How to Negotiate Boat Prices

How to Negotiate Boat Prices
Owning a boat is a privilege few believe they will have in their lifetimes. Fortunately for those of us who aren't in the extreme high-ends of the tax brackets, boat ownership can be achievable with a small amount of skill and preparation. Boat prices are often negotiable, giving anyone who has done their homework the ability to name their own price on a new or used boat. Here are a few basic tips that will help ensure that you get the best price possible.


Difficulty: Moderate

Negotiating the Deal

Step 1
Attend a boat show to begin your negotiations. Sellers who attend shows to sell their boats are often extremely motivated to sell. These sellers typically have boats on display that are on sale for well below normal asking price; this is because most sellers do not want to transport the boat to your location. Because of the salesperson's eagerness to sell, offering a price well below even the seller's asking price may result in a deal.
Step 2
Shop for a boat at the end of the normal boating season. Boat dealers are generally very eager to sell off their boat inventory at this time; dealers must normally pay interest on the boats on their lots, meaning that they will generally "price to move" when demand dwindles at the end of the season. There is a strong possibility that a dealer will give you an excellent price to save on those interest payments.
Step 3
Purchase a boat from a manufacturer that is now out of business. Large boat dealers will often carry an inventory of boats that were made by companies that have since gone under. This should not automatically disqualify the boat from consideration (the company may have failed due to economic reasons), but this step does require a bit of discretion on the part of the buyer. Before purchase, ensure that the boat is inspected by a certified boat surveyor or mechanic familiar with all parts of the boat's construction.
Step 4
Don't be afraid to offer a price well under the seller's asking price. Sellers may very well ask for significant markups to profit on the deal. According to the Digital Federal Credit Union, sellers may even add 50 percent to the boat's normal asking price. It's not unexpected for a buyer and seller to submit several counter-offers before settling on a deal.

Tips & Warnings

Do a trace of previous owners to ensure that you are not purchasing a stolen boat. Check for existing liens using the boat's serial number.
Do a trace of previous owners to ensure that you are not purchasing a stolen boat.
Check for existing liens using the boat's serial number.

Article Written By Brent Desserich

Starting in 2003 as an online editor for a respected collegiate publication, Brent Desserich has written for a number of online publications as a freelance writer. He holds a bachelor's degree in aeronautical science and an associate degree in air traffic control.

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