"Okay, everything sounds good, but throw him a curveball. Ask about his discount policy on an ordered boat. Builders usually offer a dealer a 5 percent discount if they buy with cash and don't have to use a floor-planning loan system. If the dealer gets a discount, why shouldn't you?"
So I ask.
"Well," says Chris, "we could do that. But you'll have to wait about six to eight weeks. Or let me sharpen the price on the one I have on the floor. That is if financing isn't going to be a big issue." Again, the answer is what I want to hear. Satisfied, we walk back to the sales office and begin to get it all down on paper. The whole way, Oz is spouting statistics in my ear about what to pay.
"Remember, the numbers can vary, but the typical markup in boat sales is maybe 30 percent. Don't completely lowball him, though. Most estimates are that a dealer's overhead is around 18 to 22 percent. So he's not working with much. Plus, you'll be back here for service. I'm more than happy to pay a fair price and know I'll be well taken care of down the road."
After a little back and forth, I make a fair offer, which Chris accepts. We shake hands and settle on a delivery date. I walk out the door and over to the van with a smile on my face.
"Hey Oz, I bought a boat." I say, all proud of myself.
He slaps me on the back and my earpiece falls out. We both look at it.
"Okay, we just bought a boat."