The Boating Forum

Why are boat brokers so sketchy?

Old 04-07-2010, 06:27 AM
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Owners of machines I sell (especially 1st timers) resist me on the amount of information I want, and the number of photos. I tell them to put themselves in the place of a buyer 2,000 miles away. I ask for a list of everything done to the machine in the last year, AT LEAST fifteen photos, and I send them a boiler plate sheet list of areas I want photos of, and if at all possible a video of it operating all the functions. Photos must include any derogatory items. It's usually hard to get it from them the 1st time, but it works. If your broker doesn't demand the same kind of thing, find another one. If he does ask and you don't supply the info, whine on THT and post your boat on Craigslist.

Originally Posted by jobowker View Post
The following year someone was looking to sell their boat, knew that I had sold mine, and asked who I had used, so I gave him the name. Then my brother wanted to sell his boat, and used the same guy.

Good lawyers never have to advertise - they get plenty of work through word of mouth. The good brokers get a lot of their business through word of mouth as well.
Bingo! Treat people right, or not... Thats the word that will be spread.
Old 04-09-2010, 11:45 PM
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Originally Posted by mike carrigan View Post
I'm not going to disagree with you as to some salespeople and brokers being a little less than perhaps one might want them to be. As I've stated, true in all industries. Certainly not exclusive to ours.
One point I would like to comment on is the "Every boatsalesman here on THT...................." portion.
Interestingly enough, salesperson, wrenchspinner, and stickyfoot, that participate on THT I think are quite credable. Alot of disagreement on issues from time to time, but pretty straightforward group.

You're probably right.
Old 04-10-2010, 03:47 PM
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The harder the times (financially) the more you see some brokers and some sellers s t r e t c h i n g the truth . . . people get desprate
Old 04-10-2010, 04:23 PM
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Default Stinky

Originally Posted by two-rocks View Post
I am a consumerman and can spot a salesman from a mile away ;-)

From the smell of bs?
Old 04-10-2010, 04:27 PM
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Originally Posted by freeporttuna View Post
Ive delt with brokers 2x.Both were not smooth transactions.One a sale,the other a buy.On the sale the broker wanted the keys and title before I recieved a check from the bank.He was very insitant about it too.
This statement isn't making sense to me. What check were you waiting on from the bank? Whose bank? Do you mean at the end of the transaction? Typically, we get the keys as soon as you list the boat. How else would we show it to potential buyers? As for the title, well, yes, you hang onto that until the transaction is finalized.

The other was a recent buy that the price had changed at closing.Another party was also interested in the boat I found out later,I walked out of the closing and got the boat for less a month later.
How did the price change at closing? Was your purchase contract not in writing? Or do you mean that you were simply unaware that you had to pay for other items at closing in addition to the boat itself such as sales tax, registration, and titleing?
Old 04-10-2010, 04:54 PM
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Originally Posted by GCC View Post
Yes this is STILL an open forum, and YES that DOES mean that ANYONE can ask ANY question they would like, and thats ALL he did. If you dont like the idea of an open forum, youre welcome to log off Oh and who are you to classify his jabs (as u put it) as "unjustified"? ;?
Generally agree with you about the function of this Forum, but here is what gmills actually said:

"Why are boat brokers so sketchy? I've worked in and around the industry for awhile and it blows my mind how many slimy brokers there are out there. I think for every 2 really knowledgeable honest brokers there's 10 borrow from peter to pay paul, lie about condition/performance, promise you the world idiots out there.

Is this just my personal experience or did all the bottom of the barrel used car salesmen end up selling boats???"

So, I'll leave it up to the others to decide if you saying "All he did" is asking a question is a fair statement. I guess if he needs to say "slimy," "bottom of the barrel" and "used car salesmen" "idiots" that is all up to him. But he should expect responses like Judds, and so should you, IMO. And as to whether it was OK for Judd to say the jabs are unjustified, at the very least I'll say his percentages are clearly way off. I don't think this post justified your response, at all.

(Granted, gmills toned down his remarks in several later posts.) And of course when others are saying things like " the typical sun baked, alcoholic dock rat" his comments don't look all that bad. Oh well.....
Old 04-10-2010, 05:02 PM
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I clearly recognize that this is a boating website, thus that segment of the sales industry (boat salesmen) is the topic. However, I think it important for anyone that is dissatisfied with a marine broker to think back on all their other commission sales experiences, cars, homes, appliances, furniture, life insurance, investment brokers etc. think Madoff. Heck, there are invetment guys that little old ladies give all their money to and they work it like it was theirs, then theirs the Madoff's of the world at the opposite end. In every single area of sales there are the good with the bad. It's hard for me to believe that the marine brokerage side of things can be worse than any other segment. In this market, the guys hanging in there must have some sort of passion for selling boats. What I have found in the marine broker world is a lack of actual knowledge about the boat more than dishonesty. Like every other large purchase always use due diligence in your research, use a quality surveyor and get everything in writing and UNDERSTAND the contract 100% before you sign it. Just becuase the broker says the "engines run smooth", or "she only burns xxgph at cruise" doesn't always mean he is lying, he just probably knows less about this boat than you as an educated buyer should.
Old 04-10-2010, 05:07 PM
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Default You should not take offense. You should take exception. He said 2 out of every 10 >>

Originally Posted by pglein View Post
As a yacht broker myself, and a salesman for all of my adult life, I take a little offense to that. I always make every effort to be honest and fair in my dealings with customers of any type. Yes, I only get paid if I make a sale, but if I'm dishonest or rude, it will be my last sale to that person, and I run the risk of losing potential business from their friends and associates.

The answer to your question is the same one that applies to questions about why people in all industries are bad at their jobs. I worked in manufacturing for some time when I was younger. There was always a certain percentage of workers who slacked off in every conceivable way, or would let bad product go out the door, simply because they were too lazy to fix it, or didn't want to bring it to the attention of their superiors because it would reflect poorly on them.

The simple answer to your question, and to why there are bad people in every industry is this: a large percentage of the general population is simply stupid, short sighted, and lazy. Yacht brokers, mortgage loan officers, and car salesmen are no exception to this.

But just as there are stupid people in every profession, there are smart ones who see the value of thinking for the long term as well. The trick is to seek those ones out, use them, and recommend them to your friends and associates.
Are any good. I would not have gone that positive. 1 in 20 is more how I see it. I think its almost too easy to be a boat broker. Everyone on the water thinks they are the best boaters out there. So every boater out there thinks that he should make 10% of a boats cost to help sell or buy a boat. Thats the business in a nut shell with a lot of nuts walking around in dockers and calling them selves boat brokers
Old 04-10-2010, 05:11 PM
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I sold my 34 footer today. Been up for sale 8 months. I buy and renovate houses occasionally and learned early on the benefits of using a Real Estate agent that is honest. I use just one and she gets everything I do and anybody else I can send her. So I listed my boat with a broker hoping for the same results this pro has provided.

The broker got little action over the Winter and then brought me a client 3 months ago. The broker was new with the firm and really tried hard. Finally he brought a guy that flipped out over the boat. The potential buyer fell in love with the boat and kept hounding us (the broker and me) for test rides and "talk about the boat". The broker brings me a contract contingent on the buyer selling his house.... for a boat yet. I laughed, said no thanks and then suggested the buyer get a loan if he really wanted to buy it. He told the buyer and dang if he didn't do just that... on his house. A mortgage yet which takes 5 weeks to "close". They made me a great offer so now I'm waiting on the mortgage to close.

The guy with the mortgage and great offer is ready to close and we set a date and time. Next thing I know the broker is saying the offer has changed since he talked with a local guy that paints bottoms and this guy says it needs a "barrier coat" which will cost $7,200 and that amount needs to be held in escrow to pay for a bottom job. (The boat had no blisters and the bottom was perfect.) The selling price was 46,900 so this was quite a hit. The poor broker didn't know how to smooze the buyer out of being finagled and I said nope, no can do.

While this was going on (the brokerage contract had run out while this was underway) an individual calls wanting to look at it. Turns out this guy is a boat expert and really reams me out on details and test rides. (Lord I wish he had come through a broker.) I worked my butt off getting this guy to buy the boat. He wanted it desperately but kept asking for a little more here and there. I told him to go away 3 times during the process. Brokers earn their money on deals like this. The guy finally took the boat but I'd probably have made a little more even with paying a commission with a good broker and not had much hassle.
Old 04-11-2010, 07:37 AM
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Then you get brokers like this guy:

He's in a war with Charleston Craigslist openly using the free site. Changes his EMails to keep spamming when they block his EMail address. You see his ads get canned and come right back. I guess he's carrying on a vendetta against potential customers. Lot of honest dealers play by the rules but some just have to push limits.
Old 04-11-2010, 05:03 PM
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Originally Posted by pglein View Post
. . . Typically, we get the keys as soon as you list the boat. . . .
Sorry but not my experience . . . at least 5 or 6 times the broker was calling the owner for the keys ;? . . . no exageration
Old 04-11-2010, 11:40 PM
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Default Why are Boat Brokers so Sketchy?

Originally Posted by beber View Post
I hate to paint with a broad bunch, but I have never had a good expierence with a used boat broker. I have however, dealt with new boat dealers who I thought were very good.
I think this is a very important point most people here have missed... In Australia, NEW Boat dealers are just like car dealers, the boat typically is sold when the customer walks in off the street. Due to the internet, magazines etc., most customers have done their research before walking out of their home. People also have brand loyalties helping with their decisions.

USED Boat brokers on the other hand, have to sell an individual boat on its merits. We have a brokers association here that self regulates, but there are still sharks around... so basically you have to do your own research on whether the broker is OK or not. We don't have the population base you guys do in the States, but eBay and other internet sites have made it harder for brokers to have exclusive exposure to whatever degree you want...

FYI, I'm not in sales or a broker, I work as an Unlimited Master in the Offshore Oil & Gas Industry, but was a shipwright in a past life...

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