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Old    walker44            12-01-2008, 3:20 PM Reply   
I know this has been discussed before, but I could not find what I'm looking for.

(1) What time of year is the best time to buy a boat?

(2) Is it cheaper to buy a boat at a boat show?

(3) I noticed most dealers make it difficult to get prices online (especially Correct Craft). Is it possible to get a look at a boat's dealer invoice price (online or through the dealer)?

Iím leaning towards a 2008 Super Air 210. I was hoping to get a great deal on last years boat in the off season, but it can be difficult to get the best price with a limited amount of dealers in my area.
Old     (snowboardcorey)      Join Date: Jan 2004       12-01-2008, 3:42 PM Reply   
It's going to be hard to find dealer cost online, the boat industry is much smaller than the car industry and everything from overhead to floor plan to service is different.

I work at an MC dealership and can say that for us, December is the best time to buy. We have a pretty good idea what the boat show programs are going to be and we have 09's arriving every couple of weeks.

Getting a dealer to show you their invoice is going to be difficult, I don't know any that would show you and many don't even show their own employees. That being said you can still get a good deal, esspecially on a stock 08' boat that the dealer is paying $400 a month in interest on.
Old     (hatepain)      Join Date: Aug 2006       12-01-2008, 3:47 PM Reply   
The "best price" is a price you're happy with regardless of the profit your dealer makes. Negotiate a price you are comfortable with and there you go. I'm sick of these how can I grind the piss out of a dealer so he doesn't make a dime off of me. The good news is if everyone refuses to allow for some profit your dealer won't make it so you'll not have a place to have your boat serviced or a place to buy your next boat. Sorry Ryan I don't mean to vent on you but like I said I'm sick of these threads.
Old     (jaybee)      Join Date: Aug 2007       12-01-2008, 3:58 PM Reply   
Hate - I agree.
Old     (sidekicknicholas)      Join Date: Mar 2007       12-01-2008, 4:29 PM Reply   
donno where you live but a local deal (Wisconsin) has a new 08' SAN 230 loaded for like 60k...maybe even less now with the way the econ is
Old     (nauti4life)      Join Date: Sep 2008       12-01-2008, 4:42 PM Reply   
We have 1 2008 SANTE 210 left. Where are you located? What a great Christmas it would be!!!!
Old     (mikes)      Join Date: Jul 2007       12-01-2008, 4:47 PM Reply   
I heard December/ January is a good time.It was for me.I bought a loaded 05 San W/team pkg and trailer brand new for under 50k OTD in Dec. 05 (and got all the money for my trade.)

Where are you located ? The dealer local to me has a demo 07 (actually used for INT events w/45 hours on it) I think they had it advertised at one time for 53k w/ trailer & full warranty.I don't think they can sell it to you though if you don't live in their territory.

Being a business owner, I fully agree with Hate & John also. However, I did not beat the dealer up,I was an existing customer who has a great relationship with them.I was looking at a used boat at the time as the San was out of my price range(on the floor for 61k) .He knew I wanted it and without me even asking what he could do he said "If you want that new 210,I'll sell it to you for X, if I have to give it away I'd rather give the deal to someone I know will be back". Take care of your local dealer and he will take care of you.
Old     (mikes)      Join Date: Jul 2007       12-01-2008, 4:49 PM Reply   
That 230 sounds like a deal
Old     (deltadave)      Join Date: Mar 2005       12-01-2008, 4:51 PM Reply   
I doubt you're going to get a dealer to show you invoice or even find it online. Besides, in large part, pricing is based on market demand, volume and other factors. You might find a local dealer selling a 210 for $62k and a dealer in TN selling the same boat for $59k. But if you don't want to drive 1,000 miles to get a lower price or your local dealer won't give you "priority" service because you bought it elsewhere, it doesn't really matter who had the lowest price. Besides, if your local CC dealers can sell his boats at $4k profit all day long and needs that to stay in business, I doubt he's going to take $500 over his invoice just for you. I agree with Hate. You can do your research so you don't feel like you got hosed, but the best deal is the one you're happy with and with a dealer that is able to weather this economy so he can provide you with great service and warranty. I would say December is the best time to buy; they want to move them if they're paying interest and make some money in December to keep paying the bills. There are great deals out there in this economy, I'm sure you won't pay too much.
Old     (wakereviews)      Join Date: Sep 2006       12-02-2008, 8:26 AM Reply   
Someone just posted an 06 (but it has the new style) 220 SAN on the site for 39,995 in ID. If it is legit, that is the lowest priced I've seen yet.

Edited because I initially thought it was a 210 but it was a 220.. sorry.

(Message edited by wakereviews on December 02, 2008)
Old     (bobby_and_mikey_dad)      Join Date: Nov 2008       12-02-2008, 9:57 AM Reply   
My question would be if you had an invoice what would you think is a fair mark-up, should the dealer make 10-20-25% margin of profit? If the invoice was ,say 40,000.00 a 20% margin would make the price 50,000.00 that's 10,000.00 profit, OUTRAGOUS!!!

Find out how many boats they sell, I bet you'll find it's 30 or 40 or so, that 3-400,000.00 profit for the season, thats 25-33,000.00 monthly. Absolutly not outrageous while trying to run a business and make a living.

My point is this shinanegans about $500.00 over invoice that the car dealers have force fed us does not apply to the marine industry. They don't do the volume, the have no volume or any other kick backs and marine service is virtually imposable to make money on due to the lack of warranty payback.
Find a dealer you like locally and make a fair deal, the good feeling of writing a lower check only lasts for a moment the dealer relationship and the quality of the product are the ongoing sources of happiness.
Old     (26lacefield)      Join Date: Aug 2006       12-02-2008, 10:28 AM Reply   
i don't think you'll really get that KILLER deal on a 08 right now. sure its a non-current so your going to get a little bit of a deal but not that 500 or 1,000 over invoice your looking for. you would get that KILLER deal on a left over 07. and good luck trying to find the dealer invoice online or trying to get the dealer to show you because it really wont happen.
Old    walker44            12-02-2008, 11:46 AM Reply   
Thanks for the help! Based on the response, this is obviously a sore subject for people in the boat sales industry.

I donít think I should be embarrassed for being an educated buyer. I see nothing wrong with purchasing a boat with a low dealer profit margin as long as I am willing to purchase a hard to sell boat during hard sales times (I.E. 2007 with purple interior in mid December).

Donít tell me that dealers donít mark up the price for any deep pocket uneducated impulse buyer who walks in the door during mid June to buy the hottest boat on the water.

I would love to support my local dealer, but paying top dollar for a boat does not insure they are trustworthy or will be open next week. My trust is something that the dealer needs to earn.

BTW, I live in So Cal. There is a dealer in my area, but they are open difficult hours during the winter and obviously do not want to talk price through email. Guess the dealer doesnít trust me.
Old     (kinger)      Join Date: Jun 2007       12-02-2008, 12:25 PM Reply   
Talk to Pete at California Correct Craft he worked over the internet with me on my 2007 210. He is great you have to just lay out what you are really looking for price wise and he will let you know how close he can get to it.
Old     (mcfly)      Join Date: Jan 2002       12-02-2008, 2:04 PM Reply   
Ryan, I put this article together a few years ago for Wakeworld. Some of it you might find interesting...some of it you most likely already know..
Thought I would try to help!

Old     (cavlxenvy)      Join Date: Aug 2007       12-02-2008, 2:21 PM Reply   
Banks can limit the markup on boats if you finance them. They will only allocate so much for the boat based on the invoice amount of a boat so don't think dealers are bending everyone over. By going with a 10% down payment, you can prevent huge markups. If a dealer starts asking for a large down payment when your credit score is outstanding, something is wrong. It may be the dealer, the bank or a combination of both. Oh and FYI, EVERYONE has an outstanding credit score. Don't run yours online and trust the source. Ask the dealer to show you your credit report.

And for those people who get angry at dealers for making money... if the shoe was on the other foot you would think differently. Would you want to spend hours of time, pay your employees to break even? No, that is not how a business works. Most dealers need to make a decent amount of money to keep them afloat through the winter. When dealers are able to get a nice markup on a boat in the summer, it is due to supply and demand.
Old     (mikes)      Join Date: Jul 2007       12-02-2008, 4:41 PM Reply   
" There is a dealer in my area, but they are open difficult hours during the winter and obviously do not want to talk price through email. Guess the dealer doesnít trust me."

I'd be willing to bet if your serious,they will make an exception.I would make it a point to visit in person.I know our local CC dealer gets alot of tire kickers....part of the trade,but frustrating non-the-less. Call and see if someone will meet you,even if not during normal hours. I bet once they talk with you one on one,they will work with you thru emails and try to accomodate your schedule. If they won't then look elsewhere. A dealer that will bend to help,makes it worth paying a little( or even alot) more for a boat. While the profit margin on a boat may seem huge,the overhead to run a place like that is enormous as well.
Old     (illini88)      Join Date: Oct 2007       12-02-2008, 5:22 PM Reply   
"when dealers are able to get a nice markup on a boat in the summer, it is due to supply and demand." Wouldn't the same be true about the consumer getting a good buy in the offseason? It seems like it should be a two way street. If consumers want to take advantage of cheap prices in December, then they shouldn't fault dealers from charging premiums in the summer and vice versa.
Old     (hatepain)      Join Date: Aug 2006       12-02-2008, 5:39 PM Reply   
^^^ No one is saying don't get a good deal but there is absolutely no reason why one needs to know what the dealer paid. When I bought my boat I felt like I got a great deal because I was happy with not only my price but how I was treated and have been treated since. Dealers are happy to get this inventory off their floor so yes they are going to make you a better than average deal this time of year and thats great but this sense of entitlement that consumers have to knowing what a dealer is paying for his inventory is crap. Again a good deal is one that both parties are happy about.
Old     (meathead65)      Join Date: Sep 2006       12-02-2008, 5:52 PM Reply   
Hate N Pain, you are in the minority. The age of internet shopping has made far too many people believe that they are expert negotiators. Factor in the fact that there are waaayyy too many folks that actually believe they got their new car or truck for "500 over invoice" and you get what we have here.

Some of the most successful dealers, in terms of CSI and happy customers, are those that also hold some of the best margins.

I agree with you want to know what a new Malibu or CC cost from the factory? Put up a couple million in credit and put your financial *ss on the line and open your own boat store...then you can see every single invoice that comes across your desk.
Old     (hatepain)      Join Date: Aug 2006       12-02-2008, 8:14 PM Reply   
Oh buddy I now I'm in the minority and it's what I do for a living (cars) especially dealing with internet and phone traffic so I'm fully aware how the internet has changed the car buying experience. More often than not I see it cost people good deals, then they go to dealer X and get the same story from them as you spit and then they realize the good deal.

You're dead on with the happiest customers they almost always pay some profit. A soon as you get slutty with a car you can bet you're getting a negative CSI.

My favorite customer is the one that says "give me your best number" because they don't like the "games" then think it's time to start negotiating.
Old     (tjs_ccc)      Join Date: Feb 2005       12-03-2008, 8:10 AM Reply   
Hey Ryan, Your the one who can say if we are trust worthy or not and that's only after you have talked to us. I'm the owner of CCC California Correct Craft (your So Cal Dealer) 2009 will be our 23rd year in business. For 13 of those years we have been the #1 Nautique dealer in the world for Correct Craft. We are not perfect but there are quite a few Nautique owners who think were okay.

These are new economic times for all businesses, especially the boat business. Someone said we are one of those "non essential business" in this type of economy. I have competitors going out of business all around me. Some because they did a bad job... more because this is bigger than any of us.

I have made "cutbacks" at CCC to be one of the few to make it through this difficult time. Winter is the slow time for us in this business so we are closed Sun, Mon and Tues to help lower overhead. Sorry if that has been inconvenient for you. Please give us a call (ask for Pete, Bill or Tim and I'll bet we can find you a 210 at a great price.... and you won't have to settle for purple.
Old     (socalwakepunk)      Join Date: Dec 2002       12-03-2008, 8:19 AM Reply   
^^^^ I bought my last boat from CCC. Got a very fair deal on the purchase, and they have provided me with nothing less than the best service since (read: they keep their word). Almost ready for another, will be going back to CCC. I cannot say the same about some previous boat purchases from other dealers.

Thanks Tim, Pete & Bill!
Old     (polarbill)      Join Date: Jun 2003       12-03-2008, 8:30 AM Reply   
In the economy right now I wouldn't even pay full invoice. Just because there is an invoice that states a price doesn't mean that is what the dealer paid. Dealers get discounts off of invoice. At the boat show last year there was a dealer that bought some calabria's from the dealer that went out of business. They showed the invoice and were selling for that price. The invoice on a ProV was 40k or a little more. I believe that to be nonsense and the dealer didn't pay anywhere close to that. If that were the case than a Mastercraft X2 and ProV would cost a dealer the same price.

Find a dealer that has taken on another dealers(one that went out of business) inventory and buy cheap. The dealers that buy other's inventory buy it for a big discount and probably want to get rid of as many non-current models as possible. For example there is a dealer in Portland that has access to a bunch of Supreme's that Olympic boat had. He is selling brand new boats for 30k with decent options.
Old     (hatepain)      Join Date: Aug 2006       12-03-2008, 11:52 AM Reply   
What Brett is talking about is paying current market value and that is fair. I did exactly what he said when I bought my boat I purchased a new 06 in 07 that was purchased from a BK dealer in California. I got a great deal from an awesome dealer, I knew I got a great deal not by looking at an invoice but by being happy with the price.
Old     (ldebbold)      Join Date: Jun 2006       12-03-2008, 12:02 PM Reply   
Polarbill, how would I find dealers with that kind of stock. I'd drive anywhere in the West to get a great deal on a new or used 08 BU, but the internet prices I see aren't reflective of the economy we are in. I don't want to squeeze dealers, there are hardly any left to service my boat in Sonoma Cty, but I also have to deal with economic reality kicking down the price of the boat I have to sell to buy another one. It seems like buying old stock or overstock can accomplish that. I just don't know how to find it.
Old     (polarbill)      Join Date: Jun 2003       12-03-2008, 1:06 PM Reply   
There has to be a bunch of Malibu's on the west coast since Ultimate/Cope went out of business. Talk to your local dealer if you have one and see if they can get one of the bank owned boats.
Old     (dizzyj)      Join Date: Jul 2003       12-03-2008, 1:49 PM Reply   
if you dont walk into your local dealer and pay their full asking price, your an ass. Maybe, just maybe, you can wait till the boat show, and get 1k off then you can feel good about getting a deal.
Old     (roverjohn)      Join Date: Dec 2007       12-03-2008, 2:19 PM Reply   
^^Anyone who doesn't support their local dealer by smiling a lot and paying full list is an idiot.
Old     (cavlxenvy)      Join Date: Aug 2007       12-03-2008, 3:16 PM Reply   
Internet prices are set by the manufacturer.

Just like you see MAP prices for wakeboards, its the same for boats.

Also you guys need to consider that paying invoice for a boat means the dealer is likely losing a lot of money on flooring costs. You can safely figure that a dealer is paying about $300 per boat, per month after April for the boat to sit there.

In a sense, paying invoice, $500-1000 over etc, the dealer is losing money.

I'll say it again, if the shoe was on the other foot and you were the one selling the boat, you would think differently. It's a business. You don't run a business to break even or lose money. There is not the shear volume at one boat dealer compared to a car dealer where they sell a lot more cars at minimal markup.
Old     (meathead65)      Join Date: Sep 2006       12-03-2008, 3:18 PM Reply   
This argument will never end. As a dealer for over 15 years, here is how I see it: the customer who grinds you down to the very last penny, phone shops every dealer within 2000 miles, and beats you down on every last item will be your worst nightmare 75% of the time. For some unknown reason (maybe Karma), his will invariably be the boat that breaks down on him, or blows a trailer tire, or something along those lines. When that does happen, his attitude will not be "Damn, this sucks, Mr. Dealer, can you help me out and get me back on the water quick?" usually is "WTF!! This boat YOU sold me is already broken, and I want to know how you are going to compensate me for my lost weekend, or else my Cousin Vinny is going to sue the pants off you and I'll own your GDam store...!!!" etc etc.

On the flip side, I have made many close friends over the years by selling them boats. We sat down, came to an agreement on a deal that we both were happy with, and shook hands on it. I have one guy who is on his 4th boat from me. He calls me and negotiates a very competitive deal, and he does his homework. However, he also understands, that as a fellow business man, that my store is not a Non-Profit Corporation. Conversely, when he, or any other customer, needs service, we are here and ready with a nice facility, qualified staff, and a good attitude. The same holds true for everyone who bought a boat here...grinder or not. You see, I don't have any hard feelings after I sell a low-margin boat, because it was me and me alone that chose to accept the deal. If I take a no-profit deal, that's on me. My customer is entitled to the same level of service as anyone else.

I guess I'm trying to say this: In general, the relationship you have with your dealer starts and is defined in the first 10 minutes of the meeting. If you are of the mindset that all dealers are out to screw you out of your hard earned money, then I really doubt anything a dealer does is going to change that. If, however, you think of your dealer as a business man who provides a service, and does a good job, and that he should be entitled to fair compensation for those services, well then you are the type of customer who "gets it", and most any dealer would be happy to have your as a customer for life.
Old     (cavlxenvy)      Join Date: Aug 2007       12-03-2008, 3:40 PM Reply   
^^^^agreed </thread>

(Message edited by cavlxenvy on December 03, 2008)
Old     (motogod77)      Join Date: Aug 2008       12-03-2008, 4:05 PM Reply   
You hit the nail on the head - I don't think I could have said it better myself
Old     (mcfly)      Join Date: Jan 2002       12-03-2008, 6:32 PM Reply   
Great words, Meathead. Especially the first paragraph...dead on!

Old     (bobby_and_mikey_dad)      Join Date: Nov 2008       12-03-2008, 7:17 PM Reply   
The Cope Ultimate boats are still in their possesion, they have only filed chapter 11. They are trying to restructure and didn't buy the boats at a discounted price. They are being very aggressive but if they do go out you'll have a service issue. THIS IS SOMETHING TO TAKE INTO CONSIDERATION VERY STRONGLY !!

I can't imagine ANY dealer overcharging in this marketplace, as someone who has been in the water sports industry for 35 years I can tell you from experience if you are a breathing customer you'll get more attention than you probably want and a rippin deal. Don't be a sad owner( I said owner not buyer)buy locally and cultivate the relationship. Shoot boats are cheaper than ever and gas is stupid cheap, ride til your legs hurt!!
Old     (bpski)      Join Date: Dec 2008       12-04-2008, 9:36 AM Reply   
If you have to beat them to death over price then maybe you can't afford it. Time and energy wasted looking for the "best" deal is worth something. Agree to a price that looks fair and buy it. How everyone expects the dealer to not make money is insane. Markup is high because the cost of doing business IS high.
Old     (roverjohn)      Join Date: Dec 2007       12-04-2008, 11:02 AM Reply   
"Markup is high because the cost of doing business IS high."

Who's fault is that, the customers? I don't understand why so many here place the dealer's ability to make a good living above the customer's desire to improve his own. When have you ever heard a dealer say "I've made enough this year" when times are good for them? If dealers haven't put enough away to weather this storm it's not anybodies fault but their own.
Old     (wakeride26)      Join Date: Dec 2006       12-04-2008, 11:31 AM Reply   
John- you are obviously in a league of your own... This is the same argument we had last week and again you seem to think that it is unfair for the dealer to make any money. They should only have a service department and that is it, Right? Again WOW....
Old     (boatingman)      Join Date: Dec 2008       12-04-2008, 11:36 AM Reply   
Depending on the brand, most boat manufacturers make a V-drive, complete with tower, engine and transmission, for about $12k. Then they mark it up to us to $28k. Then we buy an Extreme trailer for $1,000. Then we mark that whole package up to the consumer to $48k. The manufacturer doesn't charge us for shipping and our banks give us free interest. Boat dealers are not going out of business, that's just our ploy for sympathy. Many of us closed our dealerships just for the winter and we're down here in Peru enjoying the Villas that we bought from the huge profits we made on our naive customers that don't know how to really negotiate. If boat buyers were educated about the situation, they would forget the boat shows, forget the dealer, forget about the invoice, forget trying to save $1,000 and go to the manufacturer and insist on seeing the cost sheet and then offer them $100 over so they buy it for $12,100 plus trailer. If boat buyers really wanted to make some fat money, they would quit their jobs today and open a boat dealership. Nevermind, we don't want the competition.
Old     (ronix_one)      Join Date: Mar 2007       12-04-2008, 11:37 AM Reply   
Great mentality John. Keep that in mind when you need service from your local dealer and there is a sign on the door explaining the business went under... Besides that, how old is your boat? Is this thread even remotely pertinent to you? Just because you can't afford (or in fairness, choose not to purchase) a new Malibu, MasterCraft or Nautique at $80K doesn't mean there aren't others out there ordering out custom, one off $100K boats right now... trust me.

I guess service doesn't mean anything to the majority of you out there? Brett - In a gesture of good will, why don't you start selling your products at your cost. I need a new starter and some shift cables. What's your cost? Let me see your invoice so I know you're not making a dime on me. I mean after all, like you said, the economy is not doing so great. Help me out. Put your money where your mouth is...

If none of you have ever shopped at a high end clothing store, try it. It will bring a new meaning to "Full Service". Alterations done on the spot while you wait, friendly and courteous sales staff, and the added security that they will stand behind their product. Gee, now if only boat dealers could offer service while you wait, friendly and courteous staff, and the added security that they will stand behind their product. Wait a second, most already do! I guess there's no one in Seattle or Kansas City though. As for the rest of us, we'll continue to, as John said, "support our local dealers by smiling a lot and paying full list." Then maybe we can all get bumped up to John's level of "idiot".
Old     (meathead65)      Join Date: Sep 2006       12-04-2008, 11:49 AM Reply   

Refer to my post above about customers who "get it" don't seem to.

If I am having a good year, I am putting money back into the business, hiring staff, making larger contributions to groups who help our industry, etc. If I'm having a bad year, like I am now, I am in survival mode. I have had to lay off half my staff...good people with families and house payments. I have had to cut my overhead, and reduce my hours.

There have been dealers who have cut a fat hog when times were Sac guys all know about the little chain led by the guy with an appetite for big houses, Ferraris, and offshore race boats. When times got tough a couple years back, he was one of the first to go down. You also probably know the family run stores that sell Nautique... with a long history of doing the right thing, that has made it thru slow years in the past and will probably make it thru this one. There are different types of businesses out there, both good one and bad ones. Cope and McPhetres is bankrupt...and not because they operated on small margins. I can say with all honesty that they probably held some of the highest gross profit margins in the entire "making enough this year" really doesn't seem to matter.

What's frustrating is that some of you guys want to bunch each and every dealer into the same book...and that is just not the case. I don't even sell wake boats...I watch this board just to keep an eye on my friends and associates who cut them some slack. The good guys will find a way to survive. However, just as in any industry, the glut of cheap boats available at wholesale right now is going to entice some "get rich quick" guys into the boat business. You're going to see local car lots with new boats, and tons of internet wholesale houses pushing discounted product. If you are in the market for a new boat, you owe it to your future sanity to look for a solid, local dealer you can get comfortable with. Quality and service will be remembered long after price is forgotten.

(Message edited by meathead65 on December 04, 2008)
Old     (meathead65)      Join Date: Sep 2006       12-04-2008, 11:58 AM Reply   

I can't get on today's flight to Peru...can you swing by my Villa and make sure the servants aren't drinking all the booze??
Old     (wakeride26)      Join Date: Dec 2006       12-04-2008, 12:15 PM Reply   
Old     (roverjohn)      Join Date: Dec 2007       12-04-2008, 12:57 PM Reply   
Many of you are clearly misinterpreting what I'm saying but that's not a surprise. I never said all dealers should go away or that they should make minimum wage. I merely said that it is not the responsibility of the consumer to maintain any one dealer's margins. And they shouldn't be forced to do business with someone they don't like just because that dealer has an exclusive territory with a Mfg you want to do business with. So I do "get it" I just refuse to with dealers I don't like. That's the problem, some dealers really are jerks and there's nothing wrong with doing to them what they would have done to you two years ago if they had had the chance. In theory your $60K CC shouldn't really need warranty work. CC has a great reputation as a boat builder because they build good boats not because their dealers are hyper quick to do repairs during the warranty period. All a customer asks for is fair return for whatever they are being charged for. I just find it absurd whenever I hear someone say that I shouldn't care what things cost as long as I'm happy. How in the heck would anyone maintain their budgets if they felt this way about every purchase?
Old     (boatingman)      Join Date: Dec 2008       12-04-2008, 12:59 PM Reply   
Meathead: sorry, they drank all your booze. But you made grip this year, so just call BevMo and get them to deliver a truckload down here in time for Christmas. Bret! You should not tell WW memebers that us dealers have our own jets! They'll think we're like the Detroit CEOs and don't need a bailout! Plus, they'll figure out our dirty secret and want to get in the boat business!
Old     (meathead65)      Join Date: Sep 2006       12-04-2008, 1:05 PM Reply   
See that's the difference...I'm a poor little fishing boat guy...I have to limit my flights to commercial, but at least I go first class. Maybe I'll pick up a WakeBoat line so I can make the real flow and get my own wings....
Old     (meathead65)      Join Date: Sep 2006       12-04-2008, 1:12 PM Reply   

No one said you shouldn't care what things cost. You vote with your wallet..if the deal is right for you and the dealer, he gets your business.

This whole mess got started because someone wanted to see invoice on a boat. My point is that the general public is not entitled to that information. Ever. Period.

And before all you experts jump in here and say you saw the invoice on the last car you bought and paid 500 over... save it. If you believe that you know what the dealers margin was on that car you are getting played for a sucker.
Old     (ronix_one)      Join Date: Mar 2007       12-04-2008, 1:28 PM Reply   
John -

"In theory your $60K CC shouldn't really need warranty work." - Last I checked, these boats were not built by robots. Introduce humans to ANYTHING, and you introduce error, regardless of what brand or what the sticker price is. Top that off with new-to-market electronics, notoriously known for "working out the kinks", and bingo, your $60K Correct Craft is now in the shop with a bad Zero Off control module, a ballast pumps that doesn't work, and a check engine light that won't go off no matter what. But I'm sure it has nothing to do with the ENGINEERS that build them. Maybe you have a new job opportunity?

And also -

"CC has a great reputation as a boat builder because they build good boats not because their dealers are hyper quick to do repairs during the warranty period." - If something goes wrong with your boat, who do you call? The manufacturer or your local dealer? Last time I checked, I don't take my boat to (insert manufacturer here). I take it to MY LOCAL DEALER. (assuming he's not in Peru at the time)
Old     (roverjohn)      Join Date: Dec 2007       12-04-2008, 1:57 PM Reply   
^^Hopefully the same guy I would call if my boat needs service after the warranty period expires. Unfortunately there seems to be quite a few dealers that don't think they should provide service to people who don't buy from them which is why independent service providers are able to thrive. This is why I suggested that Mfg's have the option to sell direst. Just like dealers no two customers are alike or have the same needs or wants and therefor should not be forced to do business with a dealer if they don't need or want to. Dealers would have nothing to fear from this because they are apparently great guys who go out of their way to befriend buyers and don't want to deal with folks like me who don't 'get it' anyway. It would be a win-win for everyone.
Old     (ronix_one)      Join Date: Mar 2007       12-04-2008, 2:40 PM Reply   
John - No one is handcuffing you and dragging you into your "local" dealer. If they are treating you poorly, go to another dealer that will work to earn your business. Peak season I can understand if a dealer will prioritize a boat he sold over one he did not sell as far as service work is concerned, but this time of year, I would think he would take any and all service with open arms. I know many dealers that would bend over backwards to gain a new service customer, regardless of where they bought their boat or even what brand it is. If I'm reading this correctly, it seems like you've been shopping various brands and one or more dealer experiences have left a bad taste in your mouth. Furthermore, I can say you've probably received more than your share of bashing as well. Regardless, let's put this issue to bed once and for all. Buy your boat from whatever dealer will treat you right and give you a fair price. Whether he's next door or across the country. Enjoy.
Old     (salty87)      Join Date: Jul 2002       12-04-2008, 2:48 PM Reply   
this is almost as good as the ramp on a holiday weekend
Old     (hatepain)      Join Date: Aug 2006       12-04-2008, 3:00 PM Reply   
John,why in the world would you have to know what a seller paid/pays for something in order to make a decision on what price will make you happy? Last time you bought a TV did you ask them just what they paid for it? What does their cost have to do with your budget? The point is simple if you are not happy with the price and it doesn't fit your budget their cost doesn't matter even if it is 10 times what their offering the boat at.
Old     (roverjohn)      Join Date: Dec 2007       12-04-2008, 4:01 PM Reply   
Hate N Pain, If you'll read my posts you'll see that I never once asked to see any invoice nor have advocated that people should be able to. I simply stated that I don't think it's the buyer's responsibility to maintain any dealers earning power. I'll happily buy from anyone who provides a fair return for my money. I do it all the time. My only real problem with today's boat market is that if I want to buy new I'm forced to buy from a dealer whose services I might not need or want to pay for. That's why I suggested that the first real Mfg that is willing to sell a basic package direct to consumers will likely find it very profitable. If today's dealers truly provide a valuable service for most buyers direct selling wouldn't hurt them in the least so it would be a win win for everyone.
Old     (wakeride26)      Join Date: Dec 2006       12-04-2008, 4:09 PM Reply   
John- If your idea is so D*** good why don't the manufacturers higher you to do all of their marketing for them? Your a genius a real genius.
Old     (illini88)      Join Date: Oct 2007       12-04-2008, 4:59 PM Reply   
Here's my question, who is more at fault in this situation, the guy who as you say is putting the squeeze to the dealers or the dealer who sells to him?
Old     (boatingman)      Join Date: Dec 2008       12-04-2008, 5:13 PM Reply   
John, no, it's not the customer's responsibility to maintain the profits of a dealer. You may not know, but with interest costs, employees, a seasonal business, insurance and so on, dealerships are very expensive to run, much less make a profit. Everyone seems to overlook that part. That doesn't mean you should be uneducated, naive or pay full retail. It does, however, mean that you must understand that all businesses must make a profit to stay in business. If everyone bought at "wholesale", no one would make a profit and our whole system would grind to a halt.

Ok. Who determines what is a fair return for your money? And what does that really mean? I hope you're not suggesting that you should get a cheap price based on the lack of "service" you need from a business from your prospective. When you're buying a boat, you're not buying a dealer's services, you're buying a boat. That boat happens to have a factory warranty. The factory pays the dealer to warranty a boat. If you dislike a dealer (which it sounds like you do), then don't spend your hard-earned money there.

Some boat manufacturers do sell direct. And usually, when dealers find out, they don't want to carry that manufacturers boat line. So, look at that from a manufacturers business standpoint: they sell some boats direct and lose the opportunity to have dealers selling many, many more. Does that make sense? If you were a dealer four hours away or one state away from a factory selling boats direct, would you invest in their boats to sell at your dealership when they're taking your profits right out of your hands? Also, if you buy direct, they are going to make their markup, plus the dealer profit. Do you really think they're going to give you dealer pricing when they can make the lion's share? Are you now going to say "they're" making too much profit or you're not getting a fair return?

If you live 2-8 states away from the manufacturer, who is going to warranty your boat? (and they do break no matter who builds them) Oh! "Your" local repair shop! But, the manufacturer will have no way to make sure that with that "repair shop" you get your boat warrantied promptly and correctly because the shop has no vested interest in the manufacturer and the manufacturer has no leverage over the repair shop. Your "service" shop will also have no incentive in June to try and get your boat warrantied quickly and get you back on the water. It will sit behind their long list of appointments. You'll not only be unhappy that your boat's in the shop in June, you'll be really pissed that you paid $50k and it's going to sit there for six weeks of a short boating season. Your idea is not a win-win for both.

BTW, I'm not trying to insult or attack you and I understand your viewpoint even though I disagree with much of what you say. But I do get tired of these hot shots on here who seem to think they have all the answers when they really haven't thought it through or think they know everything when they don't have a clue.
Old     (tjs_ccc)      Join Date: Feb 2005       12-04-2008, 6:17 PM Reply   
John, I guess we all have a different definition of "fair return for the money". (Look at my personal quote on my info page to see what I believe). I'm the dealer in the original poster (Ryan's) area. When we read his post (yes dealers watch wake world) my sales manager Pete sent Ryan a personal email. I sent a response (on the forum here). We never had heard of him or talked with him before he posted here. He has yet to respond to either of our attempts to contact him. That is his option and it is something every boat dealer has to live with. I hope Ryan does contact us because we would like to earn his business.

I know there are some bad dealers out there... just like there are bad plumber's, doctor's, lawyers etc. You have the right to not buy from them. But there are also bad customer's and I have the right not to service them also.

I have been blessed to sell Nautiques for the last 23 years. Nautiques are "the best boat" in my opinion. But even the "best boat" will have problems that the factory cannot take care of from a distance. As good as Nautique's are, there is no way they could ever sell factory direct and be fixed by "Independent repair shops". There are some good Independent shops out there....but they are not qualified or able to repair the many "product specific" systems on these boats with any consistency or expediency. (Would you take your BMW to Pep Boys to get it fixed)?

I went into this business because I thought it would be "fun" to do more than use my boat every other weekend. It has never been a cake walk and there are many other things I could have done that make "way more money" than being a boat dealer. (I also barely use my boat anymore....something about when your passion becomes your profession... it loses some of its shine). Besides... IT IS HARD WORK!

Over my years in the boat business its always the same. I lose money for 6 months and make money for 6 months.... and if I do everything right, I do make money in the end. (If you don't count the first 5 years where it made nothing). I know very few professions that put so much on the line for so little return. For the last two years, very few boat dealers have made any money....let alone put enough away to make it through a financial storm like this.

All thru my years of doing this I have had people who think they get a "better deal" on new or used boats by going somewhere else. Last year a guy bought a boat from Florida for "a better deal" than what we offered him. When the boat got here it didn't have over $2,000 worth of options ours had and it had $2,500 of upholstery, tower and gel damage because the dealer sent it with a cover that beat the #%$& out of the boat on its 2,000 mile journey. Or how about the guy who bought a used model the same as what we offered for $3,000 less. When it got here, he found out it was used in salt water even though he was told it wasn't. What great deals huh? I could tell you story after story like this.

Sure shop, find your best deal it may not be with the local guy... don't just roll over. None of my customers do. But they see and know there is value in having someone to take care of them. If I go out of business finding that independent or hauling it great distances to get it fixed, takes a lot of time off the water.
Old     (prostar205v)      Join Date: Aug 2002       12-04-2008, 7:07 PM Reply   
Suffice to say, no matter what the margins are many marine dealers perish in good times and bad. I am not in the industry but have been active in the past, I have knowledge of invoice for some inboard and I/O brands(not net invoice...just invoice). If you think the price is right buy it, if not walk. Funny thing is, I believe the biggest defenders are the ones with the least knowledge or are defending their business. Suffice to say, the margins are not typical to automotive, they do not turn the inventory as frequently and therefore the carry cost (flooring etc) will demand a higher margin.

Now, a inboard sold at cost vs 18% VS 36% is the same boat......period! The dealer that sells a "peach" at 18% will be no worse than a lemon @ cost when comparing it for service purpose.....warranty pays. If the dealer is "upset" to sell the boat at a reduced margin that is the dealers fault and not the consumers. Maybe not at the total service cost but still at a rate that a well run dealership will not "lose" money but make a profit......Is it the same profit as a out of warranty boat? No.....but that is not comparing the same scenario.

If you want to see how "bad" the marine industry in currently, pay attention to the repos and see what they are being sold. If you don't have a clue, look at this website look at the 07's and 08's compare the pricing to new units.......Keep in mind you would have needed to know the msrp's or sale prices in 07 and 08 to get a clear picture. I/O's and Cruisers are and have been tanking............Good Luck!

(Message edited by prostar205v on December 04, 2008)
Old     (johnsvt)      Join Date: Dec 2006       12-04-2008, 7:55 PM Reply   
I don't understand why people don't want dealers to make money? I have yet to meet anyone that went to work for free. That being said, I do feel that boat dealers do have to be careful on how much they make per unit.
Old    walker44            12-05-2008, 2:02 AM Reply   
Wow! Since I started this thread, I would like to clear the air to save face.

(1) I truly donít care about obtaining the dealer invoice price. If invoice price is available to the public, I would be stupid not to know it prior to purchase. This is not because I want to put my local dealer out of business. I just think it would be helpful when negotiated a good price. This is how I purchased my truck and thought it would work when purchasing a new boat (looks like I thought wrong.)

(2) I said I was leaning towards a Nautique. This does not mean I have been speaking of a Correct Craft Dealer. To be fair to CCC, I have not made contact with them or ever been in their business. The guys at CCC have sent me a private message and appear to be a good dealer worth looking into.

Two dealers I have used in the past have gone out of business. I understand itís a difficult business to be in and do think it is worth paying a little extra to have a dealer that will be around when needed.

Here is a story to give you some insight on my perspective. I went to the boat show and walked past a wrapped tricked out X-Star. I asked how much they were asking. The sales person appeared to size me up and replied $90,000 in a tone that I interpreted as ďyou cant afford this kidĒ. I picked my jaw off the floor and walked away. I couldnít help to think what that boat is really worth and who is making the profit. Donít get me wrong, the X-Star is an amazing boat, but I would never pay 90 g's for one. I work too hard for my money.

Like many of us, I could buy the X-Star tomorrow (with a little help from financing). Too bad I could not afford gas to drive it!
Old     (hatepain)      Join Date: Aug 2006       12-05-2008, 6:24 AM Reply   
John, I'm sorry I must have misinterpreted this "I just find it absurd whenever I hear someone say that I shouldn't care what things cost as long as I'm happy."

Did you mean cost to the seller or buyer? I assumed seller as that is the prominent theme of the thread.
Old     (alans)      Join Date: Aug 2005       12-05-2008, 7:25 AM Reply   
Tim Sherwin (tjs_ccc), ditto. Except the CC comment, I would say its top 2 though....

(Message edited by alans on December 05, 2008)
Old     (supra)      Join Date: Aug 2002       12-05-2008, 2:33 PM Reply   
Old     (sailing216)      Join Date: Oct 2007       12-06-2008, 6:41 AM Reply   
I always feel "as long as I feel it's a good deal." Sure somebody always gets some crazy cheap price but fail to mention their second cousin is the owner.

This from someone who got screwed with their first boat purchase. I paid at least $4k more than if I drove 500 miles out of state to a local dealer who failed to mention that he lost his dealership rights and still sold me the boat. I found out from another boat owner in the area. I bought local specifically for a better relationship/service. Leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I'm now working with a different dealer who treats me like I bought from him. I'm happy and will throw business his way at reasonable prices for both of us.
Old     (roverjohn)      Join Date: Dec 2007       12-08-2008, 3:33 PM Reply   
Hate n Pain, The buyer obviously. I really don't care what the dealer pays but the idea that "if it feels good do it" doesn't cut it for me when I'm paying good money to buy a boat. When I buy stock or a gallon of milk there isn't someone at a dealership asking me to be his friend or start a relationship. I'm an engineer and I'm now a Materials Manager for a mid sized manufacturing company so I spend millions every year and understand that my venders need to be around tomorrow. I also know that not everyone wants a blinged out or overly complicated ride but that is the only thing I've seen for a while now. The truth is that boats do not need to be that complicated so the idea that we have to keep dealers afloat or lose use of our rides just doesn't wash with me.
Old     (hatepain)      Join Date: Aug 2006       12-08-2008, 4:25 PM Reply   
"if it feels good do it" This must have misinterpreted because I meant if you are happy with the deal you are getting from the dealer. To me that means the price/payment fits your budget and your not gonna cringe everytime you write your monthly reader. It doesn't matter what the dealer paid. Lets say you decide $1000 is fair profit and you learn the dealer is selling the boat back of his cost to get it off the lot you're sure as hell not gonna tell him to raise the price to a G over, right? In the same token if your not happy with the price at a loser dealer for them you're still not gonna buy it. In other words if the deal doesn't make sense to you then it simply won't be a deal whether their losing money or making $10,000.

As far as options go most dealers will either remove them or put them on to suit your needs/tastes. If you feel like their ramming them down your throat then you're probably in the wrong place.
Old     (roverjohn)      Join Date: Dec 2007       12-08-2008, 8:11 PM Reply   
If you reads the comments posted by dealers in this thread it is very clear they do not want an informed marketplace and that's fine, for them. You can't tell me "I'll charge whatever the market will bear" one day and then tell me you have kids to feed the next. Relatively transparent markets exist all around us so I'm very curious why the idea of one for boats can't can't work for all of us.
Old     (crushing76)      Join Date: Feb 2007       12-08-2008, 11:00 PM Reply   
Keep fighting the good fight, John!!!

I wish it were a little more transparent myself. I have a buddy that just bought a 23ft Moomba, and he got TOOK. While he is partly to blame because he made an impulse buy, and didn't try and educate himself, I STILL feel bad for him.

Nobody wants dealers to go out of business. I dont mind if a dealer makes a "profit" off me, I just don't want them to make a "living" off me.

The dealers do seem to be getting VERY defensive about this. If they have treated all their customers right, and didn't rake the less informed customers over the coals, they should have nothing to worry about. IMHO. One thing is for sure... My buddy will never buy a boat from them again, so I hope they made enough profit off him in the first whack. I know they tried to!
Old     (wakeride26)      Join Date: Dec 2006       12-09-2008, 9:40 AM Reply   
I would like to know what the "TOOK" price was? and exactly what every option is on the boat, including the trailer...?
Old     (mctc)      Join Date: Oct 2006       12-09-2008, 10:25 AM Reply   
"Nobody wants dealers to go out of business. I dont mind if a dealer makes a "profit" off me, I just don't want them to make a "living" off me."

CR can you explain this statement. The people in the boating industry are in business to make a living. I'm not sure what you do, but I would assume you are in your industry to make a living. If you buddy was taken because of an impulse buy, that's not the dealers fault. Should the dealer say, this guys willing to pay the first price i give him, but that wouldn't be fair let me drop the price. It's taking responsibility for your actions. Next time he won't make the same decision, and he'll do his research. I would also like to know what he paid.
Old     (ldebbold)      Join Date: Jun 2006       12-09-2008, 10:42 AM Reply   
I agree with the stated desire for more transparent pricing. This thread has more than 70 posts and not one person has stated the specifics of their boat purchases. Where, when, what and how much. Why not? If wakeworlders decided to create a more transparent market one would soon exist.
Old     (eas)      Join Date: Nov 2001       12-09-2008, 12:16 PM Reply   
for c.r.'s scenario....let's see....supra....lake lewisville....texas....his buddy....moomba.........

i'll take waterski boats dallas for $100....not to say they would screw anyone....just a guess based on profile.
Old     (tonality)      Join Date: Mar 2005       12-09-2008, 1:19 PM Reply   
I did the same detective work Eric, and find it hard to believe that to be the case based on extensive personal experience with that dealership...I'm actually more inclined to think maybe another dealer that had it on their lot as a trade-in. WSBD is and has been a pretty phenomenal dealership for quite a while now.

With that said, I'm now quite curious about the details of this scalding Moomba myself!

(Message edited by tonality on December 09, 2008)
Old     (wakeride26)      Join Date: Dec 2006       12-09-2008, 1:33 PM Reply   
I am sure it was a least 50K over cost since that is what us dealers pull down per deal.
Old     (bird_dog0347)      Join Date: Feb 2006       12-09-2008, 1:52 PM Reply   
Well I for one am very unhappy with WSBD!!! They never show up at the dock to launch my boat for me or pay the ramp fee. Never do they meet me at the gas station to fill up my tank (the nerve of some people). Not once have I gone to the dealership and gotten a free boat out of them, I know man, difficult to believe but it is true. They are out to get me!!! Hell, McFly BROKE my rib and my phone the same night this past summer, Vinny will be in touch Marty!

Seriously though, I have a hard time believing anyone at WSBD would have made a deal on an XLV and "TOOK" the customer. They bend over backwards for us all the time, and we even get Marty out with us once in a while to ride and give pointers.
Old     (wakereviews)      Join Date: Sep 2006       12-09-2008, 1:52 PM Reply   
What's wrong with selling the Moomba for top dollar and a hefty profit?
Old     (phenom_1819)      Join Date: Jan 2008       12-09-2008, 2:30 PM Reply   
I think this thread has gone on way too long and is ridiculous.

Now, here's how I see it... and I'm warning you now because I'm bored at work, so I'm going FTW....

I'm not a dealer, but I do have a lot of appreciation, respect and support for most of them. Especially now, even the best ones are hurting.

For the transparency folks. Here's a quick lesson in free-market ecomonics.

Business is business, and negotiations are a two-way street. If a dealer needs to move inventory, he'll accept a price that may be a very good deal for the buyer. If he doesn't necessarily need to move inventory, he might sell for what may not be as good a deal for the buyer. The deal at the end of the day is one that both the buyer and seller can live with. If the buyer isn't getting a deal he believes is fair, he should move on to the next one.

If that consumer buys it anyway and later becomes pissed-off because he finds out that others have paid less... that guy has absolutely no reason to be upset, because he had an equal part in negotiating the deal.

(By the way, the auto industry is a horrible example of transparency... there's nothing transparent about a car's invoice.)

Lastly, as a contributor to and participant of the wakeboarding community, it should be in your best interest to make sure those who take care of you are also taken care of. Consider the alternative.

So there's my comments, FTW. All you "transparency" people, flame away!!
Old     (crushing76)      Join Date: Feb 2007       12-09-2008, 2:36 PM Reply   
Let me start by saying I do live in Texas, but I have been on the west coast most of the past three years, so the assumption that it is WSBD is just that... An assumption.

It's hard to bash a dealer for trying to make the most possible on every deal. I have spent some time in sales, and if an un-informed customer came in, chances of them getting a sweetheart deal was almost nil. It just hits a little closer to home when it's one of your own stupid friends that got took!!

So, here it is... I'm not sure of the options on his Moomba, but it does have upgraded ballast, dual batteries, and upgraded factory stereo. The trailer looked pretty basic. He paid between 65 and 70k out the door. He said he tried to negotiate with them, but they wouldn't budge....??? Maybe that's not out of line??? But it sure seemed to me that he got it with no lube.

As to clarify my comment: "I don't mind if a dealer makes a "profit" off me, I just don't want them to make a "living" off me."

Basically, make some money, but not enough that your living has been made and you can retire.

I think the reason people don't tell the deals that they have negotiated because, A. People are generally leery about sharing their income and expenditures, and B. on several occasions I have been asked by the dealer not to share this information with others. While if I am simply referring someone, I probably would not tell the deal I made, If it were a friend, I'd almost certainly tell.

Everyone on here knows that the dealers get on this site, and everyone knows you always don't get the best level of service. I'm CERTAIN if you negotiated the best deal possible, got on here and named the dealer and price, the relationship with your dealer would not be all that great. People are just MENTIONING dealer cost on here and some of the dealers are getting VERY defensive. Think how bad it would be if someone actually did come with accurate info on costs!!??

The dealers want to make as much money as possible (I don't blame them), and the consumer wants to save as much money as possible (I don't blame them either). Seems like since dealerships have territories, the manufacturer could make sure and not concentrate them, and have fixed pricing.. This really is a never ending debate.
Old     (wakeride26)      Join Date: Dec 2006       12-09-2008, 2:37 PM Reply   
And now we can end this S***..... The END
Old     (roverjohn)      Join Date: Dec 2007       12-09-2008, 3:46 PM Reply   
Not quite because this: "If wakeworlders decided to create a more transparent market one would soon exist." is a freaking fantastic idea. A boat price thread. What could be simpler?


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