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How much is my bus worth, will you guys be honest?
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Lind
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 11, 2004 6:49 pm    Post subject: How much is my bus worth, will you guys be honest? Reply with quote

How much is my bus worth, and can I trust these guys to tell me honestly?
(I.E. please read this before you post something asking how much your bus is worth)

Simple answers: it is worth as much as you can get someone to pay, and no, you canít trust us to give you an honest evaluation.

It is a very tricky thing determining value.

Condition is the most important part of determining value. The best way for us to determine condition is to look at a car in person. we canít trust pictures or people descriptions. A picture tells a thousand words, but we donít know if those words are true. Bad cars can look good in pictures, and good cars can look bad. There are some things that are nearly impossible to get pictures of. Three pictures of the outside of the car taken at night with your cell phone camera only verify that the vehicle actually does exist. 20+ pictures is a good place to start. All the pictures in the world are no substitute for a firsthand inspection by a couple people who know what they are looking at. I say a couple people because even the best people will miss something when inspecting a bus. I.E. someone might notice that the radio hole has been hacked out and miss that the speedo pod is wrong for that year (signifying that at least the dash has been replaced and more likely the whole nose). It is always interesting comparing notes after inspecting a bus with another seasoned expert. Peopleís descriptions of cars are very subjective. One of worst tings to say is ďits in good condition for its ageĒ well, 90% of the buses produced have been crushed, so in comparison to those, yeah it is in great condition. What is rusty in my area can be a very dry car in another area. Very restorable only means that it needs to be restored, which could describe 90%of the buses out there depending on your standards.

So even if we have a very good idea of condition, the other big factor is the market. It never ceases to amaze me, the prices that buses sell for, both high and low. The market is very fickle. Sometimes people get very lucky either buying or selling. One might think that an auction would be the perfect place to get the most value out of a bus that they are selling, but it doesnít always work, because there is a limited amount of time and people may not be able to come and inspect the bus personally. Also with an auction, people want to get a good deal; so many people arenít willing to bid the full amount that they would be willing to pay if it was a fixed price sale. Auctions also sometimes get people who get caught up in the moment and spend more than a bus is worth. Donít count on that though if you are thinking about an auction.

How can you possibly expect a knowledgeable enthusiast to be honest with you about the value? Think about it, this is what we do as our hobby and/or business. If we are interested in buying the bus either to keep or to resell, we want to get the best deal possible. When someone asks me what a bus is worth that I want to buy, I usually refuse to tell them. I ask them what they want for it, and I will tell them what I am willing to pay for it, but I wonít tell them what I think that it would sell for on the open market. The amount that I am willing to pay for a bus is directly proportional to the amount that I want it. If it is something that I want extremely bad, then I am willing to pay more than I feel it would sell for on the open market. If it is something that I donít really want, I will usually pay at most half of what I think that I can sell it for.

So how should you determine the value of your bus, and how can I sell it for the most money? Watching the market for about a year is the best way to get an accurate feel for what buses are selling for. There are seasonal factors that affect value, and there are regional factors that affect value. There is also luck, skill and timing. There is not one simple method to getting the most money out of your bus. If you sell it for a price that both the buyer and seller are happy with, then you made a good deal. If you canít for the life of you sell it for what you are asking for it, then it is overpriced (or you donít know how to sell it properly). Remember, asking price and selling price are two different things. People ask some crazy high prices for stuff, so just because another person canít sell a similar bus for a certain price, doesnít mean that your bus is worth that price.

The main factors that affect price and value are:
Condition
Desirability
Rarity
Location
Timing (i.e. season/economy/etc.)


Last edited by Lind on Sun Dec 12, 2004 1:08 pm; edited 3 times in total
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Riff Raff
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 11, 2004 7:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent novella!
I, personally, have never been any good at either buying or selling. I always pay more than I should because I get all starry eyed, and when I sell, it's because I can't stand the sight of the damned thing anymore and I just want it gone.
I hope I earned some karma points along the way at least, cause I sure paid for them in hard dollars.
Oh by the way, I don't think I paid too too much for either of my current A/C's, but that may be because I still like them.
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Lind
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 11, 2004 8:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

by popular request (from spookymulder, etc.) here are a few photos of buses and the prices that they sold for:

panelvan $1845
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

standard microbus $2145
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

kombi $1925
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

deluxe bus $2595
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

now before you email me screaming that those aren't the actual prices that those buses sold for, think about it. those are actual prices that those buses sold for. not what they are worth today, just what they sold for.


Last edited by Lind on Sat Dec 11, 2004 8:27 pm; edited 2 times in total
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vwdudeAirCooler
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 11, 2004 11:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A guy I bought a bus from a while back told me his defination of a successful tranaction is when both parties walk away thinkin' they screwed the other one...
A bit off the subject, but kinda true!
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EverettB Premium Member
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2005 5:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A good thing to emphasize in Lind's post is that selling price is different than asking price.

Of the Buses that I know the actual sales price on from this site, most of the ones that people consider "high-priced" have sold for thousands less, maybe even less than you would expect. In one case I know of, a 23-window sold for $10,000 less than the asking price.

The best way to figure out a fair price is to watch the market. Buses sell quick so if something has been for sale for more than a couple weeks to a month, the price is probably too high.
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vdubyah73
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2005 5:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

vwdudeAirCooler wrote:
A guy I bought a bus from a while back told me his defination of a successful tranaction is when both parties walk away thinkin' they screwed the other one.
I thought that was a good divorce!
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localboy
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2005 6:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

EverettB wrote:
The best way to figure out a fair price is to watch the market. Buses sell quick so if something has been for sale for more than a couple weeks to a month, the price is probably too high.


Having been only a T1 and T3 guy I had no idea what a mid 60's Westy was worth when the opportunity to purchase my '66 came up last Oct. I did exactly what Everett says here. I did my research, tried to find comparable models in roughly similiar condition here and other sources and asked around to others with more T2 knowledge. Think basic high school economics..."what the market will bare". I also didn't rush in and make an emotional purchase I would regret later. A lesson I learned the hard way.... Mad
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Senor Samba
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2005 7:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lind,
You forgot another one.
Ones means.
How much bread you have to spend and/or willing to invest on what you are buying. Ex:If you are looking to buy a rolling project or if you found a plit that is super rare and needs a lot of work or somewhere in between.
I have made some pretty decent purchases based on limited funds ( buy myself into a cheap deal) call it luck. Even that is descriptive as well I.E. the guy that got tired of dumping cash into his project turns into my rolling project.
We could on and on, a good deal is when you feel good about a purchase.
however every good tread.
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Erik G
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2005 7:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

EverettB wrote:
A good thing to emphasize in Lind's post is that selling price is different than asking price.

Of the Buses that I know the actual sales price on from this site, most of the ones that people consider "high-priced" have sold for thousands less, maybe even less than you would expect. In one case I know of, a 23-window sold for $10,000 less than the asking price.

The best way to figure out a fair price is to watch the market. Buses sell quick so if something has been for sale for more than a couple weeks to a month, the price is probably too high.


as I've said before, there is something to being priced too low as well. Sometimes priced too low scares away people.
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Old Tunes209
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 02, 2005 9:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with the "localboy" its always good to do your homework and shop around and try to compare with similar models. Then decide how much do you want to pay and be prepared that the price you want to pay might mean that you might pay later down the road. Also dont listen to anyone elses negativity who doesnt know about "precious metal" To them they just think its a waste of money (personal experience) And of course try to talk to others who have experience in the scene. They are a great help to us beginers (THANKS SCHUMANN!!!! Very Happy )

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