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Old 11-03-2010, 05:36 PM   #1
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How much is this RV really worth?

By Greg Gerber
Editor, RV Daily Report


The question comes up a lot, "How much is this RV really worth?"


And for the answer, most RV dealers and RV owners turn to the appraisal guides developed by NADA -- the National Automobile Dealers Association. But, how does that esteemed group determine what a particular make and model RV is really worth?


It's a complicated process that doesn't fit into any simple mathematical algorithm, said Lenny Sims, vice president of operations for NADA Appraisal Guides.


More here.
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Old 11-03-2010, 08:20 PM   #2
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Note that they are talking about the NADA book the dealer buys by annual subscription. That is NOT the retail price data made available online for free.

And despite the claims in the article, I don't think it is that scientific. There aren't all that many RVs sold at auctions - nothing like the huge weekly auctions for cars & light trucks. And how many RV dealers are submitting price data?
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Old 11-03-2010, 08:47 PM   #3
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some order better than chaos

Well some "order" provided by the NADA is better than none. When I was actively looking a year ago the NADA guides on line provided some basis for comparison. And the wholesale guides we don't see are what the banks use heavily if you want to borrow money to buy the RV.

IMHO pricing on big ticket items like motor homes comes from years of trading similar products.

One online web site that really seems to nail the fair market value quite accurately is PPL out of Houston. When I was looking they really seem to have good experts to advise their sellers what to price at.

But at the end the "real" price of any item like this is what the seller is willing to sell for and the buyer is willing to pay.
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Old 11-04-2010, 10:06 AM   #4
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Well some "order" provided by the NADA is better than none. When I was actively looking a year ago the NADA guides on line provided some basis for comparison. And the wholesale guides we don't see are what the banks use heavily if you want to borrow money to buy the RV.

IMHO pricing on big ticket items like motor homes comes from years of trading similar products.

One online web site that really seems to nail the fair market value quite accurately is PPL out of Houston. When I was looking they really seem to have good experts to advise their sellers what to price at.

But at the end the "real" price of any item like this is what the seller is willing to sell for and the buyer is willing to pay.
Just like in Real Estate, that is the true market value
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Old 11-04-2010, 10:43 AM   #5
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The big problem with the on-line NADA guide is how people interpret the "Options". I found, while looking for our present rig, that the things that were on the options list were ridiculous - a stove, a water heater, tilt steering wheel, just to name a few.

NADA does not check what was basic as built when they define the starting price. They will stick a few things in and identify them, but I eventually ignored everything in my initial offer price discussion.

When we did buy our rig, the seller (private sale) had priced it very competitively, based on what the outstanding balance on the financing was. It was well within our paprameters so we didn't bother to haggle.

He did say that they'd shopped it around some of the local "big name" dealers as a straight sale - no trade-in - and got offers between 50 and 60 percent of what he thought it was worth and so decided to go with a private sale. Compared to what we'd seen thise big names selling comparable rigs for, they were going for a 100% mark-up.

We'd decided only to look at Ford-based rigs last summer, as the Workhorse recall was still a big mess. With hindsight, I'm gald we did.
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Old 11-04-2010, 01:24 PM   #6
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IMHO NADA values for my class 'c' showed so much higher than what dealer even sold originally and the issues are some of the counties consider that as a bible and tag 4% personal property taxes for a year which is way too expensive for anyone to pay for motorhome. Used motorhome dealer prices and NADA are way tangent.
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Old 11-04-2010, 04:13 PM   #7
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I just read the link to 'the dynamics of how NADA determines RV values. I think Mr. Sim's group over values RVs and is well versed in cooperate speak.

One of the methods they use to determine value, is that their staff visits websites of RV sales and looks at owner asking prices. He states, that they can determine the value of certain RVs. He doesn't mention what they go back to see what the RVs actually sell for. It been my experience that most times, there is some difference between asking and actual selling prices.

Also, he says they send out surveys to dealers around the country to see what units have sold for...I'm sure NO dealer ever inflated their sale prices to boost future sales prices - especially if it cost nothing. I've worked at enough dealerships to know that if it's not illegal (or they know there's a good chance of not getting caught), they will do most anything if it helps the bottom line.

I also do not think NADA places enough importance on current economic conditions. He did mention they do take that into consideration. We bought our RV less than a year ago (w/17k miles and in excellent shape - new Michelins) for $39k less than what NADA posted (at the time)for 'used retail' and 19K less than posted W/S trade in. No options were factored in. Granted, this was an e-bay purchase, but it was from a dealer.

Just goes to show that NADA probably should only be used as a 'guideline'...at best. JMHO/ Bob
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Old 11-08-2010, 11:26 PM   #8
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This might be off topic but in the used car world, most dealers won't give you NADA, KBB or any of the other consumer price guides for your vehicle on trade-in. They ALL use a secret guide called Manheim. This information is only available to car dealers and lists what a given vehicle sold for on average at auctions in the last week or so. This is why so many people are floored when they go car shopping with a trade-in.

Whether or not Manheim lists prices for RV's I don't know. But, as they say, knowledge is power. And if a savvy buyer can find out what a particular vehicle sold for at auction, that amount plus a reasonable dealer markup is the real price.
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Old 11-10-2010, 02:57 PM   #9
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At the risk of getting even further off-topic - Manheim is a big auction company that has auction sites all over the nation. I mean physical sites to stage these auctions - not web sites. They provide the place, the people and paperwork for dealers, rental companies and leasing companies to unload their "inventory" of cars, trucks, RVs, etc.
Dealers (or at least people with valid dealer licenses) can attend the auctions and buy what they are looking for at VERY low prices. These auctions take place several times a week.
Manheim keeps a database of these auction sales and if you are a dealer registered with Manheim, you can see what the vehicles actually sold for.
Good luck getting a dealer to share that info with you.
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Old 11-10-2010, 03:24 PM   #10
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A friend who was a sales manager a RV dealership told me that dealers give 20% below wholesale on a trade in just in case the can't sell the RV and they have to wholesale it.
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Old 11-10-2010, 03:35 PM   #11
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A friend who was a sales manager a RV dealership told me that dealers give 20% below wholesale on a trade in just in case the can't sell the RV and they have to wholesale it.
That is the same thing a sales manager and two salesmen told me. When I wanted to trade in a motorhome a few years ago I got bids from three dealers in three different states. All three offered me within $300 of each other and all three were at 80% of NADA Low Retail without adding any options.
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Old 11-10-2010, 08:43 PM   #12
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If it is YOUR RV, it is worth exactly what you think it is worth. It is your baby. The lifestyle etc. If you are buying it is the 'stuff' you and DW want. If you are selling then the price you set (based on how much you love your coach) is over priced.
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Old 11-11-2010, 01:31 AM   #13
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What is my RV actually worth?

One, it's paid for in full. I don't plan on selling it. I plan on using it. I've made several improvements on the original, replaced carpet and paneling, added new technology that isn't even listed in a NADA guide.

Since my state does not tax an RV yearly as personal property, but only assesses a yearly registration fee, my Jayco fiver is my stress relief, my home away from home, and my emergency lifeboat when a major hurricane threatens.

For that, it is priceless.
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