How to Sell an Airplane, Part 3 of 5

Wheels up, how is the view?  The right pictures will increase your qualified leads and help to sell your airplane faster. Aircraft Shopper Online (ASO) states pictures sell aircraft.  “Ads with photos get 120% more

Wheel, Strut, Fairing. Piper Archer
Wheel, Strut, Fairing. Piper Archer

views and generate 70% more leads than ads without photos.”  Barnstormer’s says aircraft with photos sell 5 times faster.

To show more detail I uploaded 50 photos of the exterior, interior, avionics, engine and cosmetic issues.  Increasing the number of pictures doubled my qualified leads and the plane sold within 90 days of those changes.

Be honest and upfront.  Take pictures of what you think are cosmetic issues.  Don’t waste the buyer’s time or yours with surprises at the site visit.  Buyer’s will tell you about the planes that were not as represented.  When prospects say, “It’s as you advertised” you’ve got it right.

You’re selling the dream of flight in your plane.  Take your avionics shots with the

Avionics, Piper Archer
Avionics, Piper Archer

equipment turned on.  Your avionics pictures should communicate the story of flight.  Don’t take pictures with the panel dark or of screen boot-ups.  Those shots suggest a nightmare of maintenance and down time.  Let the competition post those.

Getting all these pictures online can be expensive with aircraft ad sites.  Check out websites like Photobucket and Flicker.  They offer free accounts with generous storage space.  Prospects can zoom in and out on higher quality pictures to see more details.  You should organize the pictures with a table of contents: i.e. exterior, interior, avionics, engine, and cosmetic.

Listen to customer feedback.  Prospective customers will ask for more pictures. I found buyers’ had reasonable requests for shots I had missed.  Add those online to build out your plane’s picture portfolio.

Buyers will be asking you to email pictures if they don’t have access to everything online.  That’s a time-consuming process.  With an online photo account you can just send a follow-up email and include the link to all your pictures.  It’s faster, easier and expands your marketing efforts.  Add the link to your primary ad site if possible.

If you expect a “how to” photography guide you won’t find it here.  You can get that stuff from a horizon full of sites on the Internet.  First, you should consider this a simple photography project.  Select a good digital camera.  I used a 8.0 mega pixel Cannon PowerShot S5 IS.

Lycoming O-360-AYM, 180hp, attached to Piper Archer II
Lycoming O-360-AYM, 180hp, attached to Piper Archer II

Take pictures.  Review.  On another day, take some more pictures.  Second, you could ask a friend or colleague with photographic experience to help you.  With collaboration you can make this a fun learning experience.  Third, if you don’t have the time or interest bid the project out to a professional photographer.

Make it easy to evaluate your plane online and you’ll generate more leads.  Prospects want easy access to quality photographs and written text.  Long copy sells.

More time on your site means less time with the competition.

How to Sell an Airplane, Part 4” discusses several approaches you may want to consider in marketing an airplane.

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