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Old 01-17-2021, 10:21 AM   #1
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Two foot-iris part 2*

We found a unit that meets our needs (2018 FC 25 RBQ).
We've been looking for about four months.
It is being sold on consignment by an AS dealer.

The dealer is located a solid two day drive away.
The dealer says "no work is needed" on the unit.
If this unit passes inspection we are ready to buy it.
So my first question is should we pay the dealer to inspect the trailer?
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Old 01-17-2021, 10:42 AM   #2
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If I was the consignor I would pay for a thorough inspection prior to putting my trailer up for sale. Showing confidence in your trailer and proving that confidence in a comprehensive report accomplishes several things. It gives a potential buyer peace of mind, it helps support value which can increase somewhat with a positive inspection and you know you have done all you can to be honest. I would think a good dealer would require any consignment seller to provide a professional report as his name is on the line. Asking a buyer to pay for this will lessen the chance of a sale in my opinion. Jeff
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Old 01-17-2021, 10:57 AM   #3
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The question you are asking is should you pay the guy trying to sell you the trailer to let you know if you should buy the trailer from him? Before you buy the Airstream... might you be interested in a bridge I've got for sale? ;-)


Never pay the person selling you something to tell you if the thing you are buying is worth buying.
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Old 01-17-2021, 11:40 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kidjedi View Post
The question you are asking is should you pay the guy trying to sell you the trailer to let you know if you should buy the trailer from him? Before you buy the Airstream... might you be interested in a bridge I've got for sale? ;-)


Never pay the person selling you something to tell you if the thing you are buying is worth buying.
Ditto...

For me a 2-day drive (I'm assuming that is one-way) to check out a trailer that I'm going to spend a lot of nights in is a small price to pay for peace of mind. Look at it as a mini-vacation, if it doesn't work out you get to have an ~ 5-day road trip.
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Old 01-17-2021, 11:44 AM   #5
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Kidjedi, thanks for the input.
Please understand we are not naive.

Your suggestion has occurred to us.


My thinking to the contrary amounts to this:
It's being sold on consignment, it's not their unit (although I'm sure sure they'll make a commission).
They'll make money off an inspection (the cost) and since they're an AS dealer they stand to make money off any needed repairs.
Assuming honesty from the dealership why would they not perform an accurate inspection if that's what they're being paid to do.



I'm new to AS's and I wasn't sure in what kind of esteem people hold the AS dealerships.
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Old 01-17-2021, 12:27 PM   #6
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My take is it can’t hurt, I would ask that they take detailed pictures of everything as part of the inspection.
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Old 01-17-2021, 12:36 PM   #7
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Tom,

Read your question a couple of times and I would think the dealership is only interested in selling the unit. Of course they are likely also concerned about reputation and customer feedback.

There's a chance they sold the unit initially and the owner has upgraded. Maybe the unit being on their lot brings in good customer traffic.

If it needs repairs are you willing to stay while they make those repairs or expecting them to be completed before your arrival.

We all have biased eyes and opinions and those are usually self serving.
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Old 01-17-2021, 12:56 PM   #8
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Since the dealer is the middleman in all this, I can see the argument that they are likely to be a relatively neutral party. You can always ask the dealer if the person consigning the trailer would split the inspection cost with you, or deduct it from the total price paid if you end up buying their trailer. Step #1 to getting what you want is asking for it.
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Old 01-17-2021, 03:07 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Servo View Post
My thinking to the contrary amounts to this:
It's being sold on consignment, it's not their unit (although I'm sure sure they'll make a commission).
They'll make money off an inspection (the cost) and since they're an AS dealer they stand to make money off any needed repairs.
Assuming honesty from the dealership why would they not perform an accurate inspection if that's what they're being paid to do.

I'm new to AS's and I wasn't sure in what kind of esteem people hold the AS dealerships.
This one is rated 4.4
I grew up in a small town, and I remember my dad doing long term business with local dealers mostly on "faith" (cars, services, insurance, etc.). I loooooong for the trust and honesty of those days.

Unfortunately, these days, unless I have a personal relationship with the person or company, I will definitely assume that they are only out to serve themselves and will extend no trust whatsoever based on their say so.

There are some really great Airstream dealers (really great). There are also some really awful ones, and you can read story after story on these forums about people getting royally screwed by dealerships.

I consider myself an optimist, and I almost always give people the benefit of the doubt (often to a fault), but if you are spending nearly $100k (or even just $50k!), then there is a huge difference between protecting yourself and extending the benefit of the doubt.

I would try and find an independent source to examine the trailer. Even if you go there yourself, unless you are extremely well versed in Airstreams and their potential issues, it would be difficult to know if it is a good buy.

The dealership should give you an honest report, and it stands to reason that it would serve not only you, but also the seller and the dealership. However, that's simply not a risk I would be willing to take, especially when talking about that much money, and the importance of having a safe and trouble free Airstream.
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Old 01-18-2021, 10:48 AM   #10
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OK, here goes.
A professional salesperson matches customers’ stated needs, wants and desires with their company’s products and services with HONESTY and INTEGRITY.
Doesn’t matter whether it’s paper clips or 747’s.
HUCKSTERS (aka liars, cheats and thieves) employ hyperbole, “... tell ‘em what they want to hear...), croak, “... in my opinion this is the finest, best...”or (..,”everybody says...) and more drivel...
If you catch even the faintest whiff of huckster, leave. No matter how far you’ve traveled.
Professional sales people will never lie to you and are your partner in the acquisition process.
Have fun!
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Old 01-18-2021, 11:07 AM   #11
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Red face Good deals can be made with a dealer of integrity

When we purchased our AS (we live on Vancouver Island bought from AS of Spokane WA which is a long 6 day drive mountains, ferry, border etc We like what we read in the description and conversations the dealer and after talking to others about the dealer's ethics and integrity. We send a money order for $2000 to hold the trailer requesting pictures which they sent including close-ups of areas with oxidation. They say a picture is worth a thousand words. We like what we saw. We send a money order for $30000 to purchase the trailer subject to certain conditions (this was in November) after we could come an inspect the AS (June First after the snow making travel possible). We contracted in writing the purchased "subject to our personal inspection to verify the trailers physical status as communicated by the dealer". They excepted the deal. The trailer in the end was even better than what we expected.

I am not suggesting you do what we did - however, we researched the trailer, the value and condition but more important the ethics and the integrity of the dealer - that in itself made this long distance deal work.

Our international 25 CCD is 20 years old and you can check it out on our website - marriedwithairstream.com
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Old 01-18-2021, 11:34 AM   #12
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OK, OK, I'm a retired lawyer, so I have spent some four decades dealing with questions like this. But the fact remains that the dealer has a conflict of interest in what you are proposing ... a self-dealing transaction. If you proceed with having the dealer do the inspection, you'll never know whether it's results were objective or not, the taint will always remain, you cannot avoid it.

If you believe an inspection would be in your best interests, surely you should be able to find an independent inspector to perform it.
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Old 01-18-2021, 12:02 PM   #13
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Is it the SELLING dealer? Was it 'serviced/repaired there? If so ask for the service receipts.

Paying a random DEALER to inspect it, NEVER.
It needs to be done by an independent inspector uninvolved with the sale and receiving no benefit from the problems that need to be corrected.
The seller is responsible not the buyer.
Remember there may be 'problems' that do not require dealer involvement, DIY items could haggled out with the seller.

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Old 01-18-2021, 12:17 PM   #14
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Pretty new trailer

After buying many vehicles and motorcycles from eBay etc. I would say on an Airstream so new it is probably fine. The original owners had the resources to purchase a relatively expensive camper so I would assume they were responsible and cared for it.

If this was an older unit on Craigslist I would be much more cautious.

My 2017 AS was a consignment with no problems whatsoever so when I read about quality issues on new units I get the feeling that the first owner took care of said issues for me.

If it were me, I would make the trip & inspect/test everything for myself. Perhaps the seller would throw in an aftermarket extended warranty.
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Old 01-18-2021, 12:42 PM   #15
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What dealer? That's an important question. Some are awesome, some stink.
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Old 01-18-2021, 02:07 PM   #16
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May the buyer beware!

Contract will likely include an “as-is” disclaimer. Our contract for a used AS did.
Selling dealer has a conflict of interest, as mentioned previously, no matter how honorable they may seem to be.

Hire a professional third-party to inspect it. Our daughter has bought many vehicles sight-unseen, and she always hires a third-party inspector.
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Old 01-18-2021, 02:29 PM   #17
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Yes Rgentum, the seller always has a vested interest in closing the sale.
But....whether it be a 5Rivet or an indie, one whiff of huckster and it’s adios time!
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Old 01-18-2021, 03:34 PM   #18
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After 40+ years in the auto business a few thoughts from that perspective...
I/we always recommended and encouraged 3rd party inspections, they help protect both parties, if a problem arises that a competent inspection did not uncover then the seller is much more in the clear for not knowing. Buyer always pays for the inspection. Need too find the most knowledgeable person available, when buying a Porsche take it to the best Porsche guy around, they will also be interested from the standpoint of possible work. If this dealer is not an Airstream dealer I see little value in their inspection, yeah, the tires have tread and the A/C turns on....
Is there the possibility that an "Airforums" inspector is in the area and willing to help?
Hope it turns out to be a great rig...
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Old 01-18-2021, 07:45 PM   #19
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You might try one of the inspectors listed on this site's home page. It may be that there isn't anyone available, which leaves you exactly where you are now. If one is available, though, you have a neutral third party to help you decide.


Remember that an inspector won't tell you whether or not to buy, but will give you an honest opinion. It will cost you a few dollars, yes, but that peace of mind will be well worth it. If the seller (either the actual seller or the dealer) balks at an independent inspection that should tell you all you need to know.


The best inspection is by an independent inspector with you present. You can then see what the inspector sees and ask questions as you are going.
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Old 01-19-2021, 01:33 AM   #20
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Most consignment dealers get 10% for selling. That usually include "as is condition" with everything working. Be sure to ask if those are there terms he is selling on. I sold a unit 14 years ago for my asking price and everybody was happy. Good luck.
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