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Old 07-14-2015, 03:38 PM   #1
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Morgan Hill , California
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 33
Online buying???

Is there a protocol for buying a used AS online?

Does one send a down-payment involving trust?
And then drive across the country only to discover that the AS isn't exactly what you thought it was.
Or worse there isn't such an address or AS.

I've read you ask someone to inspect it but really the location of the AS could be miles/states away from such a person , if you could find one.

Is there a escrow service for such things?

I've got nothing in the works yet but just getting anxious about when I find the right AS for me.


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Old 07-14-2015, 03:47 PM   #2
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2005 39' Land Yacht 390 XL 396
Common Sense , Texas
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 5,315
Three times in the past when I wanted to go look at a trailer for sale, I told the seller I was coming, when I would be there, and gave them my cell phone number and asked them to call me if they sold it. I did not put any money down.

Every time they actually said they would hold it for me.

Each time it worked out OK, and I figure if a seller didn't want to do this, it wasn't a legitimate deal.

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Old 07-15-2015, 01:52 PM   #3
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2014 30' Flying Cloud
Sparks , Nevada
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 510
Just bought our 27FB on EBay last November. Lots if pictures and conversations with seller to establish a relationship that allowed us to not put a deposit down. We drove from Reno, NV to Sarisota ,FL to pick it up. We took a bank check and had them call the branch manager to verify check was legit. Trailer was exactly as stated. They let us stay on their property, hooked up for as long as we needed to get settled in. Took 3 months to mosey our way home. Truly a great experience.
Unfortunately, it doesn't always work out that way.

2015 F350 CC 4X4 6.7 Diesel
2010 27FB Silver Cloud "The Silver Spoon"
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Old 07-15-2015, 02:44 PM   #4
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1967 26' Overlander
1955 22' Flying Cloud
1964 17' Bambi II
Clear Lake Shores , Texas
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 1,204
I am in TX. First I tried to buy an 08 Bambi Sport that was in GA and I wanted to fly there to inspect it prior to buying. I offered to make a small deposit but the seller told me there was no need - he would hold it. Bought two plane tix for 14 days in the future. A week later the seller emailed me it was sold. A series of progressively less pleasant emails did not even elicit an apology.
Next time I flew to NM with cash in hand and bought a 64 Bambi II, then drove back later to tow it home. Sold that trailer a year later after extensive refurb on EBay to a buyer in NY. Without seeing the trailer in person, he made a deposit on Paypal and the paid the remainder by check. Once the check cleared I signed over the title and he had a driver tow the trailer to the port and had it shipped to Europe where he joined the trailer two months later. He loved it!
Next I flew to AZ to look at a 68 Safari and ended up liking a 55 Flying Cloud better. Made a deposit using a credit card and then wired the remainder of the $$ and paid UShip to drive the trailer here to TX.
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Old 07-15-2015, 02:49 PM   #5
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2010 25' FB International
Lake Arrowhead , California
Join Date: Dec 2014
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I used to place a deposit on a trailer. It's the only one endorsed by eBay and, I believe, this forum. Drove from Cali to Colorado, inspected the trailer, and released the funds.
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Old 07-15-2015, 04:04 PM   #6
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Morgan Hill , California
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Posts: 33
It seems like is the way to go.

We're in California and it seems most sellers are a fer piece from here necessitating a drive. I guess we have to be able to hook-up and bring it home....the long way.

Thanks folks.
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Old 07-15-2015, 05:14 PM   #7
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1988 29' Excella
Lyttelton , Canterbury
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 3
Go for it - just not from e-bay or craigslist

Being based in New Zealand we had no option but to cross our fingers and hope!

But I did my research - we bought from Airstream Classifieds (online here) and could check out the lister's Air Forums profile - long term members - happy to talk on the phone/email, and they were upfront about the defects - get it checked out by a local inspector... (turns out our AS was owned by the local inspector - good sign).

It took 3 months for our 1988 Airstream to arrive - the kind folks who sold it to us went over and above getting it ready for shipping, (CLEANING CLEANING) installing a new fridge and taking delivery of & packing the extra gear we bought before it left the USA.

Now they have made us honorary members of their local Airstream Unit on Facebook and all their unit help us with any questions/problems and are a font of useful knowledge - we love our Airstream and thank our lucky stars that we bought it from such lovely people!

Oh and we paid in full direct to the seller.... with an accompanying email declaring that trust is a wonderful thing!
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Old 07-21-2015, 05:58 PM   #8
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1963 16' Bambi
Yreka , California
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We purchased our Bambi on eBay... we had lengthy conversations via email, lots of photos, etc. We gave a non refundable deposit once we "won" the bid on eBay, then drove from California to Utah to see the trailer. The "deal" was that if we decided not to purchase it, the next bidder in line would be contacted or it would go back for sale. The people we purchased it from were great. Naturally we were in love with the little Bambi, they made sure we could tow it safely and had checked the brakes and put on new tires. They helped us make sure the lights worked for towing with our truck. The trailer needed full restoration, but it was a smooth and easy sale.
Mrs. NorCal Bambi traveling in S Tardis ~ from the Great State of Jefferson!

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Old 07-21-2015, 06:16 PM   #9
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1972 31' Sovereign
Lexington , Minnesota
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 3,371
We bought through the Airforums classifieds. Sellers were upfront and sent us many pictures, talked with us extensively on the phone. We sent them a bank check to secure it, and finished paying same way when we got there. It was a couple months from the time we sent the money till we were able to go get the trailer (winter). They were willing to hold it for us and we paid their asking price because of that. It was a good experience for us.
We hear of lots of scams. It's definitely a 'buyer beware" world out there. The classifieds here on the Forums are possibly the most secure, but even here, scammers try to hit. If it looks to good to be true, it probably is.

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Old 07-21-2015, 07:25 PM   #10
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2006 23' Safari SE
Biloxi , Mississippi
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After several frustrating attempts to sell and buy trailers on Craigslist and here I was able to finally both sell my Bambi II and locate and my Safari thru Airforms classifieds. The Bambi II was sold with no deposit and cash in hand. The Safari deposit was handled between my credit union and the sellers credit union. I drove 2500miles round trip to view, purchase with cash and a couple of bank drafts the Safari. It could not of went any smoother. I took the opportunity to swing by Jackson Center to have it checked over and have some issues with the tail lights fixed.


Do you know what a learning experience is? A learning experience is one of those things that says "You know that thing that you just did? Don't do that."
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