7 Tips for Choosing the Best Boat Dealer

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Are you interested in buying a new Carolina Skiff?

Before typing “boat dealers near me” in your search bar, here are a few things to consider. Being in the market for a new boat is not that much different than trying to find a new doctor. You want the best match to keep living a high-quality life in both cases. 

So you will find the most knowledgeable person and place to take care of you. That is the same with a boat dealer; you want a specialized and certified expert to do the job at a dealership that you can trust. 

What is a certified boat dealer?

Certifications are a great indicator of a boat dealer you can trust. Boat dealers that go through the Marine Retailers Association of America’s marine industry certified dealership program “establish efficient and effective processes that lead to an outstanding retail experience for customers and a thriving marine business,” according to the MRAA website. 

Certifications should assure boat buyers that they’re dealing with a quality facility that believes in their product and serving customers.

Carolina Skiff works to source trustworthy dealers that supply our Skiffs. Check out these tips we look for in dealers that you should too!

Seven tips for choosing the best boat dealer near you: 

1: Reviews – Look To The Web First

What are people saying about them? Search the dealers in the area on the internet to see what’s being said about them on boating forums and what reviews they’re getting. Like most things on the internet, you’ll need to take what is said lightly, but if there are enough reports of bad experiences, you should feel weary. 

2: Lot Organization

Next, you’ll want to visit the dealership in person. As you drive up to the lot, you should take stock of what you see and how everything is kept. If the lot is disorganized, that is a definite red flag. The dealership as a whole should be well-maintained. If it is, this is a sign that the workers respect the boats their selling and maintaining. Be sure to compare the appearance of dealerships as you shop around.

3: Passionate & Knowledgable Employees

While examining the dealership and taking stock of the pristineness of the inventory, you should also survey the employees’ manners. Take note of the level of customer service you receive. Do the employees seem passionate and knowledgable about boating and Carolina Skiffs? If so, that’s a great sign that they’re not just trying to close a sale and that they’ll be attentive to you your whole boat-owning relationship with them. 

It should also be noted that boat knowledge is a big difference between purchasing a boat from a dealer and a private seller. Anyone can sell a boat privately, but boat dealers should have the mastery you can trust. 

4: On-site Needs / Service Area 

Discuss the dealership’s service area and the on-site service they’ll provide for your boat. What type of warranty is offered, and what on-site services do they provide? Ask if you see the service area and meet a mechanic or service manager to evaluate if the level of professionalism is up to par with your expectations.

5: Communication

Before you begin your buying journey with a dealership, you’ll want to evaluate their communication style. Is the dealer prompt with returning emails and phone calls? If so, that speaks well for your boat-owning experience with them. If not, you could be putting your future self in a bind. Imagine you’ve bought a boat with this dealer, and they won’t get back to you about an important part you need on your boat. That would not be great.

6: Testimonials

Online reviews are one thing, but you can ask a sales representative for customer testimonials or references from past customers. How they answer this question will give you a good vibe about whether or not this is the place for you. If they are reluctant, that could mean that there isn’t a lot of good previous customers have to say. On the flip side, if they’re obliging, that’s a good sign.

7: Location

Lastly, the location of the dealership you choose is paramount. The certifications, outstanding reviews, excellent staff, beautiful facility, and on-site needs won’t matter if the boat dealer is not close to you or the water you frequent. You’ll need to consider that you’ll want quick access to the dealer in case of repairs or tune-ups. You won’t want to be hauling your boat too far, so when you start searching for your next Carolina Skiff, be sure to type in “boat dealers near me” and keep an eye on that mile radius. 

At Carolina Skiff, building one of the best quality boats for a great price has always been our goal. Whether you’re looking for a pleasure boat, fishing boat, runabout, or commercial/work boat, Carolina Skiff delivers the most in value, quality and style. With several models and sizes from which to choose, finding the right Carolina Skiff to meet your needs is simple. Find a Carolina Skiff dealer near you today, or visit https://carolinaskiff.com/ to learn more.