Buying a boat can be a difficult and time-consuming experience. Just ask Edwin Cordova of Albuquerque, N.M. The proud owner of an 18-foot Tracker Bass Buggy pontoon boat that he's had for seven years, last year Cordova decided it was time to purchase a larger boat to make more room for his family.
Like most consumers, Cordova made the trip to a local boat and RV dealer to see what was available. Unfortunately, this was not an ideal experience.
"They were pushing me towards buying a regular boat instead of a pontoon," Cordova said. "I'm not sure why they were doing that; I really just wanted the boat I'd picked out."
Cordova had planned on purchasing another Bass Buggy model, but unfortunately could not convince the dealers to help him reach his goal. Edwin visited the dealer three or four times and talked to two different salespeople with no improvement in the situation.
"I finally talked to an assistant manager and they asked what else they could do to earn my business," Cordova said. Despite explaining that he was "spoiled" by the pontoon boat he currently owned and wanted to buy another, he was still unable to convince the dealers to see his point of view.
During this time, Cordova had been looking online at
www.trackerboats.com to learn what he could about his options. While there, he saw a link about financing and clicked it, mostly out of curiosity. From there, he found Tracker's online buying program and decided to give it a shot, despite never having made such a large purchase online before.
To start, you can either fill out a form that gives Tracker an idea of what you're looking for, as Cordova did, or call a toll-free number to talk to a live sales associate. He had a good idea of what he was looking for, and communicated the features and size he wanted while considering his price range.
"I filled out the form and then got with my wife and told her what I was doing," Cordova said. "Tracker almost immediately responded and told me what I had qualified for and from what dealer I could pick my boat."
He appreciated the helpful attitude of the Tracker sales associates.
"They explained a lot of stuff that I didn't understand at first, like financing and what kind of motor I could get for my boat," he said.
Cordova wondered if he could get a bigger engine for the boat, and was quickly informed about what his choices were.
"In both cases they did a great job answering my questions," he said.
To his surprise, Cordova found out he could get a 21-foot Tracker Fishin' Barge for what he was planning on spending for an 18-foot Bass Buggy at the local dealer. And after having his questions answered regarding motors, he chose a Mercury 50hp engine to power the `toon.
The whole process took under 48 hours, and a portion of that time was spent as Cordova and his wife, Leslie, went over the purchase to make sure it was the right decision for them. Tracker called him a couple of times during the process to make sure everything was going smoothly.
Once the process was completed, he set off to pick up his boat-at a Tracker dealership in Pueblo, Colo. Generally, making a 700-mile round trip is not something people like to do, but he was so pleased with his buying experience that he didn't see it as a hassle at all.
Overall, the process was much better than he expected when he first clicked on that financing link on Tracker's website.
"We've all dealt with car salesmen and that type of salesperson before," Cordova said. "Not one time were the Tracker representatives pushy. They left it up to me to decide what I wanted to do."
Cordova has even recommended the process to a co-worker of his. The co-worker was looking for a boat, and after his suggestion, started the process of buying a boat through Tracker Marine online.
"The only bad thing I could think about is not dealing with Tracker Marine online first," he said.
Tracker Marine's online buying program can be accessed by visiting
www.trackermarine.com and using the Shopping Tools box or you can call 888-492-6382 for help from a live sales associate.