Business Opportunities

Be a local Wavewalk® dealer

We welcome inquiries from individuals and businesses who are interested in reselling our products locally in the United States and in other countries.

Background

Since 2004, Wavewalk has been selling its kayaks factory direct to clients in the United States, Canada, and overseas.  The problem with this direct distribution system is that many people want to see a Wavewalk® kayak or boat in real life before buying one, and they prefer to buy locally. So we decided to develop a distribution program based on exclusive local dealers.

Why sell through exclusive dealers?

We want to do our kayaks and car-top boats justice, since they are unique. Simply, they are the world’s best kayaks and car-top boats for fishing.
We’ve worked together with several Wavewalk fans and local boat dealerships in the US and in other countries on developing their Wavewalk businesses. We’ve learned what works, and what doesn’t, and we’re still learning.
Between 2015 and now, we grew from a company with a single product line of kayaks (the W500) into a company with three product lines of kayaks and portable boats (W500, W700, S4).
This rapid growth is a challenge for our dealers, as well as for us, since not all dealers who could make it as resellers of the W500 can cope with three products lines – Storage space and technical capabilities are only two problems related to such transition.

The Wavewalk® dealer

We think that what really matters for a Wavewalk dealer in order to succeed are their personal experience with our product, their integrity, their location of course, and their commitment to their Wavewalk business.
Salesmanship is not something we require from our dealers, and some of them resell our products out of their garage, without a commercial storefront, and it works fine.
We’ve helped most of our dealers create and develop websites, at no charge, and some of these websites are good enough to get traffic directly from Internet search engines.

Read about a Wavewalk dealer who uses the W700 and S4 for his fishing and diving guide business »

Requirements

The requirements we have from local dealers and international distributors are similar, but they may differ in some ways, depending on the markets served. In any case, the relationship between Wavewalk and its dealers is mutually exclusive: We don’t resell through other dealers or distributors in an area served by our distributor, and they don’t offer kayaks or paddles from other manufacturers, unless we explicitly agree to that. Our dealers can also be regular boat and outboard motor dealerships.

Our main requirement from our local dealers is to take their business seriously, which is why we require a minimum initial order of 4 boats and paddles. We don’t want to invest time and resources in developing a dealership for someone who isn’t serious about it.

We also require from our dealers to generate personal and local content for their website in text pictures and videos, if possible. This is very important.
Another requirement is to advertise locally on online classified ads websites such as Craigslist. It works to build a local presence and generate sales leads.
We strongly recommend registering the dealership in Google Local Business, since it improves the dealership’s performance in local searches.

What value does a local US dealer add?

  1. Location: Being there with demo Wavewalk® kayaks and car-top boats to show to prospecting clients.
  2. Demos: Our dealers are free to decide whether they want to provide live demos to prospecting clients.
  3. Sale: Having a few Wavewalk® kayaks / car-top boats in stock, available for purchase and pickup. Reselling without stocking doesn’t work, and it is not acceptable.
  4. Upgrade and Outfit: Our dealers are welcome to upgrade and outfit the Wavewalk® kayaks and car-top boats they sell. This must be done in compliance with Wavewalk’s requirements regarding the use and representation of the Wavewalk® brand, logos, etc.
  5. Local Promotion: We don’t ask our local dealers to spend money on local promotion except advertising  locally as boat dealers on Craigslist and similar classified ads websites where advertising is free for dealers.
    We recommend to our dealers to interact with potential clients on other websites in their area, such as local outdoors and fishing discussion forums and blogs.
    We require from our dealers to provide pictures and verbal material to update their website. If our dealer can’t do it themselves, we do it for them, or help them learn how to do it.
    We also recommend getting involved in local fishing clubs, and registering the dealership on Google Business / Local.
  6. Brand recognition and promotion: In case a dealer manages their own website, we require adequate exposure and promotion of the Wavewalk® brand, and having links to Wavewalk’s website placed in places where visitors can easily find them, and click on them if they want additional information.

More information on our local dealer program »

Wavewalk® national distributor

In general, the national distributor is responsible for a country or a large size territory outside the United States, and their job is to import our kayaks and boats to their country, and distribute them locally to end users and local dealers.
Depending on which country or territory they serve, a large population and large territory may require additional things from our distributor, such as shipping to clients in remote locations, recruiting local dealers in other areas of their country, keeping a substantial number of kayaks and car-top boats in stock, developing a national Wavewalk website for their country or territory with country-specific verbal and visual materials, etc.

We provide assistance with all these things. More information about becoming a national Wavewalk® distributor »

 

10 Comments

  1. Hasdrubal

    Didn’t Wavewalk have a dealer in Australia?
    Just curious 😛

  2. fish kayak

    We had a distributor in Australia for some time, and both parties have mutually decided to end this experiment. Australia is a huge market that presents a big business opportunity for a national distributor, but it’s also a challenge due to the big distances, which make it harder to serve clients and distribute the product effectively. In order to succeed, a national distributor in Australia needs to develop several vertical and geographic markets at the same time, as well as develop a website with good local content that would appeal to both Australian anglers and paddlers.
    We offered our Australian distributor all the support we could, but since they weren’t anglers they found it too hard to relate to the key fishing market in Australia, and they also failed to recruit local dealers in other regions outside their own. The challenge was too big for them.

    We also had a successful dealer in the Netherlands who decided to stop importing our kayaks as he saw his country’s economy seriously deteriorating. I can’t blame him for that.

    Another interesting case was our local dealer in Houston, Texas, who sold nearly 40 W kayaks in one year, but we removed him from our dealer list and stopped selling to him as soon as we found out that in addition to reselling our kayaks, he had taken steps to resell other kayak brands too, under another business name. That was clearly a violation of our mutual exclusivity policy, and we couldn’t allow it.

  3. PaulZ

    Yoav, you mentioned three unsuccessful ventures but overall it seems to me that Wavewalk’s dealers program is a very impressive success story. I find it inspiring that in these hard economic times you guys spawned and developed dozens of new businesses in this country and around the world that would have most likely not come into being without you. Great job!
    Paul

  4. fish kayak

    Thanks Paul,
    I brought these examples to show that success isn’t always guaranteed, and there can be different reasons for it. In any case, we’re committed to helping and instructing our dealers the best we can, and so far we’ve been pretty successful with our program.

  5. Avaz Bob

    It seems to me that your ex-Dealer in Houston did something pretty foolish and nasty. Why did he do that?

  6. fish kayak

    Bob, I don’t know, and I guess this is something you’d need to ask them 😉

  7. Avaz Bob

    Didn’t this guy name his kayak business “wavewalk-Houston
    somtehing” in the first place?

  8. fish kayak

    They did, since that was their intention back when they started their business, apparently.

  9. lake

    Fyi, I bumped into these Houston guys’ facebook page, and saw pictures they posted from a tradeshow they took part in not so long ago (it said 2013), and guess which kayak starred in their booth?…- The W500! Are you sure these guys aren’t your dealers? 😉
    Jack

  10. fish kayak

    Jack, they’re definitely no longer our dealers, and we stopped selling to them a while ago.
    We sold them many W kayaks, and I guess they still had some in stock when that show took place, so they used the opportunity to try and sell them.
    I doubt they have any W kayaks left now, and I don’t know for what reason their website or Facebook page still feature information about the W500. It’s weird.

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