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Help me understand used boat pricing

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Old 11-08-2018, 01:18 PM
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Default Help me understand used boat pricing

I know, if I don't like it, look at another boat, but consider the following example which seems too typical these days:

7 year old, solid "mid tier", lightly used 23' boat which has over 300 hours, and max power that is now out of warranty. NADA says that boat was LISTED about $73K new, which makes sense as I just saw a 2019 listed at FLIBS with boat show pricing in the mid $80's. Current used listed price is about $58k, meaning the owner thinks that boat has depreciated only 21% in 7 years or only about 3% per year, if my math is right. If you apply an extremely low depreciation of 10% per year, this used boat should be closer to $36K. Cars for example, depreciate at least 15% per year, at least for the first 5 years or so. A google search indicated that boats typically lose 20% the first year, 15% the second, 14% the third, etc.

Then, I see this some quote similar to this: "...and no, ______ is not a serious offer", when in fact, it really is a great offer.

Rant over, and yes I know I shouldn't bring common sense and logic into a boat negotiation.

Is anyone else as frustrated as I am with this?

Oh, and if I use this THT logic, my 20 year old boat is now worth the same as it was when I bought it used in 2002!
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Old 11-08-2018, 01:23 PM
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I can't tell if you're annoyed at the price being too high or something else. Many boat owners have an unrealistic idea of what their boat is worth, either due to what they paid for it before the depreciation hit or because it's their baby. I ran into the same issue; all you can do, really, is offer what you are willing to pay.
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Old 11-08-2018, 01:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Work 'em Silly View Post
I know, if I don't like it, look at another boat, but consider the following example which seems too typical these days:

7 year old, solid "mid tier", lightly used 23' boat which has over 300 hours, and max power that is now out of warranty. NADA says that boat was LISTED about $73K new, which makes sense as I just saw a 2019 listed at FLIBS with boat show pricing in the mid $80's. Current used listed price is about $58k, meaning the owner thinks that boat has depreciated only 21% in 7 years or only about 3% per year, if my math is right. If you apply an extremely low depreciation of 10% per year, this used boat should be closer to $36K. Cars for example, depreciate at least 15% per year, at least for the first 5 years or so. A google search indicated that boats typically lose 20% the first year, 15% the second, 14% the third, etc.

Then, I see this some quote similar to this: "...and no, ______ is not a serious offer", when in fact, it really is a great offer.

Rant over, and yes I know I shouldn't bring common sense and logic into a boat negotiation.

Is anyone else as frustrated as I am with this?

Oh, and if I use this THT logic, my 20 year old boat is now worth the same as it was when I bought it used in 2002!
If you think the price is to high offer less or just walk away. Nobody is forcing you to buy the boat. The used boat market is very good and there are not enough good quality used boats out there. Itís simple supply and demand.
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Old 11-08-2018, 01:42 PM
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boats and cars ain't the same so you're kinda comparing apples to oranges. The boat market right now is crazy inflated so thats why most owners have the starting price high and are sticking to it, because they know eventually someone is gonna come along willing to pay near asking price.

Also to you're point there are boats, take contender for example, where the boats are 20 years old that are selling for what they were new back in the day. it's all about demand and fortunately the demand is there..... or unfortunate if you're trying to buy.
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Old 11-08-2018, 02:06 PM
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You're citing straight line depreciation and book value as your basis for disagreeing with market pricing?

I wouldn't defend an overpriced boat, but I wouldn't even consider either of those factors when trying to decide what a boat is worth on the pre-owned market.
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Old 11-08-2018, 02:09 PM
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Supply and demand.... New prices go up, used prices go up.
I bought my 2005 Seaswirl 2101DC new in October 2005 for $32k... Sold it in 2013 for $25k..
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Old 11-08-2018, 02:13 PM
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I look at your example and see that you're applying irrelevant factors to predict the price at which a willing seller and willing buyer would agree. I see the new replacement cost in the mid $80's, so with some nice upgrades (which the 7 year old boat probably has) and possibly taxes, dealer prep and so on, you might be looking at closer to $100 to buy new. Seller is asking $58 and hoping for $50. Forget the fancy math. Check out comparable sales. If you see a boat that you like enough, make an offer. I think that's how it usually works.
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Old 11-08-2018, 02:18 PM
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The equation is simple. A boat (or any other good/service) is worth how much someone is willing to pay and how much someone is willing to sell it for.
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Old 11-08-2018, 03:45 PM
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Another optoion is to look at an older boat with tapped out motors, and a little less shine. Then get a new motor and a compounding. Maybe new cushions.

Personally, I do not think that 7 year old motors demand a premium price no matter what the hours. Time and corrosion are taking their toll.
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Old 11-08-2018, 04:01 PM
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Here is a simple breakdown on used boat pricing. You say it's a solid "mid-tier" boat, if that's the case there's probably a several that have sold recently. You can get a good guestimate from when the ads stop dropping price and become sold ads. If the ad is up 2 weeks they are over price.

If this one seller is out of line with the others, ignore them and wait till they bring down their price or look at another boat. If most sellers with similar boats are selling or asking similar with illogical depreciation schedules you are the one that's wrong and you can either bite the bullet and pay somewhere close to market or wait for a very motivated seller that will sell below value. Winter is a good time for buying northern boats that the owner never used all season and is looking at another winter with the boat.

Most boats that sell below market, there is a reason which you will eventually find out.
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Old 11-08-2018, 04:09 PM
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I bought my 2005 Sea Ark Jon Boat 4 years ago for $10k. Had to drive 12 hours to get it. When I was cleaning out from under the dash I found the original receipt when it sold new, for $9500. Last year when I went through my divorce I put a "feeler ad" on craigslist for a couple of days when things were looking pretty grim. I priced it at $12500. My phone blew up. The first guy who called lived 5 hours away and said if I decided I would really sell it, he just needed time to hit the bank and head my way with cash. You cant hardly find an 1872/2072 now for less than $20k.

Last edited by whorrall; 11-08-2018 at 04:21 PM.
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Old 11-08-2018, 04:15 PM
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Used boat prices are like woman. There is no understanding it.
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Old 11-08-2018, 04:18 PM
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I see what you guys are saying, I just can't believe it's come to this. I will say, that the better deal for this particular boat would be to go new which may be the direction I ultimately go. I'm sure I can get a few more percent knocked off that "boat show price", have a full waranty and better financing for not much more per month, and theoretically be ahead of the game without having to worry about any potential costly repairs.
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Old 11-08-2018, 04:21 PM
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Originally Posted by whorrall View Post
I bought my 2005 Sea Ark Jon Boat 4 years ago for $10k. Had to drive 12 hours to get it. When I was cleaning out from under the dash I found the original receipt when it sold new, for $9500. Last year when I went through my divorce I put a "feeler ad" on craigslist for a couple of days when things were looking pretty grim. I priced it at $12500. My phone blew up. The first guy who called lived 5 hours away and said if I decided I would really sell it, he just needed time to hit the back and head my way with cash. You cant hardly find an 1872/2072 now for less than $20k.
In this market, Jon Boats are better investments than GOLD! Awesome story.
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Old 11-08-2018, 04:28 PM
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Boats depreciate for the for 5 years or so. Then they seem to go up relative to the new pricing of same/similar models. The biggest hit will be the first 2 years just like a Car. But unlike a car that is considered done at 6-10 years. The boat is just at the level that it will need to have some work put in each year. For the rest of it's life. Which could easily be 10-20 more years.

One of the reasons is a boat can get brand new motors and often do. Cars mostly go to the grave yard when the engine is done. And almost never get a newer state of the art engine. Which happens to outboard boats every day.

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Old 11-08-2018, 04:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Work 'em Silly View Post
In this market, Jon Boats are better investments than GOLD! Awesome story.
I think what's happening (besides the price of aluminum going way up) is that Sea Ark is now making boats like this:

https://www.boattrader.com/listing/2019-seaark-procat-200-103443166/?refSource=standard listing

People see a 50,000 dollar jon boat and realize that it is the same hull as the 20,000 dollar bare bones 2072. And they don't see the brand new motor and the interior as being worth $30,000. So the thinking goes, that if they see a 15,000 dollar 2072, heck that's a great deal. Because they're convinced that the boat in the link is really worth 50 grand.
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Old 11-08-2018, 05:57 PM
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Originally Posted by highflier1 View Post
Boats depreciate for the for 5 years or so. Then they seem to go up relative to the new pricing of same/similar models. The biggest hit will be the first 2 years just like a Car. But unlike a car that is considered done at 6-10 years. The boat is just at the level that it will need to have some work put in each year. For the rest of it's life. Which could easily be 10-20 more years.

One of the reasons is a boat can get brand new motors and often do. Cars mostly go to the grave yard when the engine is done. And almost never get a newer state of the art engine. Which happens to outboard boats every day.

Highflier
You'd be surprised how many car engines I've replaced in the past 2 years.
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Old 11-08-2018, 06:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Work 'em Silly View Post
I see what you guys are saying, I just can't believe it's come to this. I will say, that the better deal for this particular boat would be to go new which may be the direction I ultimately go. I'm sure I can get a few more percent knocked off that "boat show price", have a full waranty and better financing for not much more per month, and theoretically be ahead of the game without having to worry about any potential costly repairs.
"boat show price" is bull shit... you can get the "boat show price" any day of the year plus some if you stick to your guns. you'd be surprised how good a deal you can get if you start to get a couple dealers going back and forth
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Old 11-08-2018, 06:23 PM
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As discussed here several times, boat pricing is kept intentionally vague by boat dealers and manufacturers. This pricing trickles down into the used market.

The only way to have clear understanding of pricing is to obsessively search for the type of boat you want for several months, and look at pricing.
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Old 11-08-2018, 06:42 PM
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apparently you havenít priced out trucks lately either. Seems like depreciation is a thing of the past. Itíll come back though, $$ is getting more expensive to borrow and those that canít afford their toys will eventually pay the price.
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