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Old 07-30-2019, 03:01 PM   #1
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IS THIS BUS WORTH 10k? IF NOT, WHY?

So i'm looking at a bus for purchase, please keep in mind that this will be my first skoolie build.

I really need information regarding what your counter price would be for this bus and why?

Im asking because i'm very new to this community and i know little to nothing on what to look for in a bus and what determines its price based on what you see

What are some pros and cons that you see on this bus?

How does one find a vin number? how important are they when doing your research to purchase?

I chose a RE bus because I read that RE are easily accessible in comparison to FE buses. I chose a CAT engine as I also have read that they are more reliable.

I also plan on traveling on highways and intestates more than mountainous areas.

So do all these specs really determine the price or no? how low should I go as an offer?

I'm on a budget of 7500 for a bus, plus an extra 5000 to complete my build temporarily so I can hit the road. However, my instincts tell me that this bus is not worth 10k, maybe 7500?

Bus is already on layaway for the time being, but I plan on making an actual offer. Also did not notice any sort of visible rust, I was able to inspect it last week for over an hour before I made my decision to put it on hold. Tires were in good condition also, although one I noticed needed to be replaced.

The bus is drive-able and came out of Virginia. Thoughts?

However, any sort of information would help. Here are the specs

2002 Thomas Saf-T-Liner ER
3126 Caterpillar Diesel
Allison MD3060 Automatic
Air Brakes
13 Row - 78 Children - 52 Adults
Air Conditioning - passenger side A/C cold - driver's side A/C warm
High Top
Tinted Windows
Air Door
100 Gallon Fuel Tank
Power Mirrors
Heated Mirrors
Adjustable Pedals
2 Tool Box Storage
Tilt/telescope wheel
Mileage shown 171,961
GVWR 31,680
62 mph
Inside Height 77 1/2 in
Inside Length 28 ft on floor, 32 ft to rear window
Outside Length 36 1/2 ft
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Old 07-30-2019, 03:17 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Miami Dreaming View Post
So i'm looking at a bus for purchase, please keep in mind that this will be my first skoolie build.

I really need information regarding what your counter price would be for this bus and why?

Im asking because i'm very new to this community and i know little to nothing on what to look for in a bus and what determines its price based on what you see

What are some pros and cons that you see on this bus?

How does one find a vin number? how important are they when doing your research to purchase?

I chose a RE bus because I read that RE are easily accessible in comparison to FE buses. I chose a CAT engine as I also have read that they are more reliable.

I also plan on traveling on highways and intestates more than mountainous areas.

So do all these specs really determine the price or no? how low should I go as an offer?

I'm on a budget of 7500 for a bus, plus an extra 5000 to complete my build temporarily so I can hit the road. However, my instincts tell me that this bus is not worth 10k, maybe 7500?

Bus is already on layaway for the time being, but I plan on making an actual offer. Also did not notice any sort of visible rust, I was able to inspect it last week for over an hour before I made my decision to put it on hold. Tires were in good condition also, although one I noticed needed to be replaced.

The bus is drive-able and came out of Virginia. Thoughts?

However, any sort of information would help. Here are the specs

2002 Thomas Saf-T-Liner ER
3126 Caterpillar Diesel
Allison MD3060 Automatic
Air Brakes
13 Row - 78 Children - 52 Adults
Air Conditioning - passenger side A/C cold - driver's side A/C warm
High Top
Tinted Windows
Air Door
100 Gallon Fuel Tank
Power Mirrors
Heated Mirrors
Adjustable Pedals
2 Tool Box Storage
Tilt/telescope wheel
Mileage shown 171,961
GVWR 31,680
62 mph
Inside Height 77 1/2 in
Inside Length 28 ft on floor, 32 ft to rear window
Outside Length 36 1/2 ft
I wouldn't shell out that for it... I have a 04 year IC bus and didn't spend half that on it.
I went to a salvage yard that had 70 or so buses to pick from they bought out fleets of buses from a couple of schools.
For that much money it should have brand new tires on it atleast.
And you are prob wondering what shape mine was in, I put over 450 miles on it going home without a problem and the only leak I have is from the trans output shaft (mine too has the Allison MD3060 and you def want that trans they are about the best you can get on a bus).
But it does need a set of tires. Only surface rust on the underside, was well cared for with records. 38.5' long, rear engine.
Like you power and heated mirrors, air ride suspension, but no adjustable pedals is about all that one has mine doesn't.
Mine also only had 89k miles on it when I bought it, but most buses that come out of service have 150-250k miles on them. Pretty sure mine was a substitute bus.
So unless it's had the engine and/or trans rebuilt no way would I give out that much money for what you are looking at.
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Old 07-30-2019, 03:17 PM   #3
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The question is really what is it worth to you. There are people here who don't believe in paying for anything so they're gonna say no way but if it checks all your requirements then its juat a matter of deciding if its in your budget or negotiate. A rule of negotiation is be prepared to walk away no matter how much you may want it because the only thing worse than not getting what you want is getting it but then not being able to afford it.

It sounds like a good bus and similar to what I'm looking for. I would not agree that REs are easier engine access though but I expect they are most comfortable riding without the engine right next to you so I'm willing to accept that tradeoff.

Nothing wrong with Cats but can be pricey to fix because their parts network is proprietary.

I'm not sure if Thomases are a favorite here but nothing wrong with them, I just think its a Ford/Chevy thing. Everyone has their preferences.

Good luck!
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Old 07-30-2019, 04:35 PM   #4
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^
Well phrased, and better parsed!
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Old 07-30-2019, 04:43 PM   #5
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$10K is high!
Peruse the auction sites and observe selling prices. Nary a one sells at the price you're facing.
The dealers snap up multiple busses at auction, wash them maybe clean interior and pop them out for high prices.
Your dealer likely paid half of their asking price, and stands to make a hefty profit when a newbie skoolie comes along. That's what they're counting on, and it's the American Way!

Good luck...
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Old 07-30-2019, 04:51 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by peteg59 View Post
$10K is high!
Peruse the auction sites and observe selling prices. Nary a one sells at the price you're facing.
The dealers snap up multiple busses at auction, wash them maybe clean interior and pop them out for high prices.
Your dealer likely paid half of their asking price, and stands to make a hefty profit when a newbie skoolie comes along. That's what they're counting on, and it's the American Way!

Good luck...
What you said buddy.
People can say what it's worth to YOU, but in reality that is just words to make a man feel less ripped off.
It's not some rare gem, buses are easy to snatch up, you may have to drive a few hours but all the same for thousands of dollars overpaying making a road trip is more worthwhile than feeding a greedy seller.
I say go low ball them with cash in hand and let em see it, if they don't like it then just say "thank you, I'll find one elsewhere" and do it.
People selling stuff at insane prices like that are just praying for a sucker, don't be the sucker.
10k for that isn't a good starting price, even if they haggle it's still going to be far over what it's worth. THEN if you do buy it and it needs alot of work you really won't be a happy camper..
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Old 07-30-2019, 05:06 PM   #7
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I would not use how easy the engine is to work on as a deciding factor. I would place more emphasis on a motor that requires the least amount of repairs.
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Old 07-30-2019, 05:21 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by PatrickBaptist View Post
What you said buddy.
People can say what it's worth to YOU, but in reality that is just words to make a man feel less ripped off.
It's not some rare gem, buses are easy to snatch up, you may have to drive a few hours but all the same for thousands of dollars overpaying making a road trip is more worthwhile than feeding a greedy seller.
I say go low ball them with cash in hand and let em see it, if they don't like it then just say "thank you, I'll find one elsewhere" and do it.
People selling stuff at insane prices like that are just praying for a sucker, don't be the sucker.
10k for that isn't a good starting price, even if they haggle it's still going to be far over what it's worth. THEN if you do buy it and it needs alot of work you really won't be a happy camper..
This is all good information. What do you think is the ideal price for a bus of this kind?
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Old 07-30-2019, 05:23 PM   #9
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and what sort of motors are those?
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Old 07-30-2019, 05:26 PM   #10
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and what sort of motors are those?
I've heard very few if any issues on the DT466E that I have, some newer ones had timing cover issues with the coolant. I'd rather have a well maintained less desirable motor over a desirable motor that's easier to work on but is on it's last 1000 miles before rebuild. The 8.3 is a great motor, but not often found in an FE.
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Old 07-30-2019, 05:28 PM   #11
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Couple other small issues that can add a fair bit to the cost...

1. Location. Specifically, distance from you and how much headache and $$$ it is to retrieve. We've seen a lot of folks underestimate this.

2. Tire age. Check the date codes. If older than 7 years, assume new tires are needed and that can add up pretty quickly.

3. License/Insurance difficulties?? I don't attempt to understand why this can make retrieval so difficult for some folks but it is discussed enough that it must be a factor in some situations.
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Old 07-30-2019, 06:01 PM   #12
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Nice bus priced about 5 or 6 grand too high.
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Old 07-30-2019, 06:09 PM   #13
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Nice bus priced about 5 or 6 grand too high.
So you're saying this bus is worth 4K max? why so? i'm wondering because I need to know what to say. I want to counter his offer but i don't want to sound like an newbie idiot
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Old 07-30-2019, 06:59 PM   #14
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Not sure if your actually located in Miami. but if so, there is a bus dealer in Tampa.



Tampabusmarket.com


They have quite a selection of schoolies right now that are priced way more reasonably.
I am new to this concept also but plan a trip up to check out what they have sometime in the near future. If you would like to make a road trip let me know.
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Old 07-30-2019, 07:14 PM   #15
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RE: layaway sounds like a BGA bus... great group of people, super nice and been selling busses for years...pretty reputable. their busses are average, their services are good, their prices are pretty high.. ive heard better pricing from tampa bus market.. couple members here have bought from them.. some have bought from BGA too..



the bus you mentioned is a decent spec but I wouldnt pay over 5 or 6k for it..



again its how much its worth to you like others have mentioned.. but also dont blow your whole budget if you dont have to... one of my busses came from BGA.. its an average bus like any other.. ive since built it up to be what I want it to be.. but at the time I needed a bus quick, and they had the type and brand I wanted and could perform the services to it i needed done.. the price on the bus was high, I talked em down a decent amount.. and the services i had done to it were less than I could find in other market areas so the overall value to me was just right...
-Christopher
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Old 07-30-2019, 08:08 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Miami Dreaming View Post
So you're saying this bus is worth 4K max? why so? i'm wondering because I need to know what to say. I want to counter his offer but i don't want to sound like an newbie idiot
At auction it would sell for $3k-$4k tops.
At a dealer, facebook, or craigslist its a $5k-$8k bus.
Ten k is silly money for it, imo.
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Old 07-30-2019, 08:19 PM   #17
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Personally if someone wants so much more than it's worth, I don't even waste my time with them.
BUT if you want to haggle simply tell him you found a few others in a much better price range that are pretty much the same as what he has that he needs to get in touch with reality or be prepared to sit on it.
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Old 07-30-2019, 09:18 PM   #18
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Caveat emptor:
Insurers will either cancel the policy, or astronomically raise the rates if they get wind of anybody sitting atop a Skoolie...
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Old 07-30-2019, 11:37 PM   #19
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Don't be afraid to walk away. Be patient as there will be others. I had two deals fall through before landing my Crown. Btw, my Crown was much less than 10G but required flying to CA and driving it back.
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Old 07-31-2019, 07:52 AM   #20
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Iím not one of the people who say that if you pay more than a couple grand for a bus you got robbed, but I have a nearly identical bus to the one you are considering and paid a bit over 5k. I have seen where people have paid as low as $3500 for similar.

If I were you I would offer $5 and walk away if you canít agree on something below $6.5k.

All of that said, I like my bus a lot. Some people donít like CAT but I have had a good experience so far and this bus drives much better that any of the ones I test drove and I went through close to 10.

There are a lot of busses out there.
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