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Old 11-08-14, 06:22 PM   #1
Thornback
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Default Trading Boat Experience

I purchased a new Bass Tracker package in 2005 w/60 hp Merc 4-stroke. Went back to same dealer looking to trade for a new 2015 Bass Tracker with same package. They checked over my boat and offered me $4,500 for trade-in on the $17,045 new boat which was setting on their lot. My boat is garage kept, extra clean, runs perfect at any speed. Starts up quickly like a car. I wanted $4,700 for my boat but they refused to bump up $200 on the trade-in. Claimed they would only make $1,000 on the new boat and make only $1,000 on my boat when it sold. So they wanted $2,000 profit out of the deal but would not accept $1,800. I walked and that was two weeks ago. I have purchased over 12 new vehicles and could always negotiate deals after a little back and forth. Anyone have experience horse-trading with boat dealers? I was wondering if all boat dealers are so stubborn.
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Old 11-09-14, 08:57 AM   #2
lilmule
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No not all like car dealers some,had c and o marine offer me 400 for a 1985 ranger(150hp) 4 years ago that ran with new seats,they must bring it up to their specifications they said,sold it on the side for 2200 and bought elsewhere.That is the only cure,they end up letting it go for less later end of the year sales so don't have to pay taxes.Thus boat shows one can buy a 1 year old new cheaper than a 1 year old used,meaning u paid more for it than what they can mark down on a new one when they wish to get rid of it.About a 22 percent markup.New boat costs them about 26k motor about 8 to 12 depending upon hp thus about 39k in a 21 ft boat with a 225 they are selling for 52,and up.Private sellers of 1-2 year old boats since paid more than 50 k are selling higher at end of year than new 1 year old at boat shows,dealer is still making money even at depressed sale,just knocking 10 k off.
Years ago dealer bought and had a year to pay for it,thus that 60k boat at end of year is much much less at 52-53 still making 3-5 k on it.And just like car dealers if cant sell at depressed prices then pay for it on time and title in their name thus a team boat for sale with time left on warranty,bottom line you are the second owner,had that happen with a new car then dealer went out of business and warranty not worth paper was written on.They really never seem to go out of business either change name chapter 7 or 13 or what ever.You the consumer are the only 1 holding the empty bag.After market warranties are same as generally in receivership,although more for cars.Found out through dodge I was second owner and additional warranty was worthless,dodge did give me a transmission,another dealer charged me 900 to install.Only mentioning this as same category even though different vehicles.Should you find one you trust then go for it,so far havnt found any myself,better off to sell yours on the side,then make cash offer then know when to walk off.
My opinion and that is all it is 60hp is what 6k retail boat they gave about 8 for have 13k in it,like car dealers they claim they are making so and so.Their is less markup on cheaper boats than larger more expensive but still making money.If they still have it wanna bet its reduced to 15 k in another month,but no trade ins wanted.

Last edited by lilmule; 11-09-14 at 10:01 AM.
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Old 11-10-14, 07:55 PM   #3
mikechell
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The marine industry is based on "luxury" items. Unlike the NEED for a car to get to and from work, the store, etc. ... very few people NEED a boat. It is a recreational vehicle, a "luxury" vehicle, not a necessary one. Thus, boat dealers do not have to bargain. SOMEONE will buy that boat, sooner or later.

Unlike car dealers who know the service department will make more money than sales if you treat your customers right, the marine industry is all about sales. They try to make all there money up front and then don't care if you come back for services.

Find a dealer who cares about the service department, and you find a sales department willing to negotiate.
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Old 11-10-14, 08:39 PM   #4
Thornback
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The facts seem to support your theory. I look at it this way -- the dealer has to sell boats to stay in business--but I don't have to trade for a new boat to go fishing. At my age my boat will last me the rest of my fishing days. But I'm still looking around. I found a nice new Alumacraft at another dealer but when I came back to see it a second time it had sold.
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Old 11-11-14, 09:44 AM   #5
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It's more than a theory. My job is teaching marine technicians. I have a pretty good idea how the run-of-the-mill boat shop runs.
There are GOOD marine businesses all over, but the RotM boat shops outnumber them about 10 to 1.
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Old 11-11-14, 04:19 PM   #6
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Since you are familiar with the marine techs at the dealers let me share this with you. When I brought my boat to the dealer for the check-up prior to them giving me a price for trade-in both the tech and the sales rep commented how clean my boat was. Two hours later when I reported back to the dealer this is what the tech recorded on my boat.
1--Compression on all four cylinders 125.
2-Needs new spark plugs.
3-Transducer broken.
4-Bow repair.
5-Gear lube needs changing.
I told the sales rep there was no bow repair just a six inch scratch that I covered with JB Weld. The scratch did not penetrate the aluminum. I said it did not need spark plugs nor gear lube change. And I said the transducer was connected with Gorilla Glue for the past three years because the original mount broke off, but the Lorance works. I later spoke with the tech and asked him how he determined I needed new spark plugs because the boat starts right up, has a smooth idle, runs at top RPM with no miss and doesn't miss under load. He said they looked dirty but it did start right up. I asked him why he thought the gear oil needed changing and he said it had an odd color. The sales rep used these points to refuse to up my trade-in from $4,500 to $4,700. I think they were fishing for a reason to reduce the value of my boat. Do you think these points were serious problems with my boat?
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Old 11-11-14, 06:41 PM   #7
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1--Compression on all four cylinders 125.
While this number is low, it is consistent across all cylinders, meaning there is probably no compression problem. It's rare for all cylinders to "fail" to the exact same value. There might be a problem with air flow common to all cylinders, or the techs gauge won't read above 125.
2-Needs new spark plugs.
"Dirty" spark plugs is a misdiagnosis if ever there was one. Carbon, oil, over heating or over cooling ... these are the only things you can "read" on a spark plug. Old plugs will have gaps that are too large, or are electrically worn down.
3-Transducer broken.
Even if it's been "fixed" with Gorilla Glue ... a potential buyer will also see it as "broken". I can't fault them for pointing that out.
4-Bow repair.
JB Weld IS a bow repair. On an aluminum boat, any "thinning" of the aluminum with scratches or abrasions weaken the hull integrity. Again, it might be perfectly functional, but potential buyers will see that. Can't fault them for that, either.
5-Gear lube needs changing.
Overheated or water intrusion ... these are gear case oil problems. Either one will necessitate the further inspection and possible repair of the unit. If the "Odd" color was one of those, replacing the oil doesn't fix anything. Any other "odd" color is in the imagination of the tech unless the oil is many years old. I've seen 10 year old gear cases with the original oil in them that looked like it was brand new.

My conclusion ...
1. The compression is NOT a compression problem. I don't know what they were trying to say with that.
2. With the spark plugs and the gear lube ... they just gave the "company line" to get you to buy new.
3. The two main reasons for reducing prices, hull damage and transducer broken, are legit. You are arguing $200.00. For trade in value ... I can't really say if it's reasonable or not. They don't want to come down 200 ... but you are holding out for the same 0.5% difference.

I don't think I would've argued the difference.
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Old 11-11-14, 08:58 PM   #8
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Thanks for your detailed opinion. I have learned something. I thought the compression was something to brag about because it was dead-nuts-on for each cylinder. Spark plugs just make a spark jump between two pieces of metal. If you ain't skipping you don't need new plugs. Yes I know the electrodes will wear out and they will need re-gaping. I think it's suspicious when the tech can only say the gear lube looks odd. Had he said it was low or milky then he would have had a concern. The hull and transducer have been fixed. The tech had to come up with something because he had the boat for two hours. Also, there was a little more involved but I didn't want to get too windy. But now I'll explain -- originally, without seeing my boat, they said they would give me between $3,865 to $4,935. Their boat, which had to be ordered was $17,345. When they later evaluated my boat they offered $4,500. I said I would think about it. I called them in a couple of days and said I had a counter proposal -- give me $4,900 and I would buy the boat setting in their lot which had a price of $17,045. They counter offered and said they would meet me in the middle at $4,700 for my boat. I agreed. They said to clean out my boat, bring the title and they would get the new boat ready. As I'm taking my anchors and spare tire off my boat they call back and say the sales manager has to stick to the $4,500 offer. I said I would think about it. I put everything back in my boat and went fishing the next day. Boy did it run nice. The dealer lost the chance to move a new boat in their inventory because they wanted $200 more. And don't forget -- they reneged on their offer. I'm a compromising kinda guy, but I don't like it when someone tries the old "bait and switch".
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Old 11-11-14, 10:59 PM   #9
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With that said ... I agree with you. They can keep their boat.
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