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Old 12-18-2016, 10:59 PM   #1
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How to Determine a Fair Price on a Used Rig?

I've been thinking and reading non-stop about the world of Escape. One thing is obvious, shopping for and buying used Escapes does not follow the 'norm' of RV shopping and buying. These rigs really hold their value.

My expeience has been in the non-fiberglass rv world where the rule of thumb is to offer at least 20% below asking on a used rig; perhaps as much as 25-30% below when buying new. And, non-fiberglass units take a huge hit when you drive it off the lot, just like a car. Both 'norms' appear to not be the case with Escapes.

So, that brings me to my question: How does one determine a fair price to offer on a used unit? I have seen some that are a couple years old yet priced very close-to or as-much-as new. Is there a rule-of-thumb in making an offer on these unique rigs?
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Old 12-19-2016, 12:31 AM   #2
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Not really any rules on the molded fiberglass trailers as with minimal care they last decades. Many fiberglass trailer rallies have owners with 20-30 year old rigs that look really good! Best to do homework checking the classified ads on the escape, casitaforum, casitaclub, fiberglassrv, oliver, etc forums. It's all about condition with molded rigs, as there are no sticks to rot.......

Most sell in less than a week after the ad is posted. My Casita 17LD sold in 3 hours for full asking price, which was about what I paid for it two years earlier - before adding $1500 in modifications, new batteries, new tires, etc.
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Old 12-19-2016, 12:36 AM   #3
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A good starting point would be to price out a brand new one with the same or similar options. But where to go from there? I have no clue.
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Old 12-19-2016, 12:37 AM   #4
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Basically, people get what they ask for Escapes. There are some who may have started too high or were in a hurry and dropped the price but I would guess that many if not most get what they ask. It used to be that one might deduct about $1000 off per year of age, however, now a seller could pretty much get what he or she paid. That is due to the present long wait time and the increase in prices as well as the dollar situation. Both parties can still make out because you would likely save thousands over a new model and the seller can do very well, too.

You won't know what the sellers paid unless they tell you as you cannot know by looking at the present prices. No matter how much they want, their price is likely to look good compared to what you would pay for a new model with the same features. We can see that even for ours which is a 2015.
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Old 12-19-2016, 07:27 AM   #5
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Unfortunately for buyers the prices of used Escapes in the last few years has gone crazy. People are asking and apparently getting what they paid new 10-12 years ago for the 17's anyway. There were a lot better deals several years ago.
Great for sellers but not for a buyer.

With the exchange rate right now I believe that's why so many americans are ordering new and getting exactly what they want for not much more or the same.

If you are willing to travel to Canada you will benefit from the good exchange rate if buying used but not many come up and competition is high.

I have been priced out of the market for a used Escape at this point
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Old 12-19-2016, 07:59 AM   #6
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We recently sold our 2010 17B. To determine a fair price was confusing due to drastic changes in the Canadian dollar vs the US dollar. In my thinking, it is more relevant what a new identically optioned trailer would now cost than what the original owner paid.

For example, when we bought the trailer the exchange rate was almost 1 to 1, and sometimes the CAD was even worth a bit more than the US$. But now the CAD is only about $0.75 to the US$ Had we been able to buy our trailer at today's exchange rate it would have been thousands less. I did not think it was fair that the buyer now be expected to pay more simply because we did back in 2010.

Another factor in pricing is where the trailer and buyer are located. An Escape in the Midwest or East Coast is probably "worth" more to some people than one very near Chilliwack. A trailer has to be either shipped (a significant amount) or the buyer needs to have the time to drive to and from ETI. For some, the trip is a fun experience, but for people still working full time it can be difficult to get the time.

And the care the original owner took of the trailer is very significant I believe. Is the fiberglass still shiny and new looking, or oxidized and dull? Is the interior in nearly perfect condition? Do all the major appliances work flawlessly? Are the batteries in good condition?

Ultimately, the price the owner is asking is the starting place, and then it all becomes up to the buyer to decide if that price is fair or make an offer they think is.
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Old 12-19-2016, 08:51 AM   #7
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I'm curious on this question too. Lets use KevinH numbers which are very realistic in stickies.....

Current owners: if you were selling your Escape for 30k - would you be offended if you were offered 24k or even 22.5k? How would you respond?
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Old 12-19-2016, 09:18 AM   #8
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Offended, no. Would just say "no thanks".

Today buyers are lining up to buy these, at or darned close to the asking price. I'd start at my purchase price and give it a week then start dropping it slowly. If you were to offer less then I asked I'd pass on it and wait for the next person as I'm in no hurry.

Might be a different story in 6 months.
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Old 12-19-2016, 09:24 AM   #9
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Fair price?

You never know what someone will accept until you offer. Years ago I bought a near new VW camper, it was for sale at $2900, I offered $2700 and he said "I'll take $2500." This happened in Bollinas, CA during the Free Love days. The group was going to buy a bread truck since they out grew the VW. I sold a like new 01 Ford super crew, the fellow made me an offer, I said no, he said "I had to ask."
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Old 12-19-2016, 09:25 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by jwscarab View Post
I'm curious on this question too. Lets use KevinH numbers which are very realistic in stickies.....

Current owners: if you were selling your Escape for 30k - would you be offended if you were offered 24k or even 22.5k? How would you respond?
Well, I know I wouldn't be offended at all. But, I would politely decline as I know the value and be willing to wait a few days for the correct price.
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Old 12-19-2016, 09:39 AM   #11
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Rather than looking at the exchange rates, or the price of a new one, I think it's much more relevant for a seller to look at the original purchase price, and adjust for slight depreciation - that is, if you want the price to be fair. Of course, supply and demand does enter into it as well, because a used Escape is still pretty rare.

But, some of the ads I've seen for used Escapes have made me chuckle. I've seen asking prices for at or above the original price, on a trailer that is several years old. To me that's just silly.
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Old 12-19-2016, 09:48 AM   #12
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Basic econ 101 question, supply and demand will determine what the market will demand.
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Old 12-19-2016, 09:57 AM   #13
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Rather than looking at the exchange rates, or the price of a new one, I think it's much more relevant for a seller to look at the original purchase price, and adjust for slight depreciation - that is, if you want the price to be fair.
But when you say original purchase price do you mean in US$ or CAD? Therein lies the conundrum. My belief is that the CAD one is more relevant, as that is how ETI prices their trailers.
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Old 12-19-2016, 10:34 AM   #14
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Basic econ 101 question, supply and demand will determine what the market will demand.
Yes, supply and demand has a significant impact on prices. Presently, a buyer has to wait nearly a year to take delivery of a new Escape. So, the only option for the buyer who values getting a trailer sooner is to pay more for it; being able to own and use the trailer immediately is the additional value the seller of a pre-owned Escape can offer today. As some on the forum have stated, right now it is easy to say "no" to a lower offer because the current market has buyers who value immediate delivery and they know someone will eventually pay a price beyond what the trailer itself might be worth in a market having a readily available supply of both new and used trailers.

ETI recently added production capacity so the supply has increased. It will be interesting to see if the demand increases proportionally and whether ETI continues to have 12+ month lead times. If the lead time for a new trailer shortens significantly, the high resale values we're seeing now will not be supported. This isn't to say that resale values will sink to the level of the average stick-built, but I think we're in a unique time as far as pricing is concerned.
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Old 12-19-2016, 10:37 AM   #15
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Thanks everyone for your responses. It sounds as if the best course is to test the water with an offer.

Some have suggested putting together a new build list comparable to a used one being considered. Are all the option prices on ETI's web site in Canadian dollars? They list the base in CDN and US. I assume they are CDN but want to verify.
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Old 12-19-2016, 10:39 AM   #16
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Kevin - as far as I know all the prices on the ETI website are in Canadian $.
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Old 12-19-2016, 10:48 AM   #17
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But when you say original purchase price do you mean in US$ or CAD? Therein lies the conundrum. My belief is that the CAD one is more relevant, as that is how ETI prices their trailers.
I'd say keep it simple. I live in the US, so I'd price my trailer in USD. If a Canadian buyer wants it, they do the math, not I. I would expect a similar situation if I were a US buyer trying to purchase a used one from a Canadian owner.

Escape prices their trailers in CAD because they're a Canadian company. The price I paid new was based on the exchange rate at the time. But, I find that pretty much irrelevant when it comes to determining an asking price for a used Escape. Just my opinion.
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Old 12-19-2016, 10:51 AM   #18
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We sold our 19' without even advertising it. I noticed someone close by that commented on the forum they were looking for one. 1 email, 1 phone call, SOLD! We both thought my price was fair and we both were happy.

Cost is higher in the Eastern US because of the cost to get one over here. A extra $4000 - $5000 if delivered at today's rates. Delivery or pickup is a cost that needs to be considered in any sell.

Fair price = what a buyer is willing to pay and seller is willing to sell for.
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Old 12-19-2016, 11:05 AM   #19
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I'd say keep it simple. I live in the US, so I'd price my trailer in USD. If a Canadian buyer wants it, they do the math, not I. I would expect a similar situation if I were a US buyer trying to purchase a used one from a Canadian owner.
Agree with Rob about letting the buyer do the currency conversion math.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I do think the pricing of a new Escape is relevant because getting a trailer now has value to some buyers. If I were pricing a used trailer, I would want to know the cost of a substantially equivalent new one in my currency and I'd deduct for things like age, warranty or features that aren't equivalent in the used one. I would add for the value that I could provide by delivering it to a buyer now, or if I was the buyer, I would have some idea about how much I would pay extra for not having to wait. I certainly wouldn't determine the price in a vacuum by not considering the price in relation to the present alternative - a new Escape (since pre-owned are rarely available).
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Old 12-19-2016, 11:07 AM   #20
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Fair price = what a buyer is willing to pay and seller is willing to sell for.
Nail hit squarely on the head!
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