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Old 11-09-2015, 07:56 AM   #1
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RV Dealers and "Call for Best Price."

"Our Flying Cloud prices are so low, Airstream RV won't allow us to display our wholesale price without you requesting it. Complete this form and we'll contact you with our wholesale price."

I'm wondering if the above claim is true or just a bunch of bunk? I'm sort of a no nonsense guy. When I go on an RV website looking at new and used Airstreams, it irritates me to no end when they won't list the price. Instead, they have something similar to what I posted above, or "call for low pricing" verbiage. I find it hard to believe that Airstream would prohibit dealers from publishing prices on their models. I'm sure it is just a ploy to get you to call so they can try to get the "hook" in you or to start bombarding your email with advertisements. When I see this, I am inclined not to contact them at all and to just keep looking elsewhere.

Anyone else have thoughts on this?
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Old 11-09-2015, 08:02 AM   #2
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It is a ploy to do exactly what you said.

I was looking at 27FB models and saw quite a few on the website through the Seattle dealer. "Call for lowest prices" was what they were saying. I did not call, but did email them with a very general question about their units. I never even talked price.

What has ensued is a never ending flow of promotional emails from this company. I suppose the only way to avoid all this intrusion is to go there in person, give them your name only and ask the questions. Good luck.
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Old 11-09-2015, 08:07 AM   #3
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Just "marketing". All sorts of resellers do it.
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Old 11-09-2015, 08:27 AM   #4
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For new it may actually be contractual with Airstream that only MSRP can be 'published'. Not uncommon in a number of different industries. I've bought two new from Colonial and they only show MSRP on the website.

If they don't list the price for a used that would be pretty bizarre.
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Old 11-09-2015, 08:49 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RicnDebi View Post
"Our Flying Cloud prices are so low, Airstream RV won't allow us to display our wholesale price without you requesting it. Complete this form and we'll contact you with our wholesale price."

I'm wondering if the above claim is true or just a bunch of bunk? I'm sort of a no nonsense guy. When I go on an RV website looking at new and used Airstreams, it irritates me to no end when they won't list the price. Instead, they have something similar to what I posted above, or "call for low pricing" verbiage. I find it hard to believe that Airstream would prohibit dealers from publishing prices on their models. I'm sure it is just a ploy to get you to call so they can try to get the "hook" in you or to start bombarding your email with advertisements. When I see this, I am inclined not to contact them at all and to just keep looking elsewhere.

Anyone else have thoughts on this?
When a dealer publishes a price, then other dealers will cut their prices to be just a little lower. So to speak, that's a "price war". The theory is why start it, as it will only hurt yourself.

The same thing holds true for parts. There is always someone that will cut their price to be, if you wish, a few cents lower. Since the parts price war has started, it most likely will never end. Some do it to compete, and some do it to drive someone else out of business.

Now we have someone that is selling many Airstream parts, that's not a dealer, never has been and never would be. BUT as far as Airstream is concerned, there is NO warranty on any of their parts, UNLESS it's sold by an AUTHORIZED DEALER. Be that as it may, claiming a warranty on any Airstream part, is very rare indeed.

Business is business, and the question is always "how can I get more". But along with that question is "what should not be done, because it will take away business".

So, the bottom line is, it is what it is, and it ain't what it ain't.

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Old 11-09-2015, 09:48 AM   #6
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Look at it this way: If you're serious about buying an Airstream from a dealer, the best way to get started is to start the conversation.

One other thing: We can't stress enough the potential value of working with your closest Airstream dealer when possible. Given our experience, you may be visiting them for service quite a few times during the warranty period. So, unless you're full-timing all over the country or can easily visit the "mothership" we'd suggest you give that local dealer every opportunity to meet or beat whatever price is convincing you to buy from a distant one. Having a good relationship with your closest dealer can be helpful, especially if you come up with a warranty issue that Airstream doesn't really want to fix. (We had several.) Buying your trailer there is one way to establish that relationship. Our local dealer isn't perfect, but the quality of their work has steadily improved over the past two years and we've been very happy with their effectiveness when it comes to going to bat for us against Airstream when needed.
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Old 11-09-2015, 09:59 AM   #7
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I'm going to second what Rocinante said. We have the same dealer, different location, and have had them do some heavy lifting for us. As said above, they aren't perfect, but they do their best to make things right.
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Old 11-09-2015, 10:07 AM   #8
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We inquired about a 23D at a dealer in Washington/Oregon state and ended up acquiring on the east Coast so we could pass by CanAm to fine tune the Hensley hitch we were reusing from our 25FB. I informed the folks out west we had acquired a unit elsewhere so would not be buying their unit.

I just added their email address to my blocked list as they seemed to be the sorcerer's apprentice (like Mickey mouse in Fantasia) of email.... it just kept coming.
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Old 11-09-2015, 10:23 AM   #9
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I have heard some very bad press on the dealer that is near our home in AZ. That's why I'm looking elsewhere. SWITZ, I got your personal reply over the weekend and I tried to respond to it but got a message that says I'm not a "trusted" member yet? Anyway I replied to your email address. I hope you got it.
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Old 11-09-2015, 10:24 AM   #10
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Switz,

Interesting that you're getting flooded by the emails from the dealer. I get one every week or two, usually from the service manager talking about a tip, or a workshop. Nothing of an obnoxious volume.
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Old 11-09-2015, 10:37 AM   #11
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When I see an ad that doesn't list a price I just keep searching. I won't even look at the pictures for that coach, car, or truck. No price = no interest.

As Switz said, this is probably because once you or I contact a business they have the right to contact us - as often as they want.
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Old 11-09-2015, 10:48 AM   #12
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If you are serious about a purchase then bite the bullet and call. This summer we were looking for a new Interstate. We knew we wanted the twin bed model and that those would not be as plentiful. I hate the buying process of any motor vehicle but I started calling the major dealers (after stopping by my local dealer), got connected with a salesperson, said I didn't have time to mess around and what's the best deal. I was polite about it but my husband and I still work full-time and I didn't have time to "play." I was very happy when just a few conversations with a few dealers resulted in the unit I wanted for 19% off the common retail price. I then picked an upcoming weekend when the dealership was offering an additional $500 off coupon and applied that. It's just the way the buying system is set up.
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Old 11-09-2015, 10:53 AM   #13
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It's really no different than buying a car. A generic ad is meant to get a call or best case an in person visit. A deal really can't be negotiated until a specific trailer is selected and then a deal begins to shape up for that specific trailer. If a buyer is serious then my experience is the dealer will be serious and a deal can get proposed, evaluated, and maybe closed. We have visited several dealers via rallies and other AS events and we try to always be clear that we are dreamers at this stage not serious buyers. In general there is no interest on the part of the dealers to take trade ins, even for vintage airstreams, and I totally understand their position. I ignore the "best price" ads just like I do for the car ads that run continuously. When the time comes I will go to a dealer that is the real deal - location, product, good investment in a service dept., loyalty, and one that stands behind their word and their product. In the end, price will be +/- 2% across dealers for the identical model & option sheet new trailer.
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Old 11-09-2015, 11:04 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RicnDebi View Post
"[COLOR=red]I find it hard to believe that Airstream would prohibit dealers from publishing prices on their models.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghaynes755 View Post
For new it may actually be contractual with Airstream that only MSRP can be 'published'.
Quote:
Originally Posted by kb0zke View Post
When I see an ad that doesn't list a price I just keep searching.
For current year new models, the only sales price Airstream allows all it's dealers to "publish" is MSRP.
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Old 11-09-2015, 11:10 AM   #15
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I agree with many others here. Do your best to support your nearest AS dealer, unless there is a problem, you'll probably need them sooner than later. Also, all these dealers you can finally negotiate with 2% or less in your final deal. Good luck.
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Old 11-09-2015, 12:08 PM   #16
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I phoned six dealers about a 2016 Interstate Ext Twin. They varied quite a bit. I was able to buy from my nearest dealer, once I had acquired several prices.
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Old 11-09-2015, 01:56 PM   #17
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I phoned six dealers about a 2016 Interstate Ext Twin. They varied quite a bit. I was able to buy from my nearest dealer, once I had acquired several prices.
I think this is the best strategy -- contact your local dealer last after you're armed with "market" quotes. High volume dealers are that for a reason; they usually have the best pricing and some also offer the best service.

If you can't negotiate a comparable or better deal with your local dealer, then you can always go out of town and the local guy has no reason to complain (they will, but they shouldn't).

By the way, I understand Airstream has established price points below which dealers are not authorized to go. My experience was it's difficult to get a dealer down even that low. Occasionally there are year end "deals" like the $1,000 off on 2015 models that's going on right now.
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Old 11-09-2015, 02:01 PM   #18
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Emails that won't die - yes everyone in business has them. I am still getting e-mails from dealers I talked to months ago, and worse, getting new truck offers from the dealer I bought the GMC from! For crying out loud how many people buy a new truck and then turn around and 3 months later buy another? Dumbasses! And no one READS your responses to the e-mails.

Of course I'm still getting people trying to sell me warranties on a Suburban I traded in 8 years ago, so...

Just send them to spam hell.

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Old 11-09-2015, 05:24 PM   #19
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I work for a RV Dealer and many manufacturers including Air Stream will not let a dealer advertise any price other than MSRP. Their thoughts are that it will stop dealers from falsely advertising low prices and devaluing their product. Therefore dealers will advertise similar to the complaints above. There really is a lot of different prices for very different reasons and dealers use the tactics mentioned so you will call and they can try to sell you their reasons for the pricing they have. In this industry service is very critical to your overall experience. Some dealers sell "RV's in a Box" and are very low priced. Others roll out the red carpet in sales, service and follow up. Their pricing will naturally be higher with the expectation your experience will be better. Prices will be between these two philosophies. This is why we want you to call so we can explain how you will be treated and served and of course our own reasons for pricing. Nobody is trying to snooker anyone, just want the opportunity to tell our story so you can decide how much service you wish to pay for.
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Old 11-10-2015, 03:39 PM   #20
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Make sure all those "promises of service or whatever" are in writing. A lot of the dealers get amnesia after the check clears and could not even call you by name when you walk into their offices.
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