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CGTaylor

How many dealers do you shop?

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We are about to purchase a Tiffin Phaeton. Should we:

  • Visit multiple dealers and ask them to give us a quote? 
  • Pick a dealer close to home who doesn’t specialize in Tiffins (which will be moot after a time since we’ll be full-timers and won’t have a local home anymore)?
  • Pick a dealer based on reputation who is in a different state but very close to the Tiffin plant (about 15 hours away from our current home)?

What would you do? Would love to hear your thoughts. Thanks in advance. 

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We picked the dealer who had the unit we wanted in stock. You only need one if you know what you are willing to pay and are willing to walk away if they don't accept your offer. We weren't allowed to walk all the way out the door.

Linda Sand

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Since you will be full timing I  would go with  the one in stock and least expensive. Stay around the dealer area for a few days to make sure everything is OK. You will  never be going back to him after that.

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If you are buying  a  Tiffin and if you have the time then shop the big three and you can do it on line

Sherman in Sherman MS (we bought here)

Ingram in Montgomery al

Davis in Memphis Tn

All three you can order the one you want the way you want it.  They also give the best prices of all (29-30% off MSRP).  Sherman beat our best deal from elsewhere by 22K

_PM me if you want more info

 

 

 

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11 hours ago, CGTaylor said:

What would you do?

I never shop only one dealer as that would put you at the mercy of the salesperson and the management. I can only tell you what we did and you chose what to do. 

In my experience, an honest dealer can sell you a specially ordered RV for a better price than one that is on the lot if he is honest because when he orders for you the unit is sold before it arrives on his lot and so his only the "make ready" cost where an RV that has been in his inventory has to carry part of the cost of operating the total facility. If a unit sits on the lot long enough, then some dealers will lower the price to move it, but usually not until he has to begin paying interest on the value of that RV as most do not pay the manufacturer until the unit is sold.

When we bought our RV to go on the road, we sat down with a sales rep. and went all through the ordering process that they use to determine a price if you special order. We then left with our copy of the spec sheet to discuss and think about what we were considering. I then called the manufacturer and got a list of all of their dealers in a 3 state area and phone numbers. I picked 10 of them and called each sales manager to ask if they would be interested in making a bid on the unit that I wanted to buy. Of the ten, 9 of them replied in the affirmative. I then made a copy of the spec sheet from our local dealer with all prices covered and not showing. I faxed a copy of that priceless spec sheet to each of the 9 dealer sales managers.  Of the nine, 8 responded with an offer within two days. Since our local dealer was next to the highest price of the bids, I returned to their salesperson and told him that I had a better price and offered to let them match it, but that didn't happen. We actually bought from a dealer that was about 120 miles from us and the only warranty work we did take back to them, before going on the road. The only other warranty work we ever had was on the chassis (it was a motorhome) and the Ford truck shop did that in the area we were in at that time. 

I can't tell you what is best for you, but I do know that it is very difficult to know when you have a good deal if you only talk with one dealer and if you buy from inventory, it is still difficult to compare as the options will very rarely be exactly the same from one dealer to the next, unless you special order. 

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IMHO, there is a difference between buying a $300,000 to $400,000 RV from a dealer as compared to buying a $50,000 to $100,000 RV.  I also feel there is a difference when you are purchasing either a Tiffin or Newmar.  What their dealer's either can't or won't fix their factory certainly will.  Many times both of these brands will fix items for free long after the warranty has expired.

Our desire was to purchase the floor plan we wanted from a dealer close to where we wintered at.   We wanted to be able to be close to our selling dealer at least for the first couple of months of ownership.  We also wanted to have a relationship with a dealer for having annual maintenance done each winter.  As a full timer in a large DP it takes some careful planning and finding the right vendors to insure you are not leaving your coach at some shop 2 or 3 days/nights at a time.

We were very fortunate when changing over to full time and purchasing our coach.  While waiting to close on the sale of our sticknbrick it gave us about 30 days to get a deal done on our coach.  If the money would not have been right we would have gone out of state to another dealer, however North Trail came through with a deal we could not pass up.

I wouldn't base anything on the location of the Tiffin factory in Red Bay.  You will end up going there at some point for something.  Heck, we were there in May for a couple days on our way north to Tennessee.  There is a vendor there that is really good at installing LED lights under coaches so we stopped in and had him do ours.  He is also a pro at custom making entry carpets so he knocked out one of those for us also.  Interesting town. 

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4 hours ago, Kirk Wood said:

I can't tell you what is best for you, but I do know that it is very difficult to know when you have a good deal if you only talk with one dealer and if you buy from inventory, it is still difficult to compare as the options will very rarely be exactly the same from one dealer to the next, unless you special order. 

That's why you do your research first. Figure out what you want then how much you are willing to pay. Once you do that, you only need one dealer willing to accept your terms. Then any extra options beyond your needs are freebies.

Linda Sand

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We sent out emails to 22 dealers throughout the country and went with the best price.  They all bid on exactly our specifications and special orders because we first gave the list to Newmar to make sure everything could be done as we wanted. When we contacted the dealer they, in turn, contacted Newmar for the details spec list and special orders.  Newmar sent it to them and that's what they bid on.  As full-timers we didn't care where we had to go to pick it up. We just made it into another siteseeing trip.  After spending a few days there going through everything we left and never returned to the selling dealer.  We had no issues to deal with afterward and if we had, we were assured by Newmar that any dealer would take care of it.

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Thanks to everyone for your very helpful insights and opinions. We completed our spec sheet and just received the 2019 prices from Tiffin. Now we can email the dealers the spec sheet and ask each for a quote. A few months to go and maybe we’ll see you on the road in the future!😀

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6 hours ago, Kirk Wood said:

Really??   😏 

What in particular are you having a problem with? You didn't do ANY research online for your most recent purchase? Brands? Floor plans? Specifications? Nothing?

We researched brands, floor plans, and specifications on line. Once we made a pick we researched prices for those online. Then we evaluated our budget and decided what we were willing to pay for that unit. Then we found a dealer who had one in stock close enough to make the drive worthwhile. Then we test drove the specific unit and, since it met our criteria, made our offer. They said, "no." So we headed out the door. We didn't quite make it before they changed to, "yes." That's when we bought our Winnebago Journey 34Y.

Linda

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6 hours ago, sandsys said:

What in particular are you having a problem with? You didn't do ANY research online for your most recent purchase? Brands? Floor plans? Specifications? Nothing?

I don't have a problem with anything you said. Your post seems to criticize mine. I'm sorry if you were offended by what I responded and intended that as a bit of leg pulling. I have always done a great deal of research prior to shopping and do not disagree with any part of what you said.  I would still price check at more than one dealer, even if it means traveling. 

 

Edited by Kirk Wood

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6 hours ago, Kirk Wood said:

I don't have a problem with anything you said. Your post seems to criticize mine. I'm sorry if you were offended by what I responded and intended that as a bit of leg pulling. I have always done a great deal of research prior to shopping and do not disagree with any part of what you said.  I would still price check at more than one dealer, even if it means traveling. 

The point I am trying to make is that it doesn't matter if you are comparing apples to oranges. If you determine your minimum requirements and your maximum cost then anything that falls within that range is one you can buy. There is a phrase that says, "The perfect is the enemy of the good." You don't have to drive yourself crazy trying to find the "right" price for the "right" rig. You don't have to adjust your price based on amenities. You don't have to spend time and money checking out numerous rigs. You don't have to find the perfect rig at the perfect price. You just need one you can afford that works for you.

Linda

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