Buying sight unseen (or rather, without any information)….who really does that?
We have been hired exclusively on behalf of a large company in the U.S. to source a large body aircraft. We have helped this client buy and sell in the past and they have again hired us because they trust us and our ability to help them find the best aircraft and complete a smooth successful transaction. This means helping them understand the market and the available aircraft and then negotiating and completing their acquisition.
Over the last few weeks we have searched worldwide to uncover all available options. We have been loud in our efforts to tell the world about our acquisition project in regular conversations with other brokers and dealers and in print and electronic advertising.
In response to our “wanted” advertising we have had many brokers worldwide reach out to present aircraft. Some of the people that we have heard from have direct contact with the owner of an aircraft and they have presented complete specifications, photographs, maintenance information and serial numbers. They have presented us exactly what we need to understand the offering and consider it.
Others, however, have called to tell me that they have an “off market” aircraft and that if we make them an offer of $X we can get more details about it. No other aircraft information has been presented, and when I ask for it they tell me that they will only disclose information when presented with an offer for their required price. I keep telling these representatives that we will only consider aircraft for which we have full specs, photos, maintenance details and a serial number. Some understand and others continue to get frustrated. They want me to commit my clients to buying an aircraft for over $40,000,000 for which we know nothing about or even what part of the world the aircraft is in. Who really buys an aircraft sight unseen and with no information at all?
When a client hires us to help them buy an aircraft, they do so because they expect to be represented in a marketplace and be informed accurately and thoroughly about their options. They know that our reputation for only representing well qualified clients on an exclusive basis will help us source aircraft because owners considering selling know that they can trust that we are not just “fishing” in the market. Our clients hire us because they know that we will only present aircraft options which we have thoroughly vetted. When they hire us they expect that we won’t waste their time with mystery aircraft for which we know nothing about. The truth is I can’t imagine that an aircraft owner/seller would expect anything different. Full disclosure (even under a confidentiality agreement which can be understandable) is the only thing that can work if a transaction is to be successful. The buyer can know about, understand and feel confident in what they are making an offer on; and a seller can have confidence that a buyer won’t back out of a sale at a later date because of otherwise previously undisclosed details.