Why do these machines have to cost so much haha! But I'd rather save up and buy the right one first, than risk having to buy another one down the road. I feel like it's taking forever!! Maybe this time next year I'll be out detecting with yall!
Have you called smaller vendors who are often able to give you a better deal, to find a 'real' price? I worked it out with Andrew at New England Detectors and bought a floor model for substantially less...
You can always check on Ebay and save a substantial amount by doing so. I have bought 5 detectors off there including my E-trac and have never had any problems with any of them. By buying my E-trac with a Sunray probe, I saved over $500 that it would have cost me to buy them brand new and I got some great extra stuff with it that I would have had to pay extra for when I bought them separately which was probably an extra couple of hundred dollars savings there as well.
Just search for whatever detector you are looking for first off. Then, check the seller's rating. I wouldn't buy from anyone unless they have a 98-100% rating. Check over the pictures really well and ask any questions of the seller that you want to know about the detector. I have bought 2 Bounty Hunters, a Fisher F2, a Minelab Explorer XS and a Minelab E-trac and every one of them has worked beautifully. If you would like, I could research for Excalibers and send you any links to ones that I think you would be safe on and would be a good deal. What was you quoted on for a brand new one so I have something to go by?