles that you are looking at. An educated buyer is better equipped to make a better deal.
GET HISTORY - Whatever it is you are buying, its history is important. Try to get as much information as possible. The best way to find out how well something has been cared for is through maintenance records. If those are not available for some reason, try to find out as much as you can by asking questions to the persons involved in maintaining the vehicle.
FRAME / DRIVETRAIN / INTERIOR – In that order.
A) Frame - Check out the frame to make sure it is solid and not full of rot. "Rust" is a 4-letter word which is often misused and abused. Rust will appear on exposed metal. If left untreated for long enough, rot will develop. Rust is treatable, so don't be afraid. Rot is much worse and much more expensive to repair. It will, in most cases involve major rebuilding. Just as you would in buying a house and making sure the frame is in good condition and that it is sitting on a good foundation, you should make sure the vehicle's frame is solid.
B) Drivetrain – Often times in larger vehicles used for commercial use, drivetrain components are rebuilt (depending on mileage, several times). This is where maintenance records are valuable. Be sure regular service is kept timely, and routine major repairs are done properly.
C) Interior – Are all the seats working properly? Are they in need of new upholstery? Does the entertainment system work? Are all the gauges working in the dash? How about the heat & A/C? These are all important items – after all…you NEED your customers to be comfortable and happy! These are also expensive items to fix or replace if needed.
INSPECTIONS – Check the vehicle's current inspection certificates. Make sure they are valid and up-to-date. If not, be SURE to find the reasons why they are not!
DAMAGE & REPAIR – Ask if the vehicle has ever been involved in an accident. Don't be scared if it has, just make sure it was repaired back to manufacturer's specifications. If repaired correctly, you might not ever know. Look for signs of previous damage (paint overspray, gaps and tolerances not matching, new parts next to older looking ones, etc.). Ask for documentation of repairs.
MILEAGE – Mileage is important, but don't be as concerned about mileage as you are with how well a vehicle has been maintained. I would much rather purchase a bus with high miles that has been maintained properly and not abused, than something that has low miles but has been mistreated.
WARRANTIES – Ask if there are any remaining or transferable warranties. If they are available, they should add value to the vehicle. If available, you are better to pay a little more up front for something with a warranty than to go without.
PRICE – Always the most important aspect of buying something! Become educated in the marketplace. Do your homework and know ahead of time what similar vehicles are selling for. Keep in mind that price is NOT the only factor. Just because you saw an advertisement for a similar vehicle priced well below one that you are presently looking at, that doesn't mean anything. You have not seen that vehicle and don't know its condition. Often times in my selling carrier, I have had to overcome this obstacle. Take into account how the vehicle was maintained, what it has for options & extras, and where and how it was used. And finally, if the vehicle needs repairs, find out how much those repairs will cost BEFORE you negotiate the final purchase price.
KEEP IT CLEAN – Sounds simple, but make sure whatever it is that you are selling is CLEAN! It’s in the details. If the wheels are dirty, spend a few minutes cleaning them. If you are taking a photo of the interior, and there are papers lying around, pick them up before you take your photo. A little bit of time spent cleaning, only helps you sell your vehicle faster!
PICTURES SELL – Be sure to include photos in your classified listing. The more photos the better! People want to see what they are buying. Make sure your pictures are well lit, in focus and don’t cut-off your subject. Here are a few examples of basic photos that should be in your listing:
1) Front and one side of vehicle (be sure to include the entire vehicle in photo)
2) Back and opposite side of vehicle (be sure to include the entire vehicle in photo)
3) Interior (stand at entrance of bus looking back and take picture of as much of the inside as possible)
4) Engine compartment
If your classified listing has 8 photos, use the other 4 photos to show more details such as interior, tires, any damage, or special items.
DETAILS – You have unlimited space to provide as much detail as possible to the prospective buyers. Explain why your vehicle is better than others on the market.
The more details the better, so include such things as:
Total mileage on vehicle
Mileage on drive-train (engine, transmission, other major components)
Condition of exterior (paint, windows, any dents or scratches, etc.)
Condition of interior (seats broken or ripped, floor, driver’s area, etc.)
How are the tires?
List out any recent or major work done
Are there any extras or options?
Are there any issues the buyer should know about? (don’t let the buyer be surprised – it will only jeopardize the sale)
Do you have maintenance records?
VIDEOS – In our Silver and Gold Packages, we provide an area for you to link a video to your classified listing. This is an excellent way for you to showcase the vehicle you are selling. It is very easy to do, and will provide the buyer a much better understanding of what it is that they are buying. In your video, be sure to start up the vehicle so the buyer can see and hear the engine. Be sure to show the customer all the details – good and bad. Video is a great tool and will help you sell your vehicle faster than traditional ads. If you need help, visit our FAQ page, or give us a call.
PRICE – The most important thing when selling something is to have the correct price! Often times, sellers come up with a price using emotion and not taking the current market into consideration. Do your homework - see what other vehicles similar in make, model, year and options are selling for, then consider your vehicle’s condition, the economy and time of year, and then price accordingly. Obviously, if you are looking for a quick sale, you would want the price to be lower than anyone else’s. Sometimes, getting a professional opinion could be a big help. To find an appraiser, refer to our Services Directory (here).
LASTLY, HAVE IT READY FOR DELIVERY – Is your vehicle clean? Do all the lights work? Has the scheduled maintenance been completed and is it up to date? Does it need tires or something else that will keep it from getting inspected? A vehicle that is “ready for delivery” will always sell faster, for more money, and will keep the buyer (and you) happier!
DOCUMENTS - Typically, you will need a Title, BIll of Sale and a Mileage Statement to complete a sale.
BY STATE - Each State is different, so research your own state's RMV for requirements BEFORE you make your final trip. Some states require a Notorized Bill of Sale, while others do not. Some states do not require a title if the vehicle is over a certain age (usually 15 years). it is important to know what you need when you go to register your vehicle in your own state.
PAYMENT - Obviously, we do not recommend accepting a personal or business check for payment. The best form of payment is a wire transfer from buyers bank to sellers bank. Be aware that this transaction is NOT instant, and some banks have deadlines, so be sure to check your bank for details. A Bank Certified check is another popular form of payment.