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Old 11-14-2012, 10:43 AM   #1
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"So ya wanna buy an RV today?" Um...yes.

So, you found the RV you gotta have. It's gonna completely change your life. It's beautiful. But... it's on a dealer's lot, being circled by salesman with really bad ties, overseen by a prosperous looking fellow in a dark suit with an amazing smile. And the amount of money at stake here...

How did that work out for you?
Did you get a good deal? Did you have to navigate through some shenanigans? Did you leave the manager exasperated and drive off in your new RV giggling? Or did you get taken a bit?

Any tips for others about to run the gauntlet and write the big check? Let us learn from you experiences.
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Old 11-14-2012, 11:33 AM   #2
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It was our first RV purchase of any kind, so I'm sure we got "taken" a bit. Thank goodness I had done a bit of reading RV forums like this one, so I knew going in that there was lots of negotiating room. It was similar to a car deal...the deal writing, checking with the manager, whining about "not making a cent on the deal", etc. I'd say if you go in knowing what you are comfortable spending and find the RV you want, try not to let your emotions enter into the negotiating.
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Old 11-14-2012, 11:40 AM   #3
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It makes a difference if you're looking at new or used.

With a new coach, once you decided on the make, model, etc that you want, Google it and you'll find many dealers with adds for them nation wide. Send emails to those dealers telling them you're in the market and asking for their best price.

Some will not respond. Others will respond that you need to call them to talk about it. But, many will respond with a selling price. We used those responses to form the basis of our negotiations with our local dealer and it worked out OK for us.

On a used rig it's much more subjective.

Good luck.

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Old 11-14-2012, 11:55 AM   #4
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As the Owner of a General Contracting firm I am used to getting beat up on the numbers, so that I am calloused to the whining of sales people. i shopped prices for months, from several dealers across several states. I was purposely looking for year end close out deals, 2012, 2011 units that had been on the dealers lot for a while.

We had a strict budget that required we pay no more than 80k and I wanted a 150k coach. We finally found a "new" 2010 Fleetwood Bounder that had sat on the dealer's lot for more than 900-days. We got 42% off MSRP, and if not for some other goober looking at the coach while I was negotiating, I think I could have gotten another 2k off the price.

I think we got a pretty good deal...the next guy would say that we hadn't...I paid under 78k for a Fleetwood Bounder 33U, not including taxes. The dealer at least took the depreciation hit on the coach.
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Old 11-14-2012, 12:30 PM   #5
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Found the rig I liked most. Drove it. Was sold on it. I knew the list and what the market $ was. Went to dealer.
He gave me numbers.
I stood to walk out, without comment.
He sweetened it. I stood to walk out, without comment. I knew he was hungry!
He asked if I could make an offer. I did, stipulating it was an Out the Door price.
After he got done looking at me like I had 3 heads, he said it would never fly. stood to walk out, without comment. I left. 3 days later, he called. I got my price.
He started at 30% off list, went down to 32% off.
My OTD price was 43% off list.
It is YOUR money!!!
BE BRUTAL!!!! :-D
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Old 11-14-2012, 02:15 PM   #6
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Today it is a buyers market that is plain to see given the economy. Their are enough tactics out there to write a book about and dealers and salesmen have heard them all.
The point is what the buyer is willing to spend and what the dealer is willing to sell for.
The second point is there are numerous dealers that for various reasons can sell at better prices because of lower overhead etc.
Shoping for the RV you want is important and if that price is not within your budget then move on.
Personally I put together a specific set of specs I am looking for then give it to several dealers to compete for my business. whether you are looking for new , used, trading what ever their are many costs that go into your deal so keep an open mind and chose the deal that you are comfortable with.
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Old 11-14-2012, 06:20 PM   #7
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CAUTION - Whining rant below:
Geez, I hate this negotiating stuff. I'm lousy at it, I always end up with a vague pain in my backside and a nagging doubt in my mind. I just don't do this enough to be any good at it.
Why does it have to be this way? RV's, cars, etc, all cost a set amount to build. Why does it have to be such a painful experience? Why can't a manufacturer sell direct at a fair price with a decent markup for themselves and we all come away happy. But no, it's always about how much can a dealer screw the customer.
I love Car Max, I'm even willing to pay a little more just to avoid the sleazy salespeople and games. Why isn't there an "RV Max"?
End whining
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Old 11-14-2012, 06:36 PM   #8
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Quote:
Why can't a manufacturer sell direct at a fair price with a decent markup for themselves and we all come away happy.
In many (most?) states it is illegal for a manufacturer to sell vehicles direct - I assume that holds with rvs, also. I think what you want has been tried, most recently by Saturn, but customers, I read, did not like it and it was back to normal.
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Old 11-14-2012, 06:46 PM   #9
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In many (most?) states it is illegal for a manufacturer to sell vehicles direct - I assume that holds with rvs, also. I think what you want has been tried, most recently by Saturn, but customers, I read, did not like it and it was back to normal.
Actually there's a case going before the courts now because Tesla has direct sales outlets in several states and the dealers don't like the fact that they could be cut out.

The only reason that manufactures can't sell direct to the consumer is because the franchisee's put more money into the politicans pockets than we the consumers.
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Old 11-14-2012, 09:28 PM   #10
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The future DW didn't like the MH I already had. We walked into an RV show and found one she really loved. I was toast. I have to admit, I liked it too. Fortunately, the price posted on the windshield was a pretty decent price. We were able to negotiate a few more dollars off so I felt pretty good.
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Old 11-15-2012, 08:34 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by baraff View Post
CAUTION - Whining rant below:
Geez, I hate this negotiating stuff. I'm lousy at it, I always end up with a vague pain in my backside and a nagging doubt in my mind. I just don't do this enough to be any good at it.
Why does it have to be this way? RV's, cars, etc, all cost a set amount to build. Why does it have to be such a painful experience? Why can't a manufacturer sell direct at a fair price with a decent markup for themselves and we all come away happy. But no, it's always about how much can a dealer screw the customer.
I love Car Max, I'm even willing to pay a little more just to avoid the sleazy salespeople and games. Why isn't there an "RV Max"?
End whining
If I might make a suggestion? Don't just play along with their game? They have a lot of time between customers, and many have used that time to refine sales generating games! They're snakes! A necessary evil to be dealt with.

Turn the tables on them. Make your own game - and stick to it! This does require some discipline on your part as you first have to determine your needs - exactly. Then, you shop for price on that package, without varying from it even a little. You have a need, and it's up for bid. Show/tell them exactly what it contains. Be specific! Then, best bid wins. Period! Make that understood! That you are shopping for bids on your "need"? Rest assured they are not going to like this new game, but you have the money, and they're there to get it. They WILL play your game.

Don't let them take you on side trips by trying to change/redefine your "need"! That's designed to unsettle/confuse you, by changing the value of your need. Possibly to the point nobody else can bid on it (that's a guaranteed win for them!).

Don't let them burn up your time dragging the process out. That's done to wear you down. The minute you sense unnecessary delays, walk out, leaving them your phone number. Don't even go in the door without being prepared to do that.

Get at least 3 bids on your "need". Whatever it is.
See if that mindset doesn't help you? YOUR game will always be much more fun to play than what they offer you....
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Old 11-15-2012, 09:17 AM   #12
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First off... salespeople know you don't need an RV.
Second... I dont believe people when they quote xx% off MSRP. I look at window stickers and just have to laugh. Especially on a class C with a $138k asking.
If you can negotiate that much off the asking... why would you even bother to pay for an RV in the first place?? You can move 10 units and secure a fair amount of profit to pay retail.
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Old 11-15-2012, 09:38 AM   #13
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I may have a unique twist to this question having spent over 20 years in Auto Sales with the last 17 of those in Management. I was the guy that the salesperson "disappeared" around the corner to go discuss things with, if that helps. Truth is, buying an RV, Boat, Car, etc. does not have to be a trying experience. As a matter of fact, it's really important that you make sure it's not. With the amount of information provided to today's consumer, you've got to really want to get taken advantage of for it to happen. Truth is, most people would be totally shocked once they realized the net gain most dealer's realize. You really are far better served to spend the lion's share of your time making sure the MH you've decided on is really the one for you. Fretting over the numbers should be a minimal investment of your time. It's simple, really....understand that in order for the dealer to be in business, he/she has to make a profit. Relative to that, understand the price range your dealing in and recognize that number. In essence, it's probably not realistic to expect a dealer to turn a $700.00 profit on a $90,000 RV. After taxes, insurance, employee cost et al, I can assure that guy won't be in business for long.
Spend most of your time searching online for the model(s) you want. Find out what's considered to be a "fair price" and take that number with you. Once you locate the unit, if it's new, then the whole transaction should be rather quick, when it comes to "how much". As to buying used, this is where you've got to be a lot more prepared as value is reflected by condition, and when we're talking about tens of thousands of dollars, it's easy to make a very expensive mistake. If you really want to take a short cut, go to a dealer(s) that you've gotten good references on, ask for a meeting with the sales manager and explain to that person that you're a serious and qualified buyer and that you are, in fact, going to purchase an RV. Make it clear to him/her that you've come on "X's" recommendation, that you understand he/she needs to make a profit, but that you won't, in fact, allow them to make it all on you. Odds are, you'll find the 1st "offer" come back to very close to what you had expected to pay based on your pre-research. Salespeople are not all "snakes" and approaching them as such usually ends up bad for you, I assure you. They are trained at what they do, and regardless of how many RV's/Cars/etc. you've purchased over the years, odds are, they've outsold that number just in the last month. You'll never have an "advantage" in that arena, nor should you want one because it really is a thankless job that requires long hours away from family and a society that looks down on you for no real reason. Good luck.
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Old 11-15-2012, 10:10 AM   #14
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With the amount of information provided to today's consumer, you've got to really want to get taken advantage of for it to happen...
So, many of us want to be taken advantage of?

Quote:
Originally Posted by emoney View Post
Fretting over the numbers should be a minimal investment of your time...
So I, as someone who has worked his whole life to earn enough money, hopeful, to do some traveling, should not fret over the numbers of such a major purchase?

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They are trained at what they do, and regardless of how many RV's/Cars/etc. you've purchased over the years, odds are, they've outsold that number just in the last month. You'll never have an "advantage" in that arena,...
So I should just hand over my money, cause they are holding all the cards.

@emoney, thank you for all the suggestions on making the deal easy, smooth, and profitable for the RV dealership and sales staff.
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