Attended and RV Show - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-05-2015, 04:39 PM   #15
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Carol, I think you missed the context of Bob's statement. He was referring to the fact that retail salespeople can't make a living selling molded fiberglass trailers. Because there aren't any (other than the sales staff at the manufacturer). And I'm pretty sure he meant that as a good thing.
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Old 10-05-2015, 04:49 PM   #16
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Carol, I think you missed the context of Bob's statement. He was referring to the fact that salespeople can't make a living selling molded fiberglass trailers. Because there aren't any (other than the sales staff at the manufacturer). And I believe he meant that as a good thing.
Thanks Jon, I did understand the comment re sales staff not making a real good living at selling trailers but not sure I took his whole comments out of contest as he made the comments in regards to Bigfoots "that doesn't seem to be meeting with much success." which is why I question him on it as to what he based that comment on. They have always sold through a large network of dealers. Then again maybe I did!
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Old 10-05-2015, 05:05 PM   #17
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I understood that part to reflect the fact that Bigfoot only has a small handful of dealers in the US, and there hasn't been much growth in recent years. Glad to hear that may be changing.

In any case, if I wanted to make a living selling molded fiberglass trailers (one of the few products I think I could embrace selling), my job prospects are pretty limited.
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Old 10-05-2015, 05:29 PM   #18
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I think I was misunderstood.


I was suggesting that RV Dealerships Sales peeps could not make a living selling FGRV's because they would be substantially overpriced in the RV marketplace and would offer little incentive for sales. In the United States, the dealer profit margins needed would made them horrendously expensive, with an MSRP at least 50% more than most current factory prices to cover shipping, inventory costs, warranty costs, and profits.


And BigFoot has just 1 dealer in the entire state of California, and only 8 in the entire country. As of today they collectively have an on-line advertised inventory of 5 slide-in campers and 4 trailers in the entire country and the dealer in Boise, ID seems to have as much inventory as all other dealers combined.


BigFoot calls then Factory Outlets, not dealerships, and most advertise that they sell with an 8-12 week lead time, so they don't have up front investment with inventory, and they can work on a commission per sale. But most RV buyers want immediate gratification when they commit to that kind of expense, not 8-12 weeks delivery promises. One dealer seems to be using Canadian prices and is using the current currency exchange difference as a bargaining tool.


And it's not just cost, the L.A. Airstream dealer advertised that they have more than 100 units on the lot, and a much smaller Airstream dealer in Corona, CA, about 45 miles from LA, has at least 15 the lot. "See it today, buy it today and take it home tomorrow" is the sales model that sells, delivery in 2-3 months doesn't.


The owner of my local RV dealership, with three locations, about 100 employees, and several hundred RV's on his lots, would love to sell FGRV's, but there just isn't the profit margins necessary to stay in business selling FGRV's, as compared to sticky's. And minimal profit margins vs the existing sticky sales model, are why I made the comment that dealers can't make a living selling them.


Many times I have mentioned my interest in BigFoot trailers, I want a 17' for myself and just tried to buy two different ones in the month that I was in Washington and Canada (excuse me, British Columbia)


With the current cost of manufacturing keeping prices where they are, I just don't see new FGRV's being regular items on dealer lots. Improvements in sales & production volume will help bring that down, but, for the most part, it just isn't there in FGRV's, at least not yet.....


And at the last two annual RV shows in Pomona, CA, claimed to be the largest in the United States, the total number of FGRV's mfg's represented? Zero.
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Old 10-05-2015, 06:20 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Bob Miller View Post
I think I was misunderstood.


I was suggesting that RV Dealerships Sales peeps could not make a living selling FGRV's because they would be substantially overpriced in the RV marketplace and would offer little incentive for sales. In the United States, the dealer profit margins needed would made them horrendously expensive, with an MSRP at least 50% more than most current factory prices to cover shipping, inventory costs, warranty costs, and profits.

And BigFoot has just 1 dealer in the entire state of California, and only 8 in the entire country. As of today they collectively have an on-line advertised inventory of 5 slide-in campers and 4 trailers in the entire country and the dealer in Boise, ID seems to have as much inventory as all other dealers combined.


BigFoot calls then Factory Outlets, not dealerships, and most advertise that they sell with an 8-12 week lead time, so they don't have up front investment with inventory, and they can work on a commission per sale. But most RV buyers want immediate gratification when they commit to that kind of expense, not 8-12 weeks delivery promises. One dealer seems to be using Canadian prices and is using the current currency exchange difference as a bargaining tool.



.
My question in regards to your original statement made about Bigfoot was that in reading your statement, you appeared to be suggesting that they were not doing well with the sales approach in the US that they have set up? Which made me question what you know Bob that suggest this? Sales or production numbers over the past 4/5 years since they started manufacturing the trailers again?

Without knowing the actual sales numbers I am not sure anyone can say how well they may or may not be doing with their approach.

Bigfoot is not the big scale operation Airstream is, so I am not sure they make a good comparison. Bigfoot only has sales outlets located in 9 states, which I suspect are strategically located so that someone interesting in seeing one does not have to drive clear across the country as someone looking at some other brand of Fiberglass trailer might need to do if they wish to see a brand spanking unused one would have to do. Heck they do not even have a sales centre in all the provinces in the Country in which they operate.

Not surprised that they are quoting Canadian prices either - after all it is a Canadian company & the trailers are made in Canada - so highlighting the current currency favourable exchange to US buyers is not a bad thing

I do not think that immediate gratification is that big of an issue for someone who had decided they want a particular make of trailer either. One only has to look at the fact that a very popular fiberglass trailer manufacture is months and months out in del'v times currently. BTW our local Airstream dealer is currently quoting 3 months out for a new trailer del'v as well & they are trying hard to convince Canadian buyers they have done some kind of hedge scheme on the current US exchange rate to make them believe they really are not paying 25% more than they would have had they purchased the same trailer last year! LOL Its called cross border shopping and it goes both ways
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Old 10-05-2015, 07:46 PM   #20
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My comment about the manufacturers missing a large segment of the buying market was about how few small, what I consider reasonable sized, trailers they offer. At least how few they actually promote.

Earlier during the summer, I did stop at a large RV dealer and, again, only spent about an hour looking at the very few small trailers they had on their lot. Of those, there were two basic floor plans - bunk beds, or permanent bed and dinette - no matter the manufacturer. Perhaps you could special order something, but I didn't bother to talk with a salesperson, and none of them approached me, they seemed more interested in following the folks around who were checking out the Class As or other motor homes.

Just an observation. Probably similar to Ford's terrible decision to stop selling small, reasonable sized pick-ups in the US. The big ones are more profitable, so those of us who want small, be danged - we'll take what they want to sell us.
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Old 10-05-2015, 08:30 PM   #21
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It's called a free market.
If there were a huge demand for our little trailers, the market would fulfill the demand.
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Old 10-05-2015, 09:09 PM   #22
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It seems like the U.S. RV market is more like the car market. Most buyers do not walk in already knowing exactly what they want to buy, and purchases are often made based on what they see and what's in stock.


That's why larger dealers put so much effort and expense into RV shows. Profits per sale will be lower, but unit sales go through the roof. So much so that there are two major dealers in SoCal that each put on pseudo "RV Shows" of their own, at RV show venues, 3-4 times a year, including heavy local television advertising.


At least that's what an RV dealership owner has told me.


But, as was mentioned, our minuscule market share really can't support dealer sales or dealer sales peeps.


BTW" While driving through Kelowna last month I saw a couple of what looked like shrunk-down stickys on a RV dealer lot, on the 97 at the north end of town. We got distracted, but they were much smaller than a regular sticky in all directions.
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