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Greetings to All:
Some of you know we have our '93 Barth Breakaway for sale. Our price is $28,500, and we're firm at that price. We will make small adjustments: the tires are 12 years old and should be replaced in the next year or two. Tread is good, and there is no cracking on the sidewalls, but I wouldn't be comfortable selling it “as-is”, knowing the age of the tires and risking a blowout in the front. I need to know the next owner will be safe, and so I'll include two new tires mounted on the front of the coach at sale. Then I can rest easy and know the new owner(s) got their money's worth.
There is a problem with the used motor-home market*. First of all, where else can you find a 33' turbo-charged 230hp diesel pusher except on the Barth website? Granted, there are no push-outs, and that seems to be the “in” thing right now. But our coach is ready to roll on startup, as soon as the brakes come off. All the essential elements are there: the frame is made by Spartan..Still in business. The power-plant is made by Cummins..Still in business. The Transmission (updated) is by Allison..Still in business. There is no wood inside the walls susceptible to rot, nor any glue to let outer coverings pull away over time. The house framing is aluminum: Aluminum struts/ Sheets of aluminum for the siding. Aluminum wheels (Alcoa). Factory paint is original and in excellent condition. Maintenance is no problem. And as you know, the need for adequate maintenance is cumulative. If the prior owner didn't do it, you will have to do it.
Our coach, although now 25 years old, has never been turned away at any of the 30 or more campgrounds we've visited across the USA. We did get one “concerned” operator near Glacier National Park in Montana who, when we called ahead, asked if our unit was “presentable.” I told him to make that judgment when we got to his gate. He let us right in.
I can honestly tell you that at most of the campgrounds we've visited someone came by admiringly and asked about our coach. Compliments galore. People understand quality.
*So why do “the books” (NADA and the Blue book) show these coaches at such low prices? That could be complicated. Here are a few thoughts that might work toward the reasoning:
1. There simply aren't enough sales to get a good average value (“comp”). As a result, these “books” have to settle on the
conservative side and come in low.
2. Owners don't usually sell their Barths unless something catastrophic happens, like the loss of a partner. Widows (God bless them in
their loss) don't have the means nor desire to “hang-on” to the coach and so they let it go for at a major loss rather than let it
simply sit around and deteriorate as all things will when standing still. Did you ever look at the numbers of folks on
Barthmobile.com when you sign in? Guests vs. members average a ratio of 60 to 1. Any chance someone is waiting for the deal of the
3. The “books” don't accurately portray the value based on quality. Just try looking up a '76 Cadillac and tell me the prices reflect
the workmanship and materials that go into the item. Sorry: It's based on the average resale price. Period. End of sentence.
4. By the same token, we understand that some Barths have been “let go” from a maintenance standpoint, and so can justify a low
“average selling price.”
5. Dealers, who know (or at least should know) the quality of a Barth, don't let their prospects focus on such business unless they
have one to sell. (Can't imagine a dealer, when asked, saying “well, it's not as good as a Barth from a workmanship view, but it is
a good price based on what else the overall market bears.) Several of our prospects did indeed go to a dealer to get their opinion.
Those dealers were eager to quote “the Books.” Can you blame them? They have their own inventory to sell from, and, unless they
also have a Barth to sell, they will gladly point to “the Books” when asked their opinion of a Barth.
Barb and I are selling because we have other needs at this age. We're not in a hurry, and could be Barth owners for the foreseeable future. We will not undersell just to get it done. We can wait.
Perhaps it's time for all current Barth owners to take another look at how they would price their coaches if and when they needed to sell. Think about it: Where else can a prospective buyer get such value for the money? And our current owners deserve the effort.
Thanks for “listening!”
PS: Glad to see the posting Sheila and Kelly recently put up re: their Regency. And Sheila has done a good job of documenting the updates to their coach.
This well written expression of thought. Thank you Barb and Lou. Could I suggest that it be moved into the forum Misc. and Other Stuff?
This is the reason why I will not entertain any offers on items I have for sale by phone or text. If you have interest in someone's Barth, please take the time to see exactly what you are looking at before insulting owners on something you have never seen in person. If you like to negotiate, it is should be done in person. It is ok to offer a seller more than the asking price!
By all means move the post to Misc.
And next time, finish your sen
He's a busy man, Lou!
can't bother with more characters than necessary.
Besides, you'd forget a couple words too if you breathed sewer gas all day
Yup. We've already got one character, and that's plenty!
Ok you comedians, did I cause us to go so far off topic that is smells stinky?
Now back on track. Just because most financial institutions will only loan you half of the cost of something you want to buy, does not mean that what you want to purchase is only worth half of the money. Lenders protect themselves. Lenders want to be sure they will come out with enough money if you do not have enough to fulfill your agreement to pay back your loan.
I sold my car for more than the blue book value and would not entertain offers near the stated value. The artificially low vehicle values keep the dealers in business.
Hang in there sellers and you will be glad you did.
May I please also add to Dave's Note to buyers...to see the vehicle in person before negotiating a price.
Ain't that the truth! Spends all day laying pipe an takin' dirty pictures!
Lou, as to the sale of our coaches I must agree with most of your points. Sadly, the market value of some vehicles seems to have little to do with their intrinsic value. Case in point: The older Type 1 VW buses (67 and older) command outrageous prices. I have seen some rather rough ones go for up to $20k and in good condition 30k, 40k, or more.
The type 2 (1971 on) has disc brakes, ball joint front suspension, full independent rear axles with CV joints. Much better handling, way better brakes yet they go for around $10k. Way better vehicle but the market doesn't show that.
The lack of slides in our Barths is a huge problem for most buyers, but the ones who know consider slides to be a potential source of leaks and maintenance costs, especially in an older vehicle. Most of the new coaches I hear of have been back to the dealer several times after the sale. New does not equate to trouble free. The market does not reflect this at all.
Hang in there, all it takes is one informed buyer who is looking for something to run and enjoy. I am hoping that someone will see my Regal as a good place to start and keep it running. I'll never see all my money back on that one but I never considered a coach as an investment. I used it, enjoyed it, and got my money's worth.
It seems we have more Barths for sale lately than we normally do. Not sure why.
Good luck with your sale. I need to get the Regal pictures posted but I'm busy and it keeps raining lately.
"98" Monarch 37
Spartan MM, 6 spd Allison
Cummins 8.3 300 hp
About 10 years ago a guy I know who is a pretty fair wrench asked me why I was spending $285 or so on an exhaust manifold gasket. I told him because it leaks and I don't like the noise. He said yeah, but that old coach ain't even worth that much. I sold it last year for $4G. He also told me about 8 years ago that our 94 T Bird was a $500 car at most. I sold it last year for $2G. I must be a really good salesman!
79 Barth Classic
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