Really good points. I was negotiating with a Canadian couple who were selling their trailer when a local Canadian dealer offered them cash. Even though I was willing to pay them their asking price, they weren't comfortable trying to figure out how to take a downpayment from an American buyer and were in a hurry to sell it, so sold
it for less than their asking price to the dealer, who then turned around and priced it $2,000 over the couple's original top asking price.
The dealer apparently specialized in used fiberglass travel trailers and knew how rarely a 19 foot comes on the market. After looking for a few months for another 19 for sale
by a private owner, I was fortunate enough to connect with fiberglassrv forum members Ken and Diane, who lived right in Vancouver and who offered to go take a look at the trailer and verify that the dealer actually had it on the lot to sell. Ken and Diane reported back that for its age, the trailer was in excellent condition so I finally put a downpayment down with that dealer. I researched legal purchase agreements ahead of time and insisted she fill out my purchase agreement, which she did.
I didn't put down more than $1,000, already had bought the tow vehicle here and then drove with my then-partner all the way from Arizona to Vacouver Island to buy it...it was quite the adventure! We had only enough vacation time to drive there, get the trailer and drive home, so we literally had only one night in Vacouver after getting the trailer, but we found time to meet up with Ken and Diane, who were both retired and kindly invited us to their apartment for tea.
Ken showed us a DVD that he'd compiled of some of the highlights of years spent traveling with Diane all over Canada and the U.S. in their two fiberglass travel trailers. He died of cancer a few years after our visit. I exchanged emails with Diane for awhile but we lost touch over time. But it's that kind of great experience that I loved about this community. It felt like a community that looks out for each other as we can and lends a hand to be helpful where possible.
A year or two later, I had some occasion to look up that dealer again, and with some shock and dismay, read in a local online newspaper that she'd escaped to Mexico to avoid being convicted of selling trailers that she didn't have and taking trailers to sell on commission and then never giving the sellers their cut.
What?? I assumed that kind of unethical business behavior never happened in Canada (given our country's sad state of internal affairs, that kind of shady business here in the U.S. happens so often in so many places now, but I think it's still much rarer in Canada).
She'd acted very professionally with us, completed all the necessary documents and signed over a clean title
... perhaps because I'd made it clear that I'd done my legal homework and perhaps too because Ken and Diane had come to preview the trailer for us and could have vouched for us had she tried to stiff us...whatever the case, I'm just grateful it all went so well.
Always so appreciative of Ken and Diane for driving by to look at it for us before I put any deposit down. That was 10 years ago now, but it seems like a lifetime ago. I hope to get back to Canada for a real visit one day. Can't leave town for that long now because I've got my elderly mother to watch over, but I hope at some point....