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Old 06-17-2016, 01:52 PM   #1
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Negiotiable Bus Pricing

I am curious to know if folks have been successful in negotiating prices on used buses for bus yards and dealers? I have been quoted from First Student and have been told that they don't negotiate.
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Old 06-17-2016, 02:31 PM   #2
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I got mine at an online auction (govdeals.com). Although the reserve was not met, I was the high bidder and they offered it to me at my last bid.

I created an excel spreadsheet (I know I'm a geek....). Listed stuff that was important to me: condition, size, mileage, year, price, etc. across the top. Then listed the buses I was interested in down the left. Once I had a few, I sorted it a few different ways, then the decision was clear!

I would include the First Student in the spreadsheet and see if they're competitive with other dealers and/or private sellers.
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Old 06-17-2016, 03:04 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by buddyvz View Post
I am curious to know if folks have been successful in negotiating prices on used buses for bus yards and dealers? I have been quoted from First Student and have been told that they don't negotiate.
I don't negotiate... with dealers.
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Old 06-17-2016, 03:33 PM   #4
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if you are buyign from an auction then the auction end price is it... if you are buying from an individual , a school system, or a dealer, then by all means negotiate on the price and / or any services you want performed.. Bus dealers are used car dealers selling busses instead of cars... and they typically have a decent markup on them ..

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Old 06-17-2016, 04:20 PM   #5
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I would include the First Student in the spreadsheet and see if they're competitive with other dealers and/or private sellers.
If I recall correctly, First Student generally runs their buses until they're beat.
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Old 06-17-2016, 04:50 PM   #6
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Thanks for all the input. I'll check the auction angle as well.
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Old 06-17-2016, 05:34 PM   #7
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If I recall correctly, First Student generally runs their buses until they're beat.
Yep, I agree. We looked at a couple from first student and they were higher priced than others in the same area and they were completely worn out. Engine, tranny, tires... Everything. I would recommend staying away from a first student bus if at all possible. We ended up buying from another busing company and talked them down a thousand bucks from the asking price and had them throw on a set of almost new tires for free. Negotiate away! I like to have a fat wad of cash to pull out of my pocket if negotiations hit a snag. It's amazing how many people will take less than half of their asking price when they see green...
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Old 06-17-2016, 06:05 PM   #8
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I often ask if someone would care to hear an offer, and then go from there.
If they say yes then i ask if they can accept $----?

I do my best to not try to bad mouth the item in hopes of them lowering the price, mostly because it is so transparent when people have tried to do that with me and it also makes me wonder why they would buy it if they have such low opinion of the item.

Oddly i find that the best deals are with people not too concerned with the money aspect of the sale but more with the feeling/ interaction side. I often let things go for less to the person i get a good feeling from.

Good luck!
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Old 06-17-2016, 07:09 PM   #9
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First Student is not a bus dealer, they're first and foremost a student transportation contractor... So if they have a price tag on a bus and no one's biting, they'll just keep it in service until it fails inspection or someone pays what they expect to get for it. I can't say that all of them are that way, but just keep that in mind if you look at companies like First Student, Durham, Miller or the likes. They contract to schools that don't want to own and operate their own buses. To them it's still a revenue-making asset until it begins costing more than it earns.
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Old 06-18-2016, 12:02 AM   #10
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Always negotiate. Just be prepared to walk away with your money still in your hand. Before you go in, know what you want and what you are willing to pay.
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