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akjam 10-08-2015 03:50 PM

Selling Curley
We decided to upgrade from our 2012 International 27FB to a 2016 International 30 as the plan is to be part-time full-timers beginning next year. After considering a couple of trade-in offers from dealers, we realized the way to go was sell it ourselves. I figured this wouldn't be too difficult since we live in Houston (big market) and our Airstream was in excellent shape. The entire process took probably 6 weeks and I figured I'd share some of the things we learned in case you are either planning on selling or buying.

First off, list with Air Forum classified and forget about any other options. We paid for the premium listing ($100) and we had lots of inquiries on a weekly basis. When you list on the classifieds, you are limited to the number of pictures you can upload with your ad. We set up a Photobucket account and added an additional 30 or so pictures so whenever anyone wanted to see additional pics, all I needed was their email to invite them to view the site.

The other thing I learned is that after a week or so, RV listing service will call and tell you that they can sell your Airstream in 2 to 4 weeks and will then proceed to tell you that it is priced below market. One outfit told me it was worth $4 K more and another $7 K more. By that time, I had one offer fall through (more on that later) and figured if I could sell it at that price, it was worth the $350 listing fee. Big mistake. What I later figured is that these guys call up and tell you they can get you more money faster. Don't believe them - I still have not received a single inquiry based on that listing.

Very soon after the listing went live, I received a call from a buyer that was very interested in our AS. So interested that he flew in from the Pacific Northwest the next day and we met him at the storage location. After an hour, we had a deposit check and he was flying back home to arrange financing. I told the next several callers that it was sold and wished them good luck in their search. About a week later, my "buyer" called and and told me that he made a mistake - he hadn't checked his credit score before and now found that he couldn't get a loan. Strike one.

A couple of weeks later, I had another interested couple make the 3 hour drive to see our AS. Again, they gave me a deposit and again I told interested buyers that it was sold. Again, a week later, they backed out of the deal.

What I learned was to not accept deposits, keep showing it and politely tell each buyer that I was not taking it off the market but when they showed up with a cashiers check or wire transferred the funds, they would be the new owners.

If you are looking for an Airstream, my advice is to be sure that you can finance it (or have the cash) before getting serious and once you find the AS you are looking for, don't hesitate to either have it inspected or make plans to see it as soon as possible. Several of the most popular models don't last long and if it really what you are looking for, don't delay. I think that if we had listed it in the spring, it wouldn't have taken anywhere near 6 weeks even if the first couple of buyers hadn't backed out.

Hope this helps someone. Whether you are a buyer or a seller, good luck!

ROBERT CROSS 10-08-2015 06:21 PM

You keep the deposit....

Bought our Burb in N.C. an eBay listing that didn't sell....

Bought our boat in Ark. an eBay listing that didn't sell....

Both sales were contingent on my in person inspection, a $500 non-refundable deposit required for the seller to take it off the market pending said inspection.

Non refundable tends to prompt the buyer to get all their Ducks in a row before committing.


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