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RyanMI25 07-29-2002 12:57 PM

Price fixing on new boats
My dad is currently looking at purchasing a new boat. He has been contacting 2 dealers several states apart because he has 2 homes and is not sure which one he will keep the boat at. He found out in trying to negotiate price that the 2 dealers he was contacting have been talking to each other to determine the price they were willing to offer on the boat. Is this common practice in new boat sales?


Jeff_H 07-29-2002 01:07 PM

Price fixing on new boats
Well sort of....Its not like cars where there are hundreds of thousands made and hundreds of dealers to shop at. Depending on the model there just are not that many sold. So if you go to two dealers and ask them to price the same model and options they will contact the manufacturer for current pricing. The manufacturer would notice the coincidence and would also probably give both the same cost and Mfr''s recommended sales price. The MFR might also let it be known that you are bidding the boat to the other dealer. Normally that is seen as not being as serious and will often net you a higher price.


RyanMI25 07-29-2002 03:56 PM

Price fixing on new boats
It was definetely one dealer contacting the other on their own with no intervention from the factory. Both dealers have similar boats in the on hand inventory. It wouldn''t have been an order from the factory in either case. He happened to mention to one that he was considering purchase at one of the 2 dealers because of location and mentioned the name of the other dealer to both.

mogul11 07-29-2002 05:12 PM

Price fixing on new boats
Welcome to the boat business. Someone should take these dealers to task,it is called price fixing and the last time I looked it is illegal. I was looking ( I emphasize WAS) at a Catalina 36 till I got a quote from my local dealer. He takes the low volume high margin business plan (his Right). When I tried to get competitive prices from other dealers in the east I was told they could not sell into my market. And if they did it was at almost list (Small Discount)\. In fact one went so far as to say if I bought a boat from him and kept it there for year he could save me thousands of $$$. This pissed me off tremendously since it was the DOUBLE WHAMMY, to expensive to buy a new boat localy and because he doesn''t sell many new boats, very few used boats. We''ll look into another option. Catalina''s loss not mine.

Denr 07-30-2002 05:35 AM

Price fixing on new boats
Price fixing is when manufacturers conspire to sell their products at the same price, dealers are free to "get while the getting is good", just like any other retailer.

You were however right-on-the-money about the statement "Catalina''s loss not mine", you will be much happier in something other than a Catalina. I think buying a Catalina is a lot like buying a lottery ticket, you don''t spend a lot of money and your odds of getting a winner are several million to one!

tsenator 07-30-2002 09:13 AM

Price fixing on new boats

You didn''t say what dealer/manufacturer it was. (inferring catalina ??, but who knows, it could have been anyone of the 3-4 big boat manufacturers) But it would have pissed me off too. I possibly would have tried to not let each dealer know, maybe you could go into one of the dealers on your fathers behalf and try and strike a better deal from one of the dealers without letting them know who you are. Its supply and demand and I don''t think the government thinks its price fixing if its for the same product from the same manufacturer. (Its like trying to by a Saturn, the price is pretty much fixed, but that eliminates the hassle of haggling) Its price fixing when separate manufacturers are in collusion.

Its what the market demands and can bear, and if they feel they can get a certain price and are not financially forced (e.g. dealer holding onto a boat over the winter and paying interest on it while its in stock), then they can ask what they think they can get. And with no due respect to a denr , he is naively wrong. That is *exactly* why owning a Catalina IS a winner, because of the demand for these boats and the value they will bring years down the road when/if you''d like to sell one.

Just as a ''for instance'' there has been some discussions recently on the Sailnet C36-List (right here) on Catalina Boat prices and how they have held up well over the years, with many selling for as much as when new . This is not only newer boats but C36''s from the 1980''s.

Here are some excerpts
We went shopping for a late model C36 in 2000. The price difference between a 2 to 3 year old boat and a brand new one was less than 10K at the time. We ended up buying new.

The C36 holds it''s value very well. At Sail Expo my dealer told me he''d give me what I had into our C36 to move up to a C42. Zero dollars lost! That''s a hell of a deal. He also said he''d have the boat sold before the end of the show! He figured he could flip the boat the same day at the show!



I had a similar situation... I was at boat show in MI finalizing arraignments for my dock for the summer when a broker in a booth next to the marina''s booth overheard me talking about a C36 (mine is an ''86). He asked me several questions (including the fact that I just had had it surveyed the year before with no problems) and offered me 10K more than I paid for it on the spot. I didn''t sell but it was nice to see that it is in demand!



If you have a hull number you can call Catalina and get a copy of the invoice. I have #592 and in 1986 it was ~56K. About what an ''86 sells for today give or take a little... part of the reason I bought a catalina!!


"I don''t know what they sold for new but I purchased a 1985 in great shape last year for $53K. The previous owner had it for 10 years and paid $55K for it. I placed a wanted ad on the C36 Association web site and the seller contacted me before he listed it with a broker, so there were no commissions involved. There are very few for sale in this area right now so I think the price would be considerably higher this year.

Bob Uehlein
Island Time C36TR #424
Charlevoix, MI"

(do a search in the C36 archives and they headings of the email strings are "Personal Property Tax")

And there are many more such stories, I know I can easily sell my C36 for what I bought it for 2 years ago (purchased without brokerage fees). That 10% buying and selling really takes a chuck out of the buyers/sellers pockets.

Denr 07-30-2002 11:27 AM

Price fixing on new boats
Tsenator, Csimms, Santa Claus

What fascinating antidotal minutia! Here me know believe me later, most of these tales you repeat are promotional propaganda originating in the sales and marketing departments of Catalina. This is a classic tale that many builders of mediocre boats make, using overly inflated ďasking pricesĒ and comparing them to the price of new boats. The Catalina salesman tries to convince his or her unsuspecting (and uninformed in your case) buyers by demonstrating the percentage of return and the great resale of their boats. What a bunch of Enron!

Hereís more antidotal information for you, of the twelve sailors that I knew at one time owned a Catalina only one purchase another one. He was later diagnosed as having a brain tumor which would explain his decision. The others knew what they bought, they wanted better the next time around!

Every time someone reports a situation with a Fatalina, you rush to their defense. You must be very insecure as you constantly try to validate your decision. So is it always someone elseís fault where a Catalina is concerned? Iím not trashing the boat Iím trashing you! You must have sour grape juice running in your veins. May you have no wind and be aground most of the time!

Sailmc 07-30-2002 11:45 AM

Price fixing on new boats
Denr you are just plain wrong on the resale value of the Catalina 36. My father bought a 1983 and sold it 6 years later for what he paid for it. I bought a 1994 36MKII, added a new jib and air conditioning and sold it 7 years later for $2K more than my original purchase price. Say what you want about the boat but they represent an excellent value when it comes time to sell. This is still the most popular 36'' boat ever built and that spells RESALE!

tsenator 07-30-2002 12:27 PM

Price fixing on new boats
ok duh-denr

Once again you ramble on with nothing but your own delusional hysteria. I''m sorry you only can write "trash" and you have no FACTS whatsoever. That''s nothing new. And I really don''t care if the original poster or anyone else buys a Catalina, I''m just stating some anecdotal evidence as to why buying a Catalina is not (as you stupidly say) like buying a lottery ticket. I am not "rushing to their defense" but setting people straight on your totally false misleading statements. If someone ever said that a Catalina was the ultimate blue-water boat , I''d be the first to say they are nuts, but I do believe that Catalina makes some excellent boats for a purpose and at a relatively good price. And I couldn''t be happier with the purchase of my C36, it is everything I expected and more. There is NO WAY I need to justify my great purchase . As far are making statements or discussions on this list, at least I am consistent and I only make comments about boats when I have the facts. What is it about you and the 3 big sailboat manufacturers? Did someone that owned these boats take your first born? Are you still angry about being laid off in the 70''s as a factory worker? Is it that other people actually live in houses, but it drives you crazy that you live in a trailer park and you think you deserve better in life? You love to contradict yourself a lot also (its understandable your arguments have no merit) one minute you tell a story about twelve sailors...and a Catalina (blah, blah blah) .... and then later say " you are not trashing the boat you are trashing me" Have you ever noticed other people think your comments are ridiculous and immature. (please get over the Sailkote you sounds like a kid in junior high school that just discovered girls). And please remember my first post was discussing prices of boats and price-fixing, not once did I say anything about you.

Forgetting what you want to believe about Dealers and pricing (and I have no real argument there,) the used boat market for Catalina (without a dealer involved) can be actually very good and those stories are true, not some made up BS like you like to spew. And these were not ''asking prices'' but sale prices. If anyone wants some individual email contacts of these people you can go to the archives and get them or I can get some for you. Not alot of hot air, just the truth.

So going back to the original posters question. Yes, that really is crappy what the dealers are doing, but its their prerogative and if you don''t like it, I think the best thing to do is make a statement with your checkbook AND let the dealers know.

oh....and one more thing duh-enr....its "Hear" not "here" and its "Anecdotal" not "antidotal"...(lol)

RyanMI25 07-31-2002 02:04 AM

Price fixing on new boats
I guess I''ll chime back in now that Denr has managed to ruin this discussion beyond hope. I didn''t mention any brand in the beginning because I wanted to know more about dealer practice then any boat brand. Maybe someday we''ll see Denr post something useful that isn''t just a slew of insults.

That being said Denr should pull his head out of his behind. For someone like my dad who is old, likes to sail but isn''t real gung ho about it Catalina can be the perfect boat. For someone who is basically a nice weather sailer and doesn''t need any offshore ability at all they are a very good boat.

He can not get a better boat used for the same money. The roller furling main is the perfect option for someone who is never going to race and will not sail in winds approaching where someone would normally reef. There are very few used boats available with that option and it is very expensive to retrofit.

I personally am on my second Catalina and planning on purchasing a third one (older Catalina 36) when the financials allow it. My brain must just be brimming to the top with tumors and I''m probably going to fall over dead before I get the chance to by my third. Catalina is definetely the most popular boat in the area I am (Lake St Clair) and for some reason although they may only represent 30% or so of the boats you see at the dock they seem to be 95% of the boats you see actually getting used on a regular basis. There are enough older boats around that they clearly aren''t sinking at 5 years when the warranty expires as you would have as believe. In this area there are several very active owners groups that offer much help and knowledge. I don''t see that kind of owner support available for any other brand of boat.

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