New to Forum! Getting Ready to Negotiate....

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RedSonia29

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Joined
Aug 29, 2018
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11
Location
Ogden, Utah
Greetings all! Thank you for having me!

I have loads of questions, and am wading through a number of the existing posts in this forum to see if I can get a number of those answered before I post them.

Background: I currently own a 2000 Flagstaff by Forest River 21FB. It's a great little travel trailer that I purchased used about 5 years ago and is still in magnificent shape (it's been very well cared for in it's 18+ years of life).

My husband and I recently took a 1500 mile round trip with the trailer about two weeks ago and he says that it's time to upgrade. He loves to cook, so we've been looking at a 2019 Heartland Trail Runner 27RKS, which has a large rear kitchen and has a great prep space for tall people (I'm 5'10" and he's 6'2"). Since he's such a bad negotiator, it's my job to negotiate the best price on this trailer.

Questions: I've been doing a lot of research and have been speaking to several dealers (near and far) and feel like our local RV shops could come down in price. My starting questions for you folks are:
  • Should I expect a negotiation range between 15 and 35 percent of MSRP?
  • What would you say is the estimated "markup" (negotiating range) on a travel trailer that has an MSRP of about $35-36k: 15%, 25%, or 35%?
  • What would you say is the best way to knock down the "sales" price by a few thousand dollars AND get the sales folks to waive their dealer prep fees and freight fees?
The trailer we are looking at is already "marked down" from $35.5k (MSRP) to $27k (sales price). That's about 23.9% of MSRP. Comparable trailers of the same year, make, and model are "on sale" anywhere from 25.8-29.4% of their own MSRP, and I'm shooting for negotiating around 30% off the MSRP, give or take. I'm looking to get an "out the door" price around $22-24k, including all taxes and fees, as well as a trade-in of $4-4.5k.

Am I being unreasonable? Do you have any other suggestions?
 

SargeW

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Where ever we park it!
A lot depends on how badly you want that particular make and model of TT. You can send out email offers to various dealerships around the country with your offer and see if anyone bites. Dealers will often balance their offer by either raising the price of the TT and increasing the amount they pay for the trade, or visa versa.  I think a stronger position if your TT is in as good a shape as you claim is to list and sell with a private party. Then you have cash to put down on the deal. It puts you in a much stronger bargaining position.
 

jackiemac

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Scotland
We tried to get our price down by just a few K on a new one, we probably didn't bargain as hard as we could have if we were in the country and had time but we were not successful.

You will get the argument that to transfer the TT from one State to another will cost a few thousand dollars, which is probably true. 

There is no harm in trying to get the best price, they can only say no and then work from there....

Good luck

 

RedSonia29

Member
Joined
Aug 29, 2018
Posts
11
Location
Ogden, Utah
SargeW said:
A lot depends on how badly you want that particular make and model of TT. You can send out email offers to various dealerships around the country with your offer and see if anyone bites. Dealers will often balance their offer by either raising the price of the TT and increasing the amount they pay for the trade, or visa versa.  I think a stronger position if your TT is in as good a shape as you claim is to list and sell with a private party. Then you have cash to put down on the deal. It puts you in a much stronger bargaining position.

Would paying in cash help with bargaining? I've heard people say that it will (depending on time of year) and that it won't, because dealerships get kickbacks for selling financing with different banks.

What about accepting a better deal with financing, then just pay it all off the next month (my preferred "out the door" price of $22-24 is what I can pay in cash, including my trade in)?
 

SeilerBird

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St Cloud Florida USA
RedSonia29 said:
Would paying in cash help with bargaining? I've heard people say that it will (depending on time of year) and that it won't, because dealerships get kickbacks for selling financing with different banks.

What about accepting a better deal with financing, then just pay it all off the next month (my preferred "out the door" price of $22-24 is what I can pay in cash, including my trade in)?
I don't think cash would necessarily mean a lower price. Last year my brother wanted to buy a new car. He wanted to pay cash. They told him if he did not finance it with them then the price of the car would be a few thousand dollars higher. He fought the whole idea and lost and ended up taking out a loan and then he paid it off after six months.
 

RedSonia29

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Joined
Aug 29, 2018
Posts
11
Location
Ogden, Utah
SeilerBird said:
I don't think cash would necessarily mean a lower price. Last year my brother wanted to buy a new car. He wanted to pay cash. They told him if he did not finance it with them then the price of the car would be a few thousand dollars higher. He fought the whole idea and lost and ended up taking out a loan and then he paid it off after six months.

That's great advice. Thanks, @SeilerBird!

When I spoke with one dealer, they alluded to this as well. I think what I'll probably do is finance with our bank or the dealer to negotiate a better deal (lower cost), and then just pay it off within a few months.

After looking into a few more trailers of the same year, make, and model, I might be able squeeze the dealer down to 30% off the MSRP. I like this particular trailer because it has the electric auto-leveling jacks and a powered tongue jack. It's also set up for rear cameras and our truck's tow package. From what I can tell, the electronic jacks are the only difference between this particular trailer and the others I've been looking at. I could look at a different model to reduce price, but those powered jacks are a must for us.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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West Palm Beach, FL
Would paying in cash help with bargaining? I've heard people say that it will (depending on time of year) and that it won't, because dealerships get kickbacks for selling financing with different banks.
No. The dealer always gets "cash" - whether from you or the finance company. Makes no difference to him.    Maybe on a low priced used rig where a small-tie dealer could maybe just pocket the cash and keep it off the books, but not on new inventory or at a larger "corporate" store.  Plus, there are commissions on financing and such that can sometimes equal what he makes on the RV itself.

Yes, you can accept the financing deal and pay it off quickly.  Just verify there is no penalty for early pay-off, either in the sale contract or the loan contract.  There normally is not, but be sure...
Shop for financing to get a solid rate quote, then challenge the dealer to beat it.  He often has better access to financing than your will.  You can pay off the loan at your leisure
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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I don't think you need to focus so much on some given percentage of discount. It's not the most important aspect of a high-dollar purchase of a complex product.  I would much rather leave a dealer some profit margin to provide better prep service than to squeeze the last dollar out of a transaction.    Find the rig that suits you well, try to locate a dealer with a solid rep for service before & after the sale, and then negotiate a price you can live with.  Don't accept or reject a deal simply because it meets or doesn't meet some target discount percentage.

The dealer probably pays (invoice price) about 60% of the MSRP, plus the cost of shipping the RV to his store.  He has a lot of overhead, though, i.e. the physical dealer site, the cost of financing his inventory, and his employees.  If he discounts 30% off MSRP on a modest priced unit, there is little left to cover expenses and he is forced to cut services to the bone. If he sells financing or extended warranties or other services, he can substantially improve his margin. If not, he either goes out of business or cheats on the product prep and customer service.
 

SpencerPJ

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Nov 1, 2017
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4,029
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Midwest
RedSonia29 said:
Would paying in cash help with bargaining?

If you go to Camping World, paying in cash costs you more.  ::) 

I would think that working with a smaller Dealer, with a want to turn over his inventory to make room for next years model, would be your best option with room for negotiation.
 
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