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TakeFive 11-08-2009 07:58 PM

Buying on ebay?
I've bought high quality musical instruments running around $1000 on ebay before. I have a lot of expertise in that area, so can sort the honest sellers from the crooks. But I've never considered buying a boat from ebay Motors. Have any of you tried? Any advice?

I know the brokers talk down on it, but they'll talk down on anyone who is outside their brokerage fraternity.

There is a nice late model boat up there with no reserve right now that I would consider. I've sent a couple of questions but no response yet. (Usually I can gauge the honesty of the seller from how clearly they answer my questions.) Other suggestions?

Stillraining 11-08-2009 08:01 PM

just one.....Don't buy sight unseen...if you cant get to it pass on it.

anemoneii 11-08-2009 08:04 PM

I bought my current boat on ebay, it was local, I took a look bought it for half the asking price on most models on Yachtworld. Sold my last two boats on Ebay, both out of the country sight unseen, both went extreamly well.

GreatWhite 11-08-2009 08:05 PM

I have had good success buying stuff on ebay, although not boats. I have a friend who is picking a boat up 1000 miles from where he lives... all I know is it is rougher shape than he expected.

The thing with boats is the photos don't always tell the story...sometimes they are dated or just don t capture the overall condition.

I would say as a minimum you would want to have someone local look at the boat beyond feeling the seller out.

Check local boat buying assistance here on SN.

tager 11-08-2009 08:11 PM

It seems as though it would be easy to hide problems by selling a boat on ebay. I wouldn't buy a boat on ebay unless I could see it. It is just too risky. Even if the boat is next to free, you could end up losing a lot of money on the wrong boat.

M275sailer 11-08-2009 08:24 PM

I bought my current boat on ebay sight unseen a couple of years ago. It was a great deal and I lucked out with the condition of it. It is a very risky venture though. I based a big part of my decision on the posts about the seller's reputation and the fact that Mirage builds a good boat. The more I learn about my boat and the cost of maintenance, the more I realize I was lucky and could have really been burnt. A survey and a look in person would be the way to go.

TakeFive 11-08-2009 08:33 PM


Originally Posted by anemoneii (Post 539839)
I bought my current boat on ebay, it was local, I took a look bought it for half the asking price on most models on Yachtworld. Sold my last two boats on Ebay, both out of the country sight unseen, both went extreamly well.

How exactly does the process work for cars and boats? I know from past ebay experience that I have a moral obligation to complete the transaction once I win the auction. But if the boat is misrepresented I would have no qualms about backing out.

My first step for musical instruments is always the same. I send a question saying something like "Please disclose all defects and blemishes - anything that would make the boat appear be less than brand new." In my mind, the seller's failure to disclose everything would entitle me to back out of the deal.

This boat is not local. I can't travel to see every boat. As I envision it, if the seller answers my question in a thoughtful fashion and seems to be honest, I would ask him to provide his phone number so we could talk over the phone. If he passes those tests, I would bid. If I won, I would travel to see the boat and fork over the $$$ if everything looks on the up-and-up. (I'd probably have a surveyor meet me there.) In advance of all this, I'd have a shipper lined up.

Could you describe the process that you used for your ebay purchase?

Stillraining 11-08-2009 08:41 PM

A lot of the listing state to look at the boat before bidding so in those cases it really is your responsibility to verify everything before you place a bid .

FWIW It is very hard to know if your describing everything involved with a boat to the buyers satisfaction...If I was auctioning a boat on eBay it would have an "as is" clause just for the reason you mentioned.

WanderingStar 11-09-2009 09:41 AM

Doc, you have a good plan. I bought two cars and a canoe (lots of other stuff too) on ebay. I got burned on one car. The guy didn't mislead me, but he didn't disclose everything. On the other car and the canoe, I corresponded and telephoned. When I won, I went there with cash in hand, inspected the vehicle. He got the money, I got the car. If it had been unsatisfactory, I would have gone home. He can leave negative feedback, but I'd keep my money.

TheFrog 11-09-2009 09:57 AM

I bid on one boat on eBay. It was not local, but I had local relatives that went and inspected it for me. I wouldn't even think of bidding on one without seeing it or having someone else look at it for me. The second step is to know how much the boat is worth to you. Then go get on a 'sniping' site and set it up to bid for you at the end of the auction. Others will be doing the same and it is amazing how the automated bidders step in at the end and the price soars. I didn't get the boat in the end because the price went above what I was willing to pay - knowing that transport costs would have to be added.

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