Safety tips for buyers

There are few simple steps you can follow to protect yourself online through every stage of the buying process.

Step 1: Searching for boats

Keep an eye out for significantly undervalued boats – if it seems too good to be true, it probably is! 

Step 2: Contacting the seller

  • Prepare some questions about the boat to ask the seller to help verify that they are genuine and that the boat is as described
  • Do not provide the seller with your personal identification details like a copy of your licence or banking information.
  • Read our help center article on what to do if a seller seems suspicious

Step 3: Inspecting the boat

  • Arrange to meet at a neutral location like a police station car park and try to take someone with you
  • Before you test drive the boat, make sure your insurance covers test drives
  • Find out the legal status of the boat before paying a deposit. Buying a BoatFacts Report will give you peace-of-mind as you can quickly determine if the boat has ever been recorded as stolen or written off, has any finance owing on it.
  • If you do choose to put a deposit down, make sure you get a receipt stamped with the date and time and the sellers licence details.

Step 4: Making an offer

  • Do your research and know the value of the boat before making a deal. 
  • Remember to confirm the HIN matches the compliance plate on the boat.

Step 5: Paying the seller

  • Use a method of payment that provides you with proof of purchase like a receipt or email confirmation directly from the provider
  • Ask for a signed receipt with the date and time to confirm payment
  • Never send cash in the mail
  • Check our security updates regularly for important information.


Check out the video below on our top 10 online safety tips! 


Was this article helpful?
Have more questions? Submit a request