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View Poll Results: How important was the existence of VAF in your decision to build an RV.
It was not a factor. 95 43.98%
It was a factor. 26 12.04%
It was a significant factor. 84 38.89%
It was the most important factor. 11 5.09%
Voters: 216. You may not vote on this poll

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  #41  
Old 12-11-2017, 10:25 AM
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Mel Mel is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Dallas area
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Auburntsts View Post
I don't see how you can quantify VAF's contribution to Van's sales via a simple poll. As your poll indicates, VAF is only factor for some and that's a only tiny sample of the whole RV builder population (187 as of this post vs thousands) and doesn't capture those who don't go online, don't care for VAF (and there are a few), or determine what the impact really would be if VAF didn't exist at all. IOW, it's easy for someone to say it was an important factor since it does exist, but if it didn't, we have no way of knowing if those respondents would have chosen a different brand or chosen not to build at all. At the end of the day, I'm of the opinion that RVs sell RVs and that ancillary contributions to the bottom line by intangibles like the builder community are marginal at best. YMMV......
Very true statement!
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<rvmel(at)icloud.com>
North Texas (8TA5)
RV-6 Flying since 1993, 172hp O-320, 3-Blade Catto (since 2003)
Legend Cub purchased 12/2017
FRIEND of the RV-1
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  #42  
Old 12-11-2017, 11:59 AM
David Paule David Paule is offline
 
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Location: Boulder, CO
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Well, I'm building an RV-3B, and I'm doing it more to have a good project than to have an RV-3B. When I was considering which airplane to build, this one would not have crossed my attention at all, were it not for VAF. The other planes, except for the RV-12 (which I rejected because of not being a taildragger), were not RVs.

So in my case, VAF was the single most important factor in my kit purchase.

Dave
  #43  
Old 12-11-2017, 04:09 PM
tomww tomww is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: uk
Posts: 39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Paule View Post
Well, I'm building an RV-3B, and I'm doing it more to have a good project than to have an RV-3B. When I was considering which airplane to build, this one would not have crossed my attention at all, were it not for VAF. The other planes, except for the RV-12 (which I rejected because of not being a taildragger), were not RVs.

So in my case, VAF was the single most important factor in my kit purchase.

Dave
Wow!!!!

Considering a 12 or a 3. That's quite a range, never mind other aircraft were in the running as well!

And VAF was the "single most important" factor. Lost for words!
  #44  
Old 12-11-2017, 04:21 PM
rvbuilder2002 rvbuilder2002 is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Hubbard Oregon
Posts: 7,799
Default I different slant on the same idea......

Quote:
Originally Posted by tspear View Post
Van's benefits in supporting a used market ecosystem. Best aviation example is Cirrus.
A few examples of how Van's benefits. They sell parts, upgrades to buyers. A healthy used market gives a builder confidence that some equity will be returned to his/her estate at some point. e.g. the money is not just thrown away.
It would be hard to qualify the used RV market as a money maker for Van's.....

One example would be to consider the cost of tech support.
When a builder finishes an RV, the need for tech support usually ends for the most part (assuming they used it at all). When that RV gets sold to a new owner.... particularly one that is totally green to all things RV (because they haven't spent years immersed in the builder culture), the tech support process starts all over again. This can happen multiple times with the same airplane.

Also consider that in most cases, any big money being spent by new owners is going to businesses that sell and or install avionics. Purchases of replacement parts and canopy covers don't go very far towards supporting the used market side of the business.
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  #45  
Old 12-11-2017, 04:59 PM
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Flyin'Bryan Flyin'Bryan is offline
 
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Location: Littleton, Colorado
Posts: 256
Default It's kinda funny......

...how I first became aware of VAF. Got the bug in 2008, met a fellow builder purely by coincidence shortly thereafter, visited a few more local area builders, Got a link from someone for the RV List, started seeing lots of posts that were of a competing nature with VAF, followed by the capitulation of sorts of the RV List with instructions to seek out VAF, as it was becoming the source of choice for most builders that I was aware of. Was introduced to Dan Checkoway's site early on, tapped into VAF shortly thereafter, and been there ever since. Then I also discovered other RV builder's blogs and logs.

Then I joined two different EAA chapters. My first meeting at one of them was a meeting at an airport hangar to watch a demo of how to re-cover the fuse of a Husky. Then I got to take a ride in the back seat of an RV-8 for 20 whole minutes - and what a ride that was! Talk about having "a little" incentive to build after all that! My cup was running over at that point, and VAF was a major reason for that.

This site is invaluable to me. It was the first actual forum that I ever officially belonged to, and I had to learn all about "forum speak" and "forum etiquette," and most importantly, how to search the forums AND post pictures properly.

Then I gained an EXTREME appreciation for how well organized this site was, compared so many of the other forums out there, both aviation and non-aviation related. I also appreciated the fact that it had some "rules" that are very closely monitored - most of which I have no issues with at all, and some that I just have to learn to live with if I want to play in here (and that's totally OK).

So the existence of VAF is most definitely a significant reason why I decided to build an RV - non-stop shopping for almost anything you need to know, with some really smart people out there, many of whom I have met personally over the years, and respect all the more. it is not THE single most important reason for me, but very close to that.

Donation coming soon DR!
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Last edited by Flyin'Bryan : 12-11-2017 at 05:05 PM.
  #46  
Old 12-11-2017, 08:06 PM
Captain Avgas Captain Avgas is offline
 
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Location: Melbourne, Australia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Auburntsts View Post
At the end of the day, I'm of the opinion that RVs sell RVs .
The truth is that any manufacturer who is conceited or foolish enough to imagine that their products will simply sell themselves is not destined to have a big future.

RV kits are good products but endless companies have gone to the wall despite having good products. In todays ever-competitive commercial environment having a good marketing strategy is just as important as having a good product. And that applies to everyone, including Vans.

Vans understands this principle and that is why they advertise strategically. It's also why they spend buckets of money annually promoting their products at major airshows such as Oshkosh. Like every other successful manufacturer they inevitably have to spend money to market their products and reinforce their brand.
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  #47  
Old 12-11-2017, 09:02 PM
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Auburntsts Auburntsts is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Avgas View Post
The truth is that any manufacturer who is conceited or foolish enough to imagine that their products will simply sell themselves is not destined to have a big future.

RV kits are good products but endless companies have gone to the wall despite having good products. In todays ever-competitive commercial environment having a good marketing strategy is just as important as having a good product. And that applies to everyone, including Vans.

Vans understands this principle and that is why they advertise strategically. It's also why they spend buckets of money annually promoting their products at major airshows such as Oshkosh. Like every other successful manufacturer they inevitably have to spend money to market their products and reinforce their brand.
Sigh. Yes, I get that and I didn't mean to imply that Vans doesn't need to market. Obviously they do, I just don't happen to think that traditional marketing is particularly effective at generating E-AB kit sales, but that's just my gut assessment--I have nothing empirical to base that on. What I meant by RVs sell RVs was it's the quality of the product that ultimately sustains sales. IMO Van's best advertising comes free of charge in the form of 10000+ flying examples. No amount of ads in any form can duplicate that impact. And all the advertising in the world will not help a crappy product survive for long in a low demand market as the free market is generally governed by the law of survival of the fittest, particular in an niche industry with low margins despite the fact that the aircraft industry as a whole produces a very price inelastic type of product.

So IMO if VAF went away tomorrow, Van's sales wouldn't suffer significantly. YMMV....
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  #48  
Old 12-12-2017, 08:45 AM
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bkervaski bkervaski is online now
 
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Marketing comes in many forms .. building an airplane is a fringe hobby where traditional marketing won't really pay for itself. Somebody who wants to build an airplane is already out there seeking information. A vast library of quality how-to and instructional videos would sell more airplane kits than anything else. How many people start down the path but never pull the trigger because they convince themselves they can't do it? A video library says "Hey, you can do it, here's how, just watch me, I'm human too." And then you have them. If they decide to do it, they will commit to the path of least resistance and most comfort. The forum is a huge marketing tool for Van's because it increases that comfort level and reduces the path of resistance by providing timely answers by experienced builders .. for free.
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Last edited by bkervaski : 12-12-2017 at 08:49 AM.
  #49  
Old 12-12-2017, 09:07 AM
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rolivi rolivi is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bkervaski View Post
The forum is a huge marketing tool for Van's because it increases that comfort level and reduces the path of resistance by providing timely answers by experienced builders .. for free.
Free to Van's you mean. EVERYONE deriving value from this forum supports DR. Well they SHOULD anyway.
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  #50  
Old 12-12-2017, 09:14 AM
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bkervaski bkervaski is online now
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rolivi View Post
Free to Van's you mean. EVERYONE deriving value from this forum supports DR. Well they SHOULD anyway.
100% agreed .. but not required .. so the casual visitor doesn't hit a paywall .. not sure if this is on purpose [ed. It is. v/r,dr]or just collateral outcome.
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Last edited by DeltaRomeo : 12-12-2017 at 05:31 PM.
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