View Full Version : Dealer Markup

11-21-2008, 05:47 PM
Hey gang,

I'm hoping someone can help me out. I'm looking at purchasing an '09 LSV with most options. (about 48K MSRP) This will be my first new boat purchase and am trying to determine the dealer markup on this type of boat. I want the dealer to make some money and get a good deal at the same time, there just isn't information online that I can find about dealer invoice pricing that you can about new cars. If anyone has some sort of idea about fair pricing for the LSV in (this economy) I would appreciate it. and if it matters the boat will be purchased in the upper midwest area.



11-21-2008, 07:37 PM
Paul I was privy to what my dealer paid for boats, but out of respect (and because it's bad etiquette) for Skiers Choice i won't relay or repeat that information.

I will say it's not a whole lot and what Ed has relayed above is exactly right. Boat pricing/invoicing is nothing like cars and believe me when i say that theory doesn't apply here.

I'll also say that the pricing & markup margin is more than fair for the boat and you'll not go wrong. You may shop dealers and find a variance between them, or find a great deal on a previous year holdover as i did. Good luck in your search. :)

11-21-2008, 10:07 PM
Unfortunately, for SC, the recession makes it a buyer’s market. I bought a new ski boat in 1983 when the last major recession occurred and I used the half-price formula on a boat that was in existing inventory. I use that today and they can take it or wait until the going-out-of-business sale. Custom ordered boats is a different story but with existing inventory, you are helping them reduce it down and cut the overhead costs. There are enough rich people to cover the costs when they buy custom.

11-22-2008, 08:06 AM
Tough negotiating skills can work. they won't sell the boat at a loss unless the final nail is in the coffin for the dealership. so start a reasonable price and work your way up. if they want its sold they will hold on a bottom line # that makes ense for both parties. easier said than done, can a painful process like, home buying

11-22-2008, 10:11 AM
You could find a lightly used 08 and then not worry about dealer markup at all. That is the best way to get the lowest price. Remember, this is a BUYERs market. If someone doesn't want to meet your price, walk away. There are other dealers, other boats, and people more motivated to sell. In fact, why not wait until Jan/Feb to buy. You probably won't get much use out of the boat now as winter is approaching. After Christmas and before Spring, dealers are struggling to make sells. Plus 09s should be in stock at that point, making your purchase out of his inventory.

11-22-2008, 12:03 PM
I'm all for people getting good deals on boats and the dealer not totally taking advantage of you but one thing I am getting from these posts, Do you not care if your dealer stays in business to take care of your needs in the future?


Whoever your dealer is, go in and ask them for their best price. If you think it is reasonable go for it. If not, haggle with them and if they don't budge (assuming the price is rediculous) consider other options.

11-22-2008, 12:59 PM
Ed, the 1/2 price formula is simply 1/2 off the sticker. During a recession, buying a boat in a dealer's inventory is doing more than putting money in their pocket as your reducing their overhead costs and reducing the risk that the boat may stay on the lot for another year or two when hopefully the recession is over. I wouldn't expect many dealers to stock 09's besides the demos and work on sales of special orders and selling the demos. Recession requires cutting back on all aspects of operations. It is also a time when the prices on retail goods are readjusted downward to promote sales and those prices will remain low until the demand comes back. Not a good time for retailers but an excellent time for people employed in recession proof jobs.

11-22-2008, 02:35 PM
i'd wait until early next year when the boat show promos come out from skiers chioice. last year they offered the pick 4 deal - i got the bimini top, cover, hydraulic wake plate, and stereo upgrade for free. since the SC rep was also at the boat show and i was a repeat customer, they he threw in the gravity III package too. in this market, i bet you could negotiate other options such as wakeboard racks, wakeboard specific prop, and gel coat upgrades - maybe even an extended warranty. good luck

11-22-2008, 03:09 PM
Sorry Z but i can't see that scenario working in any economy or any situation period. Not being a smart a$$ but i don't see a dealer selling any vehicle at a loss for any reason.

11-22-2008, 03:11 PM
If the local economy is depressed then wait til they go out of business as there are no buyers and wait until the mortgage company sells it. Oh yea, throw some coins in their cup when you see them. The economy in tanking big time and no one is buying anything and if I can buy something and put food on someone's table for a week so be it. Actually, I would be happy getting the boat for $20k as $30k is a good price prior to the depression.

11-22-2008, 04:31 PM
Ed, he's saying you start with half off sticker, not half the advertised discounted price for a year old model.

There are all kinds of buyers and dealers need almost all of them. Some order and pay list price. Others use boat show discounts. Some will lowball leftover inventory from last year. In tough times all categories of buyers are able to get better deals.

It's no different than a good restaurant. Some diners come at happy hour and get a senior discount. Others go on Tues. for lunch and get half off. Many show up during prime weekend dinner hours and pay full buck.

The strategy was to offer cash for a model already in inventory and see what the dealer will do. Not everybody can or wants to do this and not every dealer will move on this kind of offer. But, if you catch the right one on the right day you can find an incredible deal. This is true with any product, especially in a difficult economy.

11-22-2008, 11:05 PM
I think you need to consider your market. In Ed's case Florida is still a good market for boats. But as we saw with Cali, the dealers are closing there doors faster than you can slam a belly shot off of Dallas Fridays tight abs.

Our dealer here in the Milwaukee area sells out and almost never has carry over inventory. Some of this has to do with good business pratices and ordering your inventory based on a solid history of sales and good forecasting. Some dealers are run by lets face it poor business men/women.

Best deals are found in bad markets period. You need to be ready to travel and do your homework. While Zabs approach may seem cras to some, bottom line is, if it wasn't him getting the deal it would be someone else. Thats life.

11-25-2008, 01:07 PM
Luckily here in the midwest most of the inboard dealers are pretty smart and run good businesses with solid inventory forcasting and good service departments. While you can scoop up some deals in poorly managed areas it can be hard to get your boat serviced and maintained. Long term this kills the used boat market too as people view owning a boat as more of a hassle than a reward.

11-26-2008, 11:26 AM
That's a pretty astute observation for a snowboarder. :D

11-26-2008, 11:48 AM
Well we did save the ski industry so we know a thing or two!

Just kidding, hoping to get out on the hills this weekend.