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post #1 of Old 03-21-2002 Thread Starter
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Curious Customs: Setting Price Before Setting Sail?

Ahoy Everyone!

I was all set to spend time looking over a Beneteau 350 tomorrow. I pulled up the local weather and "breezy" was just fine with me.....Curious thing, though.....The broker tells me, "Oh, we won''t be sailing the boat. You can walk on board and then make an offer. You cut a check for 10% of the offered price. (We won''t cash it, though.) If the buyer agrees, you get to take her out for a sail and survey. If you don''t like what you see, we''ll refund your downpayment."

Hello! Is it just me or does this sound wrong? I don''t see how I could possibly make an offer on a boat that I haven''t even sailed. Why would I obligate that kind of money before even having a good idea that this is a boat I want to buy?

Now, maybe that''s the way the boat brokerage business goes. Thus far, all the boats I''ve considered buying have been private sales, so the seller and I go out for a sail and talk a little turkey while we''re cruising.

I told the broker to forget it. I''m going to be crewing Saturday at the club, anyhow, so I''ll hear the scuttlebutt about the latest boats being put up for grabs by the owner.

My question to y''all is this: Was my experience unusual in the boat brokerage business, or is this the way it is customarily done?

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