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Old 02-20-2015, 03:13 PM   #15
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If You Can Afford New

If you can afford a new one, go for it. A new 28' was just more than we wanted to spend.

Having recently bought used, I can tell you it is a very tight market for AS's that are less than 5 years old. They bring a premium price tag, and most private sales are doing so because they can't afford it, and are in over their heads, or they just don't have the time. Those rigs are WAY over the going market as they have to pay off a note where they haven't touched the balance, only scratched the interest. We wanted to purchase from a dealer, but the used inventory has, and remains today to be quite slim across the country. The recent surge of hype in owning an AS has kept used units priced pretty high. The used market is hot.
A few lessons we learned before finally taking ownership:

Get out there and spend time in several models. Act like you are using it, and see if it offers you the space you will not just need, but what you WANT.

Don't settle for a smaller one just because it's in your budget. You will get two-foot-itus, and that can get expensive & frustrating when you long for more space.

Don't impulse buy. Walk away from the first one. Really...walk away, and THINK about it. We did, and we're glad we did because we found a newer one, in better shape, the one we REALLY wanted, and for less $. That was the hardest thing for us to do, walk away, but we read here on the forums that you should do that, and we are SO glad we heeded the advice. Thank you my fellow AS Forum friends for the advice. Spot on.

Search, look, search, look, search, look. By this time, you know what you want. Watch the ads on CL, RV Trader, and others to see the ballpark of what your desired model is commanding in price.

Have your stuff together financially. Be prepared to pounce when "the one" hits the market. The last thing any private seller wants to hear is, "Well I gotta get to the bank & see if they will...." My seller had three offers for more than what they were asking. I called the seller 42 min after it hit the classifieds here on AS Forums. He was a vet, as am I, and we hit it off. Despite the higher offers, they all had $ issues. Have your sheet together.

Get it inspected by a dealer, or find a forum member in the area to do it for you. Fortunately mine was only 1 state N, so I basically had all day for the seller to demonstrate that every aspect of the rig worked. It was a very long day, but an enjoyable one.

Meet at a bank to close the deal. No funny stuff, and all the I's are dotted, and the T's crossed.

The biggest point I wish to make is to take your time, buying new or used. Don't settle on a smaller one, and buy it on an impulse. It took us more than 5 months to find the one we wanted, AND the right seller. Our seller was awesome. He took care of his rig, and had taken extensive notes about her, everywhere they had travelled. He had notes that covered every mile she had traveled, and all maintenance performed. A really nice plus.

Good luck in your purchase, and welcome to the forums. The information that can be found on here, and the folks that help are a priceless addition to owning an AS.
Sea ya down the road,

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Old 02-20-2015, 03:17 PM   #16
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Having just purchased a new 2015 23FB, my general sense is that the final price that a dealer will offer/accept is very elastic, and will be influenced on a daily basis, and maybe even hourly, depending on time of year, inventory, sales quotas, etc. In January, they are motivated to rack up sales volume to give them a start on their annual sales goals/quotas and more likely to sacrifice pricing. As the year progresses towards spring, demand will increase and they can start pushing for higher pricing.

I think that if you are a serious buyer, in that you have a number that you would buy at, you are more likely to close on a deal. I had a number I told them at the start of the conversation what I would pay, it truly represented my first and final offer. The dealer worked hard and came back with offers that were very competitive, but I was firm in what I would pay and was prepared to walk away and not make a purchase. The dealer decided to accept my offer and we finalized the purchase within days. There was no ambiguity to what I would pay. It either worked for them or it didn't.

In my example, I researched pricing; selected a unit on a dealers lot; its January; and if I could get this unit for $XX, I'll buy it. What is $X? that is an individual decision, but I was realistic in that it had to be within reasonable pricing parameters. I did not expect to buy a new 2015 at a 30% discount.

There was not a lot of drama, but I did hold firm with my price. The dealer was great to work with and I was honest with him on what my price point was.

Hope this helps.

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Old 02-20-2015, 05:18 PM   #17
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MSMOTO (Tommie) and I are both satisfied customers of our local (Colfax) NC Airstream Dealer. She's bought 3, I've bought 2 -- including a just delivered 2015 30' Classic. I found another dealer that would have sold the same trailer for less $ -- but I would have had to buy it out of state, deal with the transfer details, etc. BUT most importantly, I have strong feelings about buying from the folks who will take care of the service end, AND also supporting my local economy. The unfortunate truth is that most of us (and I include myself) don't support our local merchants. Internet sales have severely impacted small businesses in our communities. While I don't have the sage answer to how to fix this, I do think that building a local relationship pays enormous dividends. To wit: my trailer was rear-ended while I was on a trip in New England. I downloaded photos of the damage and sent them to the dealer. When I returned home most of the parts were there, the insurance company had been taken care of, and so had I. Buy local if you can. It may have hidden benefits!
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Old 02-20-2015, 05:54 PM   #18
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I second BAB Out of Doors Mart in Colfax has been outstanding to deal with.

Lucky Dave, Denver NC
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Old 02-20-2015, 06:26 PM   #19
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Lakeview , Arkansas
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My wife and I just ordered a 2015 23D and we were happy with a 15 % reduction and the WD hitch and brake controler installed and throw in. My gut feeling is a big motivator. If I don't trust or care for the individual. I move on. We have about a six to seven week wait for our AS. We are new to the AS community too but we are really looking forward to meeting the people and touring the USA.
Some days your the bug.
Some days your the windshield.

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Old 02-20-2015, 06:52 PM   #20
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Corona , California
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Similar experiences with buying out TV. Did the research then went to our local dealer with the target number in our pocket.

Basically told the salesman when he pulled out the 'quad chart' that we were NOT playing that game. Said we did our research, and he could go to the sales manage and get their best and final up front. He did so, the manager came up with a number for out the door total, we hit them with a decent down payment, and the rest was paperwork. No issues going back for service, either. When it came time to unload that vehicle, they gave us a decent price for it, also no issues. And we did not buy a new one, either.

I do have another vehicle from them still, and go there for service still. If I need another vehicle we'll go there first the same way.

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Old 02-20-2015, 07:23 PM   #21
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Msmoto is in the ball park. Our 2014 falls into this range.

A 2015 could have been had for an additional $1000 to $2000. I did not like the fit of the air condition interior vents and the height of the trailer was getting too close to the clearance of our 10 foot garage door. (The 2015 is taller than a 2014)

When the list of options and standard has everything you can imagine... time of the year (Fall before the next model year is good), 25 foot and longer has more room as far as total dollars to be made, local market conditions (large corporate closure or layoffs), or even bad weather can give you some negotiating room.

Mention that you have been browsing Florida, Ohio and California dealers... and let that stew a bit. Check resale prices on late model used Airstreams in your area on Craigslist. Get a feel for what what you want sells for USED after a year or two... Sometimes you can buy a new trailer for less than a used older trailer... true. These sellers may have paid way too much, themselves.

Many owners are reluctant to talk about dollars paid, as we all like to believe we did the best we could in our region, our town, our local RV dealer. You can always pay too much. Eventually after the check is written and you have used the trailer for a couple years... it really is forgotten. Especially at my age as I will ask the wife... "now, what did we pay for this trailer?" It was more than our 2006 23 foot Airstream, but less than our house. A good place to start!

In the process... have them throw in a new hitch, upgrade the batteries, install solar, toss in a parts coupon/credit, add vent covers on top, a free brake job in four years, a part time job for your nephew next summer, and.... and. You never know and will not find out unless... you ASK.
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Old 02-21-2015, 05:31 AM   #22
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Rmkrum wrote.......Basically told the salesman when he pulled out the 'quad chart'

What is a quad chart?
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Old 02-21-2015, 05:42 AM   #23
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Never give a price you will pay. In vehicle negotiations the one who gives a number usually is he "loser" in the deal. Of course that said if you buy an AS then you are the winner as I am pretty sure most people on this site would not shell out hard earned dollars at a higher level than they are comfortable with.

Good luck shopping.

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Old 02-21-2015, 06:12 AM   #24
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We went looking 2 weeks ago at a deler in out state who we had not yet visited.

They have a used 2014 in the model we want. After looking over all the models on the lot, we go back inside for the table talk. I mention that the dealer in city X has a new 2014 of that model on their website.

When the nice young man comes back with the paperwork to discuss, I am very pleased at where they are on price for their used 2014.

He was a very bright salesperson, and I at this point am a fairly well informed newbie shopper.

Wish we were ready to buy right now. We feel that financially it will make more sense in about 18 months.

But we now have a dealer to use that we felt knows what they are doing, and prices fairly. That is nice to have settled.

Piggy Bank
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Old 02-21-2015, 08:16 AM   #25
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I have also played game of working dif. auto dealers for over 60 yrs. over for best price, but 3 yrs. ago had to pur. new car, another dealer was 20 or so miles away, I did not go there, local 3 1/2 miles away haggled is understatement, serv. excellent friendly never sorry for pur. Other dealer would have better price, travel, sch. service not worth it. Last AS pur 1976 I still have but 1st AS pur. 1966 there were a lot of dealers close by pur. from one I felt comf. with now AS dealers are scarce, besides I'm never going to pur. another [81 yrs. old] this is last for me.
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Old 02-21-2015, 08:51 AM   #26
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A quad chart is a negotiation tool that salesmen use to keep track of vehicle price, trade in, down payment, and financing. It has 4 sections, thus the name. Search it out on he web for more data.

Typically it is used to confuse the customer to the dealers advantage. It's part of their negotiating game. I simply won't spend the time playing games. I do the research on what a vehicle should cost via Edmunds or some other research site, find and figure out the price I consider reasonable, and go from there. If the salesman doesn't want to play fair, I let my wife take over the negotiations.

That results in the salesman and dealer loosing big time because she is basically unstoppable when she has a price in mind. It's genetic--she's Chinese from Hong Kong. There is a reason I call her the Dragon Lady. I've seen her turn a dealership inside out to get what she wants. And she WILL get what she wants. The rest of our family sits back and watches the fur fly. She has negotiated deals that are legendary at the dealerships that tried to talk her into something worse than what she wanted. Not pretty if you are the sales droid....

Eliminating the Quad Chart game is the first step to saving a lot of time and silliness. My youngest son just bought a Lexus using our family techniques. He saved over 10,000 on the deal by doing the research and not playing the game...its genetic.

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Old 02-21-2015, 09:08 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by rmkrum View Post
A quad chart is a negotiation tool that salesmen use to keep track of vehicle price, trade in, down payment, and financing. It has 4 sections, thus the name. Search it out on he web for more data.
The key there is:
1 - If you have a trade-in, do not negotiate the price and the trade-in at the same time. Settle on a price first, then figure out how much you'll get for the trade-in. As soon as they start quoting a price with, "With your trade-in that will be…" they're trying to get the trade-in for next to nothing. In fact, if you have a trade-in, best not to even mention the fact until you've settled on a price.
2 - Don't negotiate based on financing. When they say, "We can put you in one for XX per month…" you'll lose sight of the total price and they count on that. Settle on a price first. Then discuss financing terms if you're not paying cash.

And possibly the most important negotiating tip, in my opinion… Do not fall in love with it before you buy it! Don't let anyone in the family fall in love with it. You have to be prepared to hate it so you can walk away from the deal if the deal isn't good enough. As soon as the dealer knows that you love it, he doesn't have to work as hard anymore to make you want it— and you'll pay more.
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Old 02-21-2015, 09:15 AM   #28
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Exactly. Tying the trade-in into the deal is a killer. I usually use a cash down and sell the old vehicle elsewhere. Financing gets checked on MY calculator based on APR and amount. Monthly payment is also a trap.

Wife is an expert at walking out, and discussing the deal when the salesperson is out of the office in Cantonese. The offices are usually bugged.

It's important to understand that the salesman is not the one making the deal. He is a go-between. The sales manager is the authority.

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2012 shortbed crewcab 4x4 Toyota Taco TV with more antennae on it
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