Boat Show Buying – Boat shows are massive celebrations that showcase all the newest innovation in the marine industry. They’re complete with boats, gear, food and drinks, games, demonstrations, and the knowledgeable people behind all your favorite brands. It’s a great opportunity to get up to date on what’s new and exciting and, more importantly, buy your next Crownline. Here are a couple of tips that will make buying a boat at a boat show a positive experience.
Set Your Budget
All purchases need a budget, and it’s especially important when buying a large-ticket item like a boat. It’s easy to forget to factor in all the additional costs that come with the purchase beyond the money down and monthly payments. Consider the costs of maintenance, a slip and marina fees, a trailer, safety gear, winter storage, taxes, fuel, and insurance. It’s a good idea to get approved by a lender beforehand to set some firm parameters before you’re tempted to overextend your finances.
With the financial homework out of the way, it’s time to hit the floor. If you have a specific make and model in mind, find the right booth and start talking to a rep. Or even better, schedule a meeting ahead of time with the manufacturer or dealer. If you’re at the browsing stage, walk around and get the lay of the land before starting to narrow your choices. Test out any demo boats or products that are available, pick up brochures, file a few business cards, and take note of some websites for further research.
Talk to dealers and sales reps to see if you can take advantage of any boat-show promotions, and don’t be afraid to do a bit of haggling. Manufacturers want to move as many boats as possible during the show, so it’s worth trying to negotiate a better price. A good way to get a deal is to leverage the price another dealer or manufacturer is offering for the same or similar boat.
Closing is also a time to do a bit of last-minute negotiating. Also, do your best to get a guaranteed delivery date. You don’t want to buy a boat only to have it show up halfway through the summer. If you’re buying your first boat, let the dealer know. He or she will look at that as an opportunity to gain a client for life. Just don’t let your first-time-buying status weaken your position. Be confident, educated, and look for all incentives and discounts before signing on the dotted line.
Have Fun (Again)
After signing, or deciding not to sign, relax and enjoy the rest of the show. Boat shows are meant to be fun, so check out more models and products, make some new friends, and immerse yourself in this wonderful boating community.