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Old 05-10-2021, 10:55 AM   #1
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Another General RV Shady Deal

So on Saturday we found a fifth wheel that we really liked at the Jacksonville General RV dealership, negotiated what we felt was a fair deal (all over the phone since we don't live close to the dealership) and was ready to close the deal. When I asked what the next step was the salesperson said that she'd need a $5,000 non-refundable deposit. Keep in mind that up to this point whatever I had in writing was limited to a few texts and emails. I asked to see the contract before sending the deposit but they said that they couldn't do that until they received the deposit (again, non-refundable) because it was an "official document." Of course it is....that is exactly what I needed to see before forking cash over! I maintained my need to see the written contract and, well, they ended up selling the fifth wheel to someone else on Sunday. This had so much shady business written all over it I found myself wondering if I was being scammed. I called the sales manager, who refused to pick up the phone or return my voicemail message. Is this practice normal in the RV industry? I feel like the general practice is that an RV can be held with a refundable deposit for a certain amount of time.
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Old 05-10-2021, 10:59 AM   #2
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Sounds like you lucked out. I would never give any dealer or seller a $5000 non-refundable deposit until the contract was in place and I have had the opportunity to inspect the RV, and by that point, no deposit would be needed anyway as I would either purchase the RV or pass on it. ~Craig
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Old 05-10-2021, 11:01 AM   #3
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I dont see this as a "shady" deal, just one I would not participate in.
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Old 05-10-2021, 04:37 PM   #4
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I was looking to buy a 15hp outboard motor from a local dealer. Said they needed $500 down non-refundable and it would take 12 to 24 weeks to get one. I ask what if they didn't get one in after the 24 weeks. Said no-refundable no matter what- even if it took a year or longer! I told them to shove it!
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Old 05-10-2021, 06:40 PM   #5
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Sounds like they are taking over the top spot from CW.
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Old 05-11-2021, 05:38 AM   #6
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Lazy Days Tampa, too. I wouldn't buy a pogo stick from them. Look at all the negative Google reviews and LD copy and paste lame responses.
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Old 05-11-2021, 07:13 AM   #7
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Campers are selling so fast now, they can be like this. Why wait for a "maybe" sale when it can sell it today to a customer who is here now with money.
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Old 05-11-2021, 08:42 AM   #8
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That is not the way honest people or places do business. I would tell them to shove the deal.

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Old 05-11-2021, 10:38 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by TXiceman View Post
That is not the way honest people or places do business. I would tell them to shove the deal.

Ken
That's exactly right. When they take your credit card number and promise you you have first right of refusal upon your inspection and you show up and the units is gone. I don't think so. Then telling you it will take 3-5 business days to get your credit on your card. Nope. One call to the credit card company.
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Old 05-11-2021, 11:03 AM   #10
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5th wheel ?

We just returned home to Colorado from our trip to Florida.
Took the southern route down thru Texas and I-10 across.

I cannot tell you how many RV dealerships we passed but it was in the hundreds, and all PACKED with 5th wheel and pull behind trailers
Some we counted almost a hundred on the lot and this is going and coming.

Class "A" coaches, gas and diesel pushers = not so many.
Class "C" and Class "B" even fewer.

Result is if you want a 5th wheel there are lots of them to choose from and I would never send $$$ to a distant dealer to get a trailer.

Look around about 2 days drive from you and go take a look at it before doing any kind of a deal. Two nights in a motel is a whole lot cheaper than a $5K nonrefundable deposit.

Just my $ .02, and worth every penny.

Mike in Colorado
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Old 05-12-2021, 03:52 AM   #11
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FYI: General RV is under attack for unethical business practices on the finance end of their business. Your experience is an indication of other unethical practices.

They're selling cheap monthly payments, and customer are entering into retail contracts not realizing huge balloon payments are going to be due in 10 years. Few buyers may have the financial resources to pay that balloon payment, however.

Yes the RV business has been good the past year. But as mentioned above that there are still plenty of RV's available, and non-refundable deposits are not to be made.

If a group of past retail customers file a class action suit on the balloon payment issue, General RV might have difficulties surviving.
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Old 05-12-2021, 07:27 AM   #12
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While I was certainly upset (probably a pretty significant understatement), the purpose of my post was to get a little clarity about normal practice and to help highlight for others some potential pitfalls to avoid. My family was so emotionally invested in making the transaction happen and it really stunk having to tell them that I wouldn't move forward without seeing a signed contract, but I could see how someone could get so wrapped up in it all that they essentially sign a blank check and put themselves in a really bad position. I made it abundantly clear that there would never be a situation where I liked a camper so much or had such a great deal that would ever compel me to do business with them in the future. I know that little ol' me won't hurt their bottom line at all (afterall, they still sold the 5th wheel). This just emboldens me to not always chase the "best" deal, but to find a dealer to do business with that I can trust both during and after the deal is made. I will gladly pay more for this!
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Old 05-12-2021, 08:42 AM   #13
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I'd consider paying a 5% non-refundable deposit in the instance it was associated with a new order, custom build, and it came along with a special order agreement and build sheet specifying what exactly was to be delivered. This was what happened in my case.

Otherwise, I certainly wouldn't be interested in paying a non-refundable deposit simply to hold an in-stock unit, seeing as a decent sales manager would be happy to order you what you want if you're willing to wait.

Edit: Disclaimer--I did not go through General RV.
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Old 05-12-2021, 09:10 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beerdude View Post
I'd consider paying a 5% non-refundable deposit in the instance it was associated with a new order,custom build, and it came along with a special order agreement and build sheet specifying what exactly was to be delivered. This was what happened in my case.

Otherwise, I certainly wouldn't be interested in paying a non-refundable deposit simply to hold an in-stock unit, seeing as a decent sales manager would be happy to order you what you want if you're willing to wait.

Edit: Disclaimer--I did not go through General RV.

Your experience in not unusual with a trustworthy dealer and the necessity to commit to a brand new factory order, but, would you pay a 5% non-refundable deposit on that new order if it was required before you saw any paperwork describing a " custom build, and it came along with a special order agreement and build sheet specifying what exactly was to be delivered?"



Don't think you would, and that's essentially what the OP was asked to do.
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