Whether you need to buy used buses for your business, personal use or place of worship, there is a need to compare models, prices and makes so that you get a good idea of what the market offers and what works best for you. When looking through listings of used buses for sale, it is normal to come across a very vast array of makes and models. Making an educated choice requires some amount of time and energy.
It can be very difficult to know what is real and what is fiction when looking at websites. We all too often fall prey to clicking on a website with no real contribution to what we desire other than copied content from other websites and a ton of ads on the page which the owner hopes we click on so they get paid. There is a skill to navigating the web, dodging the fakes and finding a real product. Here's some advice that may help you when looking for automobiles or any vehicle.
The single most important consideration when looking at a website that looks like they have buses for sale or any vehicle for that matter is whether or not the site offers a viewable inventory. If they do offer an inventory try to find where the unit is, in our case a used bus, is located. You will typically see a tag or a line that says something like "Location: Somewhere, ST" or something similar. Ironically, if there is one it probably means that you are looking at a broker's website. This does not apply 100% of the time, but many times it does.
A broker in its simplest explanation is someone that doesn't have a bus for sale or any vehicle, nor do they have a customer. What they do is find buses for sale and then advertise them online as if they were their own in hopes of finding a customer for a bus. Once they find a customer, they will contact the true seller of the bus and proceed to force themselves in the middle of the transaction on behalf of the bus buyer and attempt to work a deal with the seller of the bus. Whether or not the bus broker gets a "deal," they will still increase the price of the bus to the buyer. Unfortunately, this is usually done without the bus buyer knowing it.
The "talent" a broker has is being able to find buses for sale, and they have the ability to market online. Like a bus or automobile buyer you obviously don't need to know how to market online, but if you know how to find a bus dealer or direct seller, then you will not find yourself unnecessarily paying too much for a used bus or any vehicle.
There are a couple of tell-tale signs that you are on the bus middle man's website. For example, if you see any solicitation on the website like "list your bus here" or "advertise your bus" you can be pretty sure that the buses you see for sale on that website are someone else's that have essentially been boot legged to create the perception that they have an inventory.
In the end, always contact the potential bus seller and simply find out if they have the bus ready and available for personal viewing right NOW. If they do, you are not going to pay an inflated price because of the existence of a broker.