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bamabonners

Loyal to a brand or a dealer?

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bamabonners

The discussions on dealerships has me wondering....  Are you loyal to a brand or to a dealership?

I'm more loyal to the dealership... Which is why I purchased from a dealer over 3 hours away from me.  I'm guess I'm just fortunate that my dealer has the brand I prefer....

 

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oldjeep

Neither, pick what I want and do 99% of my own work.  Local dealer is great but my only real interaction with them was one recall on the engine and some parts purchases.

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DAI

Neither . . . Buy what I want at that time.

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liljohn

Dealer 100%! And I have  a great example why. This season about a month in we are on the lake surfing it's about 6:30 @ night and we pop the main intake hose. Water all over the place. Call my dealer (they close @6) dealer drops new hose kit off and wrenches on his way home and says square up in the morning. Now I know they can't do that kinda thing all the time but I'll be damned if I didn't walk in he next day with ice creams for everyone and a giant thank you that isn't enough. Like I said dealer. Boats are boats there all gonna break eventually.

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wdr

I fortunately have never had to deal with my local dealer for anything other than parts and pieces so my loyalty to that specific dealer has never had to be challenged. My experiences with them has been as I would of expected from any dealer boat or auto given the time of year and the circumstances surrounding my dealings with them. I will say that for a number of reasons that I am partial to the Malibu brand, this site is one of the contributing factors, but I am extremely negative about the experience I had with the Malibu dealer that I bought the boat from new, not the local dealership. IMO, now that Malibu has stepped up their game in regards to fit and finish my loyalty to the brand has been swayed even more. I could of quite easily seen myself in a new G up until this years model introduction. Given my past good experience with the lack of maintenance issues I would say that I would probably choose the boat over the dealership to get the boat and hope my continued good luck holds. I am in the same situation you are in. The nearest dealer, TNT sells both Malibu and CC and they have a good rep here.

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asnowman

Neither. I do what best suits our needs at the time.  Our dealer is loyal to those customers that buy a boat every year. We certainly dont do that. I generally send away for parts as our dealer seldom has in stock whatever needs replacing. 

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DarkSide

Brand 1st Dealer 2nd.  I am a Malibu customer for life!  First because I love their products, I truly believe they have the product that suits my needs the best!   Second I have learned they will stand behind thier product.  That would be a huge unknown with any other brand.  

Fortunately I have an outstanding dealer as well.  So I have a win win situation.  Same thing with cars, I am fairly Dodge/Jeep/Ram loyal, again I have a great relationship with that dealer.  

Other smaller ticket items I buy what I want.  

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ID AX

Dealer for me but it's only because of the guys working there.  I've known one of them for close to 20 years.  The rest have earned my trust and respect.  

I loved my Axis and love my LSV but in the end they are just things and I really have no relationship with the manufacturers.   I don't ever deal with them, my dealer makes sure I don't have to.  We've had some ups and downs but that's what a relationship is supposed to be like.

 

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Malibuzer

Dealer first, brand second for me.  If you couldn't tell that from my contributions in the lost dealer thread!  I love my Malibu, but my dealer has bailed me out several times over the past few years with failed components or just tech support.  

Now if my dealer only sold boats I did not like....that's a different story.   

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Sixball

I only want a #1 Ski tug so dealer is not my #1 choice. I have a very good CC dealer just over an hour away but my wife wanted a walk through so It was a Bu for me at the time. I also had a good Bu dealer at that time.  Dealer makes a big difference but I need the boat for the job. 

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IXFE

Fortunately, I don't have to choose. I have the luxury of being loyal to BOTH and they BOTH treat me great. 

That said, before I was a Malibu owner I was an MB owner. And after 20+ years with the same dealership, MB abruptly left and moved across town months before I was set to get my second boat from them. So I moved with them and had a miserable experience. Fast forward a year and I was back to AWS and buying my first Malibu... I've never looked back. 

I really don't think this is an either/or kind of question. I've learned that it takes a great dealership backed by a great boat company. One without the other is bound to lead to frustration. 

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TallRedRider

Good point, IXFE.  You often need both with a brand new boat to have a good experience.    I think boats without warranty, not so much.  

My personal situation is that I have a solid dealer 10 minutes away that sells Nautique and a solid dealer 2 hours away that sells Malibu.  I think that a 'bu would have met my needs fine, but not having to travel was important for me, so I ended up with a Nautique.  I am not against going back, but if the Malibu dealership gave me the creeps, I would not even think of it.  

 

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RyanB

The dealer I bought my last boat from was AWESOME - set the bar so high it will be hard for anyone to compare.  Unfortunately, they went out of business.

I like my Bu, and have had good luck so far with my dealer, but they have had a fair amount of turnover in their staff.

I do know that I will never buy another new boat without "interviewing" the entire dealership - from owner to service staff.

We kept the last boat for 10 years, and I have no intention of getting anything new for the foreseeable future, so brand/dealer will be a call I make at that time, but I do lean toward the dealer side.

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shawn

Dealer first for me. I would buy what ever boat they sold. Love Malibu but she is the best.

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DarkSide

Ixfe nailed this one, very symbiotic relationship.  Great product + Bad dealer = bad experience

Bad product + Great Dealer = bad experience 

It takes both!  A great dealer can make a marginal product appear better, through extra effort support.  However end of the day,  you need both a good product and a good dealer for the best experience.

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Kalamazoo

I'd say dealer first. I could live with just about any of the boats the known brands put out. This reminds me of the ford/chevy debates.

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SURFNUT

100 percent DEALER for me. There are several brands of good boats out there. I prefer my Malibu over others for several reasons. My relationship with my dealer is such that my questions get answered with honesty and integrity. They do not push a certain brand or boat on me. They give me the facts and answer my questions and let me decide. They seriously consider my needs in a boat. They consider my personality and how they think I will use the boat or any accessories that I buy. The guys that are my dealer actually live the LAKE life. They are on the water every single weekend and often during the week. The owners personally work on boats themselves in service and on the water. They have an awesome dealership where everyone that works there has boating experience and lake life in their blood. I have personally witnessed numerous occasions where these guys bend over backwards to take care of their customers, on weekends, at night, on the water, at the shop and even at the customers home. Their business is truly their life and I have such deep respect for that. my dealer is TNT WATERSPORTS in Hendersonville Tennessee and I couldn't be happier or prouder to represent them from the customer side or any other side of the aisle. 

 

I can also say that my dealership and the friends that I have been so fortunate to make at this dealership taught me to surf, taught me to wakeboard( very limited at this stage ) lol. And fit me in the proper equipment and made recommendations for each. 

I have not always lived in this area and my dealership has also taught me many of the ins and outs of navigating a sometimes very tricky waterway. Helping me become much more comfortable and at ease with a new sport and lifestyle. 

 

7 hours ago, DarkSide said:

Ixfe nailed this one, very symbiotic relationship.  Great product + Bad dealer = bad experience

Bad product + Great Dealer = bad experience 

It takes both!  A great dealer can make a marginal product appear better, through extra effort support.  However end of the day,  you need both a good product and a good dealer for the best experience.

I agree with this sentiment as well. In my personal opinion Malibu makes an awesome product and they stand behind the product that they build. They have an excellent reputation as far as I have read and as far as my own personal experience of taking care of their customers. 

Edited by SURFNUT
Left out important details

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surfdude

I also think the dealer is mostly important. My dealer is 5 minutes away. Also love nautique and mastercraft, but are they really worth 10 to 30k$ more? Just not gonna deal with warranty and service that's 31/2 hours away. Would rather spend my time on the water. This is my 5th Malibu, and the dealer relationship builds over time. My dealer will let me take any boat in stock out for a ride. That's worth something to me. Our service is top notch, and timely, that's worth a lot more than bling to me.

Edited by surfdude

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DarkSide

I am very fortunate my dealer, Boulder, is a great dealer.   Product support,  product knowledge,  and as surf nut noted they are on the water all the time.   

Ironically I am on the water with people from the other dealers much more frequently than the Boulder guys.   NOT because they don't go out, just the guys there are still very wakeboard centric,  not to say they don't of won't surf as all of them do,  however they still prefer wakeboarding,  totally cool no issue.    However I go with a guy from the Nautique/Supra dealer more frequently,  this morning I was out with a guy from centurion dealer, not because I like their product, or services,  but they are good guys that enjoy surfing.   They are also significantly better than me,  so I learn when I go out with them.  

I also buy my gear from the Nautique dealer because their pro shop actually carries surf boards I would and have bought.   I need to get my youngest a new board,  I will likely order from the Nautique dealer (soulcraft/doomswell) or centurion dealer (Sleigh Boards), Boulder doesn't carry any customs.   All off the shelf,  Liquid Force, etc. After Riding a custom there is no going back.  

Point is ALL of the dealers here have been great with me,  whether I am spending $10 or $100,000.  So for me Brand is the deciding factor.   PLUS I do give Boulder the edge on everything Boat specific, service department is top notch,  etc.

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Bill_AirJunky

Neither..... and I work for a dealer. They have some great guys working there, but I do my own work. No one is looking out for my best interest but me. And no one to blame but myself if there is a problem.

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