I have strong feelings about the lack of participation by marine dealers in the Marine Retailers Association of America. The National Automobile Dealers Association has a very strong body of dealers that give it a voice in the automotive industry. The RV Industry’s Recreational Vehicle Association, formed out of nothing by some friends of mine, is a powerful force and voice for the dealer. The MRAA is as powerful a voice as it can be given the limitations imposed on it by the very people it seeks to serve.The MRAA works with a very limited staff and makes miserly use of a dealer’s contributions. If MRAA were a charity it would be very attractive because it makes very effective use of it’s money compared to it’s peers. The services it offers truly benefit the boat dealer. Using the Fed Ex discounts saved a dealer friend of mine over $1,000 this year alone and that all goes to the bottom line. If a dealer takes advantage of all of MRAA’s programs it will save enough money to cover the paltry $750/year a $5,000,000 and up dealer pays in dues and the cost of attending the Vegas convention (unless you’re a bad gambler).I contribute to my state trade association as well as the MRAA. That’s because the stronger the trade association system we have the better they can work in tandem with the NMMA to promote our sport, something badly needed for all of us. And I attend the MRAA convention. This year I got great ideas to use at my dealership that will pay me over and over again.
A dealer can do many things to change our industry-recruit new members, achieve certification, volunteer to help the local or national trade association, or even just give the associations feedback about the issues you face or dumb legislation they need to know about. But at the very least give them your tax deductible donation. It takes 2 minutes to write a check. Please visit www.mraa.com and download their application today. And don’t waste my time at a dealer meeting or sales school complaining about the situations we face today unless you do. Because that makes you a whiner and I only have time to talk to winners.