The 4 Fs of Outboard Buying

The Four Fs of Outboards

You’ve heard of the four “C”s for buying diamonds, but have you heard of the four “F”s for buying an outboard?
It’s because I just made it up for this piece.
The four “C”s are cut, clarity, color, and carat while the four “F”s are fit, finish, function, and fuel economy.

I’m not here to play brand favorites, I’m just pointing out that there are differences besides just price. Every day we get phone calls with people asking prices while they conduct their “research” online at the same time.

The “research” as it’s stated by the caller is far different than what I considered research as an R&D scientist. When I hear research on the other end of the phone, or see it written in an email, all I see or hear is price shopping. Research in it’s contemporary sense has become using a search engine to shop prices and not much else. I’ll get pumped for information just to have the caller buy it online for a few bucks less from an online outboard clearing house. I get that the economy is crap and that leadership lines their pockets with tax payer dollars, so saving a buck is generally a high priority in most households. I get all of that trust me, but calling price shopping research is just wrong.

Those online outboard deals come at hidden costs not always visible to the researcher/shopper. Just like buying that diamond with the four “C”s the outboard has it’s attributes as the driving factor in it’s price. Free shipping is often the decider when online researching/price shopping a product to buy. Let’s be clear there is no such thing as “FREE SHIPPING”, the shipping companies wouldn’t exist if that were true. In fact the world economy would collapse if it were true as there’d be no incentive to produce a product if it’d cost money to sell.

It absolutely depresses me when a customer brings in a Yamaha outboard they bought online from only for me to tell them it’s not a Yamaha and we don’t have parts for it. Sometimes it’s the obvious Yanamaha (or similar misspelling) sticker on the cowling, other times it’s the made in CH1N4 tomfoolery design and components. A bit of real research could save you from getting dupped once you see a too good to be true deal with free shipping. So much of our time is wasted supporting people who know better but pull that buy trigger online anyway.

I get it everyday on the phone, “They have it for $2000 less than that at insert dubious online outboard website!”. My usual response while on the phone with the pricing book open is, “I can’t make that deal, it’s less than our dealer cost at that number.”

Look for the four “F”s while you do your research, that Yamaha outboard should be the best in fit, finish, function and fuel economy. If it doesn’t present as such or if Yamaha is spelled wrong, run away!

Buy your outboard from an authorized dealer who will do the appropriate pre-delivery inspection and warranty registration and also has real OEM parts. Playing around with questionable knock offs on the water is never a good idea. An authorized Yamaha Outboard Dealer will have no problems sending you to another dealer that has the flavor you are looking for or even special ordering one in for you. The real pricing difference shouldn’t be too great from dealer to dealer.

This applies to all brands not just Yamaha, I’m just using Yamaha here because that’s what we sell and service, might as well have the best right? If you’re shopping for a Honda or Suzuki make sure it’s not a Hodonda or Suszuki. Times are hard, money is tight, don’t make a costly mistake because you got lured in by “FREE SHIPPING” or similar online conversion techniques. Call and speak to your local outboard dealer first, that way if there are any issues that come up you won’t be left out alone in the dark on the water.

Here at the Inflatable Boat Center we stock outboard configurations that are suitable for the types of boats we sell, but that being said we sell outboards to duck hunters, offshore fishermen, sailors and professional users alike. We just order in what we don’t have, and as a dealer we support what we sell brand wise if we can fit it into our boatyard. As a dealer we have no problem referring you to another dealer who specializes in the thing you are trying to do if we don’t, or don’t do it as well them. Part of being an authorized dealer is knowing there is a dealer network of professionals to draw upon to meet the customer’s goals, needs and wants.

This whole rant is the result of me talking to a boater who got a “real good deal” this morning on an inflatable boat. I didn’t ask them to swing it by, they just showed up and asked me to bring it into service for the once over. Let’s just say it wasn’t a Zodiac, and it wasn’t a Yamaha rigged on it either, but it was embarrassing, and it was disappointing. I won’t put much more here on it to save the customer from feeling worse than they already do. Hopefully they can get their money back but it’s doubtful with these online predators.

Talk to your local dealers and consider the four “F”s when the deal seems to be too good to pass up.