Private Sale V Dealers

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by PP Bear, Apr 15, 2013.

  1. PP Bear

    PP Bear Funster Life Member

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    Heres my story regarding the dealer verses private sale. It's understandable that the dealer has overheads to cover, that a motorhome may stand for sometime before a sale occurs and that the chances are you'll pay top dollar. For that you should expect a first class service, an immaculately displayed model, a habitation check and mechanical service, plus a warranty too.

    I was looking for an Autotrail Dakota SE and had £35K to spend, so was looking for a 2006 (ish) model as I should be able to cover that with this amount of cash to spend.:Smile:

    I found only 2 for sale within a reasonable distance, one at a dealer and one private. I visited the dealer first in Southampton as they were nearest and viewed the 2006 4 birth SE with 36000 miles on the clock. The dealer told me that I'd get a habitation and mechanical check, but that I'd need to change the cam belt "just to be safe" I asked the price and he said about £200 just parts. When I enquired as to why they would sell me a motorhome for this price without maintenance that was required, they simply replied that they wouldn't cover this in the sale and it's for peace of mind only. The vans age said it needed doing, especially if it had been sitting for some time. There was also no microwave fitted and while it was an SE, there was no extras to talk of and looked tired and unloved. The dealer said that they'd prepare it before i collected it. Asking price £34,900. I info'd the dealer that I would be looking at the private sale the next day and get back to them.

    When I visited the private sale, the vehicle was immaculate and was gleaming both inside and out. There was a box full of receipts, manuals and every single bit of history. It was a 6 birth on a 2006 plate, had covered 11000 miles, had the microwave, a solar panel, fitted satellite and TV system, DVD player fitted in the dash, as well as numerous extras they would be leaving in her (leveling ramps, 2xpower cables and connectors, hose and fittings etc), it was exactly what I was looking for. The price was £34,000 and we shook on £31,000. I spent 3 hours at the sellers house, half of which was spent indoors drinking tea and making new friends. The lady then went on to mention that a dealer from Southampton had called her and mentioned that someone was coming to view the van and that he would buy her's there and then on the phone as he wanted to make a sale on the one he held. She refused his offer.

    After one phone call back to said dealer to "discuss" his tactics, I paid the lady and have now had a fabulous first year in my wonderful motorhome and I couldn't be happier :BigGrin:

    I know that dealers need to make a living, but not at our expense. I'm a military man and we train for EVERYTHING, so maybe the sales guys should undertake some form of training too, it might just make a difference to completing a sale or not.

    I'll now always look to buy private as the owners are usually proud to sell on their "homes" and display them in their full glory, it keeps the private sales trade alive and you usually save money in the process. You can also buy a warranty if needed for peace of mind.

    Read on dealers, I know your not all bad, but there isn't much press for honest ones I'm sorry to say :thumb:
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2013
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  2. stcyr

    stcyr Funster

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    Thieving, scheming B******s.

    Ours was only £8.5k but came to us in perfect condition with new cambelt & tensioners, new mot, complete hab.check/repair/replace and 6 month 100% comprehensive warranty - underwritten by the dealer, not bought-in.
    The warranty covered everything inside and out, no quibbles, but we only went back once, to have the rear brakes adjusted up.

    She's still perfect 2+ years later.

    Thanks Alan, of RollingMotorhomes of Slebech, near Haverfordwest :thumb:
     
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  3. Deckard

    Deckard Read Only Funster

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    Thanks for that post, you've cheered me up!

    I had been visiting a few dealers at the weekend and came away a bit dejected tbh, filthy busted up vans and a lot of indifference...

    I am definitely going private, i will just be pestering everyone for advice and info!! :Rofl1:
     
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  4. PP Bear

    PP Bear Funster Life Member

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    Pester away

    Thanks for the feedback and please pester away, it's what the sites here for and there's sooooo much good advice, guidance and assistance just waiting to be asked.

    Good luck with your search and see you soon on the open highways, just don't forget to wave!! :thumb:
     
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  5. ourcampersbeentrashed

    ourcampersbeentrashed Funster

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    There are a few more reputable dealers and we have looked at their motorhomes but they havent had anything in stock we wanted at the time.

    So far we have always bought privately and never been let down.
     
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  6. Jaws

    Jaws Funster Life Member

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    Before I waffle off at an apparent tangent, I am admit I am inclined to go with private before dealers,....................

    BUT...........................................

    Here's an observation for you..

    I have several fields of interest and am a biggish forum user

    In all the areas of interest it is the same.. If a dealer is a long term member of a forum you can bet he is as straight as a steel ruler.

    I believe it is because they ( like me in my field ) are proud of the service they give their customers and are not afraid of a member getting 'tucked up'

    The only time you ever find a dodgy dealer on a forum is if they leap on board to defend an obviously undefendable position. They come on, spout off in a couple of posts and then are never seen again.

    ( It has happened on this very forum a couple of times... Sometimes it is hard to spot but after a while it becomes easy to 'suss out' the buggers ! )

    I do not need to mention folk like Eddie, Peter, David and of course Ash to emphasise the point, though they are good examples.

    Honest people, proud of their work, and no fear of being bad mouthed simply cos they CARE about their customers..

    I know its all been said before but put simply, if you are going to use a dealer ( in ANY area of expertise ), use one who supports a forum regularly in their field of work

    I would be willing to bet you would not regret it :thumb:
     
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  7. chaser

    chaser Funster

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    As observed in a previous thread, at the dealers with the crabby vans there is always salesmen sitting about, WHAT do they do all day, why don't they get out there cleaning these vans, why are they always waiting for someone else. Obviously they are making too much money somewhere. Not meaning you Peter
     
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  8. journeyman

    journeyman Read Only Funster

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    I bought private. I saved about £3-4k on dealer prices. I travelled from North Wales to Edinburgh to seal the deal, spent about 4hrs with the seller and made a friend in the process.

    Although the dealers supply a warranty, the nearest reputable dealer is Todd's at Preston(I don't consider the others reputable), some hour and a half journey away. So if I had a problem with the purchase, the logistical problems would start, 3 hour round trip each visit, possibly taking the car as well if the van was needed overnight....Stress levels seriously rising...I would end up hating the van. So better the £3-4k in my pocket and deal with issues as they arise. I have no mechanical or engineering knowledge, but I have located a Wrexham based mobile motorhome/caravan fitter(fully qualified...gas etc), so he will be my port of call for anything I can't fix. £50 callout charge. I've used him once on a small plumbing job.....much better than a 3hr round trip to a dealer.

    I used Auto -Trader to source my van, care needs to be taken of course, but its a good way of quickly sussing out what the dealers are pricing vans against private sales. Most dealers openly advertise on there.

    If the price was right, I would buy from selected dealers....unfortunately it rarely is.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2013
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  9. steveclecy

    steveclecy Read Only Funster

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    Very interesting post which I enjoyed reading and truly pleased you got what you wanted at a price you were pleased with.

    But the bit I quoted from your post troubles me slightly. Where do they make their living if not at our expense? I agree the salesman's method of trying to secure your sale by buying up the alternative is appalling, but we need a strong dealer base in this country. To some extent, the prices on the windscreens in dealerships drive the market for value of our motorhomes.

    I am with Jaws on this one.

    Steve
     
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  10. joner8888

    joner8888 Read Only Funster

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    Someone's private MH is their pride and joy and they spend lots on it as needed.
    It is different than a car--that`s just transport--
    A dealer looks at any MH as a asset not as a family member that gives freedom and holidays.
    A MH owner will lavish time and money on it as a hobby as well, so buying private is buying someone's pride that has been lavished on it.
    A dealer wants it in ,spend only what has to be spent ,sell it and earn.
     
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  11. rainbow chasers

    rainbow chasers Read Only Funster

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    Quite surprised at this thread. It seems more an attack on dealers - I know there are bad, there are also far more very good and reputable ones.

    There are far more bad sellers.....high prices than market, hidden damp problems, things faulty and not mentioned. What one seller might think is a speedo cable needing attention could be a 5K gearbox to someone more knowledgeable.

    Many say that some dealers do not clean the vans - go elsewhere! You don't have to buy from that one - they can't be bothered to clean, nothing to say that you can't be bothered to buy it...or use it as a bargaining chip and get the price reduced by another £400 to cover cleaning up.

    Dealers do have to make money to cover them all year round. Many councils charge rates including the forecourt space. Average seems to be £15 a square foot of forecourt. Look at the forecourt size and think about it for a moment....£15 for every square foot outside that building, and inside. It it quite a large bill, along with stock, staff etc when you only make profit in the summer. They may put what appears to be a large profit on top - but if you want the facility near you or within distance, you have to pay the price. By all means, support the goods ones - but to complain they make a profit and give that as a reason to avoid them is shocking!

    Private or Dealer - people can make their own choice.......have recourse, or go it alone.

    It is no different with houses - some insure them and the contents against damage, others take the risk and lose it if the worst happens.
     
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  12. journeyman

    journeyman Read Only Funster

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    My biggest worry with the dealers is "Some" appear not to carry out thorough PDI's etc before handing over to the customer, really basic stuff and not a lot to ask for when your handing over double figure thousands. Reading some of the horror stories on here in the last two years, its no surprise some individuals favour private sales. I've no problem paying 2-3k over the odds for a van from a dealer, but the service and quality needs to reflect that. Mention many of the large franchised dealerships on here....lots of sucking of teeth by experienced members, very few have good reputations within the motorhome community.....that speaks volumes.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2013
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  13. greyman1

    greyman1 Read Only Funster

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    :Smile:hi ppbear . it sounds like the salesman at the dealership had been well trained if you ask me and from a MILITARY style to boot! he extracted from you [not under torture i hope !] the fact that you were going to see another van in the area [ termed in the forces a perceived threat i think !] he then took steps to eliminate the competition with extreme prejudice [by buying it !] he attempted all this via a communication link [the phone] without risking any boots on the ground [ or even a dicky tummy from stale scones ! ].in this case, the spoils and victory are yours but i think you slightly underestimate the so called "untrained salesman". regards garry,
     
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  14. gibbon

    gibbon Read Only Funster

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    Private V Dealers

    A good point made earlier about dealers with a genuine interest using forums,giving free advice etc. Speaks volumes about integrity & not being afraid of honest feedback.
    We've also done 100's of miles in search of our van only to be disappointed by scruffy tatty vans on forecourts that you can't even start because the batteries are flat & interiors that look as if a family of baboons have been hanging off every catch,switch & roof vent,and damp! Apparently the vans we looked at had'nt been valeted yet. Really,how reassuring.
    We did'nt have a huge budget & the vans we saw would have been stretching it even if they were worth having.
    So,lucky for us we ended up buying a much loved & well maintained van from a lovely couple who were very sad to see it go. We met their asking price because it was at least 4 grand less than the price for the same thing seen anywhere else.(6 grand less than any dealer).
    Just had a full veh & hab service done by Dave Newell at Telford(Dave & Jackie seem really nice) for a few hundred quid which I trust so much more than being told by a sales person that it's all been done.(Yeah right).
    So,depending on arm length & depth of pockets you do have a choice:BigGrin:.
     
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  15. Jaws

    Jaws Funster Life Member

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    Oye !!!!!!!!!!!

    that remark is Baboonist that is !! You will have the PC police after you if you aint careful !!!
     
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  16. rainbow chasers

    rainbow chasers Read Only Funster

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    I think what this boils down to - is choosing your dealer wisely, or choosing you seller even more carefully.

    There are some cracking dealers out there - they don't beg you to buy from them, they don't have to - it is your responsibility to go and find them if you want that service. Vote with you feet - if vans are dirty and have been for some time, ask why - it may be they have no valeter, or he is off sick/holiday - it may be that they don't clean them, in which case avoid if they have no pride.

    If the van is 3-4k higher than private - haggle!! Can't promise they will drop too far, but you would be surprised - I quite often get around 5k knocked off van prices for customers. Takes time, but time costs nothing, but can earn you some savings!

    I guess, the ideal vehicle is my customers one that she is having to sell - private sale, but has two years warranty left! :Rofl1:
     
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  17. petrol tin glyn

    petrol tin glyn Read Only Funster

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    :Eeek::Eeek: i have did have a look changing my van with marquis mine is a 53 plate a/class with all the whistles and bells / and taking out c/built 04 tag axle with more miles on the clock offered me 19k for mine and they are selling around 26k and asking £34.950 for the tag/ top dollar nice little profit there, so no deal , so off down the plug hole to spain and get a bit of sun.:thumb::thumb::Rofl1::Rofl1:
     
  18. Johns_Cross_Motorhomes

    Johns_Cross_Motorhomes Trader - Motorhome & Accessory Sales

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    There are plenty of good family owned dealerships in the UK, just keep clear of the ones who claim to be the biggest and best like some do especially the nationals.

    Peter
     
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  19. Jaws

    Jaws Funster Life Member

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    I always consider that a bit of an oxymoron Peter..
    BIGGEST and BEST ? nahhhhh
     
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  20. electricscott

    electricscott Funster

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    All deals are individual and ultimately you have to weigh up all the pros and cons at the time and there are with both methods of buying a MH.
    one post mentioned that a private owner is selling his/her pride and joy and this can work against you as they might have an over inflated view of what their MH is worth where as a dealer looks upon the MH as a business transaction and indeed can be negotiated down or extras added on at cost especially if his workshop guys are idle.
    Personally if I have cash private every time if possible. if I have a van to part ex or difficulty raising finance the dealer route is attractive.
     
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