This is the time of year were folks get weak in the commitment with there boat. A summers wear and tear and the thought of a winter of nothingness can put one over the edge. Here at WoodyBoater we are getting a bunch of emails from folks thinking that we broker boats. We DO NOT! We do know some great places that do though. And if you want to do it yourself. Some advice is always handed out. The first piece of advice is always. Don’t do it yourself. Sure there are stories out there about guys making bank on there own. Trust me, there is ALWAYS a back story. So.. with all that said, we thought we would offer up some advice on how to market your boat regardless of who brokers it, or if you try on your own.
1. Price. If you are not priced right don’t even bother trying. We see it all the time. Uncle Bobs Sea Skiff is worth 10K and you are asking 30K because uncle Bob put 30 in it. It does not work that way. It’s worth what the market will pay for it. Period. Hagerty marine Insurance , god bless them put together a price guide for this very reason. The banner button is on the left of this page. Start there.
2. Pictures. Take a billion pictures of the boat in its current state. I HATE partial pics taken in a garage. What the hell, would you buy a boat like that for $40K on eBay. NO WAY. So don’t do it. Take the effort to be proud, a picture is worth a thousand words. I follow this rule. The Kathy LaPointe Rule. Show all the angles, and be honest. Show the goiters, and imperfections, and show everything. Pricing and Pictures will do 90% of the work for you. Do these two things right and you are 100% on track.Have all your pics easy to email. DO NOT SNAIL MAIL PICTURES. I know many folks that do not like email and mail stuff. Grow up, the web is how this is all done, it’s not an age thing anymore. Get your pal to do it if you are that lost. But know that is were the folks are.
3. The Story. These boats are art, tell the history, tell us what you love about the boat. We all know its BS, because its not a picture, But its nice to know. People buy based on emotion. It’s a proven fact. So this is your chance to romance the brand of your boat. DO NOT LIE. one little lie means the entire boat is a lie. Talk about why the interior is pink, and that scratch is on it. If your boat needs varnish, say it, or do it. The number one reason folks are NOT buying a classic boat is because they are scared of the work. Tell them about the support system out there if you are selling a fixer upper. Tell them about the great community, the boat buzz, WOODYBOATER
4. Media Buy. Where to place your ad if you are doing it on your own, eBay, the Chris – Craft Antique Boat Clubs TradingDock, and Craigslist are were we shop for boats that are not brokered. There are others, but these are the big ones. eBay will get the boat out there, but don’t expect to sell a 100K boat on there. Use it as awareness. So you may want to have a buy it know on it, and deal with the buyer behind the scenes. Not a good practice from a trust aspect, but manage your expectations. Craigslist is a crap fest of bottom feeders, sell crap on there and don’t dilute your show boat on there. We all shop craigslist for bargains. That’s the mind set of the viewer. Unless you are giving it away. The tradingdock is free, and were folks go. There have been issues with old stale ads on there. But we all go there. DO NOT WASTE YOUR TIME IN THE NEWSPAPER!
5. Brokers. We STRONGLY recommend you to use a broker. The Brokers on Woody Boater are the big ones and the ones we recommend, not just because they sponsor us by the way. We are asked all the time to advertise others. We turn down a bunch by the way. A painful choice I might ad. The ones here are the good guys. They are vetted and do an amazing job. They do all have different unique ways of doing business. So its good to understand that. Some will buy your boat at wholesale and sell it, other add a brokerage fee and sell for you. Both are viable ways to go. By the way, we also STRONGLY RECOMMEND buying through a broker. What does that tell you. Research says folks by from dealers for piece of mind, and a place to go back to. The 10% commission pays for marketing, and that piece of mind. You pay it with realtors, why not the same here. If you have a very high quality boat, you may consider one dealer over another. Look at how they market the high end boats. You never want to be the jewel of a bad collection. It’s about standards. Also, and this is very important. If you list with a broker, do not be a whore out there. I do not want to see your boat at three brokers and eBay.. Folks do not know how to buy the boat. Seriously, it’s rude, slimy and not fair to the broker, and confuses buys and makes you look rude, slimy and un-trustworthy. How you sell your boat is a reflection of the boat, and you.
6. Auctions. Auctions are good, all it is is a different way to market your boat. Match up your boat to the audience that is going to the auction. If you are going to sell a Cobra, be at an auction with Muscle cars. Thats who is there. If you are selling a rare Dodge for example, be were the Duesenberg crowd is.
7. Boat Shows. At all the boat shows out there, there is a field of dreams. Think, people actualy pay to get into a show. They are your market 100% they are going to be all frothed up about getting one of these boats, and there you are. BE PRICED RIGHT! You have ONE CHANCE. the Lake Dora Field of Dreams is INSANE and the best at the start of the year in March in FLA. Consider taking your boat there,by the way, all the top brokers are there as well, so you may decide to list it with them right there. If you do not know anything about your boat, give it tot eh broker. I know top guys in the hobby that will drag there boats down there and give them to a broker to ell. What does that tell you!
After being in the world of Marketing for over 33 years, and now owning an ad agency, marketing anything is all about presenting your product to the market that is pre deposed to buying it. That’s it. Price it right, and don’t lie or be tricky. Be honest and forthright, and nice and helpful. It is a scientific fact that people buy through emotion, they rationalize the purchase afterwords. Our beloved boats are pure emotion. Sellers confuse emotion though thinking it is flowery language. It’s not. It is representing your boat in a way that connects with the buyer. A Utility is really a family, social boat, a runabout, is sporty, performance and show oriented, a Gar Wood, is a rare boat vs a Chris Craft witch is an iconic boat. A Shepard is a step above, A Grevette is an extreme collectors boat..Your audience for your boat will in-vision them selves in your boat. They need to see them selves in it. Make it easy for them to do that. I know this has been a bit much to take in. It’s the email I wish i had time to write to help the folks that email me. no i can just send them this link. We will be doing a story, on How to Buy a boat next.