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Old 11-28-2013, 03:02 PM   #1
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Rv shows vs dealership

I have gotten different advice on this issue. Is it better to buy at a show or dealership or does it even matter?

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Old 11-28-2013, 03:19 PM   #2
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Much depends on whether or not you find the coach that you are looking for. An advantage of being a show (bigger the better) is that you can easily compare coach layout, price, etc. much easier that taking the time necessary to investigate RV's on dealers' lots. Also, a show may provide you some leverage when it comes to setting the selling price. Many dealers at a show like to be able to put that "SOLD" sign in the window. Or you can leave a show with a price for a show coach and find a comparable coach at a dealership and use the quote for a bargaining "chip.

We have purchased our last two coaches at RV shows and have been very satisfied with the transactions.


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Old 11-28-2013, 04:34 PM   #3
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It probably makes little difference. The one thing to understand is that the "Special Show Price" really isn't special. If they are willing to sell it for that price today at the show, then they will also be willing to sell it at that price next week after the show is over. Don't succumb to the pressure.

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Old 11-28-2013, 04:56 PM   #4
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I have found that RV's can be purchased for far less than the "Show Special" price.
Adios, Dirk - '84 Real Lite Truck Camper, '86 Wilderness Cimarron TT, previously 4 years as a fulltimer in a '07 DSDP

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Old 11-28-2013, 06:13 PM   #5
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Unlike cars, is very hard to find dealer cost on a unit. I am seeing some come off as much as 12k from MSRP. Is there way to determine dealer cost or a rule of thumb when haggling the price?
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Old 11-28-2013, 06:42 PM   #6
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We found the TT we wanted at a Feb. show. We weren't really looking to buy but fell in love instantly. Had nothing to do with a salesman. We got a "show price" at the show before we left. Went home and did lots of research on the price and features and the company and then a few weeks later, went to the dealer and worked on the price some more including some options we wanted, then ordered it. I think we did well.

If you go to a dealer's lot, you run the risk of being collared and getting a high pressure sales pitch and ending up with something you may not like in the end. If you go to a show, they are so busy, they don't have the time to corner you and work you over. You can casually check out all the units without being bothered much.

We have one local dealer where the only way to get into their lot is to go past their salesroom counter. Then they "assign" a sales guy to you that tails you everywhere and tries to push you towards something you don't really want and that of course, costs more. No thanks. Some dealers will leave you alone though. Be wary of having a particular unit they have on their lot that they are trying to get rid of and you *think* they're giving you a deal.

If you go to an early spring show, all the new year models are on display. In around February, the dealers want to start moving the new year models because they've had inventory coming in over the winter months and your chances of getting a better price are higher, I think.

If you go to a dealer's lot in the fall (or this time of year), if it's on the lot, it's already last year's model and getting to be a year out of date before you even use it. If you were to sell it shortly afterwards or trade it in, you'll lose a year's valuation on it. Unless you know for certain it's a smokin' deal, be cautious. On the other hand, if it's a 2014 model you are interested in, now would be a good time to talk to a dealer because sales are pretty slow. A local dealer is having their first Black Friday sale in an attempt to drum up business.

Regardless, take your time, take notes and do the research. When you've short-listed a few, check the specific make & model on the internet for positive and negative comments and quality issues. Also check into the quality of the dealer before you buy. Some dealer warranty service can turn an otherwise great unit into a nightmare. (BTDT)

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