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One of None
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
suggestions, ideas, what works, doesn't work when trying to write a "boat for sale" ad?
 

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Senior Member
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I think initial ads should be fairly brief - or if detailed should be bulleted lists rather than rambling paragraphs. There should be enough information to let a shopper decide whether that package interests them, and then have a more detailed info sheet ready to send when you get some genuine interest.

Good pictures, a tidy boat shown (blows my mind when someone shows a 'vBerth' that's stuffed with folded sails and other gear; or a galley with a sink full of dirty dishes)

Reel 'em in and put icing on the cake when they show serious interest.
 
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Old enough to know better
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I think lots of folks do either not enough or too much text. I think cutting and pasting a bunch of text from a website saying how great the boat is is a waste of time. List what you have improved, what major equipment is on board and age of it. Especially the engine, including number of hours if known, sails, running rigging and standing rigging with a date of the last replacement. If you have done any projects, as we know you have highlight them. Lots of good pictures. I would put together a PDF with more detailed info about the boat, including a self done survey with perhaps what you think may need to be done next (without making the boat appear to be a project boat) such as "now that the engine is straightened out I would concentrate on having the sails cleaned and restitched and she should be good to go for a few more years." Make an honest appraisal of condition so you don't waste others and your own time.

And answer emails! I think having a PDF made up in advance is really helpful as you don't have to type it up every time. Also don't ignore questions. I have had people just not respond to certain questions. I would rather have them say, yes sails are quite old but serviceable than ignore it and get there and they be worn out. You want to give an impression of honesty and let the love you have for your boat show.
 

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Correct spelling and proper grammar. It might have nothing to do with the boat, but it may mean not losing potential buyers who care about things like that and who may think it a reflection on the boat's owner. If they can't take the time to have an ad spelled correctly, why would they take the time to make sure their boat was taken care of?
 
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Try it this way, denise:
" I HAVE YOUR WIFE AND CHILDREN. BUY MY BOAT OR YOU WILL NEVER SEE THEM AGAIN."

It's just a matter of pushing the right buttons, you know. Give 'em incentive, motivate the buyer. Without proper motivation, you may have to dicker about price, too. Ugh.
 

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Try it this way, denise:
" I HAVE YOUR WIFE AND CHILDREN. BUY MY BOAT OR YOU WILL NEVER SEE THEM AGAIN."

It's just a matter of pushing the right buttons, you know. Give 'em incentive, motivate the buyer. Without proper motivation, you may have to dicker about price, too. Ugh.
Don't forget to make each letter look like you cut them out of a newspaper.
 

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Try it this way, denise:
" I HAVE YOUR WIFE AND CHILDREN. BUY MY BOAT OR YOU WILL NEVER SEE THEM AGAIN."

It's just a matter of pushing the right buttons, you know. Give 'em incentive, motivate the buyer. Without proper motivation, you may have to dicker about price, too. Ugh.
Don't forget to make each letter look like you cut them out of a newspaper.
She wants the boat to be sold not make some random guy's day!
 

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paul-
So, you think she'd do better with:
"I HAVE YOUR WIFE AND CHILDREN. BUY MY BOAT OR ELSE I'LL SET THEM FREE."

??
 

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Get a professional.

There are writers in the world for a reason.


:)
 

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One of None
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·

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to make sure the seller keeps the spouse and first born? :eek::D
Its like a plumber. You devalue them till you have to put your hand in the $&@? And then you happily give them all your children and all your spouses!
 

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Mark, come down from the ivory tower. Honest, plumbers never stick their hands in the work. Landlubber toilet, marine head, never had to stick my hand in it while it was full of anything, ah, that you couldn't mail at the post office.

Besides, there's all different kinds of writers. Denise needs an advertising copywriter, because those guys know how to sell THE SIZZLE not the steak, and that's what sales and marketing is all about. Sell the sizzle, not the steak.

No really, I dropped my five carat diamond ring in the toilet. Would you mind getting it out? I can't reach it, the copywriter says there is too much rose food in the bowl.

So if you've got a problem with kidnapping:

ORIGINAL YACHT AS SEEN IN MIAMI VICE!! YES, ELVIS IS STILL ON THE BOAT!

(Buy it now! Winter storage included!)
 

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Denise, start the ad with a picture of your workbench, then say "I built this and I put the same skill and quality into everything I did on the boat".

Bet it attracts a lot of attention. :D
 
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Bullet lists instead of long rambling paragraphs. Good pictures. Not from so far away that you can't really see anything. Not from so close up that you can't really see anything. Focused. Turned right-side up. Each picture should tell the viewer something about your boat that a potential buyer would want to know. I also like ads that include a layout diagram for the inside of the boat.

Details. Ads that say "Morgan sailboat, good condition" and almost nothing else are WORTHLESS! In fact, they are less than worthless, they have just cost me time that I will never get back. Specify year, model, draft, etc. Most especially in the case where this model came with tall vs. standard mast, shallow vs. standard keel, alternative interiors, and so on, be sure to specify what it is that you're selling.

Good luck!
 

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Barquito
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There are not THAT many boats for sale in a particular area. Anyone who is seriously looking for a boat will be reading adds closely even if they are sub-optimal.

Good pictures (short focal length lens, but, not too short)
Improvements.
Honest list of areas that could be improved.
Make it easy to contact you. Phone, e-mail, facebook, carrier pidgeon...
 

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One thing I notice, especially on Craigslist, is misspelling the ad subject. People misspell the name of the boat and that probably means it won't show up in a search.
 

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One of None
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I've received good help in PMs from some very nice people here. thanks all!
 

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There are not THAT many boats for sale in a particular area.
Depends on the area. Here in Florida there are a LOT of boats for sale! Yachtworld has 875 listed. Do a search for "sailboat" in the "boats" section of craigslist for South Florida and you find well over 300 ads. Tampa area craigslist has another 300. Sailboatlistings.com has 1,843 listings for Florida.

So, depending on where you are, a sub-optimal ad may get dumped into the "ignore" pile VERY quickly! In fact, a poorly worded subject line may well be enough that no one will ever see your ad.

Again, to the OP, good luck with your sale.
 

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1. A very recent high quality and dated photograph.
2. Who, what, where and how much.
3. A rave quoting some authority, but keep it precise, simple and short.

You are at this stage trying to attract attention and get some potential buyer (someone already looking at boat ads) to want more information and motivation to ask for more, which you will have I spades when contacted.

For how to write a rave, look at book jackets and movie posters. Normally no more that half a dozen words from a recognized authority.

Remember, when you let your baby go, it's probably the last boat you will ever own. That thought will probably depress me more that moving to an "independent living" place.
Good luck,
John
 
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