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Boat Show tips


nice2th

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Boat show tips

Here are some tips for you people that are going to be shopping for new boat this spring.

The lowest price is not necessarily your best deal
There are a number of ways to cut corners on a boat package. Rigging, props, batteries, cables, setup etc.
If you find a low price check with a higher priced dealer and see what the difference really is between the 2
If a dealer if selling at a very low price he has to make it up in volume and after working at numerous marine dealerships I can assure you that aftersale service is equivalent to the price paid. The lowest price dealer may well be more concerned with pushing product out the door than service after the sale.

The sales people are not there to BS, they are there to help people purchase new boat packages
I am sure many of you have been to a Boat Show and have felt insulted when a salesperson ignored you after you mentioned you were not in the market for a new boat. Well get over it! Many marine dealers will do up to 25% of their entire year’s business at the Boat Show. They simply do not have time to shoot the breeze. They do not come to your job and BS about fishing when you are trying to work do they! This is how the salespeople pay the mortgage and feed their children so if you are not in the market for a boat please do not waste their time at the show. That’s what the dealers showroom is for, plus the coffees free.

Both deals look the same how do I decide who to buy from?
Two of the most important things after the sale are convenience and quality of service. A dealer who is 20 miles from your home or work is a lot more convenient than one who is 150 miles away. Sure you can purchase from far away and have your local dealer service it. I can assure you when it is busy during peak season the local dealer is going to get his customers back on the water before he even looks at yours. How do tell if you are going to get quality service? Look at the dealer’s service facility. You can sometimes get good service from a rundown dirty shop, however you will almost always be assured of good service from a clean, well lit, well laid out, modern shop. When in doubt visit the shop. I personally would rather drive a longer distance to get good service than to get crappy service close to home.

Be honest-Do not lie!!!!!!!
Here is where I will get some heat. I have seen here and on other forums how people felt they were treated badly by a salesperson. I would be willing to bet that in most of those cases that the first thing you did was to lie to that salesperson. That’s right I said lie. Just think about it, if you are looking to purchase a new boat package and the salesperson asks if you are in the market for a new boat. “ No just looking “ That’s a lie!!!
How can you possibly expect someone to be concerned about and look out for the best interests of someone who lied to him or her the very first time they opened their mouth? Also when you say “just looking” you might as well forget asking what the best price is. People who are just looking do not get the best price ever! The best price is reserved for those who are looking to buy and ready to buy now! Be honest, be respected, get a great deal!

Enjoy the Show, Check out the service you may well need it, Don’t let price be your only criteria,
And remember the salespeople are there to help you out and have never bitten anyone. grin.gifgrin.gif

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I am not a PWC guy myself but the last time I checked over half of all watercraft sold were SeaDoo's. I think that says alot. grin.gif

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Very good post.

If I show up with my two kids and we are climbing in the boats, its a good bet that I am not a qualified "buyer".

However if the salesperson fails to qualify me as a buyer, then in the end they will not make a sale. Many people use the boat show to look. Good sales people will ask better questions in the begining to qualify a prospect. Because even someone who is looking is a prospect, not a hot one though.

Only three days til the show....

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I hate to throw a stick in the spokes here but if they posted invoice prices on the net for boats and motors like they do for most cars and trucks I would be less of a price guy.As far as service that can go a long way but I am not inclined to pay for that upfront.I myself want the best of both worlds so I go to several dealers and get there prices and check out there service while I am there {how do you check that at the boat show?} then make a decision based on both.

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I was up at the boat show last year with a friend and we were just milling around some pleasure boats with no interest whatsoever - other than curiosity. The salesperson on the floor read us like a book and avoided us like the plague while looking for better dressed, more well to do folks.

We found it amusing and laughed at ourselves and admired the salesperson for her wise observation - she was busy with potential buyers otherwise I would have complimented her on her ability to read people.

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Boat show tips

Here are some tips for you people that are going to be shopping for new boat this spring.

The lowest price is not necessarily your best deal
There are a number of ways to cut corners on a boat package. Rigging, props, batteries, cables, setup etc.
If you find a low price check with a higher priced dealer and see what the difference really is between the 2
If a dealer if selling at a very low price he has to make it up in volume and after working at numerous marine dealerships I can assure you that aftersale service is equivalent to the price paid. The lowest price dealer may well be more concerned with pushing product out the door than service after the sale.

The sales people are not there to BS, they are there to help people purchase new boat packages
I am sure many of you have been to a Boat Show and have felt insulted when a salesperson ignored you after you mentioned you were not in the market for a new boat. Well get over it! Many marine dealers will do up to 25% of their entire year’s business at the Boat Show. They simply do not have time to shoot the breeze. They do not come to your job and BS about fishing when you are trying to work do they! This is how the salespeople pay the mortgage and feed their children so if you are not in the market for a boat please do not waste their time at the show. That’s what the dealers showroom is for, plus the coffees free.

Both deals look the same how do I decide who to buy from?
Two of the most important things after the sale are convenience and quality of service. A dealer who is 20 miles from your home or work is a lot more convenient than one who is 150 miles away. Sure you can purchase from far away and have your local dealer service it. I can assure you when it is busy during peak season the local dealer is going to get his customers back on the water before he even looks at yours. How do tell if you are going to get quality service? Look at the dealer’s service facility. You can sometimes get good service from a rundown dirty shop, however you will almost always be assured of good service from a clean, well lit, well laid out, modern shop. When in doubt visit the shop. I personally would rather drive a longer distance to get good service than to get crappy service close to home.

Be honest-Do not lie!!!!!!!
Here is where I will get some heat. I have seen here and on other forums how people felt they were treated badly by a salesperson. I would be willing to bet that in most of those cases that the first thing you did was to lie to that salesperson. That’s right I said lie. Just think about it, if you are looking to purchase a new boat package and the salesperson asks if you are in the market for a new boat. “ No just looking “ That’s a lie!!!
How can you possibly expect someone to be concerned about and look out for the best interests of someone who lied to him or her the very first time they opened their mouth? Also when you say “just looking” you might as well forget asking what the best price is. People who are just looking do not get the best price ever! The best price is reserved for those who are looking to buy and ready to buy now! Be honest, be respected, get a great deal!

Enjoy the Show, Check out the service you may well need it, Don’t let price be your only criteria,
And remember the salespeople are there to help you out and have never bitten anyone. grin.gifgrin.gif

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kwkfsh

Great post! rmh2o, You are leaving $$$ on the table if you are basing some of your decision making on a bunch of dealers "Quotes". I have been in a variety of sales jobs over the years and the biggest mistake 95% of customers make is asking for their so called best deal. My recomendation to anybody in the market for a large item such as a boat or car is to do your homework before you start asking around for prices. Know where you would like to buy from or dealer choice first. Secondly, know exactly what you want to buy. And lastly, check ads, promos, package deals that are being offered by comparible dealers on the SAME equipment. When the time comes to buy go to your dealer of choice and present yourself as an educated,informed and serious buyer. You will be amazed at the kind of respect you will command at this point. Remember, everything is negotiable. Price, equipment, and in some cases service. Be prepared to stay awhile and remember to have fun.

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I really have to disagree, when I am shopping for a new truck or boat I purposley dress down. I definetley wait for someone to come to me first, if no one approaches me in a few minutes I'm gone. I know what equiptment I want and I know what price I am going to pay. In the last 7 years I have boughten 4 trucks and a new boat. Everyone has met my price and equiptment requests. If they tell me they can't, I walk. Not one has let me get to the door......Know the product and know what you are willing to pay, then stick to it. They want to move the inventory no harm in low-balling first right?

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kwkfsh I am sure you are a pretty nice guy although I dont know you and I am sure you had good intentions with this post but after working in car sales for a while years ago I can tell you EVERYONE wants the lowest price and nobody likes to haggle to get it.And most people like salesman about as much as attorneys.
Zepman I dont know how you can say I am leaving money on the table by what I posted are you prequalifying?

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Kwkfsh, let me guess. You a selling boats at the show. I agree with you about prices and going prepared, if you are planning to buy.
As far as some of your other tips. I disagree totally. If I feel insulted- I will not get over it until I buy from someone else. Dont waste their time looking-It is a show that we pay to get into look. Lies- Don't get me started. They don't come to my job to B.S.- they might if I rent a huge hall and sell hot dogs.

It is the shows that give me the goals to look forward to. I have been to probably 10 boat shows and only once did I go with the intentions of signing papers. And I assure you I remembered who(in the past) was courtious, informative and treated me as a eventual buyer, and who didn't. I can gaurantee you someone lost out on $22,000 because of their, don't waste my time attitude.

Brian

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Well, I have thought long and hard about adding to this post but just can't hold back. I was insulted by KWKFSH's comments. I am not in sales but am always looking to upgrading my boating equipment because things continually are improving. A boat show is a boat SHOW, yes people buy at boat shows but I know many a person that just goes and looks to see what is out there and possibly purchase at a later date. What I personally like about a boat show is no different than a snowmobile, or car show, all brands are in one building and you can compare equal units. Last spring we attended a ATV show and I was able to walk back and forth and really compare the units. I made sure I got the sales person's card and when I made my choise I went back after the show and found that salesperson I dealt with and made the purchase.

My last truck was purchased stickly on the sales person's interest in ME and the service department. I even interviewed the service manager and spoke to people getting their vehicle serviced at that dealership.

My only advise to any salesperson is to treat every and all customers with the same respect YOU would expect and you may be surprised.

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Here is the first thing I do when I'm making a major purchases" I want to pay $ 10,000 but I actually have 15,000 " Wouldn't want to mislead the sales person.They would of course tell me that they can let it go for $9,500. Then I would ask if they are not to busy to help answer a few questions because for what ever reason their time is more valuable than mine.Think about that, I have to drive to the show ,pay to park .pay to get in, then when I make a purchases its the hours I work that pay for that item.For me to spend $10,000 I have to earn $13,753 that's allot of time, my time. Thanks for the Boat Show Tips.

I have a few tips for sales people.
1. you are in the sales business ,that means selling.
2. Treat my purchase as though it's the most important thing in your life, because it is in mine.What I do for a living I've done for 28 years and could care less, but I always treat their project as the most important thing I have going.To them it is.
3.Don't miss lead me (lie , of course that would never happen)
4. Don't act annoyed by my questions . I have allot of them
5. If the company you represent has the best product and price , it will sell it's self.
6. Remember if the guy is looking for a "good buy" hold up your hand and wave... good by.
7. a sale will not happen unless both agree to it. They can't force you to sell it, and they can't force you to by it.
Metro

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If anyone was insulted by my post then they took it wrong. I in no way implied that a customers time was not valuable nor did state that you should not have all of your questions answered to your satisfaction. You have every right to be treated in a respectful manner and if you are not find another salesperson/dealer.

I was trying to point out several things that people sometimes overlook when shopping for a boat.

1. Don't make the lowest price your only criteria. Make sure you are comparing apples to apples. The bitter taste of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of a low price is gone.
2. Make sure that all things being equal you go with the dealer that can and will provide you with the best service.
3. If you tell the salesperson you are only looking don't be miffed if they leave to help someone who is in the market for a new boat.
4. Be honest with the salesperson so he can find out such things as where and how the boat is to be used. What type of fishing you do and how many people you will be carrying.

I offered these tips to hopefully help people out and turn their dream into their dream boat and not a nightmare.


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rmh2o
Wasn't prequalifying you at all. Just wanted everyone to be aware of the trap many fall into when asking "several" dealers their best price. If you go to 5 different dealers most likely you'll get 5 different quotes. Many people will then buy from the low quote. The reason they do this is because they are terrified to actually sit down and NEGOTIATE the very best deal they can get. As you can tell by some of the posts-even bringing this subject up fires everybody up a little. Buying large $$$ items is an emotional venture. I was just trying to get across the point of picking one dealer of your choice and then ripping them for every penny you can possibly get.

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Ya I hear ya.But it still gets to be a pain in the a$$.I have a little bit of an edge tho as I know some people that were in the boat business so I am aware of the markup.I also know I got a very good deal on the last boat I bought,even the manager was wineing about taking the deal.Geez I hate when that happens.Hey by the way when your stuck at the boat show I will be out fishing.

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Well, I guess I have to chime in too. Kwkfsh, I really hope that you are sincere about your reasons. You did offer some things to consider. But I see the same post in the Metro section, so it makes me suspious what your true agenda is. Especially since you didn't respond to people asking you directly about being a boat salesman.

That aside, it was a good topic, but it just didn't come out the way you intended (hopefully). I bought my last boat at the boat show and intend to go this weekend. I value being able to compare dealers and boats at one location since that will save me lots of extra time doing that on my own. I will do my homework, but I do expect the salesperson to inform me of their product and what makes it great. Hopefully they can point out things to consider when buying from them, and then number 1 thing will be price. I want them to be a partner in my purchase, not someone trying to take advantage of me. I don't think I'm ready to buy this weekend as I haven't had a chance to compare all of the boats. If they don't understand that and won't talk to me, then so be it. I won't be coming back when I'm ready to purchase!

I was able to negotiate a good price and some extras the last time I bought at the boat show, and expect to do the same this year. It's a great place to do some live research and dream! I'll probably have some of my kids along who will climb in and out of boats, but that's part of what they are there for. Have fun everyone!

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Mr Big, to answer the question I do not sell boats currently although I did for over a decade. The tips that I provided were to make people aware of some of the things that they typically lose sight of when making a boat purchase.

Do not purchase solely on price. I did not say that the lowest price was not the best deal,I merely said make sure it is.

Make sure you are going to get good service.
If you have a problem with a boat, motor, or trailer I can assure you good service will be worth a little extra and bad service will not be worth a little saved.

I also wanted people to be respectful of the sales staffs time. If I were selling at the boat show and a person told me they were not purchsing a boat but wanted to chat about boats and fishing, etc. I would politly say that I would love to talk to them but that the show was our busiest time of the entire year and there were many people who needed to buy a boat at the show. If they would like to come into the dealership after the show I would be more than happy to give them as much time as needed to make sure they had all of their questions answered.

There have been comments stating that people pay to get in. This is true, but at the same time the dealers pay an astronomical amount to be in the show. Overtime, transport, mileage, parking, meals,booth space, carpeting, electricity, tables, additional personel. It is nothing for a mid size dealer to spend $20,000 to exhibit at the Mpls. Boat Show. And many spend that much or more just on booth space alone. It is simply economic reality that they have to focus their efforts for those 5 days on the people who are in the market to purchase a boat. A dealer at the show has 44 hrs. to generate enough sales to pay for the show expense and hopefully at least a small profit.

Take this info in the spirit in which it was given. It was not meant to insult anyone but was meant to inform and hopefully help someone get a great deal on their new boat.

[This message has been edited by kwkfsh (edited 01-21-2004).]

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Does buy now mean today? When I purchased my last boat I would estimate that I made 10 visits to my dealer to make sure that I was going to be happy with my purchase. My salesman may have wondered if I was serious, but he always was cordial and very helpful in anserwing my questions. I eventually spent almost $30,000 and in the past 5 years I have sent him at least $100K in other business. There were two other salespeople for other dealers that didn't give me the time of day because I told them that I was looking and wasn't sure what I wanted, if anything. So who was the big winner here. By the way this guy works in a very busy dealership and when he sees me at the local boat show he always has time to shoot the bull for a few minutes.

In my retail business everyone our people talk to is improtant wheather they buy or not. As a matter of fact we encourage people to hang around and shoot the breeze if they want to.

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Sounds like you found a real professional Animal. Contrary to popular belief there are some of these guys out there. I'll bet if your in the market for another boat in the comming years you won't bother to shop around. I just wanted to know if he gave you any spiffs for those referrals. If not-give him a call! lol

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