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How accurate is Aircraft Bluebook?

https://www.aircraftbluebook.com/

Over the years I have read various criticisms of this one; usually over-estimating the real value.

I suppose if they under-estimated it, nobody would use them – like nobody would use an estate agent who under-values their house

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Outside fresh training aircraft (Archer/DA40 G1000) GA is a highly illiquid asset which implies bid-offer spreads of 15-30%+

Blue book list is what dealer’s might offer, but trade purchase is a big discount from list

There are also lots of frictional costs, especially in Europe: re registration, rectification of defects, import duties

It is also highly seasonal – preferably buy in the depths of winter

Enstone (EGTN), Oxford (EGTK)

Vref online is surprisingly good. It gets you quite close. VAT is the big one, does a US valuation number reflect the value of EU VAT paid aircraft? The net margins are better than having the money invested elsewhere. There are better businesses to be in for sure but you get to have some fun out of it. January and August let’s put it mildly… you would want something else to be at.

If you want to see drug dealer margins, aircraft parts is where it’s at….

U206F, J3 Sea, PA32R & others
EIBR

I heard much criticism of Bluebook from US TB owners.

But then nobody will publicly say they had to accept a low offer People tell you such things only in private.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Bluebook works ok’ish in the US, for Europe for a long time it was useless as there was no market to speak of and consequently achieved prices were very often not even half what Bluebook gave. Thankfully, that depression is gone in Europe by now largely and prices become reasonable again.

Most of the valuation sites or tools overestimate as few have adapted for the massive down swing in prices over the last years, but rather keep the value going the planes would have in a normal situation. Particularly in Europe, the situation in GA Sales is still very buyer biased and many airplanes are sold way below their normal value.

LSZH, Switzerland

Peter wrote:

I heard much criticism of Bluebook from US TB owners.

I suspect this is because of the lower fleet size of the TB in the USA. Then only a limited amount of these already limited transactions get reported by dealers back to Blue Book or Vref. Hence the data is inaccurate compared to actively traded aircraft like Piper Archer, which would have far more data points gathered.

Mooney_Driver wrote:

Particularly in Europe, the situation in GA Sales is still very buyer biased and many airplanes are sold way below their normal value.

In Europe, there are also a lot of seriously well-heeled owners who don’t really care about the price their aircraft makes. Some, if they don’t get their price will shrug their shoulders and wait for the next guy to come along. Some, if they like you as a person and the approach you have taken with them will accept a lower offer just because they would like to see you have the aeroplane. Most European buyers approach buying an aeroplane like an interrogation session which is a massive own goal. If you have ever read any books on buying, step one is active listening, but that is lost on most people. I recently turned down good money for an aeroplane because I didn’t like how the buyer was approaching the situation. Telling someone how to do their job is the electrical equivalent of a direct short. After I finish this post I’m about to turn down an offer that represents 82% of the asking price on another aeroplane.

U206F, J3 Sea, PA32R & others
EIBR

WilliamF wrote:

Some, if they like you as a person and the approach you have taken with them will accept a lower offer just because they would like to see you have the aeroplane
If you have ever read any books on buying, step one is active listening, but that is lost on most people

That is true for many sales of many things in many places. Its not always about the money, especially for people of advanced age (as is frequently the case with sellers of well loved aircraft). I imagine that one of the most satisfying things about being in that situation is that you are 100% free to do with your assets what pleases you, based on your own values. Somebody I know was offered a very desirable half acre property plus tiny house in a high value area because they would (and subsequently did) take care of the cat that came with it… It never even went on the open market.

I certainty would have gained substantial although intangible value from selling my beautiful 70 year old aircraft to somebody who didn’t put it on back three days after the sale. That was my experience this summer, however the deal with what turned out to be the ‘devil’ did pay off a mortgage which at my earlier stage of life was an important consideration. Not a pleasant experience regardless and I would gladly have taken a lower price from a really well qualified buyer (by skill, not money) who better matched my interest in the plane finding a good home.

Last Edited by Silvaire at 14 Sep 15:50
7 Posts
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