The complete radio control model airplane FAQ.  


Where do I go for radio control model airplane swap shops?

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 Is it safe to buy online? How do I pay for online purchases?

Troy Built Models 27% Staudacher 300D.
2.7 BME, Menz, TruTurn Spinner, Virtual Reality Pilot, Covered in 4 colors of Monocote, PPG Paint. 2-JR 4721 (Ailerons), 2-Multiplex Profi Digitals (Elevator),  Airtronics 94258 (Rudder pull-pull), 5 Cell 1500mah NiCd with regulator (Radio), Duralite 1600mah with regulator (Ignition), Rocket City  Horns/ Hanger 9 Arms, 14 lbs dry weight, Flown one season.

Complete less Receiver $1500
Airframe, Engine, Ignition, Prop and Spinner $1000

Note: Roger is being a little modest here. This plane won the Concourse Award at the Los Vegas Scat contest June, 2000. It's a great looking plane, and he takes great care with his planes. And that 14lb dry weight is accurate, if not generous. The rudder has a black & white hand-cut expanding checkerboard pattern that follows the outline. On the bottom of the wings are unique black arrows that point towards the wingtips. The photo was taken before he painted the cowl--it now matches everything. (And in low light, as you can see the clouds.) Cliff



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Is it safe to buy online? How do I pay for online purchases?
Online buying--especially for newbies to either RC or the internet--can be intimidating at first. When buying used equipment, one thing that I always do is insist on talking with the person on the phone, with a good phone number that I called. If they won't give me a phone number that I can talk to, I won't send money. That way I at least have a guaranteed place that they were at one time.

Another thing that I do is ask a lot of questions. That way, you have a better chance of making sure that you are getting what you are expecting. Asking numerous questions, even ones that you would assume to be disclosed--like, "does the engine run?" and "will you describe it in detail?" will clear up any misunderstandings before they take place. Also, if the item you buy is not as described, you have more recourse for returning the item. 

Recently, I saw an engine on RCO that looked very attractive--a Brison 3.2 going for $275. That's about $75-100 under market value for a good running 3.2. After talking to the guy, and having him describe it in detail, I called Gary Allison, the owner of Brison Aircraft. The seller mentioned that it's the "old style" Brison, with a flywheel ignition system. Well, Gary never made a 3.2 with a flywheel! Apparently, when the seller first bought his 3.2, he was misinformed. I could tell he seemed honest and really believed it was a Brison 3.2...unfortunately, he was wrong and didn't know it. Asking for specific details like this can save you from a bad deal, even if it's an innocently bad deal. rcfaq

Payment: For any and all online purchases, I recommend PayPal. It is a system that works well, and is secure. (PayPal was set up by a former CEO of Intuit, the Quicken guys.) They didn't used to charge a fee, and now it's nominal. When you are ready to use your money you can have it deposited directly into your account, or have a check sent to you. If you do a lot of buying and selling, you may want to leave some of your money in the PayPal account for later use. If you sign up with the link below, PayPal will give you a $5 sign on bonus.

When selling, if you don't go with PayPal, then I'd recommend a Money Order. If you require one from the US Post Office, then you will be more likely to tell it's authentic by just looking at it. 

For small items, I've sent cash--it wasn't worth my time to run to the bank for a $5 money order. For a couple with guys that I know and trust, I've accepted personal checks. With most personal checks that I've received, I always waited until the check has cleared the bank. They are a little too easy to cancel before being processed, if the buyer is not on the level. 

Note that some--but not all--US banks charge a fee, up to $10, for cashing checks drawn on a Canadian bank. I learned this the hard way; my teller didn't tell me, and I received a letter in mail letting me know my account had been charged. Check with your bank before assuming it's just like any other check. rcfaq

Make payments with PayPal - it's fast, free and secure!  



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Revised: October 05, 2001 .

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