The Truth About Trailers
Truth About Trailers
Allstate Utility Trailers, Inc. in its dedication to bringing you the best possible deals has put together this do's and don'ts list of trailer shopping. Unfortunately, not everyone in the business world is honest, and we find a lot of misconceived deals on the internet. So below are some basic ways to cut through the haze and get down to apples to apples, or the brass tax, if you will.
1. Be careful of the use of ambiguous words to describe a trailer. A good example of this would be "prime treated wood." Treated wood has a grade, like #2 or #3. What grade is prime? It sounds good, but does not tell you how good or not so good it really is.
2. Do not be fooled by thinking a trailer has a lot of options when all the dealer is doing is listing standard items that are on almost 90% of all trailers. For example: DOT lighting, comes with all the paperwork (MSO), safety chains, trailer rated tires, X size coupler, et cetera and so on. Instead look for additional options, or compare grades of flooring, spacing of crossmembers, how did they paint, and quality and thickness of materials used in construction. The weight of a trailer can often tell you how well it was built.
3. Check for the proper stickers - VIN tag or sticker, federally mandated tire sticker (some leave off), and DOT reflective tape, if required by DOT.
4. Always check the date when the trailer was manufactured. This is on the VIN tag. We have seen customers purchase trailers from other dealers where they were told their trailer was an '08 but when the trailer came to us for service or repair, the tag said 2006. Do not be fooled by misleading representations. We match price on same brand, options, and date when built, due to increases.
5. Check to see if the dealer's website stays up to date and current. Do they offer other services besides sales? Does their site give you information and plenty of options to contact an actual store? Can you make an offer? Do they give an about us page detailed to tell you who they really are?
6. Do they have a current inventory on their site that allows you to not only see what they have in stock, but gives full details of each trailer?
7. Watch for dealers who claim they have a large inventory. Most dealers count stock that is on the ground at the factory. Hundreds of dealers can pull from this same stock, and most often when you need the trailer, they do not have it. Allstate Utility Trailers, Inc. truly keeps over 100 units at its own store. Can you image how many we will have as we add future stores?
8. Watch the ole bait and switch. This can especially occur on auction, bid sites, some dealer and manufacturers' sites, as well as paper ads. Even we once bought a trailer from an auction site and on picking it up, found it was not the same trailer. The trailer did not match the picture or name brand, and yet we were stuck with it.
9. Pay very close attention to bid sites. Dealers will not match bid prices, especially if they have not finished or met the reserve (i.e. eBay). Also wath out for the too good to be true deal like FaceBook Market Place where you see a $9,000 trailer for $1,000 or $2,000 but you need to send them $X before you can come get it.
10. Look at the fine print. Most prices on the internet will say "factory pick up." This does not take into account hidden costs. For example: your time in going to get the trailer, gas, food, or room (if it is a long round trip). Most often "at the factory" or "factory pick up" means NOT IN STOCK! Today some dealers are even starting to charge extra fees like car lots at the end of the sale. A dealer should carge approprite Taxes and or Credit Card fees but not alot of other mischellaneous fees.
11. Take into account the dealer's website itself. Is it a 1- or 2-page site that is very uninformative? Is the site gaudy or cheaply done? Does it look unprofessional? If it does, this may also reflect the type of trailer and service you will receive.
12. How many physical locations do they have to actually serve you with? Some sites make it appear that the dealer has a big store or stores when in fact it may be a field with 10 to 25 trailers.
13. Check and see if they are an authorized dealer for the brands they sell. Some dealers try and sell brands into other dealers' areas through sub-dealers they set up on their own. This actually voids your warranty should you buy that unit.
14. Check the validity of the factory, as well. How long have they been in business? Do they carry product liability? Are they a national brand? Your better and more valued trailer dealers and manufacturers will have been in business more than 15 or 20 years. We watch many new companies and dealers pop up every year and then watch the majority go out of business in 2 to 4 years. Some have even boasted of a 5- or 6-year warranty and then gone out of business in less than 4 years.
15. Don't get taken into the ole "We're #1" claim when there is no organization, agency, or information compiled that can truly say who is #1. Instead call and talk to the dealer you're looking at and make sure they are right for you.
16. A big thing to understand is that like cars, trailers have a wide range of levels to choose from. Do you want to buy a Yugo or a Cadillac? We can provide you with almost everything but the Yugo.
These are just few tips to be thinking of when shopping for your trailer. If you have any stories, bad experiences, good experiences, or tips on buying a trailer, we would like to hear from you! Just e-mail your story or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.