The Ultimate Guide to Sell Your Boat in the Most Efficient Way
When selling your boat, there are many things you need to know to find the right buyer. Read our guide and find out how to sell your boat in the most efficient and secure way.
Simply click on the topic you are interested in and sell your boat quickly in the new year:
1.1. When should I sell my boat?
Selling your boat in a smart way, already starts when picking the right time to sell your boat. Most people search for a boat before the start or at the beginning of the boating season, which often depends on the weather. Bigger yachts are not affected by seasonality and their demand is quite stable throughout the year.
1.2 Where should I sell my boat?
Some years ago, an ad in a newspaper or trade magazine would have been the best option to advertise your boat. Nowadays, only a few people search for boats using print media. It cannot be denied that the majority is looking for boats online. If you advertise your boat on a highly frequented and international marketplace like Boatshop24.com, the probability will be much higher to find a suitable buyer. You can place your ad with only a few clicks on Boatshop24.com or by using our mobile app.
1.2.1 How do I sell my boat quickly?
High-resolution pictures and videos are important to attract many people interested in buying boats. The more information the better. Mention details about the technical specifications of your boat, the engine, extra equipment, how your boat has been stored and used in your ad description. In this way your ad will attract more potential buyers.
You should also include information about potential damages in your ad description. Then, the potential buyer will not be unpleasantly surprised during the boat inspection.
1.2.2 Advice for your photos
- Upload only high-resolution photos
- Take pictures from different angles and include pictures of the engine etc.
- Choose a nice background. An unattractive background does not bring your boat in a positive light
- Ensure optimum exposure and avoid dark photos. Take your pictures during a sunny day with a great background
- Include details about potential damages and take pictures of them
1.2.3 How to attract more potential buyers?
You should advertise your boat heavily . More expensive packages such as the Premium package might seem costly, but in that way you make sure that your boat gets noticed in front of a large boating audience and this saves you storage costs. Upgrade your ad now, by clicking here.
1.3 Which price can I ask for my boat?
You should get an overview over the boat market first. You should have a look at the prices of similar boat models that have the same length, age, condition and technical specifications. The price is also affected by the fact whether you used your boat in fresh water or salt water. Keep in mind the berthing costs for storing your boat until finding a suitable buyer when calculating the price. It might be more profitable to sell your boat immediately at a lower price than waiting to find a buyer who is willing to pay the higher price due to berthing costs.
2. Someone is interested in buying my boat and wants to see it. What should I consider during the inspection?
We recommend to buy extra equipment like GPS, fish finders, radio or TV that many buyers are looking for to make your boat even more attractive to potential buyers. If you have a used boat for sale, you should ensure to bring it in a good condition by cleaning it thoroughly. You should remove any personal items and decoration so that the buyer can see the whole size of your boat.
However, excessively cleaning the engine compartment might be seen as an attempt to hide oil leaks or problems with the engine. Of course the engine compartment should not be very dirty either, but traces of usage is nothing bad. It might give the buyer a hint of how good your engine is running and how well it has been maintained. The potential buyer can see in that way how good the engine works and how well it has been maintained.
Once your ad is live, you should be prepared for all sorts of customer enquiries. If you cannot provide the asked information, this might put your boat in a bad light. You should ensure to have all necessary papers ready before the first boat inspection. An interested party might want to see a proof that you are the legitimate owner of the boat. You should also know the basics of CE marking.
When a potential buyer comes to inspect your boat, you should ensure that your boat is in the best condition. You should check, whether the engine works fine, that the battery is charged, that mandatory equpimenet is on board and works fine etc. In addition, you should ventilate the interior of your boat. Some people recommend to warm up the engine shortly before the potential buyer arrives. However, a well-informed buyer might see this as an attempt to hide something and might insist on seeing how your boat runs after a cold start.
4. Someone wants to buy my boat. Which information do I need?
After everything went well during the boat inspection, you will get to a point where the interested party is quite keen to buy your boat. Now is time to find out more about the buyer. Which background does he have? How serious is he about buying the boat? How high is his budget and how is his financial situation? Of course you cannot directly ask the buyer such questions, but you can ask him about his job, his experience with boats, whether he is in a yacht club, why he wants to buy the boat etc.. to receive a first impression.
If you expect the potential buyer to be honest, you should be honest, too. Therefore, you should always let him know about any damages of the boat. Otherwise, legal costs might come up.
Once you have found a suitable buyer, you should create a contract, even if the buyer is a friend of yours. You should write down the payment terms, the price, contractual penalties, the contract object (your boat) with its identification number, details about the equipment and the condition of the boat.
5. How to protect myself against fraudsters
Even the best contract will not rescue you from fraudsters. Scammers become more and more sophisticated in the ways they conduct crime and not only boat buyers but also boat sellers can become victims.
5. 1 The advance payment trap
The fraudster might contact you and say that he would like to purchase your boat. He will send you a cheque of a much higher amount of money than the price that you agreed on. Afterwards, the fraudster will ask you to transfer the surplus money back to his account. Usually he will give some bogus reason for the surplus money, such as an error in the accounting system or that the surplus money is for the shipping agent and that you should transfer the money to the shipping agent.
Many of those cheques are stolen or forged so that a bank will usually accept them. It can take weeks or even months for the fraud to become apparent. To make things worse, by law you will be liable to pay the money back. By that time your boat will probably be already gone. You can call the police, but many fraudsters operate across international borders, where European police forces don’t have jurisdiction.
Common countries of fraudsters are Nigeria, Russia, Israel, the Ivory Coast and several other African countries. When a message regarding a sale is sent from one of those countries, you should be careful. Be also aware of the following points:
- Make sure to get as much information about the buyer as possible: contact information, address etc. Keep in mind that a P.O. Box address is not sufficient. You should be cautious if a potential buyer delays or is completely unwilling to send you more information about himself. Test the contact information you were given for validity before proceeding with the sale.
- If a potential buyer mentions a wrong purchase item (e. g. a different boat or a car), this might be a sign for fraud as many fraudsters have different scams going on at the same time.
- Involve a trustee in order to be on the safe side.
- Always use a formal contract: a handshake is not enough.
- Trust your gut feelings. If you have the impression that something is not right, it probably isn’t.
We at Boatshop24 filter all e-mails going through our system and check them for fraud. We also check the ads on our plattform every day to ensure that there are no scam ads. However, even the best security system can not always detect everything that is suspicious, so please make sure that you are cautious. You can read more security advice here. Read below some examples from fraudsters. Contact us immediately if you receive such message.
5.2 Examples for messages of fraudsters
Hi, this is Rasmus Rasmussen,
I am very interested in your boat and would like to buy it. I need the following information: the last price, condition, I need more pictures and your complete contact details. Get back to me with this info asap. And don’t worry about the transport. I know an international shipping agent who will organise the transport.
I am a US citizen, but I am currently living in New Zealand because my wife comes from there. We also have 2 lovely kids and we all love boating. I was looking for nice boats and yours is amazing. I want to buy it.
I dont want you to worry about the transport, I will arrange everything. I have a friend who is a shipping agent and who lives in your country. He will pick up the boat and you will be paid in US dollars.
Dear Sir or Madam,
I have seen the ad for your boat and would like to purchase it. The price is alright. You will receive the money from a friend who will be using a cheque. You will get the money next week or even earlier. However, he will send you 20,000€ instead of 17,300€. Please transfer the surplus amount (2,700€) back to his account. I will give you his contact details. He will also arrange the transport.
Sell your boat now on Europe's most visited marketplace for boats and yachts and receive many enquiries on your ad.