Visiting Lil Snoozy Factory 7/21 - Likely Putting down a Deposit - Questions - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-18-2017, 08:18 AM   #1
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Name: KC
Trailer: LiL Snoozy
Missouri
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Visiting Lil Snoozy Factory 7/21 - Likely Putting down a Deposit - Questions

Hi All,

We currently have a Casita on order however we have quickly realized the space simply won't be adequate with 2 "humans" and 2 "canines". We have seen a Lil Snoozy in person here locally and loved it!!

For those who have already gone through the process of Purchasing, how do you feel you were treated by Lil Snoozy? I've spoken to Richard (the owner) and he seems GREAT and very helpful. My only concern at this point is the deposit they ask for. They are currently 6-8 months out on production and are asking for a 40% deposit. That's close to 10k!!! Anyone else that has purchases a Snoozy had concerns over this? Should I be concerned?

Pretty excited about our visit to St Matthews this Friday. We are flying to visit family in Charlotte on Thursday and driving down to visit the "Snoozy Factory" on Friday. I have a large list of questions already, but the deposit question is something I would really like feedback on from others. I have the cash, am just hesitant to hand that much over with zero collateral from them.

Thanks for any help/thoughts!
Tony
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Old 07-18-2017, 08:41 AM   #2
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I would be hesitant, too.

A story. My dad, long departed, used to say that one should never put money down on a motor vehicle. He told me that if a salesman ever said a deposit was required to hold the vehicle, the best thing to say in response was, "Why? Is there something shady about this deal?" His thinking was, there are car dealers all over the place and any dealership should be glad enough for your business that you don't need to take chances with deposits (which might not be refunded).

Problem is, obviously, one cannot find Snoozy dealers all over the place. They have high demand.

But from your perspective, what happens if they suffer a loss (a fire, death of owner, etc)? If production ceased or was substantially delayed, would you get your deposit back? Stuff happens all the time.

I understand that a 6 month lead time indicates high demand. And they are in a position to ask for and get the big deposit, because if you order a custom build and back out after it's finished, they have a unique trailer on their hands. That high demand cuts both ways, though; with a long lead time and people clamoring for a trailer, even a custom built unit would likely not be on their driveway long, especially with a $1,000-$2,000 discount. Which is why, IMO, a $1,000-$2000 (even if nonrefundable) deposit seems more reasonable than a $10,000 deposit. For that kind of money, I would feel more comfortable if the deposit were put into an escrow account that they could only access once the build was either underway or complete.

In negotiating for an escrow account, I might ask these questions of the mfr: Why do you need so much money, so many months in advance of the build? Are you so short of cash that you need it for operating funds to stay in business? Because if you are that short of cash, why do I want to gamble my $10,000 on a spin of your production wheel? And if you are indeed financially sound, why won't you accept an escrow that protects you from the appearance of impropriety as it protects me from unforeseen, adverse events that may occur within your business?
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Old 07-18-2017, 09:18 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Tony R View Post
Hi All,

We currently have a Casita on order however we have quickly realized the space simply won't be adequate with 2 "humans" and 2 "canines". We have seen a Lil Snoozy in person here locally and loved it!!

For those who have already gone through the process of Purchasing, how do you feel you were treated by Lil Snoozy? I've spoken to Richard (the owner) and he seems GREAT and very helpful. My only concern at this point is the deposit they ask for. They are currently 6-8 months out on production and are asking for a 40% deposit. That's close to 10k!!! Anyone else that has purchases a Snoozy had concerns over this? Should I be concerned?

Pretty excited about our visit to St Matthews this Friday. We are flying to visit family in Charlotte on Thursday and driving down to visit the "Snoozy Factory" on Friday. I have a large list of questions already, but the deposit question is something I would really like feedback on from others. I have the cash, am just hesitant to hand that much over with zero collateral from them.

Thanks for any help/thoughts!
Tony
We ordered our Snoozy in November 2016. Apparently 9 orders were received during that month. The Snoozy has become very popular and with a high demand it will take longer than the initial time frame of 5 - 6 months that we were told. We understood this as Richard has a high standard of building quality and each camper is built to your specs. It takes approximately 2 weeks to build a unit and they work on 2 at a time. We also understood the reason as Mike stated above of their being stuck with a camper that you changed your mind on after it was built; therefore, we did not hesitate to the 40% deposit. We're to pick up our Snoozy next month! So excited!!!!!!
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Old 07-18-2017, 09:35 AM   #4
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Name: KC
Trailer: LiL Snoozy
Missouri
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Originally Posted by Mike Magee View Post
I would be hesitant, too.

A story. My dad, long departed, used to say that one should never put money down on a motor vehicle. He told me that if a salesman ever said a deposit was required to hold the vehicle, the best thing to say in response was, "Why? Is there something shady about this deal?" His thinking was, there are car dealers all over the place and any dealership should be glad enough for your business that you don't need to take chances with deposits (which might not be refunded).

Problem is, obviously, one cannot find Snoozy dealers all over the place. They have high demand.

But from your perspective, what happens if they suffer a loss (a fire, death of owner, etc)? If production ceased or was substantially delayed, would you get your deposit back? Stuff happens all the time.

I understand that a 6 month lead time indicates high demand. And they are in a position to ask for and get the big deposit, because if you order a custom build and back out after it's finished, they have a unique trailer on their hands. That high demand cuts both ways, though; with a long lead time and people clamoring for a trailer, even a custom built unit would likely not be on their driveway long, especially with a $1,000-$2,000 discount. Which is why, IMO, a $1,000-$2000 (even if nonrefundable) deposit seems more reasonable than a $10,000 deposit. For that kind of money, I would feel more comfortable if the deposit were put into an escrow account that they could only access once the build was either underway or complete.

In negotiating for an escrow account, I might ask these questions of the mfr: Why do you need so much money, so many months in advance of the build? Are you so short of cash that you need it for operating funds to stay in business? Because if you are that short of cash, why do I want to gamble my $10,000 on a spin of your production wheel? And if you are indeed financially sound, why won't you accept an escrow that protects you from the appearance of impropriety as it protects me from unforeseen, adverse events that may occur within your business?
Thank you for this feedback. The items you raise are the same concerns I have. I'm not clear on why they need that kind of cash up-front and is a question I plan on asking. I'd be find with 2k down up-front, potentially another 4K once the unit is in production, etc etc. I like the idea of an escrow account and also thought of this as well.

Thanks again!
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Old 07-18-2017, 09:36 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by JBB View Post
We ordered our Snoozy in November 2016. Apparently 9 orders were received during that month. The Snoozy has become very popular and with a high demand it will take longer than the initial time frame of 5 - 6 months that we were told. We understood this as Richard has a high standard of building quality and each camper is built to your specs. It takes approximately 2 weeks to build a unit and they work on 2 at a time. We also understood the reason as Mike stated above of their being stuck with a camper that you changed your mind on after it was built; therefore, we did not hesitate to the 40% deposit. We're to pick up our Snoozy next month! So excited!!!!!!
Thanks for the feedback! Sounds like it will have taken 9 months from beginning to end?
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Old 07-18-2017, 09:42 AM   #6
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Yes but that's not bad especially when some other fiberglass manufacturers can take up to a year!!
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Old 07-18-2017, 09:51 AM   #7
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Yes but that's not bad especially when some other fiberglass manufacturers can take up to a year!!
I agree.....but when you placed your order they should have been able to figure out the logistics of your order vs. other orders to provide a more realistic timeframe. I'm a project manager during the day, and missing a deliverable date by that much is pretty poor planning/management. In other words, he should have been able to tell you '9 months'.

That said, I'm still leaning towards Snoozy. It hits all the marks on our 'wish list'
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Old 07-18-2017, 10:04 AM   #8
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Sounds like they have a cash flow problem.

Research what happened to those who put deposits down on a 2015 / 2016 Trillium that was made by Sterling RV

They also required a large deposit, and they had a cash flow problem.

And you have already made note of the poor planning & management......

Maybe put the wish list aside temporarily and step back and look at it as a business venture.
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Old 07-18-2017, 10:24 AM   #9
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Sounds like they have a cash flow problem.

Research what happened to those who put deposits down on a 2015 / 2016 Trillium that was made by Sterling RV

They also required a large deposit, and they had a cash flow problem.

And you have already made note of the poor planning & management......

Maybe put the wish list aside temporarily and step back and look at it as a business venture.
Thanks. I'm going to ask a bit more about it when I visit. When I asked over the phone about where that money goes, she told me they use that to purchase the top and bottom halfs of the Snoozy. Sounds like they purchase those pieces from a vendor and perhaps they don't want to be stuck with multiple orders of fiberglass shells. Argument could be made thought that with that kind of demand they should be able to front those costs.
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Old 07-18-2017, 10:54 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Tony R View Post
Thanks. I'm going to ask a bit more about it when I visit. When I asked over the phone about where that money goes, she told me they use that to purchase the top and bottom halfs of the Snoozy. Sounds like they purchase those pieces from a vendor and perhaps they don't want to be stuck with multiple orders of fiberglass shells. Argument could be made thought that with that kind of demand they should be able to front those costs.
They are a small company. They will explain that they produce 4 units a month. When we placed our order, Richard was not there. Alan the original owner of the company took our order. I have spoken to Amy a couple of times and Richard who did answer all our questions. But you do need to be satisfied with the answers Richard gives you so you can make a decision that you're happy with.

The shells are made off site and 2 sets are delivered at a time since they only work on 2 units at a time. Also, have you looked at lilsnoozyowners webpage? Click here HOME There are some used ones listed occasionally!

Happy camper shopping with what ever you decide to buy!
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Old 07-18-2017, 11:06 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony R View Post
Thanks. I'm going to ask a bit more about it when I visit. When I asked over the phone about where that money goes, she told me they use that to purchase the top and bottom halfs of the Snoozy. Sounds like they purchase those pieces from a vendor and perhaps they don't want to be stuck with multiple orders of fiberglass shells. Argument could be made thought that with that kind of demand they should be able to front those costs.
Question: as a project manager what does it tell you if a vendor with a 9 month back order needs your money to buy the supplies for your order ?

Good luck with whatever you decide.
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Old 07-18-2017, 11:59 AM   #12
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Name: John
Trailer: Winnebago sold, waiting on Escape 19
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Tony,

I started down the path with Lil Snoozy but it made me uneasy that the company needed around 10 grand in order to put me on a 6 month waiting list. While I was digesting that, I put further thought into the fact the the Snoozy has no propane system and therefore if you need to heat it and aren't conveniently hooked up to AC, the choice becomes a small space heater and a generator, or a lot of blankets. If you are looking at alternates for the Casita, you may want to also check out Scamp, Escape, Bigfoot and Oliver.

I liked the layout on the Snoozy and if they had a more reasonable down payment arrangement AND offered at least a propane heater, I might be in one. I ended up ordering a different brand.

Good luck with whatever you end up with though.

John
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Old 07-18-2017, 12:32 PM   #13
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Being businesslike doesn't mean accusatory or personal

$10,000ish is too much to put up six months or more out. I would encourage you to act businesslike without being personal. Lil' Snoozy may have decided that what is good enough for Social Security is good enough for him. It isn't. He is a small business using current cash flow to fund current expenses.
You however should insist on a lockbox. A bank trust department or title company should be able to hold the funds. With the right trustee, you could safely put the entire price in trust.
If you are firm but discrete, you can protect yourself without throwing him into a full blown cash crisis, which helps no one. You are doing him a favor by nudging him to resolve this situation gradually. He too needs to be more businesslike.
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Old 07-18-2017, 01:02 PM   #14
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Having been in the construction business for many years, specifically in the brick business for over twenty, I can tell you that half down was what our company required for any "special order" brick or component desired by the customer. Even if the customer were to back out it is still a losing proposition for the company as there was never any profit margin created that would cover the loss, and usually the product could not be sold (usually given away for a smidgen if its cost). So the FGRV biz is most likely the same way, especially for a small company. I think Oliver requires 10% down and they only build a limited number per year. Armadillo requires 75% down on a $35,000 trailer. Custom made, and they keep busy. For me it is sort of like signing papers at the car dealership. The only way you are getting the vehicle is by signing on the line. I personally would have no problem writing out a check to Armadillo or Oliver under their conditions. Cannot speak for Li'L Snoozy.
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