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Old 06-29-2004, 06:38 PM   #1
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Has anyone purchase an airstream on Ebay?

I was wondering if anyone here has purchased an airstream on Ebay without physically inspecting it??? Is this a crazy thing to do?

I like Ebay and have had very good experiences -- but I also have strict guidelines I have set for myself in my buying and selling. One of those guidelines limits the purchase amount. I think $200 is the max I have spent and was a little nervous doing that.

I am concerned about buying something that large that I haven't seen. Of course I could see it and miss a big problem. But I would find other things fairly easily I would think?

Opinions?

Thanks.
Kaye
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Old 06-29-2004, 06:52 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kayelm
I was wondering if anyone here has purchased an airstream on Ebay without physically inspecting it??? Is this a crazy thing to do?

I like Ebay and have had very good experiences -- but I also have strict guidelines I have set for myself in my buying and selling. One of those guidelines limits the purchase amount. I think $200 is the max I have spent and was a little nervous doing that.

I am concerned about buying something that large that I haven't seen. Of course I could see it and miss a big problem. But I would find other things fairly easily I would think?

Opinions?

Thanks.
Kaye
Kaye, welcome to the forums! Now, about Ebay: I have been on Ebay as long as there has been an Ebay, and have learned a couple of things. The first is, decide how much you are willing to bid for something, and bid that amount.
The second thing I learned (the hard way) is to assume that whatever you are bidding on is in half as good shape as indicated in the description, and will cost twice as much as the seller says to repair, and bid accordingly. I am sure I have l missed some bargains, but I have only been burned once, and not for a large amount.
As far as inspecting a trailer before purchase, bear in mind some of these things are half a continent away, and examining them all would be impossible. There is a thread here titled "So you want to buy a trailer that is three states away?". a search of the forum threads will find this. There are volunteer Airstream inspectors all over the country that are happy to go check over your prospective purchase for you, and send you photos, usually for just the cost of fuel and film. They can tell you if an Airstream is As Described, a little worse than stated, or a complete P.O.S.
Good luck in your search.
Terry
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Old 06-29-2004, 06:56 PM   #3
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I purchased a 1988 Excella 25' TT without seeing it. The seller sent plenty of pictures and I was fairly impressed with what I saw. I did expect there would be things wrong with it and there was.
The A/C was giving problems and the hot water heater needed a new circuit board.
Main reason I purchased sight unseen was it was the model I wanted with the configuration I wanted.
altogather I have put about $1,500 dollars into it.
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Old 06-29-2004, 07:52 PM   #4
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Purchased Airstream on Ebay

Last year as a newbie I purchased my first Airstream, a 1984 31' Excella, on Ebay sight unseen.....sort of.

Before bidding I read every thing I could on the forums here about Airstreams while I was searching for the mid bath configuration I wanted. I must thank all those forum contributers for what I learned before my purchase.

I COMMUNICATED with the seller a lot and got many photos before hand. Then I followed up with a thousand questions by telephone. I also learned the history of ownership--the first owner had 5 Airstreams in his lifetime and was the first of two owners (now i am the third.)

Then I won the bidding at $9,300 which was below the maximum I had set for myself. Yes, a big price but for an Airstream in excellent condition for its age with the length and configuration I wanted. (Even Andy at Inland RV had to admit it was in good shape needing only new axles for a long trip to Mexico.)

After sending my deposit to the Ebay seller I went to inspect the Airstream with the cashiers check for the balance in my hand two weeks later. There was no way I was going to let go of that check if the Airstream did not measure up to what was represented in our discussions. It was better than I expected and I was soon driving it from Kansas City, MO. to Santa Barbara, CA., more than 3 states away..... I am a happy Ebay buyer over this purchase.
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Old 06-29-2004, 08:11 PM   #5
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Purchase of Airstream on Ebay

We bought our Airstream on Ebay and although it needed the couches reupholstered and new carpet, everything electrical and all of the plumbing was in good shape. The dometic keeps everything very cold and works on both propane and electric. The hot water heater has been super. I think we were just lucky and thankfully the trailer was only fifty miles away.
We have had it for two years and the A/C is the best.

The previous owner was a real nice guy and very honest. We might do it again, but next time we probably would look at it first. Might not have this kind of luck the second time.

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Old 06-29-2004, 08:16 PM   #6
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Well said, Mark. I did the same earlier this year - bought a 71 Safari on Ebay from a guy in Wisconsin (2400 miles away). I used "Buy it Now" because I don't like to wait. Picked it up a week later. He had a lot of pictures and I asked him some questions about smoking/pets/floor rot and his reply was "no" to all of the above. I could also tell from pics that it wasn't abandoned in a field somewhere.

In fact it turned out to be pretty much as described - a little better in some ways, a little worse in others. Mostly better, and totally original, which is a treat. As Mark mentioned, I wouldn't have had any qualms about walking away if it turned out to be misrepresented, but it wasn't. Overall I am very pleased and the trailer has already brought me, and friends and family, lots of fun.
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Old 06-29-2004, 08:36 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kayelm
I was wondering if anyone here has purchased an airstream on Ebay without physically inspecting it??? Is this a crazy thing to do?
I bought my 2002 Bambi on eBay w/o physically inspecting it. It is not a crazy thing to do if you take adequate precautions which have already been mentioned in this thread (i.e., communication, photos, etc.). I also used an escrow company to manage the money and conditions so if the Airstream wasn't as represented by the buyer, the bank wouldn't release the money to the seller.

The Airstream was better than represented and the seller ended up throwing in hundreds of dollars of extras when I went to pick it up (i.e., 2 hitches, torsion bars, sway bar, chairs, hoses, extra electrical, etc.). In hindsight, if I ever do it again I would utilize one of the volunteer "inspectors." But, at the time I purchased my Airstream, I didn't now about this forum or the "inspectors."
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Old 06-30-2004, 06:24 AM   #8
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Bought mine sight unseen. Man did I get burned! Seller downright lied, also did not divulge major flaws. Paid $3200. sunk in another $2800. Never again. The upside however is that I got exactly what features I wanted: Center bath and Vista views all around. Real rare.
Dick
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Old 06-30-2004, 10:11 AM   #9
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I have done many, many Ebay transactions buying and selling. I bought all kinds of things, even an acoustic 12 string guitar which was quite a leap of faith for a pro guitarist.
Too many things can be wrong with it..much like an Airstream or many other for sale items.
I suggest looking hard at the feedback on the seller, emailing and calling prior to bidding to be sure...and asking for as much documentation, photos and repair orders if available to be faxed to you.
I bought mine off an internet ad, and did just that. The papers and photos told a lot, and the phone call cinched the deal.
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Old 06-30-2004, 12:56 PM   #10
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Wow. Thanks for all of the responses. One of my main concerns is getting one with a solid floor. After reading on the fourms, I know I am not up to a floor replacement.


Kaye
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Old 06-30-2004, 12:56 PM   #11
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I bought my rig site unsee via ebay and would not do it again. The seller lied about the unit and i had to send all money up front before picking it up. I put the same amount of money into unit as I paid for it. It is in good shape now though and I like it. If I had it to do over again, I would see it in person before buying.

Good luck to you.
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Old 06-30-2004, 01:05 PM   #12
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did not buy my motorhome from eBay...but did buy it sight unseen from a dealer based on internet pics and emails. Mine turned out better than expected but waiting for the delivery was nerve racking!
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Old 07-17-2004, 06:38 AM   #13
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I've bought one thru EBay and another one thru the RV Trader - both several states away. The one on EBay was from a seller that had a list of feedbacks that showed he had sold several trailers and all the buyers seemed happy.

On the RV Trader one, I asked the seller to go thru the trailer with her camcorder and film every square inch of the trailer. I ended up with a 20 minute video that showed me more detail than any set of still photos.

Both times I felt I got exactly what I was promised.
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Old 07-20-2004, 05:43 PM   #14
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I have looked for about a year and a half on ebay and every other site that I could find that offered airstreams for sale. One time I was contacted by someone that hacked into ebay and got my loosing bid and offered me an invalid second chance offer. Thank god that I was savy enough to realize that when it is too good to be true it probally is. However, I just purchased my first carefully researched airstream and yes it turned out to be on ebay and it wasn't three states away! My best advise is be armed with knowledge ask lots of questions see additional pictures know value and set a final bid price and walk away and check when the bidding is done. I think I got a great deal and feel so happy to now own my very own vintage airstream that so far only needs some cosmetic work on an original trailer. My only problem is I think I bit off a bit more than I could chew as far as my vechicle and towing it but we are within specs and it towed home 300 miles without issues.
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