The word on the street, which I have heard from sources all around the country, is that some former sales executives from the boating industry are starting a new website that will be publishing dealer costs for all brands of boats and motors. Huh?? What are they thinking?
I called one of the guys who I heard was involved in the website project and asked him for more information on it. He told me it would be a consumer research website very similar to Edmunds.com and Kelley Blue Book in the auto industry. He said the website would feature boats, motors, motorcycles, ATVs and (later on) RVs. But manufacturers would not be able to sell their products directly to consumers. Consumers, however, will be able to search the website by product or brand. Consumers would also be able to locate a dealer and request a quote on the product they are interested in.
He also said that the website would have two prices on the boats and motors and other products they feature—the MSRP and dealer invoice. He added that some dealers they have contacted don’t like it, but others do. (I can’t imagine why a dealer would like it.)
My feeling is this—It is tough enough out there in the boat manufacturing and retailing trenches without some former execs trying to line their pockets at the expense of the industry. Here we are, struggling in the worst economy since the Great Depression, with an estimated 25% or more of dealers now out of business and predictions that another 20% are still in business but no longer selling new boats. I’ve also heard that those developing this website are claiming that publishing dealer costs will help the industry. As I said earlier, “Huh?? What are they thinking?” It is almost like WikiLeaks—potentially very damaging. Continue reading Dealer costs on a website???