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Old 07-24-2020, 03:49 PM   #1
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How to negotiate?

Hey all,

I am mid-way through saving up for my project (trying to save about 15k), I have priced out a lot of individual appliances and components. But now I am at the most difficult budget process: finding a bus itself.

I primarily look through CL and FBM, and I see plenty of decent buses for prices that are ridiculous (for example: https://phoenix.craigslist.org/cph/c...161166025.html <- great bus, but I wouldn't offer them more than $4000 for it considering how many longer similar condition buses are available for under $3500). I recognize that example is from a dealer so that's partially why, but I see plenty from private sellers that are priced with way too high expectations.

My question is: how do you all negotiate or throw out offers that are so much lower than buyer expectation. Like I can't just laugh at them and say you are asking too much here's what I can do, can I?

(For notes, I have experience haggling on cars and other items but never on buses especially since I am looking for a 3/4 length so I am more limited in my selection but seeing all these prices makes me wonder if I'm going to have to go longer because of budget - I wanted ~30ft for the national park accessibility).
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Old 07-24-2020, 06:17 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rebelpoet View Post
Hey all,

I am mid-way through saving up for my project (trying to save about 15k), I have priced out a lot of individual appliances and components. But now I am at the most difficult budget process: finding a bus itself.

I primarily look through CL and FBM, and I see plenty of decent buses for prices that are ridiculous (for example: https://phoenix.craigslist.org/cph/c...161166025.html <- great bus, but I wouldn't offer them more than $4000 for it considering how many longer similar condition buses are available for under $3500). I recognize that example is from a dealer so that's partially why, but I see plenty from private sellers that are priced with way too high expectations.

My question is: how do you all negotiate or throw out offers that are so much lower than buyer expectation. Like I can't just laugh at them and say you are asking too much here's what I can do, can I?

(For notes, I have experience haggling on cars and other items but never on buses especially since I am looking for a 3/4 length so I am more limited in my selection but seeing all these prices makes me wonder if I'm going to have to go longer because of budget - I wanted ~30ft for the national park accessibility).

I saw a short BlueBird TC2000 that was THE bus I wanted. Basically like my bus, a couple feet longer, and with a door on the driver's side as well. In the middle of nowhere CA. 30 years old. No mods. $10k. HA ! HA !


I had my friend email them and haggle on the price, just to give them a hint, and soften them up a bit.


I emailed them, and was like:
"I see this bus in AZ that is newer, bigger, better, etc. for $5000. What is so special about your bus that makes it worth $10K?"


The reply was:
"because it is HERE not THERE".


I bought mine from the school system in an auction. No haggles. I'm not a good haggler. Someone tried to sell me a really nice minivan once for $300, but it needed a timing belt. I gave them $500, even though I was broke and couldn't afford $300 at the time. I drove that minivan until I bought my bus and sold it for $300 (can't drive 2 at once). I had it longer than the folks who sold it to me had their new car...
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Old 07-24-2020, 06:41 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rebelpoet View Post
Hey all,
My question is: how do you all negotiate or throw out offers that are so much lower than buyer expectation. Like I can't just laugh at them and say you are asking too much here's what I can do, can I?

Take away the laughing bit and this is basically what I do. It helps if you have some comparables for much less that you can throw out.


Often the people that have a ridiculous asking price either (1) don't actually expect to get it, and are starting high to find the true market value (2) are asking more with the expectation of some haggling and settling somewhere in the middle (3) are trying to 'anchor' or 'frame' the negotiations at a high price point.


Offer what you think its worth (and try not to be manipulated by an unrealistic 'anchor' price), worst they can do is say no. If you are polite, respectful, explain in a sentence or two the reasoning behind your offer, and don't waste their time or give them false impressions, I see no issue.



Some people get offended by what they see as a lowball offer, I think that's silly to get offended. Say no, make a counter offer, or ignore it. A marketplace is about matching the right buyer and the right seller, and finding a price that works for both parties. Making an offer high or low is always acceptable in my eyes.


I usually cast a wide net, don't over commit, and wish the seller well if we don't work out a deal, and tell them to get in touch if they come down in price. From a negotiating standpoint, its good not to appear too desperate or focused on just their bus.

On the other hand, their are occasions where you are desperate, or do fall in love with one specific bus, in which case you can try not to telegraph that too much, but you may be willing to pay a little more than market value for it. Maybe even a lot more.


In a marketplace, I always think in terms of "what is it worth to me," rather than "what is it worth," sometimes this means I'm willing to go above market value, sometimes this means I wouldn't pay more than 50% of market value.


Sometimes sellers are inflexible, sometimes they negotiate a bit, occasionally I've made purchases (not bus purchases) at 1/4 to 1/3 of the asking price just by making an offer (no haggling involved).

Dealerships have more overhead and are in it only for the money, so I imagine it would be different dealing with them. I have no experience, and prefer to keep it that way if possible.
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Old 07-24-2020, 09:46 PM   #4
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Fun question. I usually spend as little time as possible debating the "condition" of the item--I already know 'cause I've done my homework and the debate puts the seller in an argumentative mood. I try to negotiate in person. I make a mid morning appointment, dress like I can afford the purchase, and show up about five minutes early. Mid morning because it leaves the rest of the day to try again if I wish and it gives me a shot at sizing up the bigger picture. I never divulge any personal info. I make sure I can say just exactly when I can pick up the purchase. I come prepared to pay the amount I have decided on--and then waffle a little if the guy throws in say three new 8D batteries to sweeten the pot.

I recently purchased a second Kwik Kamp motorcycle trailer. I love the one I have and I figured I'd have no trouble finding a new camping buddy who would just love to have it. I made the appointment (a private party Craig's list posting) somewhere in BF Central Ca and followed my own advice.

The guy who had the trailer was an older gent who was now riding a tricycle bike. I should mention here that now is the time to chat up the seller--learn everything you can. This guy had bought 2 motorcycle tent trailers at a military post auction. The Kwik Kamp was in perfect condition the other not so much.

The asking price was $1600. Given my observations I offered $1000. I could see both the sellers and my buddies (buddies are good especially if they don't talk) eyes go big. The seller countered with $1,350. I quietly looked the seller in the eye and said "no". Now the eyes were huge. I never broke eye contact and eventually the seller gave in saying "Well I'll never use the thing so OK.

It's a game like chicken ( I can NEVER spell that word correctly--hence ol trunt) --but nobody dies. Do your homework, play the game by YOUR
rules. You Will Win. Remember, the seller couldn't give a rats ass why you want his widgit. He just wants you to buy it.
Jack
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