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Old 07-04-2017, 01:37 PM   #41
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I used to highly recommend that first time buyers choose "gently used" because it is SO easy to buy then realize that you don't have time to camp or hate the bugs or bought the wrong size, etc.

AIRSTREAM has done a lot to hype their brand on top of the obvious appeal of "wow that's cool/different" appeal. Interest rates are still quite low and resale prices for gently used are soaring... I am retired and don't like debt but if I wanted another Airstream, by george I would buy new and getting started on a new adventure. I'd even finance PART of the cost just to avoid paying taxes on an IRA distribution.

REALLY go to a big dealer and a rally or two. Shop around, then leap. Resale prices are at record levels.
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Old 07-04-2017, 04:12 PM   #42
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Vpocino,

Despite the logic of your approach and it's mismatch with market dynamics, you might want to stick to your evaluation method on the off chance an unknowing seller appears. I spent almost a year searching for the unit which best matched our wish list and it finally appeared. Lucky for us, the seller had just inherited the unit and used NADA to price it for sale. I had gone through a similar mathematical analysis to gauge 'appropriate' purchase price point so I recognized the outlandish bargain instantly.

I saw the posting within 5 minutes of it appearing at 1AM. I e-mailed immediately, called at dawn, and closed the deal pending my inspection before breakfast. Eight hours later I was happily towing our trailer home at what many would call a seller's fleecing. I'd double my money if I sold it today after 10 years of use.

Lightning does strike close to home occasionally!
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Old 07-04-2017, 05:51 PM   #43
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Vpocino,

Despite the logic of your approach and it's mismatch with market dynamics, you might want to stick to your evaluation method on the off chance an unknowing seller appears. I spent almost a year searching for the unit which best matched our wish list and it finally appeared. Lucky for us, the seller had just inherited the unit and used NADA to price it for sale. I had gone through a similar mathematical analysis to gauge 'appropriate' purchase price point so I recognized the outlandish bargain instantly.

I saw the posting within 5 minutes of it appearing at 1AM. I e-mailed immediately, called at dawn, and closed the deal pending my inspection before breakfast. Eight hours later I was happily towing our trailer home at what many would call a seller's fleecing. I'd double my money if I sold it today after 10 years of use.

Lightning does strike close to home occasionally!

Doesn't seem quite right!

Not saying I'm any angel, but I think I would have been inclined to offer to pay a bit more than the asking price, telling him his selling price was too low.

To the point that I still got a good deal, but also didn't leave with the feeling that I had really fleeced someone - that would haunt me later on!

At least I like to think that is what I would have done under similar circumstances - but who knows for sure!
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Old 07-04-2017, 11:29 PM   #44
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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.
Don't take it too literally, Frankly...It's just a phrase. When I've listed an item for sale and a potential buyer tries to low ball me, I say this to him, "Tell you what, Pal...You give me your name and phone number and if I ever get that desperate to sell, I'll give you a call." Fact is, anybody trying to buy on the cheap will endlessly try to chew you down to a far lower price. I'm not inclined to waste time in empty hope the guy will finally see the light and come around to fair market value. Not gonna happen.
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Old 07-05-2017, 09:05 AM   #45
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Don't take it too literally, Frankly...It's just a phrase. When I've listed an item for sale and a potential buyer tries to low ball me, I say this to him, "Tell you what, Pal...You give me your name and phone number and if I ever get that desperate to sell, I'll give you a call." Fact is, anybody trying to buy on the cheap will endlessly try to chew you down to a far lower price. I'm not inclined to waste time in empty hope the guy will finally see the light and come around to fair market value. Not gonna happen.
Hi

One of the interesting "features" of the modern listing process is a flurry of (apparently robot driven) offers well below asking price. Some pop in within 24 hours of the listing. They have no relation to the value of the home / RV / vehicle. If you get into this, simply ignore them. You do *not* want to get involved with the people behind these schemes. Yes, there are other scams that you can get hooked into ....

Bob
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Old 07-05-2017, 10:31 AM   #46
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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.
These two factors that Hopeful1 shared are key. The "interpretation" of repair or upgrading and, if I may add UPDATING can/should make a difference in price. I have seen, for example, models like mine with no updating- ever, listed for $30K with original TV, couch, appliances, etc. I updated just about everything but at an additional $12K or so as DIY projects. It would have been much more if I paid someone else to do it. Those kinds of things have a bearing on price too- to some degree.
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Old 07-05-2017, 11:39 AM   #47
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I have also encountered and lost a purchase from dealers who buy from individuals and then mark them up and sell them from their lot
Have you ever seen many used airstream a in dealer lots?
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Old 07-05-2017, 03:46 PM   #48
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Sure. Airstream Adventures NW always seems to have used units in stock. By way of example here's a link to their used inventory across several dealer locations. Many, but not all, are already tagged as "sold." No idea how to best negotiate against their used prices, but it never hurts to push and see what happens.

http://seattleairstream.com/inventor...m-trailers.asp

(Caveat: I have zero commercial interest in this dealership, etc., etc.)
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Old 07-05-2017, 04:12 PM   #49
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I feel that the majority of individuals who have an automobile or a trailer for sale... are uncomfortable dealing with strangers. They are most likely to sell to a dealership.

A listing on the Internet brings in a wide variety of serious buyers and serious scammers. And then, the 'give me a deal' customers.

You are not obligated to pay the price asked. If you do not offer less than the asking price, you are a bit too generous with your money. Maybe you and I need to work out something with my trailer, if anyone wants to pay more than what I think is already too much.

Information, knowledge of value and a list of satisfied customers... is how I made an income since I was 15 years old. Today the Internet has made that difficult, as anyone can get a good 'feel' of what price ranges are at that time.

Antique furniture today... If you can get 25% of what it is worth, sell. There are more retired people downsizing and cannot give this stuff away. That could also apply to used Airstreams... in the next ten years. Demographics will change market values.

Stamps... mint US Postage. I have been buying unused US postage from people inheriting the collections for 40% to 60% of face value of pre 1970 sheets... and now I am getting picky sticking with 5 cent postage and less.

I used the higher denominations to ship Geology books across the world with vintage stamps. They were colorful. The Post Office clerk used my calculations as being accurate after years of doing business. Now... Priority envelopes to ship any low value book is a waste of time and licking...

First Day Covers... 5 cents, 20 cents? Nobody wants any.

An Airstream is only worth what someone will pay. No more, nor less. Sometimes your first offer is the best... as there are no others who want your 'baby'. I sure don't, unless it was so cheap that my neighbor would buy it from me.

Gold and Silver coins have come down 40% from not too long ago highs. Today the prices seem... cheap in comparison. Hold out to sell another year... or two? I do not know what precious metals will be worth in three days from now.
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Old 07-05-2017, 06:55 PM   #50
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I think you need to understand that buying and owning an Airstream is much more than the price paid. People who buy and sell AS's are much more "into" their RV than most other brands. I would say your making a mistake when you base your decision on which size/model to buy so much on the deal you make.
I would recommend you see as many AS's as possible to get a feel for what you like most. Buy the AS you like most and be happy. Knowing roughly what it's worth is not too hard if it's 1-3 years old and in good condition. If money is that big of an object for you maybe you should buy Some Other Brand. Much cheaper and many more to choose from.
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Old 07-05-2017, 08:08 PM   #51
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Lots of good info above, but this is worth a read:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Endowment_effect


Imagine this: you buy a new house. While waiting for "the right offer" on the old one, you end up paying mortgage and taxes for a few months. Eventually you lower the price so it will finally sell. The difference between "the right price" and the price you eventually sold for is WAY LESS than what you paid out in mortgage and taxes (and utilities, and lawn mowing, etc.) while you waited for it to sell--so you lost a bundle because you were waiting for the right price. This is often true even if you DO sell for the "right" (higher) price. And many people don't have to imagine it: it's super common.

People like to buy, they hate to sell.

People like to hire, they hate to fire.

People get free stuff on the side of the road and then complain that it's leftover after they try to sell it at a tag sale 5 years later.
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Old 07-05-2017, 08:19 PM   #52
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There are lots of opinions on this, but I have spoke to both Colonial Airstream who deals in LOTS of trailers, and A to Z motors who also deals in lots of used late model trailers, this combined with lots of comparison shopping myself, and it actually turns out late model airstream values are very easy....

Value=Original MSRP*0.8-$8000

You can reference colonial airstreams new airstream archive pages to look up original MSRP's to use in the above formula.

Basically what it boils down to is what you could have bought the trailer for new minus $8000. This goes for a trailer that is 1 year old, 10 years old, etc. it doesn't matter. If you use this formula and compare to someone listing their trailer correctly it is spot on.

What does this mean? Take the original MSRP and multiply by 0.8, or possibly 0.78 (basically assuming 20-22% off original MSRP), and then subtract $8000. In the case of airstreams $8000 turns out to be the balance point where someone is willing to go ahead and buy a new trailer vs saving anything less than $8000. Or in other words if someone is only going to take $6000 off the average buyer will go ahead and buy new, vs. $8000 off they will take the plunge and buy used. The amazing part this really doesn't change with year of trailer, the price increases enough year over year this holds true.

This will get you darn close, and work in 98% of the trailers out there assuming they are in good working shape.

Good luck!

Josh
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Old 07-06-2017, 09:06 AM   #53
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Originally Posted by jnuechte View Post
There are lots of opinions on this, but I have spoke to both Colonial Airstream who deals in LOTS of trailers, and A to Z motors who also deals in lots of used late model trailers, this combined with lots of comparison shopping myself, and it actually turns out late model airstream values are very easy....

Value=Original MSRP*0.8-$8000

You can reference colonial airstreams new airstream archive pages to look up original MSRP's to use in the above formula.

Basically what it boils down to is what you could have bought the trailer for new minus $8000. This goes for a trailer that is 1 year old, 10 years old, etc. it doesn't matter. If you use this formula and compare to someone listing their trailer correctly it is spot on.

What does this mean? Take the original MSRP and multiply by 0.8, or possibly 0.78 (basically assuming 20-22% off original MSRP), and then subtract $8000. In the case of airstreams $8000 turns out to be the balance point where someone is willing to go ahead and buy a new trailer vs saving anything less than $8000. Or in other words if someone is only going to take $6000 off the average buyer will go ahead and buy new, vs. $8000 off they will take the plunge and buy used. The amazing part this really doesn't change with year of trailer, the price increases enough year over year this holds true.

This will get you darn close, and work in 98% of the trailers out there assuming they are in good working shape.

Good luck!

Josh
Hi

There *is* a breakpoint in that curve at about 7 years old. Financing becomes much more difficult at that point. When it does, the number of buyers drops. That impacts the price. Put another way - if you are able to pay cash, go for an 8 to 10 year old used trailer rather than a 5 to 7 year old one.

Bob
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Old 07-06-2017, 09:47 AM   #54
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Question An engineer too; perspective - Am going with the first sentence...

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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"?
Agree with the first sentence. When buying an AS; paying 2.5+X for a 23 ft. RV travel trailer... am not sure the spreadsheets of Engineering Econ work that well; AND "time can be of the essence". Example: I bought (put down a deposit) a 2017 Flying Cloud 23FB last month within 24 hours after seeing an AS for the first time (With my wife); this after 25 years of pop ups; and 21ft Lite trailer...now have a NASA experience (60's); headed out KS to Oregon. Apparently another buyer had been looking at it for 3 weeks - analyzing (Maybe - an engineer?)....came into the dealership 3 hours after my deposit with his check...too late (Hope he got one somewhere else). In the words of Steve Jobs - "Design/build something they have never had before and after they get it; they can no longer do without."...if you like it and with some imagination/intuition; Just Do It.
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Old 07-07-2017, 06:46 AM   #55
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Hi

If you want to get technical about this, in economics the used Airstream market is what's called "thinly traded". They never have made very many Airstreams. Very few of any given year or model come up on the used market. A thinly traded market will always be an inefficient market. There are shelves and shelves full of books on this stuff. Trying to work it all out with a one line formula and an hour's worth of thought ... not so much. Spend a few years chugging through the literature. Work up some models. Code them up. Go out and collect the data. Rent some cloud computing test data vs model.. See what you get. Look at what you got. Go back and do some more reading. Modify the model. Get some more data. Test the whole thing. Keep repeating until you are happy with the results. That's how this is done. Anything sort of that is simply a fancy looking (and likely ineffective) negotiating tactic.

Bob
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Old 07-07-2017, 01:20 PM   #56
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Quote:
Have you ever seen many used airstream on dealer lots?
Yes, mine was a dealer sale. The original owner was liquidating assets- perhaps a death, unknown but it was handled through an attorney along with their condo and everything else when I tried contacting them to learn about the trailer. The day after they got it in, my sales guy told me to get up there pronto or else lose the opportunity. The other one that came in about the same time went the same week as well. It was a Safari SE 25 but with a big dent in the corner. I believe they get them but they go quickly.

as far as deals go...

I have watched the used market ever since buying mine. I have seen some deals, sight unseen of course but price-wise absolutely. They are few and far between but the ones I remember were a 16' Bambi, 27' Flying Cloud, and a 25' Flying Cloud. All three were sold way below a going sales rate; more following the NADA. This, over five years or so.
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Old 07-08-2017, 08:06 AM   #57
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Yes, mine was a dealer sale. The original owner was liquidating assets- perhaps a death, unknown but it was handled through an attorney along with their condo and everything else when I tried contacting them to learn about the trailer. The day after they got it in, my sales guy told me to get up there pronto or else lose the opportunity. The other one that came in about the same time went the same week as well. It was a Safari SE 25 but with a big dent in the corner. I believe they get them but they go quickly.

as far as deals go...

I have watched the used market ever since buying mine. I have seen some deals, sight unseen of course but price-wise absolutely. They are few and far between but the ones I remember were a 16' Bambi, 27' Flying Cloud, and a 25' Flying Cloud. All three were sold way below a going sales rate; more following the NADA. This, over five years or so.
Hi

There is the minor issue you mention of "sight unseen". There are people who are a bit inaccurate in their descriptions of items for sale. One person's "ready to use" can well be another's "need to repair the damage from going totally under water in the flood". None of this is unique to the RV industry. Without an inspection of the item, there really is no way to know what was sold.

Bob
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Old 07-08-2017, 03:42 PM   #58
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My 2002 Safari 25 had an MSRP of $36K when new. Look at the selling price for an early 2000's Safari 25 in decent condition. Your thoughts on depreciation do not work on Airstreams.
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Old 07-08-2017, 05:08 PM   #59
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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"?


Another engineer here. Airstreams, Casitas and other limited production but popular RV's don't seem to lend themselves to used car formulas. When I sold a Casita which we had enjoyed for one year, I studied the market, priced it fairly, and sold it within a week to a couple who drove from CA to CO with a check for my asking price. It was exactly what I had paid for it. Both parties were happy, a good outcome.
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