Dealing with dealers - whats the form?

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Dealing with dealers - whats the form?

Post by Ann B on Tue Aug 21, 2012 6:09 pm

Hi, just joined today and introduced myself in the 'new members section' and now I'm looking for a little help.

We are hoping to buy our first ever (used) campervan but we are not sure how you go about it. Sounds silly when I say that but having only bought cars, and for the past few years they have been new ones on order for a couple of months so we know the 'procedures' for that - deposit, arrange date, send check and then pick up.

We are having our drive extended and will be funding the purchase from our savings but it is the mechanics of the purchase that is a bit hazy, as it may be a couple of weeks before the money is transfer to our current accounts. Will dealers accept a smaller deposit, and if so will that generally secure the van? How long would they 'secure' it for, and what would happen if someone came along who could buy immediately?

I know each dealer may approach it differently but some of you may have had recent experiences that could help and I'm scared to miss out on a van we have our eyes on.

Thanks
Ann B
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Re: Dealing with dealers - whats the form?

Post by -mojo- on Tue Aug 21, 2012 7:42 pm

I think it will vary from dealer to dealer, and on whether you try to knock them down on price.

I've never bought from a dealer, but I know a couple of people who have. They seem to represent terrible value for money compared to buying privately, and aren't that great at rectifying faults after you buy - but perhaps I just know unlucky people...
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Re: Dealing with dealers - whats the form?

Post by Dutto on Tue Aug 21, 2012 7:52 pm

Hi there,

Not an easy one this!

After deciding EXACTLY what you are looking for (write it down - berths, design, price etc etc etc) my only tips are:

1. ALWAYS Haggle.

Do this with a gentle smile but always be serious and always remember that the listed price is what the dealer wants, not what he is prepared to take.

Always make sure that you are talking to someone who can actually offer you a deal.

As a rule of thumb offer 15% less than the asking price and see what reaction you get. Use the "If I offered you ...... what would you think of that."

If the Dealer refuses to deal he is NOT a dealer and/or you are talking to the wrong person!

2. Be prepared to walk away.

Walk away from ANY situation where you feel that you are being pressurised to buy or if you have ANY doubts over your intended purchase.

3. Discuss the "Extras" available

When you find the van of your dreams at the price you are prepared to pay start on the "extras" that the Dealer can provide.

Everything from toilet chemicals to bike racks to steps to awnings are up for discussion - and remember to haggle over the price.

4. BEWARE of "tricks"

Less than a month ago we were in a "main dealer" showroom wandering around and thinking how lucky we were to have "Petal" when a salesperson said to me "What do you have at the moment?"

"A 1998 Duetto." I replied. "Ah yes." he said "Does it have any rust?" "Just a bit around the wheel arches." I replied. "What Transit doesn't?"

"They are almost worthless when they start rusting." said the salesperson. This was almost certainly a prelude to offering me a low-low price for "Petal" as a trade-in; and, as a result, we won't be back to that particular dealer if and when we wish to trade "Petal" in for a newer van!

In view of these little "tricks of the trade":

o ALWAYS remember YOU are the one with the money; YOU are the customer and YOU can walk away.

o DON'T worry that the deal may fall through. If someone Welshes on a deal ask yourself "Did I really wish to do business with such a person?" You will probably feel a lot better and may even be relieved that you no longer have to do business with them.

o Finally, give yourself a bit of breathing space and take plenty of time in private with your partner to discuss things. The proverb "Decide in haste and repent at leisure." is much more applicable in this case than the one that says "He who hesitates is lost."

Enjoy the search. Whatever fate has in store for you will arrive eventually.

Best regards,

drinksallround

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DEALING WITH DEALERS - WHATS THE FORM?

Post by newterry on Tue Aug 21, 2012 11:49 pm

If I may add my tuppence worth, and apologies if you've heard it all before- make sure your dealer is as local as possible, ALWAYS take a long test drive, inc a motorway/dual carriageway stretch.
Does it fit your parking space, can you park it at home, can you fit the made up beds etc. all the usual stuff, blah ,blah.
Try and find out how long the van has been on the forecourt (if you can, ask one of the valeters or technicians rather than the dealer), and where it came from, the chap that came out with me let it slip they'd had the van for 3 months not a few weeks as originally suggested, so I was ready to bargain hard, £1500 of accessories, a full service inc. cam belt and habitation service as well as money off the windscreen price. Get all of it in writing (approx. worth £2500 overall off a £17k van).
ALWAYS scrutinise the paperwork, use the reg. to check its status on the DVLA website (a V888 will get a list of previous owners but sadly that takes a few weeks) and if you can get sight of the latest MOT certificate reference number, the VOSA website will have all its MOT's on line since 2006 inc. advisories which probably will have been extracted from the FSH. Don't forget the HPI.
Look out for an AS build number (sometimes inside the glovebox), they will be able to tell you when it went through their QC, match that up against the 1st reg. date and assess the gap between the two. Mine was stuck in a field somewhere for nine months during its first winter before being sold as new.
If the dealer has got the paperwork locked up in his desk, walk away.
Then negotiate a warranty, I was lucky enough to get a 12 month bumper to bumper warranty on a 14 year old van which cost him £500 for a new clutch assembly as well as interior niggles fixed inc. a new blown air heater. (nice one Daniel, P&P Campers Gosport).
Get a full service inc. cambelt BEFORE they MOT it, my service history clearly shows dealers doing MOT's before the service so you can imagine how thorough they're going to be- not. As Dutto says- keep smiling, be polite even if you think the dealer is a censored! Don't forget a damp check.
After all that, as well as all the advice from the other members- sleep on it, and don't get 'snake eyes'! If the van's there tomorrow, all well and good, if not well there will be another one. Better to have loved and lost etc etc.
Hope we've been of some help. Good Luck. up!
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DEALING WITH DEALERS - WHATS THE FORM?

Post by newterry on Wed Aug 22, 2012 11:09 am

Anne B, welcome to the forum, by the way, apologies for the presentation of some of my tips for dealing with dealers, not as good as Dutto of course, but it was quite late when I did it !

One more idea-
Ask him/her if something can be fitted that you know darn well can't- if they say yes, run a mile (eg Please, Mr. Dealer can you fit a Beeny Box in the skirt of this Hi-top ?..... yes, I tried it, when looking at a Trigano Tribute at a show a while back and they said yes so I ran away!!!!!)

If you're going anywhere near a Marquis branch- be careful out there.

ps. What van are you looking for ?
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Buying from a dealer

Post by murph on Wed Aug 22, 2012 11:17 am

Hi Anne,
One point to bear in mind is that dealers usually add between £4000 and £6000 to the price they pay for a vehicle when they offer it for sale so it gives you a lot of room to bargain if you Know this.

Brian2
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Re: Dealing with dealers - whats the form?

Post by Ann B on Wed Aug 22, 2012 11:56 am

Thanks everyone for your tips. haggling does not come naturally to me but I will do my best. Had no idea the profit mark-up was so high - think I was in the wrong job.

I'm looking for a Topaz as size is an issue (small driveway) and I don't want rock and roll beds (far too old for a Portapotty).
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Re: Dealing with dealers - whats the form?

Post by -mojo- on Wed Aug 22, 2012 2:55 pm

newterry wrote:
If you're going anywhere near a Marquis branch- be careful out there.

Another "interesting" Marquis experience. I went there a few months back and went into the reception and asked one of the salespeople whether they had any VW-based pop-up roof vans such as the AS Trooper Low-line, and got the answer "No, we don't see many of them, nothing like that in at the moment".

So I go for a wander round, and there, smack in the middle of their site is an AS Trooper Low-line, with its top up and a price in the window!

So... how much did they want for a 1 year old used van with 18k miles on the clock? A few quid under £50k for a van that AS have on their website at £51250, brand new. I'd be prepared to bet that they paid the previous owner £35k for it at most, and that if pushed they would knock no more than £2k off the price in the window.

So you can see why I reckon that some dealers offer atrocious value for money...
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Re: Dealing with dealers - whats the form?

Post by Guest on Wed Aug 22, 2012 4:18 pm

Ann B I have sent you a PM

John
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DEALING WITH DEALERS - WHATS THE FORM?

Post by newterry on Wed Aug 22, 2012 4:22 pm

I've been lucky with P&P in Gosport as its a family business and not part of a chain. My previous dealings were with SMC at Taplow also not part of a chain, he found me a low mileage Executive for a specific purpose and let me test drive it wherever I needed to go including a Sainsbury's car park to see how easy it was to park.
I also had no issues getting warranty work done.

The Harmony was originally bought new from Berkshire Motorcaravans (1999) owned by the Saunders family just before they were taken over by Marquis. I was not impressed when we went back there a few years ago (2008), we were pondering over a rising roof Mezan, which frankly was poorly presented, cobwebs were a FOC extra!

Marquis were charging £250 to bring a van to a particular Marquis branch and take the cost of the sale price- it would be cheaper to drive to the other branch ! Don't know if they still do that.

The worst place you can go is a car dealership with a few vans at the back of the lot, what they know about motorhomes would probably fit on the back of a postage stamp !! up!
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Re: Dealing with dealers - whats the form?

Post by Guest on Wed Aug 22, 2012 5:06 pm

Marquis still do the £250 nonsense, making out they are really doing you a favour. I totally agree it would be easier just to drive to where the vehicle is rather than feeling pressurised with £250.

Our experience of all Marquis branches are much the same, their "demonstrator" vehicles have as far as I can make out been staff vehicles for 6 months+ and generally have a very high mileage considering they are motorhomes and not ment to be fleet cars. This is particularly true of the VW van conversions. We recently saw a T5.5 Topaz at a Marquis branch which had £6K miles on the clock and was not even 2 months old! It was full of parts, probably from A/S and looked a right tip. It would seem that the Salesman was using it as a white van delivery vehicle! Really clever idea that for a van costing nearly £54K. You can buy it now for £52K !!, presumably all the trash will be removed for that !

John
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Re: Dealing with dealers - whats the form?

Post by DaveyP2004 on Wed Aug 22, 2012 5:13 pm

Hi everyone,
Finding this interesting as I am in the market for a Topaz and have looked at a couple of dealers as well as one private sale.

I have bought plenty of vehicles privately in the past but thought that due to the large sums of money involved it might be more secure to buy from a dealer (although my assumption may be wrong?).

Was just wondering if any members who have bought from a dealer might be prepared to post what the dealer asking price was and what they actually paid (or what extras they got included?). Also whether that was a cash deal or included a part ex. Dont have to post the dealers name unless you want to.
Just trying to get an idea on what discount I could hope to achieve purchasing a van for between 15 - 20k with no part ex / finance required.
Feel free to PM me if you dont want to post it on forum.
Cheers,
Dave


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Re: Dealing with dealers - whats the form?

Post by Peel on Thu Aug 23, 2012 3:25 pm

No one has mentioned the time of year. In VW/campervan circles prices really come down in winter. Is the same true for big, expensive motorhomes?
I got my 94 Trident from a dealer for nearly £3k less than the (admittedly daft) price they had it on for. The deal was done a week before Christmas.
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Re: Dealing with dealers - whats the form?

Post by scrumpyjack14 on Thu Aug 23, 2012 3:56 pm

murph wrote: Hi Anne,
One point to bear in mind is that dealers usually add between £4000 and £6000 to the price they pay for a vehicle when they offer it for sale so it gives you a lot of room to bargain if you Know this.

Brian2

I think on the bigger motorhomes it can be higher than that.

My parents-in-law recently sold (not a p/x) their large coach-built motorhome to a dealer (they were in a bit of a hurry to sell due to wanting to place a deposit on new van). The dealer gave them £25k. We then went to the Malvern Motorhome Show last week - and spotted their van! Asking price was £35k! Not a bad markup - but then it's a lot of money to have sat on the forecourt.

Steve
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Re: Dealing with dealers - whats the form?

Post by CC on Thu Aug 23, 2012 10:54 pm

it's not all negative buying from dealers, when we were looking for a Nuevo we couldn't find one at that time within our budget of 30k (and we searched high and low) most were 31-32k and with higher mileage. We also part ex'd our Trident and got a far better price trade in than we ever could have achieved by selling privately in fact after two yrs of ownership we actually got 1k more than what we paid for it! The dealer told us exactly what they would retail the Trident for on the forecourt £16,995 but they have to allow for negotiation so tend to price them higher for this reason, bearing in mind they have to service and MOT the vehicle as well as put their name to it I think this is fair.

What I would suggest is you haggle for the best deal, ensure anything you are not happy with or needs rectifying is put in writing and carried out by the dealer within the agreed price, make sure a service and MOT is included and a habitation check is included if not walk away!!!!! wave

The dealer we dealt with I have to say was on the whole very honest and fair, (Spinney Motorhomes) but I have been extremely disappointed that the list of jobs they said they would carry out for us have since had to be redone because they hadn't been done correctly in the first place and also at our expense. The other thing I was unhappy about was a habitation check was supposed to be included with the MH but after getting it home there was no paperwork or certificate to show this, a call to them was met with the reply "We don't issue any paperwork for habitation checks" scratch head in other words they hadn't carried out these checks and again we have since had a hab check carried out at Auto-Sleepers so we do at least have a certificate now! Which leaves us wondering if it was even serviced? so next job on our list!

Beware of warranties, we managed to claim for a new fridge element (fridge never worked + temp knob was broken) but this was only with the help of Mark at Auto-Sleepers who contacted the warranty company direct and by all accounts had difficulty getting them to accept to pay out, more recently we tried to claim again when the sensor probe on our fresh water tank packed up, MrsCC rang them and tried to claim and they asked if it was a new problem or has it happened previously? without thinking we said it's a new problem and has completely stopped working but we have had intermittent problems leading up to it finally packing in altogether which was met with a response "In that case you have to go back to the dealer you bought it from" censored! (any excuse to get out of paying) So we ended up paying out £120 for a new set of sensors so anyone trying to claim please ensure you say it's only just happened


Our experience of buying the motorhome was initially positive (right price / right deal) but there were a number of things really that were just shoddy and should have been corrected before it was handed over to us, a fridge that didn't work, a rear light wiring fault, a leak in the bathroom swing wall, a leak from the inspection chamber on the fresh water tank, and no habitation certificate provided just for starters!

We would buy from a dealer again, but the next time we will be a lot more thorough in ensuring things are done or corrected to a satisfactory standard and I would put more pressure on the dealer in a similar situation rather than digging into our own pockets to put things right or rely on a worthless warranty after handing over such a high sum it leaves you feeling somewhat cheated! having said this we are very happy with our Nuevo despite having niggles that we have had to resolve ourselves.

Sorry for running on (I usually do) snigger just trying to make you aware of some of the pitfalls, the company we bought from has a very good reputation so I would hate to think how some of these other less scrupulous dealers carry on, ensure you are getting the deal you think you are at the time and you'll be happy with your purchase... just remember it's easier said than actually done.

CC

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Re: Dealing with dealers - whats the form?

Post by Guest on Fri Aug 24, 2012 3:39 pm

CC, we have not had the pleasure of visiting Spinney. Unfortunately I think your experience is fairly typical of buying from most dealers, although it’s good you got a good deal on the £s in the first place. The majority of dealers seem to be ‘very light’ on the paperwork particularly with servicing both hab and mechanical. As for the fridge not working I think I would have driven it right back and made a fuss. I know this is easy in hindsight and when it’s not your own vehicle.

My wife and I have travelled hundreds of miles in search of the right deal in the past. Despite trying to find out as much about the vehicle over the phone, it’s amazing how different things are when you actually see the van.
I think our worse experience was viewing a motorhome at a ‘reputable’ dealer in Halifax. We had travelled several hundred miles to get there only to see that the vehicle was fitted with hand controls, and they were selling it on behalf of a customer. I felt the dealer had misrepresented the vehicle during our phone conversations prior to travelling.

Having driven all that way we were very annoyed, but I was determined to drive the vehicle. That was interesting as well. The salesman drove it to a carpark and then I took over. Immediately I started to drive it was obvious the motorhome had hardly any power. The salesman’s excuse was “oh it’s probably just a cold engine”. I drove it back to the dealer, got out and told him I thought the turbo had gone. I lifted the bonnet and the salesman went to get the mechanic, who agreed with my diagnosis, much to the displeasure of the salesman. We were then approached by the boss who said “if you would like to leave a deposit to secure the vehicle, then we will contact the owner and see if he wants to get it fixed”. scratch head No apologies for the condition of the vehicle at all. At this point my wife and I left the dealer.

Incidentally when you log on to this dealer’s web site you are greeted on the home page with the words Honest, Friendly, Reliable in big letters!
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Re: Dealing with dealers - whats the form?

Post by Southdowner on Fri Aug 24, 2012 10:28 pm

hoopman wrote:
Our experience of all Marquis branches are much the same, their "demonstrator" vehicles have as far as I can make out been staff vehicles for 6 months+ and generally have a very high mileage considering they are motorhomes and not ment to be fleet cars. This is particularly true of the VW van conversions.

John

I feel I must join this discussion as I have bought from Marquis Sussex on 4 occasions with no real problems.

Just bought a ex demonstrator van with only 84 miles. Been on the site for a year but the price was £8000+ under original cost. Also part exchanged my previous 'van and car at the price that I wanted. Had trouble with bad fitting hab door and they arranged for the 'van to be returned to AS and lent me a new camper van as I have to always have available transport.

Have always received good and courteous service and consider that I have been lucky as you always hear so many bad reports. Compared to service from a certain firm in Newark................ censored!

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DEALING WITH DEALERS - WHATS THE FORM?

Post by newterry on Fri Aug 24, 2012 11:37 pm

Maybe Marquis Sussex still has some of the original Golden Cross team there, that makes a big difference. Marquis Berkshire was OK for a while until the original Berkshire Motorcaravans team gradually left then things went downhill. Bernie has now retired and was probably the last one left.
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Re: Dealing with dealers - whats the form?

Post by DuxDeluxe on Tue Aug 28, 2012 9:28 pm

I got a Marquis demonstrator - had a choice of two in fact. One had about 700 miles and had probably been pawed over at some shows; the other had precisely 8 miles on the clock and had only been pawed over by some customers. Anyway, I paid a deposit (written as fully refundable by Marquis) and they duly delivered the 'van to the local branch. Got the price I wanted for the old van (£500 less than I paid for it) and a good deal on the new one (I knew what my price to change was going to be and negotiated around that. After sales service was good apart from some bad communication about the carpet.

If you knew what you really wanted and what to look for then buying privately can work but caveat emptor applies....... I am a fully paid up wimp and went to a dealer and would buy from them again. I may have saved a few quid going privately.

Good hunting up!
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