Recreational boating has turned into one of the most popular outdoor activities in the U.S. There are almost 90 million people who spend time on a boat every year, and that number seems to be increasing annually as more and more people find out about the joys of boating.
Do you want to join them? You can do it by buying a boat and getting out on the water.
But before you do, you should prepare yourself to negotiate a fair price for a boat. The last thing you want to do is pay too much for one and have to sell it later.
Take a look at some tips you should take with you when you hit the negotiating table and start trying to work out a deal for a boat, regardless of whether it’s new or used.
Don’t Fall in Love With a Boat Before You Buy It
The biggest mistake people make when buying a boat is falling in love with it before it’s in their possession. They see a boat with a certain accessory like a Power-Pole Blade Anchor from XtremeBoat.com and just have to have it.
You might be head over heels in love with a specific boat, but you shouldn’t ever let a seller know that. Instead, you should play it cool and keep your love for a boat close to the vest before you start negotiating.
If a seller knows you’re probably not going to walk away from an offer, they won’t be motivated to bring the price of a boat down for you. So one of the simplest price negotiation techniques to follow is to never let a seller see how much you might love a boat.
You will likely end up paying too much for a boat when your emotions play a part in the negotiation process.
Research Boats You Like and Find Prices for Them
Before you step foot on a boat lot or think about buying a used boat, you should do your research on boats to see what you like and, more importantly, what you can expect to pay for the boats you like.
Ideally, you should find one or two boats that you really like and research them until you know everything about them.
You should walk into a negotiation armed with more information than you’ll ever need to complete a sale. You should know how much the boats you like have sold for in your area, how long they last, and even how much you might be able to make when reselling them in a few years.
As long as you do the right kind of research and get your hands on accurate information, you should be able to come to an agreement on a fair price on a boat relatively quickly.
Inspect a Boat for Damage Before Making an Offer
When buying a used boat, you should always inspect it first to see if there are any signs of damage. You should walk around the boat out of the water to see the bottom of it and climb inside to see what kind of wear and tear has taken place on board.
As you find damage, you should make a note of it and then later ask the seller of the boat how they plan to compensate you for it.
Some sellers may have already included the price of damage in their asking price. But many have not.
You should ask those sellers if they’re willing to repair the boat before selling it to you or if they’re up for reducing the price to accommodate the repair work you’ll have to do to the boat.
Either way, you should get something for the damages. After all, you don’t want to buy a boat and then have to spend more money fixing it up, right?
Find Clever Ways to Reduce the Price of a Boat
There are some clever price negotiation techniques you can use to reduce the price of a boat.
For example, you can tell the seller that you aren’t a fan of the electronics on board. You can then ask the seller to remove the electronics and reduce the price of the boat by the price of whatever the electronics would cost.
In some cases, the seller might call your bluff and remove the electronics while bringing down the price. But in many others, the seller will simply offer to skip the hassle of removing the electronics and just bring down the price for you.
When that happens, you will get a better price and you won’t have to sacrifice anything at all for it. It’s an easy way to try and get a better deal on a boat.
Ask a Seller to Throw in a Few Freebies at the End
If you’re buying a new boat and you’re at the end of the negotiation process for it, you should try to get as much as you can out of the deal.
New boat sellers are usually more than happy to throw in a few life vests or a couple water toys to close a deal.
Don’t be afraid to ask for something–anything–to be thrown in at the end. It’ll save you a few bucks, and most dealers won’t hesitate to grant your wishes if it means ending the negotiation process.
Walk Away If You Can’t Come to an Agreement
At some point, you and the boat seller might not be able to come to terms on a deal. That’s okay!
All negotiations are not successful, and that’s especially true when it comes to boats. Most boat buyers want a great price and most boat sellers want to recoup at least some of the money they spent on the boat originally.
If you and the seller can’t reach an agreement, it’s not the end of the world. There are plenty of other boats out there, and it’s better to keep shopping around than to pay more than you think you should have to.
Buying a Boat Shouldn’t Be Stressful
At the end of the day, buying a boat should be fun above all else. There are so many amazing boats out there that you can buy.
You should find a boat you like and then make your best effort to buy it and get it out on the water. When you follow these tips, it will increase your chances of doing that and help you score a great deal at the same time.
Check out our blog for more tips on getting great deals as a consumer.