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Old 02-09-2014, 06:03 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by garyb1st View Post
Which model? Low retail on 98 Windsors range from $15,000 to $25,000.
NADA has mine at Average Retail: $30,330 and Low Retail: $25,170.
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Old 02-09-2014, 07:53 AM   #16
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A couple of tricks when making a big purchase. Your biggest asset is to know what the coach is worth before you even look at it. Anyone who is insulted by a fair offer deserves to be insulted - they insult themselves.

There is a 2 fold trick in getting a really good deal on a purchase. The first is to not waste the owner's time. I bought my coach from a dealer and basically negotiated the price before I showed up. I told the dealer I would buy that coach that night for x dollars as long as there were no big problems with it. That let the dealer know that I was not there to just kick the tires. We were both up front about the deal and were not playing games. Dealers are OK with that, because they don't want their time wasted either.

The second trick is to figure out what the person intended to get for the coach, and then tempt them with an offer that is just slightly less. You may be able to get an extra 1 % off the intended price.

Last trick is to characterize your offer stating this is what the coach is worth to me. That can take some of the sting out of what could be perceived as an insult. Basically you are telling the seller that having nothing to do with what the coach is worth, if they are interested in selling the coach right at that moment, accepting your offer would make it happen. One key is if you do this, you have to be willing to walk. You make one offer based on what you are willing to pay and stick with it. No long drawn out games. Wasting people's time is more of an insult than a low price.
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Old 02-09-2014, 08:14 AM   #17
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If looking at 10 year old (or older) coaches, I consider any guide to be pretty much worthless? At this age, it's about condition. One coach could be worth twice as much as the next. How can that possibly be reflected to an unsuspecting buyer not familiar, or "guide dependent" buyer?

If you want a good deal, you're going to have to know the coach you're looking for as well or better than anyone. This will be nearly impossible until you narrow your list of choices down to one or 2, maybe 3 at the most, on a make, model, required options basis! By time you've gathered this much info, you'll have a pretty good feel for what they're going for. A low offer can be made for one barely meeting your requirements, and you can reach a little for that "dream" coach?

Dealers are a waste of time unless you just want to look at a bunch of coaches early in your selection process. My 2c, FWIW. -Al
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Old 02-09-2014, 08:38 AM   #18
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I just sold my 2002 Travel Supreme $12,000 over standard NADA book. I added in JUST the options that were over and above the standard model, also 10% for inside kept since new and in perfect condition. That totaled about 20% above the standard NADA price. The MH home sold in a week with 3 offers on it. I sent the standard NADA offers down the road nicely, explaining that this MH was above the price they offered and it was, I had no problem selling it. Those that were going by NADA book only, will never buy a MH of their dreams unless they find that one in a million widow that just wants to get rid of it.

I also prepared a price sheet listing the extras and NADA's price for those options, and openly added 10% of the total price for conditions. None of the 3 buyers credit union or bank argued about the price and options. One of the Credit Unions even priced it higher with their loan value book.
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Old 02-09-2014, 08:58 AM   #19
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GaryB's Experience is the Same as Mine

GaryB, I feel your pain. I have run into a couple of FSBOs that were like a brick wall. One told me that she was only doing the Internet work for her father, and would tell me the year and model name of the coach, but nothing else. I emailed her to say that the model and especially the length makes a difference in price, but got no answer at all. Another insisted that he would make no allowance for new tires because his are like new and with no cracks, so being 10 years old didn't matter.

I got some data on a recent large dealer-only specialty RV auction. The sales on the units we would consider (3 slides, low miles and 8-12 years old) were selling for about 25% below NADA low retail. But there is a 10% (I think) buyer's premium, so they were really 15% below NADA low retail on average off the lot. There was even one unit, a 2004 HR, that sold 5% ABOVE low retail (plus the premium!). The ability to examine a unit at the auction is very limited - they can start it, look at it, but can't drive it or usually test the plumbing, tankage and dumping components, etc.

I'm working with a consignment shop now and there is a chance that we'll make a deal. If not, we are going to try LazyDays in Tampa. They are the only dealer I've seen that lists prices at about NADA average retail and negotiates from there. Other dealers's I've looked at start WAY over that figure.

I offered another dealer 10% below NADA low retail for a nice 2003 Windsor if they replaced the 2002 tires and unknown age house batteries, and they wouldn't even counter.

I'm not willing to spend hundreds of more hours shopping. I'll either buy something soon, or keep our TT another year. If I spend a grand or two too much, I can live with it.
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Old 02-09-2014, 09:23 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Daveinet View Post

Wasting people's time is more of an insult than a low price.
AMEN! I had a couple that drove all the way down from W.VA that started that leading up to, I believe, a low offer after the price was established over the phone. I asked them to leave that they were wasting my time. They made a long trip for nothing.
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Old 02-09-2014, 09:49 AM   #21
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Need to clarify one thing. NADA listings for the 1998 Country Coach Allures do not include any with slides. The Average retail for this coach is $15,150. That makes no sense. So I used the pricing from the 1999 Allure which includes a slide. That price is $37,700. I discounted it by 5% or $1,000. I hope this approach is reasonable.
To get a realistic NADA prices you need to have an original brochure or build sheet for that MH. From the NADA price you still have to add the prices for the options over and above the "standard" NADA price. For some reason people want to stop at the NADA starting price but do not want to add for the upgrades and options of the MH. You can only do that with original paper work of that model MH. Many of the items listed on NADA are already included with the standard model of that MH and you don't want to be adding twice for the same item.. At that point it is fair to deduct for any discrepancies such as tires.

Some think they can get all the upgrades for "free" by offering standard NADA and sometimes you can. However with a "cream puff" MH that is not likely going to happen. The County Coach sounds like what you are looking for and now it's time to do some due diligence and not miss what you have spent so many hours looking for.

I agree the $15,000 NADA price is not realistic. http://www.pplmotorhomes.com/rvs/mot...motorhomes.htm
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Old 02-09-2014, 11:20 AM   #22
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Nada does not have all the models once a motorhome gets older. When I was looking to purchase my 2000 Holiday Rambler, Nada had my model with the engine and model number. (40pdq-330hp) Now it does not.

By the way, I paid average retail less about 10%. I felt it was worth it. I did everything that was suggested, and everything seemed great. I drove it home from Tucson to Cleveland, it performed perfectly.

I stored it inside in a heated garage with 50 amp service. One year later we wanted to pull the carpeting and replace with laminate flooring. When we pulled up carpet, we discovered rot in the floor, along with mold. It was right below is the driver and passenger windows. If I had not decided to do this the rot would still be there. There was NO sign of this we we had MH inspected.

You buy something this old, you just can't tell. We just cut out the floor rot, replaced then wood, and put an extra layer of wood down. This was some work,but not expensive.
After this we pulled all windows and resealed them.

My point is, had the inspector or myself discovered this rot, I may not have even bought it, but now I have a great coach and I'm very Happy with it.

Don't be afraid to pay too much,or you might not buy one at all.
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Old 02-09-2014, 11:44 AM   #23
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Your financial institution can give you the numbers that you need(loan value) on anything that they will loan on. And if you are paying cash they still might be able to help you out with its value. For me , when I was looking, to interest me the Coach had to have been stored(garaged) inside when not being used or I did not even consider it. When I found one I was interested in, I asked for photo's of it and photo's of what and how it was stored in. For me when buying the condition was a big factor when considering the asking cost, and the condition of it after being stored inside all it life(when not used or full timed in) will no doubt reflect in the selling price. Anything I have ever bought used, after searching, I have paid extra for the condition and how it was taken care of.
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Old 02-09-2014, 12:08 PM   #24
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NADA is one thing, But "what the market with bare" is the real thing. If you have looked at over 100 RV and haven't bought one yet, Your not looking in the right places, or your just being to picky. If you want to buy an RV at lower then retail price then you need to find one somebody is dying to sell. If your looking to buy one particular RV then your going to have to pay the price.

I buy and sell RV's on craigslist. One or two a year. Find one that somebody real wants to sell and you'll get a good deal.

I've had my current 1999 Coachmen Mirada 34' w/slide out about 3 months now. Is only has 22k miles on it and I bought it on craigslist for 15k
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Old 02-09-2014, 02:18 PM   #25
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One thing I forgot to mention - economic conditions also play a major role. No dealer can stay in business by breaking even or losing money very often, but when the economy suddenly tanks inventory costs can put a serious strain on any business. Any business that runs out of working capital is bankrupt, regardless of past profitability and future profit prospects. To stay in business they may very well be willing to take a price that they would reject out-of-hand in normal times. Although the current recovery is historically anemic it IS a recovery, and prices are much firmer than they would be if we were still in recession. NADA would eventually catch up with market realities, but it would take a few quarters.
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Old 02-09-2014, 05:49 PM   #26
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Craigslist is the best place to look. Make an offer of what you want to pay minus a little. Get ride of the nonsense of not wanting in insult the owner. We went to look and drove an unit listed at $70,000. I offered $50,000 and got a counter offer of $56000 much to my surprise. The market advertisements were in the $70,000 plus range for this model. We did not buy because of a driving problem, but found another one three years newer, about same miles, for $60,000 about 9 months later. I had been looking for a couple years.

Did I already say to get rid of the idea you might insult some one with a low offer. Good thing is to no waste someones time, however. Get the negotiations out of the way before the inspections. The offer is made contingent upon not finding anything wrong with the unit.
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Old 02-09-2014, 05:57 PM   #27
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Over the past two years*we've probably looked at 100 motor homes. Test drove maybe 10 and researched hundreds more. Frequently, the asking price for motorhomes is 20% more than NADA retail. This is especially true of dealers. But many private sellers are also asking considerably over retail. I understand the strategy and the negotiation game. But where I have difficulty is determining a fair selling price. The price I'm willing to pay

Based on what I see here and on other forums, I should not pay more than low retail. In fact I should try for considerably under low retail. But how is that done? I know this sounds like a dumb question. But if I offer $25,000 on a motorhome that is listed for $45,000, I risk offending the seller which is no big deal unless I really want the motorhome.

Honestly, I'm either doing something wrong or less than low retail doesn't work on older coaches. I've looked at the sold motorhomes section that PPL lists. Most of the 15 year old high-end coaches are selling at or above average retail. These are actual selling prices.

So on a coach being offered for $40,000, if I shoot for something less than low retail, my offer could be 1/3 less than asking. This would be a steal. But I can't imagine any rational individual agreeing to such an offer. Unless of course there are major undisclosed mechanical or equipment issues.

So for those of you who have actually purchased at or below low retail, what's your secret?
There are a lot of variables to answer your questions. First, is how old are you looking for? If older than 5 maybe 6 years, you will not get most banks to lend on it, maybe credit unions. If newer than 5 years, you can expect to pay closer to retail. It all depends on what you are happy with. To me NADA is not as important as avg. asking price across the country for a specific MH. If you can find what they actually sold for, even better. Find what you like and do your research on that one. You will find enough info to make a decision. Variables on used MHs are tires, batteries, mechanical issues, cosmetics, etc. These all affect the price, up or down.

I bought my current MH thru Craigslist in another large city and it was sort of an estate sale where I got a very good deal. I have made many improvements to it in the last year and it is worth more than I paid for it.

If you have cash, you can do more negotiating when the time comes.

John
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Old 02-09-2014, 07:17 PM   #28
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I want to thank everyone who responded to my post. Based on your comments and suggestions I'm happy to say I'm doing at least a few things right. Still, there are things I hadn't considered. Things that clearly have been getting in my way. I'm pretty sure if I change my approach a bit I should be able to move forward and conclude this exhausting exercise.

Probably my biggest hurdle so far has been my unrealistic expectations. For me, the ideal motorhome is a 38 foot diesel pusher that runs on gas, fits into the 32 foot space along side my driveway and get's 15 mpg.

Seriously two things have been getting in our way:

First we really hadn't narrowed down what we want. Actually what we would like, the ideal coach, and how much we're willing to pay for that ideal coach do not match up very well. So that means compromise. For a while I was thinking a gas coach might work. But I'm on the West Coast and may pull a car hauler. Not a great combo with a gas motorhome.

Second, my thinking that the purchase price should be somewhere between wholesale and low retail isn't working for us. Not saying it can't be done. But my guess is the few times it is done, there are extenuating circumstances.

The coach we're looking at is a clean, one owner, low mileage diesel that has been stored on the owners premise*when not on the road. The owner claims to have all the service records. The coach has been serviced by Country Coach annually since new. The tires are 9 years old and will have to be replaced. The owner claims the batteries are new. I'm planning on offering retail less $3-4,000 for tires. Anyone have any thoughts on my thinking. I plan on talking to the owner tomorrow.

Gary
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