Pricing your boat too low and you’re giving money away, too high and you can’t get rid of it.
Here’s some top tips for pricing your boat right;
- Check out your local newspaper classifieds for boats that are identical to yours for sale, but remember that those are simply asking prices.
- Find out from local dealers to see what similar models they have available.
- You’ll probably find many identical boats offered on the Internet and there are a number of sites, including boatsforsaluk.co.uk.
- If you’re a member of BoatUS, they’ll provide you with a free estimate of the value of your used boat based primarily on the purchase histories of similar vessels.
- You can ask your bank or insurance agent for a marine “blue book,”. There are several available each varies in pricing and methodology (NADA and ABOS are the most used)*
- When comparing boats remember that small variations in engines or equipment can make big differences in price. Be mindful for variations for salt or freshwater use and see if the listing includes extra equipment that can raise the value.
- When comparing boat prices be sure you use the right year for your boat, check the VIN number stamped in the hull. A boat sold late in 1993, for example, is probably a 1994 model even though it shows 1993 on your registration papers.
*When using any blue book, be sure you understand how to use it and be brutally honest about the condition of your boat. Take blue book values with a grain of salt and don’t base your selling price only on these guides. If possible, get a copy of the blue book page with your boat on it to show to prospective buyers.
- Check to make sure the engine runs smoothly and the battery isn’t dead.
- Try to convince the buyer to limit ride-along friends and family to as few as possible to show off the space better.
- Apply a fresh coat of paint to make the boat look sharper. Look out for areas where the paint may have worn-off
- To attain a smoother ride and faster top-end speed remove the canvas, empty stowage areas, stow excess gear ashore and keep light on the fuel and water.
- If your boat condition rates “average” or “good” focus solely on the more glaring blemishes. Compound-out rust stains bleeding from fittings, re-tape shredded boot stripe, de-grease the engine, clean the bilge, surreptitiously place air fresheners if the cabin is musty and if you have clear curtains, replace or remove any that are scratched or clouded by age.
- An extra furniture and surface polish and shine an hour before arrival can make a good first impression
- Have all the documents prepared all title, registration, extended warranty and, if available, service records on hand
- Know your bottom–line price well in advance of meeting the first buyer and be prepared for negotiation
Remember: Do not sign the boat over until you know you can spend the buyer’s money