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The Truth About Listing Your Yacht With The Dealer You Bought It From New

By Rob Bowman | Posted On Aug 13, 2019
Updated On Mar 23, 2022

Here's the hard truth about listing your boat or yacht for sale with the dealer you bought it from when it was brand new - it doesn't always make sense.

The fact is that most new boat dealers have to carry their inventory; meaning they buy the boats direct from the manufacturer, mark them up, and make their money when they sell. New inventory that gets delivered can often sit for weeks or even months until it sells, all the while costing the dealer money to maintain the boat. If the inventory goes into a boat show and doesn't sell, that's more cost in fuel, depreciation, storage, etc.

To compound the stress caused by carrying new inventory costs is the added pressure of taking in trades. The larger dealers in the industry will often take a customer's boat in on trade towards the purchase of a new one in stock or new build slot at the factory. The cost of business all of a sudden goes up!

The common misconception that gets beat like a drum into boater's heads is that when you become ready to sell your yacht, your best chance of getting it sold is with the same dealer you bought it from new. Hypothetically, that dealer should be getting all the activity and leads for whatever brand of boat is that you own. Bought a nice new 72' Sportfishing Yacht?nbsp;Your dealer should be able to sell it quickly because they get a lot of calls about their other Sportfish brand, right? If a dealer that owns $20 million+ of inventory gets a call on a yacht, is the focus truly on what's best for the client? Or is this a great opportunity to put that customer in front of the new inventory or trades first which offer the greatest potential profit for the company?

Boat owners want a brokerage firm that will be fiercely committed to selling THEIR yacht, not a new boat that is on the company's books. United's dedication to offering professional yacht brokerage services is second to none and that sentiment seems to be growing with our clients based on our progress in 2019.

sportfish yachts sold in the united states 

Another common misconception is that the vast majority of boat owners list their yacht with the same dealer they bought it from. They are led to believe that there are no other options available and that the best choice is to let the original dealer sell it. The example in the image above, that 42% of all brokerage yachts for a specific sportfish manufacturer were sold by a broker that was NOT part of that builder's dealer network, is a number that has been steadily climbing the last few years. The data, which is pulled from (Yachtworld's back-end website for dealers and brokers  to report their sales), shows that the percentage of brokerage yachts for that "Sportfish brand" sold in the U.S., with a model year of 1999 or newer, has gone from 38% in 2017 to 42% so far in 2019. Dealers for that particular brand would lead you to believe that this number is much smaller, but the fact remains that boat owners looking to sell their yacht value the unbiased and focused attention of a professional yacht broker that does not have ulterior motives.

marketing your yacht for sale 

Marketing effort is also a valid concern when it comes to listing your yacht for sale with the dealer you bought it from originally. Marketing budgets are only so big and are divvyed up between boat shows, print magazine ads, subscriptions, and a variety of other costs. But what percentage of that budget is truly going to advertising a dealer's brokerage listings? At United, over 95% of the marketing budget is invested to promote our client's brokerage listings. Looking to sell your Convertible Sportfish? Ask your dealer what they plan to do to market your boat.

More than likely they will mention a professional photo and video shoot, listing it on their website as well as, and sending it out to the industry via an email campaign. If this is similar to what you hear, contact us at United Yacht for a personalized marketing plan that goes well above and beyond the bare minimum. Our comprehensive marketing program focuses on your boat, not a lead generation tactic only to help sell new inventory or trades owned by the dealer. Once you compare our marketing plan with your dealer's approach, the differences should be glaring. Professional yacht brokerage firms like United are more successful selling pre-owned yachts simply because that is our focus.

If you're interested in listing your yacht for sale with United, use our easy form to find receive a market evaluation as to what your yacht might be worth. You don't have to be tethered to the dealer that sold you the boat. Experience the personal attention that you and your boat will receive from a professional yacht brokerage firm, not a new boat dealer trying to sell their inventory. The results may surprise you!


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