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Help me set a selling price on a boat

Posted on 2011-03-11
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
Hi experts,

I have a 1972 Houseboat that I over-paid $7000 for a couple years ago.
It costs about $150 a month to keep and use it lightly.
It runs well, is clean, but is old and the aged interior has been stripped and repanelled, refloored.
I need to sell it and need to set a selling price.

There are 50 houseboats for sale within a 300 miles up and down the Mississippi River.
They range from $3,000 to $400,000, with $37,000 the average and $21,000 the median.
The more expensive of course are newer.

It is 32 foot long and 10 abeam.
The benefits of this boat are:
-) small enough to slip under bridges without awaiting opening
-) trailerable,  with albeit a 1 ton pickup
-) economical,  slip fees, fuel usage, maintenance, storage

So .... help me set a price.
Thanks




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Question by:AndyPandy
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Expert Comment

by:_
ID: 35114437
>> ...aged interior has been stripped and repanelled, refloored

Did you do this work?
If yes, probably in the 10k to 15k range.
If no, 7k to 10k range (if it is in better or as good as shape, as when you got it).

There are other variables to consider, but from what you have posted, I would start there.
You can always start a little high, and put OBO on the price, and see what happens.
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Author Comment

by:AndyPandy
ID: 35115924
Coral47,

Thanks for the input, Yes I did the work.

 a couple other parameters.

The boat like all old boats,was layered in old coatings and detritus.  
These have been stripped away.
The previous owner had superficial accoutrements, flat screen TV, Fridge, hotwater heater, non-working stove....though attractive on first look,  these were mere "lipstick on a pig".

The essense of the boat, floating, not leaking, running as expected  were a mere 2nd thought.
I have since improved and ensured these essential qualities.
This of course uncovered further inadequecies,   which were/were-not dealt with:  sagging framing, aged seals......,  

The reason I posted this is that,  this is a fragmented and non-cohesive market,  few boats in a large geographical area with a soft? demand. Difficult to know what it is worth,  what people will pay.

When I bought it my thoughts were,  neat fun looking boat,  for not much money,  try it, if it sinks or can't resell it, family & Friends were encourage the purchase...  then it is not a catastrophic financial loss.

Of course now I am thinkin,   "if I could just get $100 more out of the selling price....... "
 
I need to sell in 2 months,  before I have to rent a slip.
Friends & family like the boat,  but they dont have to pay/care for it.

Anyone,   a firm price or OBO,,  OBO always signified to me the sellers desperation.
A motivated buyer can always make any offer.

Thanks for reading my Saturday morning thoughts.
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Expert Comment

by:hathehariken
ID: 35116511
from your comments, if i were in your place, i would be happy to get anything more than 9K
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Accepted Solution

by:
_ earned 500 total points
ID: 35118728
hmmmm... I would try for something in the 10k range, and not put Firm or OBO on it (people will still want to dicker a little). Maybe include the rest of the Slip time as a sweetener (so they don't have to move it right away).
Let it run that way for 2-3 weeks (maybe a month) and see what happens.

If it still hasn't sold, drop 1k or 2k off the price, with a notation that you would like to sell it before you have to pay another slip fee.

That is just a rough outline, tweak to your circumstances.
Definitely pick an absolute bottom, and stick to it.

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Author Closing Comment

by:AndyPandy
ID: 35118758
Thanks for the input.

This is what I am doing.  
Clean Boat, get rid of all extra parts & materials.
Advertise on Craigslist in the closest & largest markets.
Advertise with a price.
Drop price weekly in even increments to drop-dead-date lowest price (as determined by other advertised boats).
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Expert Comment

by:_
ID: 35118820
Sounds like a plan.    : )
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