One of the things I enjoy almost as much as boating is looking at ads for used boats. I’m no expert when it comes to boating, but I can offer some advice to those looking to buy or sell a used boat.
For those of you looking to buy a used boat, let me help you translate some of the boating lingo you might encounter so you understand what the seller means.
Needs some TLC: you’ll need to spend another $2000 before you can put it on the water.
Great project boat: It’s in worse shape than the Titanic. Buy it if you want a decorative planter for your yard.
Always kept on a lift: It leaks. The bottom of the boat is likely not stained which is a plus. But it could be an incomplete sentence that should read: “Always kept on a lift, because it leaks like a sieve and would likely sink if left in the water for very long.” Trust me. I learned that one the hard way.
Or best offer (OBO): I am desperate to get rid of this thing. If I don’t unload it soon, my wife will leave me and she doesn’t agree with making it a planter for the front yard.
Interior needs some attention: The seats look like they were in a knife fight and lost.
For those on the other side of the transaction, hopefully the following will help you move the merchandise.
First, if you’re a dealer pretending to be Joe Boater out to sell his boat, stop. We’re not stupid and lying to someone is a bad way to begin a relationship, especially if you want to sell me something as risky as a boat. Buying a used boat is a crap shoot at best. Don’t muddy the waters by baiting me to visit a dealership. People who shop in the by-owner section are there for a reason. If they want to go through a dealership, they will.
Next, make sure you provide enough pictures. You don’t have to do a glamour shoot, but give me more than a picture of a boat on a trailer. What about the interior? Not showing it tells me it’s probably lost the afore mentioned knife fight. Go ahead and show it. It’ll reduce the number of calls that only waste everyone’s time.
Speaking of those pictures, we don’t want to see you in them. We want to see the boat. So often folks will put up selfies of them in the boat. Or they’ll put up shots of their family. I suppose that’s like real estate staging. You know, to show you how you might look enjoying the boat. Thanks, but I have a family and an imagination. I am fully capable of envisioning them on aboard your boat.
Please, no pictures of a smoking-hot female in a barely-there bikini. Unless she’s included in the sale, who cares? Even if she is, I don’t think that will help the sale since she’s likely higher maintenance than the boat. And that’s saying something. Besides, she’s not going to keep us from seeing that the thing needs new upholstery. We’ll still notice…trust me.
When you get an inquiry via text or email, respond. I am amazed at how many times I’ve texted or emailed someone and gotten no response. Are you having emotional issues in letting go of the boat? If the boat has been sold, tell me. I’m not an ex-lover, so don’t ghost me.
Just a few tips for those looking for a hole in the water to toss their money into and some tips for those looking to cap that hole.
Good luck. Regardless of which side you fall, you’ll need it.