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Old 08-27-2019, 01:04 PM   #1
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2007 28' International CCD
McCall , Idaho
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From a buyers perspective $ seem absurd....

Iíve been shopping for a 25-28 foot Airstream in the 8-12 year old range. Often Iíve seen sellers post a copy of the original sticker with MSRP. Frequently they are asking 30-40% off the MSRP.

Yikes! I thought they got 25% off the MSRP when they bought it.

Nobody wants the dreaded low ball offer, but when your price is completely hallucinogenic. Itís almost an obligation to help out the delusional.

Iíve had some tell me the guides are no good. I think their price is not so hot either.

Where did you start on your negotiations for a used trailer? How did you bridge the divide?

Iíve told a couple where I was at price wise and they could contact me if they were interested down the road. Iíve had two call me, but the more Iíve looked the more Iíve learned about what I want.

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Old 08-27-2019, 01:31 PM   #2
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That's why I bought a 72 and made it into what I wanted.

Although, I might have paid a fair amount of it's original selling price too...

Inflation kills!
The fact that I am opinionated does not presuppose that I am wrong......

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Old 08-27-2019, 02:21 PM   #3
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Look at prices for similar models on the Airforums Classified pages and the ads at RVtrader. And yes, many sellers, of all brands, ask more than the market will bear.
2020 Classic 33 Twin, 2019 Ram 3500 Longhorn, ProPride
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Old 08-27-2019, 03:15 PM   #4
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Yeah, well. MSP on a 15 year old trailer is just a number now. It has no meaning. What a person paid for his trailer has no real meaning, except maybe to him. Many people have trailers that they think are improved beyond new. It is a mine field for a buyer. But I do not see a whole lot of desirable size and age Airstreams sitting around looking for a market. There maybe some “forced” sales but I suspect dealers snap them up pretty quick. So you are not really dealing in a buyers market. Many sellers can wait for their price, I expect. And no, I do not think most buyers got 25 percent off new. Once you have bought, repaired,and maintained an Airstream for 10 years you will have a better idea if the “cost” to the seller.
Great demand and huge prices for new trailers certainly increases the demand and price for good used units.
Most of us who bought trailers have had to adjust our expectations for price upwards, I expect. Or think we got lucky. Or just sucked the price up and moved on.
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Old 08-27-2019, 04:25 PM   #5
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Williamson County , Texas
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Originally Posted by Duckwheat View Post
Yikes! I thought they got 25% off the MSRP when they bought it.

Where did you start on your negotiations for a used trailer? How did you bridge the divide?

I think it depends on how patient you are to some degree. If the economy tanks, you might find some opportunities. Given the inflation of new prices and the way AS hold their value, if you are looking for a very nice condition AS with no issues, then 40% off new list is not unreasonable. They are NOT like SOB in that regard for sure. 20% off list on a new low demand model is the probably best you can hope for. Are those who claim better full of BS? Who knows but certainly there is a lot of BS on the internet.

We looked for over a year for a very good condition 2017 and up Bambi FC 20' and finally bought at what some would say was $10k too high, but we wanted it and we bought it and we are happy with it. A matter of how long we were willing to wait. I would say if you find the AS you want badly, just suck it up and pay what it takes.
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Old 08-27-2019, 04:47 PM   #6
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Jim Falls , Wisconsin
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1. Compare what it would cost to buy that same unit new.
2. Then look at what that used price will be.

New, $100,000 in 2020. Used: $50,000 but cost $70,000 when new.

So then from buying new to used you are saving $50,000.

But this is why I bought an AS. The fact is you don’t take the financial hit on it like a typical crap trailer. I’ve had mine 2 years. It’s in better condition than when I bought it due to add ons and just taking care of it. So if my AS looks like new in 10 years your bet I’m going to ask close to what I paid for it. In 10 years that same unit may cost 25 to 30% more than what I paid for it!

The same is true for houses. As a professional appraiser I can say to buy new today you will pay a premium. But to buy a really well kept up house you will also pay good money. A 30 year old house that has been well taken care of is worth more than a 10 year old house not taken care of. That’s also true for an AS.

It’s all about supply and demand.
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Old 08-27-2019, 05:03 PM   #7
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We bought a 1989 31' Excella in 2015 for $13.5k, it retailed for $33k new. We put $8k into upgrades/repairs. Even @ $21.5k for a trailer we have been able to use since day one, we are much farther ahead than the VERY expensive units offered today. Imho, while the 80s models may not be the most popular vintage models, they are very user friendly and cost effective!!
Jim & Gretchen
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Old 08-27-2019, 05:29 PM   #8
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You have to consider the price of new Airstreams, and the level of demand. The price is what "the market" will bear, not what you want it to be. They'd be foolish to ask less than they'd take for it, just as it would be foolish to refuse a fair offer. The standard RV depreciation "price guides" are not particularly realistic for an Airstream in good shape. I support the classifieds and see lots of trailers asking silly prices, but most of those are the heavily-modified '70s-and-older ones.

Don't expect to be well-received when offering to "help the delusional."
ó David

Zero Gravitas ó 2017 Flying Cloud 26U | WBCCI# 15566

He has all of the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire. ó Sir Winston Churchill
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Old 08-27-2019, 05:41 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Duckwheat View Post
Iíve been shopping for a 25-28 foot Airstream in the 8-12 year old range. Often Iíve seen sellers post a copy of the original sticker with MSRP. Frequently they are asking 30-40% off the MSRP.

Yikes! I thought they got 25% off the MSRP when they bought it.


I can tell you on a popular model having just bought new you are lucky to get 20%. Got close to that. Also value is generally based off replacement not what you paid.
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Old 08-27-2019, 06:36 PM   #10
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For what it's worth...I take the price for a new one the year they bought it. You can find this online. Then deduct 17-20 percent. Then, deduct 3-5% per year for every year of age. This puts me in a realistic 'range' for what I believe I should pay.
Keep looking and study lots of pricing and when the good deals appear, you'll recognize them. I bought 3 like-new used ones in less than three years this way. Though they were no more than 5 years old. getting in the 8-12 year old range, my method might not be as useful, as I think depreciation slows a bit as they get older, especially if kept in excellent condition.
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Old 08-27-2019, 08:06 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Duckwheat View Post
How did you bridge the divide?

I don't, in general, try to bridge a divide when buying. I wait until a suitable rig comes along at a realistic, IMO, price and then move on it. It doesn't matter boats, tractors, rvs, it's all the same method for me. Quite often I pay the asking price and usually get a very good deal. It takes a bit of patience, persistence and the willingness to act promptly.
ďWhile you live, shine / Have no grief at all / Life exists only for a short while / And time demands its toll.Ē
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Old 08-28-2019, 09:40 AM   #12
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Carlisle , Pennsylvania
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Until you actually go look at the listed trailers, you have no way at all of knowing what they should or should not sell for. In a lot of cases, the pictures don't really tell the story. That's not just true of AS sales, it's true of cars, trucks, houses, boats .....

Just as MSRP is a starting point to come down from, so are asking prices. A "typical" discount is closer to 17% than 25%. One would *guess* that an offer does not have to be at the asking point to be considered. One would also *guess* that starting 20% low is not uncommon.

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Old 08-28-2019, 09:44 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by ghaynes755 View Post
Look at prices for similar models on the Airforums Classified pages and the ads at RVtrader. And yes, many sellers, of all brands, ask more than the market will bear.
We did this for both of our purchases. And we offered a fair price in line with what we considered current market value. It worked, cuz we bought both!
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Old 08-28-2019, 10:30 AM   #14
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Green Valley Lake , California
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Most everything is priced higher than the seller will accept.
It's all part of the game. Of course, many things will factor into your offer. As has been suggested, not a bad idea to study up and this forum is as good a place to start as any.
Good luck!
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Old 08-28-2019, 12:13 PM   #15
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I think for a long time that people spouted off that everyone gets this huge discount off sticker when buying new. I tend to think that some of the advice on price you see here on the forums reflects what may have been true 10 years ago.

10 years ago our economy was not in such great shape, if you remember.

Just because a buyer may have been able to get around 20% off sticker at that time is of no bearing today.

The market is driven by supply and demand, by interest rates and subsequently monthly payment amounts, by local availability and convenience vs distance and barriers to purchase, by the average skill set of the purchasing group (aka how handy they are) as it relates to the skills needed to maintain or repair items, and so on.

Today's new units have more bells and whistles on them, some of which may be no importance to you. But they add to the cost and the feature-set of the trailer.

Older units may have fewer stock items. Many have owner modifications that CAN add to the value.

I agree that looking at the AS classifieds to see what units are listing for can help you get a feel for the range of both condition and price.

Piggy Bank
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Old 08-28-2019, 02:14 PM   #16
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The Best way to buy used Airstream

Start with a low offer.
Watch all the ones that really interest you get snatched up from underneath you.
Then start with a price closer and be willing to pay.
Seems like most relatively newly used units go very quickly, and after a few get sold out from underneath you, then the willingness to pay gets much easier.
Seems like the 3 -10 year old units are in huge demand.
If calling around to some of the larger Airstream dealershipps listing Used, and making an offer 20% below asking, the dealer will very quickly let you know if you are even close.
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Old 08-28-2019, 02:20 PM   #17
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We got our trailer a little over 6 years ago and even then, lightly used trailers were in short supply with premium prices. However, those prices were still a good deal compared to new prices. Now new prices are out of this world, way beyond inflation and hardly justified by any additions by Airstream. If I were selling, I'd want to get more now, as well.
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Old 08-28-2019, 02:30 PM   #18
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actually the key is patience. I spent a year making offers of basically 50% off new for 5 to 7 year old 25' footers ( 2010 vintage during the 2015 time frame). the good ones at this type of discount go super fast so need to check nation wide (i ended up buying one in Kansas and had it shipped). Also - watch, etc constantly and you can start to see the type of price range for the years. Based on all the offers i made during that year; i found that people were not willing to come down much from their asking price. Expect still true today. Good luck - and act quick if you see one that is in the [price range.
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Old 08-28-2019, 03:54 PM   #19
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Palm Springs , California
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“Whatever the market will bear.”

That being said, I have seen situations where distress sales and the like can produce an exceptional buy. You must be diligent to respond to any leads, Johnny on the spot!
Stay Calm and Stream On!
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Old 08-28-2019, 09:07 PM   #20
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Several thoughts if looking: If the unit is what you are looking for, is in good shape for its age, has options added after market that you like, and is priced accordingly, buy it before someone beats you to it. Used Airstreams are in demand especially like those described above. A few dollars more than you would expect to pay are still a good investment if you want the unit. Some people think that they are getting beat with a higher asking price, but if that is a unit you want, somebody else will want it too. Don't hesitate. That is a good approach to any thing of value for purchase
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