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Old 17-11-2017, 19:15   #31
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Re: Boat Brokers: How should we deal with them?

Well, the OP is a Captain so.........

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Old 18-11-2017, 04:26   #32
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Re: Boat Brokers: How should we deal with them?

Thanks for that post! I agree with your position. We had a situation in the UK where a dealership went bankrupt, and people who had paid serious money as a down payment on large yachts lost it all, having paid it into an escrow account. At least, that's what was represented. As you said, it went into the dealership's operating account. This dealership was accredited as a member of a prestigious brokerage association. This organisation washed its hands of the whole sordid affair by stating that its members must operate through an escrow account, but that it cannot guarantee that they do, or even opened one at all!! Luckily, in the end the new dealers and the manufacturer made good the obligations of the bankrupt one. We are seriously looking for a give or take 80 ft trawleryacht. Being in the UK, we cannot just up and go to inspect any referrals. One broker advertised a GRP yacht, which was in fact a steel one. Quite a few had the specs wrong: conflicting info from various brokers on the same boats. The most common "errors" are size and power. No replies to questions regarding status, make and age of Navcom equipment, watermakers, gennies stabelisers and other ancillaries. No confirmation of maintenance records and particulars, if they were even kept or existed at all. In spite of our repeated requests. We made it clear, that absence of detailed and full maintenance records would be regarded as no maintenance performance, and we did not want to entertain such a boat. Referrals of boats with deal-breaker issues, which had been made very clear up front. Totally unsuitable boats which were pure time wasters. Brokers said that they were " worth a look"and we had to compromise!. By flying over from the UK? Really?? We looked seriously at a new build 80 footer. The yard nor the builder could offer a completion bond. There were issues with a bankruptcy, the builder had a dotted line connection with. We picked it up through our own quite comprehensive due diligence process. That particular yard went belly up as one of its top officers took off with some 5 million dollars of a client's money, who had a mega yacht built there. Then they overcharged client, to make up for the shortfall. He was not having it, and took a multi million dollar bath, and no boat to show for it. We picked this up from the Court Documents. Escrow? Not likely. We went to boat shows, were told that our inquiries regarding extended range modifications would be attended to by the design team, and heard no more. This would have been a sale, as it ticked all other boxes. We tried a "Buyer's broker". Turned out he was also a listing broker for the boat he introduced. Brilliant price, never to be repeated, one of a kind chance to own this boat as they never came on the market at this age etc.etc., asking price was higher than the new price. Then that boat went through a series of very serious price reductions. We would have seriously overpaid, had we taken his advice on trust. This happened frequently, we were saved by our own due diligence. These brokers were Californian and Florida Brokers. Licenced, bonded and highly professional, as they were admitted to their Institutes. At least, that was the blurb.
That's why we dealt with them, and trusted them implicitly with our requirements and the eventual multiple million dollar price tag.
We are foreign cash buyers, ready to retire and spend the next few years cruising. Is this the way we and the sellers should be treated? I suggested, that a specialised firm of Attorneys should take care of all aspects of the due diligence regarding Title, Liens, Flagging and transfer documents and payments. Also offered proof of cleared and legitimate funds. Not acceptable to the brokers, they demanded the " standard" 10%", with one well known one also wanting travel expenses, to inspect boats. All the OP wrote, struck a chord with us. Some good advice in his Post, which comes in very handy. Thanks for that! Caveat Emptor, as always!
Fair winds to you all!
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Old 19-11-2017, 04:25   #33
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Re: Boat Brokers: How should we deal with them?

My broker experience from the buyer side.. this week I sent three requests with some specific questions about some interesting boats on yachtworld. Only one deigned to reply with a standard reply with the same info found online anyway and nothing about my specific questions. I replied once again very politely with my specific questions, no answer yet. The other two haven’t even bothered still... even after a second resend etc..

I am a motivated buyer with money burning in my pocket and I am interested in your boat. Your broker isn’t even replying to my requests for information... you decide if you are really selling your boat in the best possible manner.

Inevitably, some folks will reply with .. „there are good and bad brokers“ and „I am a broker and I take offence“ .. sure whatever. I am sure you are the exception. But I have been twice on the market shopping for a boat and my experience as a buyer has been largely the same... brokers are simply getting in the way between you, the seller and me the buyer.

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Old 19-11-2017, 07:22   #34
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Re: Boat Brokers: How should we deal with them?

I have got to agree with you Crankysailor. That was my experience as well. If I got any reply at all, it was either cut and paste or smarmy used car salesman talk but never an actual reply to a question.

I suspect that in times long past brokers were likely a very good thing. One need only look at the back of cruising mags from the 1970s to see the important role they used to fill.

Then one day Al Gore invented the internet and ever since everything is just a Google search away. Boats listed with brokers are nothing but an additional hassle for most buyers since the serious buyers have already done the base research and need specific questions answered. Sellers know the answers, sellers are motivated to give the answer, which makes sellers MUCH easier to deal with. I strongly suspect that as time wears on there will be fewer and fewer brokers in the traditional sense as fewer and fewer non-internet saavy customers are around that require their services.

Remember that prior to the opening of department stores it was common to go to a store, walk up to a counter, ask for a red shirt or something like that and have a clerk go back to the back and bring you out red shirts to decide from. As soon as there was the option to just walk around and look at red shirts on their own, the customers voted with their wallets and now I no longer have to talk to a salesmen to get a red shirt.

Times are changing, for better or worse, they are changing. I am sure that most brokers are perfectly decent folks out to make an honest living but I think it is obvious that the tide is changing and no matter how hard you stand in the surf and try to splash the water back towards the land it's going to change. The trick here I suspect is trying to figure out how best to adapt to the new way things work and find a way to be an asset to the buyers rather than a liability.
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Old 19-11-2017, 12:24   #35
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Re: Boat Brokers: How should we deal with them?

Quote:
Originally Posted by crankysailor View Post
My broker experience from the buyer side.. this week I sent three requests with some specific questions about some interesting boats on yachtworld. Only one deigned to reply with a standard reply with the same info found online anyway and nothing about my specific questions. I replied once again very politely with my specific questions, no answer yet. The other two haven’t even bothered still... even after a second resend etc..

I am a motivated buyer with money burning in my pocket and I am interested in your boat. Your broker isn’t even replying to my requests for information... you decide if you are really selling your boat in the best possible manner.

Inevitably, some folks will reply with .. „there are good and bad brokers“ and „I am a broker and I take offence“ .. sure whatever. I am sure you are the exception. But I have been twice on the market shopping for a boat and my experience as a buyer has been largely the same... brokers are simply getting in the way between you, the seller and me the buyer.

$0.02
So, your method isn't working. Now, should the brokers have responded? Not even relevant to what I'm about to say, whether they should have or not, they didn't. The only aspect you can control is what you do. I'm here to address only how you might overcome the challenge.

Therefore, I'll make some comments relevant to that. Your inquiry is lost among the masses. It is not distinguished from the hundreds of inquiries, the vast majority of which are not from serious buyers. It has nothing to distinguish it. It figuratively is just tossed aside into the trash can. The broker has x amount of time and is choosing not to use it to respond to you. The broker, although most would never admit it, is pre-qualifying and you don't make the list. So, how do you get their attention.

You do something to remove yourself from the masses. Like you, I prefer to send questions by email or web form. I don't want to talk to sales people early in the process. Unfortunately, it doesn't work. Pick up the phone and make a call and your success rate increases dramatically. I don't like to because of the very reason they want you to. I don't want to answer questions and provide more information. I just want my question answered, but it's not going to work my way or your way. It's the same way in home purchasing, business purchasing.

So, suggestion number one is pick up the phone. Short of that, share information about yourself and your search and don't simply send questions. You must do something to distinguish yourself. Simply said, a few questions and no phone number, and you're unlikely to get a decent response.

Now, the other and, in my opinion better, way is a buyer's broker. Brokerage is a relationship based business, not a transaction business. You establish a relationship with a good broker and you'll get help and attention. Make them aware then of listings you have questions about and they can and will get answers. When they contact the selling broker, the selling broker knows a real potential buyer does exist, one that has gotten with a broker.

You say you're a serious buyer, but you don't look like one to the person on the other end today.

Some perspective of all those who inquire. First, let's start with just those here. We have people here who have said they've looked at 50 boats in two or three years. We have others who have been buying for years but never bought. The majority of people here have been "buyers" in their minds far more than they've actually been serious buyers. Then consider this site is boaters. For every person here there are hundreds, even thousands, out there inquiring, far less likely to buy.

Brokers can not treat every inquiry the same. They play the odds. They make educated guesses.

I'm an internet person who likes to remain anonymous as long as possible in the process. That doesn't work. While I'm 100% honest in my intentions as I express them, the person on the other end doesn't know that. Every boat I've purchased, I've had someone else be the initial contact person for me. In real estate purchases, we have one broker we use and everything has been through her. My company has purchased over 300 small businesses so discussed many times that and all have been through a single business broker as we just don't want to divulge information to dozens. Go to bizbuysell or loopnet or realtor.com or any sites and try to get information without speaking on the phone with a broker and you'll find it impossible to do. The internet is wonderful as is email allowing us to reach others. Unfortunately, it allows others to do the same and the recipient can't tell us apart.

I'm not saying the system is right, just that these are the ways to effectively work with it.
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Old 19-11-2017, 12:39   #36
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Re: Boat Brokers: How should we deal with them?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BandB View Post
So, your method isn't working. Now, should the brokers have responded? Not even relevant to what I'm about to say, whether they should have or not, they didn't. The only aspect you can control is what you do. I'm here to address only how you might overcome the challenge.

Therefore, I'll make some comments relevant to that. Your inquiry is lost among the masses. It is not distinguished from the hundreds of inquiries, the vast majority of which are not from serious buyers. It has nothing to distinguish it. It figuratively is just tossed aside into the trash can. The broker has x amount of time and is choosing not to use it to respond to you. The broker, although most would never admit it, is pre-qualifying and you don't make the list. So, how do you get their attention.

You do something to remove yourself from the masses. Like you, I prefer to send questions by email or web form. I don't want to talk to sales people early in the process. Unfortunately, it doesn't work. Pick up the phone and make a call and your success rate increases dramatically. I don't like to because of the very reason they want you to. I don't want to answer questions and provide more information. I just want my question answered, but it's not going to work my way or your way. It's the same way in home purchasing, business purchasing.

So, suggestion number one is pick up the phone. Short of that, share information about yourself and your search and don't simply send questions. You must do something to distinguish yourself. Simply said, a few questions and no phone number, and you're unlikely to get a decent response.

Now, the other and, in my opinion better, way is a buyer's broker. Brokerage is a relationship based business, not a transaction business. You establish a relationship with a good broker and you'll get help and attention. Make them aware then of listings you have questions about and they can and will get answers. When they contact the selling broker, the selling broker knows a real potential buyer does exist, one that has gotten with a broker.

You say you're a serious buyer, but you don't look like one to the person on the other end today.

Some perspective of all those who inquire. First, let's start with just those here. We have people here who have said they've looked at 50 boats in two or three years. We have others who have been buying for years but never bought. The majority of people here have been "buyers" in their minds far more than they've actually been serious buyers. Then consider this site is boaters. For every person here there are hundreds, even thousands, out there inquiring, far less likely to buy.

Brokers can not treat every inquiry the same. They play the odds. They make educated guesses.

I'm an internet person who likes to remain anonymous as long as possible in the process. That doesn't work. While I'm 100% honest in my intentions as I express them, the person on the other end doesn't know that. Every boat I've purchased, I've had someone else be the initial contact person for me. In real estate purchases, we have one broker we use and everything has been through her. My company has purchased over 300 small businesses so discussed many times that and all have been through a single business broker as we just don't want to divulge information to dozens. Go to bizbuysell or loopnet or realtor.com or any sites and try to get information without speaking on the phone with a broker and you'll find it impossible to do. The internet is wonderful as is email allowing us to reach others. Unfortunately, it allows others to do the same and the recipient can't tell us apart.

I'm not saying the system is right, just that these are the ways to effectively work with it.
Excellent post and recommendations. In this situation if you are a real buyer you need to pop up over the radar. I'm no longer a broker but still in sales. At times I recieve dozens of emails every day requesting information, quotes, specs, samples, etc. If I tried to respond to every one of these I would be working 20 hours a day and at the same time my sales would plummet. In these days of internet, email and instant, anonymous communication I think the most important job of a sales person (at least a sales person that actually wants to make a living) is to sort through the noise to find the real inquiries. Unfortunately this is getting more and more difficult and without the audio or visual clues one gets with direct interaction it leads to high error rate.

In this situation a phone call I agree is the best bet. And in this case I would be happy to answer questions, the more the merrier. To me that would indicate the broker is taking me seriously enough to try to learn more about what kind of boat I'm looking for so he/she can focus on getting me the best offers and information. However, a call would still give the buyer the option of deferring answers and just asking specific questions.

Not saying it's right but I think it's the best way to achieve the desired goal.
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Old 19-11-2017, 12:51   #37
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Re: Boat Brokers: How should we deal with them?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BandB View Post
So, your method isn't working. Now, should the brokers have responded? Not even relevant to what I'm about to say, whether they should have or not, they didn't. The only aspect you can control is what you do. I'm here to address only how you might overcome the challenge.

Therefore, I'll make some comments relevant to that. Your inquiry is lost among the masses. It is not distinguished from the hundreds of inquiries, the vast majority of which are not from serious buyers. It has nothing to distinguish it. It figuratively is just tossed aside into the trash can. The broker has x amount of time and is choosing not to use it to respond to you. The broker, although most would never admit it, is pre-qualifying and you don't make the list. So, how do you get their attention.

You do something to remove yourself from the masses. Like you, I prefer to send questions by email or web form. I don't want to talk to sales people early in the process. Unfortunately, it doesn't work. Pick up the phone and make a call and your success rate increases dramatically. I don't like to because of the very reason they want you to. I don't want to answer questions and provide more information. I just want my question answered, but it's not going to work my way or your way. It's the same way in home purchasing, business purchasing.

So, suggestion number one is pick up the phone. Short of that, share information about yourself and your search and don't simply send questions. You must do something to distinguish yourself. Simply said, a few questions and no phone number, and you're unlikely to get a decent response.

Now, the other and, in my opinion better, way is a buyer's broker. Brokerage is a relationship based business, not a transaction business. You establish a relationship with a good broker and you'll get help and attention. Make them aware then of listings you have questions about and they can and will get answers. When they contact the selling broker, the selling broker knows a real potential buyer does exist, one that has gotten with a broker.

You say you're a serious buyer, but you don't look like one to the person on the other end today.

Some perspective of all those who inquire. First, let's start with just those here. We have people here who have said they've looked at 50 boats in two or three years. We have others who have been buying for years but never bought. The majority of people here have been "buyers" in their minds far more than they've actually been serious buyers. Then consider this site is boaters. For every person here there are hundreds, even thousands, out there inquiring, far less likely to buy.

Brokers can not treat every inquiry the same. They play the odds. They make educated guesses.

I'm an internet person who likes to remain anonymous as long as possible in the process. That doesn't work. While I'm 100% honest in my intentions as I express them, the person on the other end doesn't know that. Every boat I've purchased, I've had someone else be the initial contact person for me. In real estate purchases, we have one broker we use and everything has been through her. My company has purchased over 300 small businesses so discussed many times that and all have been through a single business broker as we just don't want to divulge information to dozens. Go to bizbuysell or loopnet or realtor.com or any sites and try to get information without speaking on the phone with a broker and you'll find it impossible to do. The internet is wonderful as is email allowing us to reach others. Unfortunately, it allows others to do the same and the recipient can't tell us apart.

I'm not saying the system is right, just that these are the ways to effectively work with it.
This is the best response I’ve read so far.

If in the 100k market even more so. Love him or hate him Trump made one comment I read long ago that stuck with me, “email is for losers, winners pick up the phone.”

If under 100k the 10k commission gets split with the house. After that there may be a co-broker split, after that taxes.

It’s not much and if you want to get the brokers attention AND you are a serious buyer pick up the phone ;-)
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Old 19-11-2017, 13:11   #38
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Re: Boat Brokers: How should we deal with them?

Good suggestions but I will again point out that at best you guys are talking about how to get the attention of the salesperson THAT I DO NOT NEED NOR DO I WANT TO TALK TO AT ALL.

I buy stuff, LOTS OF STUFF, Millions of dollars worth of stuff for my job (Yachts are chicken feed) and ANY chance I get to avoid sales people I do. I know what I want/need. I find someone who has it, I inquire. I ask questions, send specifications, confer with engineers, then pay, get my stuff and move on to the next project. Questions? Questions are sent via email. I don't care what a 71 year old man thinks about how the internet works, when you ask technical questions, you send them in email form and you expect technical responses in email form.

It is not up to the buyer to adapt to the market. The buyer has the money. The market has sellers (which any market must have), buyers (which any market must have) and Brokers (which are optional)

Sellers do not need to adapt
Buyers do not need to adapt
Brokers need to adapt.
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Old 19-11-2017, 13:20   #39
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Re: Boat Brokers: How should we deal with them?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aswayze View Post
Good suggestions but I will again point out that at best you guys are talking about how to get the attention of the salesperson THAT I DO NOT NEED NOR DO I WANT TO TALK TO AT ALL.

I buy stuff, LOTS OF STUFF, Millions of dollars worth of stuff for my job (Yachts are chicken feed) and ANY chance I get to avoid sales people I do. I know what I want/need. I find someone who has it, I inquire. I ask questions, send specifications, confer with engineers, then pay, get my stuff and move on to the next project. Questions? Questions are sent via email. I don't care what a 71 year old man thinks about how the internet works, when you ask technical questions, you send them in email form and you expect technical responses in email form.

It is not up to the buyer to adapt to the market. The buyer has the money. The market has sellers (which any market must have), buyers (which any market must have) and Brokers (which are optional)

Sellers do not need to adapt
Buyers do not need to adapt
Brokers need to adapt.
Everyone adapts, the beauty of a market ;-)
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Old 19-11-2017, 13:22   #40
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Re: Boat Brokers: How should we deal with them?

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Originally Posted by Aswayze View Post
...Sellers do not need to adapt
Buyers do not need to adapt
Brokers need to adapt.
In our case the answer was simple - we had a gutsfull, so decided to ignore any adverts from brokers and focus solely on private sales. That way you get immediate attention, you get the person best qualified to answer, you soon figure if he genuinely wants to sell or is just testing the market, and best of all there is no stuffing around with middle-men!

Just vote with your feet - plenty of private sales out there to choose from, and no commission for the seller to cover in his inflated price either - it's a win-win.
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Old 19-11-2017, 13:28   #41
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Re: Boat Brokers: How should we deal with them?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aswayze View Post
Good suggestions but I will again point out that at best you guys are talking about how to get the attention of the salesperson THAT I DO NOT NEED NOR DO I WANT TO TALK TO AT ALL.

I buy stuff, LOTS OF STUFF, Millions of dollars worth of stuff for my job (Yachts are chicken feed) and ANY chance I get to avoid sales people I do. I know what I want/need. I find someone who has it, I inquire. I ask questions, send specifications, confer with engineers, then pay, get my stuff and move on to the next project. Questions? Questions are sent via email. I don't care what a 71 year old man thinks about how the internet works, when you ask technical questions, you send them in email form and you expect technical responses in email form.

It is not up to the buyer to adapt to the market. The buyer has the money. The market has sellers (which any market must have), buyers (which any market must have) and Brokers (which are optional)

Sellers do not need to adapt
Buyers do not need to adapt
Brokers need to adapt.
What 71 year old man? I don't know your age, but I'm 47. You're missing one huge point in talking about all you do on email, it's all with people you have already an established relationship. I do most things by email, greatly prefer the paper trail over phone calls. I will always use email after a phone call to, in order to confirm what was said on the phone. I want it in writing. However, it is not the way to establish an initial relationship in many cases and this is one of them. These are people making inquiries as total strangers. Can't be sure that some of the emails aren't ending up in spam even.

If you have a relationship with a broker, then you can do it all by email. I know people who communicate with brokers all the time by email. The issue I was responding to is making the initial contact and getting a response.

Buyer has money, seller has product. Broker is necessary to connect them. Brokers adapt based on what works for them. Responding to every email they receive is not something many find worthwhile. Some do.
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Old 19-11-2017, 13:34   #42
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Re: Boat Brokers: How should we deal with them?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aswayze View Post
Good suggestions but I will again point out that at best you guys are talking about how to get the attention of the salesperson THAT I DO NOT NEED NOR DO I WANT TO TALK TO AT ALL.



I buy stuff, LOTS OF STUFF, Millions of dollars worth of stuff for my job (Yachts are chicken feed) and ANY chance I get to avoid sales people I do. I know what I want/need. I find someone who has it, I inquire. I ask questions, send specifications, confer with engineers, then pay, get my stuff and move on to the next project. Questions? Questions are sent via email. I don't care what a 71 year old man thinks about how the internet works, when you ask technical questions, you send them in email form and you expect technical responses in email form.



It is not up to the buyer to adapt to the market. The buyer has the money. The market has sellers (which any market must have), buyers (which any market must have) and Brokers (which are optional)



Sellers do not need to adapt

Buyers do not need to adapt

Brokers need to adapt.


Exactly ... I appreciate the suggestions above folks but .. it is not me who needs to make an extra effort to get a salesman attention!! That’s bananas!! In a sellers market.. sure.. here in Europe there are cities like Dublin or Munich where you have to literally stand in line with 50 people in front to get a chance to give your application to an agent to rent an apartment .. that’s a sellers market.

To even imply that that it is the same with boats .. I am not in the U.S but here in Europe people are not lining up to buy sailing yachts. It is a buyers market plain and simple.

I appreciate your point about virtual tire kickers... but guess what.. that’s why a seller is paying you thousands of Euro.. so you deal with it. That’s the dirty shitty part of the job that the seller doesn’t want to do! If the broker doesn’t want to do this .. then what are they doing at all to earn that commission (other than taking a couple of blurry pictures and putting them on a website?) ..
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Old 19-11-2017, 13:35   #43
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Re: Boat Brokers: How should we deal with them?

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Originally Posted by BandB View Post
...Buyer has money, seller has product. Broker is necessary to connect them....
You reckon!!!!!
I use email for everything, regardless of whether I know the person/business or not. Sorry but you guys have your head in the sand - time and tide move on.
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Old 19-11-2017, 13:46   #44
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Re: Boat Brokers: How should we deal with them?

Quote: What 71 year old man?

President Trump is 71, not you.
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Old 19-11-2017, 14:36   #45
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Re: Boat Brokers: How should we deal with them?

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You reckon!!!!!
I use email for everything, regardless of whether I know the person/business or not. Sorry but you guys have your head in the sand - time and tide move on.
Well, sounds wonderful but it's not working for these buyers so trying to suggest alternatives to them. It works on some things, many things. Doesn't work on $100k boats from what they report.

I make initial contacts with fake email addresses on personal things, legitimate on business things. But then I'm not the one having the problem here.
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