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Old 02-18-2014, 08:19 AM   #1
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Used Prices- what is fair?

In my search I have ran into several 2011 and 2012 models that have been very lightly used. People that bought on a wim and went once or twice and now want to sell.

The concern here is people that have barely used it likely barely took care of it. It might be worth it to me to have a full warranty and dealer assurance from the start.

But anyway- the main question.. What is fair off the original MSRP of a 1 or 2 year old model. Many seem to be asking around what they paid for it which would be 20 to 25% of MSRP. Being used and a year older you would think another 20% to 25% would come off making a 70,000 MSRP unit 35,000 to 42,000 but people are asking 55,000 which would not be far off from a dealer new unit.

Am I off base in my logic? I have bought boats used in the past and I now know the value of buying new with stuff like this. Having the dealer work out the kinks under warranty and knowing exactly the previous condition is worth a ton IMO, so if I risk to buy used from someones front yard they need to understand the risks of the secondary market

Any advice appreciated for buying new and used
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Old 02-18-2014, 08:32 AM   #2
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Anything with wheels is worth about ten percent less than you paid for it as soon as it's driven off the lot. That's axiomatic. But most people don't stop to think of why. It's because when you buy new, you not only pay what it's worth, but also dealer profit. So that 10 percent loss of value is just recognition that no one is obligated to reimburse you for the dealer's profit if you turn around and sell it.

So, as a starting point, consider a brand-new Airstream to be worth 30% less than MSRP once it has been sold. 20% off during initial negotiations, the other 10% off because that was dealer profit.

Then consider the value to go down by depreciation for a certain number of years. Uusually about 10 years, at 10% per year.

70% of MSRP = new value.
90% of new value = 1-year-old value.
90% of 1-year-old value = 2-year-old value.
90% of 2-year-old value = 3-year-old value.
And so on.

Depreciating this way, no matter HOW old it gets, the value never drops all the way to zero. Which is true. No Airstream is ever worth zero dollars, even if it's only fit for scrap.

If someone restores an old Airstream, the value jumps up again, to about the value of an Airstream half its age. So a restored 20-year-old Airstream would be worth about the same as a 10-year-old Airstream in similar condition but not restored.

I'm sure there will be plenty of disagreement on this, but as a starting point for discussion purposes, it's as good as anything, and lets you come up with a ballpark value for an Airstream of ANY age.
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Old 02-18-2014, 08:36 AM   #3
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I was going to buy new but came across a lightly used 2012 last year, with a year of warranty left to buy. It looked like it would meet our needs perfectly. I paid a about 20% off of the new MSRP, actually a little more than 20% off, and figure that the first owner paid the depreciation for what seems like a brand new trailer to us. This owner towed it from the dealer and then never used it, best as we can tell.
I have no regrets about buying used because it was so lightly used. While we have only used it a few times we have a long trip planned this Spring and still time to have any warranty issues repaired. I would advise that if you find something you like, negotiate to buy it at a price you feel is fair.
Larry
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Old 02-18-2014, 08:57 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Protagonist View Post
Anything with wheels is worth about ten percent less than you paid for it as soon as it's driven off the lot. That's axiomatic. But most people don't stop to think of why. It's because when you buy new, you not only pay what it's worth, but also dealer profit. So that 10 percent loss of value is just recognition that no one is obligated to reimburse you for the dealer's profit if you turn around and sell it.

So, as a starting point, consider a brand-new Airstream to be worth 30% less than MSRP once it has been sold. 20% off during initial negotiations, the other 10% off because that was dealer profit.

Then consider the value to go down by depreciation for a certain number of years. Uusually about 10 years, at 10% per year.

70% of MSRP = new value.
90% of new value = 1-year-old value.
90% of 1-year-old value = 2-year-old value.
90% of 2-year-old value = 3-year-old value.
And so on.

Depreciating this way, no matter HOW old it gets, the value never drops all the way to zero. Which is true. No Airstream is ever worth zero dollars, even if it's only fit for scrap.

If someone restores an old Airstream, the value jumps up again, to about the value of an Airstream half its age. So a restored 20-year-old Airstream would be worth about the same as a 10-year-old Airstream in similar condition but not restored.

I'm sure there will be plenty of disagreement on this, but as a starting point for discussion purposes, it's as good as anything, and lets you come up with a ballpark value for an Airstream of ANY age.
Thank you, that is a great guide to get a base price in mind. Just what I needed to get my bearings in the used AS world
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Old 02-18-2014, 09:10 AM   #5
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Thank you, that is a great guide to get a base price in mind. Just what I needed to get my bearings in the used AS world
Don't get TOO excited about it.

Like any other rule of thumb, there will always be exceptions, newer trailers that have been rode hard and put away wet and show every year of their age and then some, or older ones that were only used by a little old lady on Sundays in her own backyard and are pristine for their age.

And to be perfectly honest, my rule of thumb could use more reality checks from purchasers of older Airstreams. As I said, it's a starting point for discussion, nothing more. But hopefully you'll find it useful anyway…
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