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Selling Our Beloved Self Build Campervan

Tips for how to sell your campervan, from someone who already has

It’s been one year since we sold our beloved first self build campervan, a Vauxhall Vivaro lovingly known as Yosemite. We put it up for sale on the 22nd September 2020 and it was sold on the 25th. We couldn’t believe it! Not only had we sold our campervan in just three days but we also got what we wanted for it. If you’re thinking of selling your campervan and wondering where the best place is to sell it, then keep reading.

We didn’t plan on selling Yosemite after just two years of adventures in her but as many of you will know, once you’ve built one campervan you get the bug and start dreaming of the next one. It was only when we got our much bigger than anticipated dog Bear that we decided to bite the bullet and bring forward the sale so we could start our next project. Being quite new to the campervan world, we were extremely naive as to how much they sold for. We did some research online, looked on eBay and other vehicle sales sites and got a misguided sense that self build campervans were not as popular as pre-fabricated ones. Laurie initially suggested we should gut the van and sell it empty to get the best price. How wrong we were!

After chatting to some folk at Camp Quirky who were horrified at the idea of us gutting our van we quickly changed course and realised the value of a self build campervan is so much more than just vehicle age and mileage. It’s about the craftsmanship, individual style and the many many hours of hard work which have gone into building it. We chatted to a professional van builder at Camp Quirky who told us they had made the mistake of underpricing their first build. He advised us to set the price far higher than you think it should be then bring the price down in time, and so that’s what we did.

Our first tip, don’t try and and sell your campervan on Facebook! We made the mistake of thinking our campervan would go down well in a self build campervan sales group. It did not! “Excuse me, I just thought I would let you know you made a mistake and put an extra zero on your price” and “You can’t ask for that on a 7 year old van!” were just some of the comments we received. We got so much backlash about the price that we we made a hasty retreat and took the post down feeling utterly defeated. It was at this point we realised we needed to find right sales channel that matched our campervan, and Facebook was not it. We shared our selling experience on our instagram a few weeks back and had so many people came back with their own Facebook horror stories so we know it’s not just us. Oh how we wish we’d kept our original post up so we could have gone back and put a
few naysayers in their place.

Our second and biggest tip is to put the van on the Quirky Campers sales page as that was a totally different story. I’m not sure why this wasn’t our first port of call, but you should make it yours to save yourself some heartache and headache. It only took a few hours for our first enquiry to come in. They had fallen in love with our van from our listing and wanted to come and see it. After viewing it, they decided to buy. We were stunned, we’d sold our van to the very first enquiry! I honestly thought it was blind luck that we’d sold so quickly but during the time for the van to be checked over by the AA and for the buyers to collect we continued to receive lots of
genuine interest from potential buyers. We’ve sold various vehicles over the years through eBay and auto trader and were expecting to be messed around time and time again like everyone comes to expect but our experience of selling our campervan with Quirky Campers couldn’t have been more different.

Having had quite a big instagram following at the time of our sale it was of popular opinion that our buyer would be one of our followers but in reality we had very little interest through our instagram page. Our buyers didn’t have an instagram account but had instead been checking the Quirky Campers sales page regularly for the past 5 months waiting for their dream campervan to pop up. They desperately wanted a campervan which was quirky and unique and having got a few quotes from conversion companies they felt they couldn’t commit to the cost of having a custom one built. So instead they decided to wait it out and hope and when our campervan popped up, well the rest is history.

So the moral of the story? Don’t listen to the not so knowledgeable ‘know it alls’ on Facebook and find a sales channel that’s going to do your precious campervan justice and send the right buyers to your ad. If you haven’t worked it out by now, that channel is Quirky Campers.

A few extra tips for how to sell your campervan

  • Don’t undervalue your campervan. I recently read someone state that people always think they make lots of money when selling their campervans but most people will not factor in the work hours that went into the build. This really resonated with me. As much as it is a hobby for us and we love van building, it’s also incredibly hard work. So never lose sight of how many hours went into your van when it comes to selling your camper.
  • If you can, catalogue the build process in some way. For us this was easy as the entire build process was shown through our instagram page. Even though our buyers weren’t on instagram, I included the page link in our ad so people could look back through and see everything that went into our build, mistakes and all. They loved that they could see the build from start to finish and they appreciated the transparency.
  • When it comes to ad wording and photos, remember you’re selling more than just a campervan, you’re also selling a lifestyle. If you want to see our original listing to see how we worded our advert and the photos we included then you can read it on our blog here.

Got a campervan to sell? List it with Quirky Campers