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Old 04-10-2013, 20:13   #1
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shopping at the Annapolis boat show

I have often heard people say they got a great deal at a boat show. I haven't been to a large show before so what type of products are sold at the boat show at a significantly discounted price to make it worthwhile to buy there? Save on shipping but have to pay tax and probably no return policy.
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Old 04-10-2013, 21:34   #2
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Re: shopping at the Annapolis boat show

Discounts at the Boat Shows vary from Company to Company and then based on the Margins built into the product. As an owner of a cruising gear company Cruise RO Water, Power, and Technautics CoolBlue Refrigeration, I have a love/hate relationship with Boat Show and speaking as a Cruiser, I don’t like them honestly. Maybe if I was more into the party aspect of them I would feel different.

I love them because I get to talk to lots of potential customers and they get to see and touch the merchandise, but I hate them because more and more they are becoming a waste of time and money in the days of the Internet. Most vendors will spend at least $5000 for a simple 10x10 booth when it’s all said and done. While the bigger companies will spend 2x 3x and in the end, these costs just get passed onto the Customer anyway. The cheap cruiser in me would just rather put that money into customer discounts than into the Boat Show Circus. In the days of the internet I also think boat show specials are over rated and a little shopping around online can save you just as much without the travel and expense. What a Boat Show has that internet shopping doesn't is the ability to see and touch all the gear side by side for a nice comparison. The better manufactures also staff the booths with their technical guys rather than know nothing sales people, so for those really into the technical nuts and bolts can have a good in-depth talk about the gear.

Oh sure we sell enough product at the shows to justify being there (or we and no one else would be there), but our direct to customer pricing and business model has already cut out the marine dealer middle man's 25%. So when we go to a boat show we honestly don't have 25% to give as a boat show special. When you see huge boat show discounts you can pretty much calculate what the dealers are making because most marine manufactures will discount off their list price down to just above the dealer pricing.

A Negative aspect of boat shows to the Cruiser in planning, frankly, is all the JUNK and stuff you don't really need at the shows that pack the isles. I thank my lucky stars that we never had the time or money to go to a Boat Show before we cast off cruising to Mexico for 4 years or we would have never been able to actually cast off for lack of being able to afford all the "must have" gear and toys.

I know comments like these from a Boat Show Participant and Marine Gear Manufacturer boarders on Heresy, but hey, I'm more a cruiser/Live Aboard than a BS salesman anyway.

Stop by our booth (H13) and say hello.
Rich Boren
Cruise RO & Schenker Water Makers
Technautics CoolBlue Refrigeration
La Paz Cruisers Supply & Brokerage
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Old 04-10-2013, 21:45   #3
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Re: shopping at the Annapolis boat show

Yes, we all look for boat show deals, but the best part for me is seeing the merchandise and talking with the vendors to find the products that really fit my needs. So all you vendors, remember guys like me. I may not buy at the show, but I do remember you when it's time to make my purchaces. Thanks for being at the show.
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Old 04-10-2013, 21:46   #4
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Re: shopping at the Annapolis boat show

It really depends. I know a lot of people who have bought an engine to repower with at the boat show and gotten a better deal than anywhere else, but I think that's because the manufacturers get into a pissing match to see who has the best sales. But many other products are just 5% off or something equally insignificant.

Weems & Plath has a tent and on both Thursday they clear stock on miscellaneous items at pennies on the dollar. I also know people who've found great deals on Steiners, and various mechanical and sailing gear. I think it really all depends and you need to shop around.

I'm contemplating repowering with Yanmar or Beta. We'll see what either of them can do for me to make me pull the trigger.
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annapolis, annapolis boat show, boat show, shopping

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