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imagine 01-16-2006 06:09 PM

What's a fair Price for a 2006 25ft SS/SE?
What in everyone's opinion is a good, but fair offer to a dealer for a New Airstream. I am getting ready to purchase a 25 SS/SE. With Cars you can
get all kinds of information in regards to invoice dealer hold back ect. Do Dealers get the usual 3% times sticker price? And where in the world can you even get any information on dealer cost in regards to Airstream. I am not a butt, and don't want to make an offer thats below invoice, and on the other hand I don't think many of you paid MSRP either. I am looking for a deal thats FAIR to both parties.... any help??

dmac 01-16-2006 06:54 PM

RV markup is huge, much more than autos. You can get ~25% off MSRP on an Airstream trailer, especially if you work one dealer against another. It depends on the time of year, off-the-lot vs special order, and the specific model. Of course some dealers wont budge, so call around. A little driving may save a lot.

Minnie's Mate 01-16-2006 09:07 PM

I have pondered this question much in the past year and a half. From the feed-back I have received it would seem that 20-25% off of a unit that has been on the lot for a while might be achieveable but 10-15% for a special order would be more in line for an initial offer. The final price would be dependent on the aforementioned variables and the dealer and his/her motivation.

JStanley 01-16-2006 09:08 PM

One should be able to get at least 18 - 20% off MSRP without too much effort. Don't know the best discount for this time of year. Could be 25%??? Just have to take your time and enjoy working all the angles to your best advantage. Does anyone really know for sure what they could have gotten for? I'm told the last day of RV Shows are good for making the best deal. Good Luck.

flyfisher 01-16-2006 09:16 PM

I think you can get 25% off MSRP without too much problem. In fact send me a private message, and I could put you onto a dealer or two where you can probably get that. Of course if my own experience is any indicator, these dealers will cost you a ton more than what they'll save you by the poor service they provide. If and when I ever buy another Airstream, I'd buy based on dealer's service reputation rather than saving 5%-10% off MSRP. It'd be lots cheaper in the long run.


Condoluminum 01-16-2006 09:22 PM

20%+ may be too aggressive
Data I've seen suggests no "holdback" and that dealers gross markup amounts to ~20% of MSRP. Some buyers do better with dealers who have been sitting on inventory for a long time, and there are opportunities for dealer to make offsetting profit on the financing as well. Usually they get 60 days to sell trailer before having to make any payments, and thus are often pretty flexible from days 55 to 59, if they can move one out and get another one offering more profit potential. Dealers might also be more aggressive on models they bought or took with factory incentives, such as 34's and other long trailers that cost more to finance in inventory, etc. Dealers might also drop price if they feel service business coming back, since average dealer makes 3 to 5x profit on service and parts than they make on new unit sales. They might also have more interest if they feel thay can acquire popular model as a trade-in, which can be flipped in a hurry. (Our local dealer has sold a late model 25' Excella as used while buyer of new unit on lot getting hooked up and trained after bringing in trade-in.. Time on lot 34 minutes!) Finally, dealers do buy inventory from other dealers in distress at lower costs. You can find mfg date of a particular trailer to see how hot or cold it is in terms of aging on the lot.

Bottom line from my perspective ( as author of Airstream Life article on Negotiating last year.. :cool: ) is that you might get 20-25% on leftover 2005 model dealer feels stuck with, but popular new SE models in mid 20's lengths is more likely to get sold for 12 to 15% off MSRP...

John McG

FiveGreers 01-16-2006 09:35 PM


Originally Posted by Condoluminum
Bottom line from my perspective ( as author of Airstream Life article on Negotiating last year.. :cool: ) is that you might get 20-25% on leftover 2005 model dealer feels stuck with, but popular new SE models in mid 20's lengths is more likely to get sold for 12 to 15% off MSRP...

John McG

Too bad I missed that article!! We are stressing out debating whether to JUMP or wait right came down 25% on the model we're interested in-yep, it's a 2005! Worried if we wait until later this year, it'll be gone, but it (a new one!) wasn't in the "plan" until later in the year.:blink:

CanoeStream 01-16-2006 09:49 PM

Best Forums feedback I've seen says to pay attention to Minnie's Mate & Condoluminum. The best discounts are units that have been sitting on the lots -- usually either simpler Safaris or lengths just a bit too long for most people. And the higher discounts mentioned are from only a few dealers. Lurk long enough and you'll read about some dealers that give very good service -- ignore those if you want a bargain. Ulp! Bad things said about particular dealers tend to be hard to find later in these forums that operate due to the good graces of Airstream Central. Eyes wide open, okay?

When the Toyota Prius demand zoomed a year ago, there's no way you'd have gotten relatively large discounts. There may be no more popular product right now than the SE line in either the 25' or 28' lengths. Late fall may have been a time for a lull in orders. The ordering season is probably gearing up now, between people wanting a unit for spring and RV shows starting around the country.

We special ordered our 25' SE for a 10% discount on July 10th last year -- from a very reputable dealer before they understood the demand there would be for these units. Another forums member inquired 3 months later and there was virtually no discount for one of the bigger 'zoom' products Airstream has come up with lately.

Prices won't be lower next year, so opportunity loss is your other issue. Spend your time wisely -- be sure you have been in the trailer you want to order. The corner bed is necessary in a Bambi. In the case of the SS, the two of us would have trouble living with it in the long term. Advice worth only what you paid for it... :neutral:. Have fun exploring -- the purchase and the backroads!

Silvertwinkie 01-16-2006 09:51 PM

When we bought our 2004 non SE, there were deals to be had, however, after talking with 3 dealers on the same exact model you are talking about (nearly 3 months ago), it was not a buyer's market.

Condoluminum 01-16-2006 09:54 PM

Once it's "Used" it's like Art...
One of other key points in article is that older trailers and motorhomes are fewer in number on market, may not last long, and if one comes along that matches exactly what you want, a few percentage points won't matter later, but if you miss it, it may be a long while before another comes along.. New ones are like busses, there will be a dozen or more available at some fraction of MSRP until model year ends...

If you really like interior and floorplan and length, dealer is really going to be motivated to make that unit go away soon.. You might get it by offering cash at 26% or 27% off MSRP, but he knows and you know that 2006 models are a lot more expensive and somebody will grab it before it gets much cheaper on his lot...

Not trying to add pressure, but for leftover model, 25% sounds very close to good deal. Do beware of "wear and tear" if unit has been taken to RV shows and hundreds of "shoppers" have clomped through it, shaken doors and rawers, etc. Some older units had issues due to over-exposure to prospective customers, so if you do proceed, do walk-through carefully...

John McG

2airishuman 01-17-2006 12:37 AM

hello shoppers imagine and five greers....

discount from msrp is but one of the buying/cost "purchase price" you need to provide more info on your purchase issues....try answering some of the following this thread.

1-do you live close to any dealers? several? will you be using them for service?

2-do you live really far from any dealers....such that shopping in a 1000 mile radius is likely?

3-how close is the factory to the home base?

4-if shopping long distance......will you tow it home or expect them to deliver it to you?

5-do you plan to travel lots right away, such that you'll be on the road, away from your selling dealer when needs arrise?

6-or perhaps you will be wintering/summering somewhere close to a dealer?

7-do you need it tomorrow or are you wanting to order so that that specific options are included?

8-are you the sort of person who likes getting last years new stuff or dealer demos or rv show models?

9-would you be happy with a 'newly traded unit' that just came in from someone who upgraded?

10-are you trading anything?

11-are you paying cash or financing and do you 'need' the dealer to finance or will your local bank compete for your finance business? do you already have financing arranged/locked in?

12-do you need a lot of "hand holding" in order to learn about the trailer/towing/maintenance and so on. do you expect the dealer to provide this or your local rv club?

13-have you got a hitch or will you be buying one from the as dealer or someone else....hensley? and who will install it?

14-how willing are you to 'walk away' and look again in a few weeks/months?

15-ANY special order needs or dealer modifications expected?

16-are you willing to buy from a brand new dealer?

17-is negotiation easy for you or stessful like a root canal?

HAVE YOU SPENT ANY TIME READING the multiple threads here on pricing?

10-30% discounts from msrp happen depending on many of the issues listed above.

.......mostly i agree with what been posted already.....except there is no good reason why the discount should be less on an ordered unit.....IF you are willing to place a deposit AND you are a serious buyer, a special order unit costs the dealer ZERO in terms of finance, insurance and other inventory i think the discount can be highest for a commited buyer who orders..........except for trailers that the dealer may have purchased at a bigger discount (like distress'd dealer inventory, factory buybacks and so on) or models that they guess wrong on and can't move.

also some option packages have a higher margin that others so dealers can discount more on these options.

need more info for more specific answers.


Roadsub 01-17-2006 05:42 AM

We received 18+% off MSRP on our 2005 25' SS SE LS special order in the spring of last year. Absolutely love it.

Silvertwinkie 01-17-2006 08:23 AM


Originally Posted by Roadsub
We received 18+% off MSRP on our 2005 25' SS SE LS special order in the spring of last year. Absolutely love it.

You have a trade in?

Condoluminum 01-17-2006 09:33 AM

Good questions...
I must commend "2Air.." for his question list.. Many touched on in Negotiating article, but message should be clear that "buying an Airstream" is not a simple transaction, but can be very complex, with a lot of factors, including location, market conditions, personal feelings and comfort levels, etc.. Original post asked only about fair discount, so that's how answers flowed in.. Look around any large campground to see how 100 people have answered the question: "How would I like to go camping or traveling in my RV?" and you'll see a lot of different conclusions.. It is also reasonable to suggest that different dealers (and salespeople) and buyers each negotiate and perceive bargaining power and value differently and personally... That's what makes it either fun or stressful, depending on your own perspective.

John McG

imagine 01-18-2006 02:36 AM

Thanks for your help!!
Thanks for all your input! I appreciate each of you taking the time. I am in the process of selling my unit first, and now thanks to your information I feel more comfortable in dealing with the dealer. I see a 25ft SS/SE in our near future!! God Bless Airstream...... !! And God Bless all of you good people for your help!

Roadsub 01-18-2006 08:26 AM

You have a trade in?

You have a trade in?

We didn't have a trade-in. This was our first trailer. It was special ordered (from the same dealer you bought your coach from, I believe).

Silvertwinkie 01-18-2006 12:44 PM


Originally Posted by Roadsub

We didn't have a trade-in. This was our first trailer. It was special ordered (from the same dealer you bought your coach from, I believe).

Interesting. When did you go through the process to order? It was my understanding that a changing of the guard so to speak happened around late August and that seemed to be when they stopped wheelin' and dealin' like the did for our current Safari with our Bambi trade in.

The trade I think also made a fair difference in how much they wanted to deal for an SE.

Roadsub 01-18-2006 05:02 PM

We ordered in. . .

Interesting. When did you go through the process to order?
We ordered our SE in April or May of 2005 and picked it up in June.

Silvertwinkie 01-18-2006 05:07 PM


Originally Posted by Roadsub
We ordered our SE in April or May of 2005 and picked it up in June.

It makes sense how you got the deal then. You got the deal under the old mgmt and you didn't have a trade, which would have made a difference had you tried the deal in August/September timeframe. I made several inquiries and was quite serious about it, but they wouldn't deal. So I began to realize that it was not only the newer mgmt, but also I had a trade they didn't seem to want. They offered what I was led to believe was a retail to retail, is how they were kind of positioning it, but it wound up being full retail for the new coach and the extreme lowest end retail for the trade, if it even made the NADA retail numbers they offered for the trade.

In the end I walked, since they couldn't do better. I'd be very interested in seeing if they would do a similar deal now that you have your coach. If they follow suit, they'd probobly not deal as well as they did back in June.

Jimandrod 02-05-2006 04:53 PM

This is great information. I'm also going to be ordering the 25' SS SE in a couple of months. I've been talking to a dealer and he's been indicating that the price will be in a range equivalent to about a 12 to 15% discount.

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