Dealer Outlook

Trade Only Dealer Outlook Blog

Nothing beats face-to-face contact

Technology (email and texting) has taken the place of face-to-face contact, the swipe fees war isn’t over and newly proposed underground storage tank rules will impact dealers and marinas with fueling systems.

Ray Underwood receives Lifetime Achievement Award

“Schultzy, if you wanna do some good lobbying, do it with a can of worms,” Ray Underwood told me years ago. Last week, Underwood became the first recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award, created in his honor by the Michigan Boating Industries Association, and it couldn’t be more fitting.

MTAs always give members a good ROI

It’s often things that marine trades associations make certain don’t happen that members overlook when evaluating their membership’s return on investment. And MTAs often fail to adequately make known what they stopped. A good case in point: the Boating Associations of Ohio.

RBFF boosts fishing prospects in three states

The Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation, the group that developed the award-winning “Take Me Fishing” and “Vamos A Pescar” campaigns, continues to create innovative programs aimed at bringing more participants into recreational boating and fishing.

United industry front forms in Florida again

No state has more marine industry associations with more political clout than Florida does with its eight. And setting the stage to reinvigorate that power was what a recent summit meeting in Sarasota was called to accomplish.

Do we ask the right marketing questions?

He’s in the Direct Marketing Hall of Fame. He’s authored 18 books in 35 languages. His latest is “What to Do When It’s Your Turn.” He’s an in-demand speaker and his blog is one of the most popular in the world.

Model-year dilemma comes close to an end

Personnel from the U.S. Coast Guard suddenly descended unannounced on industry boat shows, starting at Miami, and began writing up violation notices on manufacturers for model-year infractions under the Code of Federal Regulations.

A tale of two Californias

Ironically, a push to “get the lead out” in California will negatively impact conservation there while the San Diego International Boat Show is set to have a positive impact on the Southern California marketplace.

Will Congress or the courts end the ethanol battle?

If one desires to be an equal-opportunity annoyer, just issue the long-awaited revised ethanol volume figures under the Renewable Fuel Standard. Congrats to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for pissing off everyone. Perhaps that’s exactly the intent?

Good news for Discover Boating and Magnuson-Stevens

The industry’s Discover Boating national campaign continues to pursue its mission — to inspire and motivate people to get out on the water — with the release of a new video in the “Stories of Discovery” series. It brings to six the number of videos now available.

These issues should top ABC agenda

The marine industry and its many partners are in Washington, D.C., this week for the American Boating Congress. They’re telling lawmakers about the the importance of the nation’s recreational boating industry and its overall $121 billion annual economic impact, 35,000 small businesses and the 650,000 jobs it impacts.

Fishing management decision is grossly unfair

The more recreational anglers there are, the more that will fish from boats resulting in more fishing-boat sales for dealers. It’s a given and we must vigorously oppose any decision that fails to treat recreational fishermen equitably.

Cost of new overtime rules will be high

Here’s an idea: since Congress has refused to raise the minimum wage, let’s run an end around by changing the rules regarding who qualifies for overtime pay. It’s the latest philosophy coming out of the White House, a move that will ensure the U.S. can fly a regulation-nation banner.

ABC and MDCE have offers you can’t refuse

An important webinar about the upcoming American Boating Congress from May 11-13 and the deadline for big savings on the registration fee for this year’s Marine Dealer Conference & Expo, which runs Nov. 15-18 are both worth checking out now.

Marine council sets MRAA political agenda

The Advisory Council of Marine Associations recently submitted its annual resolutions for political action to the board of the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas and the board endorsed the recommendations.

Great slogans can make a huge difference

Most people don’t know freelance writer and boating enthusiast Brian Carey. As a business writer for Intuit, his articles and blogs cover a variety of topics. And, when I can vividly recall one of them 1-1/2 years later, it tells me his thoughts are worth considering today.

Online retailers’ tax-free days are numbered

Are we approaching a time when Internet sellers will be required to collect sales tax on all sales in the same way brick-and-mortar retailers do? It appears the issue is alive again following two related events that came down last month.

What do customers want most?

I boarded my Southwest Airlines flight at Detroit Metro Airport, buckled up in a window seat and pulled out the magazine from the seat pocket in front of me. My eyes were drawn to a greeting page from Southwest chairman and CEO Gary C. Kelly entitled “Back to Basics.”

All taxes are not created equal

Some taxes are good and some are bad. More specifically, the federal gas tax and the death tax are worthy of attention these days. After all, Washington is talking tax code revisions and revenue increases and that’s always scary.

The future of recreational fishing is at stake

Tuesday’s Dealer Outlook called for increased penalties for commercial fisherman who break the law as something that should be considered in the upcoming reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Act. But there’s much more that should be accomplished, particularly as related to recreational fishing.

Stiffer penalties needed for illegal commercial fishing

Red snapper? Red grouper? It’s a red alert for saltwater anglers and the dealers who serve them as we approach this year’s reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the primary law governing fisheries in federal waters. Moreover, there needs to be increased penalties for commercial fishermen who break the law and foreign vessels illegally taking fish […]

Manatee count breaks a record in Florida

Aerial surveys by biologists during February tallied a record number of manatees, more than 6,000 of them around Florida, raising serious questions about any need to impose more restrictions on recreational boating in the name of manatee protection. When is enough, enough?

Michigan show shines, while biofuels group switches sides

Today is for “the wearin’ of the green.” But if you’re a Michigan dealer who exhibited in the recent 23rd annual Spring Boating Expo, it’s more likely “the bankin’ of the green.” That, and an unexpected group joining our industry’s call for changes in the Renewable Fuels Standard, leads today’s blog.

Persistence will pay off in ethanol fight

I’m tired of writing about ethanol and I’ll bet you’re tired of reading it. But winning the battle to halt ethanol’s march has never been more likely than it is now in the current Congress and it’s critical that all marine dealers take time to weigh in now.

Collective needs overrule personal passions

You just got a seat on your marine trade association’s board of directors? Congrats — it’s a clear vote of confidence and respect to be elected by your fellow members to serve. But after the applause and handshakes, you should not be confused about the serious responsibility you’ve just been handed.

Boating grants are a boon to industry growth

You’ve probably heard of the Boating Infrastructure Grant program, affectionately dubbed the “Big P” by those of us who have long cheered the benefits of seeing federal dollars spent to support recreational boating. It does things the industry couldn’t do for itself.

More fish, less fish and no algae

From the Gulf of Mexico to the Great Lakes, issues including red snapper, Asian carp and dangerous algae blooms are getting major attention. And they very well should because they directly impact boating.

Dealers need new ways to draw new boaters

Last Thursday, I posted a blog about potential new boaters in the Carlos C. Gomez family and their apparent frustration in finding what they considered an affordable first boat. Several of your comments, thank you, raised the conversation in ways worth further exploration.

ABYC takes lead on invasive species: Part 2

When the American Boat and Yacht Council organized the inaugural Aquatic Invasive Species Summit, it opened a much-needed dialogue on the serious negative impact that invasive species will have on recreational boating and, therefore, the importance of the industry’s engagement.

ABYC takes lead on invasive species: Part 1

Aquatic invasive species are often called a nuisance. So much for understatement. The truth is they are becoming a serious barrier to boating enjoyment and our industry’s prospects for growth and we must become engaged.