Purchasing a boat, used or new, is a huge investment. What’s more, finding the right boat for you is only part of the process. Whether you’re going through a dealer or private party, you can’t always be sure how the buying experience will be. In short, is the seller trustworthy?
Below, we’ll share some tips on what to look out for, and what questions to ask, to make sure your boat purchasing experience is a great one.
Do Your Online Research
Today we can Google anything, and boat dealer research should be no exception. Typing in the dealer’s name should bring up their business pages like Google My Business. Check out what previous customers have to say. Also, check out forums like on Reddit or boatingmag.com for additional research and to ask questions of your own.
Engaging and Knowledgeable Sales Reps
If you make it to the dealer or independent seller, ask yourself: how do they treat you? Are they attentive and engaging? Are they able to answer your questions? If not, do they make the effort to find someone who does? The best salespeople don’t care just about making the deal but also building meaningful relationships with their customers. This level of dedication can really set the best boat dealers apart from the rest.
Manufacturers want their dealers to up-to-date on their products, especially as new models come with upgraded engines, features, and parts. That’s exactly why many offer dealer certification programs. Be sure to ask your dealer about their manufacturer certifications and make sure they’re less than five years old. Without these certifications, there’s a chance the dealership’s service department may not have the knowledge to service newer boat models.
Location, Location, Location
Yes, your dealer’s location should play an important role in your decision-making process. A dealer that’s 50 miles away is exhausting enough for a one-time purchase trip. But what about maintenance? What if something goes wrong and you need to bring in your boat immediately? Boat repairs often can’t be done upon drop-off, meaning you’ll have to make two trips. A general rule of thumb is to find a dealer within 25 miles of home.
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