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Sailman123 12-30-2004 10:05 AM

Asking vs Selling price
Been out looking to purchase a used boat. As with all things, I would assume that actual selling prices are lower than asking prices. There is the old saying, "offer half of the asking price and don''t be surprised when it''s accepted". Is there any source for finding out "actual selling price" of boats out there? Of course the boat and location will have something to do with the actual selling price, but is there any rule of thumb about what to offer?


gstraub 12-30-2004 11:59 AM

Asking vs Selling price
There usually is a difference between asking and selling prices, but what that difference is will depend a lot on the condition, location, etc. Brokers have access to a service of Yachtworld called It lists the listing price and the final selling price, if the broker reported it (and reported it accurately). If you are using a broker and find a boat you like, ask him for the sold boats info.


sailingfool 12-30-2004 12:42 PM

Asking vs Selling price
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Given knowledgeable buyers and sellers, I think the delta between the asking and purchase prices relates to two factors:
1. Seller time-to-money - a seller willing to wait for what they think a boat might bring will ask high, and if not lucky, over time this expectation erodes and the delta starts to grow. So look for time-on-market, two-boat seller, or best of all, a trade-in.
2. Boats with problems - seller knows the problems and their costs with exactness, but asks anyway a market price that doesn''t reflect the value of their particular example. If the seller doesnt find a un-knowing or unfortunate buyer, the subsequent delta reflects the actual value of this boat versus the market average.

Do not in any case assume that a big delta is a sign of a good deal, I think it is far more likely a sign of a problem boat, and the buyer usually doesn''t figure all the problems out until they''re the owner. My advice - value boats which offer little delta because they''ve been continually updated and maintained.

My opinion - any buyer who thinks a deal so good they are stealing the boat, is probably being robbed...

BarryL 12-31-2004 10:02 AM

Asking vs Selling price

Unless you are looking at a very rare boat, you should be able to get a general idea of what the boat should sell for by checking yachtworld, boattraderonline, and a few other sites.

I bought a used boat back in June. I searched (casually at first, then more seriously when I became more anxious) for about six months. During that time I watched many boats just sit and site. Eventually the price would drop until it became reasonable, then the boat would sell.

Study the ads for a few months and you will learn what prices the boats are really selling for.

What I don''t understand is why so many list their boats at unreasonably high prices. It takes six months before they drop the price to something reasonable, then the boat sells. However the owners wasted six months!


TrueBlue 12-31-2004 10:43 AM

Asking vs Selling price
"What I don''t understand is why so many list their boats at unreasonably high prices."

I believe the "high" asking price initially set by the owner, is a reasonable figure to him/her. The amount is most likely based upon a compilation of the Owner''s total investment in the boat, the broker''s fee and a negotiation margin.

Just a matter of time before market reality sets in and the Owner accepts the inevitable loss. I suppose it''s human nature to not account for the cost of enjoyment during ownership.


PaulBl 12-31-2004 11:41 AM

Asking vs Selling price
People think they know what their boat is worth. Often a broker will not work hard to discourage them since they could scare off the seller. Some sellers need more time to understand that sometimes the boat is worth more to them than in the market. It''s not at all unlike selling your home. It is perfectly possible for a boat to be worth more to you than the market price.

People are free to ask what they will. I would not however assume that all aksing prices are atrificially high all the time because they expect to negotiate down.

Few buyers will offer more than asked. Smart sellers will attempt to hit the price correctly and thus not scare off would be buyers. A good broker would help a seller if they were willing to listen.

The last variable is the survey. If you have issues in the survey they work the best at real reasons to offer less.

DaveB. 12-31-2004 04:00 PM

Asking vs Selling price
Does anyone have any real information on this topic? Like, for instance, a broker, or anyone else, who has seen the asking price and selling price of 20 or 50 or 100 boats and can give some idea of the average--or mean--difference? Or even anyone''s individual buying or selling experience? We all know that ''it depends.'' But averages, or industry trends/tendencies, can be useful information to a buyer going into a transaction.

There''s a thread here called "Blue Book Values" (or something like that), where NADA says they use reports from their "industry advisors" or some b.s. like that... Brokers who have actually seen sales figures. They give the value of a 1975 Islander 36 (for instance) as $23,000. The average asking prices of Islander 36''s on Yachtworld is 150-200% above that. That''s a VERY big fudge factor! Markets work best when they''re efficient, and to be efficient they need to be transparent. We need information! Where to get it?!


TrueBlue 12-31-2004 05:29 PM

Asking vs Selling price
You''re asking if there is a scientific process to determine what a boat is worth? You may not get any definitive answers here, since used boat values are market driven. If a new boat interests you, of course brokers/dealers will not reveal their bottom lines publicly. When bartering for a car, a dealer will never tell you his cost and profit margin.

I just bought a 18 year old, 33 foot Finland-built boat for 75k that was listed for 89k. My broker shared inside info on two exact model boats of the same vintage that sold regionally within 6 months prior for 135k and 118k and listed for much more. My surveyor valued the boat above the listing price . . . so, did I get a good deal? I feel like I made out OK. Unless, I see a similar boat selling for less $ months from now. But then it may not be as well maintained and have fewer upgrades. I certainly won''t beat myself over it.

Work with your broker to research current and past offers and selling prices on the boats you are interested in, when serious about one, hire a good surveyor and give the owner your best price.


DirtManly 01-01-2005 03:41 AM

Asking vs Selling price
I am a broker and my experience has been that most owners have 10-15 % figured in for negotitions. Please know that we do NOT set prices on our customers boats. We do the research for them and give them the best information available, but in the end they tell us what to set the price at and what they will accept for the boat. Some folks are reasonable some are not. Most folks seem to think that there boat is worth much more than it actually is. It is my opinion that this is because people want to believe all the wonderful and expensive gismo''s and gadgets they installed when they bought the boat still add value years later. Unless all that stuff is very new it doesn''t seem to add much value. It takes time for it to sink in that this is part of the cost of ownership.
Having said that, are there deals to be had, yes, are they on every dock, NO. A deal is going to have a lot to do with your expectations. If you expect to find a Pacific Seacraft 34 in Bristol condition for $5000.00 I would recommend psychiatric care, it aint going to happen. If you are looking to get a PS 34 for $5000.00 under market value, that could happen but it will require patients, and dilgent searching. You will need to know your market in order to realize when you are looking at a deal. Derelick boats are rarely a deal, I can''t tell you how many people dream of finding a boat that they pay near nothing for and find out it only needed cleaning up. That doesn''t seem to happen much, from what I''ve seen these folks end up spending more on the old boat getting it up to speed than it could ever be worth. There is some merit to this idea IF you plan to keep it LONG term.(at my house this is defined as, long term = they are in my last will and testiment) If you plan to fix it up and sell it to make a couple bucks, you will more than likely end up one of the folks with that ridiculuosly over priced boats out there that wont sell.
Heres an idea for you, call a broker and be honest about what your looking for. It may take several brokers, but you will find one. If they have an owner that is anxious to sell or a boat that is undervalued to move quick we will tell you about it.
My personal experience has been, the problem with buying 1/2 price boats is the math doesn''t work well. When you add water to math everything seems to become exponential. The result works something like this, 1/2 X 1/2 = 1/4. You pay half price for the boat, being as how you got such a good deal you pour the other half in on goodies and a year later the boat is worth about a quarter of what you paid for it.
Very best of luck to you on your search. If you are in the southeast email me direct and I will help you find a boat.

dman 01-01-2005 04:05 AM

Asking vs Selling price
The problem we are having with this type of question is that it is too general.There are countless variables.Any boat is only worth what someone is willing to pay,bottom line.Many owners get an inflated price when a survey is done and believe if it is insured for x amount it is worth that.Any insured boat is worth more sunk than floating in my opinion.Remember it only takes one sucker,I mean buyer.

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