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Old    Ian Brown (wakereviews)      Join Date: Sep 2006       03-06-2009, 5:48 PM Reply   
So I was thinking about some of the threads in the past regarding incentive programs. Obviously this isn't a great economy for the boating industry. What are your ideas on incentives that a dealer or manufacturer could provide (realistically)?

Would a free board set up do anything? Free tank of gas? Free service for a period of time...

Figure there are dealers and manufacturers who check this site... what are some ideas we can come up with that may help our beloved boating industry?
Old    Andrew Taft (taft)      Join Date: Jul 2006       03-06-2009, 7:18 PM Reply   
Free accessories
Old    Scott Legge (w00taz)      Join Date: Jun 2007       03-06-2009, 7:39 PM Reply   
imo standing behind the product w/ boosted "rubrail to rubrail" warranties would be appealing. Free service would be pretty dope too. When you spend high end euro car money on a boat I would expect the same class of service. Maybe a loaner if they can't get your gear back to you in time?
Old    CQ (quick)      Join Date: Jul 2008       03-06-2009, 7:46 PM Reply   
Free beer and loaner chicks every weekend!
Old    Art (rallyart)      Join Date: Nov 2006       03-06-2009, 7:58 PM Reply   
Incentives today need to deal with the lack of security over making a major purchase. Face it, this is a luxury.
An incentive has to make someone think they are getting a 'now only' deal or give them security on the purchase. Maybe a buy-back guarantee.
Old    Dan DuLong (wakeitnofakeit)      Join Date: Jan 2009       03-06-2009, 8:01 PM Reply   
Scott I think the free loaner is an awesome idea, for most of us the season is too short to miss a weekend. Oh yeah and the beer and chicks are a given.
Old    Show (bigshow)      Join Date: Feb 2005       03-06-2009, 8:28 PM Reply   
GM Stock, how about Citi Bank stock?
Old    Matt (duckguy)      Join Date: Jul 2006       03-06-2009, 11:25 PM Reply   
Show- I think something worth something would be better HAHA
Old    tony burks (tonality)      Join Date: Mar 2005       03-09-2009, 10:55 AM Reply   
Skiers choice does some really nice promos at the boat shows around here, throwing in a lot of free upgrades to boats purchased at or around the time of the show...It would probably go pretty far just to extend those out beyond the local boat show (naming them differently of course)..would keep the math simple anyway.
Old    Ken Toby (towboat_222)      Join Date: Feb 2007       03-09-2009, 11:03 AM Reply   
Guys Im a dealer what would make you consider a boat now. We do free tank of gas, safty kit and 20% off map price on boards and acc.
Old    Nick Tomsyck (sidekicknicholas)      Join Date: Mar 2007       03-09-2009, 11:16 AM Reply   
pends on the boat.... if I'm buying a 200k yatch I want a lot of 10k lil fishing boat, give me a free pole....

for a wakeboard boat 60k~ I would want (some/all of the following)
1/2k in free upgrades (on the boat)
as long as I bring the boat in to you for maitenance some standing deal on gear until I stop - 25% off or something
gas is nice
good financing
some sort of incentive for a trade-in in a few years or something


Its such a buyers market, at this point you've got to kiss some serious ass to make a sale.
Old    Ian Brown (wakereviews)      Join Date: Sep 2006       03-09-2009, 11:21 AM Reply   
something I thought about the other day was no haggle pricing. Would it be good or bad for the industry to have a price list for options that was solid? Of course, this would require that all dealers paid the same for the boats though.
Old    SS (illini88)      Join Date: Oct 2007       03-09-2009, 12:50 PM Reply   
I would think for a dealer, on-site maintenance for at least some mechanical failures could be huge. The manufacturer would have difficulty swinging that, but a local dealer should be able to send a mechanic over to do at least some basic maintenance (ie. those first couple service checks). For those who don't trailer the boat regularly, it's a royal PIA to pull it out and take it to a dealer. As for no haggle pricing, it would be a good thing, so long as the manufacturers are able to do something to make sure their dealers actually stick to it.
Old    tj (tj_in_kc)      Join Date: Jan 2008       03-09-2009, 1:46 PM Reply   
My List:
************

Improve Warranties. (3 years/300hrs not enough.)
1 Year Free Service and Winterization
Free 1st tank of gas.
Free loaner boat while yours is in the shop.

number 1 is more on the manufacturers probably. items 2 and 3 are things dealers could do today if they wanted to.

#4 - free loaner would be incredible, but i don't see it happening.

If i take my car to Lexus for service they can do this and it's sweet, but i guess they have a lot more product that boat dealers? not sure why they can do it but boat dealers couldn't? maybe i'm missing something obvious...
Old    Ken Toby (towboat_222)      Join Date: Feb 2007       03-09-2009, 3:06 PM Reply   
Iv check on the loaner insurance is the killer. To many types of boats. Give a wakeboard boater a pontoon or the other way around. Would you be more interested in extended warranti for rail to rail or just motor. The service and winterizing I dont see much trouble with. Free 1st tank of gas we already do. We run 3 service vans and service boats at peoples houses.
Old    SS (illini88)      Join Date: Oct 2007       03-09-2009, 3:16 PM Reply   
I'll throw out another random idea. How about a wakeboard lesson or two? Experienced riders woudln't take you up on it, but the family guy buying it for himself and his kids may like having somebody go out and show them the basics. Just a thought.
Old    Miguel (migs)      Join Date: Aug 2006       03-09-2009, 3:20 PM Reply   
Break-in period done by dealer(also to check to see - all is working perfectly)

Free Service for the first 100hrs(including the 100hr service)

Customers within 50 miles - "We come to you to winterize".
Old    Chris Phelps (cpizzle)      Join Date: Sep 2007       03-09-2009, 3:28 PM Reply   
Loaner insurance maybe the killer but I think that would be HUGE for customer service! Any way that the customer's insurance could cover the boat while they're using it?? Maybe offer 2 types of boats for customers, 21' wake/ski and some simple 20 something foot I/O or pontoon. Require a decent deposit for the loaner as well just to can make sure that the boat doesn't get trashed. Limit customer to 4 days of use of the loaner per month in order to keep it somewhat available. Have a couple of each type.

(Message edited by cpizzle on March 09, 2009)

(Message edited by cpizzle on March 09, 2009)
Old    Ken Toby (towboat_222)      Join Date: Feb 2007       03-09-2009, 4:00 PM Reply   
My son goes out and shows them the surfing and basic wakeboarding. We try to get the customer out on the weekend and get them started.Miquel are you talking the whole 10 hrs? Some people want a boat with no hrs. We test run each boat checking ballast pp and everything else we can.Guys some of this needs to be std dealer prep. I talking what would it take for someone to sell you a boat.I like the demo thing its just hard to keep a 30,000.00 to 50,000.00 dollar boat around for a couple of times a year.
Old    Scott Legge (w00taz)      Join Date: Jun 2007       03-09-2009, 4:09 PM Reply   
Free scheduled maint and warranties are the low hanging fruit imo. Both areas are severely lacking. The loaner thing was just an idea. How about something like...

"I get your boat back to you for the weekend (fri close) if you drop it off before Tue/Wed or it's free labor"

Obviously there's going to be a gotcha even with that because some work 100% has to be outsourced or parts aren't available even from the supplier.
Old    Matt Cour (mcsammamish)      Join Date: Jun 2002       03-11-2009, 3:46 PM Reply   
Great Discussion Ian, thanks for posting it. I want to keep this discussion going but don't want to get in the middle too much (if i can help it).

In a nut shell, a good reputable dealer will already be doing all of this stuff to make a deal right not. We just need people shopping and also spending time with us to work out a deal that works for both the customer and dealer. Each person may prefer one thing over another.

Buy a Malibu before March 31 and get 3 years FREE SERVICE. this is going on RIGHT NOW!

One thing I'll ellaborate a little on is the loaner boat. Loaner boats are tough because the banks own the boats and dealers have agreements not to use them except for demos and the banks check inventories every month. Also the boats are not licensed. We have loaned out a used boat that has current licensing to customers in extreme circumstances. Not sure about insurance, will have to look into it. Overall it's not a bad idea and so far the one thing worth looking into further.

Everyone needs to realize that most dealers are not making any money on the deals they doing right now and to ask for things that will cost them money 3 years down the road will only prolong the bleeding. If things continue at the level they're at now with how much a customer expects to get in discounts, free service, free accessories, loaner boats, gas, free mobile service, ETC...there won't be any dealers able to stay in business let alone want to stay in business. Not sure when people started thinking boat dealers were making an unfair profit...I'm sure most owner's of boat dealers make less than a majority of our customers and got into it because of the passion of boating or watersports etc. The boat business has always been tough and now it's painful at times.

Go support your local dealer, we're here to help.
Old    tpj (tpj)      Join Date: Sep 2007       03-11-2009, 4:32 PM Reply   
about the loaner boat...

2 years ago my dad decided to upgrade from an old io to a 98 mastercraft maristar. the first day we had it out it ran perfect. the second day a nocking started and right when it started happening a sales rep from the dealer drove by delivering a boat and we flagged him down and he told us to call the maintenance department. we called them and they said to use it for the rest of the weekend then bring it in when we are done. so we brought it in monday night (it was memorial day weekend). on wednesday we got a call saying the engine was blown and needed to be rebuilt. thankfully they paid for the rebuild. but they went up and over by letting us pick up an x30 on friday and letting us use it the two and a half weeks it was in the shop.

then on labour day the same thing happened and they covered it again, but we didnt need a loner cause hockey season started so we didnt have time for boating anymore.

anyways were lucky that we have a great dealer, Action Water Sports.
Old    Scott Legge (w00taz)      Join Date: Jun 2007       03-11-2009, 5:12 PM Reply   
yea see? that story is how it should be! thanks for sharing tpj.

A lot of people expect a PERFECT boat. Which IMO is silly I expect perfect recovery from a fault.
Old    Ed (elc)      Join Date: Jan 2008       03-11-2009, 5:43 PM Reply   
I would love to upgrade, but most new boats that we would be interested in are at least mid 50's. Its pretty difficult to justify this purchase... a free tank of gas or the use of a loaner boat is not going to make me say "hey I need that boat".

I know this would never happen but the only thing that I can think of that would make me go down to the nearest dealer and make that purchase is very low interest financing. If there aren't offers like this, the target market for qualified buyers is extremely small.
Old    Travis Q (motogod77)      Join Date: Aug 2008       03-11-2009, 6:09 PM Reply   
The best interest now is only going to be about 7% unfortunately -

With that being said the prices of boats are reflecting both the economy and the credit crunch. Able buyers have the opportunity to do something that hasn't happened for many many years - buying new boats for the same or less than the dealerships paid for them - PLUS you have the dealer repos available at a fraction of real dealer cost (We are selling new 23' V drives in the low 30K's) - I know if I could afford a new boat I would be in the water right now (70 degrees or so in Northern Cali right now!)
Old    Matt Cour (mcsammamish)      Join Date: Jun 2002       03-11-2009, 7:04 PM Reply   
What do you consider very low interest? We're able to get 6.25% and maybe 5.75% in our area. You're already able to finance it with super long terms and this is to help offset things some?

Since dealers are not able to license/title new boats because they don't own them, they are not able to get insurance on them. This is a tough spot with the loaner boat issue.

One of the ideas I liked but didn't respond to was the lessons.

Any more out of the box idea's
Old    Ed (elc)      Join Date: Jan 2008       03-11-2009, 7:27 PM Reply   
I am talking about 0-2% rates for six years. Like I said, its not going to happen.
Anyone with any financial sense would not take advantage of the long terms to finance a boat at 7% - which is the standard in my area. Financing 40k over 10 years at 7% you would pay 16k of interest. This is not an incentive to purchase.
Old    tj (tj_in_kc)      Join Date: Jan 2008       03-11-2009, 8:54 PM Reply   
lessons is a great idea.

he's my question around it...

so Malibu, MC, CC and nearly all of the wake boat co's have pro or "team" riders.

What if you buy a boat you get lessons with the team rider?

This way the actual boat companies are providing the service to their dealers, and their new customers.

you could group or cluster the dates them to make it more practical.

What do you think??

i have no idea how much these "pros" make obviously it's not baseball...

maybe the boat co's could front the money? maybe they split costs with the dealers?


Any thoughts?????
Old    Peter T (deltawake)      Join Date: Sep 2004       03-12-2009, 8:05 AM Reply   
"Guys Im a dealer what would make you consider a boat now. We do free tank of gas, safty kit and 20% off map price on boards and acc."

Answer: Proper English, spelling and punctuation. Before you flame me consider this: By using good grammar, you offend nobody. By using the English language in a semi-literate fashion, you may be reducing the number of people who would consider buying a boat from you. For me personally, it creates a much better impression when someone who is trying to sell me a big ticket item uses the language properly.

Also, IMO the loaner boat is crucial. There is nothing worse than spending 50K+ on a boat that you can't use. It's a cost of doing business if you want to provide top notch customer service. Include service for the entire warranty period, and now we're talking.
Old    coz (coz)      Join Date: May 2008       03-12-2009, 8:33 AM Reply   
Anything but the BS sham called cash rewards.
Old    Ken Toby (towboat_222)      Join Date: Feb 2007       03-12-2009, 8:48 AM Reply   
Sorry about the grammer. I was typing fast and doing three things at once.I did not think I would need spell check. I'm just trying to find out what customers are thinking. Things are changing and dealers need to change with it. I'm sorry I offended you in anyway. We are looking into a loaner program and also service for 2 to 3 years "length of warranty".
Old    Peter T (deltawake)      Join Date: Sep 2004       03-12-2009, 9:40 AM Reply   
No offense taken Ken. It was intended more as friendly advice.
Old    salty87 (salty87)      Join Date: Jul 2002       03-12-2009, 10:16 AM Reply   
with new boats being such big-ticket items, i doubt you're going to incentivize anyone except serious buyers. buyers either flip every few years or hold for many years. the ones that hold probably don't care about an incentive so it looks like you're really targeting the people that buy a new one every few years.

what about a higher level package similar to a lease for those buyers that want to flip? service included for the duration of the lease so someone won't be too nervous about buying it after the lease.

i doubt the program would be cheap but knowing they can get out of the boat at a pre-determined depreciation might give some people a reason to buy more often.

puts dealers more in the used boat market though. but at the same time you can be fairly sure that you'll move another boat out when that lease is over. could help smooth out some of the booms and busts.

i'm sure someone here knows more about leasing than me. i'm a buy and hold type, hate payments.
Old    Bret (wakeride26)      Join Date: Dec 2006       03-12-2009, 10:32 AM Reply   
We do a " Loaner" boat program at our dealership. However it must be used on our lake. This program goes for any customer who has purchased a boat from us, new or used.
Old    Bret (wakeride26)      Join Date: Dec 2006       03-12-2009, 10:36 AM Reply   
By the way.... Can we stop blasting people for spelling on Wake World? I know everyone is more intelligent than the next guy, but come on. Enough is Enough.
Old    WakeMikey (wakemikey)      Join Date: Mar 2008       03-12-2009, 11:05 AM Reply   
I agree with Bret this is just a chat board it is not formal. Does it even HAVE a spell check feature?

(Message edited by wakemikey on March 12, 2009)
Old    Alan Slabaugh (alans)      Join Date: Aug 2005       03-12-2009, 11:17 AM Reply   
My old dealership had the following;

Free pickup and delivery for a warranty issue that stopped you from being able to use your boat

Buyback program. $1,000 less than you paid if traded in for an upgrade within 12 months.

Free Loaner boat in the event of a warranty claim

Concierge service, if you don't want to buy a trailer or don't want to tow you boat for service.

I think that it worked well to get people to buy boats from our dealership. But with prices where they are now in this economy, it would be impossible to do.
Old    Bret (wakeride26)      Join Date: Dec 2006       03-12-2009, 11:35 AM Reply   
It has been very tough to do a lot of the things listed in the above statements. At some point in time you must trade services for price. We do pick up and delivery service, free 20 hr, first tank of gas, and a lot of the things listed above. However, to include winterization, summerization, and the big one that most people want " Storage" is very tough. I get billed 100 percent by the service department, so to say that it only has a hard cost of X is not realistic. The hard cost, is whatever I am getting billed for.
Old    AtTheLake (bmartin)      Join Date: Jan 2007       03-12-2009, 11:47 AM Reply   
Lots of good ideas and it seems some dealers really have stepped it up for their customer base. I'm truly impressed with some of the stories. I think the wake goodies, lessons, loaners, buy backs, and pick up services would work for repeat business / trades and upgrades but not sure that will lure many new buyers in. I think to get new customers, arranging affordable financing would be one of the main trigger points. Something that is already familiar to the public, such as 2.9% financing for 7 years.
Old    Ken Toby (towboat_222)      Join Date: Feb 2007       03-12-2009, 11:55 AM Reply   
Ti the team riders have different rates. It is their expenses to and from.Plus while they are there. Then you have their cost of 500.00 to 1200.00 a day or more. So grouping of a few new boat buyers would have to be done.Peter T thank you for your advice. I did not mean to come off mad.
Old    Ed (elc)      Join Date: Jan 2008       03-12-2009, 12:35 PM Reply   
To get people into boats/upgrade something needs to be done about the financing options. My wife and I are probably a pretty good example of customers dealers are looking for. We love the water, I am all for someone getting paid for their services (so we won't haggle too much once my wife and I decide on a price point of the product we are looking for) and combined we have an above average monthly cash flow.
My problem is, a boat depreciates so much in value plus the financing options are pretty bad, it makes it extremely difficult to justify the purchase even when you can afford it.
I would guess that this turns off a lot of qualified buyers.

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