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Old 10-29-2014, 11:33 AM   #15
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Sorry if I offended you by answering the post which asked for ‘buyer’ negotiating tips. Obviously, you are looking at it from the other side.
BTW I am and have been a salesman for most of my life and my son sold Cadillac’s for years. Also, my brother had been a car dealer for many many years.That’s where I learned how to get the best deals on vehicles after they both left the car business.
You bring up a good point regarding the dealer financing. Since I haven’t financed a vehicle since about 1985 I probably misstated that. I just called my friend who is a Ford dealer and he confirmed that without dealer financing profits, they probably couldn’t keep their doors open.
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Old 10-31-2014, 07:30 PM   #16
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There are many variables to buying a big ticket item. The most important outcome is that both parties are satisfied. Car dealers are depending on their service department to keep the doors open, there is so little mark up these days. The worst idea is to lie and be secretive. You will end up the loser.
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Old 11-03-2014, 09:19 AM   #17
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There are enough differences between new car sales and new RV sales that [I believe] the negotiation is somewhat different. RV dealers don't get sales incentives or holdbacks or advertising allowances from the manufacturers, so they can't sell an RV on a razor thin margin and still make money. Nor is dealer cost data is widely available on most brands and models, so sellers have to guess more. Also, the online NADA RV guide is not accurate market data (the subscription version is somewhat better), so the book value that most buyers use is of questionable value.

Used RVs are even more difficult, since asking prices vary all over the map. Unless there are several RV dealers in the immediate area who advertise their prices heavily, RV dealers feel free to make up whatever price they want. Used car dealers face a lot of advertised price competition, so can't get too far off from actual market value.

I personally don't think the "paying cash" thing is meaningful. The dealer always gets cash, whether it comes from you or a lender. He might even be tempted more if he knows there is a potential financing commission to add to his bottom line. I usually just tell the dealer I'll be shopping for credit and he is welcome to make an offer.

Trade/No trade , though, is often different. At any given time, the dealer may prefer cash or trade, depending on the season and the desirability of your trade. A few trades represent an opportunity for the dealer to make more money on the resale, but others are just something that takes more work o dispose of. The trade value reflects that difference, of course.
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Old 11-03-2014, 10:33 AM   #18
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New RV: Dealer negotiation tips?

They have to sell the rv. You do not have to buy it. Selling is selling. It is a game.

My experiences with rv salespeople have been typical.

Most will not back up service. Insert a whiny, "That is not my department." Or "That is the chassis manufacturer's, or engine maker's, or generator manufacturer's responsibility" here. For certain, the next time we buy, I will bring a contract that states that they will come and get my mh, pay for fuel, and have it repaired, and bring it back while under warranty.

Look on the internet, bring in the add. So lowball, really. Do not be afraid to travel. Do not pay for prep and transportation. After negotiating the price, get it in writing. Then, demand 5 years extended warranty. Add, a satellite dish, receiver, AND a subscription. Maybe a cover. Maybe a rug and chairs. And a rig for the toad. Or, anything else you can think of. Why not?

Again, they HAVE to sell. You do NOT have to buy.

There may be ethical, caring dealerships, but, I have not seen one in my 20 years of owning rv's.


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Old 11-04-2014, 11:44 AM   #19
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They have to sell the rv. You do not have to buy it. Selling is selling. It is a game.

My experiences with rv salespeople have been typical.

Most will not back up service. Insert a whiny, "That is not my department." Or "That is the chassis manufacturer's, or engine maker's, or generator manufacturer's responsibility" here. For certain, the next time we buy, I will bring a contract that states that they will come and get my mh, pay for fuel, and have it repaired, and bring it back while under warranty.

Look on the internet, bring in the add. So lowball, really. Do not be afraid to travel. Do not pay for prep and transportation. After negotiating the price, get it in writing. Then, demand 5 years extended warranty. Add, a satellite dish, receiver, AND a subscription. Maybe a cover. Maybe a rug and chairs. And a rig for the toad. Or, anything else you can think of. Why not?

Again, they HAVE to sell. You do NOT have to buy.

There may be ethical, caring dealerships, but, I have not seen one in my 20 years of owning rv's.


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Demand these things and you will either 1) not be buying a motorhome or 2) be paying for all those things when they bury the costs in there price.
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Old 11-04-2014, 12:34 PM   #20
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I was in the car business most of my life and ended up as a consultant. Anyone who came to me with this attitude I would invite to shop elsewhere. You're playing my game and I'm the house so I will always be the winner. You claim to be a skilled & trained negotiator yet you won't negotiate.
Listen everyone, buying a RV is the same as buying a car, boat or house. The seller wants as much as possible and the buyer wants to pay as little as possible. I'll tell you my strategy as a dealer: If we've gotten as much as we can from the buyer and it's more than we paid - sell it. If you don't show respect to the seller then stay home. Those people in Cancun and the rest of the world are struggling to make a living and you don't approve. What a sweet guy. I'll out deal you any day.
Just do your shopping and sit down intelligently. Be prepared to make an offer, with a deposit, or don't bother the sales people, they have to work with serious people to earn a living. So many people come in and make an offer that is less than we paid, being a smart ass. Our favorite saying was "buyers are liars". You've done quite the job of denigrating professional salespeople. By the way, I don't think much of the American work force in general yet my dealerships always had the highest customer service rating from the factory. If service is important, shop around the country and then discuss with your local dealer. I would pay a little more to buy locally. By the way, you don't have to hide how you're going to pay for it, they may do better than your local bank even if they make a little money on it. In fact, sometimes you can get a better price if you finance with the dealer so add that into the negotiation after shopping for finance.


Totally agree. Unlike those that have a brother in law that doesn't have a dealership anymore, I am approaching my 4th decade in the business. Negotiating is a two way street. When you start out by telling a salesperson what you absolutely will and will not do, you set the stage for failure. Everybody wants to come up with these elaborate schemes to get the best deal when the simple truth will do. Customers complain that sales staffs are so dishonest but yet the first thing out of their mouths is a made up story. Granted some of the details don't need to be given at the onset but certainly being cordial helps. I love those that won't give a name or phone # but expect to be shown the kitchen sink and then some. Would you do that to a realtor? They would cordially excuse themselves and tell you they couldn't help you. Why would you walk away if a dealer told you how much their unit was and how much your trade is worth? Simple subtraction can get you the answer you are looking for and if you forgot your calculator, I'm sure the staff would oblige and do the calculation for you. Some people like the transparency of knowing how much the new unit is and how much the trade is worth. For those that want to deal on the difference, those two figures will allow you to figure it out. By the way, most dealers can beat your bank rate while still putting money in their pocket and by you financing your new purchase they may be willing to take that lower price you offer. If you can't come to an agreement on price, you part as friends. If you come in with your fists up you just might cost yourself a good deal. I promise you one thing. If a smart dealer lets you walk, you got his best price. Thats not to say the market may not change down the road and that is a risk you both take. Buyers tend to be too emotional when it comes to making a deal. They take a dealers offer an insult when in fact its just the first pitch of the game. Take a swing with your offer and go from there. Don't be upset if you can't get the deal you want, maybe the next guy will take it or maybe you come to find that the price they came down to is what that unit sells for. Either way its just a conversation in the long run. We don't get up in the morning wanting to argue. We want to sell something more than you want to buy it but we certainly don't want to do it in an adversarial manner. Remember one thing. Salespeople are humans too and unfortunately tend to mirror the mood set by the customer. Too many customers let the deal get away from them by backing themselves or the dealer into a corner. The best customer is an educated customer. Know roughly what your trade is worth when you come in and have a number in mind as to what you want to pay for the new unit. Be ready to pull the trigger if the deal makes sense and be ready to walk away if it doesn't work for you. The dealer is willing to do the same.
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Old 11-04-2014, 01:35 PM   #21
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There may be ethical, caring dealerships, but, I have not seen one in my 20 years of owning rv's.


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Man o man are you a 'downer'.
I guess you must have the same opinion of every for profit company, RV, automotive or ???? but I do see your AVATAR picture of a pretty dang expensive (6 figured) toy so you must have found one that would put up with that attitude
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Old 11-04-2014, 05:23 PM   #22
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It looks like mojoracing and I are the only ones with real life experience selling vehicles and have the same approach - be honest. If you don't like your salesman, ask to speak to the manager, but only if the salesman isn't able to answer your questions and he can't tell you anything about price except for the list. It's up to the buyer to tender an offer, and like buying a house or boat - you can include whatever you want in your offer. Please give the employees of the dealership a break and don't go in there with an attitude. Remember, you'll get more with honey than with vinegar. In order for you to make a purchase, you and the dealer have to come to a meeting of the minds. By the way, unless you know the inner workings of the RV business, don't say there aren't any incentives or break even sales. There is no law that says they can't offer the dealer incentives to move inventory and help with advertising. By this time everyone should have a good understanding of how to buy a RV without any more posts. Good luck to all in your purchases.
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Old 11-04-2014, 05:46 PM   #23
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Somehow the vehicle dealers got the impression from my post that I am suggesting that you should take an adversarial attitude with salesmen or dealers. I certainly don’t do that, nor did I mean to convey that attitude, and if it sounded that way, I’m sorry. I certainly don’t want to waste their valuable time. I always part on a friendly basis with dealers and their salesmen whether I buy or not.
My method of buying vehicles simply stated is that I hate to ‘play the game’. (Dicker, negotiate back and forth etc.) Please just give me your best price up front. I don’t want ‘ball one’, ‘ball two’, etc. I don’t have time to waste and respectfully, neither do the salesman or dealers. This method simplifies the vehicle buying process. When I am there, I am a serious buyer who just wants to know what I have to write the check for. If that number is right, I write the check.
Never fall in love with a piece of iron, in other words don’t get emotionally attached to any vehicle before you buy.
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Old 11-04-2014, 06:50 PM   #24
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Et al, answer me this:

Why are RV's advertised at such a ridiculously high msrp and then sold at a very significant "discount"? Say, like furniture or used cars.

The last dp mh we seriously looked at was listed around $240K and sold for about $170K. Well?

As said above, the sales staff are not your friends.

Never, ever accept the first offer. On your end or the seller. Unless you don't mind being taken advantage of.


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Old 11-05-2014, 12:54 PM   #25
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I am so glad to have been able to leave the auto business because of buyers like I read here. Too bad you never came to me store, you would have a completely different experience.
Here's how it works:
1. Qualify the customer, find out their likes and dislikes and budget.
2. Provide a complete demonstration of the unit, all features and benefits.
3. Write up an order with the list price and ask for a signature. Of course you won't pay it so you make a COUNTER OFFER and the salesman takes it to the mgr who makes a counter offer and then you can decide what to do. You can counter again (if you are serious about buying) or leave and travel from dealer to dealer until you burn out and pay what it would have cost in the first place. THIS IS NOT A GAME, I REPEAT, THIS IS NOT A GAME. There are a lot of employees depending on sales to happen. I never let a prospect leave without speaking to me or another mgr. We always remember that buyers are liars. I will discover the truth - mostly they can't buy and are just killing time. It can be depressing and you people could care less. Yes, I was insulted by comments here. I don't know what you did for a living but I sure wouldn't want to hire you. What has been said here about salespeople is the same thing I have to say about lawyers and doctors, neither do I trust. There's no other career so denigrated as sales and yet we make the economy move. Without us, you couldn't buy much of anything. Try buying a big ticket item from a private and see how much they add for sentimental value.
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Old 11-05-2014, 01:03 PM   #26
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Et al, answer me this:

Why are RV's advertised at such a ridiculously high msrp and then sold at a very significant "discount"? Say, like furniture or used cars.

The last dp mh we seriously looked at was listed around $240K and sold for about $170K. Well?

As said above, the sales staff are not your friends.

Never, ever accept the first offer. On your end or the seller. Unless you don't mind being taken advantage of.


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Why are RV's advertised at such a ridiculously high msrp and then sold at a very significant "discount"? Say, like furniture or used cars.

That's the way it works. Why can't prices end in whole numbers instead of 12.95. It's about perception. Everyone wants to think they got a great deal and will lie to their friends and family how much they paid. I've heard it so many times.
If you can't befriend the salesman, then you're inept at making friends. I've recruited two good RV salesmen into the insurance business because they were sick of dealing with the customers who were years away from buying or couldn't even buy a pop up looking at hi line dp and the ones who just wanted the bottom line. I gave them a price to go shopping with that no one could meet and when they came back I would apologize for the mistake and by this time they were worn out and let me make a decent profit and leave with their new vehicle.
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Old 11-05-2014, 01:32 PM   #27
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Its OK to pay a fair price for the RV you want. It is wiser (IMO) to pay more and get the unit you like than to get a huge discount and get one that is just adequate. You will soon be out there trying to get rid of a unit that likely very few other people will like either.

MSRP is grossly inflated. You should not pay anywhere near that.

It is worthwhile paying a bit more to a good dealer who will support your unit and provide good service, especially if they are close.

Purchase a "better" unit that uses better construction material. Pay a bit more but get much better value.
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Old 11-05-2014, 01:43 PM   #28
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Why are RV's advertised at such a ridiculously high msrp and then sold at a very significant "discount"? Say, like furniture or used cars.

That's the way it works. Why can't prices end in whole numbers instead of 12.95. It's about perception. Everyone wants to think they got a great deal and will lie to their friends and family how much they paid. I've heard it so many times.
If you can't befriend the salesman, then you're inept at making friends. I've recruited two good RV salesmen into the insurance business because they were sick of dealing with the customers who were years away from buying or couldn't even buy a pop up looking at hi line dp and the ones who just wanted the bottom line. I gave them a price to go shopping with that no one could meet and when they came back I would apologize for the mistake and by this time they were worn out and let me make a decent profit and leave with their new vehicle.
Not quite certain how to take some of your posts! You make some very good points...ones that are no doubt earned from years of experience. The interesting point to me is that you have a big issue with the "general" opinion a lot of society has towards sales people and you put up a huge defense for your lot. Fair enough. But then you go on to denigrate lawyers, doctors and, yes, buyers! Pot calling the kettle black?!?
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