Dealer Outlook

Trade Only Dealer Outlook Blog

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.

Why are thousands flocking to boat shows?

Why in the world would anyone pay parking and admission to go to a boat show and be hustled by a flock of salespeople when virtually everything they could want to know about a new marine product or dealer is available free at their fingertips? Answer: the experience.

Swipe fees hurt dealers, but lower gas prices could help

The Supreme Court has ignored the nation’s retailers by refusing to hear a case in which retailers say the Federal Reserve allows banks to charge businesses too much in swipe fees, while the big drop in gas prices is an interesting development for ethanol producers and state gas-tax hawks.

Show attendance and sales are on a roll

On the heels of Monday’s report confirming that boat sales hit double-digit gains in December for the second consecutive month based on early reports from 26 states, it’s no surprise that the key early boat shows around the country are off to a good start.

Is social media a good tool for dealers?

Social media is a great place to post photos of one’s cat, announce a kid is potty-trained or get a thumb workout clicking “Like” and “Follow.” But, for a boat dealer, getting involved with social media can suck up a lot of work hours. And that begs the question: is social media worth the time […]

Do customers want your emails?

The delete option is the most used key on my computer. If an email subject line is not something I’m looking for or it doesn’t grab me in a second, voila, delete!

Mount Dora Marina shows its true colors

Don’t tell people who you are; show them who you are. Such advice might be more relevant in today’s overcrowded cyber-world than ever before, because showing people your company values is what can ultimately set you apart.

How does the customer see a dealership?

Seeing a dealership from the viewpoint of a customer isn’t easy and won’t always come naturally. But it’s worth it, suggests Micah Solomon, a customer experience consultant, speaker and the bestselling author of “High-Tech, High-Touch Customer Service.”

Oil and gas news is mostly encouraging

Marine dealers located in the Gulf of Mexico region affected by the disastrous 2010 BP oil spill need to know they’re now eligible for damage claims from the Deepwater Horizon Economic and Property Damages Settlement Agreement.

Dealers should check employment law compliance

An inspector from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration walks into a dealership and asks to see the required posted notices to all employees. Regrettably, some aren’t there, others are out of date. That will be a $7,000 fine (per occurrence) for non-compliance, the man from the government says.

EPA’s ‘quick kicks’ on ethanol

Seeing no gain of yardage in the ethanol game, the Environmental Protection Agency “quick kicked” by announcing it will further delay, until sometime in 2015, a determination of the quantity of ethanol required to go into the nation’s gas supply for 2014.

Boat show producers expect strong winter

With just one major fall in-water show left this year — the Dec. 4-7 St. Petersburg Power & Sailboat Show — discussions centered on expectations for the industry’s winter shows at the meeting of the National Marine Trades Council last weekend in Orlando, Fla.

Council needs to be a check on new Congress

As the lame-duck session of the 113th Congress that has raised accomplishing nothing to a high art gets under way, the Advisory Council of Marine Associations will tackle a wide-ranging agenda at its annual meeting this weekend in Orlando.

Numbers everyone can like

I usually pass up reading articles that are mostly numbers … except if they’re numbers that show that our industry is climbing out of the deepest hole in our history. And that’s exactly what numbers from the Marine Industries Association of South Florida, Discover Boating and the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas are showing.

Get in on Small Business Saturday

Boat dealerships are small businesses and we should point with pride to that fact. It’s also reason enough to participate in Small Business Saturday, which is coming up on Nov. 29.

Video can boost your sales vibe

There are more new programs added to this year’s Marine Dealer Conference & Expo and Lenny Rudow’s workshop on “Shooting and Editing Boat Walk-Through Videos” has got to be at the top of the list.