Tips On Virtual Boat Shopping

Laptop On A Boat

Traffic to boat listings and blog resources on Boat Trader has spiked dramatically since the COVID-19 pandemic began, with boats downright flying off the shelves at boat dealerships across the country. A record number of people are now turning to boating as an approved social distancing activity since it offers a safe way to enjoy the outdoors with family and close friends. Plus, as travel is being cautiously avoided and in many cases restricted, people are staying closer to home for the foreseeable future. All of that has pushed many who’d been considering a potential purchase over the boat-buying fence.

It’s no secret that boaters have long counted on the convenience of online browsing to find and buy boats, but given social-distancing and our new normal, there’s an even greater need for new and used inventory to be found easily online. So, as you continue to research the boats that interest you and ride this new wave, now’s the time for us to dive into more of the ways to find great boat deals and the sellers behind them, on Boat Trader – America’s boating home.

Here are the latest tips and things to look for during your next search that will make your digital path to boat ownership even better and faster.

Use Advanced Filters To Find The Right Boat

Seeing more of the right boats for sale with fewer clicks starts by using Boat Trader’s newly-revamped, advanced search filters that expedite finding the boats that fit your needs. With 11 search categories, the selection of multiple options happen simultaneously and search results refresh on the same page as you change the criteria. So, you’ll pull search results for everything you like, and nothing you don’t!

Pro-tip: A price reduction search criteria filter helps you find hot deals and motivated sellers.

Use Search Alerts To Monitor The Market

More than half of consumers say the most frustrating part of shopping for a boat is knowing what’s on the market. This is especially true now that boats are selling faster than ever before. The boat buying process can be extremely competitive and time consuming, with the average time from the first search to a final purchase falling somewhere between 3-6 months.

Boat Trader’s new “Search Alerts” feature solves multiple problems for boat buyers and creates a better search experience by:

  • Keeping you informed of matching inventory without having to search the marketplace daily or weekly
  • Keeping you informed of trends and pricing in the market
  • Saving you time by eliminating long hours of manual searching
  • Consistently delivering you relevant listings during your search
  • Keeping you informed about price drops

Having trouble locating that lightly-used, 20-foot center console rigged with an outboard engine with low hours, all within 150 miles of your location? Just enter that search criteria into the search box and then press the blue “”Create Search Alert” button to ensure you won’t miss out on the next matching listing – who knows it could very well be your dream boat!

Book A Virtual Boat Tour

At Boat Trader, we love live-action boat shows and in-person demos that show boats doing what they do best and since boat shows and in-person showings are more complicated to arrange these days, virtual tours are the next best thing. YachtWorld and Boat Trader have both introduced virtual tour icons that appear on boats that are available for Facetime tours or virtual walkthroughs. Clicking the icon allows you to schedule the video tour details directly with the seller.

Pro-tip: Also look for the new delivery badge on listings which indicates what boats have special delivery options to help make contact-less deals and transactions easier.

Local Dealer Search

It’s super easy to find the inventory of specific dealers you’ve worked with before or would prefer to contact in the future by using the “Find Boat Dealers” search on Boat Trader. Searching by state, dealership name or zip code will find the business and their inventory you’re looking for in a snap! Plus, you can email them, view their inventory or head to their website directly from the search results page. If you have some specific brands or brokerages that you like, another option is to follow them on social media. Dealers and brokers are increasingly using Facebook and Instagram to communicate announcements, videos, pictures and new listings.

Save Your Searches And Get Notified

You can fashion as many different searches as you want and get email notifications every week of boat listings that match your preferences. Try it and you’ll like it.

Warning: Opening these emails will only help feed your boating addiction!

Lastly, to find your dream boat virtually, or just remain entertained, experience all Boat Trader has to offer by downloading the Boat Trader app, follow @BoatTraderUSA on Instagram, and catch more reviews by subscribing to our brand’s content on YouTube.

Written by: Jennifer Burkett

Jenny is an avid boater who has worked in the marine industry for years. She developed a fondness for trawlers during her tenure at Kadey-Krogen Yachts and has an affinity for life-on-the-water, contributing articles regularly to Boat Trader, YachtWorld and boats.com. Originally from Chicago, she made her way to Maryland to escape the bone-chilling winter temperatures of the Midwest and to be close to the coastline. She's made Kent Island her home—a location that makes enjoying the Chesapeake Bay a part of her daily life.

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