Tips for getting your boat sold, despite competition or market conditions

selling a boatIn today’s competitive boat market, you have to go the extra mile when trying to sell a boat. The used boat market has been particularly tough in recent years, making it a buyer’s market for boats of nearly every size, price range and style.

It is essential to properly prepare a boat so that it will sell faster in a tough boat market. And preparing a boat to sell goes beyond pricing – it includes thoroughly cleaning it, tuning up the engines, making minor repairs and anything else that will help make your boat stand out against the competition.

Here are some practical tips on how to sell a boat that focus on making your boat more attractive to buyers. 

Price it to sell. Don’t be concerned how much you may owe on the boat – the buyer does not care. What matters is how much your boat is worth on the market. Do your research online to see the going rates of boats your year, size and condition is worth. Make sure you are comparing apples to apples – same model, options and engine type.

Make it shine. Just like you want a house to look its best when you are trying to sell it, you want your boat to be in selling condition. From a good cleaning to making simple repairs, make sure your boat is prepared to be on sale.

Stand out from competition. Access your boat’s competition on the market and do something to help your listing stand out. It may mean showcasing electronics upgrades, enhancements or equipment that you are offering with the boat – or it could mean throwing in a free boat slip, dinghy or winter storage.

List it in high-traffic locations. If your marina is not known for high volume boat sales, take your boat somewhere where it will be seen and sold. It will be worth one last boat trip to have it listed with a high volume boat dealer that draws in more buyers.

Show your boat off-season. Approaching the winter months and your boat is still not sold? Don’t wrap it up if you can. If you shrink wrap your boat you may has well take the For Sale sign off. Find out if you can make your boat available for viewings into the winter months. We sold our last boat the last week of December because we kept it accessible for viewings.

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Diane Seltzer

Founder & Editor at My Boat Life
Diane is the founder of MyBoatLife.com as well as the boating lifestyle site for kids BoaterKids.com. She is also active in the boating industry, serving as the marketing director for a marine sunshade product, SureShade, and founder of Marine Marketing Tools, a collaborative site for sharing marine marketing best practices. Diane is also the author of the children's book The Amazing Adventures of Boat Girl.

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