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Old 11-06-2003, 07:56 AM   #15
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"Sellers understating the problems with their Airstreams"

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Old 11-06-2003, 09:27 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally posted by ipso_facto
Re: Prices - I am not sure that A/S are a national market. Regional maybe.

The first post about travelling 800 miles only to be sorely disapponted is exactly why A/S are not a national market. I don't think there is *any* A/S I will travel 1,000 miles for.
I have to disagree.

With the net it has made it a national market. The issue is not being able to see the unit in question with the old mark 1 eyeball. That is why many members have volunteered to be remote inspectors. I am one of the guys that traveled cross country to buy a MH, Floriad to Washington state to be exact. I had a Forum member check it out and I decided that it was worth it.

Yes a seller can sell a unit out from underneath you while you are in route, but if you have it preinspected you can sent a small deposit ahead of you. If someone is willing to sell the unit out from under a travelling buyer that has notified them of their intent, I would not have wanted to buy it anyhow. Doing someting like that says to me that the seller is not someone I would have wanted to buy from anyhow.
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Old 11-06-2003, 10:29 AM   #17
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Hmmm... I think both ipso facto and thenewkids64 have good points. On one hand, the Internet has helped standardize prices. Everybody sees the prices sellers are asking.

But I still perceive differences between regions. Sellers in the southeast seem to expect less than those on the west coast, for example.

There's no doubt that the California market has influenced the expectations of sellers in other markets. Sellers in North Carolina and Texas see the crazy California prices on VAC classifieds, eBay, and various broker sites, and then hike their prices up to what they perceive as "market value." But I'm not sure they are getting those prices except on really scarce and well-kept units.

What we don't see as readily are the many many auctions that end without a winning bidder, and the classified ads that don't yield buyers. If you closely follow the Iowaboys website, or check eBay's listings of completed auctions, etc., you'll see a lot of units that never sold, or took a long time to sell.

We (as Airstream enthusiasts) are willing to pay more than most people to get the trailer or motorhome we want. But we are a limited market and as ipso facto has pointed out, not all of us are willing to drive hundreds of miles to get a trailer. I think our influence on the market is growing (driving prices up) but I'm not sure that we represent enough of a market -- so far -- to make a true "national market" for Airstreams.

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Old 11-06-2003, 10:35 AM   #18
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87mh,

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Old 11-06-2003, 11:01 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally posted by rluhr
But I still perceive differences between regions. Sellers in the southeast seem to expect less than those on the west coast, for example.

There's no doubt that the California market has influenced the expectations of sellers in other markets. Sellers in North Carolina and Texas see the crazy California prices on VAC classifieds, eBay, and various broker sites, and then hike their prices up to what they perceive as "market value." But I'm not sure they are getting those prices except on really scarce and well-kept units.

-- RL
RL makes some good points here. I have a close friend in Marin who dabbles in vintage units. The price that she gets when she sells one is significantly more than what I'd be willing to pay here in the midwest.

However, I sold three Airstreams and one Argosy Minuet on the internet from Iowa... one went to Seattle WA, one to Santa Rosa CA, one to Phoenix AZ, and one to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. I priced them all at middle-high range for their age and condition, and all were perceived to be 'bargains' by the buyers. None of them told me that they were disappointed with the units I sold. I don't consider those to be exactly 'regional' sales either. I stayed in touch with the buyers in each case

Of course, I took a large number of high-definition photos of the units as well, and had long conversations with each of the prospective buyers before they left on their buying expeditions to my house. During that time, if I continued to get activity, I was always honest with the next person who inquired, but always took their name and phone number for a call-back to let them know the outcome.

I have also bought a couple of trailers long-distance, and haven't been too terribly disappointed; other than an obvious misunderstanding of what the subjective adjective 'clean' means.

Of course, as we all recognize, the key is to be realistic as a seller in the condition of your coach, but even more important is to be realistic as a buyer as to what to expect in a coach of the vintage you're looking at. Expect some disappointments, as what constitutes 'good condition' to a well-intentioned seller may mean 'total restoration' to you once you see it. And that seller may actually think it IS in 'good condition" and in fact use the coach regularly in that condition. There's no accounting for taste.


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Old 11-11-2003, 02:36 PM   #20
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Ken Smillie, your comment has me....

wondering. I purchased my 1986 31' Sovereign a little over a year ago for $8500. It required a new set of tires and a re-packing of the wheels due to having sat for several years in one spot. It is in wonderful shape and our additional investment has been minimal. We bought it in Melbourne, Florida, where a lot of Airstreams have been going on the market due to the closing of a large Airstream-exclusive park located there. A couple of months ago my wife and I revisited the park, just driving through to see what was available. An older gentleman who acts as sort of a broker for existing owners (ironically, it was HIS trailer I purchased) took us to a 1989 31' Excella, for sale by a lady who had recently lost her husband. She was asking $10,000 flat. It was flat-out immaculate. We actually debated buying it just because it seemed such a steal, but wondered if we would be able to recapture the money we had in our own. Our's is located in south Georgia, and the economy of that area doesn't lend itself to be able to sell something like that. I believe there are still some great bargains to be had in the Melbourne area. For anyone interested, call Jerry Power (the suedo-broker), telephone 321/727-3146. Let us know how you make out.
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Old 11-20-2003, 06:02 PM   #21
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Ignorance and dumb luck

So my experience is I got bit by the bug. I knew what I wanted and was willing to travel and not willing to pay lots.

I bought it on ebay. I did travel about 1800 miles for my trailer. Got the year and model I wanted. It wasn't perfect. It had some floor rot, split pipes and the A/C didn't work. However I didn't pay the perfect price and the seller was very up front with the condition. The kicker was that I towed back home the 1800 miles with little to no work on it and the trailer did well going home.

I also found out the seller (a farmer in Indiana) buys and resells A/S on a frequent basis. So he does not want a bad rep, cause it would bite him.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Action
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Old 11-20-2003, 06:05 PM   #22
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And I repeated the experience with the '66 Merc listsed below. I found it in Ohio.

Next time I hope to find what I want closer to home.

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Old 11-20-2003, 08:41 PM   #23
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Painting with a broad brush

I want to believe that most Airstream owners are honest and decent folks. There are of course unscrupulous people who will take advantage of others in the AS market or anywhere else.
I think the key belongs to the buyer and it is his/her responsibility to be an educated buyer. The tools are all here.
I have been party to the sale of 5 AS trailers. None were misrepresented. There is no need to fabricate or embellish the condition of a vintage AS. If you get taken, who is to blame?
Caveat emptor in buying a used AS or anything else.
If you arm yourself properly with the right info and know the right questions to ask, how can you lose?
C'mon now, who has lost money in buying a used AS and who is to blame?
I keep my eyes open locally for good buys and I take time to research the value. I sleep well at night knowing the AS's I have sold were exactly as I advertised. One even went to France.
Vintage Airstreams are my hobby and my passion.
Beware the guy/gal who just wants to make some fast money.
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