How to Find Your Boat’s Trade In Value
If you’re thinking about trading in your old boat for a new one, the most important thing to understand is the boat trade-in value. Without knowing the value of your vessel, you run the risk of getting a bad deal.
So, if you’re going to trade in your boat, you’re going to want to learn how to calculate it’s value the right way. In this article, we’re going to teach you all about calculating your boat value as well as the benefits of trading versus selling.
Keep reading to learn more before heading over to the dealer.
Calculating Your Boat Trade-in Value
Calculating your boat trade-in value will depend on a few variables, but it’s basically the same as figuring out what you can expect to sell your boat for—minus any dealer fees. Understanding boat pricing and values are also an essential part of buying a new or used boat, which will come in handy when it’s time to negotiate with your dealer.
The boat-pricing process is vaguely similar to pricing a home or a used car. Many people overlook the fact that location plays a significant role in your boat’s worth. For example, your deep sea fishing rig may not have the same value if you’re trading or selling somewhere with only shallow bodies of water. It’s also essential to take into account that boats depreciate once they leave the lot or showroom, beginning with a 20 percent depreciation within the first year.
Of course, unlike a home or a car, owning a boat is considered a luxury. This means that the way in which you would calculate the value is different—especially if you’re a private seller paying for storage or a docking slip.
The basics of calculating boat value and trading include:
- Researching your boat’s value online. You can check the NADA, BOS, and ABOS guidelines. These are like the official “blue book” for different types of boats
- Find a dealer that you can trust
- Check local and internet listings to get an idea of what your boat is selling for
- If you’re trading in for a new boat, be sure to agree on a price with the dealer before handing over your used boat
- Marine Dealerships Trade-In Appraisal Tools
You can expect to get a little less for your trade-in since the dealer will be taking care of the surveying, storage, insurance, transport, cleaning, advertising, and salesman or brokerage commission.
Outside of the basics, here’s what goes into calculating your boat trade-in value:
The Type of Boat You’re Trading in
The value of your boat depends on the individual brand, age, condition, the size and length, onboard equipment, and available upgrades. As mentioned above, strong brand names like Lund Boats, Bayliner, Crestliner play a large role, as well as location, plays a role in how your boat value will be calculated, especially if the dealer has to ship it elsewhere.
Of course, the value of your boat is first determined by the type of boat it is, which is also something that determines how it depreciates in value as well as the demand for the boat. For example, a good old pontoon or powerboat may be more in demand than a sailboat. In this case, value is added to your boat.
Determine Your Boat’s Condition
One of the best things about buying a used boat is knowing that you aren’t going to be the first to ding or scratch it. What’s even better is the fact that any mechanical problems that could go wrong most likely already have gone wrong. Of course, the condition of your boat whether something has gone wrong mechanically or not plays largely into how much it will be worth upon trading in.
In terms of condition, there are three general categories that come into play:
- Mechanical—engine hours, performance, hull and deck status, etc.
- Rigging—your boom, mast, shrouds, stays, and sails
- Cosmetics—onboard materials such as canvas, wood trim, gel coating, etc.
Mechanically speaking, the engine hours put on your boat are similar to a car’s mileage. Some cars can take high mileage and still be of great value while others are completely worthless. The same goes for boats—some are designed to take a beating while others are not.
It’s also important to remember location when evaluating your boat’s condition as well. Freshwater is much kinder in terms of corrosion than saltwater, which will directly affect your boat’s value.
How your boat is outfitted also makes a difference. Certain electronics have great appeal to buyers—unless, of course, they’re outdated. If you’re trading in a boat with upgraded or advanced electronics, then you have a good chance at a better value since they become obsolete quickly.
Pay close attention to your boat’s overall condition. Any repairs you make to the above categories typically work in your favour since the dealer won’t have to add them to their own costs.
Find the Right Surveyor
Your dealer usually has a surveyor who appraises your boat’s value, but a second opinion doesn’t hurt. You’ll want someone to survey your engine, deck, hull, and general condition. With the engine, an oil sample analysis should be taken. This won’t increase the value of your boat, but it will help you get an idea of how much your boat is worth—incase your dealer tries to pull a fast one on you.
Having your boat surveyed may also help to uncover any cosmetic or mechanical damages that you were unaware of.
The Benefits of Trading vs Selling
Arguably the biggest benefit of trading your boat in is that once you sign the paperwork, it’s off your hands. The dealer takes care of everything—the cleaning, the storage, the listing, transportation, and, most importantly—the customers. All you have to do is sit back and wait.
In some states, there’s also a sales tax benefit. This means that the sales tax on your new boat may be reduced by your boat trade-in value and the sales tax on the said trade-in. You can find out by checking with your local state registration agency.
Is it Time to Trade Your Boat in?
If you think it’s time for an upgrade, trading in your old boat might be the way to get the most bang for your buck. Start your research now and reach out to us to get a fair boat trade-in value today.
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