Do you stock off-brand used boats at your franchised dealership? How many? Do off-brand boats represent 30% of your inventory? Maybe40% to 50%? If not, we believe you are missing out on a major opportunity to drive a broader range of local shoppers to your dealership and missing out on incremental profit opportunities in sales, finance, and service.


Why sell off-brand used boats:


The first reason you should sell off-brand used boats at your new boat dealership is that it will bring more shoppers for both new and used to your dealership. Customers shop multiple brands and easily switch their consideration between new and used in their purchase process. By stocking mostly one brand of new and used, then you are likely missing out on customers who would like to compare a Cobalt R6 Surf to a Regal LS6 Surf, or a BenningtonQX Sport to a Harris Crowne when they get to your lot.


Additionally, you should stock up to 50% of your used inventory as off-brand because it allows your sales staff to get hands-on with competitive makes and models more frequently. The more familiar they are with your competition, the more confident they can be when selling your new boat product lines.


Lastly, by selling off-brand boats you are setup to increase your volume incrementally by reaching more customers than you would only stocking used units from the brands you sell new. You are now fishing in a bigger pond.


You will reach a broader audience and increase your ability to serve everyone in your market.

How to sell off-brand used boats:


At Octane, we have spoken to many dealers, all of them would like to sell more off-brand used boats, but they claim it is difficult to ge toff-brand shoppers to their website and in their dealership. BoatFuel solvesthat problem.


We like to say that new boat shoppers shop for a dealer and used boat customers are searching for a particular boat, with specific options, and in a specific color. What that means is that online search like Google, Yahoo, and Bing, whether it is organic or paid, is great for finding dealers but not as good at helping connect you with used boat shoppers. Specifically, it is very difficult to rank and convert on off-brand used boat searches. Most people searching for a Mastercraft will not choose to go to a Nautique dealership website to find the Mastercraft they are looking for; it just doesn’t happen easily.


We like to say that new boat shoppers shop for a dealer and used boat customers are searching for a particular boat, with specific options, and in a specific color.


It is more likely that shoppers will rely on credible 3rd-party online marketplaces where they can search and compare thousands of boats close to them at many different dealerships or private party sellers.These 3rd party sites can be a valuable part of your used boat marketing strategy, but you need to carefully examine the lead performance as we’ve seen our fair share of 3rd party sites charging thousands of dollars to list inventory without providing quality leads. We absolutely recommend dealers invest in 3rd party marketplaces but would suggest that dealers spend the majority of their advertising efforts driving traffic to their own websites first.


So how do you get more off-brand shoppers to your website? The answer is BoatFuel! The majority of your internet leads and phone calls should be coming directly from your website, and you should be converting website leads to sales at a high rate. (25%+)


How does BoatFuel work?


Well, it’s very simple. We scrape the inventory off your website 2x/day, which powers the ad units. (Image, Year, Make, Model, etc.)Then, we place a pixel on your dealership website to collect shoppe rinformation for retargeting and collect additional shopper info from premium3rd party data sets. Then we build audiences of shoppers who are looking for quality used boats like the ones you have on your lot. Whether they have been to your website or not, we can target in-market shoppers with BoatFuel ads that feature your used inventory that aligns closest to what they are searching for online.


Ultimately, we are taking shoppers who typically would only be using 3rd party sites to find your inventory and we are deep linking them directly to the listing detail page (LDP) on your website of the exact boat they are looking for through ads that we serve to their newsfeeds on Facebook and Instagram. BoatFuel lets you reach more shoppers, more efficiently and drive more traffic to your website which in turn means more boats sold.


How does BoatFuel perform?


What’s impressive about our VIN specific ads that are customized to each shopper is the time on LDP averages 2 minutes and shoppers are typically looking at 1.5 to 2 LDPs per session. When comparing this to other traffic sources, we find that BoatFuel traffic delivers more engaged shoppers than most channels, even organic and direct traffic.

Would you like to learn more about how BoatFuel can help you sell more used boats and especially more off-brand used boats? Please contact us. Our team of marine marketing experts would love to show you what BoatFuel can do for your dealership.