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ViscousCycle 10-27-2014 12:45 AM

Negotiating price on a '15 Scout 16'
Hi all,

I've come out of lurking because, after months, or years, of looking for a camper, starting with Airstream, deciding they were too expensive, and then going full circle back to Airstream, we are in a fairly serious negotiation on a new 16 foot Scout. Here's what it says about it on the site:

Sleeps: 3 Length: 16 Stock#: D2612 VIN#: 1STHRAC14FJ531581 Weight: 3500 Exterior: Silver Interior: Sharksfin Location: BAY AREA MSRP: $43,977 Sale Price: Call, in stock

We talked about what extras and decided on the rock guards and the Blue Ox towing package. Rock guards with installation were priced at $1100 and the towing $1400 with install. We vaguely discussed perhaps around list price with the towing package and rock guards included - the dealer saying he had less to play with in terms of price for a 16 footer.

Can anyone help us figure out what a fair price is for this trailer and these options? We are in the California Bay Area.

Msmoto 10-27-2014 01:07 AM

$39,500 plus tax and tag

Ms Tommie Lauer
Greensboro, NC
2015 Serenity 30 RB / 2008 Dodge Cummins 4 X 4
WBCCI #4165 AIR #31871

ViscousCycle 10-27-2014 01:14 AM

Thanks so much! How would we best sell them on that price? Is there a way to calculate it such that we can show them how we got there and why it's a fair price?

Msmoto 10-27-2014 02:54 AM

Negotiating price on a '15 Scout 16'
I would suggest shopping around and finding more than one dealer to price what you want. You might be well advised to look at some used units right here on the forum. Two or three year old units can be as nice as new and come at a price of more than 20 - 30% off retail. But this requires some patience and shopping.

If you can find two or three trailers you want you are then prepared to make an offer and then walk out. Incidentally you also need to know all the additional fees some dealers add on. Negotiate, making it clear you are offering an "Out the door" price which includes all fees. Then be prepared to walk away if you do not get your offer met.

On the trailer you have shown my guess is they may come up with a retail price and ad transportation plus other fees to get an additional $1500 to $2000 on the price,
$40,000 "out the door" would about all I would go.

Ms Tommie Lauer
Greensboro, NC
2015 Serenity 30 RB / 2008 Dodge Cummins 4 X 4
WBCCI #4165 AIR #31871

Foiled Again 10-27-2014 05:00 AM

I remember when $39,500 was a lot of money...
ARE YOU SURE you want a "dinky twinky"?

Nine years ago I was a total rookie - also looking at a 16 footer because I was intimidated by towing anything big. A trip to the factory and getting to walk through several small trailers on the assembly line quickly sold me on a 22 footer as the ideal trailer. (BUT NOW... I own a 25 footer and drool over a 30 with recliners and the new floor they're putting in the Serenity this year and...)

It's called Aluminitis. (Hello, my name is Paula and I'm a grateful recovering aluma-holic. I've been sober for...)

Well obviously, I haven't fallen off the aluminum wagon yet, so recovering? NOT. But trading up can get expensive. You see a lot of 16's and 19's for sale because people have moved UP to bigger units. BEFORE you buy, spend time at a BIG dealer sitting for at least an hour in every model and floor plan you can.... OR buy a gently used dinky twinky.

Whatever you choose, be happy. Paula

ViscousCycle 10-27-2014 10:23 AM

I'm sure we'll want to move up, but we are limited by our current tow vehicle and finances. we could probably go up to 19 but are having a hard time finding a decent lightly used one-looking in Northern CA and Oregon, and Nevada, and Utah.

Hopefully this is a 10 year 'starter'.
Thanks to all for your comments.

moosetags 10-27-2014 10:46 AM

Greetings from the Florida Panhandle
First off, welcome to the Forums. We're glad to have you with us.

As to your situation, call Colonial Airstream in Lakewood, New Jersey, and get a price from them. They are very aggressive in their pricing. It will at least give you a negotiation starting point.

You should be able to negotiate at least 10 to 15% off of MSRP. At 15% it would put you at $39,522. Even a meager 10% would bring it down to $41,847 as opposed to the $44,000 you are being offered.

Do some shopping around with other dealers. Even a 1,000 mile drive can be worth it if you can save $5,000.

Also, as you check with other dealers ask if they have a recently traded 16 footer that would meet your requirements.

You should definitely pluck around the websites of various Airstream dealers to see what they have in stock, both new and used.


vito98103 10-27-2014 12:47 PM

75% of window sticker (or close to it) would be reasonable.
That would be in the neighborhood of $33K - demonstrate that you are a real/serious customer and have the money.
The dealer pays around 70% of sticker - so is making $2200 on a quick sale.

BAAMbi7 10-27-2014 02:10 PM

I agree with Moose. We contacted Colonial and neg our 16' out west. Also, don't forget to ask about extra cost of having someone "walk you thru it all". I'd say we were so overwhelmed, that we caught 50% of the talk even though we took pics and vids and notes. (The best way to learn about your AS it join a cool AS group and ask all the questions to people who really know the answers!)

Btw, we Love the 16'! and are not sorry at ALL! Sure having more space could be great, but we sure don't need more stuff! Big plus: We can scoot in and out of more cool places!
Good luck!

Foiled Again 10-27-2014 04:04 PM

Honestly - getting one from a western dealer - there will be higher transport costs to get it TO that dealer than to one closer to the mothership. If you buy from an eastern dealer and drive it home, you're talking 5 to 10 days and a barrel of fuel. Lost wages? The bargain evens out pretty quickly.


ViscousCycle 10-30-2014 04:07 PM

So my DH called and left a message that our finances couldn't tolerate a cost od more than about 29k for the base unit. I wasn't expecting him to go that low, but he's the guy with 15 years of sales experience. we'll see how that goes or if we've just been rendered persona non grate at the dealership.

Between this and the Giants I don't know if I can take the stress.

Again, thanks to all for your help.

switz 10-30-2014 04:17 PM

Note that all Airstream dealers pay the same delivery charge to Ohio or California. That is not a bargaining detail for them. It is a cost to be considered by the purchaser to drive to the East Coast or get it locally in California. At registration time in the home state, the sales tax paid to the state will normally be the same for either dealership.

However, I paid more tax in Arizona than Indiana charged and obviously did not get a refund. If Arizona had charged a lower tax, Indiana would have collected the difference to bring the total sales tax expense to their rate. (As a legal resident of Indiana, my vehicles are all plated in Indiana.)

m.hony 10-30-2014 04:58 PM

In about the year 2000 I had the chance to by a Bambi for $20,000 and thought that was high.
Boy, what I did not know...
I could have bought it and towed it behind my Nissan Pathfinder and enjoyed the Airstream lifestyle for 12 more years!

moosetags 10-30-2014 05:22 PM

If you buy outside of California, you should not pay any sales tax in the state where the trailer was purchased. When you get back to California and register it, they will collect California sales tax.


m.hony 10-30-2014 07:11 PM

If a state will not "reciprocate" with Cali as moosetags described, don't buy it there. You will pay sales tax twice. Sometimes salesman are unaware or uneducated. Sometimes salesman are dishonest or deceitful to make the sale.

moosetags 10-30-2014 07:27 PM

We have bought Airstreams and Suburbans in Ohio, Michigan, Mississippi, Colorado, and Florida in recent years. We have only paid sales tax in Florida.


m.hony 10-31-2014 02:36 AM

That's because those states "reciprocate" with Florida. Arkansas and Tennessee reciprocate with MIssissippi. Alabama and Indiana do not. Ask me how I know...

m.hony 10-31-2014 02:38 AM

As far as that goes, Florida does not reciprocate with Mississippi.
Sometimes it is dealer ignorance or dishonesty. They just want to make the sale.

Protagonist 10-31-2014 06:32 AM


Originally Posted by m.hony (Post 1532451)
If a state will not "reciprocate" with Cali as moosetags described, don't buy it there. You will pay sales tax twice. Sometimes salesman are unaware or uneducated. Sometimes salesman are dishonest or deceitful to make the sale.

I don't know diddly squat about reciprocal agreements. But you always have the option of telling the dealer, "Don't bother with TTL, I'll go to the DMV and take care of it myself." I've done that with every single vehicle purchase in the past thirty years, including when I bought a minivan in Oklahoma and registered in Louisiana, and when I bought my Airstream in Mississippi and registered in Louisiana. And in almost every case, it cost me less to do it myself than what the dealer wanted to charge me for "tax, title, and license."

If you didn't have the option of going to the DMV yourself instead of having the seller do it on your behalf, a lot of private sales wouldn't happen, either.

m.hony 10-31-2014 06:42 AM

That is not true. It doesn't work that way in Alabama or Indiana or Florida.
That is why I wouldn't buy my Harley in Alabama. At least they were honest. I bought the bike in Indiana and paid sales tax twice. The salesman was either ignorant or dishonest.
A coworker bought a bike in Florida. He paid sales tax twice. He was able to get the dealer to refund the sales tax ($700) by threatening to hire a lawyer and threatening to go to all the local news media and tell what happened.
Believe it or not, I do sometimes know what I am talking about.
I wouldn't bother to open my mouth to speak if I didn't know what I was talking about or if I hadn't experienced it or known someone who did (in this particular matter both).
Sometimes it might pay to listen to me. If you don't and it happens to you- oh well, I tried to tell you-

Protagonist 10-31-2014 06:54 AM


Originally Posted by m.hony (Post 1532636)
That is not true. It doesn't work that way in Alabama or Indiana or Florida.

I would take your word for it, but I'm an engineer and have no problem with doing my own research. State laws and regulations are all public records and you can go online look up the DMV requirements in any state.

If there was any question about the TTL, I'd look up the legal requirements in both my domicile state and the puchase state, so see if there was a legal requirement that the dealer collect TTL from out-of-state purchasers. Or even in-state purchasers.

In every state where I've ever purchased a vehicle (three states so far, Missisippi, Louisiana, Oklahoma), there was no legal requirement that the dealer collect TTL and handle the registration for me, only that the TTL be paid to the domicile state (not the state where it was purchased). So I handled it myself to make sure it was done, and done for the right price. But I haven't purchased vehicles in all 50 states, either.

There may be states where there is a law requiring the tax be paid in the state where the transaction was performed, regardless of the purchaser's domicile state. But I'd always look it up before visiting the dealer, so that I know for sure, rather than taking anyone's word for it.

m.hony 10-31-2014 07:30 PM

Did you read my post?
I ain't good enough to make this stuff up.
We all already know you're smarter than me-

Protagonist 10-31-2014 09:00 PM


Originally Posted by m.hony (Post 1533032)
Did you read my post?
I ain't good enough to make this stuff up.
We all already know you're smarter than me-

Yes, I read your post before responding to it. And no, I'm not smarter than you. It's not a competition.

It's just that your experiences and mine are so completely different on this one topic that people ought to read both sides of the issue— and do their own research before making a purchase in order to avoid surprises.

ViscousCycle 10-31-2014 11:12 PM

Ok, current dealerships is saying their lowest price is 39k, or about 11% off list. it seems to me that at this time if year they should be able to go lower. I'll take your advice and look at other dealerships, although I'd like to stay loyal to the one closest to us.

Protagonist 11-01-2014 05:26 AM


Originally Posted by ViscousCycle (Post 1533121)
Ok, current dealerships is saying their lowest price is 39k, or about 11% off list. it seems to me that at this time if year they should be able to go lower. I'll take your advice and look at other dealerships, although I'd like to stay loyal to the one closest to us.

After you check with other dealerships, if you can get a better price, then go back to your local dealership and ask if they can match that price. Chances are that they can, if they don't want to lose the sale.

m.hony 11-01-2014 11:22 AM

The main thing is to be clear on the sales tax issue before you lay your money down.
If it's not as it should be, walk away.
Not every salesman or dealer is knowledgeable or honest.

polarlyse 11-01-2014 04:45 PM

A few years ago I purchased a used AS from a friend in Kansas. We live in NJ. My plan was to complete the purchase in Kansas and get a Kansas temp. tag in order to complete our vacation travel and bring it home to NJ where we would ultimately register it ( and pay sales tax to NJ). Kansas allows for the temp tag for a very reasonable fee. The snag came with our insurance company who would not provide coverage UNTIL it was titled and registered here in NJ. So we went about things differently to be in compliance. I have seen temp tags issued in many states but certainly cannot speak for all. I suppose we could always purchase from a dealer in Delaware ( if there is one) and pay no sales tax up front ?????

m.hony 11-02-2014 06:33 AM

Mississippi does not recognize/acknowledge temporary plates.
A Mississippi resident must tag/title/license a vehicle and pay sales tax within 5 business days of purchase.
All a temporary plate here shows is an expiration date a week from purchase. The ones that just say "Tag Applied For" are not recognized and a trooper or local cop could write you a ticket for no tag.
That being said, the tags on my truck 'n' trailer are expired. I will get the truck tag tomorrow. I will get the trailer tag next payday in two weeks. They don't actually charge a late fee until the 15th of the month. Several years ago I just asked the lady straight out when is a late added, and she told me. Since then I've been a little late every time. I've driven around with the expired plates and had cops follow me but do nothing. They must have figured I was gonna get it renewed soon.

mefly2 11-02-2014 11:14 AM

If your budget allows ... skip up to at least the 20FC (used if you can find)as you will not have to pay for the extras you are considering; they are part of the upgrade to FC. If you spend some time inside, the 20 is huge by comparison to what you have been looking at...still able to be towed by the same category of tow vehicles. Also it sounds like they are hanging you out to dry on the price of the tow package.

Most flooring / financing institutions will require the selling dealer to send the title application MSO directly to the motor vehicle department in the city / county where the purchaser resides. If you arrange for alternate financing or pay cash, there may be some flexibility on that point allowing you to hand carry the paperwork.

Different jurisdictions may consider your purchase as personal property and tax it accordingly ... others see it as a set fee for simply licensing. In either case, the entities all vie to get your money and don't want you to cut them out of the picture.YMMV

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