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Old 11-04-2015, 12:22 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Kirkland, WA
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Prices aren't what they used to be...

It's probably a side effect of the time of year and my location, but I have not been able to find busses in what folks here (and on other skoolie platforms) seem to consider the well-priced category. Everything seems to be in the $4,500 range- even busses with issues! Folks ask $7k regularly. Occasionally I can find rust-bucket shells, busses that can't be driven off the lot, etc for less but the magical land of perfectly usable $1-2k busses appears to be eluding me. Even on auctions local prices often go above $3k or don't meet reserve at that price.

I'm really starting to suspect that I'll have to wait until the school districts do their auctions again at the end of the school year and that makes me super sad to wait so long to get started. Mind you I'm checking CL, Govdeals, and PS multiple times daily so it's not for lack of effort on my part!

Am I missing a big secret? Am I going about this the wrong way? Am I being too picky to expect a bus that is not falling apart and will drive off the lot under $3k? Have prices just inflated so much that the 'new normal' is $3.5+?
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Old 11-04-2015, 12:33 PM   #2
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I'd sell mine for 7k any day!
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Old 11-04-2015, 12:45 PM   #3
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I hear what you are saying, I looked for a year or more in the Seattle area before I came across that rare confluence of what I wanted and what I was willing to spend.

For CL buses, don't be shy about sending an email or calling with an offer that falls in your price range. Just tell them you have cash in hand and if the bus passes your sniff test, no BS you'll pay on the spot and drive it away. A lot of listers just need to get rid of the bus for whatever reason, and would be willing to take less to get the neighbors, the wife, or the authorities off of their backs. The worst that can happen is a nasty reply.

Also, don't limit your CL search to Seattle. Check the nearby areas. Yakima, Moses Lake, Bellingham, the Olympic Peninsula, etc. often have listings that don't show up at seattle.craigsist.org. I think I remember you were looking for a shorty. Did you seen this one in Yakima?96 shorty school bus


Believe it or not, eBay can have good buses at fair prices listed from time to time.
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Old 11-04-2015, 12:52 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OMGIBoughtABus View Post
I hear what you are saying, I looked for a year or more in the Seattle area before I came across that rare confluence of what I wanted and what I was willing to spend.

For CL buses, don't be shy about sending an email or calling with an offer that falls in your price range. Just tell them you have cash in hand and if the bus passes your sniff test, no BS you'll pay on the spot and drive it away. A lot of listers just need to get rid of the bus for whatever reason, and would be willing to take less to get the neighbors, the wife, or the authorities off of their backs. The worst that can happen is a nasty reply.

Also, don't limit your CL search to Seattle. Check the nearby areas. Yakima, Moses Lake, Bellingham, the Olympic Peninsula, etc. often have listings that don't show up at seattle.craigsist.org. I think I remember you were looking for a shorty. Did you seen this one in Yakima?96 shorty school bus.
Oh I'm already looking in a 1,000k radius of Seattle! And I've e-mailed every CL listing that suits my needs with a lower offer, all of them pass (some kindly, some not so kindly). My issue is that I'm looking for a shorter diesel bus- a lot of the shorties are gas.

ETA: I'm checking ALL of WA, Idaho, Oregon, and northern CA. Sometimes I venture into Canadian territory just in case even though I don't have a passport. I also toss in some Colorado for kicks, but their prices are always higher.
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Old 11-04-2015, 12:57 PM   #5
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Location: Tomball, TX
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Year: 1988
Coachwork: Blue Bird
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I noticed ritchie bros has buses from time to time, you might consider checking them out.

Here are some Amtrans they've got in the Spokane auction next week:

https://www.rbauction.com/SPOKANE-WA...I5NDMzMTE2MA==


I found my bus on craigslist back in May. It was about a 4 hour drive away. I was searching craigslist from Texas up to Missouri and all the way east to North Carolina/Florida. It took me a couple of weeks, but eventually I found one in Louisiana for $2500.


I clicked around a bit, and here are all the buses they'll have for auction:

https://www.rbauction.com/Bus?id=ci&...QyOTQ5NjY4NTc=

They also have online auctions:

https://www.equipmentone.com/search?kw=Bus



Here are some that may fit your criteria:

https://www.rbauction.com/1989-INTER...ASO-TX-2015315

https://www.rbauction.com/2003-INTER...ASO-TX-2015315



Edit: those two buses above were apparently up for auction today. The first bus (an 89 international with V8 Diesel, 8 window/27') went for $1,750. The second bus (an 03 international/bluebird with 7.3L diesel, 8 window/28') went for $2,500. Both ran, but the 89 needed a jump start.
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Old 11-04-2015, 01:55 PM   #6
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The days of $800 buses are gone. You will pay at least 2500-3000 for a good solid bus at auction unless you have an inside track somewhere. Sometimes you get lucky and will get a deal. Don't be afraid to step up when you are bidding on a solid bus.
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Old 11-04-2015, 02:32 PM   #7
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so exactly why are bus prices double what they were 3-4 years ago?
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Old 11-04-2015, 02:34 PM   #8
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You all just missed about 14 buses sold here in CO for between 1200 and 2000. They were all conventional, thomas 66 pass buses with DT466s and MT643s. Most had no visible rust and all drove great! I bought 3 of them.
Lots of buses are out there! Id be happy to sell you a bus out here in CO, got plenty of em! Tell me what you're looking for and I'll see if I have it. We can also arrange delivery, too.
Id say prices are still in a good range, but you gotta be diligent and also know your local auction houses. If it doesn't get put on the internet, it will always be cheaper!
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Old 11-04-2015, 02:38 PM   #9
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Bus prices here in CO aren't double what they were 3-4 years ago. Though one time we did buy 10 buses with less than 10 years on them, DT466s, MT643s, retarders and full service history for $600 each. Keep in mind, this was also when scrap steel was about 4x per ton what it is now. These running, excellent buses were sold for less than half of what they were worth as scrap!

You can thank the internet and the growing culture of DIY and upcycling for an increased interest in skoolies, but they are still an awesome deal.
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Old 11-04-2015, 03:13 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onemanarmy View Post
so exactly why are bus prices double what they were 3-4 years ago?
The same reason you can't get a commie surplus Mosin-Nagant for $100 at Big 5 like you could 3-4 years ago... supply and demand.
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