Negotiating advice

The friendliest place on the web for anyone with an RV or an interest in RVing!
If you have answers, please help by responding to the unanswered posts.

gilbert65

Member
Joined
Sep 27, 2012
Posts
8
Location
DFW
Need advice on negotiating a sale-price. I've run across a few posts on the internet that say 2k below low Nada retail is a fair price for both seller & buyer.  One dealer even stated on his website that you should never pay more than 25% below low retail for a used motorhome - too bad he didn't have what I'm looking for!  Anybody know if these are good rules-of-thumb for negotiating a "fair" price?       
 

COMer

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 25, 2009
Posts
1,663
That dealer is playing games.  My guess is that he is using a figure for "low retail" that he invented.  I see ads sometimes for car sales at 10% below invoice.  Think about it.  Why would a dealer buy cars for invoice and then sell them for less?  Obviously, he is showing an "invoice" that is not what he actually paid. Regardless of what he shows you.
 

gilbert65

Member
Joined
Sep 27, 2012
Posts
8
Location
DFW
Thanks for the feedback.

The dealer I mentioned is located in Houston, TX. I found an ad from his site listed on one of the classified sites under Resources.  Will bookmark it if I see it again. 

Reason I'm asking is because I found a couple of used RVs with the floorplan I'm looking for, and of course the one i like best is listed at $1500 over high Nada retail. (on line consumer version) Have seen several listed at low Nada retail, but not the right floorplan. That' why I thought there might be some merit to those posts. 

Any insight on what's considered a fair price?       
 

Gary RV_Wizard

Site Team
Joined
Feb 2, 2005
Posts
73,959
Location
At our Silver Springs FL home
Rules of thumb  for a used vehicle/house purchase seems a bit of an oxymoron to me. Condition of the RV and regional & seasonal/differences make for too much variation. And if you are talking about the online NADA RV Guide, that lacks actual market data so some popular (or unpopular) models are going to be outside of the book values anyway.

In the past we have usually suggested that a buyer try for low retail, but that's still a target I would waive in a heartbeat for a rig that was "just right" and showed signs that it was well-maintained all its life.
 

BernieD

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 1, 2005
Posts
5,875
Location
Goodyear, AZ
COMer said:
Think about it.  Why would a dealer buy cars for invoice and then sell them for less?  Obviously, he is showing an "invoice" that is not what he actually paid. Regardless of what he shows you.

If you go to Edmunds or any other car pricing site, you will see the invoice price. All dealers pay the same invoice price. HOWEVER. most dealers have what the industry calls a hold back. Most dealers receive a kickback from the manufacturer based on a lot of different factors so their net cost is somewhat less.
 

garyb1st

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 31, 2010
Posts
3,921
Location
Southern California
Check out PPL motorhomes, http://www.pplmotorhomes.com/.  Click on the home page and about a third of the way down there is a link for RV's recently sold.  There you will find a alphabetical list of units sold. The list provides a brief description of the unit, the price it sold for and the date sold.  However, it does not provide any detail on the condition of the unit.  The RV's currently for sale do offer an opinion of the condition.  Many of the units I have looked at are priced slightly lower than average retail.  Some are marked below low retail. 
 

Gary RV_Wizard

Site Team
Joined
Feb 2, 2005
Posts
73,959
Location
At our Silver Springs FL home
As Bernie says, a car dealer often does not pay the total cost shown on the invoice. There is a complex set of kickbacks (hold backs) that give him bonus/credit for volume sales, selling  selected models or options, local advertising, etc. To the best of my knowledge, nothing like that is done in the RV business except perhaps when the dealer makes a volume purchase from the manufacturer. However, the mark-up from invoice to MSRP is greater in Rvs, so the dealer has more negotiating room on a new one. He also typically has more money invested per unit on his lot and greater floor plan financing costs as well.  It's really difficult to compare the car business with Rvs, even though they are superficially similar.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

Site Team
Joined
Feb 2, 2005
Posts
73,959
Location
At our Silver Springs FL home
A friend once gave me this pithy advice on buying an RV:

1. Don't take the deal personally, cause the dealer surely does not. The coach you fall in "love" with is just a "unit" to him, no different than any other. If he gets the price he needs on the coach, he'll sell it to you. If he doesn't he won't -- no matter how much you beg, cry or scream.

2. The dealer and his salesman are not your friends, no matter how nice to you they are. They will try to get every penny they can for the RV -- that's their job. So don't assume their first rock bottom offer is the best they can do -- it almost always never is, NO MATTER WHAT THEY SAY! And don't be personally insulted they wanted that much money for the coach. Once in awhile they actually get it. Just don't let them get it from you.

3. Don't worry about ticking them off or insulting them with a low offer -- see #1. They will sell you the coach -- if you can agree on a price -- no matter how ridiculous your first offer is. The only thing you might lose with a really low first offer is some credibility that you are really interested in the coach or can afford it.

4. Don't get caught up in any head games they may try to play on you.  Especially don't believe the "This offer is only good for today" line. Tell em you'll call em tomorrow. After you have looked at the competition and got some other quotes.

5. Your only job is to get the coach as cheaply as you can. Their job is to get as much as they can for each coach they sell. You don't need to take your salesman out to dinner or buy him chocolates. If you buy a coach, he's gonna be really happy!

6. You don't need to worry about whether the dealer is making any money on the deal.  That's HIS problem. If he asks you how much you think he should make on the deal, tell him you don't care if he doesn't make a nickel. You just want the coach as cheap as you can get it.
 

muskoka guy

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 15, 2012
Posts
1,114
Location
MUSKOKA ONTARIO
i live in Canada and here we use kijiji more than craigslist which is far more popular in the states. i find i can get a fairly good market value on almost anything by using these buy and sell websites. i suggest expanding the search area to a fairly large area to get as many hits as possible to make a comparison. also if you have a certain model in mind type the year and model on google. it quite often brings up quite a few for sale on all sites. good luck on your purchase
 

scottydl

Site Team
Joined
Jul 1, 2006
Posts
8,920
Location
Land of Lincoln
All good advice above.

Gilbert65 said:
Any insight on what's considered a fair price?     

The price that both the buyer and seller can agree on.  That's really all that matters, as there's no magic percentage or formula for figuring RV values.  NADA is a great resource for consumers though, and gives you a good ballpark figure so you don't overpay out of ignorance of the market.  I wouldn't want to go much over Low Retail myself, and certainly nothing near High Retail unless the coach was absolutely perfect in every way (which you never really know until you've had it on the road for awhile).  But different buyers have different priorities, with some dealers willing to sell low to get a unit moved off their lot (which is what every buyer wants), and some buyers willing to pay a premium to get exactly what they want (which is what every seller wants).  The true price usually falls somewhere in the middle of that loose equation.
 

gilbert65

Member
Joined
Sep 27, 2012
Posts
8
Location
DFW
Thanks everybody!  Really good Insights & Advice!  Much appreciated! 

Currently negotiating with a dealer on eBay.  I really like the rig he has, but standing firm at $2500 over low retail.  Feel a lot better about it after reading your advice.  Should know something this afternoon. (fingers crossed!)   
 

scottydl

Site Team
Joined
Jul 1, 2006
Posts
8,920
Location
Land of Lincoln
Gilbert65 said:
I really like the rig he has, but standing firm at $2500 over low retail.

That's fairly relative... actually it's completely relative.  ;)  $2500 means a whole lot on a $10k rig, but not as much on a $50k rig.  Post the eBay link here if you want, and you can get some more experienced eyes looking at the ad on your behalf.
 

COMer

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 25, 2009
Posts
1,663
I like Gary's pithy advice.  Should be required reading for new purchasers, and required reminding for those who have done it before.
 

Alfa38User

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 4, 2007
Posts
6,676
Gilbert65 said:
Thanks everybody!  Really good Insights & Advice!  Much appreciated! 

Currently negotiating with a dealer on eBay.  I really like the rig he has, but standing firm at $2500 over low retail.  Feel a lot better about it after reading your advice.  Should know something this afternoon. (fingers crossed!) 

What do you actually KNOW about this particular rig?? Seen it, Inspected it or had it inspected??

(Perhaps I worry for nothing and I have drooled over quite a few rigs on EBay, but can't trust these sellers unless I can see and inspect the rigs before bidding!!!)
 

Jeff Brown

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 23, 2010
Posts
717
Location
So Cal
It's hard to actually do but the best thing to do when you reach a negociating impass is to move on.  Let the seller know you want it for this price, and then keep shopping.  There are LOTs of RVs out there, if your offer really is reasonable chances are someone will take it.

EBay is a completly different debate, I live somewhat close to an EBay RV auctioner and plenty of his rigs looked "Good enough" online, but in person they were all scary repos.  That cant be true of all of them but it was for the ones I saw. 

Make a must have list, and want to have list then write a number that is the most you will pay for an RV on a piece of paper.  Take those with you to remind you exactly what you are looking for.

Good luck,
Jeff
 

gilbert65

Member
Joined
Sep 27, 2012
Posts
8
Location
DFW
Well, long story short, the deal is off. 

Guess I'll chalk this one up as a good learning experience. Going to keep looking though - I'm sure the right one is out there somewhere.

And want to thank Everybody for the support and advice!!  Lots of Good-People here on RV Forum!!       
 

dave61

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 12, 2011
Posts
440
Location
Tampa Bay, FL
Gilbert, you mentioned Houston but not sure if that is where you live. If you do you should really check out ppl motor homes. If you happen to live near there that is a nice advantage, you can visit w/o much expense or hassle. They sell a lot of units and usually have a nice selection at mostly realistic starting prices.
 
Top Bottom