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Thread: Selling an airplane

  1. #1

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    Selling an airplane

    Advertised my 7ECA on Barnstormers and got a lots of calls and e-mail. 60 tire kickers and maybe 5 prospective buyers. Why some people want to waste your time is more than I know they want a lot photos, interior, exterior, log books 337 forms. I advised one fellow to "hire a A&P, AI to do a pre-buy inspection. Do not take my word for anything. They question the log books as being accurate, geeze I have owned the thing for 40 years. I suppose the reason is so many "used airplane jockeys" out there??
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    WhiskeyMike's Avatar
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    Once in a while you arrive to inspect and it's better than promised. Usually it's the other way round by a substantial margin.
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    Richgj3's Avatar
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    I have owned seven airplanes so far. After selling the first one myself, I gave up and gave an agent $$ to deal with the BS.

    At at least that way you only have to deal with one maniac at a time. And he/she works for you.

    Rich
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    WOW! You are one lucky guy if you have 5 prospective buyers and only 60 tire kickers!!! My experience has been closer to 1:100. I'm also old school and made the mistake of taking a buyer's word on buying and price. Have been burned by liars (non-payment guys that never contacted me again). The worst was dealing with a Kenneth Howes. I spent several weeks in Sub-Zero weather packing and loading up a plane in a hurry since his shipper would be there on a certain day. Of course, the date kept being changed, until he no longer contacted me. Bad experience, but then, he had offered to send a deposit on the plane, but I felt he was honest. I learned the hard way!
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  5. #5

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    Listing with a firm price will help cut the majority of tire kickers.
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    If a Cub or 7ECA or similar is a reasonably good deal the tire kickers are usually too late. Tell us some stuff - price, engine, style of landing gear, fabric condition? Even really good ECAs with oleos rarely bring $30K.

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    BC12D-4-85's Avatar
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    There's lots of bottom feeders, wannabes, and resellers trying to get into aviation. I hope they succeed but expect they rarely (now) do long term ownership. Maintenance and expenses can exceed the post-certification rush when the thrill is gone and reality of ownership and flight currency appear. Used sales people are poop on new shoes but convenient for some.

    The 7ECA is a desirable plane as was N9146L when I owned her in the '70's.

    Gary
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  8. #8
    Charlie Longley's Avatar
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    I’ve bought and sold a few airplanes over the years. You want copies of the log books? Yeah no. 337? Buy the CD from the FAA. Test flight? Yeah we can do that after we agreee on a price and you show me the money. Prebuy? That’s on you but it’s going to be done by an A&P.
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  9. #9
    hotrod180's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richgj3 View Post
    I have owned seven airplanes so far. After selling the first one myself, I gave up and gave an agent $$ to deal with the BS.
    At at least that way you only have to deal with one maniac at a time. And he/she works for you.
    If you're lucky.
    My hangar neighbor hired a broker to sell his airplane.
    Like a lot of guys who've owned their airplanes for a long time, he was asking too much (of course).
    People were looking at the airplane, yet he wasn't getting any offers.
    Turns out the broker was telling prospective buyers "yeah, he's asking too much,
    but he'll come way down in a month or so".
    Nice.
    I don't know if those guys are strictly commission or if they get a retainer, but if he's a typical broker I'll pass on them.
    Cessna Skywagon-- accept no substitute!

  10. #10

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    I spent 1 1/2 years looking for my cub. Most of the planes I looked at had several issues not noted in logs or by owner. Not a big deal just not reflected in the price. I am not one to haggle on price much, so ya I guess I was a tire kicker. I sold my pacer by word of mouth. The key is to sell a plane for what it is worth, not what you think it is worth. To find the price for your plane go find friends that don't mind hurting your feelings and ask what they would pay for it. It seems grumpy burned out IAs don't mind crushing your dreams for a big payday. If I can not travel to the plane for inspection, Yes I want pictures inside and out, pictures of the 337s, and last few years of log entries. Was that rebuild done with new jugs or some 5,000 hr chrome cylinders? I am not going to pay for a pre buy just to find simple things. If you are trying to sell a plane and you get no takers in two weeks you price is usually too high or you did not get the word out enough. If you are buying take your time and kick a lot of tires. Good deals can be found but it takes time and cash in hand, like bob said they go fast.
    DENNY
    Last edited by DENNY; 02-17-2018 at 12:52 PM.
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  11. #11
    Cub junkie's Avatar
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    I know when buying an airplane I hate dealing with a broker.

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    Buying or selling, all I've ever used was word of mouth. That eliminates tire kickers.
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    Helped a nice guy selling a big 300 hp. Stinson. One of the "potential" purchasers wanted a two hour demo ride. I gave him 30 minutes. The guys who bought it didn't want to pay my fee, so it left without a test flight.

    I personally will not buy without a test flight unless the price is low. Too many Cubs out there with mismatched ailerons and faulty trim systems. Even expensive ones. A buddy bought a "Top Cub" with bad ailerons. Make an offer contingent on test flight, with a deposit. The seller does not have to accept.

  14. #14
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    While it's certainly true that wishy-washy buyers can be a pain in the ass, the same can be said of sellers that can't make up their mind. I had agreements with no fewer than three sellers that backed out at the last minute. I know I would have a hard time letting go of my cub too, so it's somewhat understandable.

  15. #15
    G44's Avatar
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    After missing a couple sales my buddy experienced while selling his airplane because "my wife said no", he added a sentence. "Ask your wife if its ok to buy this airplane before calling" I laughed but actually it was perfect.

  16. #16
    Cub Special Ed's Avatar
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    I sold a couple cubs a few years ago. After a few hundred calls i could weed the tire kickers fairly quickly. When the first question is "whats the groundspeed" or "whats your lowest price" they arent worth the breath of going on.
    "There are 3 kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves." Will Rogers
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  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Beargrass View Post
    Advertised my 7ECA on Barnstormers and got a lots of calls and e-mail. 60 tire kickers and maybe 5 prospective buyers. Why some people want to waste your time is more than I know they want a lot photos, interior, exterior, log books 337 forms. I advised one fellow to "hire a A&P, AI to do a pre-buy inspection. Do not take my word for anything. They question the log books as being accurate, geeze I have owned the thing for 40 years. I suppose the reason is so many "used airplane jockeys" out there??
    How is it listed? Under American Champion, Bellanca, Champion, Citabria, whatever? What is location, maybe I can find it that way?


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

  18. #18

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    You can just search 7ECA. There are maybe 7 of them, ranging from 25-36K. One is almost 60, but it has new cover on the tailfeathers, so that really jacks the price up.

    My neighbor bought one for $26K with lousy paint and a new engine. It paid for itself; he got his license in it. Sold it on eBay for $19K.

  19. #19
    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beargrass View Post
    Advertised my 7ECA on Barnstormers and got a lots of calls and e-mail. 60 tire kickers and maybe 5 prospective buyers. Why some people want to waste your time is more than I know they want a lot photos, interior, exterior, log books 337 forms. I advised one fellow to "hire a A&P, AI to do a pre-buy inspection. Do not take my word for anything. They question the log books as being accurate, geeze I have owned the thing for 40 years. I suppose the reason is so many "used airplane jockeys" out there??
    I too am preparing to sell my amphib 185 which I bought new 42+ years ago. Unfortunately father time has convinced me that it is time that I reduce my inventory to just the Cub. Having bought and sold many airplanes over the years, most of them sold without too much difficulty. This one has become part of my family, which as a result will be difficult to part with. Frankly I don't know how to market it as I will not be willing to put up with any number of tire kickers. I had one plane which I agreed to sell until the buyer wanted me to get the engines running. Well since they were running, I just had to take it for a flight. When I landed I told the buyer that it was no longer for sale. He was not happy. Buyers need to be careful how much they try to squeeze the seller. Sometimes they squeeze too hard.
    N1PA
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  20. #20
    Bill.Brine's Avatar
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    Selling an airplane

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    Last edited by Bill.Brine; 02-17-2018 at 06:55 AM. Reason: Removed

  21. #21

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    If you think selling a flying example is hard, try selling a partially completed project.
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  22. #22

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    The question,"Why are you selling it?" Irrelevent and none of their business! They are usually down the road at that point. All it takes is the one right buyer.

  23. #23

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    We will not hear again from Beargrass - the OP? Assume he sold his ECA.
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  24. #24
    Jim 4WF's Avatar
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    Wow-The sellers on this site are a tough crowd. Have only had a few aircraft but am one of the guys that asks all the questions on this page. If someone is going to exchange a plane for $100000.00, $200000.00 of my hard earned, they should expect to answer a few questions, have the log books available, and arrange for a buyers inspection when a base price is agreed on. Having done many buyers inspections for others I cannot apologize when I find corrosion on aft spars, metal in oil filter, bad repairs on gear boxes, wonder about the 25 year old engine with 300 hours, “never been in salt water” from a float plane in Homer,......all on aircraft with personal attachments and have been in families forever. You cannot disqualify a potential buyer simply for asking questions as the nice airplanes simply sell themselves. Don't like tire kickers—hire a broker.

  25. #25
    Cub Special Ed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim 4WF View Post
    Wow-The sellers on this site are a tough crowd. Have only had a few aircraft but am one of the guys that asks all the questions on this page. If someone is going to exchange a plane for $100000.00, $200000.00 of my hard earned, they should expect to answer a few questions, have the log books available, and arrange for a buyers inspection when a base price is agreed on. Having done many buyers inspections for others I cannot apologize when I find corrosion on aft spars, metal in oil filter, bad repairs on gear boxes, wonder about the 25 year old engine with 300 hours, “never been in salt water” from a float plane in Homer,......all on aircraft with personal attachments and have been in families forever. You cannot disqualify a potential buyer simply for asking questions as the nice airplanes simply sell themselves. Don't like tire kickers—hire a broker.
    Log books, corrosion, hours on things, all good examples of someone interested in an aircraft purchase. Wether it leads to a sale or not, that's going through the motions. If the first questions are "whats ground speed?" or "whats lowest price?" (usualy both together) they are daydreaming and out of their league either in aircraft or price. How can you begin to discuss price if you know nothing of the airplane? That is what i consider the "tya kikka".
    "There are 3 kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves." Will Rogers

  26. #26

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    That doesn’t tell me the specific airplane Beargrass refers to. I think I have a reasonable request.

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    The only dumb question is the one not asked. Many different types of buyers, first time to seasoned. You have to take the good with the bad. You want to sell a plane you have to be prepared for tirekickers. Some sellers are also tirekickers not always wanting to sell just feeling the market. So in short answer any and all questions honestly.

  28. #28
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    I have sold quite a few airplanes for others. Not good at selling anything of my own. I make a web album with tons of pictures, logbook entries and 337s. I email them a link and that answers a lot of tire kickers questions,
    Steve Pierce

    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
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  29. #29
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    A buddy of mine advertised his airplane for sale, back in the day when T-A-P was about the only venue.
    He got a call from out of state, via the operator:
    "will you accept a collect call from Joe Blow?"
    "I don't know a Joe Blow."
    "He's calling about your airplane for sale."
    "No." Click.
    Cessna Skywagon-- accept no substitute!
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  30. #30

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    I bought a cub from Jeff Morrison in Helena years ago. He was asking $40,000. Negotiation went something like this:
    Will you take 35?
    No
    will you take 37?
    No
    will you take 38.5?
    No
    will you take 40?
    I’ll think about it........
    Mark

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    Rest of the story.. We agreed on a price (40), had a pre-buy inspection done. So I said I wanted to fly it. He said he only had ground coverage on it, so I got my hackles up a little and said I wasn’t going to buy something I hadn’t flown. He grudgingly put coverage on it and we met the next morning for a flight. He eyes me up and down and asks if I knew how to fly a tailwheel. I told him yes, but I’d ride in the back if he wanted me to. He waves me into the front seat, we taxi out and takeoff. Out of about 1,000 feet he smacks me in the back of the head! I turn around as much as I can and he says “wipe that grin off your face!” When I showed up a month later to fly it home, he had a headset and portable GPS in the plane which he originally said weren’t included. He even called me a couple of times to make sure the trip was going ok..

  32. #32

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    It is hard to tell the tire kickers from the buyers sometimes. Ten years ago I sold a 185 I had had for a few years. One Friday evening a guy called me and asked if he and his son and grandson could look at it Saturday morning if they flew over. I said yes, he meant I and my dad at the airport and looked it over, asked if he could do a standard preflight and proceeded to do a preflight including checking the fuel in the tanks. He ask me if I would take 10 thousand less than my asking price and I said no. After he left my dad says to me we should have went flying, that guy just wasted an hour and a half of a nice Satuday. Then three weeks later the guy calls me on a Sunday night, tells me he has a prebuy scheduled for Friday and will I take 5 thousand less than my asking price, I said I would let him know on Wednesday when I said 3 thousand less than asking. I made the hour flight to meet on Friday morning, he bought me lunch while his bank did the wire transfer to my bank, and gave me a ride home. You have to consider every respond-er to your ad a buyer, you just never know.

    Tim
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  33. #33

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    Not always what you say as how you say it. Quirkiness aside, all negotiations should include common courtesy and respectfulness.
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  34. #34

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    Jeff Morrison’s dad started a flying service in Helena in 1931. In fact, he showed me his dad’s license signed by Orville Wright. When I met him, he was retired and after many decades in aviation he was, let’s say, a man of few words. I enjoyed the brief time I spent with him and as I get older I appreciate people who don’t suffer fools gladly...
    Found this blurb online.

    In 1931, Red Morrison arrived at the Helena Airport. Morrison had previously served as the personal pilot for William Randolph Hearst. He and his wife Bitty formed Morrison Flying Service and were a primary force in the early development of the Helena Airport. Red Morrison was listed as the Airport Manager in 1931 when Helena was proudly identified as the lowest crossing point of the Continental Divide.

    Morrison Park
    Red Morrison and Bill Fahner are credited with starting the School of Aeronautics in Helena, the first such accredited school in the country. Morrison was killed in an aircraft accident on Christmas Eve near Tampa, Florida, where he was serving as a flight instructor in the Air Force. Bitty Morrison continued operating the business until their son, Jeff Morrison, took it over. Morrison Flying Service remained on the Helena Airport until the air taxi and service portions of the business were sold to Exec Air Montana in 1995, completing over 60 years of service with the distinction of being the oldest family-owned aviation business in the northwest.
    Mark
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  35. #35

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    And you're surprised? Some guys aren't cut out for sales.

  36. #36

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    Fly down to me, one hour forty five each way, I’ll buy lunch, you know I’m not buying, so no surprises. It’s a better deal.
    Last edited by robertc; 04-16-2018 at 09:05 AM.
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  37. #37

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    Mike - you are selling your 11? What kind of engine?

  38. #38
    BC12D-4-85's Avatar
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    Mike...fly it to the Alaska show for sale. If not I have two parking spots for later in Fairbanks.

    Gary

  39. #39

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    Regarding the OP, you can keep tire kickers to a minimum by posting a good, complete ad. Include pictures of everything and a link to scanned logs. When I've been tire kicking, I've looked at ads like that and thought, "I'd like to call this guy but I'm not ready to make an offer and I don't have anything to ask him."

    An old, departed friend used to say, "You should post an ad that's so complete that the only question a buyer has left to ask is 'When can I pick it up?'"

    I'm selling my Bonanza with a broker, but they're too expensive for a $40k airplane.

    "Why are you selling?" Is a perfectly good question that might tell you a lot. "I lost my medical 6 years ago" means the airplane might be a pile of rust. "I have three kids in college" could tell you to look out for deferred maintenance. "I'm selling it for a friend" could mean anything. "I buy and sell a handful of airplanes every year" means you've got an amateur airplane dealer -- run away as fast as you can!

  40. #40
    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StuBob View Post
    and a link to scanned logs.
    How do you do this?
    N1PA

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