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Old 07-03-2017, 03:56 PM   #21
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Let's face it ... an Airstream is not something most of us MUST have. If you don't get into a buying frenzy and if you decide which trailers you would consider, spend some time in the AS Classifieds and get an idea of the market, you can probably get the deal you are looking for. Be ready and when the right trailer come on the market, jump. Patience is the key. Just like houses, sooner or later someone will need to sell quickly. It may be due to health problems, an estate being settled, a divorce, etc., but it happens. Someone's misfortune is your good fortune.

Remember, most people price their rigs with some "wiggle room", so don't be afraid to offer less than asking price. Just don't make a low-ball offer that is insulting, or you might p.o. the person and lose the option for fair negotiation. Good luck!

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Old 07-03-2017, 07:16 PM   #22
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Agree on the time and patience element. I've bought and sold many big ticket items over the last 25 years and when I think back on it, the key to all of those transactions was "timing"- sometimes working out for me and sometimes not.
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Old 07-03-2017, 07:19 PM   #23
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You understand. I am simply looking for a starting point is all. Once established I can look at AS's up to say 15% above that as potential buys. When your new to the AS world, its difficult because all of the normal publications (say like NADA) are so far off base LOW. Thanks
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Old 07-03-2017, 07:24 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Vpocino View Post
You understand. I am simply looking for a starting point is all.
Nothing wrong with being analytical about pricing. I've been buying and selling and pricing similar products just about my whole life and an Airstream is one of the most difficult of products to get a handle on. I don't mind paying the going price for something but I do want to have a good feel for what that may be. I think your question was a good one and didn't deserve some of the attitude it got. Good luck in your search.
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Old 07-03-2017, 07:33 PM   #25
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You have squarely hit on the reason why published "blue book" figures for the value of used Airstream trailers are pretty much useless.
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Old 07-03-2017, 08:19 PM   #26
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Also, Know what you want and how far you will go to get it...

I am on my third Airstream... I NEVER paid for a new one and never would. The key is to study the market and know what length and floor plan you want... and also how far you will go to get it. There are other factors to consider as well... a unit that has spent it's entire life in Florida, is going to be different from one from the North that was stored inside when not in use, or one left outside in the Arizona sun all the time.

When I decided I wanted an Excella with a front kitchen (very rare), it took me two years to find one and I ended up going all the way from Phoenix to Northern California to get it... I also traded back several years. I am still happy with my choice... the newer ones do not appeal to me all that much...
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Old 07-03-2017, 08:38 PM   #27
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I drove from Virginia to Texas to buy a used Casita. Was worth it for sure. I drove to British Columbia to buy a used Escape. Also worth it. Then one day I says heck it's my turn to make one smell. so I bought a new airstream. Ya can buy it from me in 20 years and it'll be real nice except that faint 'p.o.' scent that'll make ya think of travelinman every time ya camp!
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Old 07-03-2017, 08:49 PM   #28
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Greetings Vpocino!

I totally understand your thinking. I do this kind of thing too!
The catch with Airstreams is that their depreciation is fleeting and variable. It is strange but true. The NADA values on RVs are pretty much 20 years to zero no matter what brand UNLESS a pusher. What might help is to reset your calculation to 35-40 years on an Airstream. Right now the NADA lists mine to be valued at what a 70'/80's model sells "around" in price point. It is a 2006- just now 11 years old but 10 years in service. Their 50% value, in my observation is around 20 years, again, in my observation. This includes adjusting for the increasing MSRP (compared to a new one per se) Condition or Demand can change that too.

Oh, and what SPCLKAZ said, "the newer ones do not appeal to me all that much..." I have heard from others as well.
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Old 07-03-2017, 09:34 PM   #29
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value of pre-owned AS

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vpocino View Post
I am in the market for a 4-7 year old 23' FB (Queen) to 25' trailer.

I understand the premise of something being worth what someone else is will to pay. I understand that sellers want as much as they can get and buyers want to pay as little as possible. And lastly, I understand that a "good" deal is one where both parties do not exactly jump up and down after shaking hands.

All that being said, I am an engineer by education and profession and have a difficult time being happy (or unhappy lol) unless the deal makes fiscal sense for me. I am sure, as well, most sellers feel the same.

I have done the typical on-line research and concluded the following as a very general rule of thumb. Buyers should have paid roughly 21% off of MSRP. After two years, the trailer depreciates about another 20% or about 10% per year. Thus a three year old unit would be about 40% less than MSRP. After the three years the depreciation flattens or levels out to about 5% per year for another 7 years.

I know supply and demand and size desirability kick in but to those AS experts "in the know", does this sound "about" right"?
As a fellow engineer... you would think logic is simple... but not when it comes to AS... some new ones are junk... and the owner thinks it gold... while older ones... hold a flatline value... so if you think the blue book is going to help you get what you want at the price you want... I think y ou have heard the saying... good luck in the contest... and not hold your breath...

If you find one you like and its in reasonable shape... then no matter what the price is... get it... or you will be waiting a long time for the next one .. kinda thing.

Older trailers are cheaper... but they seem to float about 15-40K depending on demand for size.. such as the 25 footers... and we found that a 25 footer was about 40% higher than a 31 footer... in the same year... yet the 31 has more room... and the 25 is really contained... especally when one of you goes to the bathroom.. while the other is recovering from you crawling out of the bed...

Yesterday I thought 31 foot was a big trailer... but today after seeing the new crew of buyers.. .with 40 and 45 footers... I'd say its small...

I had the great witness of a family parking their 40 foot 5th wheel next to our space... and then go inside and extend the slide outs... into our space... which prompted me to confront the newbie... who said... geee we didn't know... no fooling...

Of course the circus didn't end their... the dog got out... and chased the skunk... you know what happened next... and of course the outdoor TV/stereo and outdoor kitchen was just what I planned to have in my space... again... gee we didn't know... was the response...

But, as all things seemed to get settled down... with them keeping their slide outs... out... the new trailer they owned... had a mind of its own...

First off was that they couldn't get the refrig to work... (could it be that it was meant for 120 volts... no fooling they bought a domestic refrig in that unit)... and of course... when it came time to go... the real fun began...

We noticed that the rig was rocking back and forth... like the saying goes.. if its a rocking don't come aknocking... well that went on for about 10 min... between words that would make a sailor blush

If you never have watched someone get a stuck slide out back in... its a real chineese fire drill... Yep they couldn't get the center one to go back in... jammed... he tried oil.. he tried...pushing... then the real engineering fun started... prying and hammering... but no luck... after a hour of frustration... they decided to put a red ribbon on it and take off down the road with it out on the right side... whew... again lots of explectives from the guy... with the final word being... hon were taking this right back to the dealer ....now

Well I love my little 30 ft airstream... so simple and easy... but, you can bet the newbies that are buying all those 85,000 bux 5th wheels and motorhomes... will be parking next to you ... in the future... go figure
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Old 07-03-2017, 09:42 PM   #30
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Don't forget about location of the trailer
It costs about $1.25 per mile for delivery so a trailer 2,000 miles away might not be that great of a net price
Finding the great price on a nice airstream and within 1,000 miles can take some time and sellers know this
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Old 07-03-2017, 11:07 PM   #31
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All good ideas. Especially, if you like it buy it. It may not be there long, especially at a fair price. Don't forget to factor in major improvements. They cost the PO dearly, but if you like them they are well worth the extra cost. Otherwise, you will pay full price for any improvements you do after purchase.
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Old 07-04-2017, 06:52 AM   #32
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In one of my past lives, I was a real estate appraiser, so valuation of property is of interest to me.

For years, I had watched vintage trailers climb in value. Seriously, those need-to-be-gutted shell off restoration trailers going for $5,000 today were going for less than $2,000 most cases just a few years ago.

I've watched the new airstream prices climb. I've watched the ten year old used airstream prices climb. It *feels* like (I have to use the word *feels* because I have no way to prove) percentage increases in price are far outpacing real estate increases. With other brands of used RV's, I simply don't see where that is the case.

I know if I had tried to follow your formula to gather a good settling price for the Airstream we purchased in April, I would have ended up telling the elderly couple we bought her from my price would be 40% less than his asking price. Well, I doubt he would have accepted such an offer and there was no way a ten year old Airstream in pristine condition with new tires, new batteries, new led lighting, recent wax and sealing, all systems checked and operating, kept indoors when not in use trailer would not have commanded a serious offer. Our serious offer was 12% less than his asking price and the one he accepted.

We checked prices for months before we purchased on various sizes and models (we weren't interested in vintage). We felt we got a good and fair deal. We still check prices on similar makes and models and still feel we got a good and fair deal.

So how far off from what this trailer sold as new ten years ago did we pay? About 30% off original new MSRP, so that would be quite a bit more than what your formula would state we should have paid. But according to what we *felt* the market was like and would have potential to be, we felt it was a good and fair deal.

I wish valuation could be an exact science...but it just isn't and holy moly, with Airstreams it's like trying to nail down jelly.

Here's what I would do if I were looking to purchase used again:

1) Decide vintage or recent.
2) Back out things that need repaired or upgraded to bring the trailer into full usable condition from the selling price.
3) Keep tabs on other listing of similar models and similar condition.
4) Don't factor in your inconvenience/cost to go get the trailer (not the seller's fault you live 1,000 miles away ya know?)
5) When you find one that meets your desirability, act quickly. This is seriously important. Airstreams priced reasonably move fast.

I hope you find the Airstream of your dreams. This is a hot market and even though we are totally satisfied and have not intentions of moving to a larger Airstream in the near future, we STILL love looking and seeing what is up for sale!
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Old 07-04-2017, 08:13 AM   #33
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My airstream is much nicer than my house. Worth more too.
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Old 07-04-2017, 08:27 AM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vpocino View Post
...

All that being said, I am an engineer by education and profession and have a difficult time being happy (or unhappy lol) unless the deal makes fiscal sense for me. I am sure, as well, most sellers feel the same.

....
I like your formula, it is a good starting point. Start looking around and see if the theory fits the reality. Then, decide on an amount you are willing to pay. How much can you afford? Now get serious.

Finding a deal that "makes fiscal sense" might not be possible. Finding a trailer that fits your financial plan might be easier. If you hold out for one that fits your pricing system you probably will have to wait longer than you would like. When I got mine I had more time than money so it took a long time. Found a very lightly used 3 year old unit at about 30% off original sticker but the seller was desperate to avoid bankruptcy.

Best wishes in your search.
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Old 07-04-2017, 08:58 AM   #35
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Why the aggressive rhetoric of telling people to "take a hike" just because they are making an unrealistic offer ?
What is wrong with politely informing the person of their unrealistic expectation and leaving the door open for them to come back after they realize where the market is.
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Old 07-04-2017, 09:22 AM   #36
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Why the aggressive rhetoric of telling people to "take a hike" just because they are making an unrealistic offer ?
What is wrong with politely informing the person of their unrealistic expectation and leaving the door open for them to come back after they realize where the market is.
I agree there's no need to be grumpy about it. When I got lectured about my sellin price I just told him I'd love to give a better deal but with so many folks interested in payin askin, I would be short changin myself. I think he got the point.
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Old 07-04-2017, 10:25 AM   #37
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Hi

There is nothing wrong with being analytic about a price. The gotcha is that your "competitors" in the market are what matter, not a proper analysis. I've bought a number of trucks brand new (at quite good discounts) and sold them years later for nearly what I paid for them. Any analysis would say that's crazy. At various points, luxury cars do the same sort of thing. It may or may not make sense other than "that's what people are willing to pay for them".

Bob
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Old 07-04-2017, 12:51 PM   #38
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I like your formula, it is a good starting point. Start looking around and see if the theory fits the reality. Then, decide on an amount you are willing to pay. How much can you afford? Now get serious.

Finding a deal that "makes fiscal sense" might not be possible. Finding a trailer that fits your financial plan might be easier. If you hold out for one that fits your pricing system you probably will have to wait longer than you would like. When I got mine I had more time than money so it took a long time. Found a very lightly used 3 year old unit at about 30% off original sticker but the seller was desperate to avoid bankruptcy.

Best wishes in your search.


Ty very much.
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Old 07-04-2017, 12:57 PM   #39
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It took time and lots of $$$$ to get both the 23D and the Classic to where we wanted them. Like the chrome on a Harley, the modifications might not have value to the next buyer.
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Old 07-04-2017, 01:30 PM   #40
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One thing to be cautious of is anything with a salvage title even if it's for hail damage. My insurance company won't provide anything but liability on them. Yours might. It looks like they are starting to come to market after this springs hailstorms.
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