An aircraft is a machine that’s used for traveling from one place to another.
The first aircraft was developed in the late 19th century, and they started carrying passengers as early as 1910.
In modern days there are thousands of different types of aircraft all around the world.
So let’s take a look at 10 tips to sell your plane. These are based more on general principles than specific research, but I’ve used them with success selling my own plane, and they should help raise awareness of why people buy planes as well as helping sell yours!
1) The first major rule of Sell Your Plane is – don’t sell it (yet)!
If you’re dead set on selling it, leave it in the hanger 3-6 months before taking any serious action.
If you’ve already taken it out and given it some well-deserved lovin’, then sell it on paper for a few months before trying to sell it for real.
2) Is your plane ‘under market value’ or even cheaper?
You might think that new buyers will be interested in your low price, but there’s a large percentage of pilots who won’t fly anything unless they pay full retail price, so if yours is underpriced you risk turning them away immediately without them ever seeing what you’re offering!
Pilots also tend to assume that the reason one aircraft is more expensive than another is that it has better avionics and fresher paintwork and looks more appealing on the outside.
If yours doesn’t look as good on the outside then fair enough, but better to sell it for a higher price and let the buyer discover that the engine is due for an overhaul next month!
3) Before taking any action, find out what your plane is actually worth – get a decent appraisal of its market value.
This way you won’t sell it too cheaply, or if you sell on paper there’s no risk of you missing out by asking too much.
Be careful though: most websites offering appraisals are basically brokers’ shops selling overpriced services!
Do some research yourself and make sure you’re getting a proper independent valuation from someone who knows their stuff.
Also bear in mind that many potential buyers may also be trying to sell their planes at the same time, so don’t sell it unless you absolutely have to.
4) When you sell on paper, sell it for more than the market value – 10% more is good.
But if someone’s itching to buy they may not quibble too much!
If your plane is worth $41k they’ll tell themselves that $40k would be a great deal even if their plane isn’t worth quite as much.
You might also sell yours quicker than normal because any buyer who spots another plane in the classifieds at a similar price will think ‘I know I can get this one cheaper.’
And of course, most buyers love negotiating, so give them an inch and they’ll take a mile…
5) Don’t annoy your potential buyers by advertising all over the place about your sale.
The more they discover about your sell-off, the less inclined they’ll be to make an offer on your aircraft!
Keep it until the last minute (a week is usually enough) and sell it like this:
“1947 Cessna 172N for Sale – $34k negotiable”
Not “Cessna 172, 1947 model – $38k OBO!!!” or anything like that. This isn’t a used car lot, remember? Some pilots will be put off by all these ‘OBO’s’ anyway!
6) But equally… don’t underprice yourself by advertising ridiculously cheaply.
Try to get at least market value for your plane, but if you’ve had it a long time and had lots of good times with it, sell it for $5000 less than market value.
7) With the web being so popular nowadays, Sell Your Plane online if you can.
You’ll probably have to sell at full price but this is still worthwhile because at least you won’t be advertising yourself in all directions anymore!
Plus you’ll get more hits when your advert appears on Google – but choose your words carefully when writing up the advert because that’s what people will search for!
Also bear in mind that it takes a certain kind of buyer to do business online.
They’re well-informed about how much similar planes sell for and are far more likely to follow through on their initial interest in your plane without too much haggling.
To sell online, sell it at market value or even sell for more than market value!
8) Don’t Sell Your Plane to anyone who approaches you by email with an offer.
They’re far too lazy to sell their own plane and they won’t be selling any time soon either, so forget about them unless they seem really desperate – in which case you can sell yours cheaply to get rid of it quickly!
But for everyone else…
9) Get your airplane painted by a good paint shop before putting it on the market.
A new bright-colored paint job is essential if you want to attract lots of buyers – also.
Try not to sell anything that looks like it’s been repainted recently because most pilots don’t want to buy the plane that previously crashed into that powerline or waterhole!
10) Finally… sell aircraft quickly.
If you sell over a few weeks because you’re not desperate, you’ll sell it at $500 less than market value!
I actually met someone recently who ended up selling his plane for $600 below its value because he haggled too much with buyers and insisted they pay all postage costs etc.