11 Best Practices to Guide You to More Success in the Pre-Owned Boat Market

The word on the street is that expert advice has taken a hit lately, as certain parts of society seek out advice online in the form of YouTube videos, online influencers and other online outlets to find their own information to surmise a strategy for their business, health and life’s other decisions. Call me old-fashioned, but I still prefer picking the brain of the wise. Why? It’s these educated — through their experiences and schooling — individuals who have their fingers on the pulse of the topic and subjects that they are experts in. They also use their ears to hear what’s really going on in the real world.

That’s why, when we started out to construct a pre-owned boat market article series, we sought out some of the marine industry’s most sought after and well-respected experts. I’m happy to say that all their collective years in the business, industry knowledge and discussions have built a bank of insights that can help you find more success in your pre-owned boat sales efforts. Here’s a synopsis of each article in our series — that can be read in full in our soon-to-be-released “The Ultimate MRAA Guide to the Pre-Owned Boat Market”  — that can illuminate a pathway for your team in its pursuit of prosperity.

Article 1
7 Tactics for Managing Your Pre-Owned Trade-In Process by Carrie Stacey, Founder Stacey International, LLC
Trade-ins are the lifeblood of new unit sales when they are done correctly. Having a Pre-Owned Boat Trade-In Process to manage your trade-ins and pre-owned boat buying can be a major contributor to the success of your business. This is especially true with new boat inventory still hard to come by and the return to normal (pre COVID-19) remaining unpredictable as the marketplace. Remember, margins are better on pre-owned boats and the first step toward selling new boats and a more profitable experience!

Valerie Ziebron Article 2
Tap Into Your Captive Audience for Quality Pre-Owned Inventory by Valerie Ziebron, President VRZ Consulting
We’ve all heard the phrase “We don’t have anything to sell” said at least once over the past two years. Some live (and regrettably struggle) by that mentality and mantra. While others have adapted to ask, “How can we find inventory and keep our pipeline filled with deals?” This article offers 16 valuable insights for adding pre-owned inventory and improve processes at your dealership to overcome challenges.

Article 3
Using Consignment to buy More Boats by David Parker, President of Parker Business Planning
How can a dealership add more boats to its inventory when new boat inventory levels remain low for the foreseeable future and the growth in demand for pre-owned boats has also skyrocketed? Despite a tight market, marine retailers can add two effective ways to obtain quality “used” boats for sale. That is through consignment and direct purchase.

Sam Dantzler Article 4
When Will the Boat Inventory Normalize? What if it Doesn’t? by Sam Dantzler, Garage Composites, Wheelhouse College
Have you considered becoming a boat hunter as a solution to counteract the low inventory levels of new boats and to add more pre-owned units to your showroom? By taking an aggressive and proactive approach to add as many quality pre-owned boats as you can, you’re making it a top priority and separating yourself from the unpredictable retail/inventory levels over the past couple selling season.

Article 5
5 Elements of a Successful Boat-Buying Campaign by Tim Schmidt, VP of Digital — Octane Marketing
Acquiring quality preowned units is more critical than ever. The best option is to improve how you purchase pre-owned boats directly from owners looking to sell. Learn about five key elements of a successful boat-buying digital marketing campaign, and common pitfalls to avoid.

Article 6
The Selling Game by Tony Gonzalez, Garage Composites (An MRAA Dealer Week session excerpt)
The demand for boats is as strong as it has ever been, but constant and unpredictable supply chain struggles and slow inventory responses have forced dealers to pivot in order to satisfy the consumer demand for boats and the boating lifestyle the comes with it. The pre-owned boat market, if effectively tied a marketing plan with tactics and a formal process, can help appease the needs of many of your customers.

Article 7
Increase Inventory, Reduce Risk — A Win-Win by Caroline Mantel, Director of Business Development, Boat History Report
When times get desperate, often time businesses and consumers look for simple short cuts or way to profit quickly. Although pre-owned boats can be found and purchased, despite more recent growth in demand, there are certain risks out there to avoid and also untapped potential. There are proper steps you should take to get more pre-owned boats, avoid potential fraud and improve your business.

Article 8
The Changing Landscape of Pre-Owned Boat Values a special interview with Lenny Sims, VP Business Development/Strategy — Specialty Vehicles for J.D. Power
What are dealers to do when the pre-owned boats for which they have recently received valuations are higher than their market will support? In this exclusive MRAA interview with Lenny Sims, VP Business Development/Strategy — Specialty Vehicles for J.D. Power, we dig deep on the topic of pre-owned boat values, inflation, how boat pricing is set and more.

Article 9
Maximize Your F&I Profit on Pre-Owned Boats by Myril Shaw, COO, Dealer Profit Services
New boat inventory issues persist, so pre-owned boats offer dealerships an option for added profits and consumers an option for getting out on the water. But what happens if the new boat inventory levels normalize and pre-owned boats become too numerous? It takes the correct approach in order for pre-owned boats to be a significant factor in every dealership’s sales and F&I profit.

Article 10
MRAA Pre-Owned Boat Sales Process by Bob McCann, MRAA Lead Certification Consultant
The MRAA’s example Pre-Owned Boat Sale Process Map highlights each of the necessary steps that marine retailers need to take prior to selling the pre-owned boat. Yes, it’s not just a turn and burn effort when it comes to finding success in the pre-owned boat market. This process has three different stages, Acquire, Refine and Market and the correct procedures necessary for each.

Titan Certified Inc. MRAA CPO Boat Program

Bonus article about “Full Disclosure Selling,” a special interview with Dale Finch, President & CEO, Titan Certified Inc.
We just added a special Q&A session with Titan Certified Inc. President and CEO Dale Finch discussing “Full Disclosure Selling” and the testing portion of MRAA’s Certified Pre-Owned Boat Program, which includes the independent third-party testing process in order to obtain Certification.

MRAA Members can access these full-length articles in “The Ultimate MRAA Guide to the Pre-Owned Boat Market,” here: https://mraa.com/preownedboatmarketguide/