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TomR 12-05-2007 04:08 PM

Airstream Pricing - 'Nearly' New
Has anyone noticed what appears to be some very good deals on nearly new ASs?...say 2007 leftovers and "slightly" used?

e-bay has a number of 2007 that are not selling...and if you go back to the dealer web sites you will see discounts approaching 30% on new 2007 ASs. Someone said a couple of AS dealers are dropping the AS line and that is contributinh to this pricing??

I also learned a lesson today on NOT being embarrassed to make a low offer. I was checking in with a private seller who I had e-mailed about one month ago...he told me he had sold his AS this morning. He was a nice fellow and we chatted a bit about his sales process.

He had purchased his AS in August, 2007 and had not had the chance to use it when personal issues forced him to sell. He had a 2007 Classic Limited shorten the story ended up selling for just under 58% of MSRP!...that's on a 2007 Classic Limited that was never camped in and only a couple of months old...note that he paid 80% of MSRP. Also, it was not a 34'er.

I use the MSRP % rather than actual amounts in respect for the seller.

BTW...the dealer offered him 48% of MSRP...three weeks after he purchased it.

It seems to me that the pricing on new/near new is weaker than in the last 2-3 years...with discounts of 20% and more quite common.

My take-away is that you should not be embarrassed to make an offer...I was "watching" this one...and would have bought it at the price it sold for...if I had the "guts" to make the offer.

The other HUGE factor is seller's motivation...many will sell..."if I get what I KNOW it is worth"...others will sell because they NEED to sell. Huge difference...FMV does not matter to the first seller...but the second seller WILL sell when he determines what FMV IS.:)

FWIW...any thoughts...Tom R

urbanfood 12-05-2007 06:41 PM

interesting points tom.

i think the general shape of the economy is contributing to it as well. gas prices are sky high and the home mortgage business is still in trouble and the housing market is in a big slump.

bottom line is i think all of this is having an effect on people's disposable income which is drying up. i bet the rv industry in general is going to be going thru it's own slump.

TROPHYJIM2 12-05-2007 07:34 PM

I just bought a fB 2007 of a dealer significantly north of 25% off list

TomR 12-05-2007 07:53 PM


Originally Posted by TROPHYJIM2
I just bought a fB 2007 of a dealer significantly north of 25% off list

Thanks for the might help other "shoppers if you could share the exact purchase discount...and whether you had a trade. Shouldn't be a secret...:) Tom R

2airishuman 12-05-2007 10:05 PM

while i realize 4 someone about to make a purchase, pricing and discounts are important.

we have been over this a few dozen times in just the last year.

and most folks still wanna buy next years units at last years price.

dealers buy inventory and place their main orders about 2 times per year.

they order based on projected sales volume and what IS hot, or may become hot.

so discounts on little units and safari multi letter models is less than on big trailers or the classic models...

and the OPTIONS PACKAGES on any unit make a big difference (in the % off msrp) since there is margin in that a/v, solar, pimped package upgrade...

but that all assumes a dealer has ORDERED those unpopular models and still has one.

wild arse guess, a/s is building 1-2, 34s ( or less) a month, that aren't ORDERED BY THE CUSTOMER via a dealer.

2 years ago a/s exec told us they were going small and going lighter...

now only a handful of dealers even order 34s to have in stock.

i'm sure some 34 buyers are brand new to rvs and getting their first rig.

but most are experienced rv'ers who want specific things that most dealers can't guess about when they place their twice per year orders...

as for dealers 'dropping' the a/s line....

NO dealer is ever gonna say a/s dropped them are they?

get ON with it bro! :bb: by a friggin' trailer will ya:lol:


1979-80 was a GREAT time to buy new rvs...

of course interest rates were 20%+ and gas was sorta expensive then too.

don't forget ya gotta get it home. delivery or 'pick up' of a 34 can run 500 bucks or more and 'jim2 got dinged for a surprise 'hitch install' fee at pick up.

some dealers (one) may be selling units right now at only a few 100 over their costs, just to keep moving them and generate some work for their service side.

rv sales are VERY slow right now, except perhaps for the 1-2 mil$ models that are back ordered a year or so...

TomR 12-06-2007 02:12 AM

Hi 2air...unit I was referring to was a 25FB...and many of the close-out 2007 are 27FBs...Classics, Safaris and Internationals...which I think have been the most popular units. Maybe the FBs have been over ordered? :)

Just my observation that AS pricing appears a bit weak right now...Tom R

Chief 12-06-2007 10:57 AM

Current Pricing
To partially answer your question, with my limited experience.....we just purchased our new 2007 '20 Safari SE for 27% off MSRP. Had to drive 900+ miles to pick it up, but the price was right for the desired color combination/equipment.

Radman 12-06-2007 12:07 PM

Interesting thoughts. IMHO the lesson you learned about being embarrassed to make what may seem like a low offer is how business works. I'm involved in very expensive purchases as part of the job . The more $ involved the more room for the over/under. The thing that comes to mind is first of all, insult them with your offer. This may seem rude or obnoxious, but it determines the sellers level of motivation. You also can't be afraid to walk away. "Another park another Sunday so to speak". You can always go higher with a counter offer, but never lower. Lastly, don't buy with emotion. This always tends to make us pay too much for any product we want. I can't tell you how many times as a young man, I made this mistake. It is amazing how many call backs I get on purchases that should of been dead in the water.
Just my 2 cents worth.

urbanfood 12-06-2007 12:20 PM


Originally Posted by Radman
This may seem rude or obnoxious, but it determines the sellers level of motivation. You also can't be afraid to walk away. "Another park another Sunday so to speak". You can always go higher with a counter offer, but never lower. Lastly, don't buy with emotion. This always tends to make us pay too much for any product we want. I can't tell you how many times as a young man, I made this mistake. It is amazing how many call backs I get on purchases that should of been dead in the water.
Just my 2 cents worth.

that's great advice and is applicable to the simple rule of real estate investing; "you make your money when you buy, not when you sell".

Westfalia 02-13-2008 07:08 PM

I made a dealer an offer on left over 2007 in the 35% discount range. He, unfortunately, countered with a much higher price, that is still in the high 29% range, but still seems like a minor discount for a trailer that is 1 1/2 years old and with new models (albeit more expensive models) coming out in the next few months.

How much should be a reasonable offer to make on such an old leftover? Does anyone know how much (if any) dealer hold back there is on these trailers?

2airishuman 02-13-2008 08:55 PM


Originally Posted by Westfalia
... Does anyone know how much (if any) dealer hold back there is on these trailers?

i'm not sure 'dealer holdback' as understood in the car biz, is part of the a/s factor/dealer relationship.

and doubt we'll get a dealer or company person, to sort this out here.

many have suggested the dealer price is approx 1/2 of msrp,

but again who knows if thats right or just close?

a unit that's been dealer property for a year,

has created insurance and finance and 'lot' costs to the dealer who purchased the unit.

but the a/s sponsored dealer financing costs are NOT uniform across the dealer network.

and what was the 'cost of borrowed money in 06, when the unit as born?

assuming an msrp of 60-65k the 29% vs 35% is only about 3,500-4,000$...

and a year of on the lot expenses could be that much.

at some point the dealer will have MORE $ in the unit than in the 1st 90 days...

and they've got to accept a loss at sale, or hold the line on units they already own.

of course they could use on the lot 'left overs' as a bargaining chip with a/s who want's them to order more..

is there a trade involved, so that the dealer has the opportunity to gain on another sale?


Westfalia 02-13-2008 11:27 PM

Well, by hold back, I mean anything that Airstream may be giving to the dealership to help sell the trailer, but it also stands to reason that the dealership pays a flat invoice rate (cost) to the mothership and thats that, without any other dealer incentive or other funding on Airstreams part.

If I can believe the number the dealer gave me is in fact his cost on the trailer and I could in fact get him to sell it to me at this cost, it would be approx a 29.73% discount from listed MSRP. This is long ways from what you are suggesting of cost=1/2 of MSRP.

If this is so, when others are able to work a deal at greater percentage discounts (30% or more), is the dealer REALLY taking a bath on the deal, or is there still money being made by the dealer that we don't know about? I suspect that we may never know the answer to that question, but surely if you can bargain down a current stock 08 unit to 20-25%, a 1 1/2 year old 07 leftover SHOULD be able to go well beyond that.

Is there a way to tell what the manufacture date is by VIN? I have the options sheet, but I don't see date. Needless to say, I'll keep working on these guys over the next few days or so. Maybe they'll sell me the trailer just to get me to stop calling. :D

I haven't offered a trade yet on the 04 Bambi. I will consider it, but I'm afraid that I'll get low balled on the trade if I seek too low a price. Also, there is no chance that I can get my trailer down my driveway due to a massive slick of ice, so any trade inspection would have to wait weeks until it is clear, or I can get a neighbor with a blade to help me scrape. How much do you think a dealer will knock me for some tail light corrosion and some cracked caulking? I was hoping to get the caulking done before the cold weather set in, but it never happened. The tail light just need to get removed, stripped and re-clearcoated.

I hope this is not sounding too desperate, but keep in mind that I am also saving money to get into a new tow vehicle to tow this new trailer, so every dollar saved on the deal is necessary.

2airishuman 02-14-2008 12:52 AM

hi westie

caulking is a minor issue, materials and time for a service dept.

IF they decide to replace the tail light housings, the same is true.

while a private buyer may look at those issues differently.

sure a low purchase price often comes with a low trade offer,

but bambi IS a popular item and they always seem to be in demand.

another issue with trade vs private sale, is the new vehicle sales tax on your purchase price.

the vin doesn't include when it was produced precisely, but there is a badge on the outside that does.

ask the dealer to tell you what month it was built per this tag, or contact the mothership with the vin.

the 50% of msrp isn't my figure, it's just what i've seen in other threads on this topic.

i do think when some dealers say "this is my cost" they might be including 'costs' beyond the unit price,

and others might really mean the base purchase price from a/s.

your posts don't read as desperate at all; besides you will need to buy a tv and there IS that new baby on the horizon!


TROPHYJIM2 02-14-2008 05:19 AM

"If I can believe the number the dealer gave me is in fact his cost on the trailer and I could in fact get him to sell it to me at this cost, it would be approx a 29.73% discount from listed MSRP. This is long ways from what you are suggesting of cost=1/2 of MSRP."

I figured it out exactly to a 32% discount on my 27FB Classic that I bought Nov last yr. My approach was to call Airstream and I found out everyone east of the Mississippi who had the 27 Classic Limited. Wasn't really concered about service, since I plan on going to JC or a western Pa dealer who indicated he would be happy to do service for me. I started to make calls from an original list of about 8 dealers. I even spoke with another dealer on the west coast, got friendly with her and she told me I was buying for less then she would paid for it.(who knows) :brows: :innocent: Another well known Eastern dealer basically indicated I wasn't being truthful with the price offer I was getting....I faxed him the offer and he offered me a 2008 for the same that point the other dealer came off an additional 2000.00. The units wewr identical except for year. I was still tempted to buy the 2008 but the process was better and more friendly with the 2007 dealer, and I liked them. I had some hitchwork done for a few hundred bucks on top of the price.

Silvertwinkie 02-14-2008 07:24 AM

Here are some additional thoughts to consider when buying a last year's model.

The fact that a newer model year is out, there could be a larger depreciation hit on the older model year units, it might not be obvious on the lot, but the second that unit rolls off the lot with it being titled, it will be worth far less than a near exact unit of the new model year.

The discounts you are seeing now are most likely a combo or trifecta of the perfect storms fronts coming in:

People that use to be able to get questionable loans can no longer do so. People that used their homes as ATMs, in most cases can also no longer do so. So, basically you are taking a slice of possible buyers out of the picture.

Fuel prices, do we even need to go there?

Recession. I get a kick out of how folks are not sure if we are in one or not. Of course we are in the beginning stages....and it's happend this way for the past 3 decades. Slow toward the end of the decade, and start of the new decade, and by mid decade, it bounces back. Some variables that alter or can move this are energy prices, war, etc. Of which we have both very high energy prices and a multi-pronged war.

I think what's important is that the discount on a previous model say a 2007 brand new being sold today, be signficantly higher than the standard 19% off list if buying now. Why? We'll for starters, the reasons I just talked about, but also, guess what? The 2009s are about 60-90 days away from production making the 2007s a 2 model year old unit. The hit off the lot could be significantly larger on the 2007 once the 09s hit the roads, which may be important unless you've horse traded properly or you simply have the money to burn. :)

Westfalia 02-14-2008 11:48 AM

2air and SilverTwinkie, thanks for the comments. I'd like to further the discussion, but we are about to get in the car for some all day doctors appointment, so it'll have to wait until then.

But it probably goes without saying that the deal I had hoped is probably not there and the dealer doesn't seem to want to play. With the baby due in the next few days, they will have plenty of time to think about it. Maybe waiting for a 'leftover' 08 is not such a bad deal. More later.

pilgrim 02-14-2008 01:48 PM

Some dealers will call "Costs" what they have to sell the item for to cover their overhead, salesman's commission, electricity, advertising, and on and on. Others may refer to "Costs" as exactly what we think they mean - what they paid AS for the TT. There could be one HUGE differnece between those two numbers.

I had written a note some months ago regarding the need for making a LOW offer to start off the negotiations - especially when negotiating with another individual. I don't know that one would be very successful with an AS dealer because of all his 'built in costs". People don't need an AS right now - today, like they might need milk, coffee, or groceries; therefore, don't be afraid to negotiate the final selling price. I learned this when my wife and I were boating on the Great Lakes. If someone NEEDS to sell a boat, they might accept a lot lower offer than the person that doesn't need the money! And, we, the buyer, don't always know which one is which so we've got to treat them all equally. When my wife and I bought our vacation home, we offered much less than we would have if we hadn't had the boating experience. The owner was asking $69,500 (in 1990) and we offered him $35,000 - almost half of his asking price. We settled on $39,500 - a significant discount off his asking price. His wife had died and both his sons had moved away - he had no use for the vacation home and it had been long paid for. He probably paid much less than that when he built it in 1961 so anything would be a profit to him. One never knows until one asks!!! It's always worth the try.
2007 Airstream International 25' SS OB
2004 Nissan Armada
Equalizer Hitch
Prodigy Brake Controls
"It's better to keep your mouth shut and thought the fool
Than to open it and remove all doubt."

Bo Charlie 02-14-2008 02:33 PM

So what would be your ballpark first offer on a "new" '07 safari 25 fb w/ twins? Or any 25 foot model w/ twins. On dealer's lot.



2airishuman 02-14-2008 03:02 PM


Originally Posted by Bo Charlie
So what would be your ballpark...

hi bo

it really is up to YOU 2 do the homework and haggling...

there are MANY threads here that explore the price/cost/negotiation for a new unit....

folks tossing out their numbers isn't really gonna help YOU buy a unit.

here are a couple of threads that may/may not be useful...

regardless of year and stickers...

and it IS the complete deal/buying experience and little extras that matter too...

for example my dealer included many things like installing the hitch (which he didn't sell me) for free...

while other dealers may charge for hitch installs or brake controller install or dealer prep or other closing issues.

in texas specifically there is one dealer that goes many extra steps to give his customers a GREAT ownership experience...

while the others are just selling stuff.


jcanavera 02-14-2008 03:03 PM

One other consideration to make when purchasing an older "new" Airstream. Consider the fact of what it's true value is from the insurance industry. With a long term loan, you truly could get upside down on the loan balance vs. value that your insurer would give you in case your trailer becomes totaled. If that potential is there, you may need to consider some "gap" insurance that would at least allow you to pay off the loan balance.


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