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Old 12-04-2015, 12:28 PM   #15
2 Rivet Member
2004 28' Classic
Medical Lake , Washington
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 20
From reading the posts I shop a little different. I really don't care a lot about all the funny numbers. The only thing that really matters is the out the door total dollar cost. Know what you can spend before starting. Some dealers have better financing than banks. Some consider paying with cash...losing money...they make more with financing, either themselves or selling on secondary market if you have really good credit.
If you buy what is on their lot you pay less, if they locate a little more, none if they want to make a sale. If you want to buy cheap find the vehicle no one wants to buy...the one that has been on the lot the longest. The back row stuff. High turn over is close to the front door or inside show room. If you can find a dealership that will really order your one of a kind vehicle expect to pay more and wait.
In some states, sales tax can be a big bite if paying full price without a trade. Only the difference is taxed not the full value. Factor that in when doing the trade in value. Selling it yourself... a big pain in the backside for some--if big money.
Be friendly--It is easy to be a butt back to a butt. If you don't like the feel of the dealership leave.
Realize they have to make money to stay in business. If you don't feel good about the deal---leave. If they try to keep keys--leave. Let other people know about that.

It can be fun.

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Old 12-04-2015, 12:45 PM   #16
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2016 27' Flying Cloud
Woodinville , Washington
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 412

Tony --- In the last 12 months, I've bought new:
1. A 2015 32 ft Forest River 5th wheel.
2. A 2015 Ram 2500 crew-cab, Laramie diesel, to pull it.
3. A 2016 Airstream 27 FB, when the 5th wheel didn't work for us.
To the best of my knowledge & experience, I got great deals on all of them.

My method:
1. I used the Internet to attempt to determine the dealer's cost for each.
2. I determined exactly the model I wanted, completed with options.
3. I added a modest markup to the dealer's cost, typically $500 to $1,000.
4. I sent an Email to or called relevant dealers in my own (WA) state and neighboring (OR, ID, CA) states saying "This is the exact model I want, & this is the cash amount I'm willing to pay for it out the door. Do we have a deal?"
5. Sure, I got replies saying, "No way."
6. But in all cases, I got replies saying either "Yes," or "I can't sell it to you for that but I can for an additional $xxx," where $xxx was typically under $1,000.

I sold the 5th wheel around a month ago, and in the process of selling it, dealers for the Airstream repeatedly told me that the dealer sold the 5th wheel for less than 2/3rds retail and hardly over dealer cost. Oh, another idea that others have mentioned is that over the years, I've gotten the best deals in November & particularly the last couple of weeks of December. Lots of dealers have told me that they have year-end quotas & will practically give away units so as to wind up at the end of the year with minimal inventory. And as others say, pay cash, sell any potential trade-in yourself, and don't ask them "How much is this?" --- tell them "I can pay you $xxx cash for this."

Example: I got the Airstream for $7,000 less than what my local Airstream dealer quoted me. Granted, it took me a trip to CA to get it, but for $7,000 in savings & an extra vacation in CA (& to avoid CA sales tax, NV), I thought I got a great deal.

Good luck in your quest.

RWills, Seattle

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Old 12-04-2015, 02:23 PM   #17
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1973 25' Tradewind
Beautiful , Oregon
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 548
Thats the kind of information that will help me and others. I admire your style. I do a little negotiating but I just don't know the game. What is really going on behind the scenes. If I smell they need to get rid of rigs that is one thing. It seems in my case looking for the NV3500 cargo I am going to have to order it. Since this thread started I have gotten my quote to go down a little. I am at the point where I am trying to get a window at a super price. I did take some earlier advice and went through Truecar value site. I have in the past used Costco but they don't seem to have the NV3500 or the 2500.

If I switched to a Silverado I would be able to have many more options.

Again super information. It is good to hear how others handle things.

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Old 12-12-2015, 06:54 PM   #18
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1973 25' Tradewind
Beautiful , Oregon
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 548
I was waiting until I got the 2015 NV3500 SL that I have in the works before I posted again. That way I could show a picture or two and tell you about my experience. But here is what has happened so far.

Well, I ended up putting the word out that if they could close the gap between the price of the cargo and a passenger van I would be willing to explore passenger van. Long and short, a fleet manager that I thought was square from the beginning (trust but verify) came up with three Silver window van options with prices and discounts. All had to come from another dealer, out of state. I picked basically one that was exactly what I wanted. If I put it in my woodworking business name I would get it for all in $3500 below invoice. That was something I could deal with. So I went for it.

What then happens his driver runs up to Washington from the Portland area and when he gets there the rig has close to 1000. Miles on it. So they call me and ask me if I still want it. I told him I would have to call him back. He had offered me a couple hundred more off. I asked him why it had that kind of mileage he said it probably partly was because of a previous dealer swap that isn’t uncommon this time of the year. Well with some hesitation I agreed to go ahead and we settled on $500 more off. I also want an oil change and made clear it needs to be perfect. I hope I wasn’t stupid. What do you think?

Anything I should be aware of or worried about? Anything I should do?

A little more information. One dealers in Portland area wouldn’t budge off MSRP stating they were not many NV3500 of them and enough demand ( ya well) Another offered, like it was a big deal, $1000 off MSRP. None of them seemed to have a clue about the fleet purchase discount. I don’t know if they were just lazy. The local guy went on vacation and said so and so would take care of me. I called so and so to go for a more extensive test drive and never got a call back. I went to the lot to look at it, no one came out to greet me.

Thanks for your thoughts and suggestions

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Old 12-14-2015, 06:36 AM   #19
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1984 34' International
Toronto , Ontario
Join Date: Jul 2012
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I use a car broker - she's been in the business for 20 years and would not consider buying a car any other way.

About three to six months before I want to purchase a new car I will call her and give her the specs of what I am looking for. She will find it for me, at the best price going. Because she brings a lot of business to her dealers, and because she makes the transaction hassle free, she gets fantastic deals.

When she's found the right car, I hand her a cheque and she delivers the vehicle to my house. Perfection.

I also always sell my old cars myself. Minimum hassle, makes a big financial difference.
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Old 12-14-2015, 07:25 AM   #20
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2015 25' FB Flying Cloud
2012 23' FB Flying Cloud
2005 25' Safari
Santa Rosa Beach , Florida
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 11,002
Images: 5
I am a very particular tow vehicle customer, and always end up ordering a vehicle to my specifications.

When I bought our 2011 Chevrolet Silverado 3500 Duramax, I wanted it in Victory Red with a crew cab, single rear wheels, and an eight foot bed. As this was not enough, I wanted the truck equipped with the snow plow prep package as it was the only way to get the heavy duty front transaxle. I also wanted the LT trim level with leather seats but no carpet.

Needless to say, I wasn't going to find this truck on any dealer's lot. I wrote up my specifications and sent them to four north Florida Chevrolet dealers. These were all within a distance that I was willing to travel. These dealers were asked to give my a price for the ordered truck excluding sales tax and title fees. One dealer refused to give me a price and told me that they had lots of truck inventory, and wanted me to pick one of those. The other three dealers were more than happy to give me a price.

There was a $3,600 difference between high and low. The middle price was almost $2,000 above the best deal. I took the best deal, and placed the order. It took almost nine weeks for the truck to arrive at the dealership. I got exactly the truck that I wanted at a price that was $600 below the published invoice at that time.

When I submitted my truck specifications to each dealer, I told them that I would not dicker on price and to give me their best price the first time. One of the dealers (the one that quoted the highest price) called me after I had ordered the truck. I told him that I had already ordered the truck from another Chevrolet dealer who had offered a much lower price. The dealer asked why I didn't call them back to negotiate. I reminded him that I told him that I needed his best price the first time. He didn't seem to understand doing business this way.

The bottom line is that I got the best price for exactly the truck I wanted.

SuEllyn & Brian McCabe
WBCCI #3628 -- AIR #14872 -- TAC #FL-7
2015 FC 25' FB (Lucy) with HAHA
2005 Suburban 2500 Quadrasteer (Olivia) & 2018 Silverado 2500 (Lillian)
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Old 12-14-2015, 07:46 AM   #21
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2015 30' International
2009 27' FB International
2007 25' Safari
Greensboro , North Carolina
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 1,508
Images: 135
Buying a vehicle

As one who wants things quite specific in a vehicle, I often order a new one to spec.

Dealing...first one must know the actual cost of the vehicle to the dealer after the kickbacks. Having a friend in the car business helps especially for some vehicles. Then, the negotiations can begin with the cost, and I ask the dealer, always a sales manager or GM, how much they are willing to make...starting with a few hundred dollars.

When final negotiations are begun, I always talk in terms of "out the door" making certain the dealer understands we are discussing the exact amount of the check I will write. They have numerous ADM items to add, DOC fees, and just about anything one can imagine to raise the final price, unless one works from "out the door" negotiations.

Another point is when one orders a vehicle, there is no floor plan and this can be utilized as a point to bring up. And if one is very aggressive, somehow get the dealer to give up his chair, like you ask to use the phone and need to sit in his chair, once this is accomplished, negotiate from the dealer's chair.....drives them nuts!
Happy trails and Good Luck
Ms Tommie Fantine Lauer, Greensboro, NC
AIR #31871 K4MTL
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Old 12-14-2015, 11:08 AM   #22
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1984 34' International
Toronto , Ontario
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Originally Posted by Msmoto View Post
negotiate from the dealer's chair.....drives them nuts!
THAT is evil. And hilarious.
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Old 12-16-2015, 06:21 PM   #23
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1973 25' Tradewind
Beautiful , Oregon
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 548
Hi Folks

I wanted to update you and say things worked out with the NV3500 SL P. It was like I said above in post 18.

They could of detailed it a little better, a few weird things like why did it seem to have fine sandy dust in some places. If it came from a desert I would get that but it came from Bremerton, Washington. As stated above because I put it in my woodworking business name I was able to get $2500 fleet incentive along with $1000 cash incentive of one sort or another. And then the $500 negotiated because it had 900 more miles on it then expected.

So I am happy with the price and I love the way the van runs down the road. In parking lots maybe a different story we shall see.

Anyway thanks all for the tip and advice and stories. I know others will be able to gain from them too.


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