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Old 08-14-2014, 09:24 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 5
Year: 1996
Coachwork: Blue bird
Chassis: Tc2000
Engine: 5.9l cummins
What's it worth?

Hey guys! I have posted my bus here in hopes of sparking a sale. This site is what originally got me to do my conversion in the first place. With plans of building a new house in the near future, the wife is ready to move on and wants it gone. I posted it here with one person partially interested and then listed it on eBay and got half a dozen questions and 24 watchers but no bids with a start of $7000. So can you tell me what you all think its worth? Thanks!

Here's the link to the craigslist ad so you can see the specifics. Thanks a lot!
http://sarasota.craigslist.org/rvs/4591674589.html
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Old 08-15-2014, 08:56 AM   #2
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Location: Cuyahoga Falls Ohio
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Chassis: Ford e-350 single wheel
Engine: 5.4 litre
Rated Cap: 12
Re: What's it worth?

My opinion, well worth $7,000. But most skoolie people want to build their own. Maybe tie up the wires hanging above the stove and install a door on the vanity and paint the exterior to make it more wife friendly.
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Old 08-15-2014, 09:54 AM   #3
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Location: Southern Maine
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Re: What's it worth?

1 of the big things you may be running up against it that it is still "School Bus Yellow". That is not a problem in some states but from what I see that is a HUGE problem in many states. So after shelling out $7k a good many buyers would have to Paint BEFORE they could register it. This poses a logistical problem... where and when do they paint it and can they get it home legally.

Secondly, and please understand I am not attacking you here, you asked for opinions. How do we know the quality of your craftsmanship in building it to this point? Do you have pics of removal of the floor and plywood (which always seems to be disgusting) did you patch rust holes? How many, and where were they? Pics of before and after patching? How are those chairs and couch secured? Why didn't you do anything to the ceiling? I think what I am getting at in a round about manner is that you are asking $7k for a 20 year old vehicle that you say everything works well on and was built correctly. That is a good bit of trust you are asking for without any proof.

Also that's a pretty substantial sum of money to shell out for a vehicle that can only be liability insured. I am pretty sure it has been said more than a few times on these forums that a converted bus is not worth much more than the price you paid when you bought it from auction and that is generally closely related to the scrap value. I can see the added value of the items in the bus, but the labor involved is not really a pricing factor. You can assume the items value is about Craigslist value and the bus value is scrap value. Think of the Labor as the price paid for the time you enjoyed it.

This is just my opinion, and I apologize if I hurt your feelings.
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Old 08-15-2014, 11:30 AM   #4
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Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 5
Year: 1996
Coachwork: Blue bird
Chassis: Tc2000
Engine: 5.9l cummins
Re: What's it worth?

Thanks for the feedback guys! I think we are planning to build the microwave cabinet and just sourced a full Size rv flip down couch to put in place of the smaller couch we have up front. I understand about the yellow exterior not being legal in other states. If we relist it after adding the microwave and new couch an don't get a bite I guess we will have to think about doing that too. As far as the pictures of the build, I would have to look way back to see how many pictures we took in the very beginning. I don't think it was very many. We didn't plan on selling and we knew what we had done. There are some areas that could be disassembled without too much trouble to show that we built with 1" square tube and angle iron if someone really needed proof, but I think when them came to pick it up and saw my shop they may not second guess me. Also, everything underneath is built the same way ( storage boxes, tank mounts, generator box). Again, I appreciate all the in put.

Steve
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Old 08-17-2014, 11:32 AM   #5
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Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Colorado
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Re: What's it worth?

i like the conversion, and think 7k is way fair for the money i know it costs to do. i sure hope you get that much for it.

paint might help attract a buyer.

in the used rv market....... i think you be hard pressed to find a diesel rv for under your price

good luck!
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Old 08-17-2014, 03:52 PM   #6
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Location: Upstate NY (Mohawk Valley)
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Re: What's it worth?

I think the finish work speaks for the craftsmanship. The interior eyesores for me are no doors under the lav sink, and all that glass and school bus steel out in the back bedroom. I would suggest a wall-to-wall drape in the master bedroom. I don't think the wheel wells are a problem, and I wouldn't worry so much about the microwave shelf that you admit is not finished. If you don't want to put work into it, I would look at these two items.

Outside, of course the yellow paint is a legal issue. This is not a drive-away for buyers in states that don't allow it.

The other problem with the exterior is that visually the improvements show up giving the impression of patchwork against the original yellow color. The appearance is not visually unified. That's one of the reason all the stick-'n-staples have all the swoops and swirls to draw the eyes away from the utility panels. This bus does not have what a real estate agent would call "curb appeal."

I almost didn't look at the interior when I saw the white RV door, and white and black RV appliance access plates, dark grey genset door, and the light grey window skin treatment with the little slotted windows that make it look like a prison bus. Some paint that ties this all together so that it looks like a unit and not the sum of the parts might help. I think if you repaint, you can raise your asking price a little bit for a bus that is truly ready to drive away and use.

Concerning the generator, consider this a freebie throw-in and not a value added feature. After SuperStorm Sandy, we tried to keep an Onan of that age running a couple of times a day at a radio site. The generator company techs had to strip unavailable parts from out-of-service units to try and get it to keep running. So long as the one on the bus keeps plugging away, great. But if it quits, the bus owner will have to weigh the cost of an overhaul against a new one. On the other hand, they don't make them like they used to, and the mechanical controls on the old Onans are fairly EMP-proof, if that's a concern.
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Old 08-17-2014, 06:06 PM   #7
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Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 5
Year: 1996
Coachwork: Blue bird
Chassis: Tc2000
Engine: 5.9l cummins
Re: What's it worth?

I have come to grips with the fact that most likely it will need to be painted before it will sell, it is convincing my wife that is the problem. It's always hard to look at your own project from an outsiders view. I will post it up again when the odds and ends are done. Thank you again for your insight. Also, the generator runs great for now so hopefully it will continue that way for many years to come!

Steve
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Old 08-17-2014, 10:45 PM   #8
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Re: What's it worth?

Another suggestion - since the conversion is the selling point, lead the ad with photo #6 of the overall interior as the title photo, instead of using the bus exterior. You might get "drive-by viewers" to take a closer look.

It would be better if the second bucket seat did not block the view of the sink. I don't think you can get the camera higher, but if the seat back is capable of being folded forward a bit to show a view of the countertop, that might summarize the conversion the best. Also, I don't know if you took the shot from the aisle or over the doghouse, but the closer you can hold the camera to the windshield and the ceiling, the more it will show.
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Old 08-19-2014, 01:30 PM   #9
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Year: 1986
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Re: What's it worth?

It's really quite simple from my point of view................there are a lot of buses out there.......at the 8500.00 price point there are an abundance of options. Many with heavy duty drive trains, and lots of basement space for folks to "materialize" their own vision. I would have to say that the "bus" market is incredibly soft right now, and in my experience this has always been a bad time of year to sell: most folks are looking for conversions or RV's in the Spring........there is also a small window before Christmas when the snow falls.

It pretty much goes without saying when it comes to these "things" one will rarely reclaim there investment, even if appliances show little wear and are fresh, they are nonetheless used.

And I could go on and bore you and others to death. I believe, as others have said, the key to this sale is to paint this bus. It appears you have the space to do it. Nothing fancy and I would advocate the various "rustoleum" methods that can be seen and researched on the web;

I've seen unconverted school buses for sale, and as was stated people are resistant to school bus yellow. I've seen a series of buses come to market, dressed in yellow, and they fetch a fairly consistent price. However, I've also seen those very same model buses come to market, painted, they seem to sell quicker, and they seem to get two to three thousand dollars more. Not a scientific study my any stretch. But I look at hundreds of buses a week; Nothing will get in the way of good bones, a heavy duty engine as opposed to medium, a pusher or mid engine instead of a puller, a 5 speed overdrive transmission as opposed to a 4 speed, and of course axle ratio that is more in keeping with highway driving. Something very few schoolies possess.

Bottom line from my perspective.............Paint it. Nothing to trick. Neutral Colors, like they use in model homes, something you believe will have appeal to a wide audience. Curb appeal, appearance, how it looks from the outside, will overcome perceived flaws on the interior. As long as it looks good on the outside, which is what most people see, one can always overcome perceived deficiencies on the interior: Most people are concerned with how things look..........Paint it and you will be rewarded.............Moki
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