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Old 08-17-2017, 02:43 PM   #1
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Pricing- Factory order vs. stock? Out of state, vs. local?

Hello Streamers,
We are in the market for new Airstream, and are in a position to buy when the timing is "right". We have a local dealer, and understand the benefits associated with that. However, we have heard they aren't much for dealing on their units. They probably don't have to (we are in TX, with a nearly year-round RV'ing season). So, in addition to considering our local dealer, we are open to other options in order to maximize our hard-earned dollars. From other's recent new-unit sales experience, can we assume dealers are willing to sell their remaining 2017 models at a discount of at least 20% or more? We are looking at a 27FB model, if that is helpful. How much of a discount should we anticipate at this time of year? We want to be realistic in our offer and have some basis for it.

Next question: We just saw a Facebook post/thread related to pricing, and it sounds like getting 20-21% off MSRP is not uncommon for those who Factory Order their units. Should we expect a dealer to readily honor such an offer on a 2018 factory-ordered unit? Should we shoot for more than 21% off, or is that unlikely? Where should we start our negotiation process?

Assuming the above assumptions are valid, this leads us to wonder why would anyone travel over 1,000 miles for a stock unit for virtually the same discount as a factory-order unit? Does this mean that those who travel for their Airstream purchase are getting better deals than 20%? What type of discount should one anticipate at this time of the year for a 2017? It'd have to be a decent amount in order for us to drive cross country....

Our third option is to wait until fall/winter when our local dealer has more 2018 stock inventory on their lot, but we anticipate less-negotiation ability under this scenerio. Again, please advise if our thinking is incorrect.

We appreciate, in advance, the valuable advise of this group!
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Old 08-17-2017, 03:03 PM   #2
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Fact of life, dealers are in business to make money, same as everyone else. It is up to you as a buyer to convince the dealer that he should sell for less if he wants to sell at all.

One technique that I used successfully to buy my Airstream was this:
1 - pick out the exact make, model, and floor plan you want by visiting your local dealer.
2 - select every dealer within the range you're willing to travel, minus those whose reputations you don't trust.
3 - Ask them all to quote you a price (by email only so it's in writing) on the make/model/plan you want, no substitutions. But you can give them the option of in-stock or factory-order if they can also give you a delivery date for the factory-order. But be sure to disclose that you're asking the same thing of other dealers. Don't have to tell them which other dealers, just that there is competition.
4 - When you've received all the quotes you're going to get, discarding those who try to quote on a different make/model/plan (it happens) and those who declined to quote, then contact all the ones that are still in the competition, and tell them what the low price to date is, and ask if they can beat that.
5 - Repeat until no one offers a lower price. Then if the local dealer isn't lowest, ask them if they can match the low price to date. Between two dealers with the same price, closer dealer wins because there are fewer "sunk" costs (out-of-pocket expenses) associated with traveling to the dealer.
6 - Thank all of the unsuccessful dealers for their time and assistance. A bit of goodwill never hurts.

By following this procedure, you should be able to get an acceptable discount, secure in the knowledge that no one else within range will give you a better one.
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Old 08-17-2017, 03:31 PM   #3
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Hi

There is no "always true" rule about pricing. Right now we are in the middle of an "RV boom". You are still in prime selling season. Neither one of those is a good time to get a maximum discount.

If you order an AS now, it will be coming in mid-winter. That's not what you would normally call peak season (Maybe in Florida ...). How much that factors into dealer prices .... who knows.

If you buy an AS off the lot today, you can still get some really nice camping in this season. If you factory order, wait for next season. How significant is that to you? Yes, exactly planning your entire life 10 years in the most economical approach. What's for dinner on August 17, 2027? You'll save money if you know the answer today Not everybody is that organized ....

Bob
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Old 08-17-2017, 04:21 PM   #4
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We just bought our first AS in June after looking at them for two years (had to sell some stuff to make room in the driveway). We bought out of state because the local dealer did not have what we wanted in stock. I feel that buying form a larger dealer does has advantages. The local dealer had only 7 in stock and was pushing us to make an offer on one of in stock units.

I contacted the two largest dealers on the east cost both of them has 50 to 75 Airstream in stock and 5 to 7 models that we were interested in to look at. I was able get a couple quotes by email before driving to the dealership so I had a good idea what I was going to pay.

When I got there I negotiated more on the loan terms then the price as a 1% savings in interest would be worth more then the same off the sticker.

Fore us this worked out the best, We got the trailer we wanted at a good price with a low interest rate. You will need to decide what important to you, getting one of the lot or ordering new an waiting, then find the dealer that willing to work with you to make it happen.
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Old 08-18-2017, 11:38 AM   #5
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AS Pricing

Contact Patrick!
He is extremely knowledgeable and very nice!

2018 International Signatiure 27FB
MSRP - almost $103,000
Purchase Price - $80,500

Patrick Calabro
Sales Person
Tampa RV
-------------------------
Office # (813) 659-0008
Mobile# (813) 380-9639
Web: RVOne.com
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Old 08-18-2017, 12:20 PM   #6
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Explorer
I have two thoughts: One is to closely follow Protagonsit's advice which is the most thorough one, and the other is...live up to your avatar. Since you are fortunate in that "We are in the market for new Airstream, and are in a position to buy when the timing is "right...don't waste the beautiful fall trying to save a couple of hundred dollars. The fall is probably the best time to go camping, don't miss out on it. Safe travels whenever you get it. jon
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Old 08-18-2017, 12:57 PM   #7
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Inventory vs ordering can make a difference

Boils down to best price and your goals...you can typically find a unit on line with the major dealers and not have to wait. Plus, inventory units need to be moved out! This was our second "new" AS in 3 years so had some experience from last go around.

We talked with 8 dealers on several units this past 8 months, while deciding on the right unit for us. We then narrowed down to 4 dealers who were willing to work with us on competitive pricing. I found the exact 28' unit we wanted on 2 dealer lots; one in Oregon and one in FL...we were looking at the 20-21% range. Our local dealer who has a great sales and service department would have been our first choice, but sales management was not very aggressive on pricing in the past. I was not willing to sit and negotiate when I knew from experience, I could get to the bottom line quicker with other dealers out of state. After all, once you know what you want, price is the goal in the end, right?

We were contemplating a 1200 mile road trip to FL at first if we purchased there...we had never been there and a road trip seemed kind of exciting...we had the time. Then I found another unit in OR- 2200 mile drive, but we were going that direction anyway for the summer at our MT place so ended up not really too much further out of our way. Decision made over price and stock....no waiting around. 6K miles now in 2.5 months.

Service locally- Once you purchase, the service departments are all separate P&L centers, and you typically have to get in line like others wanting service. My experience.

Lots of experience in this thread and on the Forum to help...just spend time at your local dealer inside several AS's deciding on which unit works best. Then get to negotiating! Your missing out on all the fun!
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Old 08-18-2017, 01:00 PM   #8
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I buy cars the using the strategy expounded by Protagonist. I feel that is the best price you can get.
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Old 08-18-2017, 01:14 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Explorers3 View Post
Hello Streamers,

We are in the market for new Airstream, and are in a position to buy when the timing is "right". We have a local dealer, and understand the benefits associated with that. However, we have heard they aren't much for dealing on their units. They probably don't have to (we are in TX, with a nearly year-round RV'ing season). So, in addition to considering our local dealer, we are open to other options in order to maximize our hard-earned dollars. From other's recent new-unit sales experience, can we assume dealers are willing to sell their remaining 2017 models at a discount of at least 20% or more? We are looking at a 27FB model, if that is helpful. How much of a discount should we anticipate at this time of year? We want to be realistic in our offer and have some basis for it.



Next question: We just saw a Facebook post/thread related to pricing, and it sounds like getting 20-21% off MSRP is not uncommon for those who Factory Order their units. Should we expect a dealer to readily honor such an offer on a 2018 factory-ordered unit? Should we shoot for more than 21% off, or is that unlikely? Where should we start our negotiation process?



Assuming the above assumptions are valid, this leads us to wonder why would anyone travel over 1,000 miles for a stock unit for virtually the same discount as a factory-order unit? Does this mean that those who travel for their Airstream purchase are getting better deals than 20%? What type of discount should one anticipate at this time of the year for a 2017? It'd have to be a decent amount in order for us to drive cross country....



Our third option is to wait until fall/winter when our local dealer has more 2018 stock inventory on their lot, but we anticipate less-negotiation ability under this scenerio. Again, please advise if our thinking is incorrect.



We appreciate, in advance, the valuable advise of this group!


The is a lot of good advice here. When we bought I learned that the larger dealers have more units allocated and are willing to sell in the 20% off range. The smaller dealers, including my local dealer, have access to far less units, and can't to give anywhere near those discounts without a material effect on the dealership profitability.

Get ready to travel and you can save big $.
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Old 08-18-2017, 01:31 PM   #10
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I prefer negotiating a little differently, ie, on my terms, not on a dealer's terms. Namely:
1. Do your homework and figure out for yourself at what price you would be comfortable acquiring the product, being reasonable and knowing that the dealer must benefit from the sale.
2. Start calling one dealer after another; offer them your price cash for delivery FOB their dealership within a week.
3. Sooner or later, somebody will accept or counteroffer so close that it makes negligible difference.
4. Now, you've gotten your product at your price and on your terms and have avoided all the dealership games.
The foregoing process got me a new 27FB (and over time many other products and results) at a price that I've had no problems living with.
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Old 08-18-2017, 01:44 PM   #11
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Has anyone had issues with their local dealer providing warranty work when you purchased the trailer from a distant dealer?

Thanks
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Old 08-18-2017, 01:58 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by camperguy58 View Post
Has anyone had issues with their local dealer providing warranty work when you purchased the trailer from a distant dealer?

Thanks
It has happened in the past according to reports here. Hopefully any dealership doing that is a thing of the past with the implementation of the new 5 Rivit program. Any dealer guilty of such business practice is subject to loosing their license to sell AIRSTREAM's according to the President of Airstream.
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Old 08-18-2017, 02:14 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AWCHIEF View Post
It has happened in the past according to reports here. Hopefully any dealership doing that is a thing of the past with the implementation of the new 5 Rivit program. Any dealer guilty of such business practice is subject to loosing their license to sell AIRSTREAM's according to the President of Airstream.


Thanks
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Old 08-18-2017, 02:51 PM   #14
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Msrp

I have to wonder how the manufacturer arrives at a MSRP. Is it cost plus as things used to be priced? Is it what the manufacturer thinks the market will bear? Is it a number determined by looking at what other manufacturers are suggesting as MSRP? Is it a number that after the standard discount will still give the dealer some profit?

Inquiring minds want to know,

Lyle
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Old 08-19-2017, 07:02 AM   #15
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I have to wonder how the manufacturer arrives at a MSRP. Is it cost plus as things used to be priced? Is it what the manufacturer thinks the market will bear? Is it a number determined by looking at what other manufacturers are suggesting as MSRP? Is it a number that after the standard discount will still give the dealer some profit?

Inquiring minds want to know,

Lyle
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Old 08-19-2017, 07:54 AM   #16
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The thing about marketing, costs and income are important to companies yet within the context of RVs I find it odd that dealers would be so confident standing on "thin ice" considering that the market depends so much on a good economy which can come and go as we have seen.
It is most certainly a time of "RV Boom" but again, a market of non-essential purchasing (unlike a home or food, etc) and, for that reason, I would think a wise dealer would set a discounted limit but focus more on volume and happy customers rather than trying to gouge people in sales. I know greed has influence but if one dealer is overcome they can lose sales and suffer. They should be honest and level with customers on their best price and leave it at that trying to woo them if possible for they certainly will go elsewhere. Manufacturers may not care but dealers SHOULD.
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Old 08-19-2017, 08:16 AM   #17
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I went to a dealer who had the model I wanted. However, I wanted to trade my current RV in. They were very willing to do that against the retail price of the AS. If I had no trade in, they would discount the same unit by $20,000. So essentially, they gave me almost nothing on my trade. Beyond that, they didn't budge a penny, which I found strange. The AS I didn't buy is still sitting on their lot, four months later.
Since then, I've sold my RV to a nice couple for a fair price, and so I'm starting again. However, I've decided that I don't want the 2017 that been sitting in the sun for a year, with GYM, although it has everything I want. (and is the only one in the state). I may just wait for a 2018.
I'm willing to deal with them again with no trade, but I've already heard all the BS.

I learned that you won't "beat the dealer", he's heard all the customer schemes, the owner has much more money to wait you out, and he is prepared with his own strategy. Plus the sales manager doesn't want to be fired for losing money.
Their lives are devoted to sales, not making deals.

I'm asking myself, "How far would I drive to buy now rather than order the same unit and wait two months?" That's hard to answer, I like having the money in the bank, and I can't see driving a thousand miles for the same price, knowing I'll get service at home.
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Old 08-19-2017, 08:34 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lyleapgmc View Post
I have to wonder how the manufacturer arrives at a MSRP. Is it cost plus as things used to be priced? Is it what the manufacturer thinks the market will bear? Is it a number determined by looking at what other manufacturers are suggesting as MSRP? Is it a number that after the standard discount will still give the dealer some profit?

Inquiring minds want to know,

Lyle
Hi

No different than any other market. It's a number that keeps the dealers happy.

Bob
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Old 08-19-2017, 10:37 AM   #19
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Here's a suggestion. If there is a large RV show in your area during off season (winter), go to the show knowing what you want. There should be a local Airstream dealer and the AS factory sales manager for your area attending the show. Visit the local dealer before the show and find out what the best price you can negotiate on either a unit on their lot (if they have something close). After they give you a quote, ask them if they can do better and get the dealer sales manager involved. This gives you a good starting point. At the show, there should be a discounted "show price". Hopefully this will be as good or better than what you have already been quoted. Tell the dealer at the show you really would rather order a unit from the factory, especially if you can't get exactly what you want. Keep pushing for a better deal and be prepared to walk away. Tell them you want the hitch thrown in, or if you want something special from the factory included or options like upgraded wheel/tires also at a discounted price. We wanted different flooring. The AS sales manager agreed to this added at no charge. If you are satisfied with the deal, tell them you will pay a refundable deposit after a couple of days to think it over. Use this time to call other dealers that you will be willing to travel to and tell them what you have been quoted and see if they can do any better. If they cannot, get the dealer to proceed with the order.

This is what we did at the Tampa RV Super Show in January 2016 and got a little better than 22% including upgraded options (tires/wheels, convection microwave, awning package). We have been pleased and got exactly what we thought we wanted.

Wish we had been aware of the crappy converter and would of negotiated that upgrade, too!

Good luck with you search!
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Old 08-19-2017, 10:53 AM   #20
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I did try to get at least the same 20%+ discount quote from one of the "famous" dealerships in the NJ area, but could not get the same discount. I was told they were in business to make money and did not need to match pricing. I have called several times over the years with technical questions and they were always very helpful. NJ is a bit of a hike for me, but I would have made it could we come to terms. Maybe next time.
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