Discounts on New Boats – How Much Should I Expect?
When buying a new boat, many boaters first figure out the boat(s) they are interested in, get a ballpark price, and then get to the pointed decision of trying to figure out which boat they are going to buy. But what will that boat really cost you in the end?
Getting an "out the door" purchase price is often the last step in the boat buying process, and the least looked forward to. That’s because up until the conversation about the final price, the salesperson and you have worked well together, but now it's time to set odds against each other and get the best price you can, right? WRONG! I am going to suggest two concepts that will make your boat buying experience a better one:
1) Ask About Discount Up Front.
When you get the ballpark price, ask the salesperson what sort of a discount the boats normally receive.
Getting this information upfront sets your expectations early and accurately. Not every brand has the same ability to offer discounts, and some just don’t discount due to high demand. By knowing early on in the process, you will be able to understand your "out the door" price while comparing different brands and their respective models. You avoid having a clash of efforts on the one-yard-line of your boat buying experience.
2) Your Sales Person should be your Ally, not your Enemy.
In the age of the internet and sites like Carvana, you may think, “Why have a salesperson at all?” Think of your "sales ally"as a personal shopper. They are there to give you all the information you need to be an informed buyer. So why should that be any different on discount and what should that conversation look like?
Buyer (In the first conversation): "Hey, what kind of discount should I receve?"
Sales Ally (In the first conversation):“This type of boat typically receives up to a 10% discount. We usually advertise 8% at boat shows, but realistically expect to get up to 10%.”
Buyer(In the first conversation): “Thanks, that gives me a good framework to work within.”
Buyer(At the point of decision making): “Is 10% the best discount you can offer?”
Sales Ally(At the point of decision making): “From our early conversation I think you understand I have been open and honest with you, so yes 10% is the maximum discount we offer on this boat. However, we have an open house coming up and we would love to showcase your new boat. Can we use it for the weekend? If so, I can offer you an extra 1% discount out of our boat show budget and a wash and wax for that weekend. What do you say?”
The "sales ally" you choose should be able to be this straight forward and on the same page to accomplish the same goal – get you in the boat you want and on the water for a fair price.
The fact is that every boat brand prices their boats differently. Within individual brands, one dealer might be a bit firmer on price because of demand. Sure, boat dealers may have higher or lower commissioning and delivery costs, or a different business model, but whatever the case may be ask for these costs up-front to set a realistic expectation.
Now, comparing one brand to another brand on price can feel like comparing apples and oranges. One brand may value high sticker prices and big discounts. Another may price their boats firmly with little to no discounts. This makes the age-old question, “Can you match their discount?” somewhat obsolete.
So how do you have the smoother and stress-free buying process you had hoped for?Get all the pricing details upfront. By doing so you will build trust early with your "sales ally" which is almost as important as the boat itself. After all, once the final check is written, your relationship with your "sales ally" shouldn’t end. You'll want to use them as a trusted source for service or general boating questions. So, it's best to know you have a good relationship from day one. After all, our number one priority is to make sure you have the best customer service experience possible.
Article by Grady Byus
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