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  Topic Review (Newest First)
09-16-2006 08:37 AM
lgherb Listing high dollar items on eBay requires very good savvy and some good old fashioned guts in order to have a successful auction. The trick is to list the item low enough to attract bidders who think are getting a steal of a deal, while at the same time "covering your assets." You have to have the stomach of a gambler.

Though I have never sold a sailboat on eBay, I have sold surplas, used computer items for what you can purchase those items new in a store. The trick is to offer and advertise the item in the auction title and description with a low opening bid and no reserve. Hopefully, you will generate enough bidders that the bid price will get driven up to its market worth or higher.

Also, you can not and should not have your description all encapsulated in a single paragraph of all caps. Be truthful about everything 'negative' about the item and put on your 'Madison Avenue' thinking cap and come up with juicy descriptions about your boat.

If you have a recent survey and can scan the pages of the survey into an electronic format, I would highly suggest putting that on the free web space that almost all ISPs offer and put a link to that in the auction description. Don't just transcribe the survey, bidders will be reassured at the ability to be able to contact the marine survey company for validation. Seeing that company's logo may be enough to reassure them that your boat is the real deal for them.

They want to buy the dream and appreciate frankness about any and all shortcomings. A 3rd party validation gives the bidder added credibility.

The real key to auction success is to get the watchers and bidders to justify the purchase and get caught up in the bidding frenzy.

If the item will sell as a result of no reserve and low opening bid, bidders and watchers are more apt to bid simply because the item WILL sell and they then get into the mental acrobatics of figuring out how high they are willing to bid.

Having said all of that, the problem with attempting to auction a sailboat is that there is a low percentage of the general public who are sailors or want to sail as opposed to the percentage of the general public who are boaters. As a result, there just may not be enough serious bidders to get the bid price up to your satisfaction and you may be obligated to walk away from your boat as the result of an auction that did not attract enough serious bidders.

When determining what you are willing to settle for, keep in mind what a year's worth of operating and maintenance costs will be (insurance, slip fees, etc) and deduct that from what you want for the boat, then think long and hard about being willing to accept 70% of that price. Are you willing to walk away from your boat for that price? How low are you willing to go?

09-15-2006 05:16 AM
Thanks for your input on my Ebay Auction

Thanks for your input on my Ebay Auction. The Auction closed last night and you were right, a lot of tire kickers! Still hoping for some contacts out
of this. As you said its priced as a good deal. However probably will get some action next spring. Thankfully we are in a " hot " sailing area with a lot of people retiring to. Low dockrates too. Don't need the money its just a shame seeing Fairwinds sitting at the dock............
09-14-2006 08:05 PM
ebs001 I took a look at your auction on ebay and I agree your price is a good deal. You have identified the problem, how do you get exposure? These days the internet is the number 1 source people use to find boats to buy and the main way to the internet is through brokers. There are many good hardworking, knowlegdable brokers out there. There are also bad ones. Maybe try asking for recommendations for your area.
There are web sites that handle private sales too. I found one, I'm sure there are more, in a google search I did. It is Gives you another option. Also Cal may have a forum on which you can list.
Just some thoughts, good luck
09-14-2006 07:34 AM
I priced my boat 10 K under market value on Ebay

EBS001 Your numbers are right. 1988 Cal 33's sell for 59-60K. My Reserve is less than 50K

I priced my boat 10 K under market value on Ebay

EBS001 You are right I really don't think that many boats are sold on Ebay. I think after the auction the Lurkers feel more comfortable without a
legal 3rd party pushing them along a expensive transaction and visit the boat.

However I'm looking for exposure and I'm getting it!

I priced my boat by your numbers 10K under market and I guarantee there
isn't another boat with these many recent improvements.

That said I've not met many brokers who work hard and know the product
they are selling. On principal I'd rather sell Fairwinds for what I need out of her and properly market the boat.
09-13-2006 02:21 PM
jflowers I agree that the deposit is of little consequence. I just listed my Hunter 37-cutter on Ebay with disappointing results. About half the real value (9/06 survey: $43,700) although on a 10 day listing with a lot of promotion outside Ebay (25 websites including my own there were more than 8000 visits, 138 watchers and 12 bids.

I think ebs001 has got it right. It is difficult for anyone to gather all the information and come around to the decision to pay tens of thousands of dollars on Ebay and most of the lurkers are just that - lurkers. So the real market that is addressed by an Ebay offering are the buyers who are willing to pay only a fraction of the real price for the risk of buying through Ebay.

FWIW, although located on lake Eire in Sandusky, OH, my bids were from Seattle, WA, Washington DC, Houston, TX, North Carolina, Florida and even St. Thomas USVI so looking at a $6K - $10K shipping cost.

Interestingly, the only SCAM offer came from the US Boat ad. Buyers father and law buying for their wedding present - big check - return the balance via Western Union. Argggggh!

Ebay is a fantastic market and I have had great transactions buying some things at 10 cents on the dollar and selling other things for more than they cost me 15 years ago. It just doesn't work for high-ticket items.

To verify this for yourself, log on to your Ebay account and review all of the completed auctions for sailboats on Ebay motors. Very few bidders ever exceed the reserve price and there are, therefore, very few sales.

All that said, you can't beat the exposure for a $65 cost. And - maybe the lucky buyer will have been influenced by the Ebay auction.
09-12-2006 11:29 AM
ebs001 Chuck you have had no bids. People kicking tires means nothing. I don't know what you're reserve bid is. I do know that it's more than $40K, but just to give you and idea where it should be. 1988 Cal 33s are selling for $59K-$60K on , so you'll need to get $55 or better or you have been better to list it. I point this out because I personnaly would not buy a boat on eBay and so I wouldn't list one on eBay either. If I think this way there are numerous others who think this way as well. It has nothing to do with the $500 dollar deposit, either.
09-12-2006 07:07 AM
Ebay what a great Resonse on my 1988 Cal 33

So far I've had 950 people view my auction! in 5 days.
Wow that just blows me away! 38 people are tracking!
I think having a $500 deposit doesn't scare buyers.
Most boats have a $2000 deposit I think thats too steep.
09-10-2006 10:52 PM
sailingdog BTW, shouldn't post duplicate threads, it's bad netiquette.
09-10-2006 12:50 PM
hoppy Chuck,
Do you have pictures, specs posted? Would be interested in taking a look.
09-10-2006 12:44 AM
garymcg Chuck

I sold a 2 year old powerboat on eBay, got the "buy it now" price in 15 hours. I look at the eBay boat auctions often, and it seems to me that as far as sailboats go only the smaller cheaper boats actually sell. I think many people are just "running it up the flagpole" with the bigger boats; it's only $40 to list any vehicle. There was a spectacular S&S Tartan 46 on there about a month ago that got a bunch of comments and questions but no bids, which is sort of typical. I think people take one shot on eBay, if it doesn't sell then it's time for a broker.

That said, what worked for me is lots and lots of photos, and a very detailed listing (synthetic crankcase oil changed every 50 hours, etc.) Pretty much the same stuff that catches your eye on Yachtworld.

It also didn't hurt that some guy was looking for a boat similar to what I had listed and got outbid on one a week earlier.

Anyway, that's my $.02.

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