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Old 01-27-2014, 06:50 PM   #1
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Better to order or buy off the lot?

How does it work for RV dealers to have units on their lot, do they own them or are they just holding them in order to sell? So can you get a better deal if you order one and wait for it or if you buy one sitting on their lot?
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Old 01-27-2014, 07:22 PM   #2
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My initial, albeit snarky answer, is neither because when you buy new there is no such thing as a good deal, once you drive it off the lot you lose at least 20%+ of your purchase price, wait 3 years and almost 30-50% is gone. However to answer your question is it all depends on who is the manufacturer and who is the dealer. Some manufacturers only build to order, others don't care about custom orders while others add-on a little extra to do a custom job, so it depends.

Secondly, some dealers self-finance, some use manufacturer financing options, (some manufactures don't offer that) and some use banks to finance their purchases. So not all dealers are the same. Not only that some dealers feel it's far better to move inventory than sell custom (some don't care) so again it really depends upon whom the dealer is.

Lastly manufacturers will usually give dealers incentives to dump last year models (that is why you see new 2013 coaches being offered at deep discounts with no haggling. Of course all they are doing is incentivizing you to purchase something that has already taken one year of depreciation, plus it doesn't look good to have unsold "old" units hanging around.

I doubt this helps you but this is the info I have from three different dealers (one very close personal friend of 20 years, two others that I know on a professional level that have also said the same thing).
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Old 01-27-2014, 08:07 PM   #3
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Steven is correct , dealers use floor plans from banks , manufacturers and private loans.
On an ordered coach they do not have that because the coach is sold they are just the dealer involved in the sale.
Discounts can vary from 20% to 30% depending on the dealers "planning volumn"
Our last two Tiffin coaches, one was on the lot and the new Phaeton we ordered.
The ordered coach discount was 27% the on lot coach was 25%
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Old 01-27-2014, 08:43 PM   #4
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That's why I think if you wait and order one you could get a better deal. This way the dealer is only pushing paper he does not take the risk of it sitting on the lot.
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Old 01-27-2014, 11:49 PM   #5
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Trust me when I tell you, the dealer wants to move what is on his lot and will discount that deeper. Floor plan is floor plan. Its figured into the overall monthly nut of the dealer. Therefore it behooves them to move what is already sitting on floor plan. Don't get me wrong. They will not turn away a factory order but most are more motivated to sell whats on the lot. Planning volume has nothing to do with it and is an entirely different subject.
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Old 01-28-2014, 05:56 AM   #6
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I agree with majoracing. The dealer already has money tied up in what is on his lot, so he wants to move it and turn over his stock. Therefore, you will tend to get a better deal on existing stock, or at least you won't have to haggle as hard to get a good price.

For me, however, I figure we're spending big bucks for a brand new RV, and we don't want to settle. DW and I want what we want, and we're willing to work a little harder to get it for the price we are willing to pay. Unless by some slim chance we can find exactly what we want on the lot, we will special order.
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Old 01-28-2014, 08:38 AM   #7
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It all depends on whether the dealer has the exact unit you want in stock. If you want a specific floor plan, certain amenities, or colors and the dealer has it in stock start the negotiating process. As mentioned earlier they do have a continuing cost when floor planning the unit. They don't want to keep paying interest on the loan. It just decreases their bottom line.

On the other hand if you are like us and the dealer doesn't have the exact model with the amenities you want in stock don't hesitate to order. We ordered both of our motorhomes. The first time because none of the dealers we visited had what we wanted in stock. The second time we wanted a couple amenities that technically weren't offered on that model.

We learned from a factory rep that if the items we wanted were installed on any Winnebago product we could ask for them. The dealer would get in contact with the factory. If the items could be physically installed in the model we wanted the factory would get back to the dealer with the cost. In both cases we were able to negotiate a price that was slightly more than 26% off the list.
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Old 01-28-2014, 09:04 AM   #8
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I special ordered our coach and bought it cheaper than I could have bought one off the lot.
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Old 01-28-2014, 11:38 AM   #9
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Keep in mind. If the dealer doesn't have what you want, you can negotiate just as hard as if the unit was on his lot. Bottom line.......they want a sale. Its a quick turnaround of their money on an order.
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Old 01-28-2014, 02:13 PM   #10
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Dealers will go for the KILL either way. Of course they want to sell what they are paying floor plan on 1st. If I was buying NEW I'd get make, model number and all accessories I wanted on that purchase. then I'd send a "Request for Quote" to several dealers and see who wants your business by discounting the most. Some dealers will refuse to quote you but one hungry dealer looking to make his quota for max discounts will make you a deal you wouldn't get walking in and dealing with any of his sales people. Safe travels.... ed
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Old 01-28-2014, 02:37 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mojoracing View Post
Trust me when I tell you, the dealer wants to move what is on his lot and will discount that deeper. Floor plan is floor plan. Its figured into the overall monthly nut of the dealer. Therefore it behooves them to move what is already sitting on floor plan. Don't get me wrong. They will not turn away a factory order but most are more motivated to sell whats on the lot. Planning volume has nothing to do with it and is an entirely different subject.
As a retired boat dealer for twenty years I agree completely with majoracing!
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Old 01-28-2014, 04:50 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by EDALLSAILS View Post
Dealers will go for the KILL either way. Of course they want to sell what they are paying floor plan on 1st. If I was buying NEW I'd get make, model number and all accessories I wanted on that purchase. then I'd send a "Request for Quote" to several dealers and see who wants your business by discounting the most. Some dealers will refuse to quote you but one hungry dealer looking to make his quota for max discounts will make you a deal you wouldn't get walking in and dealing with any of his sales people. Safe travels.... ed
Both times we purchased we did just exactly as you're advising. It weeds out the dealers who want to sell from those just going through the motions. I sent out a dozen RFQ's each time and got legitimate responses from about half. Both times we were able to find a couple dealers interested in volume rather than making a killing on each sale. It eliminates a lot of legwork and wasted time.
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Old 01-28-2014, 04:59 PM   #13
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When you sent out all the RFQ's how did you find the dealers, how far were you going to go?
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Old 01-29-2014, 08:50 AM   #14
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When you sent out all the RFQ's how did you find the dealers, how far were you going to go?
First I went to the "Dealer Locator" page on the Winnebago Industries website: Dealer Locator

After filling in all the information only 1 dealership came up. I put in a few more zip codes and got several more. None were in the immediate area, but all were within a days driving distance. I sent out RFQ's to these dealers first, then did a Google search for Winnebago Motorhome dealers. Several came up across the country, so I copied down the addresses and sent off my requests.

I went so far as to send out RFQ's to places like General RV in Michigan and Lazy Days in Florida. I had no intention to drive to either state to pick up a motorhome, but was aware that both would allow the motorhome to be picked up at the factory in Forest City AI.

When we bought our 2013 I got 6 quotes returned. Only 3 of them appeared to be willing to deal so I called each and had a discussion with a sales person. In the end 1 dealer stood out from the rest in price, ability to service, and product knowledge.

We negotiated over the phone several times. First I got a final price with no trade in. Then I introduced the possibility of trading in our 2001 Adventurer (with over 100,000 miles on the odometer). I e mailed a dozen pictures of both the interior and exterior. We finally agreed on a price and sent a small check to start the ordering process. 2 months later we drove to pick up our new motorhome and trade in our old.
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