“Time is our most precious commodity, and there are conveniences that wealth brings to essentially get you more time. —retired Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, explaining why he commutes via private jet from his Seattle home to watch games of the Los Angeles Clippers, the basketball team he bought last year for $2 billion. ”
Selling and buying used aircraft online
When you're ready to buy or sell a preowned aircraft, you'd be wise to start the process by going online. Our own BJTonline.com includes reviews of many models and-particularly in the site's Buyers' Guide section-lots of information about acquiring, financing and insuring aircraft. Many other Web sites can help you research models you're considering or determine demand and pricing for one you want to sell.
Brokers, for example, use Amstat.com and Jetnet.com to track used-aircraft availability, transaction histories, specifications and owner information. Another helpful site is Conklin & de Decker's conklindd.com, which offers variable-cost-per-hour information for numerous models and other free data. (The company also sells software, such as its popular Aircraft Cost Evaluator.) Your broker or acquisition specialist probably subscribes to these companies' services and will be able to help you benefit from their research.
Whether you're a buyer or a seller, you'll want to check out Trade-A-Plane.com, which has long been the big daddy of aviation classifieds. It began as a newsprint tabloid (which still appears three times a month) and has been online for more than a decade. While Trade-A-Plane used to list mostly prop airplanes and turboprops, its database now includes many business jets. You can search by aircraft type and then narrow the search results by model, location and other parameters.
The UK-based AvBuyer.com, from the company that publishes World Aircraft Sales magazine, offers worldwide listings and allows registered users to indicate which aircraft models interest them and to receive e-mail alerts when a desired type comes on the market.
UsedAircraft.com lets you compare specifications for aircraft you're considering. Oddly, however, the site doesn't let you select aircraft for comparison from the listings for a particular type. You have to enter each airplane's registration number into a comparison box.
Like AvBuyer, Aircraft Shopper Online (ASO.com) sends e-mail alerts. This site also delivers an interesting presentation when you search a category. In the jet category, for example, ASO lists all manufacturers and models on the left, with columns showing minimum and maximum prices, and oldest and newest. Drilling down to a specific model, you can see more information, including price, registration and serial numbers, total airframe time and location for the available aircraft.
Controller.com, publisher of the used-aircraft listings magazine found in many FBOs, provides a photo, brief description and seller information for advertised aircraft. Another useful feature offered by this site is a glossary, which can help neophytes figure out the shorthand employed in the aircraft sales business.
The Web designers at GlobalAir.com have figured out a different way of presenting information and making it useful. You select filters to narrow the search to a particular model type, then within that search, select aircraft to compare. The comparisons are neatly laid out and comprehensive, and include a link to specifications provided by Conklin & de Decker, plus detailed information on the particular jet, photos and seller contact information.