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Dealing with Dealers

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I was wondering if someone could give me some advice on buying a boat from a dealer. The reason I ask this is because I have been to boat shows before and see these great packages they set up for the show (not sure I will be able to afford one before all the shows in the area are over). I assume the dealers are still making money on the boats. So my question is how much should you haggle on the price of a boat and all the accessories you get with it(cover, seats, bigger trailer)? Any information would be appreciated.

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Ask them the absolute lowest they'll go and then tell 'em you got a trade-in.

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I bought my Lund at the boat show. If you're looking to haggle, the boat show is by far the best place to do it. Everything's in one location- instead of 2 weeks it takes 2 hours. Once I found the boat I wanted- I found two dealers that had the same boat. The packages were about the same. So, I found out what one was offering, went to the other and basically said- 'Here's what they're offering, can you beat it?' I went back and forth 4 or 5 times. Wound up upgrading the motor and trailer, and had other things thrown in (boat cover, seat, hat, etc..). They also came down a ways on the price. Even if you're not ready to buy- tell them you need to talk to the wife, or secure financing or whatever- they'll hold the deal for you for a while.

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St. Croix Boy, I guess I would work the lowest price at the boat show and then save their written quotes to use later in the year. At least then you will have an idea about how low they can go. Once the frost is gone you can get your coffee cans out of the ground and pay cash. See you out on the lakes!!!!!

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Don't hesitate to take your price offer to the other out-state dealers, e.g. ND or SD.

I've found that these guys will give you a great deal and it's well worth a few hours drive to take delivery of the new boat.

Also, don't forget the added expense of Rigging--don't go cheap (Fuse Panels, breakers, etc.), and if you're getting a boat 16ft. or longer get 24Volt rigging--you'll be alot happier with Deep Cell life, and the 24Volt electric motors are way better than 12volt.

If you are going to tow the boat around a bit, get a trailer that's rated above the recommended size for your boat's weight--some dealer's will slight you on this part of a package and you'll be hating life with a cheap trailer that can't handle the rigors of towing. The last thing anyone wants is trailer problems at 4:00 a.m. heading to your favorite lake only to have an axel or bearing "fry" on you, or worse, your boat falling off the trailer onto the highway.

------------------
Chells

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Some pretty good advice here, I would say the same thing, have a price in your head that you think is fair and stick to it. The last day of the boat show is the best when it comes to getting a deal done, they are more willing to negotiate when the clock is ticking. I don't mean for this to turn into a bash session but I have a place not to buy a boat. Let me tell you what happened and then if you want to know where it was you can email me so this post doesn't get deleted. Rememer this is all true!
First off, when I bought the boat they said I could pick it up the next wednsday, I called on Tuesday to find out when to be there and they said it would be another 10 days, but I could either get a different color or an older motor for a $300 discount. I said no deal, I'm coming to get my down payment. Miraculously they were able to get my boat there only 2 days late instead of ten, no big deal right? Second day on the water windshield breaks. I call, they say two weeks. No problem I say. They call me and tell me they goofed up the loan paper work (made it out for 600 less than actuall loan amount) and I need to come in to sign the new papers. I say OK and go in, well the papers weren't there "come back tomorrow" they said. So I decide that I will sign the papers in two weeks when I bring the boat in for the wind shield. I get a message three days later on my machine, "This is $%#^& from ***, if you don't come in today to sign the new papers we have no other choice but to call your boat in stolen." Hah! I called and we decided that they would not call the boat in stolen and I would sign the papers in a week when the boat was fixed. The day comes when I go in to sign the new papers, get the boat fixed, the windshield has not been ordered yet "Sorry, about two more weeks". When I am signing the papers I specifically asked the guy if this affects when the first payment is due, since the whole thing was done wrong. He says "I took care of it, don't worry, I have changed everything you don't need to send a payment for another three weeks." One week later guess what comes in the mail, you guessed it a late notice from the bank. The bank never heard from the guy, he never called. There were a couple more things but I touched on the big ones. Sorry about the ramblings. Just like to make people aware. If you want to know where this is just shoot an email and I will disclose the info. [email protected]

Worst part, I contacted the manufacturer of the boat to tell them my experience with the dealer, no response, no free hat or sticker, nothing. I know that I will never buy another one of thier boats ever again. Thanks for letting me vent.

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Always remember that as long as you have the money you make the rules. That's a bit of advice I learned on the other side from a store owner when I was in retail.

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i did my deal at the boat show on the last hour it was open and got all the extras that i wanted. upgraded the trailer, upgraded the trolling motor. got the lowest price. my advice is to wait wait. the security guard finally had to walk us out.

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bought new in 98, asked after boat show what price would have been at show he said about 500 more. be careful.

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Setter,

That almost sounds like my deal when I got my boat. They told me to come in at 4 to get it. At 9:00 they finally had it ready but they were missing the livewell plug, 1 seat, no lights, back steering stag, spare tire, boat cover, and then on the way home the lights blew. I took it back for repairs immediately which took 2 weeks. I was heading for canada so I sorta needed the cover and spare. I finally called their main office and B**ched like crazy. It still took 2 more weeks, 3 days before I left for Canada I got it. But did receive a whole assortment of lures, towels, etc. for my trouble. I think when your buying a luxoury item, it should be FUN. Truck shopping sucks because you need that. It wasn't a year later that dealer went under. Too many "free" gift for screwing up is my guess.

Keep the lines tight

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Buying local really helps. Alot of dealers will give you faster service if you bought the boat from them. It also helps to keep the money in the local economy. Even if it costs a little more buy local if possible.

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kjgmh hit the nail on the head. Buy local so you know the people you're doing business with...they'll know you, too. Remember "A good deal is a frame of mind".

FLB

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Keep in mind that you will ultimately get pretty much what you pay for. Haggling down to the last cent on the deal will not leave you with a dealer that is going to go out of their way to support you afer the sale. Remember that service after the sale costs money and part of that margin will come from the initial purchase.

That being said, a show is usually a good place to make a deal because the exhibitors usually have some sort of promotional price or package to offer. Shop around at the show, don't buy the first time in the booth, and good luck!

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