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Looking at r200 Dealer question


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Drove to a dealer today and one of the first questions he asked was were we were from. I told him and he said I was out of their territory. Got the speech about service and priority for service and I understand all that. I told him that we spend 8 weeks in the spring and 8 weeks in the fall 5 miles away and he said he would have to check with the higher ups. If the dealer is further away and I don’t mind driving there for service why should it matter? If I went to the closer dealer For service I understand I would be at the bottom of the list. I would have no problem driving to them for service but he made it out like I had to buy the boat from the closer dealer.

Is that true? 

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I wish boats were sold like cars. My last 5 cars were bought over 100 miles away and there are 3 dealers within 10 miles of me. But, they wouldn't give me what I wanted and the distant dealer would. Warranty service is the same no mater where you bought a car, so no impact when taking it to the local dealer for warranty or service work.

Boats....On my current boat the 'local' dealer wouldn't move off of MSRP. Wouldn't add any features. They had no service personnel or shop, but said if I had problems they'd bring someone in. And the dealer was 80 miles away. He warned me that I had to buy from him, and that he wouldn't service the boat if I got one elsewhere.

I can't speak for Robalo (hopefully someone will give an official answer), but I bought the boat from a dealer 600 miles away with quite a discount and the features I wanted. He agreed to ship me any parts I might need for warranty work. About 2 months later I called about a speaker that had failed and he said he was no longer a dealer and implied that my sale is why he's no longer a dealer.

So, I'm guessing part of being a dealer guarantees them all local sales and if a non-local dealer sells a boat he can lose that boat brand. Customer be damned, the loyalty is between the dealer and the manufacturer. Hope I'm wrong, but I suspect that's the way it works.

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My understanding is that if a dealer sells a boat into another dealers territory they agree to give up a percentage of the profit.  I think that it's more to protect the local dealer from another dealer dumping boats in their market and not having to deal with any warranty issues.  It's important to remember that a part of the "profit" is probably going to go to subsidizing future warranty work.  Manufactures will pay a flat rate for repairs.  Rarely will the flat rate cover the cost of the actual repair.  So if they're doing warranty work on boat that they didn't sell, chances are they're losing money on the job.  I agree that it seems like "customer be damned" but the simple truth is that the dealer will default to taking care of the customer that purchased the boat from them first.

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Our local Robalo dealer stopped being a dealer because of not getting paid for warranty work. I had to go 87 miles to get my boat. It is all freeway miles but it is Los Angeles freeway miles so it can be an hour down and 3 hours home. Don't know what it'll be like towing a boat.

If anyone from Robal reads these posts, wouldn't you think they'd comment or rethink the policy....or are they selling so many boats they just don't care. Makes me rethink not wanting to deal with the local Parker dealer after reading all of these  comments.

 

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I doubt that's the whole story.  I used to work for a Robalo dealer.  I can't think of a time when a legit claim was denied.  I'm sure it happened.  But a can't recall an example.  From what I've seen on this page most people are upset with not being able to talk to Robalo directly.  Your contact is your dealer.  

 

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Robalo changed dealers on me when I had the boat and I can say that both dealers provided excellent warranty work and service. I'm not sure what led the first dealer to change, but I was happy the 2nd dealer had a place on the inter-coastal waterway and I was able to drive the boat to them.

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  • 3 months later...
  • 1 month later...

In regards to a local Dealer feeling he has exclusive rights to all sales in his “assigned” area, I respect feeling.

I do have a problem with the same Dealer now feeling that he has the ability to “stick it to” a potential buyer I have a lot of problems with that.

Case in point, I was in the market for a R180 in the late summer of 2020. I wanted a boat I could buy and get prepped for the upcoming Florida season over the winter.

My local Dealer had only one Robalo in stock (not the one I wanted) and said my only option was to wait until a spring of 2021 delivery of the R180. He also wanted to play me by overcharging me for the Boat. Oh well. 

I then found two dealers that had pretty close to what i wanted in stock ready for delivery.

One of the two Dealers in essence would not return my calls once he found out who my local Dealer was.

I did buy from the other Dealer with the Boat in stock at the published Robalo “Reel Deal” pricing. I was able to get it prepped and I am now enjoying it in Florida.

It was during my purchasing of my Robalo from the other Dealer that I learned just how dishonest my local Dealer in Cincinnati was being with me.

Shady Dealers will kill a Boat line, Robalo needs to pay attention.

JPM

 

 

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I wish boat dealers were like car dealers. I've bought my last few cars over 100 miles from my local dealers as I could get a better deal there. No complaints when I bring the car in for warranty work locally.

Boats, however, are a different game altogether. Local dealers have an exclusive arrangement with the manufacturer. There are no 'lemon' laws with boats, so if you get a lemon, you are stuck with it. If your local dealer won't fix your issues, you're stuck with it. Rarely will a manufacturer intercede to help a buyer with a dealer issue.

On my current boat the local (over 80 miles away) dealer wouldn't deal. He wanted top price and wouldn't even throw in a VHF. I ended up buying one over 400 miles away, got a great deal and a few extras. I called the dealer a few months later to order some parts and he said he'd lost the manufacturer over my sale. Told me it didn't matter, that he had been planning to leave them anyway, but still I felt bad.

Guess us buyers are stuck with a bad system. Manufacturers don't care about buyers as long as the dealer is meeting their quota. The dealer doesn't care about a buyer as long as they have more buyers in line to buy. Doubt it will get fixed anytime soon. The good news is most boats come out good from the factory and most dealers are reputable. The problem is when one or the other, or worse yet, both fail.b

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On 9/10/2020 at 11:02 AM, mcd said:

My understanding is that if a dealer sells a boat into another dealers territory they agree to give up a percentage of the profit.  I think that it's more to protect the local dealer from another dealer dumping boats in their market and not having to deal with any warranty issues.  It's important to remember that a part of the "profit" is probably going to go to subsidizing future warranty work.  Manufactures will pay a flat rate for repairs.  Rarely will the flat rate cover the cost of the actual repair.  So if they're doing warranty work on boat that they didn't sell, chances are they're losing money on the job.  I agree that it seems like "customer be damned" but the simple truth is that the dealer will default to taking care of the customer that purchased the boat from them first.

MCD, I assume you must have held a position at a Dealership based on your posts. If your posts and if you held a position to understand that this is indeed policy and attitude of both the Dealers and Robalo, I will again say that this is the best way to kill a Boat line. 

If the “Customer to Be Damned” then they will move on to a Manufacturer and a Dealership Network that does not treat the Customer in that Manner.

B&B

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