by Steve Savage, Mobility RV Service
In my last installment, I gave three good ways to look for an RV dealership. If you haven’t seen them, I urge you to go back and take a look. Here are my last three points to help you be happy with your RV shopping experience:
4. I would look for feedback about dealerships on the Internet. Just for fun, Google “RV dealership reviews” and see what pops up. I don’t put much stock in a couple of bad reviews, but I do pay attention to dealerships that really get pounded by a number of reviewers — and there are several of those on the Internet.
What I look for in reviews is consistency. If there is a constant theme, I would be cautious of buying from that dealership. I do, however, also closely read the reviews. Some folks are simply never happy about anything and their complaints sound to me petty and childish. I ignore those types of reviews. But negative reviews that stick to the facts and sound well-grounded capture my attention and raise potential red flags.
5. If the dealership is local, I would try to talk with others who have purchased at the dealership I was considering. One of the advantages of buying close to home is you can gather feedback from neighbors and local owners. Ask them where they purchased their RV and what kind of experience they had. It is surprising how consistent feedback often is about a dealership, even if it is not posted on the Internet.
I would also ask about their service department, as sooner or later you are likely to turn up there. Some dealerships offer a great front-end experience, but service after the sale is abysmal.
6. Did I forget to mention price? No, I didn’t forget to mention it — I didn’t mention it on purpose. I am not naive. I know there are price differences among dealerships. What folks often fail to see is there is a reason some dealerships consistently underprice their competitors. Strange as it may seem, there is overhead involved in running an ethical business. For example, things can’t be done in a rush. Technicians who do more than replace parts come with a premium, employees who are worth keeping cost more, and so forth.
In order to always be the cheapest, corners have to be cut someplace. Would you rather have me do it by rushing through my explanations, by employing “parts changers” in my service department, or by fighting you on warranty coverage? Sometimes the dealerships that do not offer the lowest price when you buy are the cheapest to buy from over the long haul!
Again, my list may not agree with yours and is not in sync with conventional wisdom. I’m presenting points to take into consideration when shopping for an RV. —Steve Savage