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Old 10-11-2017, 10:04   #1
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Excuse me sir, don‘t wanna lowball but...

So we are shopping for our next boat cause a new family member has pushed the step up issue a few years sooner than planned ;-) .. I do have a fairly good idea of what I want and have come across a boat that looks good on paper. However, asking price is simply off. I know everyone just says, offer half and go from there and I suspect most boats online are priced factoring in this phenomenon but on the other hand I just sold my boat and I know how I would have treated a low baller offering me half of asking price and let’s just say, no I would not have been „receptive“ to that...

But then being again on the buying side, some folks really are just asking for it...

Boats are tangled with emotion, but how does one „explain“ in a friendly manner to a seller that you like the boat, but the price is just 50% inflated (in your opinion ofcourse) without hurting anyone’s feelings?

Or am I right in assuming this is how the game is played and everyone really asks double of their real asking price ?
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Old 10-11-2017, 10:13   #2
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Re: Excuse me sir, don‘t wanna lowball but...

Offer 25% less and see what the survey reveals. If he’s not willing to go down that much it’s not worth pursuing. If the survey reveals a bunch and has a suggested current price which most do, that will probably susbstantiate your case for a lower asking price. Sometimes people need to see a summary of the issues to realize they’re off base.
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Old 10-11-2017, 10:15   #3
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Re: Excuse me sir, don‘t wanna lowball but...

If your not rude in the way you phrase your offer who cares if the seller gets upset over your offer. Your not making him sell at that price just trying to discover a mutually pleasing price.

When I first starting looking for a boat I offered $x because $x was what I had in hand. Found a person that $x was a workable number. Was amazed at the ones who's reaction was such you'd thought I shot the family dog.
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Old 10-11-2017, 10:21   #4
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Re: Excuse me sir, don‘t wanna lowball but...

If the offer you are contemplating reflects the true market value of the boat, include evidence to that effect. If you have access to what similar boats have sold for over the previous year, include that information. If there are other boats of the same make/model on the market near your offer price, include that information as well and any contextualizing data (extra or lack of equipment, etc.).

In other words, couch your offer in a reasoned explanation of how you arrived at it. If you're working with brokers they can actually be helpful in this respect as they probably know the true value of the boat.

If your offer is supported by facts it will reduce the likelihood of the owner feeling gratuitously lowballed and responding poorly.
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Old 10-11-2017, 10:34   #5
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Re: Excuse me sir, don‘t wanna lowball but...

Right Suijin. But that is the problem isn’t it? The information you refer to is a closely guarded secret .. if I could do value estimations with such precision I probably would not be mentioning my ponderings here :-)

So one „thinks“ or „believes“ based on anecdotal evidence or some common sense number crunching that a boat is worth something but seller asks for way more. You have no hard facts to found your gut feeling / anecdotally based calculations. So maybe I am wrong and the boat is priced right and I should just not bother / offend anyone. .. hmm... or is this how we play this game ... I know this is fairly open ended and kinda rhetorical .. but still wanted to get people’s thoughts on the matter.
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Old 10-11-2017, 10:47   #6
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Excuse me sir, don‘t wanna lowball but...

Quote:
Originally Posted by dwedeking2 View Post
If your not rude in the way you phrase your offer who cares if the seller gets upset over your offer. Your not making him sell at that price just trying to discover a mutually pleasing price.

When I first starting looking for a boat I offered $x because $x was what I had in hand. Found a person that $x was a workable number. Was amazed at the ones who's reaction was such you'd thought I shot the family dog.


Exactly. For example when we were shopping for our first boat, we came across an older 1974 but apparently very loved Camper Nicholson.. a 30ft or something along those lines I can’t remember right now.. guy wanted 27K if memory serves. I mention having 19k and he never even bothered with a reply... now looking back on it I don’t think I was way off.. I mean he didn’t even bother to try and find the middle ground or something.

Another example which is fueling my musings on pricing tactics. My wife just showed me a 1999 41ft Jeanneau listed for 125K € .. I can’t believe this is a fair price for an almost 20 year old boat mass production boat regardless of extra equipment, when last week at a boat show they were throwing numbers in the 150K € for the base price on a 2017 boat. Sure.. base price vs equipped etc.. nevertheless... it just doesn’t add up!
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Old 10-11-2017, 10:48   #7
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Re: Excuse me sir, don‘t wanna lowball but...

The value of the boat maybe different for you vs him and possibly due things that have nothing to do with the boat. Just make your offer, if you think it would help convince him give reasons.

I'd hate for you to miss out on an opportunity just because your nervous it will make him grumpy.

My first boat my offer was accepted because the POs children were tired of paying storage fees. Their value was way less than someone that might use the boat. You won't know that until you make the offer
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Old 10-11-2017, 10:52   #8
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Re: Excuse me sir, don‘t wanna lowball but...

I think it is more than being afraid of making people grumpy.. it is kind of a seamanship thing I suppose. I just feel dirty lowballing. Like.. gentlemen shouldn’t do that or something. But this gentleman doesn’t want to be a sucker that pays too much either :-)
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Old 10-11-2017, 10:53   #9
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Re: Excuse me sir, don‘t wanna lowball but...

Quote:
Originally Posted by crankysailor View Post
Right Suijin. But that is the problem isn’t it? The information you refer to is a closely guarded secret .. if I could do value estimations with such precision I probably would not be mentioning my ponderings here :-)

So one „thinks“ or „believes“ based on anecdotal evidence or some common sense number crunching that a boat is worth something but seller asks for way more. You have no hard facts to found your gut feeling / anecdotally based calculations. So maybe I am wrong and the boat is priced right and I should just not bother / offend anyone. .. hmm... or is this how we play this game ... I know this is fairly open ended and kinda rhetorical .. but still wanted to get people’s thoughts on the matter.
Retain a buyer's broker. Costs you nothing (their fee comes out of the seller's commission fee) and there are other advantages such as them handling all the paperwork, escrow, documentation, taxes etc.

They have access to past sold data on Yachtworld and it's common practice for them to pull it when advising clients on what a fair initial first offer price is.

If what you "think" or "believe" about a boat's value is not anchored in market valuations then it is nothing more than throwing darts.
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Old 10-11-2017, 10:54   #10
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Re: Excuse me sir, don‘t wanna lowball but...

Unless...
  • it is a project boat,
  • the seller does not actually want to sell, or
  • the seller is a goofball...
and offer of 50% will not get you a callback. Furthermore, if you started by offering half, I would not entertain any future offers from you, not because I was offended, but because you have told me you are not a serious person and do not take me seriously.


I've sold three boats over 30 years, all of them for 95-100% of asking price. They were in excellent condition and were worth that. They were also good boats when I bought them and I paid near asking price.


But if you are shopping for rubbish, offer half. If you are taken seriously, now you know the boat is rubbish with expensive hidden flaws. Why else would the seller even respond to half?
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Old 10-11-2017, 10:58   #11
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Re: Excuse me sir, don‘t wanna lowball but...

If you don't want to lowball, then don't.

RBK recommended offering 75% and then knocking off from there based on survey. You're likely to be able to work that down to 50% or 60% from there.

When I sell something, I price it reasonably. If somebody counters, I consider. The most I ever knock off anything is 10%. If somebody lowballs (and we both know they are lowballing), they don't get a response. I don't have time for shenanigans, and I'm not starting at 50% for negotiations.
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Old 10-11-2017, 11:02   #12
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Re: Excuse me sir, don‘t wanna lowball but...

If it were me, faced with that wide a discrepancy between my offer and the asking price, I’d probably just wait and see if the price comes down. If it really is over-priced, as you suggest, then it will drop. If it sells at that price, then I guess the seller was right all along. Don’t play games. As you know as a recent seller, it wastes everyone’s time...

That said, I have made what might be considered low-ball offers when buying. I always explained that there was no insult intended with my offer, and I would fully understand if the seller ignored me, or rejected the offer outright. “But I really love your boat, and this is the best I can do…”

IOW, be kind. Acknowledge you are offering way lower than the seller thinks his boat is worth, and be willing to be rejected. If you go in contrite then you may open up negotiations.

At this point I wouldn’t try and argue that the seller has over-priced the boat … that can come next if need be. Right now you just want to get him/her talking.
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Old 10-11-2017, 11:17   #13
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Re: Excuse me sir, don‘t wanna lowball but...

First question is are you dealing with the seller or a broker. If with a broker, I'd get my own buyer's broker and get comparative prices of boats sold, then have my broker submit an offer. Regardless of how you do it you have no control in how the selling broker presents it to his client. So, difficult to establish a tone. However, must submit a written offer you are ready to buy now if accepted. Hope the broker will present market information to his seller that says you're not that unreasonable. Brokers have access to soldboats and market knowledge and should be able to tell you what is reasonable.

If you're dealing with an individual, I might start with more care. Perhaps explain you love the boat but based on what you've seen it is priced well beyond the price you'd be willing to pay and you're afraid any offer you might make would insult him. That's a way to start feeling what kind of flexibility he might have but in a positive way. Then if he says, well, I could come off it something like 15%, you say you're really more in the 40-50% off range (using dollars not percentages of course). If he says he couldn't come anywhere near that, ask what his best price is. If it's still just too high for you, tell him you're just too far apart but to keep you in mind and keep your number. Or, if he asks your best offer, then give it telling him that's just your absolute top price.
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Old 10-11-2017, 11:21   #14
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Re: Excuse me sir, don‘t wanna lowball but...

Gosh I had forgotten how much I hated the boat shopping part of this game ...thanks for the input folks some good thoughts to ponder on further ...
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Old 10-11-2017, 11:24   #15
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Re: Excuse me sir, don‘t wanna lowball but...

Quote:
Originally Posted by thinwater View Post
Unless...
Why else would the seller even respond to half?
Because don't ask, don't get.

I'm seeing this as I shop for a house now. Realtors will list a house $200k above market, and then drop it $20-$50k every week until some poor guy catches the falling knife.

What I do with my agent is we send an offer with a couple things:
A handful of comps that clearly point to a more realistic asking price
A list of things that we observed that require knocking the price down.

We keep it short and sweet, and clearly know what we're doing and are taken seriously, and that opened negotiations. The sellers generally stayed at a less so but still inflated price, so I walked. Three out of four houses I've made offers on have sold for exactly what I offered, four months after I first made it, (to someone else unfortunately). At least I'm doing a service to the rest of the buying public.

The other explanation is as the OP stated. Especially on Craigslist, people put in a buffer knowing people are going to offer less than asking as a matter of price.
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