In yesterdays story, I kinda touched on some topics of sales and how is the business of Classic Boating going.Of course it hit a nerve, not a painful nerve but an insightful nerve. maybe more like a pinched nerve? Paul Harrison left a very powerful message in the comment section. And he nailed it. Like a 10 pt dive. Shockingly I read the entire comment as well. So, I thought today on a Saturday a good poke in the ye might make your morning a little more fun. Then go out into the barn and make sweet love to your boat. I have added ink clot babes to move the story along… It’s a mash up..Take it away Paul!
Boat sales strong? I’ll take your word for it, but that might be open to debate, though the lower price ranges might be more active.
I am one of the guys that sold an upper mid-range boat after it had been listed for years. It took 4 or 5 years (not sure which) and the price realized was way below initial broker estimates of value. The price had to be reduced over time until an offer was elicited. Prior to that, the boat was in hindsight obviously priced above the market, though the only way to really know that is by watching the months and years tick by with little or no interest. I was not a “motivated” seller in the traditional sense so was content to wait it out, but now I wish I had reacted to what the market was telling me more quickly.
I have learned a bit from this process – a simple but occasionally fraught process called price discovery. We as owners can set the price, but the market sets the value. The value of my boat was $80k, not the higher numbers earlier ascribed. I wish it was higher but in the end it wasn’t; life goes on.
Value has absolutely ZERO to do with the amount you have invested in the boat, the fact your family has owned it for 100 years, or any other factor to which you may be emotionally anchored. It is worth what a knowledgeable buyer will pay on that day, that’s it. The sooner a seller can accept this, the better the chances of a sale will be. The realization can be painful, but it’s also inevitable. Brokers and restorers have a role to play in educating sellers, I would submit.
There are way too many boats sitting on the market for years at clearly delusional price points, points to which owners are emotionally but not rationally anchored. If these boats were priced based on actual market reality, we as a hobby would see higher transaction volumes and perceive an overall greater vibrancy in the market. Perception and sentiment are important, perhaps a contributing factor to the oft-held sentiment that the classic boat market is slow are low transaction volumes partially brought about by unrealistic asking prices in many cases? Just a thought.
I think classic car market is in a period of retreat or retrenchment as well, after significantly disappointing sales in the summer. Who knows, maybe a demographic reckoning is happening? Price adjustments will occur in that market as well.
If you have had a triple or a launch or any other boat for sale for years with no interest, the market is not the problem – the problem is your price – drop it or do everyone a favor and take it off the market. It’s really as simple supply and demand – evidently not a whole ton of people want big triples or launches with high prices on them, so there are an abundance of those for sale. If you really want to sell it, lower the price to the market or take it off the market and go boating.