The Boating Forum - Industry standard for boat salesman salary?

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04-13-2004, 07:27 PM
Do any of you know what the industry standard is for someone starting a new job in boat sales?

I am assuming that it is a small base, plus commissions.

Please respond if you work in boat sales or know of someone who does.

04-13-2004, 07:36 PM
Now this is where the boatguy should really shine. :grin:

04-13-2004, 07:52 PM

Who is the "boatguy" you made reference to?


04-13-2004, 08:01 PM
Oh boy! Here we go.....

04-13-2004, 08:06 PM
Should I be "frightened"???

04-13-2004, 08:30 PM
The boat sales guys I know make $300 a week base and 5% commision on boat sales. This is based on sale of the boat. If the boat has a large profit margin, the sales person makes 10-15 % of the profit

04-13-2004, 10:03 PM
Puleese let me know where to send my resume for that kind of salary. Man am I being screwed!

Seriously, I'd love to know the answer to this one, and I'd love to know why you asked.

04-13-2004, 10:25 PM
frightened? nah he's harmless. He spent some time selling bass boats I think. He'll fill you in if he gets on sometime.

04-13-2004, 10:26 PM
Ed Mancini - 4/13/2004 7:52 PM

Seadad- Who is the "boatguy" you made reference to?


No need to worry . . . 'boatguy' is a character to himself like I am a character to myself . . .

04-14-2004, 09:54 AM
I sell higher end Semicustom CC's and also trawlers. It is a straight commission setup for both. :o

04-14-2004, 09:59 AM
I sold boats briefly at 10 percent of the profit plus a 7.25 an hour wage.
Fine if you sell boats, horrible if you don't.

04-14-2004, 10:04 AM
"10 percent of the profit plus a 7.25 an hour wage"

Selling 10 boats per year at $35,000 retail cost plus working full time would yield approximately a $50,000 annual salary. Of course that is a fair number of boats to move in a year and not all salespeople can move that many.

04-14-2004, 10:15 AM
I sold boats for about five months. Someday when I retire and, have my pension rolling I'll do it again. I was paid 20% comission based on profit, after the dealer's expenses. Of course, seemed like after the boat left the rigging shop, there was no profit left. Be careful.
Jason Swift

04-14-2004, 10:16 AM
I have worked at a few large dealership/brokerage companies and the compensation schedule was the same at each, and is close to the same at most other large dealerships according to my peers there.*

Straight commission, if you are lucky you can get a draw but don't count on it, about half the companies will cover your health insurance but don't cout on it, and you will earn approx 20-25% of the net profit.*

Let me break this down for you - if you sell a boat that retails for $100K, the buyer will probably end up paying about $85K, which means there is approx $15K in gross profit.* Figure in floor plan costs, cleaning, fuel, insurance and storage and the net profit may end up being only $10,000.* You end up making $2000 - $2500 before taxes.*

An outstanding boat salesman might sell*20 of these boats a year.* You do the math.* The average boat salesman, will sell about 10, the new guy will be lucky to do 4 in the first year.*

If your dealership sells bigger boats you can pop one or two of them a year to increase your income, and if they sell much smaller boats you can pop a bunch of them a year to increase your income.*

My first year in boat sales I made $9,000, and I was hardly the exception.*

If you are thinking about getting into boat sales listen to this advice:* find a dealer that has high production brands, ie. Sea Ray.* Find a dealer that stocks a LOT of boats. They are much easier to sell when the customer can take delivery asap.* If you accomplish those two things you should have no problem selling boats.

04-14-2004, 10:40 AM
I suspect its alot like the realestate business ......
When I got my NC LIC.... only about 15% of those people
where even "around" the business 4 years later. And
that includes people who moved over to mortgage financing
or home inspections...etc... I myself spent almost 2 years
selling then was offered an internal mgt position with the
company I worked for in Raleigh......
It was a tough business to break into... and even harder to
stay the long course.... in my office as a new salesman
we had 35 agents...of which 5 were men..... MOST of the women
were NOT THE primary source of income in their families thus
why I think in many cases women can do well at that business.
One of our men was retired guy.. and the rest of us did other
things on the side.....hell myfirst year i closed 1.4 million is sales
and BEFORE expenses made just over 20grand....
But I digress... I suspect for every 10 NEW boat salesman..than
only a few of those will be left after a couple years.... just seems
like a very tough business.

04-14-2004, 01:59 PM
In addition to a low base salary, one of the "large nationwide boat dealers" pays 2% of the selling price unless they drop (negotiate) lower than a pre-determined price, then the commission drops to 1% of the selling price. Their motto is "the more they pay, the more we make!". Also, the 80%/20% rule applies in the marine business.

04-14-2004, 02:12 PM
I'm going to invent a new career that is the opposite of a boat salesman. It will be called a "boat buysman". In this career, your clients will pay you a percentage to go out and spend their money. All they have to do is give you a list of criteria and a blank check.....

Who want's in ??? ;)

04-14-2004, 02:19 PM
It's already being done. they're called Brokers

04-14-2004, 02:20 PM
Brian - I'm in man!

04-14-2004, 02:54 PM
Thank you all for your insightful feedback.


04-14-2004, 03:12 PM

If you are looking for a job in sales then I can sit down with you and discuss a few things. I have some friends in Waltham who are hiring sales folks and paying a 50-70k base plus generous comp plan.

Let me know if there is anything I can do to help out.

04-14-2004, 03:34 PM
Can we presume that only very succesful and proven sales people who have consistently earned in excess of six figures (base + commission total) would qualify to earn a 50-70K base in this opportunity? I can't imagine that this salary is being offered to minimum wage/no experience job applicants.

04-14-2004, 03:43 PM
SeaJay- yes and no. People with the experience they are looking for are getting the 70k base salary and those with general experience in the profession (not industry) are getting the lower end. It's in the healthcare, not boating, industry.

04-14-2004, 04:45 PM
For those of you that don't know, my fulltime gig is being a Fire Dept. Capt. in the suburbs of Dallas. Just finished my 19 year. I was actually guiding prior to getting on the fire dept. but having a good paying job and 20 days a month off to fish was too good a deal to pass up. Making living selling boats would be tough unless you were with a really good dealership. I was very lucky to have had the situation I had. I was provided a new boat every 12 months by OMC at almost no cost to me and I got a small commssion for any boats I sold during the year. I was a good fisherman and guide but that isn't how I ended up in a factory sponsored boat. I did it by selling a bunch of boats for the first dealer with whom I worked. Boat companies aren't in the business of catching fish, they want fishing and boating professionals that can create sales for their company. Each year at the boat show someone would show up with a stack of fish pictures and bass club trophy pictures in an attempt to secure a discount on a boat. Our question was always the same, "what do know about selling boats?" That is how a slightly above average guide and tournament fisherman like me ends up with a free boat for nearly 10 years.

For those interested in becoming boat salesman I will tell you a funny and very true story. One year the boat dealer that I was working with hired a contract salesman to come work the Dallas Boat Show with us. He introduced himself and informed us that he was a retired college football coach for a major university. He was from the midwest and had the very pleasant midwest personality.
I watched this guy sell boat after boat, I think he sold 6 or 7 in one day! This only became really impressive when you realized that this man knew almost nothing about boats! Hell, he didn't know a trolling motor from an air conditioning motor. After two days of watching this I caught him after the show and he gladly told me how it was he sold so many boats. I was lucky and had a natural ability to sell boats but he definately took my skills to the next level. I haven't sold boats for a few years but I haven't forgotten anything he told me.
The boat selling business is much tougher than it looks. There are good years and bad years no matter who you are. Sell a quality product, and treat people with respect. Being less than honest may make you a little more money in the short term but integrity is how survive in the boat business. Good luck. Paul McCoy

04-14-2004, 04:50 PM
Well !!!!

What was his secret?????


04-14-2004, 05:03 PM
MMMHHHH, I can sell a couple of hundred each year :roll :grin: :grin: :grin:

04-14-2004, 05:57 PM
Nice post Boat Guy.
After reading that, it's no wonder you went factory direct.

04-14-2004, 10:18 PM
Ed- I tried to reply to your message but my tacklebox is not working.

Let me know if there is anything I can do to help. the first company you mentioned has EXCELLENT benefits and good career growth. I am not familiar with boat sales so probably can't help.


04-14-2004, 10:49 PM
Sounds like one could do better in a Honda or Toyota dealership. :)

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