Safety tips for buyers

Buying a boat or yacht can be an exciting yet overwhelming experience. To ensure that you make your decision safely, we’ve put together a few simple steps which you can follow to protect yourself online and in person through each stage of the boat buying process. 


Step 1: Searching for boat's

  • Keep an eye out for significantly undervalued boat's – if the deal seems too good to be true, it probably is. 
  • If you see an ad that does not look quite right whether the photos don’t match the description or the details of the vehicle seem to be a bit suspicious, you can report it to our team for investigation. 


Step 2: Contacting the seller 

  • Use the boatsales member messaging function to keep all your communication in the one place. This system will not pass on your phone number or email address. 
  • 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 license or banking information prior to seeing the vehicle in person. 


Step 3: Inspecting the boat

  • Arrange to meet at a neutral location like a police station car park or service station forecourt and try to take someone with you. 
  • Before you test drive the boat, make sure the seller’s insurance covers you for test drives. 
  • Be wary of sellers asking for a deposit at this stage. If you do choose to put a deposit down, make sure you get a receipt stamped with the date and time. 


Step 4: Making an offer 

  • Before making an offer, make sure you know your limits when negotiating. What are you willing to pay? 
  • Do your research and know the value of the boat before making a deal. 
  • Find out the legal status of the boat before making an offer. Purchasing a PPSR report  will give you peace-of-mind as you can quickly determine if the boat has ever been recorded as stolen, written off, has any finance owing on it.
  • Check that the seller has the appropriate seaworthy certification for the vehicle (if applicable in your state or territory). 


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. 


Step 6: Get the boat insured 

  • Make sure you have your new boat insured from when you pick it up so you are covered for the drive home. 



Related articles: 

I’ve purchased the boat, now what?
What do I do if a seller seems suspicious? 

Any information on this page is provided as a guide only. It is not professional or expert advice and is not a substitute for such advice. The content may not be appropriate, correct or sufficient for your circumstances and should not be relied on as the only reason you do or don’t do anything.
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