Need Help with shopping

Itsakeepa

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Hey guys I’ve been lurking here for a while and I’m getting close to finally buying a Bennington. I’m looking at either a 20 or 21 SLX or SSBX. My local dealer is coming in almost 10k higher than dealers in the Midwest.

My only concern with buying from a dealer 10 hrs away is that I’m going to need my local dealer for any warranty service or repairs. Do you think that would be an issue? Are all dealers required to service warranty issues equally regardless of where the boat was purchased?

Let’s be honest what good is a warranty if you don’t have someone who will service it for you. I’d buy from my local guy but he’s not budging on the price.

Please share any advice or similar experiences

thanks
 

Jack M

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You will get service ,but that dealers customers will get priority
 

goldnrod24

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Welcome. There are over 10K threads here from many of our 15K members. You will find a variety of useful posts here on the very topic you seek. There is a search function up at the top right of the page (varies based on device). It's a little unwieldily to master, but once you do, it is a wealth of others' experiences and opinions. I just tried several keyword combinations and found that searching "local dealer" uncovers about 10 pages of "hits." Not all of them will address your situation, but some do. Looking through 10 pages is far easier than scrolling back through 10K past threads.

Good luck in your decision.

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DejaWiz

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$10K is a LOT. That's the difference between 1-2 trim levels higher (many things being equal, like the motor size, for example), for many dealers.

I recommend getting some written quotes from a few other dealers, taking them to your local dealer, and telling them they have a guaranteed sale at those other prices, if they can match or come very close.
 

lakelifeMN

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Welcome! I just ordered my boat so I know how you feel. Other members have given you great advice. There are many threads going through people's buying experience. There are many factors that effect pricing but hopefully you find some of this helpful. If you are doing a build through the Bennington website you can just change your zip code to other areas nearer you and it will send it to the local Bennington dealer there. If you don't feel you are getting a good deal at your local dealer try some within an hour or two from you. The two dealers I was looking at locally were about $5000-$6000 apart. Another dealer told me their allocations were sold out through next summer already so if I was to order through them it would be about $10,000-$15,000 more. The dealer I went with does high volume (they have about 130 boats in stock right now) and their offer price was about 30% off MSRP. In the end I haggled a few features back into my build so came out a little better than 30%. Depending on what size/price/options you are going with on your boat there may not be as much room to discount as options drive up the margins quickly. If your local dealer is low on inventory it would be understandable that the price would be higher as he knows he may not have as many boats to sell when demand is up.

As far as warranty, Bennington goes through it's dealers for warranty service. This being said as Jack pointed out their local customers will take priority so you may be stuck waiting. Are you getting a trailer and pulling it or will it be at you local marina all summer? If there are other dealers within a reasonable driving distance and you have a way of getting it there, I would look into their service/sales and see if you could purchase it through them and get it serviced there. Just keep in mind if you don't buy from them you may not get quick service for any issues you may have.

As DejaWiz said you could move up to an "L" or "LX" for an extra $10,000. I would do as suggested and reach out to other dealers. Get someone you feel is reasonable to give you a printed quote. A lot of dealers I reached out to don't like to do that for this very reason. Then take the firm offer to your local guy and see if they are interested in matching. If not go with either a dealer close enough that gives you a fair price or go further away and get a good price. Good luck with your search!
 

Itsakeepa

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Yes in my case my local dealer is definitely small scale compared to the dealers giving me a much lower price. Thanks for you’re help.
I think I’ll go show my local guy the 2 written quotes and see what he says.
 

Itsakeepa

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So here is the latest on my journey lol:

1. Called Bennington HQ in hopes of speaking with someone about pricing and the level of service I should expect from all dealers on warranty repairs regardless of where the boat was purchased. Spoke with a nice woman who transferred me to the rep for my area. Left a message several weeks ago and no call back :(

2. Showed the official quotes to my local dealer that are nearly 10k below his price. He was quite upset and said either they are lying or he needs to speak with his sales rep because he’s getting terrible pricing. He said he’s only making $1500 on the price he’s giving me. He’s a nice guy and I want to do business with him but I’m a fool to pay 10k more.

Long story short I’m really stuck and starting to think twice about the entire Bennington company. I was looking forward to getting the boat and making memories with my kids but I’m not gonna take a beating on the price.
 

DejaWiz

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He said he’s only making $1500 on the price he’s giving me.

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Yeah, I think only one of two things is going on with your dealer:
1. They do such LOW volume that they can't get any pricing deals from the factory, or...
2. They're not being honest with you and hope that you'll sign at the *much* higher price they are quoting.

Don't give up on Bennington, as a company: each dealer is independently owned and operated, thus Bennington corporate and the quality products that they build and deliver are completely separate.

If you don't like your dealer's pricing, then I highly suggest that you go with one of the others that you have gotten the confirmed lower pricing with.
 

Carlson80

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Bennington should get back to you I agree. However I know they do not want to get in the middle of how much of a discount a dealer is giving vs if that is a good deal. I agree with above. I doubt they are only making 1500, that is laughable. With that said larger volume dealers probably need less profit then a lower volume dealer. My advice is buy from a different dealer and buy a Bennington.
 

lakelifeMN

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As Carlson80 and DejaWiz pointed out if he is that small of a dealer they may not be getting that good of a deal from factory. I got a response from another dealer on my exact build and they were starting at over $19,000 more than I paid for mine. For the EXACT same boat! To me any dealer that starts from that position is not deserving of my business. If dealer A knows he is getting limited stock he can choose to try to squeeze every dollar out of the few boats he is getting. If dealer B is getting a bunch of boats or is a "volume" business their goal is to sell a bunch of boats at a fair price to get the profit they need. You compared pricing to the Midwest. Where are you located? Could also be a regional thing if there is high demand but not as many boats to go around in your area.

I agree I would find another dealer to work with if it is not too far away from you. I also had a hit and miss experience with getting Bennington to respond to me. I emailed through their link and never heard back then I emailed a general question in and the area sales manager contacted me right away and was very helpful answering all my questions (he had to go direct to the engineering team as I had rather specific questions for my build). Don't be discouraged with the company because of one dealer. It is an excellent product and the good dealers will go the extra mile for you. Good luck!
 

Itsakeepa

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Thanks for your response.
I’m located in NJ. The best pricing I’ve gotten is from Michigan, Ohio, and West Virginia.

Im just worried about getting proper warranty service if I buy the boat from a dealer 8 hours away. Thanks for all the input guys.
 

DejaWiz

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Thanks for your response.
I’m located in NJ. The best pricing I’ve gotten is from Michigan, Ohio, and West Virginia.

Im just worried about getting proper warranty service if I buy the boat from a dealer 8 hours away. Thanks for all the input guys.

Well, look at it this way: people move around the country for jobs, family, etc and take their Benny's with them. They are absolutely entitled to warranty care at whatever dealer is nearest to them at their new residence.
 

Potomacbassin’

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Which dealers are more likely to overcharge me when demand is high and supply is low?

Yes.

Not a manufacturer issue - my guess is as others have noted, some are high volume, some low, but more importantly everyone is looking to cash in on the boating craze right now. We expect steep discounts when they have too much inventory, so it’s not surprising now that these guys are looking to get a premium.

That being said, stick with Bennington on your list, quality of product and dealer network should trump getting jammed a little on price. I have some terrible Toyota dealers around me but I’ll always have one sitting in the driveway.
 

AZHEAT

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Obviously it’s preferable to deal with the local dealer, but not always possible/prudent to do so. Everyone is in business to turn a profit, however there is a threshold over which it turns in to a question of whether it makes any financial sense. I’m not going to base my decision on who to buy from based solely on price, but the “penalty” to buying local can’t be ridiculous. I really tried to buy from the local dealer, but ultimately my boat ended up being purchased and shipped from a dealer halfway across the country. In my case, I didn’t really save a meaningful amount of money so my reasons were definitely not based on the monetary aspect of the deal. I consider myself relatively reasonable and easy to get along with, but things went sideways with the local dealer and I bought elsewhere solely based on principle. I’m not the type of person to post negative reviews, contact management to voice my displeasure, or yell at/berate someone in this scenario. I simply move on. I still view it as an unfortunate situation and I don’t hold onto any hard feelings toward the local dealer, as we had a long conversation after the fact and they understand exactly why I went through the hassle to go elsewhere without it being based on price. I haven’t had it in for any warranty work or service yet, however I don’t anticipate any issues. I think we now understand each other and should be able to do business in the future.
 
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