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Why We Don't Haggle

...and why that's better for nearly everybody

Some companies inflate their prices because they assume their customers will "haggle" for a lower price. Other companies (notably clothes stores) may not haggle over pricing but they inflate the list price or "compare to" price to make their price look like an amazing deal. While the psychology of this practice is simple (and understandable--who doesn't like getting a "great deal"?) we believe it hinders the relationship with our customers so we take a different approach.

Rather than inflate our prices in anticipation of haggling to a lower price we simply set our prices as low as they can be from the start. This assures a good deal for everybody and not just those who excel at negotiation.

The Trouble With Haggling

We understand getting a "great deal" on something can be a lot of fun. But how can you be sure your "great deal" is actually great? Let's say you negotiate a price of $950 for an item that originally cost $1000. 5% off is pretty good. But what if someone else is even better at haggling and got the price down to $900? Is your $950 still a good deal?

Suppose you also haggled down to $900--is that truly a good deal? Could you have gotten the price to $890? $880? $870? Just another $10 off--that would be a better deal, right? But what about $860 or $850? (Then it's a stupendous deal?) On and on this line of thinking goes... How can you ever be sure you didn't end up paying more than you should have, thereby negating your "great deal"?

"But I'm a great negotiator! I always get great deals." We don't doubt anyone's haggling skills, but remember that if someone negotiates a deal lower than what a company usually sells an item for, another customer is going to have to pay for that in the long run. If you happen to be the best negotiator at a store that day, you're in luck. But if you're not, you may end up paying more than you should have simply because the difference had to be made up somewhere.

There is another possibility: if both customers negotiate a lower-than-usual deal and the company is able to stay in business--doesn't that mean that the prices were inflated that much more to begin with? How can anyone be confident they paid a fair price with that much extra padding tacked on? Also, think about the person who doesn't know that haggling is expected at traditional dealerships (or maybe they're just not comfortable haggling in the first place)--they end up paying a whole lot more than anyone else.

The other troubling part of haggling involves the potential for mistrust or animosity between two parties. When a seller says "$950. That's as low as I can go," and then proceeds to accept a $900 offer, well, "That's as low as I can go" was a lie, right?

There's A Better Way

In all of the above scenarios mistrust and cynicism abound. Even if the negotiation doesn't come to outright lies the mentality required by each party ("I'm going to get every penny out of this person that I can") is unhealthy to say the least. Instead of pitting you against us and seeing who comes out feeling like they got the upper hand, we believe we should be working together to find a great camper that also happens to be a great deal.

Admittedly, we have to play the pricing game a bit. Our contribution to the game is our use of "list price". The list price is like an MSRP (Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price) that gives a baseline notion of what a camper is worth. However, since we never charge list price it could be considered just a marketing tool or a "compared to" price. However there is still value in an MSRP when comparing models across different brands. The actual price, though, is ultimately what counts and that price (we call it "Our Price" on all of our literature) is the one we use.

All of the above is true and are fine, logical reasons why haggling is not our style. There are some personal reasons as well, and if you've made it this far you might be interested to know those reasons too.

If someone still needs the "thrill of the hunt" that haggling provides, well, there are plenty of dealerships out there that will accommodate. We won't. We promise a completely pressure-free experience with great deals already set on excellent campers--no haggling required.

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