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Old 08-11-2016, 12:01 PM   #1
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Price and Negotiation tips

Hello fellow forum readers - I'm traveling next week and have the opportunity to look at a used 2010 international 19 while there. The dealer doesn't list a price. What is a fair price? It appears to be in great condition, but will know more when seeing it in person. Any tips on negotiating is greatly appreciated.
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Old 08-11-2016, 12:35 PM   #2
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Check the classifieds here and Craigslist nationally. RV dealers are not legendary for offering customers the best deal.
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Old 08-11-2016, 01:37 PM   #3
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Have you talked to the dealer? He should at least have a starting asking price in mind.
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Old 08-11-2016, 03:00 PM   #4
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I've closed enough deals to know a little about negotiating.

Generally, the first party to throw out a number is in the weaker position. The dealer is trying to maintain a power position by withholding information (what they want for the trailer). Even when you know what they're asking you still don't know what they have invested, how long they've had it in inventory, what their carrying cost is, or what their minimum margin is.

I'd call ahead and ask about the trailer, and what it's priced at.

Personally, I won't go look at something without knowing the price, me and the seller may be miles apart and I may be wasting my time.

I always go in to a deal with a plan. I know what I expect to buy and what I expect to pay based on researching. The asking price just sets the spread between the maximum I'm willing to pay and the best deal I can get. The wrinkle comes when the item you're shopping for is different than you expected and you have to change your plan on the fly, for example if the item is in better condition, you may raise your max price, but be careful of clever sellers who try to create a value that really isn't there.

Beware of the bait and switch, a friend recently had an appointment to test drive a used car and came home with a brand new one, I doubt the dealer ever had the used car in stock, but they did have a new model for not much more than the payment on the used car the buyer just missed
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Old 08-11-2016, 03:30 PM   #5
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Price and Negotiation tips

I negotiate for a living. Buying a car, travel trailer, or similar commodity is pretty straight forward. I just bought a new Subaru Forrester for my niece at 18% off MSRP. It took about 3 days. 25 emails and maybe 1 hour on the phone total. Never went to a dealer and never met the sales person until we showed up with a check and signed the papers.



You will need to know what you want (specific model) and will need to be a little flexible around color. you will also need to have the flexibility to travel to pickup your unit... but you can certainly easily and quickly tighten the screws and get a great deal. I purchased my Airstream new at 45% off MSRP.



Here is how I would go about the process, if I were you.



1. get an excel spreadsheet going to track your offers



2. List all dealers within a 1,000 mile radius. Lets say there are 20. Include colonial in this list regardless of distance from you. They have purchasing power and can likely offer some good prices out of the gate.



3. Choose the model trailer you want. No special features / add-ons, etc.. just the 'base' model. don't be picky about color. lets say is a 2017 int. serenity 25FB.



4. email each dealer, let them know you will make a purchase in the next 2 weeks with cash. it helps if this lines up with end of month/end of quarter. cash is king of course, I don't get into any discussions around financing, etc. Ask the dealer for their best price on a "base 2017 International Serenity 25FB". Be clear and transparent the fact that you are focused on the bottom line and that will earn your business. Don't tell them you have a budget, etc. just let them know that it's simply the bottom line that matters. No hard feelings if you cannot find a number that works for both of you, you understand they need to make money, just looking for a win-win, etc. etc.



5. Get your 20 bids (or 10 or 15 or what have you). Take the lowest, and now go back to the other 19 dealers and ask them to re-bid. Make sure you have your lowest bid in writing (email, sample invoice, etc.), dealerships will want to know you are being truthful about your current / best offer.



6. some won't play, some will drop out, some will bid lower.



7. take your next lowest price and go back around again. repeat.



8. when you get down to 3-4 dealers pickup the phone and call each of the sales people at the 3-4 dealers with whom you have been corresponding. Make sure they know you are serious, build a little rapport, and have them go back to work to get a better price to earn your business



9. Get their "best price".. then go back around again one more time.



10. You'll get down to one, that will be the one you will own and you'll be very excited about getting such a great deal you won't really mind what color the interior is.



There you have it. Be open to a previous year model that is still on the lot (IE a 2016 int. serenity 25FB). This is where you will get the best deal, a win-win as the dealer wants to get rid of it, etc.. Of course be professional, transparent and honest: negotiation isn't about one of the parties getting screwed, it's about win win.



Good luck.



Peter
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Old 08-11-2016, 03:38 PM   #6
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Price and Negotiation tips

Btw - negotiating a new unit is easier than a used unit, because as you know there is far more supply of relatively "identical" new units on the market being sold at different airstream stores / dealerships.

Used unit requires a different approach as there is only "one" option you are dealing with and I think there is good advice above there.

And never get attached, always be comfortable walking away from the deal if is not a win-win.
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Old 08-11-2016, 04:19 PM   #7
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Thank you for the responses. Great advice on negotiating. If I haven't found a used AS worth purchasing soon, going to purchase a new one and the tips will come in handy

I was wondering if anyone has suggestions on discount off of the MSRP? The trailer is a 2010, is 40-45% off original MSRP reasonable for a 7 year old trailer?
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Old 08-11-2016, 04:22 PM   #8
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Shoot for 20% off MSRP.
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Old 08-11-2016, 04:37 PM   #9
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We might be negotiating for a used item soon and these are good tips.

Our difficulty will be reaching a price agreement from a distance and staying detached. Not getting attached is hard when you are excited to have found what you were looking for.
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Old 08-11-2016, 05:40 PM   #10
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Price and Negotiation tips

Sorry 20% off MSRP is about the benchmark for a new airstream. Some people get less off, some get more. Depends on time of year, model, inventory/supply, dealer cash flow needs, market conditions, etc..

Used will completely depend on market demand and comps. You'll need to do your homework to determine what fair market value is for a particular used trailer.
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Old 08-11-2016, 05:41 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hittenstiehl View Post
Not getting attached is hard when you are excited to have found what you were looking for.

You will have plenty of time to get attached to your new family member after you have made the purchase
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Old 08-11-2016, 06:17 PM   #12
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Looking at a used 6/7 year old trailer, correct? If so all bets are off. Discounts offered on new trailers have no correlation. Seller starts high, you offer low. Hopefully there is a happy medium. Dealers have a nasty habit of asking overly high prices for used trailers just like used cars. Know the max you will pay before walking on the lot and do not let wonderlust drive that price up. Easy to walk away until that perfect Airstream comes along.
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Old 08-11-2016, 07:00 PM   #13
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Do look at dealers within 1000 miles for both new and used units in the size you are interested in.

We bought a 9 month old 2015 model last summer (its date of original purchase was November 2014, but it was a 2015 model). When we began negotiations, I knew and mentioned that a dealer in another city within 500 miles still had a new 2015 model, and knew what it was listed at on their website.

Of course my dealer had the background to probably know what that dealer had in the new unit and would truly sell for at that point.

Obviously we were not going to pay more for a used unit than we would pay for a new unit at that other dealer within a day's drive.

You don't have to be heavy handed, but just show that you have done your homework.
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Old 08-11-2016, 07:04 PM   #14
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As part of our current research we visited an individual with an Airstream that fit our needs and was close to where we were at the time. The asking price was higher than what we can afford, but not a huge amount over, so it seemed to us that maybe a deal could be reached. Not so. The coach was NOT as described and the price was firm. The ad was on the Classifieds page and it expired after the 90 days. Not relisted and haven't seen it on RVTrader. Don't do CL, so it may have been listed there.

At any rate, the advice to be willing to walk away from ANY deal is great advice. We walked away from a car deal because the price just wasn't realistic, and the dealer acted like she couldn't believe we would walk away from that perfect car.

Many years ago I played two dealers against each other on a last-model-year car. I was happy with the result. Not sure about how the two dealers felt.
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