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Old 05-06-2023, 15:16   #1
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Lowball offers on second hand boats

I've heard a few stories now about people offering 50-60% of the online list price and getting the boat.

How much cheaper than the list price was your second hand boat?
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Old 05-06-2023, 16:04   #2
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Re: Lowball offers on second hand boats

Boat number 1, about 20%.

Boat number 2, about 5% under the asking price.

I was happy with both deals.
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Old 05-06-2023, 16:07   #3
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Re: Lowball offers on second hand boats

Depends ??

How long has the boat been on the market "
What was the original asking price ?
How keen is the owner to get rid of it ?

All these questions play into the low ball offer. If the boat is listed thru' a broker, he/she would likely know the answer to the above.
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Old 05-06-2023, 16:08   #4
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Re: Lowball offers on second hand boats

Quote:
Originally Posted by kayakerChuck View Post
Boat number 1, about 20%.

Boat number 2, about 5% under the asking price.

I was happy with both deals.
May I ask what the boats were?
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Old 05-06-2023, 16:18   #5
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Re: Lowball offers on second hand boats

60% of asking but needed 100% more to start catching up on deferred maintenance
So Im all in at about 100% of asking price with more to do
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Old 05-06-2023, 17:42   #6
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Re: Lowball offers on second hand boats

50%-60% off is likely to piss-off both the seller and your broker (if you have one). It really depends on the situation and whether the boat was priced fairly. I've seen boats go for free just so the seller can get out from under the slip fees. Recently saw a 36-foot trawler that had been for sale on/off for a few years. Fair market on it was probably in the $30k range given the condition. Challenge was it was in Newport Beach CA and the slip fee was about to go up to $2k/mo. Not many folks in Newport Beach want a $35k boat. Simple math tells you the seller is motivated.

Pre-covid, I used a general rule-of-thumb of 20% would not offend most sellers. But when I bought my boat, it was priced fairly and I offered only a mild discount. There was also some survey credits for bottom blisters.

If you've heard more than a passing story about deep discounts, my guess is either the boat was a total PoS, the seller was horribly distressed, or the story is a tall tale (most likely). Boats that are fairly priced generally sell well. Don't get your hopes up.
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Old 05-06-2023, 18:11   #7
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Re: Lowball offers on second hand boats

Those stories are from long ago.

Doesn’t work like that now.

Even so, I wouldn’t recommend it because you’re just going to get ignored. And then someone else will get the boat you want.

It’s a much better idea to shop for the boat you want and pay fair market value for it. That way you’ll get something in reasonable condition that has probably been cared for and will save you countless hours and thousands of dollars.

Lowballing and just picking up things out of the dumpster is not the way to go with boats.

And on the flipside, when you go to sell it, you shouldn’t take any offers from people like that either. You should just hang up on them or send them on their way.

Fair market value is what the boats are actually selling for, not the asking price.

The last thing you want is a distressed boat.

I’m going to leap forward in time here using my time cristal and completely agree with markxengineerin. 80% of asking is just about right. Because asking is above the fair market value. It almost all cases.
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Old 05-06-2023, 18:11   #8
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Re: Lowball offers on second hand boats

I think offering 80% is a sweet spot. Not low enough to offend, but high enough to tempt a motivated seller.
My 80% offer was accepted, early-Covid, with the stipulation that the price would not budge after the survey. Worked for me, and it passed the survey with only superficial criticisms.
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Old 05-06-2023, 18:14   #9
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Re: Lowball offers on second hand boats

Perhaps you should state the price range that you are looking at. a $10k boat selling for $5k is more likely than a $200k boat selling for $100k.

I bought my boat by making a low ball offer of $100k on a distressed boat with an average market price of around $125k to $150k. By distressed I mean that it had been sitting a few years and the owner needed out.

Of course you can always offer below the asking price. make enough offers and you might get one. Oh and remember, there is no such thing as a cheap boat.
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Old 05-06-2023, 20:05   #10
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Re: Lowball offers on second hand boats

Current boat (1978 Gulfstar 50 ketch bought during early COVID): I wrote up a full price offer ($75k) just to get the broker to call me back. After survey and sea trial we settled on $45k. I've since put in a new engine, sails, running rigging and am working my way through lots of deferred maintenance items and clean-up and will probably have around $100k into it when it's up to snuff. All of my boats have been someone else's castoffs, and I've been pretty happy refitting them to my satisfaction - I do all the work myself. If I had to pay someone to work on it I'd feel very differently.
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Old 05-06-2023, 22:47   #11
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Re: Lowball offers on second hand boats

Lawnmower I surveyed a boat last week that sold for 50% less than the asking price. The boat was covered with osmosis and the week before I had seen a written quote to repair osmosis on the same model boat. So I knew the repair price and the owner was happy to discount the boat to get rid of it.
Cheers
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Old 06-06-2023, 05:10   #12
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Re: Lowball offers on second hand boats

I got my last boat thru' unusual circumstances.
The prior owner was " underwater"...ie, he owed more $$ on the boat than what it is was worth.
At the closing table, he had to bring along a substantial sum of money to close the deal. It's worth it, to ferret these titbits of information out.
You could say, this was a very motivated selling owner.
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Old 06-06-2023, 05:16   #13
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Re: Lowball offers on second hand boats

As a buyer, I ask myself what the boat is worth to me. That's really the only number which matters. If it's worth it, I'll buy. If not, keep looking.

Of course the true answer is "it depends." It depends on many things, not least of which is the current market.

I tried to sell a boat into a very soft market, not too long after the 2008-9 downturn. It sat for the better part of a year and I took an offer of around 60% of my asking price. My asking would have been fair a couple of years earlier. But the market had changed.

On the other side, I looked at my current boat and liked it. The asking price was fair, but when I added up the cost of all the things I needed to fix or replace, it put the boat way above market value. I kept looking.

A month later I got a call from the seller, asking if I was still interested. I explained that I hadn't wanted to insult him with a low-ball offer, and went through my list with him. He agreed. The rest, as they say, is history. So in a way, I paid his asking price. But I paid about two-thirds of it to him, and spent the rest bringing the boat up to market value.
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Old 06-06-2023, 06:39   #14
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Re: Lowball offers on second hand boats

If a boat has been really well maintained and has up to date equipment and is in nice cosmetic condition it will sell very close to list price…assuming list price is current market.
The concept of stealing a real nice boat for half price is a pipe dream.
There are not that many boats in the condition I’m describing but financially your far further ahead buying a boat like this than getting a 50% discount on a project boat that will take you years and big bucks to ever get underway.
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Old 06-06-2023, 07:09   #15
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Re: Lowball offers on second hand boats

My experience has been that many boats that are up for sale, languish at the dock.
The first month, the owner will clean and polish everything, expecting....or hoping....for a quick sale.
Thereafter, there is less and less owner maintenance, After 6-12 months, the boat is looking quite shabby.
The interior doesn't get opened, batteries, go flat, mold starts to grow, ad infinitum.
Any prospective buyer seeing all this, will be shaking their heads and a low ball offer will follow.
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