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Old 02-19-2016, 01:42 PM   #1
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Any tips for a first time seller?

Hello all,

I haven't been around all that much lately. I hope everyone is doing well.

I've got my vessel on the market. I'm not using a broker, and have an ad posted on Boat trader and craigslist. It's been listed for a few months now, and I've had a few nibbles, but nothing too serious. I wouldn't expect much action this time of year, it being winter, and all of the boats shivering in sheds.

Then today, I got an email from someone who's asked a bunch of questions. He has never seen the boat in person. He hasn't made any offer, or attempt at haggling, and I don't even know where the guy is from. He said 'I want you to know that i got a mover coming for the boat as soon as the paypal transaction goes through, i hope you got paypal?'

Immediately my 'Nigerian prince' alarm goes off, and I'm 99% sure this guy is a spammy scamster. Then I got to thinking... I've never sold anything like this. What's the best way to accept payment? Should I demand cash? A money order? Should I take checks?

How is this sort of thing handled with really expensive boats? I'm only asking 16,500 for mine, so cash wouldn't be inconceivable, but what if it was a 300k transaction?

Also, should I draw up some sort of contract? I basically want to make sure my arse is very much covered by an enormous 'sold as is' sign. Would that be something I'd need a lawyer for, or can I bang something like that together myself?

Any other tips you may have would be much appreciated. Thanks all!
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Old 02-19-2016, 02:02 PM   #2
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I would accept a bank wire, and would consider the transaction complete once funds are cleared. I think its your safest bet. Check with your bank.

Edit:
yes on the contract clearly stating the boat is being sold as is and delivery is taking place at such location etc..
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Old 02-19-2016, 02:12 PM   #3
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This is a classic scam...Especially prevalent on Craiglists. Had it tried on me and Seen it many times. I actually expect it and can pretty readily decipher the scam. I sold a $4K Vespa recently and 5 of the 6 inquiries fit this profile almost word for word. Even had it happen with a $400 shortwave radio. These guys are trolling everything.

If the guy is too busy to come and see the boat, he's likely too busy to fund it. They'll generally refer to what you're selling as "the Item", Not haggle price, and spend some time building your trust . After all that, they are unexpectly called out of the country, have a death in the family, yada yada, but will send their "agent" for pick-up.

Paypal money can disappear, accounts closed and no recourse on your part. Cashier's checks can look "OK" for 2 weeks until your bank discovers it's bad. They advance you the funds immediately, then want them back when the check bounces. Meanwhile your boat is gone. A wire transfer is generally the best approach (and only payment I'd accept) for paying from a distance.

It's always fun to play these guys like a fish. Have fun with it!
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Old 02-19-2016, 02:15 PM   #4
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Well, many of your questions point to the value of using a broker.

Now, assuming you don't go that route, first as to how to accept payment. Bank check (cashier's check)only. Full identification of the buyer including driver's license. Now for small Craigslist items many are not going to police stations for the transactions. Obviously you can't do that with the boat, but do it at a time and place there are many people around. Do not meet a buyer you don't know alone at a time the marina will be deserted. I personally would not meet anyone without them first sending me a copy of their driver's license. I'd send them the same.

Oh, and do not under any conditions accept money orders. Way too many stolen money orders floating around along with fake and forged ones.

A warning on wire transfers. Those pulling Nigerian scams do know how to send bad wire transfers. Just because your bank accepts it does not mean it won't be reversed.

Yes, you should have a contract and bill of sale. That's to protect both parties. It may be complicated too if they want to survey it and have the right to rescind. There are many available online. Some free, some for small cost.

Here is a good source for information on this topic.

The Sales Agreement - Boat Seller's Guide - BoatUS
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Old 02-19-2016, 02:17 PM   #5
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[B]Cashier's checks can look "OK" for 2 weeks until your bank discovers it's bad. Meanwhile your boat is gone. !
I should have put a caveat on cashier's checks. Only from banks you know and verify it's real. Cash is the best option, but as a buyer I'd not take a wad of cash to someone I found on craigslist.

And never do a transaction with someone you haven't met nor sell a boat to someone who hasn't seen it.
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Old 02-19-2016, 02:20 PM   #6
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Bank check (cashier's check)only.
I disagree. you can be handed a fake cashiers check. By the time your bank realizes it is days later and your boat is long gone.

My vote is for a wire, but again, check with your bank.
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Old 02-19-2016, 02:35 PM   #7
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I should have put a caveat on cashier's checks. Only from banks you know and verify it's real.
Yup agree, preferably with a national branch (with a local presence to you) who can verify the check.
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Old 02-19-2016, 02:48 PM   #8
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For the amount you're asking cash may be the easiest
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Old 02-19-2016, 03:02 PM   #9
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And a reminder. Don't meet them alone. Don't do the cash exchange alone. One risk there, and every crime imaginable has at one time been committed, but there have been transactions where cash was given, buyer runs off with purchase, all done and clear...almost. Seller gets robbed of the cash as if someone knew they'd be receiving that cash at that time and place. Still might be best to do the exchange of cash, title, and keys at a police station.
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Old 02-19-2016, 03:08 PM   #10
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"Any other tips you may have would be much appreciated"


Never release your property - jet ski, sports car, snowmobile, motorcycle, auto, or even large boat - until all funds have cleared into your account.
Cleared does not mean deposited, transferred, pending , looks good, or anything else you may hear in person or on the phone from another bank. It means that your bank has completely guaranteed that the funds are now yours with no risk of being revoked or returned.
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Old 02-19-2016, 03:13 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heron View Post
This is a classic scam...Especially prevalent on Craiglists. Had it tried on me and Seen it many times. I actually expect it and can pretty readily decipher the scam...
It's always fun to play these guys like a fish. Have fun with it!
I've encountered these lovely fellows a few times myself. This one put in quite a bit more effort than any of the others I've seen. He had me going for a few emails. I think I'll try to waste as much of his time as I can.

Quote:
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Well, many of your questions point to the value of using a broker.

Yes, you should have a contract and bill of sale. That's to protect both parties. It may be complicated too if they want to survey it and have the right to rescind. There are many available online. Some free, some for small cost.

Here is a good source for information on this topic.

The Sales Agreement - Boat Seller's Guide - BoatUS
Very helpful, thank you. I'm not entirely opposed to selling with a broker, but I'd like to give it a try on my own first. If it becomes too much of a hassle, or if I get impatient, I'll look into brokerage.

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For the amount you're asking cash may be the easiest
That's what I'm thinking.
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Old 02-19-2016, 03:15 PM   #12
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"Any other tips you may have would be much appreciated"

Never release your property - jet ski, sports car, snowmobile, motorcycle, auto, or even large boat - until all funds have cleared into your account.
Cleared does not mean deposited, transferred, pending , looks good, or anything else you may hear in person or on the phone from another bank. It means that your bank has completely guaranteed that the funds are now yours with no risk of being revoked or returned.
Thank you. This will be a key part of the contract.
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Old 02-19-2016, 03:28 PM   #13
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Also be aware if using PayPal (and waiting til funds clear) that there are a lot of fees, coming and going on PayPal, plus paypal make you wait an awfully long time to release said funds to you.
Good luck.
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Old 02-19-2016, 03:29 PM   #14
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I disagree. you can be handed a fake cashiers check. By the time your bank realizes it is days later and your boat is long gone.

My vote is for a wire, but again, check with your bank.
I agree with you on fake cashier's but also there are bogus wires. I'm moving rapidly back to cash as the best option. Otherwise, known bank, go with them for bank check, see it written, take it and deposit.

I know Craigslist can be useful, but unfortunately it's turned out to be very useful for scammers and other criminals as well. It's sad that we have to engage in this discussion. The scammers also have figured out all the games. The one thing though that they will be very hesitant to do is give you their full identification. The exception to that is when they use an unknowing intermediary.
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Old 02-19-2016, 03:49 PM   #15
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Nothing short of a wire transfer is fool proof, including an ostensibly valid cashier's check. If you can get a buyer to wire you money before you convey title, great. But if your buyer doesn't trust you, I would recommend an escrow -- a neutral third part that holds the executed documents until the wire hits her (typically a woman) account then releases the documents and wires to you.

I posted this without reading the post above. I have never experienced a fake wire and can't imagine how it might be faked -- it has to go from a money-center bank to a money-center bank across the federal reserve's "wire". If the wire is directed to your bank routing number and account number, and identifies you as account holder, my understanding is at that point the money is yours, even if someone (other than you or your accomplice) stole the sender's id to trick the sender's bank into wiring the money.
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Old 02-19-2016, 03:55 PM   #16
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Nothing short of a wire transfer is fool proof, including an ostensibly valid cashier's check. If you can get a buyer to wire you money before you convey title, great. But if your buyer doesn't trust you, I would recommend an escrow -- a neutral third part that holds the executed documents until the wire hits her (typically a woman) account then releases the documents and wires to you.
And a wire transfer is not fool proof. Plus sometimes the wire transfer is just their way of getting your account information. The real key probably is knowing who you're dealing with and not doing it by distance.
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Old 02-19-2016, 03:59 PM   #17
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And a wire transfer is not fool proof. Plus sometimes the wire transfer is just their way of getting your account information. The real key probably is knowing who you're dealing with and not doing it by distance.
How can a wire be fraudulent? That would be news to me and I have more than average experience in the matter. As for the account information, everything they need to know is on every check you write, which passes through a variety of potentially unscrupulous hands. A "positive pay" system is the only way I know of to prevent that sort of fraud.
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Old 02-19-2016, 04:04 PM   #18
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Wire transfers can be reversed within 24 hrs and can also be faked.
Please, please see you own bank and clearly get confirmed that the funds are now yours completely and un-reversible before releasing your property.
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Old 02-19-2016, 04:26 PM   #19
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I've been on both sides of large Craigslist transactions. As a buyer, once everything was agreed upon, i met the seller at my bank and he was present as the certified check was generated. As a seller on a large item, I don't put my email address or phone number in the add. I spell out in the add that they can email me (through craigslist) their telephone number and I will call them. You can generally tell from the email if they are legit or not.
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Old 02-19-2016, 04:32 PM   #20
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Wink

I would use and marine title company to handle the transaction and title. That is what, most bank and brokers do, and the buyer should not object letting a third party hand it.
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