Slow time for pre-loved camper-trailers?

Submitted: Wednesday, Mar 06, 2013 at 13:57
ThreadID: 100926 Views:3873 Replies:14 FollowUps:10
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G'day Folks

We have had a camper-trailer for sale on this site, and three others, since December.
It is priced at around the same mark, weight for age, as similar campers on all four sites. In that time we've dropped the price by $750. Apart from SMS scams, we have not had one enquiry.

On this site, the camper-trailer category shows only three SOLD signs, with apparently no campers listed from December 2012 onwards having been sold (assuming the seller lets David and Michelle know of course).

My questions are:
Has the market for pre-loved camper-trailers gone flat?
Is it simply a buyer's market? or are there no buyers?

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Reply By: Notso - Wednesday, Mar 06, 2013 at 14:03

Wednesday, Mar 06, 2013 at 14:03
It seems quiet everywhere. Some of our van club members have had vans for sale for a long time too.

AnswerID: 506177

Reply By: Sir Kev & Darkie - Wednesday, Mar 06, 2013 at 14:41

Wednesday, Mar 06, 2013 at 14:41

I have had my Trak Shak on here for sale for over 6 months now and still have it :(

It will be heading bush in 3 weeks with me even if it is sold now as I won't have time to get down to pick up the new one we intend to buy :(

Cheers Kev
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He was presented with a difficult decision: push on into the stretching deserts, or return home to his wife.

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AnswerID: 506182

Reply By: Member - Hunter Gatherer - Wednesday, Mar 06, 2013 at 15:24

Wednesday, Mar 06, 2013 at 15:24
I also listed my Jayco Flaming on this site, had only one enquiry, sold it to a staff member.
AnswerID: 506187

Reply By: Nomad Navara - Wednesday, Mar 06, 2013 at 15:25

Wednesday, Mar 06, 2013 at 15:25
You may also be able to thank cheap imports for this situation. However they can be cheap and nasty compared to our Australian quality.
AnswerID: 506188

Reply By: SDG - Wednesday, Mar 06, 2013 at 15:53

Wednesday, Mar 06, 2013 at 15:53
A buyers market.
My brother in law sold his within half an hour on another site, and was still receiving calls about it a week later. Pity I can't get mine out of the yard yet as mine would also go up.
Apparently these people were searching for Easter trips.
AnswerID: 506191

Follow Up By: Member - John G - Wednesday, Mar 06, 2013 at 16:32

Wednesday, Mar 06, 2013 at 16:32
G'day SDG

I hope it's OK to ask what site he advertised on? Perhaps use the Members Message facility.

FollowupID: 783132

Follow Up By: SDG - Wednesday, Mar 06, 2013 at 17:25

Wednesday, Mar 06, 2013 at 17:25
I sent you a message through your ad as I could not go through members site.
FollowupID: 783136

Reply By: racinrob - Wednesday, Mar 06, 2013 at 16:59

Wednesday, Mar 06, 2013 at 16:59
Sold my off road caravan last week after having it listed for five weeks on a caravan site, only one caller and he bought it. Very competitively priced in my opinion.
Thing I keep hearing is "Money is tight".

AnswerID: 506196

Reply By: Member - wicket - Wednesday, Mar 06, 2013 at 17:57

Wednesday, Mar 06, 2013 at 17:57
Sorry to say it guys but if you can't sell 'em then the price is too high , you're going to have to sharpen your pencils ;)
AnswerID: 506197

Follow Up By: Member - John G - Wednesday, Mar 06, 2013 at 22:00

Wednesday, Mar 06, 2013 at 22:00
G'day Wicket

I don't have a problem with that - you have to go with the market at the time. What intrigues me is why interested parties don't kick the tyres and offer way below the odds with the hope that the seller will come down to their offer.

FollowupID: 783146

Reply By: Outnabout.. - Wednesday, Mar 06, 2013 at 18:12

Wednesday, Mar 06, 2013 at 18:12
Anything will sell if the price is right. The problem with campers and to a lesser degree is there is just to many to choose from. For someone who knows nothing about them how would you expect from a RVpoint style add that they could differentiate between a good and bad one. Probably a bit different if you are selling a Kimberley/Tvan type well known thing.
For a camper I would tend to put it somewhere visible like the community street car yard, or a park with a big for sale sign. Maybe advertise in a school newsletter or public noticeboard. Tend to move more near major holiday periods or in the better weather.

It doesn't matter how many calls you get just worry about the quality of them.
I had my 80 series on carsales for 6 months but I wanted a particular price and as it wasn't burning a hole in my pocket if I in't sell it. I had one phone call an once I confirmed he really was interested I made sure that I didn't loose him.
You can only sell it once so if the price is fair and you market it in the best place to get maximum exposure then you will sell it but make sure you hone you selling skills.
AnswerID: 506199

Reply By: Outbackogre - Wednesday, Mar 06, 2013 at 19:20

Wednesday, Mar 06, 2013 at 19:20
I agree with the comments about price. After searching for 3-4 months, I just bought a Goldstream windup camper that was reasonably priced after two attempts to sell on ebay attracted 0 bids. I had to do a 500 km round trip to pick it up but saved heaps over the high prices being asked for campers in the suburbs. I'm amazed at the prices being sought for tired 14 year old campers.
AnswerID: 506205

Follow Up By: Member - John G - Wednesday, Mar 06, 2013 at 22:07

Wednesday, Mar 06, 2013 at 22:07
Thanks Outbackogre

At the end of the day I've got to make a decision about whether I want $$ in my pocket, or whether I hold out for a price. The difficulty lies in identifying the price that will make interested parties pick up the phone and enquire.

FollowupID: 783148

Follow Up By: Outbackogre - Wednesday, Mar 06, 2013 at 22:46

Wednesday, Mar 06, 2013 at 22:46
That's a decision only you can make John. Reflecting on the issue of the right price, let me recall a recent observation. I kept an eye on a couple of 2006 outback Doves in Melb over a period of 2-3 weeks, one at 17,000 and the other at 17,900. From the photos both were in nice condition. The cheaper one was sitting on 17,000 for some weeks but when it was dropped to 16,500 it sold within a couple of days. I reckon there are people out there (like me) who may be interested in a van but wait to see if the price comes down. It's all about the market and there's a lot of vans for sale at the moment. So, you could try dropping the price by $50-100 after each week of no inquiries until you feel you can go no lower. This demonstrates to buyers that you are willing to negotiate and therefore generates interest. Good luck. Rob.
FollowupID: 783151

Follow Up By: Member - LG__ - Thursday, Mar 07, 2013 at 01:27

Thursday, Mar 07, 2013 at 01:27
Blame the Global Financial Crisis.
Everyone is hanging on to their hard earned unless they have no option but to spend it!

We have been looking at camper trailers on and off for a year or two now {dreaming of the day...}.
Most of them are way above our budget but there have been the odd one or two which were close enough to warrent a closer look. Perhaps explaining what grabs our attention would help others when they are selling

Obviously if it isn't in our price range then we wont look at it, so the price is paramount. Is it negotiable? If so, say so!

The next thing we check out is the photo's -
We think the more the merrier, no such thing as too many.

Photos give an instant impression encouraging the potential buyer to read a lengthy description. They also allow someone to read the description and if need be they can 'understand' what is being described better with the visual aid of the photo.

However, do your item the justice it deserves

Every thing is set up but - 9 times out of 10 it is a 'quickie' job and the canvas is sagging in places one would expect it to be taut.
Is the canvas actually saggy or is it a rushed photo set up?
If the person looking at the photo assumes the first, then you just lost a potential buyer. Taut and tidy is the way to go imho :-)

Photos of the outside are OK but I'd like to see the inside too.
What kind of kitchen is built in? Does the floor open under the mattress to access the storage compartments? What is the door on the front right side for? How big is the cavity near the spare tyre?

The Setting ... not so much.
If you have set it up in the driveway at home to take the photos, so be it. If you do happen to have some photos of your last camping trip showing the whole unit from a distance in a nice spot, then post it up to give an idea of what it looks like in that kind of setting :-)

If you mention something in your description - post a photo of it
You may say something like 'a small tear in the seam' then when I look at your 'small tear' it is actually 12 inches long and requires professional repair costing hundreds of dollars!
Or it could be 3 stitches and requires nothing more than a spot of craft glue ...

Don't assume I will know what you are talking about!
If I have never owned a camper trailer before I won't understand jargon associated with them.

Measurements! I love knowing the numbers.

That's what we do when we browse the ads.
Hope it helps somebody decide what to post when selling something

FollowupID: 783155

Follow Up By: Member - John G - Thursday, Mar 07, 2013 at 08:23

Thursday, Mar 07, 2013 at 08:23
Thanks LG

I've covered most of your suggestions in advts that I've got up. I don't think it is the GFC per se, caravan sales continued to rise during the GFC and pre-loved prices were stable and the market seemed to be ticking over.

Consumer confidence is still not good though, and apparently conventional wisdom is that folks tend to go slow on spending when an election is on the horizon. The current cage-rattling about superannuation probably doesn't help either.

Our's is a Jayco and probably best-suited for young families, and there's a lot of family costs related policy issues being bandied about in this next election.

I'm inclined to think that in the first instance it is price, and finding that level that will excite the interest of a potential buyer, and not leave me thinking I'm giving it away.

FollowupID: 783165

Follow Up By: Member - Peter & Ann - Saturday, Mar 09, 2013 at 18:48

Saturday, Mar 09, 2013 at 18:48
Thanks LG, that's great advice. I've been thinking about selling my offroad camper trailer but thinking of it from buyer's viewpoint will make me put more photos in especially of set up options.
FollowupID: 783350

Reply By: The Bantam - Thursday, Mar 07, 2013 at 09:53

Thursday, Mar 07, 2013 at 09:53
There are several things ya realy have to think about.

First and most, boats, campers and the like are high value items and can take "some time" to sell......even in the professional yards suff can sit around for months under normal conditions.

If you want to get a good price you have to hold your nerve and be prepared to wait for the right buyer.

There are always slow times of year and the first three months is always slow...this year March looks like the depth of the slow right across the board.

We have a combination that make things worse....
A mate drives crane trucks delivering steel.....he has been home every day about lunch time for the last is still slow....slow construction hits camping hard.

We have had floods an lots of wet weather in all sorts of places.....tourism is still depressed because of it.....when its raining regularly people are far less likely to go camping.....its rained here nearly every day for over a month.

I have some regular camping & 4wd items up on ebay.....I have not sold a bean for a fortnight... a good week will see me sell at least 10 items a week...its slow.

AND, I dare say there are plenty of campers and caravans for sale at the moment.

SO if you want to sell fast you better have a very attractive proposition....either very well presented and sold or at a very competitive price.

OR hold ya nerve till the market improves.

All that said......lots of people want too much for their stuff.....and lets face it there is a certain extra amount of risk involved in a soft body camper.

AnswerID: 506243

Follow Up By: Bazooka - Thursday, Mar 07, 2013 at 13:19

Thursday, Mar 07, 2013 at 13:19
Bantam wrote: All that said......lots of people want too much for their stuff...

Agree, and the ads are usually easy to spot because they often speak of "replacement cost $XXX".

If you want to sell any large budget item your bottom line (after testing the market and deciding how long you are prepared to wait) should be: "what does the item owe me? " - a totally different question to "what does a new (trailer) cost and how can I convince someone to pay more for mine second-hand than I bought it for new?", which obviously happens from time to time in the camper trailer market depending on the marque.
FollowupID: 783174

Reply By: MEMBER - Darian, SA - Thursday, Mar 07, 2013 at 14:58

Thursday, Mar 07, 2013 at 14:58
Its possibly an aspect of the overall 'inclination to save' that economists say aussie's are stuck on at present - seems its a carry over from the fright that everyone got from the global financial crisis - a lot of small / medium businesses are closing and retail is hurting in general. I sold my hard floor camper 3.5 years ago - it took a few weeks and then the only enquirer bought it. The price was less than most said I should get - I chose to be realistic and actually advertised it for what "I thought I would pay" for such an item, compared to the advantages of buying new with a warranty. It worked :-o).
AnswerID: 506253

Reply By: ExplorOz - David & Michelle - Thursday, Mar 07, 2013 at 15:23

Thursday, Mar 07, 2013 at 15:23
Great feedback in this thread. Usually we have the other problem that items have been sold so quickly that the ad numbers seem low. It appears this is not currently the case. FYI: the sold marker will only stay for 7 days (I think, have to check the code) and then the ad will disappear.

I can tell you that it is SLOW in this market. People are not thinking of heading out at the moment. Usually March - May are our busy months and this year unlike all others it is shaping up to be very (almost scary) slow. Elections, super, weather etc as mentioned above are all major factors. The stock market is improving but consumer & business confidence (regardless of what the pollies say) is low.

Stay with it and let us know how you get on. I am keen to know how your ad on EO goes compared to the others (cost vs inquiries vs conversion) as this feedback is important to us. So please feel free to let us know how you get on.
David (DM) & Michelle (MM)
Always working not enough travelling!

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AnswerID: 506255

Follow Up By: Member - John G - Thursday, Mar 07, 2013 at 15:42

Thursday, Mar 07, 2013 at 15:42
Thanks (I think) David

I thought it might be a bit dodgy running stats from the Classifieds, and no doubt you can do a search yourself, but at the moment there are 30 units for sale dating October-Jan. I've excluded Feb onwards.

I'll let you know how it goes.

FollowupID: 783181

Reply By: Member - Old Girl - Thursday, Mar 07, 2013 at 17:01

Thursday, Mar 07, 2013 at 17:01
It took a couple of months to sell our camper from our EO add. The people googled the brand and EO came up. PHOTOS you need good photos. The camper needs to be set up as straight as it can. The background needs to be nice too. I would hate to be selling any camping gear around SE Qld atm.
AnswerID: 506262

Reply By: Member - Terry W4 - Thursday, Mar 07, 2013 at 21:04

Thursday, Mar 07, 2013 at 21:04
Let me say. I am in the market for a used Prado and a used off road camper trailer. Will buy in September when I retire.

But I am in a very intensive reasearch phase - checking prices and conditions all over the net. And also the important issue is what extras I will need to add - dual battery and UHF positive - as well as inbuilt kitchen. If these items have been removed could be interested still but depends.

Of course won't buy without inspection. Looking at the offers on here as well as all of the online sales sites and also cruising the car yards.

Will be tempted to buy in the ACT because I can save registration fees - only stamp duty and transfer fees applying.

But if price is right will end up doing NSW and Vic.
AnswerID: 506281

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