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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hello folks,

I'm trying to get a good understanding for the negotiating power when buying a new boat. Is there wiggle room in the same manner as when purchasing a car? I don't want to be a jerk and the salesman/owner not make any money, but i'd prefer to keep as much $ in my pocket as possible. I'm interested in a glass bass boat. I look at used ones (3-4 years old) and they're just as expensive (if not more) than buying new. So I figure why not get what i'd like in the color i want and have the full warranty etc? Is 5%-10% off reasonable?

thanks in advance for responses.
 

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Red X Angler
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Some businesses require their salesmen to sale it at full price or not at all. That's SOME of them. The biggest differences in sales operations as opposed to car dealerships is individual decisions. Salesmen at car dealerships for the most part are at the mercy of the sales manager, meaning that they basically translate numbers back to the customer from the guy inside who actually "crunches" the numbers. This is why when you're at a car lot, the salesman goes inside and back out over and over. Other sales operations let the individual salesman hold his own ground, and make his own decisions. The salesman knows what he WANTS to get out of a product, and then at the same time he knows what he HAS to get out of a product. One thing to keep in mind right now is how slow business is for lots of folks.....this can definitely work to your advantage! For the most part most establishments would rather do SOME business with you rather than see you go down the street and do it elsewhere. Get a couple quotes on the same item, get copies made with other companies quotes written there to add to your arsenal, to use against the salesman your dealing with. Don't buy the first one you see, play the game a little and then when your at a price your comfortable with, pull the trigger!!
 

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Red X Angler
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All good advice shop around, don't worry about making a lowball offer, they will not be insulted or hurt themselves in the deal. A dealer wants to keep you on the lot and talking as long as possible. Sometimes when they have hit their limits on price you can still get the deal sweetened with some perk, be it extra free service or an add-on either free or cheap.

Darrell
 

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Regskinner,

Here are a few pointers from when I bought my boat new a few years ago as well as many years of negotiating personally and professionally:

1. Do some homework. Try to see if you can find out what others have paid recently for the same make/model. They may not have gotten the best deal themselves but it can serve as a data point.
2. Be ready to sign. Bring a decent down payment and let them know you are buying a boat soon either with them or someone else.
3. Let them know you prefer to work with them but are willing to go out of town to another dealer if they cant get you in boat you want for a good price.
4. Go in low but be realistic. Dont let them know you really dont have any idea of their mark up. Throw a low number out and see how they respond. If they negotiate seriously with you then you are not too low. If they flat out say no and don't counter you may be too low. I think 15% - 20% off list is not unreasonable at all.
5. If you are close but can't quite sign on the line, try to get them to throw in extras. Extended warranty,upgrades, accessories, free service/maintenance. It's money you will end up spending anyways.
6. Let them know you want them to make a profit. Just not a big one! It often helps if they know you want a great deal but are not trying to rob them.

I hope this helps. It has served me well on many ocassions. You do ocassionally find someone that just will not budge. My advise is find another dealer. Not only to get a better deal but is that the type of dealer you want to deal with if you have any issues?

Good luck and let us know how you fair.
 

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Do your homework. Make a list of exactly what you want down to the last detail and shop it around at several different dealers. Use the internet and ask alot of questions of owners of whatever boat you are deciding on, a dealer may tell you whatever it will take to close the deal whether it is in your best interest or not.

Make sure when you compare price, you are comparing like items. One dealer might quote you a high price on a fully loaded bassblaster 13001X, the other might quote you a really low price on a bassblaster13001X with lesser features and no options. That low price might look good on paper but a year down the road, you might regret buying that boat with too little horsepower or inferior trolling motor and electronics which in the long run will end up costing you more.
 

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Good tips above. Make sure you've done your homework beforehand and if you can't get them down to your price don't be afraid to walk away! Remember it is a buyers market right now and being a new boat there is another one just like it somewhere else.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
You guys are AWESOME, so much to consider. So to give you more info of what I'm in the market for, I'd like to get a 2012/2013 Ranger Z118 w/150HP 4 stroke, HDS7 in console & an elite5/7 on bow. (Structure scan & DSI are a must) Minnkota T/L w/at least 75lb of thrust. There are 3 dealers within two hours of this area (RTP, NC) [collins in Smithfield, Denver marine in ear lake Norman & anglers choice in martinsville va]. With similar stock of boat, do I "play one against another" saying, this dealer is offering X? Or just keep that info to myself? Not having a dealer within an hour, does that raise a flag for maintenance?

thanks again folks
 

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Red X Angler
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You'll wanna look at your future needs for sure like you mentioned (maintenance). Maybe you can work out a service plan with the deal.

Yes, get your best price from everyone, but make sure you're comparing apples with apples. I deal with this all day, everyday. Don't be afraid to say you've got a better deal elsewhere. The salesman needs to know you're in charge of what you buy, not him. Also, and this is something I deal with everyday and I've yet to understand it. Of course you wanna save money, but be logical, and make sure your efforts are feasible. You don't wanna run around for weeks and burn 7 tanks of gas and valuable fishing time, just to save a few hundred bucks!! It just doesn't make good sense! Good luck, and keep us posted. I'd enjoy somewhat of a play by play of what offers you get. I'll be happy to help along the way! Pm me and I'll be of any assistance that I can!!
 

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I didn't realize this was going to turn into an advice column, lol. One other thing though, it doesn't hurt to walk away from the deal once though. They will call you up and try to save the deal if you act like you are really close to signing. I have always heard that when dealing on cars to go in on the last day of the month because the interest due on floor planning is due on the first of the month. Good luck.
 

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Make the best deal that you can, and check outside the area for comparisons. Most boat/motor dealers get year end kick backs based on the number sold during the year, so a volume dealer can usually whip a small one. When it comes to service, check around. There are some that you do not want to service a new high dollar engine!

Just my two cents, I would avoid Collins, in Smithfield, no matter what kind of deal he is proposing!!!
 

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Just hope the guys suggesting to 'hit em hard' and make low ball offers expect the same when they put an item in the classifieds. To me, figure out what is fair and proceed with that, but do not get upset if your offers are not accepted. All of the people working at the boat dealers need to make a living.
 
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Red X Angler
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The folks at the dealerships do need to make a living, but I'd still rather keep my money in my pocket for the most part. Lots of over priced commodities makeup people's livings, but if you can help yourself out by getting a better deal that's what you need to do. They're not going to cut their own throat by no means just because you're trying for a bargain.
 

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Don't give up on used boats. Three years ago, I purchased a 2006 Ranger 185VX at about half the price of a new one. Had less than 100 hours on the engine. Spent a couple years looking for a deal before I found it, but I have other boats. Did not have to buy a newer one, but the 78 Ranger was needing some upgrades and i was looking for something faster and with better storage options.
 

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One other thing though, it doesn't hurt to walk away from the deal once though. They will call you up and try to save the deal if you act like you are really close to signing.
This^ If you think the salesman is getting close to what you are willing to pay, and you think maybe you should take the deal - walk away. It's the ability to walk away that gives you leverage. As soon as you are committed to a product or a dealer, they know they have you.

Of course if you are driving 2 or 3 hours to the dealer, you may burn more time and gas than it's worth.
 

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i will never buy a new bass boat, prices are ridiculously inflated. if i ever buy another, it will be same manner as my purchase last year. barely used is what you should look...or in your case with Ranger, you really should look a 2003-2006 model with a motor under warranty. the new ones just arent the same. don't be afraid to buy out of state. mine came from wisconsin. dont get less hp than the hull is rated for, no one will ever want it if you resell. bbcboards.net is a good site for potential buyers, as well as current bassboat owners.
 
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