If we’re being 100% honest with ourselves, buying a boat can be overwhelming and confusing for a consumer. Between picking which brand and model is best for you and then trying to find the best deal on that boat, it’s easy to be led down the wrong path by salesmen who are supposedly trying to help you. This guide was designed to shed a little light on how boat dealers operate. It's also intended to show you how to find dealers with your best interest in mind. After reading, we hope you are able to ask the right questions and know how to spot a good dealer.
Price vs. Cost
We didn’t invent this concept, and there is a good chance you’ve heard about the difference between price and cost. To sum it up, the initial price paid for a boat does not always reflect the boat’s cost of ownership. It can be enticing to go for the dealer that is showing you the lowest price. This can often be deceiving though. It is important to consider who will actually provide you with the lowest cost of ownership. Here are some things to consider:
Certain dealers offer special programs that can have a high monetary value, but save you money over time and not up front. For example, Charlotte MasterCraft Center offers up to two years of free concierge service with the purchase of every new boat (you can learn more about that here or click the button below). Normally you could be out of pocket thousands of dollars in maintenance per year, not to mention the headache of towing your boat up to the store to get serviced. This program and ones like it can save you a lot of money and headache, so it’s important to factor that in when determining who is actually giving you the best price.
Although it may be harder to determine what it saves you in dollars, there is value in proper education. Certain dealers will not only spend time educating you on how to use your new toy once, but will actually schedule a follow-up appointment to make sure you are an expert. At Charlotte MasterCraft Center, this follow-up delivery is a way to further expand your knowledge about your boat. These are often complete with more advanced information on how your boat works as well as surf or wakeboard lessons for the family. There is something to be said for a dealer who is willing to make sure that everyone in your family is experiencing the best of what your boat has to offer, and some are willing to do this for free.
So to sum it up, finding the perfect dealer really boils down to one concept, and that concept is trust. When you buy a boat, you buy more than just the vessel. You buy an experience that starts with your first test drive and continues as long as you own the boat. The dealer you buy from must be more interested in helping you love boating than getting rid of another unit. If you can trust that you’re entering into a long-term relationship based on that, then you have found a dealer you should buy from. Settling for anything less can be the difference between buyers remorse and a happy life on the water.