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Time to put my money where my mouth is.....boat negotiation tactics?

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    Time to put my money where my mouth is.....boat negotiation tactics?

    Well folks, with the new year, the time has officially come - I have hinted at it, but yours truly is finally jumping off the bench and buying a brand new boat.

    I am specifically ordering a brand new boat - I have specific requirements on power and color and i have not found the boat I want after a nation-wide search. So I reached out to the local dealer, as well as a few regional ones as well.

    I wanted to ask the collective here about any of you who have bought new boats semi-recently, and negotiation tactics you have used. I am a well oiled machine when it comes to buying cars - on average, I buy a new one of those every year. But boats are the Wild Wild West compared to cars, with very little in the way of online shopping information and negotiation tactics.

    What I have found is seedealercost.com, which seems to be semi-accurate (according to my industry contacts, they can either be bang on, or really off by up to 15%, depending on what data they are being fed...but, it's better than nothing). That same contact tells me the "floor" will be around 20% off MSRP, but it is highly dependent on brand, profit margin, cost, incentives, etc., with an expectation to be in the 15-18% off MSRP range.

    I already have a quote for 20% off from one of the regional dealers, and my local dealer is a massive conglomerate, so I am hopeful we can simply match that price and place the order. As a further incentive, it's boat show season here in Chicagoland, and I plan on placing the order this month to leverage any incentives that are out there.

    As a wild card, I do have another dealer whom I trust implicitly looking for some good used options as well, but it would need to be a unicorn boat - perfect condition, price, options, and color. Those exist, but they are very hard to find....and require jumping right away, as opposed to putting an order in and buying when the boat comes in. There's the added concern of no warranty on the used boat, and the price on the used boats are still stiff enough to make it a tough sell.

    So....any advice?
    Matt Train
    BOC Site Team
    Chicagoland, IL

    #2
    I have no advice never having bought a new boat, but pre-congratulations anyway!!!

    KEVIN SANDERS
    4788 LISAS WAY
    SEWARD, ALASKA

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by ksanders View Post
      I have no advice never having bought a new boat, but pre-congratulations anyway!!!
      Lots can still go wrong, so no congrats yet.

      But dealers have been called, money is being moved around, etc...
      Matt Train
      BOC Site Team
      Chicagoland, IL

      Comment


        #4
        What size boat and model?
        If having one built then can you watch the build?
        I would have a marine surveyor look at it prior to the final paperwork, that is the time to be sure you get what you are paying for.
        Pat says: DO-IT-RIGHT THE FIRST TIME!

        Bayliner 3870 "ALASKA33)
        Twin 350 GM power
        Located in Seward, AK
        Retired marine surveyor

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by boatworkfl View Post
          What size boat and model?
          I will share all in due time, but right now, I would like to play my cards close to my vest.

          It's a 21 foot bowrider.
          Matt Train
          BOC Site Team
          Chicagoland, IL

          Comment


            #6
            Boat Show can be leveraged with advance notice. Some dealers give heavier discounts if you purchase a boat and allow the dealer to show that boat on display at their show. The issue is for YOUR boat to have been manufactured and be ready in time for the show. Some of the features (e.g. some electronics) may be dealer add-ons.

            Good luck!
            Retired, computer expert / executive
            Bayliner 285 Cruiser / Mercruiser QSD 4.2L 320 HP Diesel
            Live in the Bay Area, CA, USA, boat in Turkey
            D-Marin @ Turgutreis in Bodrum/Turkey
            bdervisoglu8@gmail.com
            bulent@pacbell.net

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by MonteVista View Post
              Boat Show can be leveraged with advance notice. Some dealers give heavier discounts if you purchase a boat and allow the dealer to show that boat on display at their show. The issue is for YOUR boat to have been manufactured and be ready in time for the show. Some of the features (e.g. some electronics) may be dealer add-ons.

              Good luck!
              Thanks. Unfortunately, I can 100% guarantee this boat does not exist in the configuration I want, and I am absolutely certain the dealer I am working with does not have it (as a rule, dealers here in the midwest do not stock boats with bigger engines), so as of this writing, the boat will need to be ordered.

              There is one leftover in-region that I am working on that is close spec-wise, but it's pretty aged-out and I don't feel like they are discounting it deeply enough to justify driving up and buying it. Plus, it has the same issue as a used boat will - I need to sign papers right now, as opposed to waiting till spring.

              So I have options. We will just need to see how hungry the dealers are.
              Matt Train
              BOC Site Team
              Chicagoland, IL

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by Download_Complete View Post

                Thanks. Unfortunately, I can 100% guarantee this boat does not exist in the configuration I want, and I am absolutely certain the dealer I am working with does not have it (as a rule, dealers here in the midwest do not stock boats with bigger engines), so as of this writing, the boat will need to be ordered.

                There is one leftover in-region that I am working on that is close spec-wise, but it's pretty aged-out and I don't feel like they are discounting it deeply enough to justify driving up and buying it. Plus, it has the same issue as a used boat will - I need to sign papers right now, as opposed to waiting till spring.

                So I have options. We will just need to see how hungry the dealers are.
                My comments were targeted to boats that are ordered through the factory! I used that myself. The boat will be yours but you will allow the dealer to display it at their dock/stand for free. This way, the dealer does not have to make arrangements (or purchase) a boat to fill their dock/stand. As I said, this requires the boat to be ready (and you own it) so you can loan it to the dealer. Parts that he can swap or install (such as electronics or even an engine swap out) would be handled by the dealer, not the factor. Swapping the engine poses additional problems but if you can lay your hands on the boat with the engine that you want, check to see if this method will work.

                Good luck.
                Retired, computer expert / executive
                Bayliner 285 Cruiser / Mercruiser QSD 4.2L 320 HP Diesel
                Live in the Bay Area, CA, USA, boat in Turkey
                D-Marin @ Turgutreis in Bodrum/Turkey
                bdervisoglu8@gmail.com
                bulent@pacbell.net

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by MonteVista View Post

                  My comments were targeted to boats that are ordered through the factory! I used that myself. The boat will be yours but you will allow the dealer to display it at their dock/stand for free. This way, the dealer does not have to make arrangements (or purchase) a boat to fill their dock/stand. As I said, this requires the boat to be ready (and you own it) so you can loan it to the dealer. Parts that he can swap or install (such as electronics or even an engine swap out) would be handled by the dealer, not the factor. Swapping the engine poses additional problems but if you can lay your hands on the boat with the engine that you want, check to see if this method will work.

                  Good luck.
                  AHHHHH, I understand. Apologies, misunderstood.

                  Timeline won't work, sadly. Chicago boat show is in 2 weeks, and we're still in price negotiation right now.

                  I am sure we will work something out.
                  Matt Train
                  BOC Site Team
                  Chicagoland, IL

                  Comment


                    #10
                    there are no more tactics when buying a new boat than there are when buying a new vehicle... the dealer holds all the tricks, as he knows you want a NEW one rather than a used one, and he will quickly get an idea of what your budget is....and he negotiates accordingly.

                    but when buying a pre-owned boat, its much more of a buyers market...


                    NU LIBERTE'
                    Salem, OR

                    1989 Bayliner 2556 Convertible
                    5.7 OMC Cobra
                    N2K equipped throughout..

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I believe there is an advantage to ordering a boat new from the factory. When I ordered my 99 3055 at the Detroit Boat Show in February of 1999 there was some savings because the dealer did not have to carry that boat in stock. It came in I signed the papers and the bank paid the dealer then and there. I think your ordering one spec'd out exactly the way you want it is a good way to go. Also it is tough but not impossible to beat boat show prices. The incentives offered at the show can be beneficial.

                      As to my 99 3055 my brother did all the negotiating and I was amazed at all the stuff he was able to get thrown in with the purchase.
                      Rick Grew

                      1981 Carver 3007 Aft Cabin

                      2004 Past Commodore
                      West River Yacht & Cruising Club
                      www.wrycc.com

                      Comment


                        #12
                        I would strongly suggest that you buy from the dealer you will use for warranty and service work. Yeah, I know, they're required... But you'll get way better service from them if you buy from them, fact of life. If you can get the boat at a few hundred over their cost, call it a good day. IOW, ask them if $500 is enough profit to submit your order, an hour or two's worth of paperwork. Then give them a check for $500, and your letter of approval from the bank.
                        Jeff & Tara
                        (And Ginger too)
                        Lake Havasu City, AZ
                        sigpic
                        2000 Bayliner 2858
                        "GETAWAY"
                        MMSI: 338094599
                        In memory of Shadow, the best boat dog ever. Rest in peace, girl. July 2, 2010

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by Jeffw View Post
                          I would strongly suggest that you buy from the dealer you will use for warranty and service work. Yeah, I know, they're required... But you'll get way better service from them if you buy from them, fact of life. If you can get the boat at a few hundred over their cost, call it a good day. IOW, ask them if $500 is enough profit to submit your order, an hour or two's worth of paperwork. Then give them a check for $500, and your letter of approval from the bank.
                          My research is showing that $500 won't even get them out of their office to shake my hand.

                          IN this size class there seems to be about 20% markup (give or take), and specifically about $25,000 to play with. My industry contacts told me a good deal is about 15% off MSRP, and not to expect a dealer in this economy to cut much below that.

                          My preference would be to go for a local dealer, but my local dealer is a massive company that has literally every brand I am interested in save one. The next closest dealer is the same dealer company...and same for the one after that.

                          I found a few regional dealers (within 7 hours of here) who seem to want to play ball, but at least one told me they will not offer me a price if there is a closer dealer to me.

                          I appreciate the feedback.
                          Matt Train
                          BOC Site Team
                          Chicagoland, IL

                          Comment


                          • Jeffw
                            Jeffw commented
                            Editing a comment
                            So you're looking at $100,000++ 19 footers???

                          • Download_Complete
                            Download_Complete commented
                            Editing a comment
                            No. But a Bayliner VR6 is $54,000, so there's your bracket. I am admittedly using round numbers because I am not exactly sure where the floor is on this boat.

                          • Download_Complete
                            Download_Complete commented
                            Editing a comment
                            The good news is the local dealer seems to be realizing that I mean business and is coming to the table with some good numbers. So with luck, I will be buying local...which I would prefer for the reasons you suggest.

                            With luck the order will be locked up within a week or so.

                          #14
                          Buy local. A savvy buyer bought a Bay from Portland and had it serviced at the Seattle dealer. The Portland dealer knew the service would be done in Seattle and made a 'screamer.' Seattle dealer made discovery and sued the Portland dealer for damages and won. $199K 2001 3488. True story. Dealers want the package: Boat, warranty, and service.
                          Number 2. When you are dead set on a model and options, you are at a disadvantage unless you are willing to walk out the door and buy Brand X
                          Tally and Vicki
                          "Wickus" Meridian 341
                          MMSI 338014939

                          Comment


                            #15
                            Congrats on pulling the trigger. As stated, I don't think that you will be able to get your boat discounted any more than 10-12% off sticker. As you said,they don't even leave the office to shake your hand for $500. I am on the fence about have a "custom" boat built in the size range you are looking at +/- 21'. Maybe just me, I am all for the purchase of a brand new boat, but to have it built in that size range, unless this is your dreamboat, last boat forever I would probably work with a dealer on something in stock. Having logged many hours in a auto dealership on the sales/management side, the dealer will be most aggressive in something he has in stock....at which point you have decide what I most important to you.....being able to tell your dock buddies that you beat the hell out of the dealer on price, or that you had your baby built just for you and as such you probably paid a bit more than others.....unless that's the last boat in your life, I would buy out of dealer inventory....if it's the last toy....he'll order up a Formula 350 CBR and you can be at the factory every step of the way in the build! It's only money and what you get paid from BOC you should be able to pay cash for that baby with what you have lost in the sofa cushions over the last few months
                            Hell, Michigan (yes we really live in a city named "Hell" in Michigan)
                            2012 BR 185 - 3.0 TKS
                            1999 Chaparral 233 Sunesta Ltd., 5.0 Volvo
                            1985 Harris Flotebote Classic 240
                            1993 Yamaha Waverunner III VXR
                            1993 Yamaha Waverunner III
                            1995 Yamaha Waverunner III GP
                            1995 Yamaha Waverunner III VXR PRO

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