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Old 09-18-2019, 02:50 PM   #1
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On Converted Bus Pricing

Am I the only one who thinks that a converted bus should be worth less than the sum of the parts you put into it? I've seen some conversions asking for $30k-$70k which just seems absolutely laughable. I feel like if I buy and convert a bus and spend $25k total and then live in it for 2 years I would happily let it go for $15k-20k. I certainly wouldn't ask for higher than the price of the materials that went in. I don't understand people charging for their labor when they're not operating a business.

Thoughts?
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Old 09-18-2019, 03:04 PM   #2
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Generally speaking I agree with you. I've seen some pretty absurd prices on buses, something you could build for $5k listed for $50.... But not everyone can build a bus, and some will pay a premium to buy something complete if building themselves isn't an option.

With that said, quality on a random person's conversion is not guaranteed and I hate to see people buy their way into a problem they can't fix.
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Old 09-18-2019, 03:06 PM   #3
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Why should $10k labor be free on my part but be okay for a "business" to ask $20k for it. Is the business build not worth the same as my hobby build, the same time, material, and labor went into it. Why would I give that away for free? Sure it will depreciate over time and use, but the dealer bus depreciates from it's retail price, so years down the road it is still sold for more than the cost of material.
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Old 09-18-2019, 03:10 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brokedown View Post
Generally speaking I agree with you. I've seen some pretty absurd prices on buses, something you could build for $5k listed for $50.... But not everyone can build a bus, and some will pay a premium to buy something complete if building themselves isn't an option.

With that said, quality on a random person's conversion is not guaranteed and I hate to see people buy their way into a problem they can't fix.
You should read some of the horror stories from people who bought RV's and had warranty issues, good luck getting them to cover them is my understanding. I have seen some private builds that were 10x's the quality for half the price. Keep in mind the experience I had to gain to be able to buid something like this, the $1000's of dollars worth of tools to accomplish it.
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Old 09-18-2019, 03:16 PM   #5
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What makes you think someone’s labor should be free? If you think so I have a big yard of weeds that need pulling waiting for you.

It depends on the quality of the materials and workmanship. I also agree that not everyone can do it so why should the tools and labor of someone who has spent their life collecting the tools and the knowledge to assemble the systems be discounted by those without tools, knowledge, experience or motivation?

That belief that labor is worth nothing really torques me. I have some stronger words for those that think labor is free. Want to hear them?
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Old 09-18-2019, 03:18 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lebusmagique View Post
Am I the only one who thinks that a converted bus should be worth less than the sum of the parts you put into it? I've seen some conversions asking for $30k-$70k which just seems absolutely laughable. I feel like if I buy and convert a bus and spend $25k total and then live in it for 2 years I would happily let it go for $15k-20k. I certainly wouldn't ask for higher than the price of the materials that went in. I don't understand people charging for their labor when they're not operating a business.

Thoughts?
A converted bus is worth whatever someone is willing to pay for it. Is somebody supposed to sell their bus for $20K when they can get $30K for it?
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Old 09-18-2019, 03:22 PM   #7
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A bus (car, airplane or house is worth exactly what someone is willing to pay.

Looking at recent closed sales price of similar units in your area can give you a better feel for the market.

When the time comes to sell my bus I would like to get paid well for my labor but do not expect it.
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Old 09-18-2019, 03:24 PM   #8
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I think unfinished conversions are worth less. As soon as a seat is removed itís worth less.
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Old 09-18-2019, 03:26 PM   #9
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A bus has 2 values one from a buyer and one from the seller. If I'm asking $5k and won't take less, it is not worth what lesser amount you want to pay for it. So in that case it is worth $5k.
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Old 09-18-2019, 03:38 PM   #10
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A bus has 2 values one from a buyer and one from the seller. If I'm asking $5k and won't take less, it is not worth what lesser amount you want to pay for it. So in that case it is worth $5k.
Awesome!

As a seller I will value my bus at $100k. That's what I'm asking so it must be worth it. Just because nobody will be willing to pay that much for it is not relevant. It is worth $100k because that is what I am asking.

I wish.....
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Old 09-18-2019, 04:05 PM   #11
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Awesome!

As a seller I will value my bus at $100k. That's what I'm asking so it must be worth it. Just because nobody will be willing to pay that much for it is not relevant. It is worth $100k because that is what I am asking.

I wish.....
If you won't let it go for less, then it is worth that. We both know it ain't though.
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Old 09-18-2019, 04:12 PM   #12
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What makes you think someoneís labor should be free? If you think so I have a big yard of weeds that need pulling waiting for you.

It depends on the quality of the materials and workmanship. I also agree that not everyone can do it so why should the tools and labor of someone who has spent their life collecting the tools and the knowledge to assemble the systems be discounted by those without tools, knowledge, experience or motivation?

That belief that labor is worth nothing really torques me. I have some stronger words for those that think labor is free. Want to hear them?
I don't think that's analogous.

It would be like selling your home and trying to upcharge for all the labor hours your spent mowing your own grass and weeding your own weeds.
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Old 09-18-2019, 04:23 PM   #13
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I'm not saying I'm right and maybe I'd feel differently if I spent a year converting a bus. It just seems odd to see buses valued at 2-3x the cost of the components inside.
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Old 09-18-2019, 04:28 PM   #14
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I'm not saying I'm right and maybe I'd feel differently if I spent a year converting a bus. It just seems odd to see buses valued at 2-3x the cost of the components inside.
I think there will be few out there where private builders are asking 2-3x's what they have in it. Those are obvious on the face and get laughed at. It's a shame we can't get a decent hour rate when we sell. Shops get around $100/hr. I'd be happier than a pig in shite if I could charge $20.hr for the 1000 hours it took building one.
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Old 09-18-2019, 04:29 PM   #15
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I don't think that's analogous.

It would be like selling your home and trying to upcharge for all the labor hours your spent mowing your own grass and weeding your own weeds.
I have built and remodeled houses, RV's and buses.

I expected to make a return on my time investment on the houses and I did. The buses and RV's have been a different story. I have managed to cover my costs but not my time.

I almost made a profit on my current travel trailer. I bought it well below market and proceeded to install new lights, solar and shower fixture. With that done I expected to make a nice profit. The bonus was taking trips with it while I got it ready for sale. And then...... 6 miles out of Yakima I had a wheel bearing fail. Towing and repair cost as much as I had invested so far. Bye bye profit but I have made some nice trips in it, including a month in Mexico so it is not a complete loss.
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Old 09-18-2019, 04:33 PM   #16
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I don't think that's analogous.

It would be like selling your home and trying to upcharge for all the labor hours your spent mowing your own grass and weeding your own weeds.
That's like saying someone is trying to charge you for gas and oil changes as opposed to modifications they have done to the bus. Some conversions are done much better than others. When you think someone is is asking too much for their bus on skoolie.net, send them a PM and ask them if there is room on the price. If you thread crap in their for sale thread, count on receiving a warning.
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Old 09-18-2019, 04:37 PM   #17
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Would you piss off with this "thread crapping" ****? It's not even a term. Or a thing. And even if it was what I did wouldn't be considered it. I posted one time saying that I was interested but not at the current price.

And then you post some garbage in the classified forum mocking some random ad from a Craigslist post you found and that's ok?

Give me a break.

You wouldn't think someone could power trip over being a mod on a forum for converting school buses but I guess everything is possible.
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Old 09-18-2019, 04:47 PM   #18
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That's like saying someone is trying to charge you for gas and oil changes as opposed to modifications they have done to the bus. Some conversions are done much better than others. When you think someone is is asking too much for their bus on skoolie.net, send them a PM and ask them if there is room on the price. If you thread crap in their for sale thread, count on receiving a warning.
When posters come and post absolute BS I feel obligated to inform the masses that it is. It's the internet, warn me all you like.
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Old 09-18-2019, 04:47 PM   #19
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Would you piss off with this "thread crapping" ****? It's not even a term. Or a thing. And even if it was what I did wouldn't be considered it. I posted one time saying that I was interested but not at the current price.

And then you post some garbage in the classified forum mocking some random ad from a Craigslist post you found and that's ok?

Give me a break.

You wouldn't think someone could power trip over being a mod on a forum for converting school buses but I guess everything is possible.
Anything is possible.
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Old 09-19-2019, 07:45 AM   #20
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I'm gonna to ignore all of the above for a bit. No one is being civil.

Goods on a market (including houses, chewing gum, and busses, converted or otherwise) have no intrinsic value. Instead, every individual in that market has a value range for that object. There are two types of participants in a market: sellers and buyers. Sellers drive supply, buyers drive demand.

Unique items like most converted buses are hard to set prices for. They fall into a few categories of good (recreational vehicle, bus, hobby project, etc), but they're not fungible. (You can't replace one with another without getting a distinctly different good). Features of that unique (non fungible) good add or subtract to their value for each member on the market. They might affect the price in opposite directions for different individuals (bunk houses for parents vs retiree). There are also hidden features that are part of human psychology: a seller might value it more because they like it, or because they put hours into it and want to be compensated for it, or they might want to get rid of it because it reminds them of their ex, or they might need the cash so selling quickly has value to them.

So when a seller puts a non fungible good on a market they're going to price it in an attempt to meet their goals: getting the most for it in a timeline that works for them. Your only reasonable tactic as a buyer is to try and guess where their floor is and offer somewhere just below it. The seller has already done this, but placing it just higher than the max they think they can ask for while meeting their goals.

There's one extra complexity. Sellers value range is affected by the buyer. An unpleasant, stingy, or particularly attractive buyer can contract and expand the seller's value range. So be nice.

All this to say: the price a person has listed their house, car, or bus conversion for is not actually fixed for a reason. Try offering what you think it's worth. Keep in mind that the seller might feel offended (even though economists agree they shouldn't be) if your offer is too low. And if you're selling don't be offended at any offer.
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