Heading to the NEC Camping and Caravan Show? Buyer Beware…
The NEC Caravan, Camping & Motorhome Show this year is set to be another great event. With great deals where-ever you look, here we run through some tips to make sure you don't get caught out with the "too-good-to-be-true" offers!
When buyuing from Broad Lane - you will get a fantastic deal and all-round great service too!
What to bare in mind when heading to the NEC
Here at Broad Lane we have been attending caravan shows at the NEC Show for over 40 years. During this time we have gained an incredible amount of knowledge and experience, which may just be of help.
Whilst the Show is an excellent place to see, learn and buy (....and save), there are some things to bare in mind:
Here are a few recomendations, as to what to expect, and how to prevent getting overwhelmed with the seemingly too-good-to-be-true offers that can sometimes catch you out.
What type of visitor are you?
Are you looking for a day out? Do you wish to buy a new caravan? Have you just purchased a caravan and looking for a new awning? Would you simply like to have a look around the accessories that are on offer? You may be considering a move from caravans to motorhomes or vice versa!
Whatever your interests are, be sure to plan an organised route around the show. With five halls (working in a clockwise direction) it can easily become overwhelming, and you may feel a sense of déjà vu as you walk past the Camping and Caravan Club Mascot for the 3rd time that morning. Don't just head off to the motorhome section if what you really want to do is buy an awning and look at caravans, and be careful not to get directed to the wrong part of the show when you first arrive. (This is an old trick in which the organisers guide you to quieter areas so exhibitors don’t feel as though they are missing out); you'll be cursing when you have only managed to tackle one out of the five halls, and your energy has been drained!
The layout for this years February Show:
- Hall One: AwningsSwift and Luner Group Products
- Hall Two: Elddis Bailey and Coachman Touring Caravans
- Hall Three: Moving into Motorhome Manufacturers
- Halls Four and Five: Campers, Sites & Statics
How do you decide where (or more importantly who) to buy from.....
The Sharp Suited Salesman…
On deciding this is the right time and place to buy your new unit, you are challenged with the seemingly huge task of gathering lots of information including prices and layouts etc,. Cue a long line of sharp-suited, nicely scented salesmen that are willing to offer you absolutely anything and everything there and then to "Do-A-Deal!". You will hear the well rehearsed babble of “…you have to make the decision now; you've got to buy it today; this is the only one left; you have to buy it from me…”.
Be wary, these salesmen could be from anywhere in the country, and whilst you may think you are buying from youre local dealer, it will certainly be a shock, three weeks down the line, when you find out you have to collect your new van from a hundred miles away in Yorkshire or Inverness! And an even greater SHOCK - when you learn that is where you may have to return to, to get simple (or complicated) warranty work sorted-out!
The Woeful Warranty Waiver....
Whilst a one-off journey to collect your new vehicle may be a welcomed trip away, the problem arises when your van requires a service, repair or more importantly - WARRANTY work. The original salesman, now a hundred miles away, yet again, will assure you that it is the obligation of your local dealer and/or agent. This is not the case; please be very mindful that your warranty rests with the supplying dealer not your local agent. That is not to say you can’t get your vehicle serviced at your local agent or NCC Approved Workshop, but the actual warranty is not the obligation of the local dealer.
The Local Dealer....
Like ourselves at Broad Lane, local dealers will have their own customers who take priority, certainly in relation to warranty work and service, and this should be appreciated and understood The local dealer is not obliged to do all warranty work. We all get very busy, and while there is a will to do third party warranty work, there is not always a way and often this point is brushed over or not clearly explained at the time of sale by the sharp suited salesman.
During the busy parts of the season (Feb to Oct) as hard as it might sound, you will understand, we are honour and duty-bound to look after Broad Lane customers first.
Seemingly Too Good To Be True?....
If you accept these points and decide to pursue purchase with the further afield dealer, look carefully into the offer. The seemingly unbeatable discount may actually come in the form of an over allowance in the Part Exchange (part ex.).
i.e. An unusually enhanced price is offered for your part ex. yet come the day of exchange the originally agreed value does not manifest itself. As such, you have been taken out of the market when handing over a non returnable deposit as the strangely embellished price leads you to believe,
“…I’ve got to buy it off him as he’s the cheapest…”.
Unless both yourself and the salesman have a copy of diligent notes, describing your part ex. van (including some of the aspects below), it may leave you vulnerable to hidden costs as a result of some form of misunderstanding or variation on either parties side. The dealer may subsequently renege on the offer or originally arranged figure, leaving you cornered as the deposit is non-returnable.
When describing a Part Exchange:
- Service History
- Damp Reports
- Specification of the Van
- Upgrades/ amendments you have made
Just Be Aware
It is a mine field, so do be careful, every dealer buys from every manufacturer at the same rate. Our margin is reasonably small and if you find one dealer that's out of sync with discounts or over allowance with the part exchange he’s giving you, you’ve got to ask the question
‘How’s he doing it?’
I suggest that he’s cutting corners, taking you out of the market, offering you the deal you want to hear, with the intention of reworking it subsequently. Broad Lane have no desire or intention to rework deals unless the part exchange presented does not come up to the description provided at time of valuation and purchase.
At Broad Lane, we want to see the part exchange and agree it’s figure to remove any doubt over value, for your peace of mind, and ours. On bringing the van in for an evaluation you are also able to (re)visit the site, get to know us as the dealer, and oust any anxiety that may occur while waiting for assurance that your part ex. is up to standard of the originally agreed value.
On That Note
Anyone that places an order with Broad Lane Leisure - if we can’t come to an agreement over the value when we see the part ex, your deposit will be refunded in full. This is certainly not offered by all dealers.
The Motivators for The February Show
Availibilty and Price…
One of the benefits of working with Broad Lane, is that we are going to the show with good availability across both brands (Coachman and Swift). A lot of dealers may not have availability and that is because those dealers are multi-franchised brands physically unable to stock their shelves, meaning less likelihood of availability when you want. We have large stock forward orders of the popular models to ensure we can satisfy your order.
We’ve got good Swift availability because we order our Specials, and we are taking our Specials to the show. We do the Fairways and Classics. The majority of display caravans at this show (because it is a family orientated show) are the Classics which come at a very competitive price, high spec and light weight. However we have lots of backup in the Fairways too, particularly the popular models.
Once again, because we have forward ordered Coachman and Swift it means we have good backup of the popular models going into the show, all for your benefit!
BL will be looking for part exchanges at this show as this is our major opportunity to generate second hand stock. We will be keen to give solid prices for good part exchanges, particularly fixed island bed vans, two berths and family vans. We will be trying our best to generate a lot of stock.
Other Areas at the Show You Will Benefit From
As usual we are exhibiting on Bradcote (Tanya Barnard), and Isabella Ventura (Sue Crookson) awning stands, with discounts to be found on many products from awnings to accessories. Whilst we haven't got representatives on Kampa and Vango stands, we are agents for them and can certainly offer these products at Show Prices.
As long as you are wary of potential pitfalls the Camping, Caravan and Motorhome Show is an incredible event with wonderful offers.. We can’t wait to see you there!!
On a final note, Steve Brown always says,
“The price you pay will long be forgotten, but the service you receive will be remembered for ever!”