ABOS vs. NADA - Have I been served right?

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swbouton

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May 1, 2015
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Two years ago we bought a used 5th wheeler.  It was (and is) beautiful and is everything we wanted.  A few weeks after I bought the 5th wheeler I suffered an injury.  I year later I determined my camping days were over due to the injury since walking had become very painful for me.  I used NADA to determine a fair price and I put the 5th wheeler up for sale on RVtrader.com and RVT.com.  The 5th wheeler is very close to  being in "like new" condition.  I've improved it some and I've kept it in great shape. This spring I listed it with a local Boat/RV lot in southeastern North Carolina where we live very near the Atlantic.  Today the guy at the Boat/RV lot said we should drop the price again based on the ABOS pricing, $7800 below NADA!  This 5th wheeler should have been an easy sell and it still has a year left on an extended warranty. 

I am very uncomfortable about this huge difference between the NADA and ABOS prices, about never hearing about ABOS before today, and that there has been very little activity in the four months this guy has had my RV to sell.

I would appreciate your thoughts.  Thank you. 
 

Back2PA

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ABOS (which I'd never heard of previously) seems to be a "marine blue book" and in my mind would have no relevance to RVs. It sounds to me like you need to get your rig listed with someone who deals exclusively with RVs. While NADA for RVs is really only a guess and not based on actual sales data like it is with automobiles, it's still a good starting point. If your rig is as nice as it sounds, $8000 below NADA sounds low.

You may want to consider an RV dealer would will accept consignments. They're likely to list at about NADA retail if it's in really nice shape. They will then knock a couple thousand off to make the sale, and they're going to want to make around $3K minimum. So you'll need to set a "take home" value that allows for all of that. Example, your rig is worth $70K NADA retail. They price it at $69K, it sells for $67K but buyers want new tires and the bearings done, which you pay for to make the sale. Dealer gets $3K so your take home number needs to be in the $62K range. These are just examples. Another style of consignment is where the dealer just takes a percentage of whatever it sells for, usually 10%, but up to 15%.

A terrible salesman who does no marketing and has no knowledge of the product, can sell anything if the price is low enough. That applies to houses, boats and RVs alike.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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I never heard of ABOS either, and I've been into RVs for over 20 years, and have bought & sold several of them.  However, that guy is right that it will sell fast if you drop the price enough.  Money talks loudly on the used RV market, especially private sales.


NADA isn't Gospel for RVs, though. Unlike the car market, there is no nationwide reporting of RV sales prices or RV auction prices, so the  NADA RV Guide is essentially estimated depreciation. It doesn't reflect popular models or local or seasonal price variations, and only vaguely reflects condition.  A private sale typically goes for around the NADA Low Retail except for high demand models or outstanding condition.


If you took the online NADA RV Guide and added any options from the provided list, you have probably overpriced the 5W, perhaps substantially.  You should not add for anything that is standard or typical equipment - the base NADA price includes all typical equipment for that make & model. There are very few options that actually add sales value to a nicely equipped 5W. At best, they might make a few hundred dollars difference.


Doing a bit of research, ABOS seems to be a Marine (boat) pricing book. Have they branched out into RVs, or is this guy just equating your 5W to some boat and faking a price? I see nothing on the ABOS website about RV pricing.
 

KandT

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Jul 27, 2016
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NY_Dutch said:
ABOS does not appear to have any RV pricing guides listed on their website.

https://www.abos.com

Did you confirm ABOS pricing? - I agree I don't see any RV pricing. 

Even though it is a mild pain but awesome learning experience, do yourself a favor and learn how much the thing is worth by finding SOLD prices of similar rigs.  I hope you are sitting down for what I am about to tell you.

Not everyone in the Rv industry has your best interest at heart nor do they love to do your work for you and run their business on razor thin margins.  Bill Gates????  Go for it - lose all the money you want.  For the rest of us the hourly rate of doing the work is worth it.

Did he check the BS book for you too?  That is probably the one you need to go with for a quick sale ;)
 

Koodog

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Dec 14, 2009
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Boncarbo, CO
Sounds like they have been tacking on a bit too much for their cut.
Bottom line is any RV is worth what someone is willing to pay for it, not what the seller thinks its worth.
Price it right and it will be gone.

 

Senator

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Jun 14, 2014
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Eagan, MN
I bought my fifth wheel for 70% of NADA value.  That was my price I was comfortable paying.

If it isn't selling, it is over-priced, or under-marketed.  No other reasons.

You can always increase demand by lowering price.  That is marketing/economics 101. 
 

swbouton

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May 1, 2015
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8
I'm convinced I'll get nothing out of listing with the person I listed it with back in April to sell on 8% commission.  He never came up with any ideas and it took him 3 months for him to suggest I drop the price, which I did.  Now he wants me to drop if far further.  Today I scanned the Internet for similar RV's for sale or that have been sold.  The price is not at least $1000 less than any other.  Next I looked up NADA Base Pricing for the camper.  Low Retail $28,450, average retail $34,250, and I'm asking $32,595.

https://www.rvtrader.com/listing/2014-Forest+River-CEDAR+CREEK+SILVERBACK+33RL-122906023

Part of the problem is that the RV is located within 2 miles of the Atlantic ocean, so the area of coverage is about 50% that of RV's further inland.

I do want to sell it.  Does anyone have any suggestions?
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Part of the problem is that the RV is located within 2 miles of the Atlantic ocean, so the area of coverage is about 50% that of RV's further inland.

Not sure that the coastal location would be a problem. As long as there is a decent amount of population within xx miles, you have potential buyers, and coastal areas tend to be more densely populated than rural.
If you are in a hurry, drop the price further.  People who are buying privately or shopping at consignment dealers are generally looking for bargains. As I said earlier, Low Retail is a typical private sale price point. Your price may be below NADA Average, but that average is only an estimate anyway.    For a somewhat better price evaluation, ask your local bank or CU if they have an NADA RV Guide print edition. Some libraries have it as well, in the Reference section.  That's the paid subscription version and has somewhat more data behind it. Still nothing as reliable as NADA Car book, but better. It also has a wholesale price estimate.

If you look at the asking prices in places like RVTrader.com, consider dealer offers separate from private sales. Dealers will be asking the same prices they ask on their sales lot.  In any case, assume the rig actually sells for somewhat less than the asking price.
 

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