Rising Star Rachel Payne Wows At Sun “€˜N Fun With An eBay For Airplanes

Finally an auction site where ’€œBeechcraft’€ doesn’t autocorrect to ’€œBeach House’€

If you were walking the exhibition hangars at Sun ’n Fun last week, you might have come across Hangarswap.com, and its creator, pilot and aviation entrepreneur Rachel Payne. What she's up to with her site, hangarswap.com, is cool, but it could be a lot more than that, too.

Rachel Payne of Hangarswap.com

Payne, a hot-pink haired ball of enthusiasm for aviation, got into the airplane business when she was just 15 years old by selling used plane parts on eBay. She has turned that part time high school job into a mini empire. Her salvage yard near Orlando, Florida, is a must-visit destination for those hard-to-find parts for our GA aircraft. But for the past couple of years, Payne has been promoting a whole new kind of online experience. After getting frustrated by eBay's high commission (10 percent and a max of $750 per sale), Payne decided to start her own dedicated auction site, hangarswap.com, that's just now getting a facelift. The site charges only five percent commission, it has a max fee of $300 per transaction, and when you search for "Beechcraft," it doesn't autocorrect it to "Beach House."

Payne also insists on opening the flow of conversation among hangarswap.com buyers and sellers, a practice that eBay controls for fear of losing commissions to direct sales between the buyers and sellers. This allows easy exchange of questions and answers between the parties, so there are fewer misunderstandings, says Payne. Being smaller, Rachel and her friendly staff can also help arbitrate disputes, though she says that because her crowd is friendlier and more knowledgeable than the typical eBayers, there's usually not much to arbitrate.

Unlike eBay, hangarswap.com is run by airplane nuts, including Payne, who currently flies a Cessna 210. She admits to being a bit of a packrat when it comes to things like plane parts, vintage motorcycles and funky art, though she denies she has a problem. Her motto, and that of hangarswap.com, says it all, "It's not hoarding if your stuff is cool." Amen.

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A commercial pilot, editor-in-Chief Isabel Goyer has been flying for more than 40 years, with hundreds of different aircraft in her logbook and thousands of hours. An award-winning aviation writer, photographer and editor, Ms. Goyer led teams at Sport Pilot, Air Progress and Flying before coming to Plane & Pilot in 2015.
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