So you want to buy a skoolie? It’s happened! You have been bitten with skoolie fever. But, where can you buy a skoolie? We are giving you an inside tip on 10 places to buy a skoolie. Some are better than others, but all proven options.
Understand that finding places to buy a skoolie is not like getting on Autotrader, RV Trader, or Boat Trader.
There is no internet website with hundreds of buses to choose from. No, this is more of a hunt-and-peck search. Word of mouth and your own personal resolve to find that perfect bus for yourself.
Where Do I Start to Search To Buy A Skoolie?
Where do I go to buy a skoolie? Before you buy a skoolie, you must decide what size skoolie to buy. Choosing A Skoolie is the best place to start reading. Here, you will begin your first adventure of finding the perfect bus for you!
It’s always good to know what kind of bus you want to buy from the start.
This is time-consuming as you can only search by area. You may spend hours and hours changing the location on FB marketplace filters to hunt down your perfect bus!
I remember looking and looking for days and finally found the bus we wanted just two hours away from us! Unfortunately, it had just sold so we went back to the drawing board.
It will take time, but, if you have the patience and the ability to search, you will find it if it is there. If you want to buy a skoolie off of Facebook Market Place, patience and tenacity is the answer.
Many people caution against using Ebay for finding a bus, but I found it very helpful. In fact, we found our bus through a google sheet link listed on a different bus listing on ebay.
Keep reading to find out where we ended up finding our first skoolie!
In fact, we are looking at a couple of buses on Ebay for our next skoolie build. We may end up buying another one and parking on some land in Arizona and Maine to use as an Airbnb.
If you want to buy a skoolie, Ebay is a great resource to make that happen!
Another reliable place to look if you want to buy a skoolie is Craigslist.
Just like Facebook Marketplace, you will spend a lot of time navigating each area, but do not rule out craigslist! Busses can be found there!
Just beware of scammers on Craigslist. I suppose that goes for anywhere on the internet. Do not send a deposit to anyone unless you know they are legit and for real!
If you want to buy a skoolie, this is one place I would use as a last resort.
Not only are there many buy/sell groups on Facebook, but you can also post details about what you are looking for in many regular skoolie groups and the community can share what they know.
We have done that before with decent results. Funny thing about people. Lots of them out there want to help. Some want to be the “expert”. Some, just pass on information because they are good people.
Facebook groups is a solid resource if you want to buy a skoolie!
Government auctions can be a precarious place. Some government auctions require you to be an auto or truck dealer. Others just require registration and off you go.
The thing with Government Auctions is that you never truly know what kind of bus you are getting. It’s not like you are able to test-drive them before the auction.
There will be a description of the bus on whether it will run or not, but nothing detailed.
The nice thing about government auctions, is you are likely to purchase your bus much cheaper than if you buy it from a dealer directly.
Dealerships that sell school buses are going to be where you pay premium prices for the same bus someone else gets at a bargain.
These guys are in business to make money. The more they sell a bus to someone, the more money they put in their pocket.
This is where you hear about people paying $10,000 for a bus and the same bus sold to another person for $5,000.
Buyer beware when dealing with dealerships. A car salesman is always a car salesman regardless of the vehicle he has.
Websites that specialize in RVs, buses, or recreational vehicles is a good option to narrow that search down to a quick search or phone call.
The thing with these types of websites is that the website business needs to make some money off of the deal too, so that premium is usually already built into the sales price.
Here are a couple of sites we are familiar with where you can purchase a bare or already built-out bus.
Tiny House Listings
Whether you use a business like this on the internet or not, always do your due diligence and do not assume the bus is in perfect working and running condition.
These sales are almost always “Sold As Is” and all sales are final once the transaction is complete.
I know it sounds funny, but people actually list their stuff for sale on YT. We listed our van there and have had many inquiries. We also found our 2nd bus there, but sadly it sold before we could get it.
This is sometimes a hit-or-miss situation, but it is definitely worth a shot when you are looking for a specific bus.
The problem with salvage yards is that they are individually owned and operated. It is no different than finding a bus for sale in a local newspaper classified ad.
M&M Auto Salvage is where we purchased our first bus. M&M is located in Ruckersville, Va, and usually has a few dozen busses for sale along with bus parts.
We found out about M&M through searching on Ebay. It was a bus we did not want, but it had a lot of info in the listing and a link to a google spreadsheet. That spreadsheet had our future bus on it!
After a few weeks of searching, we drove up and purchased our bus. The rear tires were in bad shape as was the main mirrors casing so we not only negotiated $500 off, they changed out the 4 old tires for 4 ‘like new tires and gave us two mirrors to replace the cracked ones!
They were pretty easy to work with, after some bluffing and negotiations, but we ended up with our bus. You can read about that story here, The Saga of buying our bus, Caroline.
Wrap Up To 10 Places To Buy A Skoolie
Once you have decided to purchase a skoolie and build it for your own, the excitement continues to build and build!
We are about to start our third build and we are so freaking ready to get started it is killing us.
Finding a school bus to purchase is actually quite easy.
Finding a specific bus, with a specific length, engine, and ceiling height can be a bit of a challenge.
Be patient, exhaust all of your resources, and when you do find the perfect bus you have been dreaming of, do not hesitate! Jump on like white on rice.
Just like dating, He who hesitates, well…let’s just say, goes home alone.
Where did you find your bus? Leave us a comment. We’d love to connect with you!