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Old 07-22-2013
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Re: What Is A Boat Really Worth?

I once sold cars for 6 weeks - shortly after I graduated from college and was looking for my 1st 'real' job. I'll never forget one of the tactics this Toyota dealership instructed us on and expected us to do.

If a customer came in and said they wanted to look at Camries, we would immediately ask what their monthly budget for a payment was. Typically they would say something like $250 or $300 month (or whatever). We would then walk the customer over to the Corollas and start telling them the features of the Corollas.

The customer would then say something like "I'm sorry, I said I was interested in a Camry". We were instructed to look the customer in the eye and say something along the lines of "At $250/month you can't afford a Camry, that is why I was showing you a Corolla...if you really want a Camry, you need to get your thinking up."

The whole idea was to obliterate what the customer was expecting to pay for a car and to raise the bar to what the dealership was expecting them to pay for a car. I think many sailboat owners and brokers want to set their starting point of the negotiating bar as high as they can. Additionally, many sailboat owners have an emotional attachment to their boats that gets reflected in their asking price.

Over time if a boat is overpriced and does not sell, the seller has a white elephant on their hands and begins to understand that they need to adjust down.

The reason that I brought up the car tactic is that it can work both ways. An informed potential buyer can bluntly let a boat owner know that they need to 'get their thinking down'. When an owner or broker shows you the boat and asks "What do you think?" there is nothing wrong with saying something along the lines of "Well, I looked at another boat of the same model and year as this one last week that had sails that were replaced 3 years ago and had less than 1,000 hours on the engine that was $15K less than your asking price."

On a side note...looking at listings on Yachtworld, I am continually amazed at the number of boats for sale that have pictures with clutter all over the boat they are trying to sell. Does it not dawn on these sellers that prior to putting the boat listing up and taking the photos that will serve as a window to potential buyers that maybe they should take a day or two and remove all the crap that they have been storing in their boats?? As a potential buyer that not only makes me think that they have neglected their boats but that the boat probably has not been actually sailed in quite a while because the minute they had any kind of breeze and the boat heeled to any degree, all that crap would be getting tossed around the inside of the cabin.
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