Colorado Pontoon Boat Price War, or Amazon Growing and WalMart trying to keep up.

July 27, 2011

Colorado Pontoon Boat

Pontoon boat? More like pawntoon

The Colorado pontoon boat has been my best-selling boat for years. Introduced over 4 years ago, it has maintained a strong presence in the market long since its contemporaries were discontinued or made-over. It has several variations, as well, with re-badged versions selling as the Wilderness and the Outfitter, for example. You may own a Colorado and not even know it.

A rugged and relatively feature-rich boat, the Colorado is right in the sweet spot for introductory personal pontoon boat buyers. For years it was around $450, out the door, affording retailers a decent margin and buyers a pretty good deal. Recently, however, the Colorado has become a pawn in the ever-worsening price war between Amazon and Wal-Mart. Sadly, this once-great source of contribution margin is going the way of the pontoon boat or RV cover: a high-dollar item that buyers use to inflate average order size and top line sales dollars at the expense of gross margin. Amazon’s current strategy of sacrificing profit for sales is a boon to the consumer, if not for schmucks like us.

3 months ago, the Colorado sold for $417.54 at Wal-Mart and Amazon. It is now around $350, including shipping. This is amazingly low, and a fantastic deal for the consumer. I hate to say it, but buyers should take advantage of this pricing if they don’t mind buying from these two behemoths. Don’t forget who told you if you need, say, a grill cover. We’re still competitive with those.

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