Non-negotiable prep fee?

Discussion in 'RV Dealers & Repair Shops' started by eoleson1, Mar 25, 2019.

  1. eoleson1

    eoleson1 Well-Known Member

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    (half rant, half question) First, let me say I've never been to a dealership to look at a camper. I've only owned two: one inherited, one purchased from a private party. Found a nice looking hybrid at a decent price on a dealer's website, then made the trek to look at it. It was a nice unit, at a reasonable price, so we sat down to make a deal. The camper was listed at $6500, so I offered $6500 out the door (tax, title, license included). Well, after the requisite visit to the sales manager to talk about last night's ball game while pretending to argue my offer, they came back with a ridiculous counter offer ($9200).

    Part of the counter offer was $1200 for a "prep fee" which included an inspection, checking the battery, and topping off the propane tank. There were some other things included, but nothing that, IMO, shouldn't have already been done before they put the unit on the sales lot. When I said I didn't want the "prep package," I was informed that it's not an option. They will not sell a camper without it.

    So is this practice common in the industry? Should I automatically add an extra thousand to the advertised price of a dealer camper before deciding to look at it, or is it just a deceptive way to lure potential buyers into the lot?
     
  2. friartuck

    friartuck Well-Known Member

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    Since I see you are from Macomb County I'm going to guess it was General RV. Walk away. There is no reason to add $2,700 to the list price, especially on a used unit. ($390 should be the sales tax)

    (Question: Is your Colorado going to be able to tow a hybrid?)
     
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  3. nineoaks2004

    nineoaks2004 Every meal is a picnic and every Day is a holiday

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    I had a dealer that tried the same crap on me awhile ago. I walked away and next day he called, said the salesman had made a mistake and they took our initial offer.
    If they do not want to deal there are other units out there.
     
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  4. eoleson1

    eoleson1 Well-Known Member

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    Good guess on the dealership. I believe the Colorado will pull it unless we try to go over the mountains. The GVWR on the unit we were looking at was 3800, and to Colo is rated at 4k lbs. In 07, Chevy raised the tow rating to 5k with no significant design changes to the truck. It uses the same trans as the Silverado and with the Z71 package, it has oversized brakes, so going and stopping shouldn't be too much of an issue. My only area of concern is the I-5 engine not being powerful enough to go over significant grades, or tackling strong headwinds.
     
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  5. Shaman1

    Shaman1 Well-Known Member

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    My DW wanted the hybrid and did it a little differently. We were at CW (notorious for add on expenses). They were asking $9500, she offered 9. They took accepted it and brought the purchase order with all of their add ons. She drew a box around it and wrote "NO!". Then wrote $9000 out the door and put a check with it for that amount. Told the salesman he had 10 minutes. It took 6 for them to agree.
     
  6. Balthisar

    Balthisar Active Member

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    Check out Westland Camping Center. I've no relationship with them except as an occasional parts customer, but I know they promise no prep/delivery/bullshit fees on top of their listed prices. They're a small, family owned enterprise.

    When I lived in Clinton Township, that General RV was where I had my pup serviced, and where I used to buy occasional parts. They did good work, but everything was pricey. These days, General RV (I'm closer to Wixom now) won't even touch my pup, because I didn't buy it from them. So, to be unpolite, F them.
     
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  7. gladecreekwy

    gladecreekwy Well-Known Member

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    We drove 400 miles to buy our TT at a dealer that quoted me an out the door price. Doesn't cost $2000 to check a battery and top off propane. Walk away.
     
  8. eoleson1

    eoleson1 Well-Known Member

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    BTW, for those of you suggesting that I walk away, consider it done. It was a nice unit at $6500. It was not so nice at $9000.
     
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  9. friartuck

    friartuck Well-Known Member

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    Wasn't much of a guess. I used to live in Rochester and went to the Macomb General RV once. Once. I wanted to look at a Jayco 23B when they first came out. A pair of salesmen where so busy watching an air show over Selfridge they couldn't be bothered to answer any questions. The longest response I got was "Well if you're a serious buyer I guess we could bring one over from another store."
     
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  10. xvz12

    xvz12 Well-Known Member

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    It wasn't a TT, but I had the exact same thing happen to me on a truck I was looking at, we agreed on a price, but when it came time to sign the paperwork, it was almost 2000 bucks more than we had agreed, I just grabbed my coat, & walked out the door. When I got home, there was a message on my answering machine, they had also made a 'mistake', & agreed to the price we had previously agreed upon.
     
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  11. tombiasi

    tombiasi Well-Known Member

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    Don't walk away from that dealer, run away.
     
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  12. daveo1289

    daveo1289 Active Member

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    I'm glad to see you took your money and left. 1200 bucks is a lot for prep and things. I just looked at my paperwork from my hybrid purchase and my prep cost was $600 for a new unit. That I can handle seeing they went through it from the factory and probably had to fix a few things. I know it probably was taken care of by the warranty. But, I also received a number of things that when added up probably covered the fee.
     
  13. gec66

    gec66 Active Member

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    That kind of crap is why I avoid dealers for anything whenever possible. I understand that dealers have overhead cost, but for God's sake just be honest with your pricing up front and be done with it. As mentioned by others, the only real way to deal with this stuff is to negotiate only an OTD number and let them divvy up the money anyway they want, but in the end when shopping a mix of FSBO vs dealer always keep in mind the dealer will be adding money to the transaction that adds no value, so their pricing isn't legit.

    Another pet peeve of mine is how dealers have absolutely taken over CL and FB Marketplace. CL at least offers you the option to only see owner lisitings, but many dealers break that rule and list FSBO taking their pics in residential areas and playing other games to disguise that it is a dealer listing. Sorry...rant over.
     
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  14. penny

    penny Well-Known Member

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    Agree with everybody. Yes, it is a common practice at such places. It made me so angry, I refuse to go to them anymore for anything, not even parts. Of course it's easy to say that since I found a like new 16 at a very straight forward dealer of quality used trailers. I don't need anything for it yet, but he will order anything I need in the future and I know the price will be fair.
     
  15. AJ_82

    AJ_82 New Member

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    I live near the Wixom General RV and went there to look at a pop up. Salesman was a nice guy but the finance guy was a complete jerk. They had that stupid fee along with destination. Didn't buy anything and won't go back there. Ended up buying one from a private seller with no issues.

    After that experience I looked around and Haylett RV in Coldwater, MI seems to be a good place. They specifically say they don't add fees like that. Could try that place if you are still in the market. Haven't bought anything there myself but reviews are good.
     
  16. BillyMc

    BillyMc Well-Known Member

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    Personally I walk away when they pull that crap. If they call me back I deduct 5-10% from my original offer for aggravation. That's on a house, car, boat, motorcycle, camper, or any other major purchase. I do tell them up front that I don't negotiate and certainly don't play the add on games.
     
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