John Callari is the managing member of Carolina Marine Wholesale, LLC located in Wilmington, North Carolina. As someone who grew up on the waters of the Gulf Coast, John has a deep connection with all things nautical. At the age of 16 he was already learning the ropes of the boating industry. His Uncle owned a marina and put John to work, helping patrons get their boats in and out of the water. Along with his real-world, hands-on experience, John also attended North Carolina State where he obtained Bachelors in Nautical Science.
As the managing member of Carolina Marine Wholesale, John takes his passion for boating and shares it others. He finds hidden gems that have either finished serving their purpose for their previous owners, or may need some rehabilitation, and he breathes new life into the boats so that they can go on to bring countless hours of joy to a new owner.
John is not your average boat salesman, and he is far from the common man selling a used boat. John spends upwards of two months at times, getting to know each boat that enters his Marina from bow to stern. He is inspecting and working on these boats alongside the hired contractors. Any work that needs to be completed on the boat is thoroughly noted by John. The work is not finished until it is guaranteed to be 100% correct. After spending day and night on each of his boats for weeks on end, John knows these boats inside and out. He is keeping very detailed records the entire time he is working, so that when it comes time to sell the boat, he can provide an honest, detailed description.
Listing a boat for sale is where John really shines as being a cut above the competition. Some sellers have been known to get a boat, take a few pictures and list the boat as being in “good working condition” an hour later, when in reality they have barely spent any time inspecting the boat and may not even know whether the battery works. John on the other hand, spends an average of 6 hours listing his descriptions which include 200-300 pictures. This allows potential buyers to get to know the boats as well as they possibly can without seeing the boat in person.
John Callari currently runs 2 eBay sites for his boat sales. One of them being international. He has a reputation for listing his boats better than anyone else. Above all, John does so because he believes in honesty and integrity. At the end of the day, it is not about making the sale, it is about doing what he is passionate about and doing so wholeheartedly.
How did you get started in your industry?
While I was working at my Uncle’s Marina, I was exposed to many different types of boats. He would teach me about them, take me out on the water in the different boats, and he even started to teach me how to do minor repairs. I enjoyed everything about it, from being out in the sun smelling the saltwater, to working with people from all different walks of life that would dock their boats there. After I got my degree, I had the knowledge and the experience I needed to get serious about pursuing a career in the industry.
What is a common misconception about your industry?
People don’t realize how much work it takes to list a boat properly on eBay. Some sellers will take a few pictures, list the boat as being in “good working condition,” and an hour later they have sold it. I spend an average of 6 hours listing my boats, and I include 200-300 pictures. This allows potential buyers to get to know the boats as well as they possibly can without seeing the boat in person.
Describe a typical day for you.
I am always going from boat to boat, spending time on each one of them. I have a million and one things that need done on these boats, so I am working on them constantly. In between working out on the water, I’m looking over all the new listings, communicating with my contractors, and doing whatever else I can to make sure the boats are in top condition.
What is your favorite part of the job?
I love getting to know each boat intimately. I am inspecting and working on these boats alongside the hired contractors. Any work that needs to be completed on the boat is thoroughly noted by me. The work is not finished until it is guaranteed to be 100% correct. After spending day and night on each of my boats for weeks on end, I know these boats inside and out. For this reason, I am able to list the ships with honest and detailed descriptions so that buyers can get to know them as well as they possibly can without seeing the boat in person.
What is the most challenging part of the job?
The most challenging part of my job is making sure that each boat is in perfect condition before it is sold. Even after I sell a boat, I provide continued service. If something comes up after the boat is delivered and I feel as though it was an oversight on my part, I will drive to the buyer and get it fixed personally. If a buyer feels as though my description wasn’t 100% accurate, I will pay out-of-pocket for it to be inspected. I stand by every word, and I guarantee my work. I’d say that I probably go above and beyond what most sellers would ever even consider doing. I do it because the name John Callari has become synonymous with honesty and integrity, and I never want that to change!
What types of people do you work with?
It’s very important that I am able to get along with the contractors that are working on my boat. As a result, I am very selective when it comes to choosing the right ones. Most of these guys have been in this industry for 20-30+ years. We are all honest, hardworking people that are passionate about what we do.
What advice do you have for someone wanting to get into this field?
If you are honest, hardworking, and passionate about boats- it will be an easy transition to make! The industry is filled with people that share the same values as me, so it’s a great place to be. Be prepared to work long hours and put in the time and effort, and you will be successful. Thank you for your time!
What are some of your favorite books about business?
I really enjoy reading books about business. Some of my favorites include The Lean Start-Up, The Millionaire Fastlane, and The E-Myth Revisited. I think it’s important to constantly be learning and evolving as a business owner, and these books have helped me do just that.
What do you think the future looks like for Carolina Marine Wholesale, LLC?
I think the future looks bright for Carolina Marine Wholesale, LLC. I am constantly evolving and expanding the business. I am selling boats all over the world, and the customer base is growing every day. I am passionate about what I do, and I truly believe it shows in my work.