Time To Sell Your Boat? Tips for writing an ad and attracting buyers Pricing: Research the price other boats like yours are selling for in your area. Go to the www.NADA.com website and check it out. Look in boating magazines. Buyers go to private sellers in an effort to save the broker commission fee. As an individual, it is rare that you can get the same price as what a broker could get. Even selling at a lower price, you could end up walking away with the same amount of money as you would have with running the sale thru a broker. Remember, over priced boats stay on the market forever. Make sure you put a price/number on the ad. “BEST OFFER” without a dollar amount will not attract the buyers you want. It gives no indication as to how much you expect to sell the boat for. Do not make them guess. Pictures; Do not put on pictures of boats like yours from sales brochures. People want to see what YOUR boat looks like, not a boat from a magazine ad. Sales brochure pictures don’t show boats loaded up with canvas and other accessories that you have added. Take good pictures. If you can get a good one of your engine room, that would be helpful. You can have up to 6 pictures on our site. Know your boat. Many boaters do not have a clue as to what size their generator is. Take the time to go find out. You do not want to over state the size or under state the size. Understating the size could indicate to buyers that your generator is too small for the power needs of the vessel. Overstating the size will rouse suspicions as to how many other things on your boat have been overstated and misrepresented. Put the location of the vessel in the ad description area. On the Internet, buyers are from both coasts. Let buyers know the state and area where it is located. Buyers will not call you to find out where the boat is. They will just by pass your boat because they assume it is located too far from where they plan to keep it. You have to make it easy for buyers to contact you. Put your email address on the ad. The first contact from a buyer is most likely going to be via email. Ads with only a phone number do not get the action that the ads with an email address do. Check your email frequently after posting your boat for sale. If you only check your email box every few weeks, you are going to lose the sale. If the buyer does not hear from you within a few days after contacting you, he will move on. By the time you get around to contacting them, they may very well have turned their interest to another boat. Avoid describing your boat and all the equipment in just a few words. Go thru your boat with a pad and pencil. Write down all the optional equipment that you or a previous owner added.. THIS IS IMPORTANT SO BUYERS CAN COMPARE YOUR BOAT WITH OTHERS THEY HAVE LOOKED AT OR ARE CURRENTLY LOOKING AT. Write an ad that shows that your boat stands out from the crowd.The boat that gives buyers the most bang for the buck is going to be the winner. If you have 3 air conditioners, include that in your ad. The other boats the buyer who called you may have only had 2 air conditioners. Having that 2nd or 3rd air conditioner is a PLUS for your boat over others. If your radar is only 2 years old, include that on the ad. That would be a plus for you if the buyer is comparing your boat with another and the competing boat has a 10 year old radar. You are trying to SELL your boat yourself so you have to write your own ad. You need to do a good job of it. If you were using a broker, he would be doing it. Write your ad better than what a broker would do. It is YOUR boat. Make a great sales pitch to attract buyers to your boat without exaggeration or untrue statements. The worst thing you can do is include how many TV sets you have and leave out how many heads and staterooms you have. And may sellers are guilty of this. TV sets and DVD players are relatively low cost items. They are not deal breakers when buyers are comparing boats. High dollar items, like age of the canvas, age of the refrigerator and air conditioners, windlass, icemaker, etc. weigh heavily with comparison shoppers. If you have these type of items, include them. If they have been replaced in the past 2 or 3 years, include that information. Do not write your ad in all upper case letters or CAPS. It is very annoying to read an ad where the seller has written it using all caps. Keep the boat clean inside and out so it is always ready to show. Get the carpet cleaned. Make it look as presentable as possible. Take off your knick knacks that are sitting around cluttering up the counters. Unload some of the stuff in the closets & lockers. Keep the outside washed and waxed. Even if you have lost interest in boating and do not use it any more. If it looks dirty and full of spider poop, it will raise questions with buyers about how well the boat has been cared for and that gives them reason to knock down the amount of their offer. If it appears too bad, they will not even make an offer. If you also have it listed with a broker, he is not going to wash it. That is your responsibility. So do not lock the door go home and forget it. Be prepared for a survey. Buyers will want to do a survey and a sea trial. If any deficiencies found be prepared to have them taken care of or negotiate the price. Do not do joy rides. Until a buyer puts down a non-refundable deposit, keep the boat in the slip. Some people who want to go for a boat ride. Instead of chartering a boat they will contact sellers and ask for a sea trial. In these cases all that is going to happen is that you burned up $200 worth of gas. PEOPLE WHO OFFER YOU MORE THAN YOUR ASKING PRICE: Internet Scams It is possible and very likely that you will be contacted by someone posing as a buyer for your boat or item that you list for sale on the web. The method is always the same. They will offer you more money than what you are asking and then request that you send them back the difference between your asking price and the amount of the check that they send to you. Example; You ask $75,000 for your boat, they send you a check for $100,000 and want you to send them a check from your bank account for $25,000. They will be most likely from Nigeria but could be from Bulgaria, Angola or anywhere overseas. They always use FEDX. This happens frequently to anyone who lists anything for sale anyplace on the Internet. For you own protection, do not respond to anyone who contacts you from out of the USA or Canada or anyone who offers you more money than you are asking. In the event that you are contacted, do not be tempted to reply. Just hit your delete button. If you find a buyer, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. We have a generic sales agreement to help you complete your sale. Good luck with putting your ad together and showing your boat.
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