After a year of looking and saving, I thought I had found the perfect boat. 2001 xstar, advertised as the 330hp motor, 290 hours, mint condition, etc. I call the seller which happened to be a dealer, and saw the boat in person while it was being "detailed". Did a quick look over, talked some numbers, but couldn't agree on a price. I leave and he calls me back and we agree to 22500 out the door, if I pay for the service from the shop next door. Ok, I agree (all verbal) and the seller wants a 500 dollar deposit from me to hold it while its services before I take it on the water.
I give the seller the deposit, but make sure to use my credit card in case it goes south. Again, zero paperwork, all verbal. Boat is serviced and we take it out. Off the bat I notice the motor is the 310, it has 350 hours, it has no cover, dirty all over, the ballast doesn't fill or empty, and the perfect pass isn't engaging. We take it back to the dealer and I ask the owner to fix the non working items. He says I'm welcome to, but he's not fixing anything. Argument ensues and I tell him it's a totally different boat than advertised and I want my deposit back. His co worker steps in and offers to fix the items not working or missing. Ok, I tell him I can pick it up Monday since I'm on a business trip till Sunday.
Today he calls me and says everything is ready to pick up. I said ok, we'll take care of it Monday. He starts demanding an additional 1k deposit since he has "people lining up to buy it". No way, he has enough of my money at this point and he's extremely pushy. When final price is mentioned, he's saying its 23500+ out the door. No way, I tell him to I'm getting out of the deal and want my deposit. He says he's holding it to pay the boat shop for the maintenance (oil and impeller etc) and the rest for the test drive! Yeah right! It's a completely different boat than advertised, totally ragged, equipment not working, and you're gonna hold my deposit?!? Has anyone heard of someone this shady?
Nevertheless I called visa and disputed the charges. They are 100% on my side especially since there is ZERO written agreement between us. If it comes back on Craigslist I'm going to be sure to post a warning to any interested buyers.
ps- tracked down the previous owner he bought it from 2 weeks ago who told me the trans had water in it, shaft was pitted, and needed a rebuild. Interesting especially since the fluid looked brand new!