How to make the deal


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Updated: 4/18/2007 10:42 am Published: 4/18/2007 10:42 am


The key to avoiding hassles and getting a great price when buying a boat is comparison-shopping. You need to get new boat dealers to bid competitively for your business. That's because the only leverage any customer has with a dealer is the possibility that he or she will walk out--and either buy a boat from another dealer or not buy one at all. To get a good price, you need to set up a competitive bidding process. You have to be careful, thorough, and persistent, but you don't have to know all the intricacies of the boat business. You can start the bidding process after you've decided on the make and model of boat you want. You don't have to know the exact options you want. Try to get each dealer to bid an amount above or below the 'factory invoice price.' The factory invoice price is the same for all dealers. So if one dealer bids five hundred dollars above invoice and a second bids five hundred dollars below invoice, you'll know the second is one thousand dollars lower than the first. But you don't really have to have the invoice price information in advance; just explain to each dealer that you will expect to be shown the actual factory invoice for any boat you're considering.

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