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Old 08-10-2017, 04:49 PM
RhinoDrvr RhinoDrvr is offline
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Lemoore (Fresno), CA
Posts: 93
Default Honor among theives (or pilots)...

Pretty angry right now; I'm in the market for an RV-8, and found one on trade-a-plane. (Wasn't listed here, now I think I know why).

Called the seller up, asked my standard list of questions, seeing if the airplane was indeed something I was interested in. It was. Offered a 10% deposit to hold the airplane while I arranged for a good pre-buy inspection. Seller declined stating "Just set up your inspection, I don't need your money."

So I get all the funds for the airplane ready to transfer, and call Randy Richardson over at 52F and set up a Pre-Buy. Randy was great to work with and we quickly came up with a plan to get the airplane inspected. I call the seller, and he says the airplane can be inspected any time. Again, I ensured that he wasn't interested in a deposit? Nope.

I call Randy back and give him contact info for the seller, then I look to email the seller to expect a phone call from Randy. Right before I did this I find an email in my inbox THAT THE AIRPLANE HAS BEEN SOLD?!

Seller calls today and says that a buyer had purchased the airplane without a Pre-Buy, this morning.

I really hope this isn't standard practice selling aircraft. My understanding was that either a reasonable deposit or a gentleman's agreement to hold the aircraft would be sufficient to allow time to organize an inspection? What if I had already paid Randy for his time to inspect the airplane, and bought my plane ticket to come pick the airplane up?! Thousands of dollars would have been wasted due to a lack of common courtesy. I don't think people like that hang around VAF, which is why I'm thinking the airplane wasn't listed here. Either that, or there was something about the airplane that would have been discovered during the Pre-Buy that the seller wasn't disclosing.

Am I missing somethin in the aircraft buying process? Is there a method of avoiding wasting large amounts of time and money like this in the future?
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Old 08-10-2017, 05:26 PM
catmandu's Avatar
catmandu catmandu is offline
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 761

Certainly an "other" in the world of aviation, but lacking signed paperwork, can't say it is surprising to have a seller take a bird in the hand. Karma's cruelty is all you can hope for (a better deal is certainly around the corner for you).
Mike C.
Maryland's Eastern Shore
RV-6A bought flying
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Old 08-10-2017, 05:31 PM
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N804RV N804RV is offline
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Mount Vernon, Wa
Posts: 471

Given this situation, I would have expected exactly that outcome. The guy didn't want to accept your earnest money because he already thought he might have a firm unconditional offer. You were the back up.
Ken W.
Mount Vernon, WA
2019 VAF Supporter
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Old 08-10-2017, 05:41 PM
jliltd jliltd is offline
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Rancho San Lorenzo
Posts: 471

I have had it happen multiple times. With aircraft. New cars. You name it. It can be very infuriating. I tried to use each occurrence as a learning experience.

Around 1992 I was set to buy a VariEze in in Houston. I called the seller the day the advertisement hit (Monday) and I was ready come look at it immediately. The seller said I was first in line but nobody could come see it or buy it until the weekend as he was too busy with some sort of family matter. So I honored his wishes and stayed in touch with the fellow and drove 11 hours Friday afternoon and got a local hotel. I was at the airport bright and early Saturday morning as agreed. When I arrived the Eze was pulled out in front of the FBO which I thought was thoughtful of the Seller since I had come so far. I walked up and introduced myself to the Seller and asked if this was the Eze for sale. He said yes but it just sold to two fellows who came the previous day against the seller's request. Not even the courtesy of a phone call on that one. Often nice guys finish last.

Years later I made a deal on a new pickup at a car dealer in Denton and put down a deposit. The wife and I were traveling up from Corpus Christi in the Comanche and we overnight-ed at the Hangar Hotel in Fredericksburgh, TX with the idea of flying up to Denton bright and early to do the paperwork and have her drive the new pickup home 6 hours West. Again I coordinated with the salesman that night and early the next morning before we launched for Denton. We landed at the Denton airport and the salesman was waiting for us as arranged. I asked him why he didn't drive the new vehicle out to meet us and he informed me they had sold the truck while we were en route.

Once the blood cools down you generally realize that you probably didn't want to do business with somebody who breaks their word. They have effectively established they are unreliable at a minimum and or even flat out dishonest at the most. They probably wouldn't think twice about conveniently not disclosing things like damage history or problems with the aircraft.

I say keep your business to those who keep their word and are genuine. Shun the dishonorable types.

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Old 08-10-2017, 06:17 PM
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jmbrwn jmbrwn is offline
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Locust Grove, GA
Posts: 309

It goes both ways. Potential buyers can screw you over as a seller.
Jim Brown
RV6, Christen Eagle II(Sold),PA-30 Twin Comanche
Locust Grove, GA
Mallards Landing
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Old 08-10-2017, 06:19 PM
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BCP Boys BCP Boys is offline
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Kennesaw, Ga
Posts: 686
Default Money talks, ____ Walks

Although I would have called you before accepting an offer myself, many people don't do that. As the old saying goes Money Talks and you know what Walks. I' not saying you had any other intentions than to buy that plane but maybe he felt that if you did a pre-buy there was a possibility that you wouldn't have purchased the plane and someone with money in their hands gives them exactly what they want, a sold airplane. We've bought and sold a bunch of planes over the past few years and it's been the same for us. If you see a plane you like, jump on it. Go look at it and make the effort... give the seller a deposit and contract pending a pre-buy and be quick. Put yourself in their shoes... maybe they needed the money to put food on the table tonight ? ... just saying you never know their circumstances.
RV-7 - My Ferrari in the sky
RV-10 - Partnered with a good friend

Supporting VAF since the first visit
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Old 08-10-2017, 06:22 PM
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CubedRoot CubedRoot is offline
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Ooltewah, TN.
Posts: 552

I dunno about this one. I honestly don't blame the seller for selling if someone has cash and is willing to deal right then and there with no hassle. It's how I bought my 172 a few months ago.

The guy was about a 3 hour drive away, but I took cash. The seller had been jerked around by buyers wanting to hold the plane for pre-buys, etc, and he was pretty ticked. I took cash money with me and a mechanic I trusted. We drove down, and the guy met us there at the hangar. We got there a few hours before another person who was supposedly driving in to see the plane. The guy even told us "theres someone else coming in to look at this evening", and I told him I was going to do my best to beat that guy there. We did.
After letting my buddy look it over and test fly it, we made the guy a low cash offer and told him that we had the intentions of flying the bird home that night and no hassle on his part for that price....just give us a bill of sale and the keys. He took our lowball offer, and then drove home with cold hard cash in his hand, and my buddy flew the plane back home that night.

Later when I called the guy to get his shipping address (he forgot his headset in the plane by accident) he told me that he had 3 other people all trying to put a deposit down, or asking him to hold the plane, or wanting him to fly it for a pre-buy the day we flew it home.

So, I honestly don't see anything wrong with it. The seller had a plane that people wanted, and there were buyers were willing to swoop in and take a risk of buying without having to put the seller through too much hassle. That means a lot to some people, especially with busy lives. The seller isn't there to be a convenience to you, they are there to sell their airplane at the best price with the least amount of hassle. Both price and hassle are negotiable to a degree, and both have value.

If a buyer wants to put me (as a seller) through a lot of hassle, then I am not going to be very negotiable on the price (my time has value).

Honestly, you should have expected something like this if the guy wouldn't agree to hold it for you or even take a deposit. The guy just wanted the plane sold as painfree as possible, and there were buyers out there to make that happen.
Lynn Dixon
RV-7 Slider -
Tail kit Completed - March 2017
Wing Kit Started - June 2017
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VAF Donation paid for 2017
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Old 08-10-2017, 06:42 PM
Kyle Boatright Kyle Boatright is offline
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 3,735

I think you have to take a step back and realize that the buyer was trying to sell an airplane and his best interest was served by selling to the first person who showed up and made an acceptable offer on the airplane.

Taking the airplane off of the market because someone has committed to inspect it in a day or two means you have to turn away prospective buyers.

I think the guy did the right thing - didn't take a deposit, and gave you a heads-up that the airplane had been sold, so you and/or your mechanic didn't show up to inspect an airplane that was long gone.

There are plenty of airplanes out there. Good luck finding the right one.
Kyle Boatright
Atlanta, GA
2001 RV-6 N46KB
2019(?) RV-10
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Old 08-10-2017, 08:02 PM
RhinoDrvr RhinoDrvr is offline
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Lemoore (Fresno), CA
Posts: 93

I can appreciate that the seller took the most appealing, easy to close deal that he came across. My point is that I have never conducted business like that when selling via classifieds.

I used to buy and sell custom firearms, which, while not near the cost of airplanes were rather spendy ($3000-$5000). I would take the inquires in the order I received them. If buyer #1 needed a week to get the money together or run it buy the household treasury (which happened quite often), then I would tell buyer #2 he was second in line, pending the sale falling through. A few times I was offered over my asking price to sell the gun out of order, and I refused. That's just how I chose to conduct business.

I guess that it is unreasonable to expect the same out of everyone else, but that's what I had hoped for, which was the reasoning for my offering a deposit; to show my genuine interest in taking the airplane home.

What I absolutely cannot do though is to lay out $70k in cash for an airplane with no Pre-Buy Inspection; that seems Ludacris to me, and if that's what it takes, I'm out of the airplane game it would appear.

I'm sure that there are other RV-8's out there to find. Also, maybe there was a condition that the seller feared the Pre-Buy would uncover that would put the sale in jeopardy. Either way, I probably got off lucky.
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Old 08-10-2017, 08:50 PM
RhinoDrvr RhinoDrvr is offline
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Lemoore (Fresno), CA
Posts: 93

Originally Posted by RV8JD View Post
Wow...well, that definitely proves it can always be worse.
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