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Old 08-11-2008, 09:10 AM   #1
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Newer Bambi values?

Newer Bambi pricing is starting to confuse me. After flirting with vintage, I’m thinking that a newer (1998-2004) Bambi would be a better combination of price and I-don’t-have-to-work-on-it-all-of-the-time-ness.

But the prices out there are confusing the heck out of me, especially when comparing them to NADA. I know that NADA is a guide, but there seems to be a lot of trailers out there that are 50% higher than high retail, or more.

A brief overview of asking prices I’ve found on the current market from endless surfing:

2003 Bambi 19’ in forum classifeds: $21,500. (NADA high retail around $15,000.)
2004 Bambi 16’ CCD at dealer: $22,000. (NADA high retail around $18,500.)
2004 Bambi 16’ CCD recently sold in forum classifeds: $19,000. (seemed like OK deal)
2001 Bambi 19’ in Colorado Craigslist: $19,000. (NADA high retail around $11,000.)
1999 Bambi 19’ in Reno Craigslist: $18,995. (NADA high retail around $8600.)
2004 Bambi 19” at dealer: $24,995. (NADA high retail around $18,000)

Obviously, sellers and dealers can certainly ask what they want for their trailers. But is the wide gap in prices from NADA values an actual one? Is it driven by the fact that it’s summer? (I would assume that the book values would inherently account for the popularity of the smaller trailers.)

And has anyone recently bought a 98-04 Bambi who would share their final purchase price? Is a Bambi for $10000 a mythical beast that exists only in fairy tales and the NADA guide? Any insights would be useful. Meanwhile, I keep on shopping….
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Old 08-11-2008, 10:42 AM   #2
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I think you're seeing a pattern here....NADA is worthless in judging the resale value of a used Airstream. They simply plug the MSRP into as formula and give you a value.........one that I never use!

Your best bet is to shop, shop and then shop some more ..... and good luck finding one for $10K!!

Airstreams just don't depreciate according to some companies equations that might apply well to just any SOB!!!!
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Old 08-11-2008, 11:08 AM   #3
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I get what you're saying. Thing is, I'm loathe to completely dismiss NADA's prices.

- Book values are usually based on auction or transaction prices, not just an equation.
- For some trailers (particularly the larger ASs), the values match decently. Even some of the newer trailers, like the CCDs above, aren't far off.
- As much as Airstreams hold their value, given the prices of leftover new Safari Sports, asking only $8000 less for a 5-6 year old trailer with similar finish (not the CCD) seems, well, optimistic.
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Old 08-11-2008, 02:21 PM   #4
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Hi mutcth,

I think the best way to determine the dollar value of an Airstream is to simply compare asking vs. sale prices of the model(s) you are interested in for, say, a six month period of historical data. This would be more akin to the valuation of a home as opposed to a vehicle. NADA and Kelley Blue Book prices are meaningless if they don't truly represent the market and, based upon the figures you have given, I doubt whether they really do. Now, as to how to find the historical data, I think you are on the right track to get info from forum members and perhaps to look at other sources such as eBay, etc...

I can tell you that I paid $31k for my brand new 2004 19' Bambi Safari in April of 2003. A similar model today (5 years later) would sell for closer to $49k. This represents a manufacturer's price increase of about 10% per year. This is one reason why Airstreams don't depreciate as quickly as other TT's and, in fact, tend to appreciate in a relatively short period of time. I can also tell you that I wouldn't sell my AS for anything less than what I paid for it 5 years ago because it is still in perfect condition and you can't buy the same model new from the manufacturer today. So, used AS pricing is really subjective on a case-by-case basis and I think the best you can do is get a ball-park average for like-models and make a final decision based upon what a particular trailer would seem worth to you personally.

My $.02.

-Kevin
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Old 08-11-2008, 02:59 PM   #5
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Kevin, thanks for that. It's the lack of transaction prices and seemingly high asking prices that makes this tough.

Going through eBay finished auctions is a good idea - although I've seen several recent (05 and newer) Bambi auctions stall around $20k with the trailer going unsold through the auction.
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Old 08-11-2008, 03:27 PM   #6
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Yeah, I am sure that collecting valid data is not going to be quick or easy. I just don't know of any good sources but maybe someone else here does and can direct you to it.

I meant to qualify when I said that I wouldn't sell my AS for anything less than $31k - the reason is that I am not a motivated seller. I love my trailer, have no complaints whatsoever, could not replace it for the exact same model even if I wanted to and, therefor, would not be heartbroken if it didn't sell for my asking price. I would imagine there are others out there like me who, although they might offer their trailer for sale, aren't willing to part with it for less than what they consider fair value. That's why I think you almost have to consider each AS on the market on a case-by-case basis. To me, for instance, a 2004 Bambi with severe hail damage might be worth $5-$7k as long as it didn't leak. I could live with the unsightly damage for a trailer that was otherwise still useable in all respects. But, the same trailer in near-perfect original condition should be worth close to its original value since the original purchase price is 37% less than what I would have to pay to get a brand new one today. Airstream has really protected the value of previous year models by increasing their prices for new models each year. Surprisingly they are able to do that apparently without hurting their sales.

-Kevin
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Old 08-11-2008, 04:31 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mutcth View Post
...But the prices out there are confusing the heck out of me, especially when comparing them to NADA. I know that NADA is a guide, but there seems to be a lot of trailers out there that are 50% higher than high retail, or more...
mutcth...

there are many threads and posts on the uselessness of published price guides....

the only way NOT to be confused by these automobile pricing services is to NOT look at their data for trailers.

not only are their methodologies suspect, but the absolute NUMBER of units changing hands is so small...

that is makes accurate analysis of the $ info meaningless for anyone BUYING a specific unit in a specific location.

IF the actual selling price for EVERY single bambi in your target years was available...

the standard deviation of prices would be SO LARGE and with so FEW units...

that average and median pricing wouldn't reflect the 1,000s of dollars in variations or price range by region.

it is useful to look at the online 'for sale' prices at e' and c' and HERE to get a feel but zeroing in...

is gonna be buyer and seller and circumstance specific ...

regional variations are so large that a nebraska unit and a cali unit could SELL for 5,000$ difference.

and almost no one includes the transport, pickup or other delivery costs included to get it 2000 miles home.

or the insurance of the sale if/when it is damaged in transport...that happens often too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mutcth View Post
...Is a Bambi for $10000 a mythical beast that exists only in fairy tales and the NADA guide?...
well this buyer got close to that price and read about what it got him....

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f48/...elp-44269.html

and there are easily dozens more examples like this of units that look like great deals, price wise.

cheers
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Old 08-11-2008, 05:09 PM   #8
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Thanks for the link to that unfortunate thread. The trailer he was describing was one of the ones I listed above. I was somewhat kicking myself for not acting on it when I saw it on the forum classifieds, but it sounds like it would have been best to let it go.

Learning lots of lessons here - like don't buy a trailer you haven't seen in person. It is interesting that the NADA guide has nothing for adjusting trailer price based on condition, unlike a car.

One question still nags me - if the book value is useless, how do banks write loans for trailers that are way over book?
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Old 08-12-2008, 04:53 PM   #9
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I too have started to look at used 19' Bambi's after stopping by the dealer and seeing the prices. I've got some time, so I am just in the looking phase. From what I have seen on ebay and craigslist, I'd be surprised if one good get a very nice recent 19'r for much less than $20k. I also agree that buying sight unseen is foolish.
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Old 08-13-2008, 07:38 AM   #10
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A data point: the 2004 16' CCD I mentioned in the start of the thread was at an AS dealer in Ohio. It sold in 2 hours for the $23k asking price.
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Old 08-12-2009, 02:55 PM   #11
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I just picked up a 19-foot 2005 Bambi for an even $20,000. Drove all the way from Madison, WI to southern Louisiana to get it. Included load levelers. I think it was an exceptional price.
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Old 08-12-2009, 04:53 PM   #12
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I'd agree. Even if it's not a Bambi CCD with the front panaromic, that is a really good price for a recent 19' - heck, it would be a good price for a 16' Bambi.

Tom
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