Friday, 6 April 2012

Grey Import or Buy from an Authorised Dealer?



I was exhibiting at a Boat Show recently and met a lovely man who said  "I'm going to the States and I'm buying a Regal 2100 over there as I'll save myself $30-$40,000." I wish we were making this much of a margin on our boats, but this is so very far from the truth.


I had an article published about Grey Importing titled 'Grey Daze' as I felt compelled to share the reality of this risky endeavour. I've heard all the stories and more have been bad than good.


Why Buy Your Regal Boat or Chris Craft direct from Premier Marine?


We are the importer and distributor of all our brands, which means we have no middle-men or finance issues. We happily pass these savings on to you in the beginning. So it might work out that you could save a few thousand dollars, but is it really worth the headache and hassle involved?


We start all our prices at the US pricing and simply add on the costs involved to get your boat here in Australia and pre-deliver the boat. We don't factor in our costs of training and ongoing support and service. We don't even charge you for the safety kit, fenders or lines!  


If you buy your boat from an authorised dealer, you will have the peace of mind regarding full access to warranty. AND, we do all the work for you. If you grey import, you need to know you will not have any support or warranty in Australia!


On big boats, especially, please remember we have the boats built to Australian standards. Any grey import is built for US standards, which will see you carry the extra cost of changing the boat when it arrives. This cost can be $50,000 to $70,000 for changing the electricals alone!


We use the best shipping methods to ensure your boat arrives in perfect condition. That is, we buy the best cradles, use the best shrink-wrapping methods and use the best transport companies. We had a grey importer bring in a big Regal only to find there was major structural damage and the boat was a write-off. 


Whilst I've heard of a few positive outcomes regarding grey-importing, the bad far outweigh the good. You might get lucky and get yourself a great bargain BUT you might also be wasting thousands of dollars and time bringing in a lemon. 


So I would advise you to really do your homework and never rely on a marine survey as these are often fabricated considering there is no legal recourse available.