Selling a boat doesn’t have to be stressful or time consuming. Modern technology means there are now many ways to get your boat for sale seen right across the internet, promoted on websites and blogs, Facebook and Twitter. Here, Peggy Melmoth, (who has personally sold four of her own boats in the past) shares 7 common mistakes made by boaters wanting to sell.

1) It’s not ship-shape

What kind of impression is the current condition of the boat making? Remember that bad presentation is an excuse for a customer to ask for a reduction in price. Make the most of your boat by removing personal possessions and then clean and tidy her both inside and out.

2) The price is wrong

You know you won’t get what you paid for it, but you don’t want to lose too much on it either. We get that. But we also know from experience at Boatshed Grand Union that if we can attract one customer viewing per week your boat will sell. If the listing is not attracting that level of viewings we may discuss a price reduction campaign with you. Remember however that we would not do this unnecessarily; after all, reducing the price also means reducing our own brokerage commission.

3) You priced it based on the survey

Be wary of fixing your asking price by considering a surveyors valuation or an insurance valuation. Consider how you would have a diamond ring insured for the replacement value rather than resale value.

4) You’re not measuring results

After listing your boat we’ll monitor the listing for three weeks and measure the current ‘hit’ rate to see how we’re doing. We’ll also send targeted emails to customers who have shown an interest in your boat. At Boatshed our customers are sometimes pleasantly surprised at how quick we are able to attract a sale. (Read: Selling a boat: My story.)

5) You’re advertising equipment that you don’t want to sell!

I know this is one to watch because I accidentally did this myself when I sold a boat last year! Before your advert goes live read through the text of the listing. Consider which items are included in the sale and make sure you have not listed removable items that are not included: For example a generator or a solar panel.

6) You take criticism personally

Any prospective buyer may be interested in reducing the asking price of the boat and could point out cosmetic appearance or technical faults as reasons to drop the price. This isn’t fun if that boat was once the love of your life, but try not to take it to heart. Remember you may even have criticised the boat yourself when haggling for the price you wanted to buy her at!

7) You’re advertising it yourself

It can be time consuming to promote a boat properly. We put your boat onto more than 50 Boatshed websites and advertise in all the main boating magazines. We also have direct computer links that put your boat straight onto sites like Apollo Duck so you don’t have to.

On average it can take about twelve viewings to sell a boat (that's the world-wide average) yet at Boatshed Grand Union the average number of viewings before a sale is four. We offer brokerage on a no sale – no fee basis.

At the last count we had 11,916 people registered with Boatshed Grand Union. To meet this increasing demand we are always looking for more canal boats for sale to advertise across all of our Boatshed offices internationally.

Contact Phil or Jan for some more personal advice or read more about how to sell your boat.

Image credit: Thanks to Terrance Heath on Flickr for making this image available under a Creative Commons license.


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Living on a Boat: The Boatshed Guide (free) / Help! I want to sell my boat! / The 4 film and TV shows every boater should know. / Don’t miss: The Boatshed Grand Union Daily/ A slideshow of our boat of the moment./More articles.

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