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Some Yuma, Ariz., area RV dealers say unlicensed operations that follow winter visitors are hurting their businesses, according to the Associated Press.
Dan Esch, owner of Blue Diamond Home & RV, says sales at his dealership are plummeting because of the so-called “gypsy dealers” who operate without a dealer’s license.
“Why don’t I just rip my sign down and do what the (gypsy dealers) do?” Esch said.
Arizona law prohibits the sale of four or more motor vehicles per year by an unlicensed dealer. Yet Esch and others say gypsy dealers do just that in the foothills east of Yuma.
Bob Callis, who manages Foothills Auto Sales, says gypsy dealers attract customers because, without a dealer’s license, they don’t have to charge sales tax.
The Arizona Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) has received complaints about such sales in the foothills area, said Phil Walton, an investigator based in Phoenix. But he said the MVD doesn’t have the manpower to send an investigator to Yuma.
Gypsy dealers usually work in groups and travel to many cities in Arizona, including other winter vacation spots such as Quartzsite and Lake Havasu City, Walton said.
They often sell vehicles with open titles, which also is illegal, Walton said. They also often fail to disclose that an RV was restored from salvage, he said.