So you’re getting ready for one of the two best days of a boater’s life: the day you sell your boat. First, you need to establish a value for the boat. If it was built in a fairly recent model year, you can find values on sites like BUCValu, NADA Guides and, of course, BoatTrader.com’s Price Checker. Those are solid references, but I like to check asking prices on BoatTrader.com, too. I think the sites that list values are good, but they often rely on formulas and algorithms to set prices, whereas the asking prices on BoatTrader.com are more of a “boots on the ground” approach that reflects the current market pretty well.
Zero in on the model years within a year or two of yours. If you’re selling a 2005 model year boat, check the pricing of 2004 and 2006 models too. Be aware of major model changes. A 2006 that was all-new that year will fetch more than your 2005. Be sure your apple compares with the other apples online. Compare the condition and equipment and set a price you’re comfortable with. If you’re willing to negotiate a bit, set it a bit high. Don’t go too high because it might scare off potential buyers.
Now, we all understand the psychology of pricing something at $5,999, but when selling a boat online, that “-99″ is actually important in a mechanical way, as well.
True story: I was selling a boat and I wanted $6,500 for it — but no one called. So, I lowered it to $6,250. No one called. $6,100 produced the same results, and weeks passed. I really wanted to get six grand for it — and it was worth it — but I panicked and lowered it to $5,500. The first guy who came and looked at it bought it for the asking price.
So what happened? He was shopping by price. My boat didn’t show up in any of his earlier searches — and he was looking the whole time my boat was listed! It wasn’t until I lowered the price to within his search parameters that it came up. If I had listed it for $5,999, it would have showed up in his searches and I could have insisted on him spending an extra dollar and giving me what I wanted for it.
If your boat is priced above the median asking price for similar boats, you will sell it if it presents well. You may not get all the money out of it you want, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try.
When it’s time to sell, you can use BoatTrader’s For Sale By Owner program. Before plunging right in, though. it will pay to read How to Sell Your Used Boat, which gives time-honored advice on how to prepare both your boat and your online ad to maximize your chances of selling faster and more profitably.