VansAirForceForums  
Home > VansAirForceForums

-POSTING RULES
-Advertise in here!
- Today's Posts | Insert Pics

Keep VAF Going
Donate methods

Point your
camera app here
to donate fast.


Go Back   VAF Forums > Main > RV General Discussion/News
Register FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1  
Old 01-07-2021, 04:08 PM
sleeper-319 sleeper-319 is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2020
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 6
Default Do builders that sell profit or lose?

Just a curiosity here... but do builders that build and sell Vans aircraft profit or lose money on average? I get the sense that typical sales prices for used aircraft (even low time aircraft) are often not much more than the cost of kits and components, meaning owner/builders don't get compensated for their labor. But then there are some folks who build lots of experimentals. Do the people who build multiple aircraft make money on the sale?

I'm pretty new here, and I did search, so apologies if this is a well worn topic that I just missed.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 01-07-2021, 04:14 PM
Electrogunner Electrogunner is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Quarryville ,pa
Posts: 554
Default

I think most get their money back out, but not time invested. Maybe if you paid yourself $2/hr you could make a profit.
__________________
RV10 N620RV
IO540 C4B5
Whirlwind 375RV prop
Garmin G900X
First Flight 2/14/2019
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 01-07-2021, 04:28 PM
BobTurner BobTurner is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Livermore, CA
Posts: 7,184
Default

My opinions only:
First, remember that building an EAB if your sole intent is to sell and make money, is a violation of the FARs. But ‘intent’ is tough to prove.
Second, there are a few who do just that. (A) by the time you’re building your 4th or 5th airplane of the same type (say, RV-10), the amount of time needed goes down drastically. You’ve gotten good at it, you know all the choices to be made; (B) If you are very good, there is a market for Oshkosh award winning planes. There are buyers who will pay a large premium for perfect looks.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 01-07-2021, 04:33 PM
sleeper-319 sleeper-319 is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2020
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 6
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by BobTurner View Post
My opinions only:
First, remember that building an EAB if your sole intent is to sell and make money, is a violation of the FARs. But ‘intent’ is tough to prove.
Yeah, understood. I think "get compensated for" was a poor choice of words on my part. I really meant do they recover costs of building, and your comments make sense. Like all walks of life I suppose, reputation for excellence and credentials like a show winner will command a premium.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 01-07-2021, 04:45 PM
Ironflight's Avatar
Ironflight Ironflight is offline
VAF Moderator / Line Boy
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Dayton, NV
Posts: 12,466
Default

The real answer is that it depends on the market (at the time) and the model of RV, but in general, you’d have to be very lucky to make money if you want to earn anything more than a couple of bucks an hour for your time. And as Bob says, you can’t legally build with the intent to sell and make money.

There are times when the market is glutted with RV’s, in which case you might just get cost of materials out of a sale, and at other times (right now, for an RV-10 or -14) it is a seller’s market and the airplanes are going for pretty high dollar.

On the average, I tell people that they should not expect to get more than the price of the kit and accessories out of their airplane - if they do, consider it a nice surprise!

Paul
__________________
Paul F. Dye
Editor at Large - KITPLANES Magazine
RV-8 - N188PD - "Valkyrie"
RV-6 (By Marriage) - N164MS - "Mikey"
RV-3B - N13PL - "Tsamsiyu"
A&P, EAA Tech Counselor/Flight Advisor
Dayton Valley Airpark (A34)
http://Ironflight.com
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 01-07-2021, 04:53 PM
MLock MLock is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Salem, OR
Posts: 301
Default

I have built and sold four RVs (so far). An RV-3,6,7, and 8. I lost money on the RV-3. Hard to sell a single seater almost thirty years ago as the RV-6 was the hot ticket back then and RV buyers wanted the SBS two-place.

I made money on the 6, 7, and 8 but only within the context of the amount for which they sold was greater than the cost of parts, paint, and taxes. Forget getting paid for labor. Actually, if you consider the effort required to build an RV labor, then you are doing it for the wrong reason.

Without having kept actual records, I would suspect that after considering the operational and fixed costs associated with owning an aircraft, I think it was pretty much a push situation. How many expensive hobbies have the potential to actually pay for themselves?

I believe it was Ken Scott who said that "Flying an RV was turning dollars into fun". It's nice that after the fun, the dollars just might come back.
__________________
Mitchell Lock
President Van's Aircraft
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 01-07-2021, 06:05 PM
Plummit's Avatar
Plummit Plummit is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Covid Country-SoCal
Posts: 1,225
Default

Are you kidding me??? All of the joy and shear fun of building coupled with the ego boost from flying your own plane...Priceless!

-Marc
__________________
RV-10
N814RV
2021 Donation Made
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 01-07-2021, 06:05 PM
Ralph Inkster Ralph Inkster is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Calgary, Alberta
Posts: 1,222
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by MLock View Post

I believe it was Ken Scott who said that "Flying an RV was turning dollars into fun". It's nice that after the fun, the dollars just might come back.
I think every seller eventually feels that they loose - loose the pride of showing off their accomplishment, loose the joy of flying their great handling RV, & the prospect of settling for something more boring & mundane.
__________________
Ralph
built a few RVs, rebuilt a few more, hot rodded more, & maintained/updated a big bunch more
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 01-07-2021, 06:47 PM
Captain Avgas Captain Avgas is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 1,921
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by sleeper-319 View Post
Just a curiosity here... but do builders that build and sell Vans aircraft profit or lose money on average? I get the sense that typical sales prices for used aircraft (even low time aircraft) are often not much more than the cost of kits and components, meaning owner/builders don't get compensated for their labor. But then there are some folks who build lots of experimentals. Do the people who build multiple aircraft make money on the sale?

I'm pretty new here, and I did search, so apologies if this is a well worn topic that I just missed.
How much money you get back on an RV build will depend on many factors including the state of the market at the time. But the 2 biggest factors in my opinion are:

1. The quality of the build. It doesn’t cost any more money to build a really well crafted RV than to build a real dog. Everyone starts off with the same kits from Vans....but the finished products vary wildly. I always tell new builders to protect their financial investment by building to the very best of their abilities and not trying to complete the project in record time. Impatience is the enemy of build quality.

2. Whether the aircraft has a C of A. If you sell an incomplete project expect to lose a bundle of money....you’ll be selling to bargain hunters and you will not get back the price of the parts. Everyone who starts an RV build thinks they’re going to finish the aircraft....but the majority who start at the empennage do not finish and lose considerable money. Sadly, the more they build the more they lose....selling a 90% completed project will produce the biggest loss.
__________________
You’re only as good as your last landing
Bob Barrow
RV7A

Last edited by Captain Avgas : 01-07-2021 at 11:23 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 01-07-2021, 06:53 PM
Mel's Avatar
Mel Mel is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Dallas area
Posts: 10,922
Default

It depends on many factors. The best way to profit is to build, fly for years, then sell. Example: I finished my RV-6 in 1993, when kit prices were much lower, and flew it for over 25 years. When I sold it, I got more than twice what I had in it, plus 25 years of fun.
__________________
Mel Asberry, DAR since the last century. Over 1,000 certifications accomplished.
EAA Flight Advisor/Tech Counselor, Friend of the RV-1
Recipient of Tony Bingelis Award and Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award
USAF Vet, High School E-LSA Project Mentor.
RV-6 Flying since 1993 (sold)
<rvmel(at)icloud.com>
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:11 PM.


The VAFForums come to you courtesy Delta Romeo, LLC. By viewing and participating in them you agree to build your plane using standardized methods and practices and to fly it safely and in accordance with the laws governing the country you are located in.