There is still a lot of chatter about the alleged new website that is changing its name from “PayDealerCost.com” to “SeeDealerCost.com.” Most of the chatter is very much against this website. I just visited PayDealerCost.com and all I got was:
S D C
SEE DEALER COST™
NO FRILLS – JUST THE INFO
NOW YOU HAVE THE TOOLS TO NEGOTIATE YOUR BEST DEAL
For More Information Please Email
This is all there has been on this website for several weeks now. So one has to wonder… is it DOA? We really don’t know who the principal of this alleged website is or what their timing is. Jack Malone, formerly with Mercury Marine and Yamaha, and Dave Taylor, who used to be with U.S. Marine, seem to be the point guards for the project. I called Malone a few weeks back to ask him about the website, and during the conversation he told me he was only an employee. But he didn’t tell me who the real money guy behind the website was.
In any case, as of today, they are not up and running. Maybe it is DOA. Maybe they have re-thought the whole thing as a result of the intense push back from dealers and boat builders alike, finally realized the damage it could do to the industry, and decided not to start the website. Let’s hope!
Frankly, I hope no dealer, boat builder or engine manufacturer advertises on this website, if it does go forward. In addition, I certainly hope none of the accessory and aftermarket manufacturers and distributors support this website with ads. Also, I would hate to see any lending institutions supporting this website. Perhaps no one has been willing to advertise on this website, which certainly would delay or kill the project.
Why do I feel so strongly about this? The remaining dealer population… the survivors of this historic recession… have had enough to contend with to stay afloat and perhaps make a few bucks. They don’t need a website putting out dealer costs (whether they are accurate costs or not) that will put further downward pressure on dealer margins. And even in a period of prosperity, which I hope we start to see soon, dealers don’t need this kind of info out on a website.
Unit sales of boats and outboards industry-wide and per dealer pale into insignificance when compared to the 15 million or more new cars and trucks sold in the U.S. alone each year. And, as I mentioned in my last article, car dealers get 3% of the sticker price as a “holdback” on each new vehicle delivered to their dealership. So on a $30,000 sticker price vehicle, a car dealer has at least a $900 profit locked in. Rarely does a car dealer tap into the holdback to make a deal unless he really needs to move a vehicle that has been on the lot too long. And when new year models come out, manufacturers give nice incentives to dealers on any last year models they have in inventory, which helps them move the non-current cars and trucks.
I really recommend that dealers have serious conversations with their boat companies, engine manufacturers and aftermarket distributors about not advertising on this website. Many companies have already stated they will not support Seedealercost.com. I hope they stick to that. And as for Jack Malone and Dave Taylor… I think you are both nice guys. I just hope you find a different way to make a buck that won’t put so much hurt on dealers and the industry.