11 Tips for Negotiating Price on a Boat

11 Ways Negotiating Can Get You a Better Deal on a Boat

If you’re buying a boat from a dealer or an individual seller, you’ll likely have the opportunity to negotiate price. You can push to get a lower price for the vessel, scoring you a much better deal, or try to get other things included in the package, such as a warranty or a maintenance plan.

However, if you’re going to be successful in negotiations, there are some important tips you’ll need to follow.

How to Negotiate Price for a Boat

These strategies will turn you into a better boat price negotiator:

  1. Actually try negotiating. Most people don’t succeed in negotiation for one simple reason: they never try to negotiate. They’re intimidated or afraid of the prospect of negotiating, so they never make the attempt. If you want any chance of lowering the price of the vessel you’re considering, you need to be willing to enter the fray. In most boat buying scenarios, it’s perfectly reasonable to negotiate, so don’t be afraid to ask for a lower price.
  2. Do your research in advance. The negotiation process begins long before you enter a conversation with the seller. Ideally, you’ll spend at least a few hours doing research, preparing for the negotiation. You should get a good understanding of the specific model of vessel in question; research the average sale price, determine whether there are any significant flaws with this model, and get a feel for how in-demand this vessel is. The more information you have, the more likely you’ll be to ask for a reasonable price—and ultimately, get what you want.
  3. Know who you’re negotiating with. It’s also important to know the seller, at least to a degree. Is this someone who has a lot of negotiating experience, like a professional dealer? Or are they likely less experienced? Is this someone who only cares about the bottom line, or are they interested in unloading the boat as quickly as possible? Understanding your audience will equip you with better tactics to gain leverage.
  4. Be direct with your ask. For the most part, it pays to be direct in a negotiation. Don’t talk about a price range; instead, ask for a specific price. Don’t beat around the bush or make hints about what you want; tell the seller what you want. This will clear up any ambiguities and make the conversation both quicker and more productive.
  5. Start lower. This is one of the most obvious tips for a buyer negotiating price, but it’s worth repeating: start at a lower price than you’re actually willing to pay. For example, if the boat is listed at £50,000 and you’re willing to pay £45,000, consider starting the bid at £42,000. This will tap into the anchoring effect (no boating pun intended), helping you decrease the perceived value of the boat. It will also give you plenty of room for back-and-forth negotiation. Plus, there’s a chance your offer will be accepted right away, giving you a steal of a price.
  6. Remain quiet. Too many negotiators flub the deal because they won’t stop talking. They think they can persuade the seller if they keep pushing for more. However, it’s usually better to remain relatively quiet. This silence will imply a degree of confidence, but more importantly, it will help you listen to the other party and better understand their motivations. The more you know about them, the better you can position yourself.
  7. Remain unemotional. It’s important to remain as unemotional as possible throughout the process. The other person may try to rile you up by being aggressive or scoffing at your offer; don’t take this personally. Instead of making decisions based on your emotional reaction, make decisions based on the logical outcomes you want.
  8. Point out the flaws in the vessel. This is especially important if you’re buying a used vessel. If you’re having trouble getting the seller to come down in price, consider pointing out the flaws you can see. Run an inspection and figure out if there are any mechanical or cosmetic defects that could help get that price lowered. You may also discover flaws about the specific model from your personal research.
  9. Focus on the shared goal. You and your seller are both motivated. You want to buy a boat. They want to sell one. Focus on finding a point of mutual benefit. Rather than seeing the seller as an antagonist, see them as a partner and cooperate with them. How can you both win from this arrangement?
  10. Take your time. In most cases, there’s no strict time limit to deal with. The negotiation conversation can last a while, and after that, you’ll have several days to make a final decision. Don’t try to rush things. Instead, remain patient, take your time, and think through every aspect of your decision.
  11. Get creative. Finally, get creative. If you can’t get the price you want, can you ask for different options or additional perks or freebies to come with the vessel? Is there a different line of reasoning you can use to persuade your audience?

Practicing Negotiation

One of the most reliable ways to become a better negotiator is to simply practice your negotiating skills. Negotiating is like any skill; the more you use it, and the more you focus on getting better, the better you’re going to become. Try negotiating more frequently throughout your daily life, whether it’s asking for a raise at work or just pushing for an alternative dinner option with your family. Over time, you can become a practical expert.

If you’re interested in getting a better deal on a boat, one of your best options is to choose the right marketplace. At TheYachtMarket, we have thousands of vessels for sale all over the world—and all the tools you need to find the perfect boat for you. Browse our selection today!

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