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Used market - what's it worth?

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Old 06-07-2012, 05:10 PM
  #1  
Teachu2
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Default Used market - what's it worth?

I recently sold off my collection of R/C planes. I had about 70 kits, 15 or so NIB ARFs, close to 30 built planes, over 100 rolls of covering, dozens of engines, and lots of hardware and radio equipment. The kits were, by far, the easiest to sell at decent prices. The NIB ARFs, especially out of production ones, sold well - but shipping was very expensive. Built models went dirt cheap - it was far more profitable to strip the engines and radio gear out and sell it, then sell the airframe or give it away!

Here's how it played out:

NIB kits sold for 75-400+% of original street price.
NIB engines ~75% of new.
Low time used engines ~50%.
Well used engines ~25%.
New servos 50%
Used servos 25%
2.4 radio gear 50%
NIB ARFs 60-100%
Built kits 25-50% *
Built ARFs 20-40% *
Partially built or partially assembled $1-2 per pound*

* may have sold for more IF I'd have been willing to ship these items - but what a nightmare that can be! Even if you take 20 pictures, build a plywood box and fill it with styrofoam peanuts, and sell it for the cost of shipping - buyers still aren't happy. Life's too short to deal with shipping models!!!!

When I started selling out, I was hoping to get $5k out if it. I actually listed the lot, including a custom Pace cargo trailer, for $5k, but had no takers. Once I broke it all up, it started selling - especially the kits. The trailer went to a fellow club member, and the engines went all over the place. Sales passed the $5k mark pretty quickly. I had the satisfaction of giving away quite a few kits, engines, radios, field equipment, and airframes to young people getting started and other deserving folks. I had more balsa than the LHS, as well as 20+ 12x48 sheets of lite ply - and most of that was donated to the club officers to share among the members who needed it.

I'm still cleaning up - but I'm done selling. I keep three cardboard boxes handy as I go through drawers, cabinets, and piles. If it's R/C-only stuff (like incidence meters, retracts, or servos) it gets sorted anong the boxes - I know which of the three guys would appreciate it or be most likely to use it. They, in turn, pass stuff along to others. The LHS may not sell a piece of wood or a prop for quite a while....

I've given away a lot of stuff - much of which was given to me. I used to do a summer program for at-risk high school kids, designing and building R/C planes. I had a variety of hardware, engines, and assorted stuff that had been donated for that program but was surplus. All of that stuff got given away - either to students or to others who were passing it along to students. I didn't feel right selling it, and the vendors didn't want it back.

Did I get every last cent the market would bear out of all this stuff? Nope. I decided what it was worth to me, and priced it accordingly. I think everyone I dealt with felt they got their money's worth, and that's the way I chose to exit the hobby. I bought all this stuff over 20+ years because I enjoyed the hobby. I enjoyed the hobby, and especially the friendships, for a very long time. I enjoyed buying and selling OOP kits, and I thoroughly enjoyed passing along some of the kindnesses shown to me over the years. I enjoy every trip I make out to the flying field, because it seems like every time I go someone is enjoying something they got from me.

Take care, friends!

Trent
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Old 06-08-2012, 02:29 PM
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rmenke
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Default RE: Used market - what's it worth?


Teachu2:

Hate to see someone like you giving up the hobby after 20 years of enjoyment. I assume eyessight and reactions are giving you some problems. Couple of years ago I started selling off my gasser and glow stuff and accumulated my fair share of electric stuff. The same basic problems are in the electric side, ARF's that are advertised as the best ever etc. Most of them have been passed along and they were all hype BS and not my thing. There have been some outstanding flyere is still have after a year or more, like the Addiction X. Better than sex, not that I remenber much about that at 77. The foamies are great fun as I design my own things and can fly them in the back yeard or down a couple of blocks to a open park. Have some real strange things flying, some good, others beyond my abilities. Don't put a lot of bucks into the electrics, but have a great time with them. If you get tired of watching TV, etc. give 2.4 and the little guys a try. New challanges and learning curve you will enjoy.
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Old 06-08-2012, 05:05 PM
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Teachu2
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Default RE: Used market - what's it worth?

I appreciate the thought, but my problem isn't eyesight or reflexes - at the last club fun-fly, when the winner was announced he replied "Don't mean nuthin' - Trent didn't fly!" (I took that as the most sincere compliment I've ever had!). In 2004, after finishing both raising three sons and a new house, the wife and I got our first vacation together sans kids since our honeymoon. We got in my pickup and just explored NorCal and Oregon, places my wife had never seen. On the way back from Mt. Saint Helens, the wife casually suggested we ought to get a couple of Harleys....so we did. I went from flying 42 weekends a year to about 4 or 5 - "Do I go riding with the wife, or flying without her?" only has ONE correct answer. Then I started target shooting, after a long hiatus. Add in grandkids and 14 hour workdays, and I was just plain out of time. Model airplane construvtion has ceased, even maintenance was iffy, and they had gone from a hobby to a burden. Eventually, it caught up with me. In desperation to get a 81" Uravitch OV-10 Bronco ARF in the air that had sat five years waiting for me to finish, I hired it out. When it came time to maiden, it wouldn't fit in the safety stand - and I'd lost my emphasis on safety. We had it up on a bench in the shade, and I got one of the Saito 82s running. Full throttle was way rich, and I was out of position, and the APC was invisible at 8000 rpm in the shade...and I reached into the prop arc to get to the needle valve. Gained about 60 stitches, a couple of splints, and a new understanding of the dangers of complacency. Lost about a 1/4 inch off the middle finger, with lots of nerve damage and some bone damage in two fingers, and got to shoot a pistol match the next evening left-handed. The next day, we departed on a 1900 mile road trip, on the Harleys.

I came to the realization that I had too many interests for this stage of my life. I enjoy working on mechanical devices, and may go to gunsmithing school when I retire from teaching. I treasure the time I get to spend with my wife, and she lost interest in the planes after her first crash. She always supported my hobby, up to and including building first a 540 sq ft shop attached to the house when we built it and then a 1320 sq ft steel building out back when I outgrew the shop. She never suggested or even hinted that it might be a good idea to leave the R/C hobby - she actually thought I should keep a few. I preferred to make a clean break, and get out on my own terms. I might be back, but it will be at least a dozen years before then - and it made no sense to me to have that equipment sitting around going to waste, when I could convert it to cash and have a lot of room in my shop. I also weld and tinker with metal, have a 12x48 metal lathe, reloading equipment, and lots of other man toys....

I will continue to be involved with both the clubs (I'm a Life Member in both) because I enjoy the company of good friends. I have a mobile welder, which has seen use at both fields numerous times. I will also be available to help at events, instead of flying at them.

I am, quite honestly, relieved to have reached a decision that works for me at this stage. My wife, who was raised to fear handguns, attended several events to watch me compete. She noticed a lot of organized shooting, done safely, and came to realize that handguns were tools like any other. She also decided to get some education and first-hand experience, and now shoots her own 9mm semi-auto pistol. She's a natural bullseye shooter, methodical and patient. She's enjoying the heck out of it!

I have nothing but good memories of this hobby/sport. I've tried many facets of it, and have learned much from it. It has provided me with relaxation, enjoyment, and even employment over the years, and I am a better person for having been involved in it. I am not leaving it - as many have over the years - because of club politics, personality conflicts, frustration, cost, or diminished capacity. I am simply simplifying my life, concentrating my resources where I get the most satisfaction, and leaving the hobby without losing the friends - on my own terms.

Best wishes,
Trent
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Old 06-13-2012, 02:03 PM
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DESERT RATT
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Default RE: Used market - what's it worth?



I'm at a crossroads such as you.

I'm 60 and have way to many hobbies. Horses, Roping, Trail riding. Then there's a Tarantula collection, building old cars and trucks I also love doing work around my place, Radio Control, Quad riding, Fishing, Gold mining and hunting with my Grandson. I've been retired since I was 56 but there's still not enough time in a day to enjoy everything and I'm not the type of guy that plans his day out. When I walk out the door in the morning I always go to my hobby room and then from there it's just whatever trips my trigger at that time.

So far, I've sold my Tarantula collection (had over 50 and some were rare) My horses are up for sale right now (I've been horseback since I could sit a Saddle a little longer if you count the rides sitting behind my older Brother.) But hay is really expensive for 8 Horses. I'm cutting back to one hot rod and Going to sell my 65 Mustang project.

I don't know if I'll ever get out of R/C?


I wish you the best on your endeavors. Buy a Giant Telemaster just in case. lol
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Old 10-23-2012, 12:38 PM
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Default RE: Used market - what's it worth?

Thanks, DESERT RATT. I'm still finding stuff, and the weather is cooling down (finally!) so that I can spend a bit more time reorganizing the shop building. Hope to get the last of the r/c stuff gathered up next weekend. One of the clubs has a fun-fly in November, so I'll haul it all to the field and come back empty. Beats hauling it to the landfill.

Saturday morning, we rode the Harleys up to Keene (where President Obama visited last Monday) and had breakfast there. Saturday afternoon, we found ourselves with a couple of hours and nothing that had to be done that could be - so we grabbed a couple of pistols, some ammo, eyes and ears, and drove five minutes to the range. We each shot all we wanted to, washed up and went home. Spent five minutes securing the guns and stuff, washed up and spent the evening with two of the grandkids.

I thoroughly enjoyed the r/c airplane hobby, and treasure the friendships and memories of good times. I also don't regret giving it up, on my terms. I'm getting more enjoyment out of other activities at this point in my life.



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Old 04-27-2016, 11:00 AM
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Here we are, a few years later. I'm still teaching, but we moved to Keene two years ago. I've got 5 acres of Sierra Nevada foothills, a few hundred oak trees, a 1020 sq ft shop, and lots of projects to keep me busy. Still miss R/C, though.

Trent (Teachu2 in a past life!)
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Old 04-28-2016, 08:22 PM
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Now that I've been reading up on the current political/FAA assault on the freedoms of aeromodelers, the values I listed a couple of years ago may take a hit.... I was worried buying guns in California, but you guys are under far more pressure than the gun enthusiasts, even in California.
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Old 05-06-2016, 12:22 PM
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Boy howdy Trent, you got out when the getting was good. I am planning a post RC bon fire or take them to the local gun range for some AR 15 target practice of all my scale warplanes and models if the current bill in the House passes and gets signed into law. They will be practically worthless. Already cannot fly locally because the two airport managers are too afraid of the FAA to allow to fly until the laws get finalized.

Been kicking tires on Harley's lately and my wife loves the idea of getting his and her bikes.

Take care.
Scott
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Old 05-08-2016, 11:58 AM
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Originally Posted by scottrc View Post
Boy howdy Trent, you got out when the getting was good. I am planning a post RC bon fire or take them to the local gun range for some AR 15 target practice of all my scale warplanes and models if the current bill in the House passes and gets signed into law. They will be practically worthless. Already cannot fly locally because the two airport managers are too afraid of the FAA to allow to fly until the laws get finalized.

Been kicking tires on Harley's lately and my wife loves the idea of getting his and her bikes.

Take care.
Scott
If you know how to ride, buy touring models. If you don't, buy used imports and learn to ride. DON"T buy small Harleys - trading up is costly. We're on #8 and 9 now
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Old 05-08-2016, 05:08 PM
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used markt slow down lot theese dasy
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Old 05-10-2016, 06:44 AM
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When I was a kid I bought a brand new Harley and rode it from Miami Fla to San Bernardino by way of Nebraska. I even rode for awhile with the Hells Angles. They were just a bunch of kids that liked beer when I rode with them.
I worked for Boeing in Seattle for 20 years. I would love to go back to Washington on a Harley. There is nothing like Washington when the sun shines.
My career came to a close when the internet bubble burst in 2001. I was 74. For the last 15 years I have done nothing but fly model airplanes. But now at 89, with my eyesight fading I will need to get rid of them. I expect I won't get much. They are well used.
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Old 05-10-2016, 02:36 PM
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Originally Posted by dirtybird View Post
When I was a kid I bought a brand new Harley and rode it from Miami Fla to San Bernardino by way of Nebraska. I even rode for awhile with the Hells Angles. They were just a bunch of kids that liked beer when I rode with them.
I worked for Boeing in Seattle for 20 years. I would love to go back to Washington on a Harley. There is nothing like Washington when the sun shines.
My career came to a close when the internet bubble burst in 2001. I was 74. For the last 15 years I have done nothing but fly model airplanes. But now at 89, with my eyesight fading I will need to get rid of them. I expect I won't get much. They are well used.
Sad to hear about your eyesight , Age is not kind to any of us , that's for sure . It is my experience that really truly "mint condition" will bring roughly 50% of original value , plus or minus a little bit either way , and that well used stuff is usually best either given to someone just starting out , or if no new flyers are around , as gifts to those who do lay out the 50% for the good stuff without trying to beat you down to 25 or 30 % . Guy buys 3 nice planes at a fair price ? Offer him one of the well used ones for free with the sale of the 3 , folks love feeling like they got a bit more for their money and you get rid of a well worn plane that likely no one would have wanted otherwise , a win/win for both ....

Last edited by init4fun; 05-10-2016 at 02:42 PM. Reason: typos
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Old 05-10-2016, 05:57 PM
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I would give it away but it is not for beginners. Does anyone want a scratch built Weeks special with a G62? It sat in my garage for about 5 years and i decided to get it out last fall and fly it but after I refurbished it I never got around to it. It was full of cobwebs.
I just threw a Fly Baby Bipe in tht garbage. It had sat for about 8 years. I still have the engine. Its an RCS44B2. Nobody wants that either.
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Old 05-11-2016, 07:05 AM
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Originally Posted by dirtybird View Post
I would give it away but it is not for beginners. Does anyone want a scratch built Weeks special with a G62? It sat in my garage for about 5 years and i decided to get it out last fall and fly it but after I refurbished it I never got around to it. It was full of cobwebs.
I just threw a Fly Baby Bipe in tht garbage. It had sat for about 8 years. I still have the engine. Its an RCS44B2. Nobody wants that either.
That's heartbreaking. If you need a home for engines, regardless of condition, please see Teachu2 is looking for junk engines, servos, misc mechanical devices..... and consider it.

Thanks,
Trent
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Old 05-11-2016, 10:49 AM
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I was thinking about this , the idea that at some point we'll all be in the situation that some RC equipment has to be gotten rid of . In my case I'll be moving into a smaller (easier to maintain) house and my goal is to have 10 or 15 of my favorites and divest of the 25 or so that I really could live without . We all have em , the few we actually fly and the "hangar queens" that for whatever reason just never seem to find their way to the field . A smaller , "space saver" collection , that's what I'm headed for ...

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Old 05-12-2016, 05:47 PM
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i like donate old stuff make peeps happy
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