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Author Topic:   Buying Outboard Motors On-line
jimh posted 03-26-2005 12:18 AM ET (US)   Profile for jimh   Send Email to jimh  
If you have purchased an outboard motor from an on-line store, please comment about your experience.

Did you complete the transaction on-line with a mouse click, like shopping for a book at AMAZON.COM? Or did you call a real brick-and-mortar dealership on the telephone after seeing an advertisement on-line?

My initial presumption is that literally no one has purchased an outboard motor via an on-line store. I am almost certain that people just use websites to located brick-and-mortar dealers and arrange deals via the telephone or possibly by email. But no one buys online. Am I wrong?

high sierra posted 03-26-2005 12:43 AM ET (US)     Profile for high sierra  Send Email to high sierra     
I bought my Yamaha 60 finding it on line then calling on the phone to make the transaction with Custom Marine in Georgia.
AZdave posted 03-26-2005 01:28 AM ET (US)     Profile for AZdave  Send Email to AZdave     
You may be correct. I bought from a dealership in Ontario only after calling the bank in their town to verify that it really was a brick and morter business. The transaction was not a problem. I then used the internet to set up a meeting with a gentleman who was wintering in Mexico. He bought my old Evinrude! Again, the deal involved phone conversations with his family members here in town. Dave
John O posted 03-26-2005 01:33 AM ET (US)     Profile for John O    
Purchased on 1/3/03. 2001 Mercury ELPTO 75hp 2 Stroke from Travis Boating Center 4353 S. Federal HWY Stuart FL 34997 (772) 263 0193

Floor model $3800.00 plus $239.00 freight.

Seller was selling other motors via either Ebay or Boatttraderonline. Ad was for another motor. I emailed an inquiry on 90hp 2 strokes and seller responded with the above motor. I got serial number and checked with Mercury before transaction. Placed $2500.00 on credit card and mailed personal check with balance. $2500.00 was the max they would accept on credit card. I used a card with an intro rate of 0% for 12 months and paid the balance of in 10 months. No interest loan.

Item came in Suzuki box, but seller told me he would have to pack in what ever box he had. I had the shop at my marina install. They do not sell motors so there was no conflict. They also are a mercury certified shop. Local quotes for 90hp Mercury installed was $7000.00 with all new rigging. Saved about $1500.00. Eds Marine Superstore(866)550 3806 seem to have the lowest everyday prices on line. As I recall there was an issue with shipping to me as I was out of state. I did a lot of shopping as evident by my numerous threads on this site leading up to the purchase. If I had to do over again and my marina could get a motor for me within $500.00 I may think about letting them.

Estero posted 03-26-2005 01:39 AM ET (US)     Profile for Estero  Send Email to Estero     
I bought a Suzuki DF70 after seeing the price listed online, and then called the dealer to secure the deal. I suppose to be accurate, I should say I was first led to the dealer's web page from a thread on this site.

Not to say that they don't exist, but I've not seen an online marine store where you could put an outboard in your shopping cart. It's an interesting point you make though Jim, since to my way of thinking outboards are enough of a commodity that if you know what make and model you want, it seems reasonable(in theory, anyway) to buy one with a mouse click. That said, I would still have a hard time plunking down that much $$$ without hearing someone's voice on the other end of the deal. Perhaps my attitude will change as online shopping becomes less of a novelty to me, but I don't see that happening anytime soon.

JBCornwell posted 03-26-2005 08:14 AM ET (US)     Profile for JBCornwell  Send Email to JBCornwell Sells outboard engines, new, used and refurb, online.

My understanding is that they are the largest volume outboard dealer in the world.

A few years ago several CW members bought off-lease Suzuki DF70s from them on my recommendation. If I recall, they paid under $3K for them. The reports they posted here were all positive.

How the transactions proceeded I don't know. Perhaps phone calls were included.

Red sky at night. . .

placerville posted 03-26-2005 10:27 AM ET (US)     Profile for placerville  Send Email to placerville     
I've bought two motors from Bayracer Marine, 70 and 140hp
Suzuki's. The communications were carried on through several emails and one phone call. Paid for with a personal
check. The Last motor ended up costing Almost $3000 less than my nearest dealer. The first time I bought, I was a little nervous buying something like this from across the country. Now though, I would point and click for my next engine from them.
jstachowiak posted 03-26-2005 12:35 PM ET (US)     Profile for jstachowiak  Send Email to jstachowiak     
I bought my 2001 70HP 4-Stroke Evinrude new in crate from a dealer in Chatanooga who bought out an Evinrude dealer who was going out of business. He had it on e-bay and it did not sell, so I e-mailed him after the bidding and he wanted $5,000 plus freight, so I sent him a $500 check after talking to him on the phone and verifying his existance via the yellow pages. Then sent him the balance plus $139 shipping. Had it shipped direct to my mechanic who installed it for me.
JayR posted 03-26-2005 10:12 PM ET (US)     Profile for JayR  Send Email to JayR     
I just spent several thousands of dollars on Amazon buying wood working tools. It was such an easy experience.

If they sold outboards, I would probably give them the business.

It is only a matter of time before someone provides this service.

As for Amazon and my pleasant experience... It saved me quite a bit, was shipped for free and the driver not only unloaded the 700 pound item onto my driveway but also struggled with a broken pallet all the way into my garage. It was binding the whole way.

To top it all off, he removed the machinery from the pallet, unpacked it and cleaned up the mess we created.

I am in awe of the service I received. So much so, I just ordered more rather than drive 45 miles to purchase, pick up and bring home another item.


One could only wish buying an outboard was possible through this avenue.

Freeport Alan posted 03-26-2005 11:07 PM ET (US)     Profile for Freeport Alan    
I wonder what the shipping costs would be on the 275 Verado across country ?
I've got a feeling your better off going to the brick & mortar business with the heavyweights..
whalerwanter posted 03-27-2005 12:06 AM ET (US)     Profile for whalerwanter    
A dealer may not always honor a factory warranty on a motor purchased on gray market. This is the case with many items, not just boat motors, that have S/N. They know where it went first and who should have it now. Lots of "unauthorized" retailers on line. The SELLER may warrant motor, sure. Are you going to take/send it to him for work? Do your homework first. If everything is kosher, then why not pay a few hundred dollars freight to save $1000, $2000 or more? Not a smart way to get on dealer's good side, but if your mechanic friend is certified tech, who needs dealer? It's a used boat anyway.
Freeport Alan posted 03-27-2005 06:26 AM ET (US)     Profile for Freeport Alan    
I believe most if not all dealers would welcome the warranty work.
Maybe during busy times in the season he may want to take care of regular repeat customers with deep pockets first, true..
I've bought 3 new outboards in my life, a Merc, Johnson & Yamaha.
With the purchase comes a warranty card, your SN goes in a database & where ever you may roam the " authorized dealer " will fix your motor & be reimbursed by the manufacturer, it's business for them.
placerville posted 03-27-2005 11:29 AM ET (US)     Profile for placerville  Send Email to placerville     
My 140hp Suzuki weighed 600# in it's shipping crate.
Bayracer shipped it from North Carolina to my door in
California for $380. My state sales tax would have been twice that. It arrived in 9 days. If the cost of from my local dealer (3 hours away) would have been within $1000 of what I paid, I might have bought it locally. But it wasn't even close.
Freeport Alan posted 03-27-2005 01:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for Freeport Alan    
that really is an impressive savings...& the shipping wasnt too bad..
This thread is one I'll never forget, living on long Island you pay a premium for boats & motors compared to other areas in the country.
Something worth looking into when my Merc finally quits of I win the lottery..
ratherwhalering posted 03-27-2005 01:19 PM ET (US)     Profile for ratherwhalering  Send Email to ratherwhalering     
Like High Serria, I bought my E-TEC 90 from Custom Marine in Georgia. I found then online, then called Evinrude to confirm their dealer status and warranty conformity. I showed them the best price I could find online (Eds) and they beat it by $200.00 and charged $318.00 for actual shipping charges via Roadway. I picked up the engine at the nearest depot to save local delivery charges of about $100.00. I purchased the engine with a personal check, required for their low prices. VERY good customer service. E-mails were responded to in 24 hours, calls were returned within 12 hours, if not immediately.
ratherwhalering posted 03-27-2005 01:24 PM ET (US)     Profile for ratherwhalering  Send Email to ratherwhalering     
Oh, the E-TEC 90, saltwater edition, was $6,215.00 with no sales tax. I spoke with my local dealer, and at the time, he couldn't give me a delivery date, and he actually encouraged me to take the on-line deal. He then did an "install" check and XD100 oil upgrade for $129.00, including one gallon of XD100 oil. He did find a a faulty gas line seal, greased all the zerks and linkage points, and adjusted the linkage perfectly.
Shrdlu posted 03-27-2005 02:25 PM ET (US)     Profile for Shrdlu  Send Email to Shrdlu     
I purchased a 3.5 HP 2-stroke Nissan outboard for a dingy from several years ago. They sell the entire line of Nissan/Tohatsu motors, and the site has a wealth of technical information. The transaction was easy, and the motor arrived quickly.
acseatsri posted 03-27-2005 02:30 PM ET (US)     Profile for acseatsri  Send Email to acseatsri     
Everyone here mentions no sales tax paid, but I wonder just when the states will start cracking down on this practice, especially given the huge budget shortfalls most states are experiencing? Buying a used engine is online via Ebay is one thing, but it just seems that buying new engines out of state to thwart the sales tax is just asking for trouble at some point.
Freeport Alan posted 03-27-2005 02:39 PM ET (US)     Profile for Freeport Alan    
Sheila posted 03-27-2005 03:27 PM ET (US)     Profile for Sheila  Send Email to Sheila     
California requires its residents to report purchases made out of state and to pay a "use tax" equal to sales tax on the purchase price. Compliance is voluntary and I'm guessing that it's vanishingly small.

Each time a used vehicle (automobile or boat) is registered to a new owner in California, sales tax is assessed on the purchase price.

Until January 1, 2005, the purchaser of a new boat could avoid paying sales tax on the price if the boat was purchased and kept out of the state of California for a period of 90 days. This policy led to many boats being delivered to Oregon or Ensenada, Mexico, then transported into California three months later. Buyers of big, expensive yachts often used this approach. As of the beginning of this year, the waiting period is now one year.

Sheila posted 03-27-2005 04:34 PM ET (US)     Profile for Sheila  Send Email to Sheila     
Correction: The waiting period for boats purchased outside the state changed in October, 2004. The law is set to expire in 2006, but we shall see.
PMUCCIOLO posted 03-27-2005 05:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for PMUCCIOLO    
I recently purchased a Yamaha F4 from Shipyard Island Marine. Their pricing was very competitive, and I received the engine within five days. My local dealers indicated that I could not anticipate delivery within two weeks.

Andy, Jr. is the man to contact there. We purchased additional items, including a propeller, rigging accessories, and the like. All were delivered promptly and at a discounted price making our purchasing experience all the better.

c_mccann posted 03-28-2005 03:01 PM ET (US)     Profile for c_mccann  Send Email to c_mccann     
I have not purchased any motors online, I prefer to give the business to the local dealer that'll is servicing me. I did, though, sell a Yammie 250 SS with a bad #3 cylinder on ebay, a shop in Florida bought it. Shipping was expensive, about $300.00 and crating it was an experience I do not want to repeat again.
aggiebc posted 03-30-2005 02:48 PM ET (US)     Profile for aggiebc  Send Email to aggiebc     
I have a friend that works for a major outboard manufacturer, Bombardier to be exact, and he informed me that there is a reward for dealers that report a motor being sold on line, as if buying clothes or something, not picking up a phone, not meeting after an inquiry, just straight purchases on line........

perhaps all of the other manufacturers have this policy as well?

bspencer posted 03-30-2005 03:41 PM ET (US)     Profile for bspencer  Send Email to bspencer     
Cabelas sells small nissan outboards online. With westmarine you have to make the purchase in the store. Not sure if the prices are the best with freight. Then again these are only kicker size engines.


Landlocked posted 03-30-2005 04:01 PM ET (US)     Profile for Landlocked  Send Email to Landlocked     
Two years ago I purchased my dad a 20hp merc two stroke from I-boats. I did my research online but actually contacted a rep to place the order.

The motor, I'm told was a lease used at a comercial outfitter up north for a single season.

Anyway, it arived as promised, when promised at a significant savings and covered under warranty. Two years later, no problems other than some water intrusion into the lower unit most likely caused when lower unit oil was replaced but o'ring was not.

I I can't remember now for sure, but I believe I paid around $1,200 for the motor I ordered. For a large, very expensive motor that would see a lot of hours put on it, I most likely would (and have in the past) go with a local dealer that I could talk to face to face and go back to with problems. For a small motor seeing limited use with few truly expensive parts to replace I would recomend them to anyone.

I truly understand the issue of supporting the little man, developing relationships etc. etc. and do my best to do so. I struggle with my concience everytime I'm tempted to stop at a Wal-mart. But, in the end, sometimes choices simply have to be made based on personal budgets and the amount of $$ you have to spend. The motor I purchased was a gift. I wanted to give Dad the most motor I could get with the $$ I had to spend. Without the deal I got on I-boats, most likely that would have been a 9.9 rather than the 20.


John O posted 03-30-2005 07:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for John O    
Mercury had no problem with my out of state purchase. Fla-MA
They reccomended I have a Merc. certified shop install it which I did. My marina is a Merc. shop but does not sell outboards. The owner of my Merc. certified marina suggested I buy a Suzuki !!


The manufacturer warranties the motor not the dealer on new motors.

jimh posted 03-30-2005 08:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I have a friend that works for a major outboard manufacturer, Bombardier to be exact, and he informed me that there is a reward for dealers that report a motor being sold on line, as if buying clothes or something, not picking up a phone, not meeting after an inquiry, just straight purchases on line.

I have read this this several times, but, in total honesty, I do not have any clue what you are talking about with the phrase "as if buying clothes or something, not picking up a phone, not meeting after an inquiry..."

Could you help me understand what you meant by this?

nevada posted 03-31-2005 04:30 PM ET (US)     Profile for nevada  Send Email to nevada     
I purchased my df70 from bayracer marine via ebay. It was an easy transaction, and I saved thousands of dollars off of retail.


JBCornwell posted 03-31-2005 07:17 PM ET (US)     Profile for JBCornwell  Send Email to JBCornwell     
Re: Sales tax.

In Texas outboard engines are titled. When you apply for title you pay the TX sales tax. It is illegal to sell an outboard in TX without a clear title.

Red sky at night. . .

Landlocked posted 03-31-2005 08:56 PM ET (US)     Profile for Landlocked  Send Email to Landlocked     
No titles required for outboards or trailers and no registration required. I'm sure its only a matter of time though....
Landlocked posted 03-31-2005 08:58 PM ET (US)     Profile for Landlocked  Send Email to Landlocked     
I meant to say none required here in Tennessee.
Off topic but no lights required so long as you only tow in daylight and tail-lights of tow vehicle are visible.
whalerwanter posted 03-31-2005 10:38 PM ET (US)     Profile for whalerwanter    
If you are sure that you will get full warranty coverage from manufacturer, no matter how or where you buy this brand new motor, then, by all means, shop online. Freight and rigging could be offset by savings, many times over.
SPLETS posted 04-01-2005 12:11 PM ET (US)     Profile for SPLETS  Send Email to SPLETS     
I purchased a new Tohatsu 9.9 from Port-a-Bote in 09/03 and they by far had the best deal. When I got the motor, it did not want to idle and kept flooding out. I called Port-a-bote and they just told me to take it to the local dealer. I took it to the dealer and they made some not so nice remarks about buying it online, but fixed the problem and took care of sending in my registration card.

I asked them for their price and it was $250.00 more than I bought it for, but said that THEY would have tested it for me before I got to the lake?? $250.00 savings and full warantee, I'LL SaVE THE MONEY EVERYTIME!!

rmcharles posted 05-31-2006 10:45 AM ET (US)     Profile for rmcharles  Send Email to rmcharles     
I buy my outboard motors at brick and motars.

I buy all of my props online. Great prices, and I get my props superfast.

pglein posted 05-31-2006 02:35 PM ET (US)     Profile for pglein  Send Email to pglein     
I bought my used Yamaha 2 stroke 30hp off eBay. Great purchase at a great price. It was 5 years old, but looks and runs like brand new. Best outboard I've ever owned.
Binkie posted 05-31-2006 04:22 PM ET (US)     Profile for Binkie  Send Email to Binkie     
Way back in 1984, I bought 2 Merc 115`s from an out of state dealer, Ga. I live in Fl., mainly because I couldn`t get a good price from my local Merc. dealer, and to save the sales tax. (considerable). this was way before the internet, and required actual phone calls, and real conversation. The Ga. dealer gave me a satisfactory price, and I asked for a bank reference, and I checked him out, sent him a check, and my motors arrived a week later.
I had a problem with the frieght company, that delivered an outboard that I bought on E-Bay. No problems with the motor itself, a 50hp 2cyl Johnson, but the freight company damaged the motor, they never said how, crushed the motor hood and lower pan. Involved removing the powerhead to replace the pan. Well stupid me, I ASSUMED, that the damaged was insured, and the cost of the freight included the insurance. That was not the case, and the freight co. sent me a check for $.15 a pound for the motor. I was so pissed I tore up the check, about $25. Live and learn.
skookum point posted 05-31-2006 06:34 PM ET (US)     Profile for skookum point  Send Email to skookum point     
Having bought (and sold) two new and several used motors online in recent years, I can offer the following advice:

ALWAYS assume the motor will arrive damaged if shipped in anything other than it's original crate. If your seller says he will strap it to a pallet, it WILL arrive damaged.

The freight company will NEVER take responsibility, beyond 15 cents per pound even if it is insured. Their premise - if it's damaged it's because it was improperly packaged.

NEVER buy a used motor from Florida - the odds are against you. The motors tend to be hammered and the sellers tend to be unscrupulous. Better bet is to buy from northern freshwater locations.

Binkie posted 05-31-2006 07:05 PM ET (US)     Profile for Binkie  Send Email to Binkie     
snookum, good advice on where to buy, outboards in Fl. are used 14 months a year, and mostly in salt water, Most are really hammered, and are corroded and eaten buy salt. I only buy used motors from freshwater areas where the season is short.
st posted 05-31-2006 08:54 PM ET (US)     Profile for st  Send Email to st     
I had bad experience buying a 7.5Hp Honda from some East Coast Marine via Ebay. I emphasized to no less than 3 people in the shop: the owner; the manager and the secretary, by phones and emails, to make sure they would pack it properly. It arrived in California, with 3 inch hole through the cardboard-yeah carboard box, loosely packed!-; and the aluminum cowling base had a 20 inch crack. I guess my pleas to those 3 people in the Marine shop went unheeded.

Luckily, they admitted their mistake-after proofing to them by sending some pictures-and email copies-by refunding my check. I agree, Skookum has a valid point here, I can relate to his experience to the T...

jimh posted 05-31-2006 09:38 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
It sounds to me like no one has yet bought an outboard motor on-line.

I have purchased many items on-line, but I have never heard of anyone actually buying a motor on-line. As these narratives all explain, everyone ends up talking on the telephone and buying from a brick-and-motor retailer.

I don't understand while this was revived after a year and a half of dormancy. Apparently we are still waiting for the first on-line purchase of an outboard motor.

Boatplans posted 05-31-2006 10:48 PM ET (US)     Profile for Boatplans  Send Email to Boatplans     
From the numerous forgoing posts, people are buying outboard motors through the internet. Whether the financial transaction is made through the internet or secondarily by telephone, dealers are hurt.

Though outboard motors are usually trouble free, warranty service is needed. Unfortunately, dealers offer service to their face to face customers ahead of internet buyers. Can anyone blame them? Nevertheless, internet buyers need service too, probably less service, but they need it. How to get it?

Calling the dealer with a faulty internet outboard is a lesson in frustration. Usually it does not happen. The internet buyer knows service will be a problem before making the purchase. Unfortunately, neither do the outboard manufacturers give service to internet buyers. Traditionally, they support their dealers. Surely, this is understandable. What to do? Bounties to squealers ratting out internet buyers! Shoot the gray market buyers! It serves them right! Right?

Well, No. The internet is here to stay. Manufacturers should offer service through the internet, including accurate manuals and service instructions free of charge. Free warranty parts and tools should come through the internet. There is an enormous internet market which has yet to be served by the manufacturers. This author predicts between a third and two thirds of all outboard motors will be sold over the internet. There is no reason they should not come directly from the manufacturer, including the warranty. Hopefully, an outboard motor builder will read because a builder providing that service will certainly get my business!

jimh posted 05-31-2006 11:23 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
There are many people who are advertising on the internet, but, so far, I don't see any outboard motors for sale, except perhaps on e-Bay auctions.

Just point me to a website where I can click and buy a motor, and I'll believe it. I can go to AMAZON.COM and click a few links; the next day a book will arrive at my door. I don't see where you can do this on the internet. Looks to me like you still buy motors the old fashioned way.

placerville posted 06-01-2006 01:39 AM ET (US)     Profile for placerville  Send Email to placerville     
I've bought a 70 hp and 140 hp Suzuki from Bayracermarine in North Carolina. Almost all correspondence was over the internet. John McKenna handled everything on their end and was always courteous, informative and punctual with my inquiries. He shipped them before he even received my check. They arrived at my doorstep in their original steel crate for thousands less than my "local" dealer who's 3 hours drive away from me. wouldn't hesitate to buy from them again.
andygere posted 06-01-2006 01:51 AM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
How does a dealer know if you bought your motor via the internet, or if you just moved into the area and purchased it elsewhere? Dealerships get paid by the manufacturers to perform on warranty work, and it pays the same weather the motor was purchased at that dealer or elsewhere. Have you ever had your auto serviced at a dealer other than the one where it was purchased? Of course you have. So have I, and I have never been asked where I bought the car. It's irrelevant. I have never been asked by any factory authorized marine mechanic where my engine or boat was purchased either. They are always happy to take my money, regardless of who made the initial sale.

What the internet has done that changes things quite a bit is make pricing more transparent. It used to be that if you stopped by your local dealer and asked his price for an outboard motor, he'd tell you his price and you did not have any way to quickly and easily verify if that was a good price, MSRP or something way above MSRP. With the internet, you can now do just that.

I purchased a motor from an out of state dealership, and had the motor shipped via common freight carrier to where I live. That dealer posts prices on his website, and quotes prices for loose motors, in stock or ordered, over the phone. With this information in hand, I called or visited each of the dealers selling this brand of motor in my area. I asked them to quote a price for a cash sale of the same motor. Each quote came back 2 to 3 thousand dollars higher than what I paid. I asked each of them to match what I had been quoted out of state. None did, I asked them to give me their best price. None would offer anything lower than the original price quoted. I don't know about you, but I'd rather put that 3 grand in my pocket and not the local dealer's. I received terrific customer service from this dealer throughout the transaction, and he has delivered everything that was promised. Let's see, great price, great customer service, where's the problem?

I have also had no problem finding an authorized dealer who is willing to work on my motor for me. I rigged it myself, but I'm having a dealer to a final inspection, set up and testing. My wait is less than 2 weeks at the height of the boating season. The dealers that want to make sales and stay in business will learn how the internet has changed pricing strategies, and they will adjust. The others are just hoping enough suckers come along and continue to pay whatever high price they throw out there. The really smart dealers will provide good initial sales pricing and couple it with good service. Whatever profit they may give up in the initial sale will be recouped with service business and repeat sales.

To answer jimh's question, I don't think buying an outboard motor over the internet is the same click and buy model you might use to purchase a book from Amazon. At the same time, it has dramatically changed the way an outboard motor can be purchased. 10 or so years ago, unless you had a very large collection of out of state phone books, you wouldn't even be able to find a far away dealer, much less buy a motor from one. No, I didn't buy my motor on-line in the Amazon sense of the word, but there's no doubt that the internet was the key element that facilitated the transaction.

Maine whaler posted 06-01-2006 04:58 PM ET (US)     Profile for Maine whaler  Send Email to Maine whaler     
I bought a 250 Yamaha last year. I researched the best price on line and then took it to my local dealer. While he did not match the price, he came close enough that I decided to give him the business. It was $2000 less than he orginally quoted me. It has worked well. If I need service, I am usually seen in 24 to 48 hours. I real advantage in the Northeast where the season is short.
pglein posted 06-01-2006 05:36 PM ET (US)     Profile for pglein  Send Email to pglein     

You apparently didn't quite read the thread. There were several people who mentioned buying a motor online. Just becuase there was a "brick and mortar" store behind it, doesn't mean that the transaction wasn't completed online. ALL online transactions are run by someone who has some sort of physical location. Just because you buy it "online" doesn't mean that the engine simply appears out of the ether and gets shipped.

As I mentioned, I bought and paid for my motor sight unseen on ebay. I did pick it up in person and was pleasantly surprised with the condition. Granted, this was not a "new" motor, and it was not an online "store", but I DID buy the motor "online".

Binkie posted 06-01-2006 06:52 PM ET (US)     Profile for Binkie  Send Email to Binkie     

I think if you scroll up a ways to the first of the recent posts, you`ll find that this thread was revived by a newbie, pushing a certain yacht supply that sell props. Everyone else just fell inline.

Dick posted 06-01-2006 07:42 PM ET (US)     Profile for Dick  Send Email to Dick     
I had heard that there were rules about a dealer shipping a motor out of state. Out of curiosity I called Stevens Marine in Portland OR and asked about a Merc 60 4 stroke, they had one in stock. When I asked if it could be shipped to Seattle WA they told me they were not allowed by contract to ship a motor out of thier territory. This is one of the largest Merc dealers in the USA and they used to ship anywhere. Merc has put the screws on to protect local dealers.
jimh posted 06-01-2006 10:38 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Dick--I think that is a reasonable basis for Mercury. When they give a retailer the Mercury outboard motor line, I think it is reasonable that it comes with a sales territory. If a retailer takes on a line of motors, he does not expect that the manufacturer is going to open another dealership down the block from him. So the notion that a dealer on the other coast should be able to sell motors into his territory is much the same kind of thing. It is not the sort of business practice that would make a local dealer happy.

I think some of these super-low-price dealers who sell motors to customers that are thousands of miles away are not making much profit on the motor. And they certainly won't see any future profit on service and accessories. They might build up their sales volume to the point where they qualify for better discounts or better status. In the future that might lead to some additional profit.

rtk posted 06-01-2006 10:40 PM ET (US)     Profile for rtk  Send Email to rtk     
I do know for a fact, as you mention Dick, Mercury has imposed restrictions on dealers with regard to shipping engines, and parts to some extent, out of state or designated territory.

There has been alot of discussion on shipping Mercury, especially with regard to andygere's repower. I recall when his Mercury went he had inquired of a Mercury dealer about shipping to him, they could not do it. The dealers all seem to be on board with this policy, so I would guess the policy Mercury established has some "teeth".

Boston Whaler has similar policies regarding price advertising by dealers for current models.

We have alot of independent "small" boat dealers in this area. And most of them do real good work. The Mercury policy for pricing and shipping keeps all the dealers on an even playing field, and I think encourages dealing with a local guy.

I have had the same experience andygere has had in dealing with local dealers. If you approach them with some business, most will not object to an arrangement like andygere made with his locals.

Don't get me wrong, I am not an advocate of price fixing by manufacturers. But in this case I think it is to everyone's advantage that there are alot of viable small boat dealers around. If consistent pricing policies allow the little guy to stay in business than I'm ok with it. My local dealer has priced my estimates very competively with internet prices. He is not a large dealer, but has access to a large amount of inventory through the Mercury dealer network.

The internet has been an excellent tool for my boat and engine purchases. I couldn't imagine doing it any other way. The information available really helps in making an informed decision.


andygere posted 06-02-2006 01:46 AM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
I think most folks would like to buy a major item like a car or an outboard motor locally. It's easier, you can touch and feel the thing before you buy it, and you will get it sooner in most cases. If there is a problem with it, you don't have far to go to have the problem solved.

When an outboard motor company decides to interfere with commerce by setting a policy against shipping motors out of state, the small dealers are incentivized to raise prices. After all, if they are the only dealer in the area, where else are you going to go? If the small dealers were losing all their business to a larger dealer out of the area, they would have to lower prices. This is good for consumers, but not really that bad for the small dealers. On the typical outboard repower, I think a large part of the profit is in the rigging and extra sales (controls, props, etc.). Later on, the sale generates more revenue through ongoing service. So long as the large dealers and the small dealers are able to buy the motor from the manufacturer at the same price, there is no reason the small dealer can not still make a decent profit even if distant competition has forced him to lower his retail prices.

In my case, I shopped for a motor at both big dealers and small dealers in my area (within a 90 minute drive). They were all substantially more expensive than the out of state dealer I ultimately purchased from, so there's more to it than big dealer versus small dealer. I think there are vast regional retail pricing differences, and this I think is based on what the dealers think the market will bear. I live in an area that has generally high incomes, and that seems to translate into high prices. Since pricing has become transparent via the internet, the supply has become much bigger and that notion becomes ridiculous. I am always amazed at a salesman that will turn down a guaranteed cash sale, in hopes that a more profitable one may come along later. My local car dealer is smart enough to make that easy money, but my local outboard dealers were not interested.

I'm all for supporting the local guy, and I've already spent a few hundred dollars at the dealership nearest me on things like oil, lube, and various rigging parts. Regardless of where I bought the motor, my plan was to rig it myself, so any added value I may have gained by paying a higher price to a local shop would not have been realized. Outboard motors are commodity items, and the manufacturers would be wise to realize this. It's just one of the reasons I didn't buy another Mercury.

Bob of Glenburnie posted 06-05-2006 10:17 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bob of Glenburnie  Send Email to Bob of Glenburnie     
brought a left-over 03 90hp evinrude from a dude in MI via Ebay. The deal went as smooth as silk and the engine runs the same way. Paid 4k plus shipping. That puppy makes my 17SS Ltd sing
Rich M posted 06-06-2006 08:40 PM ET (US)     Profile for Rich M  Send Email to Rich M     
<Jimh wrote: Just point me to a website where I can click and buy a motor, and I'll believe it.>
Shrdlu mentioned in post 17 of this thread that this is where he bought his motor.

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