Negotiating a price

jon and michie

Well-known member
Joined
28 Dec 2014
Messages
1,404
Hi - In my endeavour to find a boat and having asked many questions (which will never end) 1 question I have to ask is

As I am totally new to the boating world and as a brit not so good on the bartering front - what would be a starting point for negotiating a price on a boat ? I know condition of the vessel etc would obviously play a part in this - but is there some degree of bartering that can be done ? - I am sure someone on here has said before that 20% lower than the asking price is a place to start - but I will point out I wouldn't want to offend/insult the seller/broker with my naivety either.

All opinions welcomed

jon
 

lionelz

Member
Joined
13 Oct 2014
Messages
466
Location
Gosport
So many factors that effect this. If the boat is bang on the money there may be very little wiggle room, I would say look at the prices of comparable boats, and then take it from there. As long as you pay what you are happy to pay then all is good. I personally made an offer on my boat at about 33% under the original asking price and eventually got it for about 80% of the original price.
 

jon and michie

Well-known member
Joined
28 Dec 2014
Messages
1,404
Thanks lionelz - I totally understand where your coming from - I would also suspect what upgrades it might have would also factor in this i.e bow thruster etc etc.
from a buyer's point of view I would assume especially through a brokerage that cash would be king.
good to see that you did indeed get 20% off the price.

thanks again
jon
 

benjenbav

Well-known member
Joined
12 Aug 2004
Messages
14,693
Obviously easier to get in the right ballpark if it's a popular model. Even then it's a different sport from buying a mass-production item where the "right" price is easily established.

I think the most important factor is to end up paying a price you are happy to pay for the boat in question.

I've always enjoyed my boats on their merits and not for the keenness of the deal done to acquire them.

Ultimately, it's worth remembering that, almost certainly, there's another one out there with your name on it if the seller has different aspirations.
 

jon and michie

Well-known member
Joined
28 Dec 2014
Messages
1,404
Obviously easier to get in the right ballpark if it's a popular model. Even then it's a different sport from buying a mass-production item where the "right" price is easily established.

I think the most important factor is to end up paying a price you are happy to pay for the boat in question.

I've always enjoyed my boats on their merits and not for the keenness of the deal done to acquire them.

Ultimately, it's worth remembering that, almost certainly, there's another one out there with your name on it if the seller has different aspirations.

Thank you - I have been looking for over a good year and a half now and have been interested in motor boats for a few years so I know as my wife keeps saying there is always another one.
that said I am keen on getting one and definitely on its merits and what suits me and my wife although it sometimes it is difficult when you do see a boat that your keen to go for without giving the game away to the seller.

jon
 

wipe_out

Active member
Joined
23 Feb 2013
Messages
1,396
Location
Bournemouth
Try and find the boat you like and offer the price it's worth to you.. Similarly some sellers might mark high in anticipation of being pushed down and some will price at what they want for the boat..

As an example when I recently sold I started a little high knowing I would probably get lower offers but after I found the next boat I wanted a quicker sale so I dropped the price to what I actually wanted for her.. Buyer came along and gave me the price I was asking and was very happy, others had tried to offer lower than my lower price and I simply refused the offers..

I guess what I am trying to say is there are no rules..
 

Tranona

Well-known member
Joined
10 Nov 2007
Messages
40,539
Thanks lionelz - I totally understand where your coming from - I would also suspect what upgrades it might have would also factor in this i.e bow thruster etc etc.
from a buyer's point of view I would assume especially through a brokerage that cash would be king.
good to see that you did indeed get 20% off the price.

thanks again
jon

You can only buy a boat with cash - it is irrelevant whether you are borrowing the money except that you may be able to close the deal quicker if you have the cash ready. The process allows time for you to get your funds organised, but the seller/broker will probably want to know that if they accept your offer you will complete. That is the point of the contract and deposit. once you sign that you are legally committed to paying for the boat assuming it meets the conditions of the contract.

As to pitching your offer, do your homework about other similar boats, make adjustments for extras that you value that are not on others and deduct for obvious faults then see how this stacks up against the asking price. Some sellers might be desperate and willing to accept a lower price, but many are not pushed and may well reject low offers. But don't feel bad about it if you have a basis for your lower offer and you have shown that you are serious buyer.
 

l'escargot

New member
Joined
16 May 2001
Messages
19,778
Location
Isle of Wight / Jersey
It depends how the boat has been priced - I've offered 50% on an over priced boat to a buyer that wouldn't shift one penny and was still trying to sell his boat 3 years on and I've offered 90% on a well priced boat and still come up a bit to close the deal.
 

Cashbuyer

Member
Joined
4 Feb 2010
Messages
502
Don't worry about offending/ insulting or wanting to be loved. It's a business deal. If you find a boat you love and this boat has been loved and the owner wants it to go to a good home, then you can build a relationship, otherwise, as long as the broker hands the seller some money, most people have no idea who has bought their boat.
After a year and a half you should know what you want. And the right price to pay. But I fear that you are not prepared to compromise on some issues, otherwise you would have purchased by now. Or has every boat you've viewed been really awful?
What is really holding you back? Is it that in your budget you've discovered that actually the boat you want is twice the price? Does SWMBO still need convincing about boating?
Don't mean to sound too hard, and apologies if I do.
 

jon and michie

Well-known member
Joined
28 Dec 2014
Messages
1,404
Don't worry about offending/ insulting or wanting to be loved. It's a business deal. If you find a boat you love and this boat has been loved and the owner wants it to go to a good home, then you can build a relationship, otherwise, as long as the broker hands the seller some money, most people have no idea who has bought their boat.
After a year and a half you should know what you want. And the right price to pay. But I fear that you are not prepared to compromise on some issues, otherwise you would have purchased by now. Or has every boat you've viewed been really awful?
What is really holding you back? Is it that in your budget you've discovered that actually the boat you want is twice the price? Does SWMBO still need convincing about boating?
Don't mean to sound too hard, and apologies if I do.

thank you for your opinion there and not far off the mark - initially the SWMBO ( Bear in mind I am new to this lark so I assume my wife ) was a little apprehensive but still interested and we have always loved going around marinas where ever we are.
She is now totally up for going the boating route for the last year and was done on the basis of I had to get basic skills done as I work offshore I already had basic sea survival etc, so I did my powerboat 2 and src vhf course (I do intend to go and get my day skippers once I get the boat).
Then the hardest part was finding a boat that suited us we didn't want anything too small and cramped and likewise nothing too big either as there is only the 2 of us. we then was advised about fuel and the best option was diesel over petrol for a couple of reasons really 1 being I didn't fancy sleeping on top of a couple hundred litres of high octane fuel and 2 diesel has better economy.
The other criteria which is the main one for my wife - it had to have a nice interior and not something that looks gordy however internet photographs can be mis- leading.
So the search is on I do have a budget in mind but I have to be careful as I said earlier I work offshore and as everyone on this planet knows the oil prices are down so I do have to keep a reserve for quiet periods when I don't get work.

thank you to everyone that has contributed so far - it has been really helpful and makes logical sense

jon
 
Last edited:

superheat6k

Well-known member
Joined
10 Jan 2012
Messages
6,693
Location
South Coast
This is the technique I have just successfully applied.

Establish the actual market price for the model you wish to buy. Many brokers partake in a private website where they lodge details of their sales - Make / Model / Year / Asking price / Achieved price. You need a tame broker to help you with this.

Also scan places like this to see what tips you can find, then search, search and search again to refine what you know of the market. What is for sale, what is the range asking prices, what (if any) are selling. I used a simple spreadsheet for this.

Then place yourself in the position of the vendor - there are three prices when selling a boat - Asking price (do not ever pay this); Smile price - the price that the vendor walks away with a broad grin on his face - I achieved this with my Turbo 36; the pain barrier - the price that an owner will actually accept, even if he does not yet know it - THIS IS YOUR TARGET.

With knowledge of the marque and what they are selling for you can then establish the best ever price one would get within a few months on the market and if in very good and properly presented condition. (Be ready to inspect many that look more like they belong at the council tip, yet asking top money)

This is price A

Then assess what money you will have to spend to achieve price A if you were the vendor - this is deduction B.

What is the VAT status - if there is no original VAT receipt then this will be up to 20% of price A - B. Lets call VAT deduction C.

Max value then becomes A - B - C If you pay above this you are paying too much and need to remove the rose tinted specs.

I used a spreadsheet to explain in some detail how deduction B was arrived at, and presented this prior to offer to explain where a price I was prepared to consider would lie. One broker came out with the nonsense I could not take such things into account. Another broker countered with a price that was close to this that would secure a swift sale - the deal was done.

Some will suggest this is too rigid a method. Brokers will tell you buying a boat means you can't make such deductions - they are talking b**ll**ks.

You cannot insult an owner with a low offer., if you are being realistic in your assessment - he is insulting your intelligence by asking more, especially when you consider the detritus you will undoubtedly see at your inspections. You can be stuck with a purchase over the mods if you suddenly find he accepts your offer.

Finally when making your offer insist on these simple terms as extra to the broker's 'Standard' contract ...

1 No deposit until you have seen all title documents.

2 A written clause providing you the absolute right to walk away with full deposit refund (less survey haul outs costs, etc) if survey reveals anything you are not happy with and without having to further explain nor negotiate why. If they want the sale they will agree this.

3 Never ever get into a two horse race with another would be buyer - many phantoms like this out there. Back off and suggest they contact you in th after if the other party's interest falls through.

This method has just achieved me my purchase at a substantial % below the AP not only of this boat but of all others of the same marque currently available, but at a price I am comfortable with.
 

Greg2

Well-known member
Joined
24 Jun 2002
Messages
4,216
A bit of a perennial topic that crops up periodically. The 20% thing is often cited but as already said, there are no real rules. I have offered low and had a whole variety of responses ranging from outraged and insulted (which was passed on to me in detail by the broker instead of working to try to narrow the gap) to a polite and considered response followed by negotiation and some movement.

Lots of opinions and experience but the bottom line is you need to be happy and so does the vendor otherwise they won't sell (unless they are in dire straights and have to).

Also worth bearing in mind that we are all, at different times, both buyers and sellers and it is probably fair to say that we will have a slightly different perspective depending which one we are at the time. :)
 

oldgit

N/A
Joined
6 Nov 2001
Messages
27,326
Location
Medway
If you are serious about buying,have suspicion you may still be "browsing",usually after 18 months you will know what you do not want and may even know what you do want.You have given no indication of what you fancy or a budget.Many start with sub 15K boat a few with 50-60K in their pocket and fewer still with 100k + in the budget..
The market has been on its knees for the last 5 or so years for obvious reasons but it is starting to move.Boats that have been on the market for ages are finally selling for whatever reason
There has probably never been better time to buy or negociate a decent deal.
If you want fuss free deal (and are prepared to pay for it) a broker holding your hand throughout is your best bet.
However if you are prepared to be bit adventurous virtually every boat yard is going to have few boats with for sale sign on them,these can represent a good deal if you can find them but you have to search.
Most of us know somebody with a boat for sale where the owner just cannot be arsed to get broker involved just wants rid and any buyer will get a very good deal
Both of my last boats came from wandering round boatyards one on the Solent and one well known outfit in Essex.
You may have the readies to wander into a brokers office point to a boat and say "That one please" , if not its leg work that usually produces the right boat.
In my experience,when you have travelled miles and spent months to looking at overpriced tired damp old rubbish,anything that is any good will leap out and say "Buy Me". :)
Good luck.
 
Last edited:

Cbjroms

Member
Joined
29 Mar 2013
Messages
93
I like the concept above of an Asking Price, Smile Price & Pain Barrier beacuse every seller has these. But the point is that the numbers and difference between them vary enormously depending upon the seller and his/her circumstances. It is not something to which you can apply a standard %. I saw a 2011 boat last week that the owner purchased for £26,000 last November and he is now trying to sell at just under £30,000 when the same boat (2014 model) can be purchased from a dealer for £30,000!

I am also looking for a boat at the moment and the questions that I ask when doing my initial research is how long has the boat been for sale, have you had any offers and what would you take for it? Key is to ask the question and then say nothing - don't jump in to fill a silence that you may find a little uncomfortable. It is amazing how much information you can collect just by asking.

I understand the OP's concern about appearing rude but there is no reason to think like this. You are making an offer and it is the buyer's decision to accept/reject. A good sale requires the buyer and seller to work together to find something with which they are both comfortable. It amazes me how many sellers have bluntly turned down an offer in the Spring only to be still trying to sell now!
 

petem

Well-known member
Joined
16 May 2001
Messages
18,636
Location
Cotswolds / Altea
I've never heard of a seller so insulted by a low offer that he refused to consider a higher one. Even Phil Spencer from "Location Location Location" made the same statement in the context of houses.
 

burgundyben

Well-known member
Joined
28 Nov 2002
Messages
7,476
Location
Niton Radio
I've never heard of a seller so insulted by a low offer that he refused to consider a higher one. Even Phil Spencer from "Location Location Location" made the same statement in the context of houses.

I managed to make a Porsche 911 seller go off in a huff into his house and slam the door, I waited a few minutes and knocked but he wouldn't come out. I left.
 
Top