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Old 12-05-2010, 05:56 PM   #11
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Re: What are people paying for used SMB's?

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I like to keep tabs on the value of my assets for insurance decisions and net worth calculations. I was planning on using Kelly Blue Book value for the van itself, but haven't come up with a good way to place a depreciated value on the RV convsersion. If I can scrape up enough data there may be a way to determine the average rate of depreciation for that portion of the personal property. In an attempt to keep things simple, I apply a 70% discount to the original value of personal property kept in my house...
Gee, I'm glad I'm not the only one. But you sound like you have the sickness worse that I do.
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Old 12-06-2010, 03:09 PM   #12
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Re: What are people paying for used SMB's?

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I believe the prices of the used Sportsmobiles are high, but hopefully not inflated. Before the recession it was difficult to find a Sportsmobile for sale. There were only a few available and they cost a lot. Now, I'm sure due to tough economic times, there are quite a few Sportsmobiles on the market. The Sportsmobiles available are probably worth the asking price listed, but in today's market the prices may not appear to be as discounted as one might hope given the limited spending power of most consumers right now. But I can understand the current owner's desire to get what their vehicle is "worth" when selling it.

As to the high price, most Sportsmobile owners I know have added many accessories to their van after purchasing it new (or used). As for me, I got a great deal on a 2002 Sportsmobile and bought it in 2009 for $32,000. Since then I have, or will have, added another $10,000 to $12,000 in add-ons to the vehicle. Therefore, someone may think paying almost $45,000 for a 4X2 gas Sportsmobile is a high price if I sold mine, but that is what the van is worth. If I added Aluminess bumpers to my van the cost would be even higher. In other words, in my opinion my van becomes worth more the longer I have it because I keep improving it.

The real question one should ask is why anyone in their right mind would spend $75,000 to $120,000 for a van when they could get a Class B Motorhome for MUCH cheaper and can even buy a Class C or Class A mortorhome for less than a Sportsmobile? The answer is, of course, that Sportsmobile owners aren't like motorhome owners. We want to go places motorhomes can't go. And, as for me, I hope I never run into a motorhome owner when I'm out camping. The fact that there are very few Sportsmobile owners out there and that I am one of them has worth in itself!
I completely agree with you that the reason people want SMBs is their capacity to get away from it all, as far as I know unique. A Roadtrek, for example, with its low clearance, is mostly a pavement vehicle. That said, I don't agree that every dollar you put in increases the SMB value by a dollar, more likely 33 cents.

Two final points. If an SMB is sitting on the market for a year, it is priced to high. Also, if for 15% more you can buy new, that would make more sense. It would depend, but in general a late model SMB would have to sell at a discount of around 25% for it to make clear-cut sense to buy used. The one upside of buying used is that you can get into an SMB right away, as opposed to waiting 6 months. That admittedly adds some value.
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Old 12-06-2010, 10:42 PM   #13
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Re: What are people paying for used SMB's?

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Two final points. If an SMB is sitting on the market for a year, it is priced to high. Also, if for 15% more you can buy new, that would make more sense. It would depend, but in general a late model SMB would have to sell at a discount of around 25% for it to make clear-cut sense to buy used. The one upside of buying used is that you can get into an SMB right away, as opposed to waiting 6 months. That admittedly adds some value.
Not necessarily, I don't think a year is excessive for these vehicles especially in this economy. I looked for several months, and the van I wound up buying was sitting there not selling the whole time. Since they're highly custom a buyer for a hi-top 41 might not come around, cash in hand, for months.

Or, alternatively let's look at 3 used Sportsmobiles. All with the PH, Ford Chassis, Aluminess all around, SMB4x4, each with a 50 interior, and the oldest and newest separated by 3 years, well maybe 4. I believe they all had the Diesel, but I'd have to double check. Anyway, they sold for $50,000, $85,000 and $116,000 all around the same time. True one had less than 8,000 on the ODO, but the others weren't more than 10K away from one another.

Why the huge difference? Because no two EB50 SMB4x4 PH vans are the same. They are barely even similar, when it gets down to the important things. But I do think things like Aluminess bumpers and Deaver springs add more than 33˘ on the dollar... it's just not like the Jeep/Landcruiser/Truck accessory world where there is a bunch of chrome garbage to buy and bolt all over your vehicle.

But hey, ultimately the fact that no one seems to be selling a van at the price you want should be proof enough*. Either that, or everyone has gone stupid and lost their minds. I'd lay even money on either!

* Please note there is a fair amount of irony in this, as I often complain of the same thing, especially here in Colorado.
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Old 12-07-2010, 01:44 PM   #14
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Re: What are people paying for used SMB's?

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But hey, ultimately the fact that no one seems to be selling a van at the price you want should be proof enough*. Either that, or everyone has gone stupid and lost their minds. I'd lay even money on either!

* Please note there is a fair amount of irony in this, as I often complain of the same thing, especially here in Colorado.
Irony understood. If the vans were selling near the asked prices, than that would be persuasive evidence that they are worth more than I think. But that does not seem to be the case. I have been watching for a while, and it also seemed to not be the case pre-recession. That said, the custom issue is a big one. If I could find one just the way I want it, I would pay more.
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Old 12-07-2010, 04:57 PM   #15
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Re: What are people paying for used SMB's?

Thanks Seattle for your list. Very informative.

I've been a modder for years (motorcycles and cars) and you never get back what you put in. It seems you get a little more for your SMB mods than other vehicle mods.

Try a little market experiment: Attempt to buy vans that meet your criteria for prices you think are fair and see how far you get.

I've been watching ebay for years and it seems people are getting what they ask, or close to it, but I don't have the professional quality data that Seattle has collected.
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Old 12-07-2010, 05:16 PM   #16
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Re: What are people paying for used SMB's?

I found my express on Craigslist in NC for $8K. I love it.
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Old 12-08-2010, 05:57 PM   #17
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Re: What are people paying for used SMB's?

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Originally Posted by angler
Thanks Seattle for your list. Very informative.

I've been a modder for years (motorcycles and cars) and you never get back what you put in. It seems you get a little more for your SMB mods than other vehicle mods.

Try a little market experiment: Attempt to buy vans that meet your criteria for prices you think are fair and see how far you get.

I've been watching ebay for years and it seems people are getting what they ask, or close to it, but I don't have the professional quality data that Seattle has collected.

I have been watching SMBs for a while, and it seems they are mostly not selling. Given these are high-priced items, it could be a little like houses. Housing prices tend to be sticky for a while, people unwilling to sell for less than they paid if they can at all avoid it. Eventually the pressure is too great and housing prices come down (e.g. recently). Something like that could go on for SMBs. Must people who own them probably are not desperate for money and can wait a long time before selling. Unless they get lucky, they will have to bring the price down, but it may be a slow process. That said I know someone who bought a fully loaded SMB 2WD (generator, the works) for $30,000. I don't think it was too old.
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Old 12-08-2010, 08:56 PM   #18
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Re: What are people paying for used SMB's?

I just looked at the Sportsmobiles offered on the Sportsmobile West site and I have to admit there are some vans on there that seem to be over-priced. I do wonder how some of the owners can justify the price they are asking. There are a few of the vans on there where the asking price seems to be a dream rather than reality. It will be interesting to see if they sell.
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