It’s time to buy a boat! Now comes the really hard part: negotiating the best deal. Whether you’re looking at a boat from a dealership or a private seller, you should be negotiating — it’s just like buying a car.
But negotiating doesn’t come naturally to everyone. Here are a few tips for negotiating the best price.
Begin by Looking at Comparable Boats in the Area
Before you make an offer, look up the price similar boats are selling for in your area. Armed with this knowledge, you’ll know whether the current price of the boat is reasonable or not. You may already be getting an excellent deal — or the boat may be grossly overpriced. But if you don’t know the regular prices, you won’t be able to figure it out.
Make a Low Offer First — But Be Respectful
A boat seller expects that the first offer is going to be low. But a rude or extremely low ball offer may disincline them to work with you at all. Make a reasonable, low offer, with the understanding that the price will be negotiated upwards. Your offer should be the least amount that you think is even vaguely reasonable for paying for the boat.
Tally Up Any Repairs You’ll Need to Do in Your Head
Don’t forget to consider any repairs that need to be done in your final purchase price. If the boat needs some engine work, that’s going to be a considerable cost: you should reduce the price for that. If the boat just needs some interior cosmetic work, it may be more negligible.
Keep in mind that you should be comparing to boats that don’t have these problems; the seller may have already knocked some money off the price for these issues.
Check on the Insurance
Before you make a purchase, check with your boat insurance company. Some older boats may not be insurable, or there may be some types of boats that need additional work to insure (such as a bottom inspection). Knowing this in advance will head off any significant issues.
Don’t Get Too Hung Up on One Boat
There are many boats out there. Getting emotionally attached to a single boat is how people end up locked into bidding wars or end up paying far too much for a boat. Take some time to look at multiple possibilities before you start negotiating for one. If you can’t secure one at a good price, you can move on to the next.
There are usually quite a few boats for sale that will meet your requirements, and while there is an allure to getting a boat immediately, scheduling a few weeks for purchasing and negotiations will take the edge off the urgency.
Ask for Some Extras to Be Tossed In (or Forego Extras)
If you can’t negotiate the price any further, consider asking for extras tossed in, such as accessories. If there are accessories already included that you don’t want, ask if you can get a discount for having them removed.
Negotiations are an art form. Be confident, and avoid making any decisions quickly. If you feel pressured, ask to think about it. It’s rare that a boat will be sold out from under you overnight, and even if it is, there are more boats in the sea.
About Mariners Insurance
Mariners General Insurance Group was founded in 1959 to protect boat owners and marine business clients. We are marine insurance experts and insure boats worldwide – in every ocean on the planet. Marine insurance is critical if you own a boat or nautical business. Trust the professionals with all of your Boat Insurance needs – trust Mariners Insurance. Call us at (800) 992-4443 any time you have questions or concerns about insurance for your vessel or marine business.