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Old 03-12-2018, 02:14 PM   #1
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Hey There

Hello all,

I've been wanting to make myself a skoolie for several years now, and have been watching videos and reading articles on different projects people have been doing or done. I'm finally at the point where I can warrant finding and purchasing my first bus. I've got family land in southern Illinois to park and build on.

Of course, I'm still unsure how to go about buying a bus. If I remember correctly, I've read that some people were able to buy a bus directly from a school district, which is what I would prefer to do.

If any of you have knowledge on this front and are willing to share, it would be much appreciated. I'll share pics and video footage of the entire process once I start.

Thanks in advance,
Danger Noodle.
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Old 03-12-2018, 02:34 PM   #2
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Buying directly is worth looking into but many (most?) districts are required to put equipment up for competitive bid.. aka auction. If you see something on craigslist/ebay it likely was bought by someone at auction and is now being re-sold. GOvdeals and publicsurplus is about as close as most people can get to buying from the schools.
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Old 03-12-2018, 02:37 PM   #3
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Awesome. Are those good places to start, or just places I could start based on what I said?
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Old 03-12-2018, 03:09 PM   #4
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Those are good places to shop.
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Old 03-12-2018, 03:17 PM   #5
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I personally bought my 1993 10 window bus from one of those sites for $3,011. Only problems it had were a leaky air compressor governor and a small oil leak, both of which are easy fixes. Also some rust under the subfloor, but that's almost standard on old buses.

Businesses who need bus fleets (like farmers) try to buy from sites like these as well. Auction style is usually the cheapest way to buy. Local governments have strict maintenance schedules from when the buses were in circulation and are much more transparent about problems they do have. I even asked to look at the buses that would be for sale and they let me.

An decent auction bus from these sources will usually cost $3,000-$5,000, less if they have more serious issues.
The same bus on craigslist or similar could cost like $6,000-$10,000, and the seller may lie about its condition.
The same bus from an actual bus selling business can cost like $15,000.

My father is a citrus farmer, and he NEVER buys buses from anywhere but the school districts for the above reasons. Auctions are also usually online, and if you use the autobid feature you don't even have to follow it really closely.
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Old 03-12-2018, 05:23 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Danger Noodle View Post
Hello all,

I've been wanting to make myself a skoolie for several years now, and have been watching videos and reading articles on different projects people have been doing or done. I'm finally at the point where I can warrant finding and purchasing my first bus. I've got family land in southern Illinois to park and build on.

Of course, I'm still unsure how to go about buying a bus. If I remember correctly, I've read that some people were able to buy a bus directly from a school district, which is what I would prefer to do.

If any of you have knowledge on this front and are willing to share, it would be much appreciated. I'll share pics and video footage of the entire process once I start.

Thanks in advance,
Danger Noodle.
Buying direct from a school district invariably means buying at auction. Some SDs sell by closed, sealed bids (mine does that), some have lease buses, or they otherwise trade for newer buses (Mid-West has a lot of those - beware rust but prices are decent), while the rest send their used equipment to auction.

The auction is just the selling venue, the buses don't generally move and you often go get your vehicle from a local bus-barn.
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Old 03-12-2018, 09:27 PM   #7
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Purplewave.com is another good auction site.
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Old 03-12-2018, 11:37 PM   #8
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Thank you all for your advice thus far! I've placed a bid on a 1993 Genesis International through GovDeals, as they had what I was looking for in an area reasonably close by. The great thing about it is that the seats have already been removed and is supposed to run just fine with no known problems.

Auction ends Wednesday. If I win it, I'll let y'all know and open a new thread in the appropriate place.
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Old 03-12-2018, 11:50 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Danger Noodle View Post
Thank you all for your advice thus far! I've placed a bid on a 1993 Genesis International through GovDeals, as they had what I was looking for in an area reasonably close by. The great thing about it is that the seats have already been removed and is supposed to run just fine with no known problems.

Auction ends Wednesday. If I win it, I'll let y'all know and open a new thread in the appropriate place.
Learn how to use the auctions. Never bid on it till the last 5 minutes or less. You put a higher bid now and the guy below you comes back with a higher bid. If you don't bid till late the guy who is leading thinks he's going to win. If an item is at $500 right now and I'm willing to pay $3k, I wait till less than a minute. when the bid hits it will make mine the highest over the next highest, it doesn't bid your whole amount unless someone out bids you. If you do it late enough and you're high bidder, others may not have time to raise their bid and you win. Un fortunately many of the auctions allow the end time to be extended if there is much activity at the end. One I was bidding on extended an hour.
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Old 03-12-2018, 11:53 PM   #10
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I will definately keep that in mind. The bid I put in I was fairly certain would be outbid anyway, and I was going to watch the action close to the "end time." As you said, this site extends bids.
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Old 03-13-2018, 12:04 AM   #11
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Learn how to use the auctions. Never bid on it till the last 5 minutes or less. You put a higher bid now and the guy below you comes back with a higher bid. If you don't bid till late the guy who is leading thinks he's going to win. If an item is at $500 right now and I'm willing to pay $3k, I wait till less than a minute. when the bid hits it will make mine the highest over the next highest, it doesn't bid your whole amount unless someone out bids you. If you do it late enough and you're high bidder, others may not have time to raise their bid and you win. Un fortunately many of the auctions allow the end time to be extended if there is much activity at the end. One I was bidding on extended an hour.
i got lucky with an auction that didnt have extended time. i set my max and watched them slowly jump up the bid and then laughed at the end. they would have needed 20 more seconds with how slow they were going, and they went til the end
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Old 03-13-2018, 12:22 AM   #12
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There are various bidding tactics, and each has their own advantages.

Bid early and bid close to your max. This one lets everyone know there is a serious buyer, with money because everytime another bid comes in, your proxy outbids it. Many will simply move on to the next bus.

Wait and bid right at the end ... This can cause others to simply let you have the bus. You bid late so they know you are serious, and they won't want a war.

In the end, the person prepared to pay the most gets the item.
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Old 03-13-2018, 12:46 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Danger Noodle View Post
Thank you all for your advice thus far! I've placed a bid on a 1993 Genesis International through GovDeals, as they had what I was looking for in an area reasonably close by. The great thing about it is that the seats have already been removed and is supposed to run just fine with no known problems.

Auction ends Wednesday. If I win it, I'll let y'all know and open a new thread in the appropriate place.
Iím just slightly biased but a 1993 Amtran Genesis is an excellent bus!! Hope you win the auction.
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Old 03-13-2018, 01:23 AM   #14
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Your in luck it has the bonus of the seats already removed, a chore I'm sure no one likes doing.
The same seller has a 99 Bluebird with a stated 1,762,600miles. The took the bent axle out of a wrecked bus and swapped it with the one from that bus, also has a bad tranny. I'd want to personally check out anything I bid on there.
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