Originally Posted by Romoshka
Wow. Thanks for that data. Does this SW dealer you reference have a website or other contact data ?
Yes, Las Vegas Bus Sales...and while I really like them, and they have probably 40-50 school buses to choose from, I wasn't trying to push you to a dealer. Obviously, they have a profit built in there. That's not bad...that's business. I just wanted to show that, even with the dealer's profit margin built in, you could find cheaper options in newer condition.
As said above, GovDeals is a great site and we've bought 2 buses through that auction process. We also really like PurpleWave, which is reserve free. And finally, Public Surplus. We even bought a bus through ebay Motors.
Would buying through a dealer be worth the extra cost? In some cases, yes. We bought a Freightliner medium duty ambulance through a dealer back east and, despite it being more expensive than through an auction site, it was worth it to know what they did and checked and replaced. I felt completely comfortable flying from Arizona to Pennsylvania and driving it home. Then again, I've done that numerous times with auction vehicles too...
In general, if you want to spend the least up front then an auction site (directly from the government seller) will be your cheapest route...up front. Good research and wise choices can help you keep that lower-cost route lower in the long run, too. Many of the districts don't have good communication between the maintenance department and the buyers. So you may find a bus with newly replaced tires or a recent rebuild that ends up for sale, just due to the rotation and replacement timing. Our Gilligs were like that. Some of the buses at Las Vegas Bus Sales (again...just for example...) still have the rubber nibs on the tires...then they were sold off for replacement.
I think we all urge you to keep looking. But keep running the options past the group here and you'll get some great knowledgeable feedback and learned suggestions (from others...not me...haha!)