How to sell your Fishing Kayak

I was told that my first fishing kayak would not be my last. After 6 years and over a dozen kayaks later, I learned that my current fishing kayak won’t be my last either.

People sell their kayaks for several reasons.

  • They decide not to fish anymore
  • They don’t spend enough time fishing
  • They want to “upgrade” to a boat
  • They get hurt or can no longer physically use a kayak
  • Their tastes change
  • They change fishing styles or targets (bass to saltwater or visa-versa)
  • They move away
  • They no longer have room for their kayak
  • They have a new baby
  • They got married
  • They are buying a more expensive kayak
  • They want a pedal kayak
  • and the reasons go on and on

I have heard all of these reasons and more so if you are thinking about or are ready to sell your kayak, don’t worry about why you want to sell it, just do some research and sell it.

Knowledge is the key to selling your kayak quickly.

Before you put your fishing kayak on the market, spend some time looking at the same or similar kayaks, how people are listing them and how much are they asking. Look on Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace or apps like LetGo or Offerup. Do you think they are asking too much, too little or the right price? If you are not in a hurry to sell, keep watching those kayaks to see when they sell or if they lower the price. If they sell, make a mental note what their asking price was before the ad vanished.

Preparing your Fishing Kayak for sale

Fishing kayaks are not cheap. Hopefully you have been taking good care of yours. Regardless, before you put your kayak on the market, be sure to clean it up and take off any accessories that you want to keep or add any accessories that you plan to sell with it. If a Scotty rod holder is screwed onto the kayak, don’t remove it, it goes to the new owner. The same goes for anchor trolleys, seats risers, paddle clips, and anything else permanently attached or ‘made for’ your kayak.

Pictures

Nothing sells like a good story and pictures are great at telling stories. Remember why you bought your kayak in the first place. Something motivated you. Was it catching a certain fish or getting a kayak with pedals? Whatever the reason, be sure to tell that story in pictures. Those pictures will help you talk to your prospective buyer about what made your kayak so great and get them exited about buying it from you. Take pictures of the front, back and both sides. Don’t worry about taking pictures of the bottom. No one sees it and most people won’t look at it. As long as there are not any holes, gouges or repairs you don’t need to show people. Normal wear and tear is is OK. Don’t take pictures of every imperfection but if there is something really wrong, don’t mislead your buyer by not taking a picture or two of the problem..

How to price your fishing kayak.

Before you create your first ad, write down all the specifics about your kayak. Not the manufacturers specs but what makes your kayak such a fishing machine along with what you are including in the sale. If it has been a bass fishing machine for you… say it.

Accessories do not carry much value so if you are buying another kayak you will want to keep as much as you can. If you are moving on from the sport, don’t expect to get much for your accessories. You can however. use them to help you sell. I recently sold a kayak because I was selling a kayak that was ready to go fishing. I included a fish finder, a paddle, a cart and more. I had everything but a rod and reel. I was competing with another kayak (same one, but different color) on the same platforms that was nicer but without any of the extras. I sold mine while the other kayak stayed listed for at least another two weeks.

Don’t plan on negotiating.

Remember why you bought your fishing kayak? Was it an impulse buy or did you know what you wanted and what you wanted to pay for it? Most people I have met who are in the market for a used fishing kayak know what they want and how much they are willing spend on it. I don’t work in retail but I have sold many used kayaks over the years and I normally don’t negotiate. I do my homework. I know what the right price should be and I sell it for that price. I might lower it a little if I like the person buying from me.

Writing your ad.

Look at what other people wrote about their kayaks. If you like it, adopt what they wrote and tweak it to your style. Be sure to write down everything that you are including in the sale price. It doesn’t hurt to say what you paid for it all. Your ad should be straightforward about what someone is getting for the money. If you are not wanting to negotiate, be sure to say the price is firm. If you are willing to negotiate, don’t say it in your ad. Don’t say it until someone asks you if you will lower the price. You might be surprised but not everyone wants to negotiate.

Your title should include the kayak make, model, color, and condition. Your description should include why you are selling, how quickly you want to sell, all the specifics and that you caught fish with it. (aka… it got slimed )

Where to advertise.

Advertising online is the best way to sell your fishing kayak. Create a free account on Craigslist and post your ad. Do not publish your phone number or email address. Use the tools provided.

If you have a Facebook account, join groups dedicated to kayak fishing and fishing gear like Fishing Kayaks & Gear for Sale and FishingYaks Steals and Deals then create a Marketplace ad and be sure to share it in those groups. If you like using your phone, mobile apps like LetGo or OfferUp make it easy to sell. If you have any local fishing or kayak clubs, advertise on their websites or contact them and ask if they know where you can sell your kayak.

Some retail stores will sell your kayak on commission or allow you to post it on a bulletin board. It doesn’t hurt to go back to the dealer who sold you the kayak and ask them. Don’t worry, you won’t hurt their feelings. Don’t forget to include all your pictures. If your best picture is not the main picture, redo the ad or edit the ad so your best picture is the one people see first.

Shipping

This one is easy. Don’t off it, don’t do it. Kayaks do not ship well.

Deposits

Never take a deposit from someone you have not spoken with and be cautious of people who are not local to you. If you talk with someone who really is excited about buying your kayak but they cannot get the cash right away or need some time to gather it, accepting a deposit is ok. It is up to you but a $100 good faith deposit is acceptable. Be sure that you set a date when you get to keep the money and sell the kayak if they don’t show up. Be sure to put it in writing too.

Cash, Check or Charge?

Another one that is easy. Cash Only! Never take a check and taking credit cards or PayPal can cost you up to 3% of the selling price. Taking a deposit over PayPal is ok as long it is done through “sending to a friend.”

Loading It Up

Make sure you tell your buyer what they are going to need to take their new kayak with them. Ask whether they have transported a kayak like it before and if not, be sure to help them by telling them what they will need and then showing them how to load it properly.

Selling a fishing kayak to a stranger is not like selling an iPhone to a stranger but be sure to have someone else with you or in the house when your buyer shows up. Be ready to share your fishing stories and provide any pointers you think will be helpful to the new owner. Who knows! This person might end up being a new fishing friend.

When the deal is done, get the money, count it up and help them load it up. Don’t forget to take down your ads.

Good luck and tight lines.

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