Dealers Vs Private Sellers - Page 3 - SailNet Community
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post #21 of 24 Old 11-05-2010
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You didn't mention what price range you're looking at. This makes a massive difference.

One thing I discovered recently while searching for an inexpensive "starter" yacht is that the people who are looking for something for under $8K will have a completely different experience from people who are looking for something $20-30K, and I imagine that search would be very different from someone looking for a boat above $100K.

I was in the under $8K range, and it was my general observation that brokers had very little to offer in this price range compared to what was available from private sellers. The broker listings I did see were more often than not extremely questionable at the most superficial level.

Another thing I discovered about the $8K price range is that it contains massive gobs of well-used, but generally quite good boats. If you're flexable, and in a major sailing area, you'll find all kinds of boats in this price range from 20 to 30 ft from the 70s and 80s that may be as suitable as vessels $10K more expensive.

The flip side of this is that as the price falls, the market becomes more of a seller's market. A good boat without major problems listed at $5K will probably be snapped up within days, whereas a $50K boat, no matter how good a deal, can safely be counted on to stay on the market long enough to research it, get a surveyor, etc.
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post #22 of 24 Old 11-05-2010
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Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
No clear answer. If you have a particular make of boat that interest you, you may want to contact your local dealer and see if they have a used boat representative. The dealer's used boat rep should be familiar with the product line and you would have a relationship with the dealer after you own. Goodness knows, you will need advice on how to deal with issues on any boat, new or used. The dealer of your make boat should be the best resource. There are exceptions. YMMV
Just in the even I wasn't clear. The used boat rep at the dealer should be familiar with inventory well beyond their own. They may prefer to sell their own listings, but since they need you to buy to make a living, they won't limit you to it.
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post #23 of 24 Old 11-05-2010
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One observation. Buying privately is no guarantee that the price will be cheaper. Beyond a certain price range, boat buying can not be considered anywhere close to car buying. Most owners of mid to large vessels know the market and are selling privately because they a) really aren't that anxious to sell the boat, or more likely b) looking to maximize their profit.

I'll restate my earlier guidance: Find the boat you you want, that fits your needs, and buy it. But get a good survey first. Go sailing.

The few dollars that one may save by buying privately are nothing compared with what will be spent over the lifetime of ownership.

Sabre 38 "Victoria"
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post #24 of 24 Old 11-05-2010
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I think you need to find the boat you want, regardless if private or broker. But given a choice, I would prefer a private seller. You can pick the individuals brain and determine if he/she is truthfull. My experience with a broker, World Class Yacht Sales in Florida, was he just wanted to sell the boat. They listed features on the boat it did not have. Frankly it was kind of like dealing with a used car salesman. I am sure all brokers are not the same, hopefully.
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