To sell your boat, you only need one buyer—but finding that perfect someone may require reaching out to thousands of people both nationally and locally, through online, print, and grass roots advertising.
When you bought your boat, do you remember where you saw it advertised? That may well be the best place to sell it again.
Boats.com has over 150,000 listings in a searchable database. And, with 463,000 pageviews per day from serious boat shoppers, it is easy to use, affordable, and a great way to reach both local and national markets. Build a new ad.
Another good online listing site is BoatTrader. Buying ads on both Boats.com and BoatTrader will guarantee you excellent coverage on both a national and local level.
Many other websites offer listings for a fee and some for free. There may even be a site specific to your class of boat, which can be an excellent way to reach interested buyers. Before you sign up, check statistics to see how much traffic a specific site gets and from where. Some cater to certain types of boats or to specific regions; your boat or location may not match the profile. Some (like CraigsList and eBay) receive huge number of hits, but you may need to weed through the responses to find qualified boat buyers.
Online advertising makes it possible to reach people over a wide area. Another advantage is that online ads can be updated easily. New photos or text will help keep your listing fresh, increasing its visibility.
Local newspapers can also be good places to advertise, especially if you are trying to reach a demographic that may not be spending as much time online. Though most newspaper readers are not shopping for a boat, the logistics of a transaction close to home are much simpler for both buyer and seller.
National boating publications reach buyers interested in boats, though lead times for ads are much longer than for online listings and the price may be higher. Soundings Magazine offers a package deal to combine their online and hardcopy listings.
“Grass roots” advertising can also be an effective sales tool. From posting flyers on billboards to telling your contacts on social media sites, it all means getting the word out—different forms of plain old-fashioned word of mouth.
The best approach to selling your boat is probably some combination of the methods listed here. However you choose to advertise, don’t be shy about telling anyone you think might be interested. You never know which friend of a friend will turn into that perfect someone who buys your boat.