When I bought FLYING Magazine back in 2021, I did it because it gave me an opportunity to blend my lifelong passion for aviation with my career in media and data analytics. As a consumer, I always have strong opinions on where products fall short and how the customer experience can be improved; this has been the driving force at FLYING.
One area, in particular, has always been somewhere I wanted to focus:
- selling planes
Im sure you have shared my frustrations with the buying experience. It feels like most planes never make it to the listing sites, and when they do there's a lot of inconsistency and opaqueness. Have you ever wondered what's wrong with a plane just because it's listed on the web?
The tools we've become used to when buying and selling things like cars are missing. Every plane has its own unique history of owners, maintenance, updates, accidents, location, and missions – it's obvious that those data should available to buyers. Perhaps more importantly, the list prices always look 20-40% higher than expected, presumably because sellers expect to be negotiated downwards.
It seems like there's an enormous amount of inertia in the plane-selling market. The existing players are happy with the status quo and invest little. The biggest sites feel like bulletin boards from the 1990s, where neither buyers nor sellers are particularly satisfied.
So, how are we going to be different? We're going to make a site that is made by pilots, driven by the needs of pilots. In our initial version, our biggest goal is to include our own price estimate along with the listing price. After that, we're focusing on the ability to find and research planes (even if they're not listed), as well as engaging the expert community in the listing content itself.
We have some big ambitions to improve the plane selling and buying experience - the element we're most committed to is engaging directly with our FLYING customers to determine the product direction. We all know that pilots are detailed, thoughtful, opinionated, and sometimes a little pedantic – all great ingredients to help us shape the product into something we will all love.
We're very excited about what this product will be. We hope you are too!