While many RV dealerships have struggled to make sales under business restrictions and social distancing guidelines, some have found success taking their operations online in states that allow for online RV sales.
However, the concept of salespeople working remotely, without a sales floor, may be foreign to some dealers. Longtime industry professionals have had questions about the legal requirements and processes for selling RVs online, and some groups have stepped up to help clear the air surrounding online RV sales.
Some states such as Pennsylvania only recently moved to allow online RV sales. Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf and the Secretary of Health updated the state’s business closure laws on April 20, authorizing online vehicle sales statewide. RV and other vehicle dealers were not permitted to continue physical operations under the state’s initial Business Closure Orders.
In response to the changes, the Pennsylvania Recreation Vehicle & Camping Association shared some helpful information about guidelines for online RV sales this week. On Tuesday, April 21, the PRVA circulated a Q&A-style breakdown of the key components of online RV sales.
Read the new information from the PRVCA below.
Q: According to the email, we don’t need to sign up with a 3rd party to do the paperwork electronically? We can send out all the paperwork to get signed by our notary when it returns. Also, a limited power of attorney is needed from the customer.
PRVCA: The options are to use a remote notarization process or for the customer to take the documents that need notarized to a notary that has been able to continue in-person operations because they are a notary at a physical location/business that is classified as “life sustaining” or has an exemption. All notarization must be completed at the time the customer signs; having the customer return signed but unnotarized documents and then notarizing them later is not permitted.
Q: Can we have our sales staff work from the dealership now with internet and phone or must they remain off premises? I know there is no showing or opening up units at the dealership locations.
PRVCA: As few individuals as possible, simply to carry out the necessary compliance functions, should be at the dealership. Everyone else should be performing their jobs remotely.
Q: Can we do a trade through (demo) with customers or not? Can deliveries be done outside or inside a clean building?
PRVCA: The dealer can conduct all deliveries and interactions either outside the physical buildings, in a service bay cleaned according to the guidelines from the DOH or the CDC, or in a designated room cleaned according to DOC/CDC guidelines. So you should be able to do the walk through as long as they follow the guidelines and only at the time of the delivery; the guidance is clear that “no in-person viewing of vehicles is authorized under this guidance.”
Q: Is it correct in saying that you set up an appointment to make the physical exchange of property and trade and all paperwork must be done either electronically or by mail ahead of time?
PRVCA: The dealer and customer should schedule an appointment for one customer at a time to pick up the purchased vehicle, and drop off any trade-in. The vehicle hand-off should be limited to the least number of people required to complete the transaction. Dealers may also schedule a drop off at the buyer’s location.
Yes, all paperwork must be done electronically and by mail prior to the delivery.