Why Your Boat Isn’t Selling

Some people have inflated expectations of their boats worth, some are impatient and some just don’t understand the principals of supply and demand or how the used boat market place works. Here are our basic rules for getting your boat sold.

badbottom.jpg1. Be Realistic. There comes a time when you realize that you may be asking too much money for your boat. It may be based on your interpretation of what you paid plus what you have invested plus how much profit you want to make. Well, forget that. Hardly anyone makes a profit on a boat. The repairs you have made to your boat seldom increase the value, but merely help retain value. Equipment you have added over the years keeps getting upgraded by manufacturers so it loses value as well. In fact, almost any piece of equipment you add will lose at least 50% of it’s value as soon as it is taken out of the shipping box! Having nice equipment does help a boat sell quicker, but does not necessarily increase the value.

2. Do Your Research. If you don’t know how much competition there is for your particular boat in the current market, you can not set a realistic price. We usually do this research for you if you list your boat with our brokerage department. We study the market and compare similar boats for sale. We take the age of the boats, the condition of the boat, the equipment and the pricing on the boats all into consideration to help you set a realistic price on your boat.

3. Be At The Top. If your boat looks the best of all the available boats, your chances of capturing the buyer is increased exponentially. Nothing turns a buyer off faster than a lackluster boat with bad gelcoat and worn varnish. Every buyer wants a new boat in their mind – not a used one. Make your used boat look like new and you will capture that buyer. Plus having a neglected looking boat primarily attracts “bottom-feeders” or people or are looking for a bargain. These people will nickel and dime you and make you regret ever dealing with them. Play it smart and avoid this type of buyer by keeping your boat in like-new condition.

4. Know Your Time Table – If you are willing to wait for the right buyer, you may be waiting a long time. This may not be a problem if you are getting use from the boat while you wait – maybe hoping just to replace with the proceeds of the sale. But if the boat is sitting unused in a slip or in dry dockage, it is costing you money to wait. If you take into consideration the amount you are spending on insurance, storing, maintaining and interest payments on any loan you may have on the boat, you may find it is to your advantage to drop the price upfront to eliminate accruing costs. You should have a time schedule of price drops in mind when you set your price. For example, if the boat does not sell in 3 months advise your broker to drop the price. If sells too quickly, you probably have it priced too low!

5. Keep Good Records. I have talked to many boat buyers who actually bought their boat because the previous owner had good service records onboard. This tells the buyer that you have maintained the boat properly and they can see for themselves any problems the boat may have had and what steps you have taken to correct them. This instills confidence the boat has been well-maintained.

6. Choose The Right Broker. It always helps to have a broker who is very familiar with your type of boat. If you look at the other boats the broker has, you can see what their specialty is. Look at the condition of the other boats the broker has listed and you can tell if he caters to a upscale buyer or the bottom-feeders. It also helps if your broker has a good relationship with a service yard that can help you bring your boat up to a salable condition and to keep it that way.

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