Boat Buying and Selling: Skip the Remorse

Perhaps the best advice I ever got is one of the few rules that applies to both sides of a used boat transaction: Stop Selling after it’s sold, and Stop Buying after it’s bought.

As a seller, those throw-away comments like “You won’t regret this decision,” or “I think you made a wise choice,” or “You and your family are going to love it” don’t do anything to comfort someone who just bought your old boat. Just thank him or her for doing business with you, sign the papers and be done with it. Most important, shut your mouth.

buyers remorse

If you keep looking at boat listings after you've bought your boat, you're going to run across a cheaper, better one. Let it go. Turn off the machine. Get in your boat and go.

A related rule applies to the buyer of a used boat. After you’ve bought, stop buying. Turn off the search devices and stop poring over ads on BoatTrader.com. If you keep looking, you will find the very same boat you just bought, but this one invariably will be cheaper and in better shape than the one sitting in your driveway. That’s why you can always walk away from a deal knowing another one will come along. It works even if you don’t walk away. So do yourself a favor and stop looking.

Here’s what you do instead. Get up from the desk and go outside. Better yet, turn the computer off and go outside. Then, hook up the boat, throw a cooler full of beverages and some snacks in it, and hit the lake. Or river. Or ocean. The point is to go and enjoy the boat you have, rather than lamenting the one you wish you had waited for.

Woulda, coulda and shoulda are evil notions you should eschew the moment you bring home your new-to-you boat. If you don’t, you run the risk of turning something that was supposed to be fun into something you regret. And no amount of throw-away comments can fix that.

- Brett Becker

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