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Old 08-08-2012, 08:09 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by GettinAway View Post
We bought new last fall. Saved $7,000 by driving a few 100 miles.
I'd check around, if i were you.
I took a slightly different approach. After getting an initial quote from the local dealer, then checked around with five other dealers farther away. The one that gave me the best price, I took that quote to the local dealer and asked, "Can you beat this?" He could, and did. I ended up with a full 20% off the MSRP, and some optional items added by their service department at no extra charge.

My thought was, since Jackson Center provides the same unit at the same price to multiple dealers, the only real difference in the price the dealer paid was the "destination charge" which is less than a grand for most places east of the Rockies. So, MSRP should only vary by a few hundred at most, no matter where you go.

Since MSRP is mostly the same, and the dealer cost is mostly the same, the difference in quoted prices is mainly due to two things, dealer overhead and dealer profit. Smaller operations have to pay their overhead through fewer sales, and so will need to tack on more overhead per unit to stay in business. Every day they don't make a sale they lose money because those overhead charges keep piling up. So, to ensure that they CAN cover their overhead, they'll often be willing to take less profit, just to make the sale.

This is where having dealers compete against each other comes in. Once you establish yourself as a serious buyer, as in "I will definitely buy one, from the dealer that offers me the best deal," then they've got an incentive to offer you the best deal. There's no prize for second place.

Quote:
We traded in our older (04) Bambi, so it's impossible to really know what % off list we were at, but just comparing the bottom line we found very large differences around just the Midwest.
This brings up another piece of advice. I got it from a video put out by the Better Business Bureau, entitled "How to Buy a Recreational Vehicle."

Negotiate the price of the new unit first, without ever mentioning the trade-in. Then negotiate the trade-in separately. The older your trade-in, the more important this is.

The reason for this is, if you negotiate the trade-in as part of the purchase, they'll take the trade-in off first, probably from MSRP, and end up quoting the same price, or near to it, as you could have gotten with no trade-in at all. A canny dealer can get the trade-in for next to nothing that way. The more the trade-in is worth, the harder it is for them to do this, but it's almost guaranteed that if you treat the trade-in as part of the purchase price, you'll get a worse deal than if you negotiate the trade-in separate from the purchase.
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Old 08-08-2012, 08:32 AM   #16
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Our local dealer passed on meeting the price. We like them, and would have preferred to do business with them, but that was too much $$ to pass up.
I agree (in theory) about bringing up the trade later, but the difference figure is the difference figure, no matter how you get there. You will get a much clearer picture about what your used trailer is worth if you wait to bring it up after the new one has been negotiated down. Then again, you may not want to know what they are really putting into your old trailer.. Ha

Jeff
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Old 08-08-2012, 08:45 AM   #17
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We searched for the right trailer for over a year, and knew exactly what we wanted. By the time we finally negotiated, we were on a first name basis with the salesman and the owners. They were only 60 miles from home, and my work took me by them frequently. He would call whenever they got a new delivery. It got to the point that when I showed up, they just tossed me the keys, and told me where the trailer was.

After we saw the Bambi, we set an ideal price that we thought it was worth to us. After considerable negotiation, they deducted the cost of all the options (and it was loaded - solar package w/two AGM batteries, A/V package, SE upgrade, spare tire, electric jack, water filter, black tank flush system, AC upgrade, etc.), and they came to within $5 of our figure.
Done deal.

We asked if they would discount if we paid cash. Nope, they offered financing. I just looked at the invoice, and in 2005, the destination charge was $306. They wouldn't budge on that.
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Old 08-08-2012, 08:46 AM   #18
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I agree (in theory) about bringing up the trade later, but the difference figure is the difference figure, no matter how you get there.
Depends. If you tell them about the trade before they've even quoted a price, they'll say, "Well, with your trade, we can offer this price…" and you actually have no idea what, if anything, they're offering as trade-in value. Could be nothing at all. If they quote an initial price, with trade-in, that's 10% off MSRP, chances are that if you walked in the door with no trade-in at all, they'd still have opened the negotiation at 10% off MSRP. In such a case, you'd have literally given away your trade-in for free.

Even if you treat the trade-in as part of the purchase rather than a separate negotiation, at the very least let them put a price on the table for the purchase first, before you ask them how much more they'll take off with the trade-in.

GettinAway, you may have done exactly that. I'm not trying to criticize your negotiating skills; they're probably better than mine. I'm just using your post as a springboard to offer advice to others looking to buy new.
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Old 08-08-2012, 08:53 AM   #19
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I don't like new Airstreams that have been sitting around the dealership getting banged around by tire-kickers like me, and getting weather exposure without corrosion and sealant protection.

You don't buy these things every day so why not order exactly what you want fresh from the factory. The dealer has no "floor plan" costs to worry about and probably can give you the best price.

In the long run you will not worry about how much you saved on the deal, but a compromised trailer choice will always be there.

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Old 08-08-2012, 08:59 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Protagonist View Post
...
This brings up another piece of advice. I got it from a video put out by the Better Business Bureau, entitled "How to Buy a Recreational Vehicle."

Negotiate the price of the new unit first, without ever mentioning the trade-in. Then negotiate the trade-in separately. The older your trade-in, the more important this is.
That's good advice. It's the same as my grandfather taught me when buying cars and trucks. I watched him negotiate a couple of times. He also paid cash for everything. He would bring what he wanted to spend, and would slide it across the table, and told them to take it or leave it. This was before dealer financing became popular.
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Old 08-08-2012, 09:53 AM   #21
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He also paid cash for everything. He would bring what he wanted to spend, and would slide it across the table, and told them to take it or leave it. This was before dealer financing became popular.
Probably also before the Feds started investigating you for RICO violations just for drawing that much cash out of the bank.
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Old 08-08-2012, 10:11 AM   #22
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Probably also before the Feds started investigating you for RICO violations just for drawing that much cash out of the bank.

My grandfather made a lot of his money by making good whiskey, and didn't keep much of his money in banks, and that was back when you could get a good truck for $7,000.
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Old 08-08-2012, 12:23 PM   #23
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I've had my 2012 Intl for 10 months. Lots of good info on this thread. Like Doug, I elected to order my trailer with exactly what I wanted. Nobody wandered through it after it arrived from JC. Only the guys who did final checks and cleaned it. I was fortunate that I could just write a check for it, so there was never an issue with financing charges, etc. AND, I suspect I could probably have saved myself some money if I was willing to roam to NJ or FL and compete dealerships. For me, it came down to the Price=Value equation. I opt for VALUE every time, and I include the relationship with the dealer as part of this value. Additionally, given the economic issues in each of our neighborhoods, I place value on supporting people who live where I do. This means local jobs. So, I bought from Out-of-Doors Mart in Colfax, NC. They've been around a very long time. I feel certain I could have saved some money if it was just about the price. After almost a year now, I can tell you I have zero regrets with my decision. Everyone has to do this on their own and live with their decision on a purchase of this magnitude. But think about what Oscar Wilde said, "cynics know the price of everything and the value of nothing." Wise words in my book!
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Old 08-08-2012, 12:38 PM   #24
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Yes, we too could have saved ($1,000) in NJ or FL but the trip would cost that.

We also like the idea of good dealer relationships, however I was greatly disappointed with a service manager at the local dealer on my first inquiry recently. Not happy at all (he said adjustments, leaks, seals, corrosion are only covered 90 days from purchase date), we are taking a trip east and will make a stop at Jackson Center on the way. They were much more accommodating. I have a door out of adjustment that is allowing a small leak.

You might clear that up with your local dealer before you buy.

doug k
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Old 08-08-2012, 04:20 PM   #25
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2013 Sport

I just purchased a 2013 16' Sport (first one delivered in So Cal) from my local Airstream dealer. I special ordered the trailer because I wanted a certain color interior and options and wanted the 2013 due to the bathroom door location change.

They knocked $4k off the MSRP and gave me discounts on some custom after sales work and threw in the microwave no charge

Oh and I was able to get a 5.6% interest rate!

Could I have gotten more off sticker? Possibly, but I've learned the price you pay isn't everything. I have developed a positive and trusting relationship with the dealer and I have the comfort knowing if and when I go back for service I know I'll be treated well.

Bo and the staff at South West Coaches we're top drawer.

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Old 08-08-2012, 06:54 PM   #26
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I wish we had a dealer within a few miles, unfortunately the closest is a very long drive, hundreds of miles away.
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Old 08-08-2012, 07:15 PM   #27
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StreamNTyme, me too...
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Old 08-09-2012, 01:30 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JackDog View Post
I just purchased a 2013 16' Sport (first one delivered in So Cal) from my local Airstream dealer. I special ordered the trailer because I wanted a certain color interior and options and wanted the 2013 due to the bathroom door location change.

They knocked $4k off the MSRP and gave me discounts on some custom after sales work and threw in the microwave no charge

Oh and I was able to get a 5.6% interest rate!

Could I have gotten more off sticker? Possibly, but I've learned the price you pay isn't everything. I have developed a positive and trusting relationship with the dealer and I have the comfort knowing if and when I go back for service I know I'll be treated well.

Bo and the staff at South West Coaches we're top drawer.

Jack Dog
in So Cal
We got our AS directly from the PO who purchased it new in New Mexico. We have taken it to Southwest Coaches (our local dealer) for routine service and a couple of repairs. The whole staff have always treated us as if we were the original owner who had purchased it directly from them. We really like Juston (their Service Mgr) and the great customer service he and his team have given us. When I took it in for a door lock I broke (while trying to fix it myself) and for a minor leak they traced to a small crack in the air conditioner's drip pan, Justin and his team came up with low cost solutions to permanently correct these problems without having to just replace the damaged hardware for with new parts that would have cost me lots more $$$$. We are glad to have them as our local dealer and service center.
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