Savings with a purpose
The number one advantage of buying a pre-owned boat is lower price. Get the best deal and reinvest the savings into your boat budget. You can later apply those savings toward upgrades, such as repowering with a new outboard.
Your dollars go further and that’s another reason to rejoice. The previous owner paid the 25 to 33 percent depreciation that hits new boats when they leave the dealership. Over time, the depreciation levels off.
You found the perfect boat on the showroom floor that’s just too pricey at the time. Searching for a pre-owned like model with reasonable hours of use might be the next best option. Later on, when the price is right, you can trade up if the same model still calls your name.
Continue the search if coming up short at the dealership. Remember, the statistics are in your favor. By a wide margin, more pre-owned boats are traded in than new models, giving you more boats from which to choose.
No warranty? Maybe, but maybe not.
Warranties are usually past tense with pre-owned boats, which have age against them. But, that’s not always the case. Today’s new boat warranties last longer than in years past. Some are even transferrable to the second owner. That benefit can unfortunately be overlooked, because warranties are a selling point to lure owners of new boats. Read the fine print and inquire about the details of a warranty transfer.
More buying power
Depending on the condition of the boat and your budget, you can choose the type of sale to work in your favor. Pay cash, finance or trade-in. All are possible when negotiating the price of a pre-owned boat.
If pre-owned is for you, then buy from a trusted, reputable dealer with a strong track record for quality service and customer satisfaction. Finding all of those qualities under one roof can be more challenging than finding the right boat.
There is a shortcut that gets you on the water sooner with bonus peace of mind. The NMMA administers the Marine Five Star Certification program, which is designed to improve the sales and service experience for customers. The NMMA’s research indicates that dealers who invest in this program—which is time-consuming and expensive for the dealer—tend to deliver a higher level of service than non-certified stores. So, make it a point to find a certified dealer you can trust.
Every Bass Pro Shops/Cabela’s Boating Center is a Marine Five Star Certified Dealer. What that means for the customer is a total commitment to providing the absolute highest level of customer service possible—from initial contact through years of ownership. In addition, certified sales consultants are extremely knowledgeable and product savvy, so they can help anyone find exactly what they need.