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Thread: Reasonable Dealer Prep Charges

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2021
    Location
    Eastern WA
    Posts
    13

    Default Reasonable Dealer Prep Charges

    I'm finally starting to get some quotes on a new "Tritoon" and one of the things that I noticed is that dealer prep or "F&P" charges are all over the map. I would expect the freight charges to be similar since most of the manufacturers are in the midwest and I live in the northwest. One manufacturer's website listed freight over 2K miles as $1600.00.
    One quote had F&P as $4850.00. When I asked for details it was very general. Mount the motor, assemble the trailer and lake test the boat.
    Another quote from a different manufacturer listed $1600.00 for freight and $475.00 for dealer prep.

    So... what is a reasonable dealer prep charge.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    6,230

    Default

    Dealer prep should be around 500.00. Also depends on if the manufacturer put the motor on at the plant (most times they do). Never heard about assembling a trailer. It is almost always assembled at the trailer manufacturer and ready to at the dealer. Freight should be anywhere from 1000.00 to 1300.00 at most.
    Rick

    St. Louis/Lake of the Ozarks

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Boat at Lake of the Ozarks Missouri
    Posts
    712

    Default

    Hi RedMt Dave

    Well you are in a high demand time of year with a high demand product at a time when some dealers feel that if you step aside they will serve the next customer in line.

    Pretty sad actually, some business people feel no ethics when excessive profit can be had. Pontoon boats are the fastest growing segment of the boating market.

    And people are looking for a leisure boating activity since there is a feeling that Covid is over. NOT SO. Look at the ICU hospitalizations, and deaths, and
    you will find 80+ % of those are persons who have not had any Vaccine shots. What's that old saying; "you can't fix stupid"

    In any case a majority, (not all), of 'toon builders are in the northern Indiana / Midwest states and freight does vary by a bunch going to dealers across the country.

    As to trailers, well I have a relative who is the sales manager of a well known trailer company and ships to registered dealers and ships all over by truck. Those trailers leave the factory in the midwest
    fully assembled with perhaps some on the upper racks of the truck may not yet have the wheels/tires installed. They are shipped to the dealer, off loaded by crane
    and the wheel/tire is installed. No big deal !! Ask your dealer about how long it takes to "assemble" the wheels on the trailer. Have you ever changed a flat ??

    Also if you are buying a well known brand of boat, and the dealer is ordering from production, then in most cases the engine is installed at the time of
    manufacture. This is so the proper harness, engine gauges, steering: hydraulic or power or cable is installed and hooked up.

    The only time a dealer installs the engine is when they ordered a "bare boat" and are selling their own engine from inventory OR if the buyer
    insists on an engine horse power upgrade etc. Don't be fooled by GREED.

    It's a great sport - enjoy your purchase. Shop for a reputable dealer.
    Last edited by Captain Tony; 08-26-2021 at 03:58 PM.
    Captain Tony
    2005 Summit by Triton - 220T Platinum 3Log
    2005 115HP Mercury Optimax - 228 Marine Master Trailer
    St. Louis & Lake of the Ozarks, MO.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Location
    2
    Posts
    219

    Default

    Where is that “LIKE” button…?? ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2021
    Posts
    2

    Default

    My wife and I have been hunting for the right boat dealer and most all of them charge prep fees & freight charges. But I have found 1 dealer in Virginia that does not, he actually laughed when I asked what he charges for prep & freight, he said "we don't do that here.", so we totally ordered out new tritoon from there, and we will be traveling 5-6hrs to get it but so worth it for the savings of $2,500.

    Southeastern Marine is the place! Dealt with John, he answered all my annoying questions and never was pushy.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2021
    Location
    Eastern WA
    Posts
    13

    Default

    Thank you all for the good info. You have confirmed my suspicions. Either a "ripp-off" or they just don't care if they get my business.
    I am basically narrowed down to two dealers (brands).
    One sells the Sun Tracker products and has been very nice with communication.
    The other dealer sells Lowe boats but he has been warning me about price increases from the factory. He actually sounded upset with the manufacturer.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Location
    2
    Posts
    219

    Default

    It’s a never-ending thing and once it becomes accepted in the marketplace it is hard to extinguish.
    First, it was sell the new thing to the customer based upon the things’ great features. Then it was add freight. Then “make ready” fees. Then it’s PDR (paintless dent repair/hail…which your insurance already covers). Then it’s environmental surcharge. Then it’s “miscellaneous” on your shop-visit invoice. Then it’s “fuel surcharge” (due to supposedly unpredictable increased fuel costs for the delivery.)

    I stand firm on such B.S. I tell the salesman “I want to know the price of the thing “in my driveway”. …and if I get any B.S. I find another dealer.
    I NEVER pay the “misc” on my shop invoices. I ALWAYS make them remove it. (They always do. I’m never going to let that B.S. stick. I tell them “That’s like the restaurant charging for napkins, salt/pepper and catsup. It’s B.S. NO!” It’s the cost of doing business.)

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