In today’s economy, research pays off. Always always research before you make a large purchase. This week I learned this the hard way and by the skin of my teeth avoided a costly mistake. We have been searching for a new trailer (or used). We haven’t ever been entirely happy with this one or the layout and so we’ve always got our eye open.
This past Thursday, we went to Camping World @ Burlington, WA to look at the floorplans of the bumper pull toy haulers just to see how the space was. Instantly, we knew it was a no go. The salesman at Camping World said he happened to have a bunkhouse on the lot that had a different floor plan that we might be interested in. It was good! A used 2008 Keystone Montana Mountaineer 345DBQ but in excellent condition. You couldn’t even tell anyone had ever been in it. The space issues that bug me most in this trailer were addressed. The storage space was a little iffy but it was a Keystone and we love Keystone quality. Overall, I couldn’t find anything wrong with it. In the trailer, the salesman told us it was $45k.
We went back to Camping World on Friday morning to deal. When we got into the office, we were presented with a quick number layout that showed $46,999 (2k difference) and a whopping trade in value of $33,5 for our 2010. I was impressed by the trade in (I’m not a banker and don’t understand how this stuff works so I’ll tell you I am easy to bamboozle) and therefore over looked that little $2k difference. I HAD researched the value of our trailer and was expecting a decent sized trade in value near $18-20k..
They presented us with an interest rate offer and we started the process. — I have to interject here that on the way to Camping World that morning, I was stressed beyond belief. I’m always so terrified that we’ll get ripped off and Mark will blame me (not that he WOULD but it’s my silly fears). I closed my eyes and said ‘God please, give me a sign on whether we should do this or not.’ Amazingly, as Mark turned the corner there was a big blue sign that said ‘Evacuation Route ->’ pointing away from the trailer lot! LOL I ignored it and it amused me greatly. Yes, I’m that blind. Sign #1.
So, sign number #2, we couldn’t get ahold of our loan officer to find out the pay off on our current trailer and finish the deal. He was out of the office until Monday.
Sign number #3, when Camping World ran our credit, no number showed at all. Strangely blank. ‘We’ve run many credit reports so we know how to do this, we just can’t get a number on you.’
God was working overtime this weekend. Still, we ignored it all. Our loan officer was to be back in the office on Monday and the transactions would be complete then.
Sign #4 A friend of ours paid $45k for a 2011 same make and brand.. 3 years newer, $2k less… hmmmmmm…
Monday the bank called. We went over the figures on the Vehicle Order Sheet, set the payment amount and got every little thing in place to complete the trade. I called Mark back with all of the new information and in that conversation about sign #4, we decided to do a little bit of research.
WOW I was shocked… my final correspondence with Camping World @ Burlington, Wa is shown below. I don’t doubt that my words will fall on deaf ears. But I am so disgusted with them that I feel this needs to be out there for an example of how people will lie and take advantage of you no matter what. I also think everyone needs to know this can and does happen at any vehicle sales lot. Research! Research! Research! There’s no such thing as an honest salesman!
I will tell you upfront that we are not buying the trailer. Nor will we be buying a trailer from camping world now or in the future. I’d be willing to pay $100k anywhere else to avoid camping world and it’s nice little policies. Let me tell you why…. You showed us the 2008 Montana Mountaineer 345DBQ used but in excellent condition. In the trailer you said 45… in the office they said 46,999.. Two thousand isn’t much to be off and as I worked with numbers for years I was a little disappointed in you but let it go. I figured as a salesman 45 sounded better than 47.. You had also been extremely nice and very helpful. I was and remain appreciative of that even though now I feel as though you simply played your job well, salesman to the end!
On a whim yesterday, after speaking with my bank and getting all the details in order for him to do the paperwork and get it mailed out.. We decided to do a quick internet search and see what the value of a 2008 would be compared to what we are paying.. Was I surprised!? Oh you bet, here’s what I found :
The very same trailer listed as $32,995, at the same location. Now I’m from Oklahoma and we do things a little differently from you all but I’m pretty sure where ever you are from that’s called dirty dealing. I looked at the photos carefully and unless you have two exact same models (you didn’t show us two) with the winegard satellite, the striped bedspread AND those little stair carpets.. then it’s the same trailer.
Common sense says since you so graciously offered 33,5 for our trailer on trade in…. I should be receiving the trailer, the titles, and a check for the remainder based on the above offer price.
And that’s not ALL I found either…
This shows the Suggested List Price from 2008 to be approximately $47,220. Now that’s just $221 more than the sale price you listed on my vehicle order sheet. So 5 years worth of age resulted in a value change of $221 dollars for you all. I’d rather buy a new one for $221 more. It also shows an average retail price of $24,650. That’s quite the amazing example of ‘Camping World barely marks used trailers up in order to keep the prices down’ isn’t it. But let’s look at new ones…. (you already know where this is going don’t you :)
Just down in Fife, I can get the exact same model with updated features and a 2013 model for $49,999! That’s right, just $3,000 difference than the five year old model we nearly bought from you!
I had other websites to show you as well, all with this same model in the same price range. But that’s wasted time on my part because you already know how you run business and how the market is right now don’t you?
I am disappointed in you and in camping world for this entire mess. Had I chose to complete this purchase (and I almost did) without any further research it would have been my fault in the end for letting myself get ripped off. HOWEVER, shame on you! People work hard to earn their money and that does not give you or anyone else the right to play these sorts of games to take it from them. Remember, I told you I had asked God for a sign on whether or not to buy this trailer and had laughingly ignored the evacuation route sign as I made that corner in that moment. I will not be ignoring signs any further.
Just for future reference, those of us from the south did get internet a few years ago and have since learned how to use it. You might want to take away the double dealing ads before someone else catches you out.
Please be aware : I will also not respond to you further on this matter, I can trust nothing you say. Please do not attempt to email or call either of us in any way at any time ever again. Does that cover forever? I mean for it to.