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  #1  
Old 11-14-2007
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How much below asking to offer?

As I prepare to make offers on some boats, I'm wondering how much below the asking price to offer.

I've only purchased one boat previously and the asking was $9,995 and I offered $7,500 expecting to negotiate a little and settle around $8,000- 8,500but he took the offer which of course made me wonder if I could have gotten it for less.

I know it depends a lot on the boat, the broker, the owner, time of year etc... but I was just wondering what other people have gotten their boats for versus the asking price.

If you're not comfortable posting what you actually paid you can tell me in percentages. Example you got the boat for 25% less than asking, 35% less than asking etc...

Any info will be very helpful.

Thanks again for all the help and support from the forum. This is a great place for knowledge!

Steve
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Old 11-14-2007
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Well,I can't add any figures; I'm just approaching the point where you are at....

But consider your bargaining points.

1) Cash on Hand? no wait for financing, holidays are coming, need that cash

2) Layup fees. Will you be taking on the winter storage costs?

3) Commissioning costs: The buyer won't have to commission in the spring!

This may be a good time for some of these bargaining points.
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Old 11-14-2007
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Once you decide on the boat, decide on how much you are willing to pay. For example, when I bought my boat, it was listed at $24,900 and I was willing to pay $23,000. My first bid was $19,000. Of course, the seller was insulted (as relayed by the broker), and came back at $24,000. I countered at $22,000 and the broker said he wasn't coming off the 24. I said fine, I'll keep looking. Ten minutes later, he called and said he would reduce his commission and get the marina to give me free winter storage ($500+ value) and the seller would take $23,500. (About $22,400 net to me.) I took the deal. Basically, don't get married to the boat emotionally during the buying process (do that after you buy it!). And always remember to make your offer contingent on a survey. After the survey, the game starts again if things need to be fixed.
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Old 11-14-2007
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It really depends on the boat, owner and broker. From what I have seen boats will sell somewhere between listing price and 40% off. I looked at a boat that the owner would not budge off the asking price and the boat did sell, I wasn't really interested in it.

I offered 17% less for an over priced boat that is still on the market, has been for 3 years.

After I do my research on value I offer what I think the boat is worth, almost ignoring asking price. I still don't have my next boat yet, but I am rather fussy.
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Old 11-14-2007
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My advice is to ignore the asking price. It is often based primarily on what the owner thinks it's worth. Do your due diligence. If you find a boat you want to buy, get the broker or someone with accress to check actual selling prices in your area and base your offer on that alone. Also keep in mind that the higher the value, the more room to negotiate and the greater % of reduction in offer.
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Old 11-14-2007
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There are three public sources of boat prices.
BUC, NADA and Boat US. BUC & NADA use a longer time horizon I'm told so you might see 2 year old sales. Boat US uses recent sales plus their experience with the insurance market and those valuations. So I find Boat US to be a bit lower in estimations.
Find out what similar boats are selling for and decide if you want to overpay for some reason like close proximity, bristol condition or perhaps the slip that comes with it.
I'm seeing a premium of 30% to 40% on many listed boats in the arena I'm shopping, over recent sales prices. Some of these boats have been for sale for 2 or 3 years.
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Old 11-14-2007
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Tough question to answer accurately, as there are so many variables (just as you mentioned). However, during my first boat purchase I told the the selling broker I was having trouble determining what to offer ('84 Newport 28 in virtually bristol condition with asking price of $22,500). She actually told me "it's customary to offer 10% below the asking price". So I did, and the $20K offer was immediately accepted. It was only later that I found out the owner already bought a bigger boat and was getting antsy to sell. I probably could have bought the boat for $18,500, which was the average high end asking price for those models at that time (which is what my yachtworld.com research was telling me...).

Next purchase was a custom Wm. Garden Gulf 40, also in nearly bristol condition. This was through the owner (no brokers involved), and he was asking $65K. My research told me the boat was worth that and more, so we offered $58K. He responded with, "I'm sorry, even though that is the best offer, we're selling it for $65K and not a penny less". I said OK, and bought it. We sold the boat 4 years later for $65K, telling the first offer I got the same thing.

Current boat, a '78 North Sea 33 pilothouse cutter, was originally on the market at $39,500. Ended up buying it more than a year later for $28K.

So, as you can see, it's difficult to find a "rule of thumb" to employ, especially when it comes to buying used boats. Suffice to say, the more you know about a particular boat/model you're planning on making an offer, including market values over the last 5-10 years, the more empowered you are in not only making an educated offer, but you might very well know more than the seller in that regard and could convince him to accept your offer...
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Old 11-14-2007
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I cannot tell you how many times this question is asked on this board and others. The answer....there is no answer!

Like a car, house, RV,or job, the boat is worth what someone is willing to pay for it. Does not matter what the seller or broker want it to be worth, it is what the person with the money is willing to pay for it.Period!

Do your due dilligence, figure out what it is worth on the market, what you are willing to pay to become the next owner, and negotiate from there. Make sure that a survey is part of the buying equation so you have room to get things fixed as part of the buy.

However, if you want to buy my boat, I will take 40% less than the exhorbitant price tag I will put on it for people that think 40% is the right number. A smart owner will put a fair price on the boat if they want to sell it. Unfortunately, as in housing, people that are selling do not usually do their due diligence either. They price it based on how much they need to buy the next one or pay off the mortgage. Lots of that going around in the housing market today. Not working really well either.
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Old 11-14-2007
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My boat had been on the market two months before I got her for 13K. I bought her for $ 20.00 USD plus $ 679.00 in back moorage. Negotiate.
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Old 11-14-2007
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Don't be afraid to start low and don't be worried about insulting the owner or broker. It's your money and you have decide how much of it is well-spent on the boat your considering. I personally purchased my most recent boat for less than half the asking price, but it is a major project that the owner just wanted removed from his yard because he was relocating. The more you know about the owner's situation, the more you know about the boat, the more you know about the competition, the better deal you'll get. It pays to educate yourself.
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