In our ongoing boat search, we have found another (third) boat that we really like. This reinforces our need to take our time, since there are a lot of really nice boats out there on the market.
However, I also need to calibrate my expectations around brokers' asking prices vs. what I might expect to actually pay. From what I have heard, I believe that there are two basic types of brokerage listings:
- Broker represented listings, where a seller pays a commission to the broker at the time of sale, much like a realtor. The broker takes reasonable offers to the seller, and it's the seller's decision whether to accept the offer or not
- Trade-ins, where the broker has sold another (often new) boat to a buyer, and has accepted his prior boat in trade
It is the latter example that I am particularly interested in. I can look up NADA book retail values, but cannot easily get the NADA wholesale values for comparison. (Please post a link if there is a place I can get this.) For those of you who are experienced at this, what is the typical markup for asking price that brokers use for trade-ins? And more importantly, what is the typical selling price vs. asking price? Or, put another way, what is the profit margin that a broker wants? I know he's out to make as much as he can, but he has already made some money on the sale he just made with the new boat and should be motivated to keep his inventory at a reasonable level to keep turning around new boats and accepting more trades. How does the current recessionary market affect all of these things?
Finally, everyone has told me to wait until the winter when prices come down. How much do they come down vs. where they are now? Do the price drops hit all parts of the market, just private sales, or just brokers?
I want to try to avoid discussing prices for specific boats, because such price talk can often lead to hard feelings among boat owners who want to see their boat continue to command a high price. But a generalized discussion like this could be very helpful to me as I prepare to negotiate with brokers on a possible boat.