July 1, 2014, 10:39 AM

E-commerce for the elite: A marketplace for used planes gets a tech boost

BiddingAce, which sells used jets and turboprops, strikes a licensing deal with IronPlanet, whose marketplace focuses on construction and mining equipment.

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Buying a used turboprop or jet online could become easier thanks to a new deal struck by online marketplace operator BiddingAce Inc.

It has licensed technology used by IronPlanet Inc. on the business-to-business e-commerce marketplace it operates for buyers and sellers of used heavy equipment for such industries as construction, mining and oil-and-gas extraction. Terms of the deal were not immediately released by the companies.

BiddingAce—among other products today, its site features a 1972 Gulfstream II G1159 jet going for $750,000, and which was located in Mexico—says it will use the IronPlanet technology to enable consumers to better refine their searches for pre-owned planes, and to more closely “integrate with back-end support teams and service providers that assist buyers and sellers in completing transactions.”

BiddingAce did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but on its site it says that shoppers can search by such attributes as manufacturer, aircraft type, aircraft location and price. Product listings include such information as “maintenance logs, a mechanic’s review, videos, pictures, and more,” BiddingAce says.

The online marketplace also facilitates contact between aircraft buyers and sellers. Shoppers put in bids on the marketplace during a specified period of time, and BiddingAdvice allows those consumers who submit winning bids to conduct a “pre-purchase inspection” of aircraft before money changes hands. The company also steers potential buyers toward financing providers.

“BiddingAce chose IronPlanet because it allowed us to quickly enter the market and provide an important service to the general aviation industry,” says Tom Henn, BiddingAce co-founder and CEO. “By using IronPlanet’s technology, BiddingAce delivers broader trade of general aviation aircraft worldwide, which we believe will spur greater interest and support of aviation in general.”

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