An End of a Era
When I was 15, I wanted a truck. I just got my learner’s permit and my father told me I had to get a job. Well, I noticed that my father had a bunch of airplane parts laying around. So I came up with a great scheme! I told him I would sell his airplane parts online for a commission. He agreed! And thats how I got a brand new (wrecked I might add) Chevy Silverado. My father then taught me how to do body work and paint. At the end of the day, I had a nice truck and was making money to pay for the gas hog.
After I figured out that I could sell parts on ebay and flip cars I felt like a little entrepreneur at the ripe age of 16! All through high school I flipped cars and trucks while selling’s airplane parts online. I then went to my dad’s work and other aviation businesses around the airport and started selling their parts.
My life was great. Then I turned 18 and started feeling bad. I just graduated high school and was having a hard time riding my dirt bike and even going up the stairs. After lots of tests I found out I had a heart murmur. I had a hard time keeping a job because I couldn’t stand up for long periods of time. Again, I started selling parts on ebay. A year later I had to have open heart surgery. I was able to pay bills and make money while being sick, having surgery, and recovering. Ebay seemed to always be there for me.
After we got married, I went to school for ATC and my husband David was trying to get hired as a firefighter. We even moved to NC for him to get onto a station. After moving back to FL, being totally confused, and with $300 to our name, we started Fast Aviation. We started investing any dollar we earned into airplane parts and listing them online. We started selling parts on commission for people because we didn’t have the income to purchase their parts. It worked out better because they ended up with more money that way. It was a win-win situation for all of us. We started hiring people, turned our spare bedroom into an office. All of a sudden within two years, Fast had 7 employees, 10 acres of airplanes, and two hangars. (All while having a little guy named Ryder and getting my pilots license)
A big part of Fast is our ebay store. We put killer deals on ebay-its ALWAYS been like that. We have (or I guess had) 100’s of followers on ebay! We employ ONE single person that his whole entire job is to list items on ebay, Josh. He just turned 18 and is going to start his first year of college this fall. He is ridiculously smart and I am so glad that we have him. Everyone else that wouldn’t give him a chance seriously missed out on a gem! All of our employees are great people. We try really hard to have a good, solid team around us. That’s why we call it the Fast Family, because we ARE a family. When a team member is sick, everyone helps out. When someone needs help-we’re there to help them. We even had a softball team and lost EVERY SINGLE GAME but got to drink beer and eat wings at the end of the night-so it wasn’t that bad. Haha!
The game changed on August 5th, on a random Tuesday afternoon at 2:20PM…I received an email that never ended. It was an ENTIRE list of every-single-item we had on ebay and they were all ENDED. Yup. TWO YEARS of hard work, 2200+ items, all down the drain. There were times that I was at the hospital listing items. I’d spend my entire Saturday sometimes listing items. Listing items so that YOU GUYS would have airplane parts. So that aviation could have a fighting chance of staying alive. This is why were here-keeping aviation alive.
And now ebay can’t give us a reason why we were randomly shut down. Just like that-poof-Fast Aviation no longer exists on ebay. It blows my mind. This morning I woke up and looked over at David and I felt that maybe this was all just a bad dream. But when I looked at our ebay store, it was empty. I don’t hear the little cha-ching when something sells anymore. It’s a really weird feeling.
You know what’s crazy about all this? With the amount of money that we pay in ebay fees, we’re probably paying someone’s salary over there. Ebay pretty much charges about 10% and THEN you have paypal fees on top of that. So that $10 part you got from us? I pretty much made a couple dollars off of it. I can’t believe that ebay is going to end our ebay store and all these other companies for no good reason. They’re losing SO much money. It’s like they don’t even care about the little guys. We’re being discriminated against for no reason. Is it because we’re a salvage yard? Did you not like our ads? I’m sure the ceo of ebay has an airplane. Wonder how much he pays for his parts for his Gulfstream. And then think about this for a moment guys-the person that’s flying him around HAD to have learned on a small plane. And what if all those small planes aren’t able to keep flying because the cost is too high? Ya that’s right Mr. Ebay Ceo, you won’t have good pilots to fly you around in your fancy airplane because you can’t get training in the small planes for a reasonable price anymore.
Aviation isn’t about jumping into a simulator and flying around until you get 1500 hours. It’s for the LOVE of it. Someone doesn’t just say, I want to be an airline pilot because it pays good. They love flying and then they make it their career. Or they don’t even know that they love flying BUT someone takes them flying in a little plane (that the parts were supplied by fast aviation or another salvage company out there) and BAM they’re hooked.
Have you ever watched One Six Right? Ya, my point exactly.
This may be the end of our ebay store, but it won’t be the end of us. We have many things happening and the whole fast team has been working for hours and hours building something that will give YOU affordable plane parts. I’m pretty sure ebay will be a thing of the past in the future with the way they are running their business.
If you need parts, you know who to call. And you know who is gonna go to bat for you. If we don’t have it, we’ll find it and point you in the right direction. We will do anything to keep your business and keep you flying.
Hey Rachael & hubby, it will all work out. Your story of what you have built is wonderful. You & your husband & team will get it going again somehow. I think you should take this as a lesson and try to get our operation less dependent on conglomerates like ebay. Easier said the done right! But you guys cm make it hsppen..I can “tell”
I bought wheel pants from you a while back, loved your service and personality . thanks rachael
Dan from michigan
JUST GETTING STARTED WITH YOU DEFINETLY WANT TO BE SENT NEWS LETTER, REMEMBER SOME BUSSINESS GET BIGGER THAN LOSE SIGHT OF WHAT MADE THEM BIG THAN LOSE.
I hope you can just start your own website to continue selling. However, I also think you need to do whatever you can to force Ebay to provide you with an explanation. At the very least, you deserve that and it could have been an error! (Scary thought for sure.)
I talked with eBay this evening again for an hour. Talked with a manager named Matt this time. He told me, which was all being recorded, that eBay is like a restaurant, they can refuse the right to provide service to anyone and give no reason for that. They are going to run themselves out of business with this type of outlook.
well i found out a couple weeks ago that we were in trademark infringement with Horizon and they want 300k to sell us the word horizon. plus ive been kicked off ebay many times before there are loopholes everywhere.
Dave/Rachael they won’t even tell you why they pulled your store? That’s totally messed up. Does the Fla. Attorney general have a consumer fraud & business protection division? I would definitely file a complaint as it seems to have directly affected your business and they (ebay) are responsible for that and could be held liable for damages. … especially for removing your store with no warning or cause.
Buy the book #GIRLBOSS. Same thing happened to her and she now has $100 million company…
Great story! Big things ARE going to happen.
I just bought an e-185 from you last week that I found on the vintage bonanza site. E-bay has exposure and market share, but little else to redeem it. In fact, I hate their slow and tedious listing routine. I like your spirit, keep going.
Hi Rachel+all, don´t worry and f…k of ebay!!! Keep head up !!!!
Wolfgang+Sabine from Germany
Every “bad” thing that’s happened to me in life has lead to a change for the better some small, some huge. At some point in the near future you will look back and be glad it happened. Don’t get me wrong, eBay sucks for what they did, just saying that you will surprise yourself with what you now grow into.
Great story! Great because your response to the problem has you moving onward and upward. You’re doing the right thing and you will prevail. Best of luck!
Rachel, You guys ROCK and it’s Ebay’s loss! This will be a blessing in disguise for you and all the people who appreciate and benefit from your great service and knowledge.
Hang in there!
Bob Gentry ’47 Bonanza, serial #62