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Old 11-01-2014, 02:59 PM   #1
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Bus Dealers - experiences?

I see that on the East Coast, Sonny Merryman and Don Brown are 2 of the larger school bus dealers. Looking at their websites they both have a good, varied selection of buses. I would think that buses from Sonny might have less chance of rust issues since they are probably from the milder climate states. I was also thinking that the buses they sell may tend to be more reliable mechanically since they also service buses, vs. the crapshoot of buying one from a private seller. I know the cost may be several thousand more than a private seller but it might be worth it if it was verified to be in excellent mechanical shape.
I wanted to get feedback from everyone who has dealt with either one of these dealers and see how their experience was. Thanks.
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Old 11-06-2014, 04:00 PM   #2
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Re: Bus Dealers - experiences?

I live in FL and the dealer prices here are very high. It's rare to find a dealer bus less than $7500 and even then you'll be getting a late 80's early 90's model. I ended up using GovDeals to score a bus for around 2k. Runs great, only problems I've had have been with the battery. Take the plunge, take a risk, and go hunt one down and forget the dealer!!!
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Old 11-06-2014, 04:08 PM   #3
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Re: Bus Dealers - experiences?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mtunderwood
I live in FL and the dealer prices here are very high. It's rare to find a dealer bus less than $7500 and even then you'll be getting a late 80's early 90's model. I ended up using GovDeals to score a bus for around 2k. Runs great, only problems I've had have been with the battery. Take the plunge, take a risk, and go hunt one down and forget the dealer!!!
Thanks for the info. I'll keep watching the auction sites to see what the prices look like so I know how much to shoot for when I'm ready to buy.
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Old 11-06-2014, 06:15 PM   #4
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Re: Bus Dealers - experiences?

I bought from a dealer in Kansas and paid around $4,500 for a 1996 with 160K miles. Not a bad deal and had the convenience of a dealer situation. I have no complaints about my experience; they even picked me up at the airport. Of course you will get a better price at auction, private seller, etc, but take more risk.
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Old 11-08-2014, 07:28 AM   #5
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Re: Bus Dealers - experiences?

As Underwood stated- the bus dealers here in FL are way overpriced. I think lots of them get exported.
At a dealer, you're just paying for someone else to go pick up a bus at an auction. Cut out the middleman and take the plunge!
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Old 11-09-2014, 10:44 AM   #6
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Re: Bus Dealers - experiences?

I almost forget to mention http://www.CommercialTruckTrader.com. In my search for buses I was able to find a few on there when I searched for buses only. Around Florida, it seemed buses were going for less than a dealer but more than auction (3k-5k). Might be a good place try.
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Old 11-11-2014, 04:29 PM   #7
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Re: Bus Dealers - experiences?

Peter LaBarge from Quality Bus Service in Sparrowbush New York was excellent. Helped me export to UK, cut spare keys, found me manuals, haulier etc. The 2002 International Bluebird had only 94k miles and I bought it sight unseen for $6500. It has a bit of rust but nothing serious that I can't fix.
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