Selling Your Surplus Assets

The aviation industry is transforming the way ground support equipment life cycles are being managed.

The aviation industry is transforming the way ground support equipment life cycles are being managed. GSE operators seek new strategies for extending use of their fleet, preserving capital to invest in revenue generating services and returning a greater value for surplus assets. Managing the life cycle of GSE can be an unnecessary distraction from core operations. We intend to offer some approaches designed to minimize time and curb costs while decommissioning equipment from a fleet.


The first step in returning value is to understand what you have. You must organize the details of your equipment in a way that will easily reveal its worth. One way is to create a spreadsheet listing the details of each piece. You will want to capture information like the manufacturer, the year it was made, model number, part number and serial number. Also record the general condition of the equipment including the overall shape of the unit, the number of hours, maintenance records and other relevant specifics. Digital photos can be illuminating for your customer, but be careful how you store them in your spreadsheet. They can easily increase the size of the file unnecessarily. Try to store links to the pictures or use thumbnails.

The selling process takes time, and you never know when you will cross paths with the right buyer for your equipment. Hopefully if you have organized your details properly, you will easily be able to provide the customer with the right information to close the deal. And, of course, if you need to get management’s approval to sell equipment, be sure to have this in place before you take the equipment to market.


Once you are organized, you need to consider how to sell your equipment. Methods for selling vary in level of difficulty and the value they return on your equipment. We will discuss a few here and let you decide the right one for your needs.

Scrap: A quick, easy way of disposing of your surplus assets is to send them to the scrap yard. Unfortunately, scrapping equipment is not going to bring the highest yield for the equipment. You may face removal fees for certain items.

Auctions: Auctions are a good solution if you have a large amount of equipment that you need to move quickly. They require a lot of pre-planning, but reputable auction houses can help with the logistics. If you have a small amount of equipment, try online auctions. In the GSE world, there are several alternatives, including eBay. While auctions should yield more than scrapping your equipment, they can be unpredictable. A hot item may have several people bidding on it, and it could sell for more than you would consider asking for it if the deal were done in isolation. More commonplace equipment may only return pennies on the dollar.

Classified ads: A direct approach is to advertise your equipment in print media or online. Trade publications have sections where you can advertise your equipment. There are Web sites dedicated to listing equipment. You may even want to create a page listing your equipment on your company’s website.

Direct sales: The best way to maximize the return is to do your own direct sales campaign. This requires the most effort. Start by proactively contacting all of the companies nearby who use GSE. Then broaden your scope to include other users of GSE. You could call customers located anywhere, but if you limit the amount of freight that is necessary for the customer, your chances of getting a deal are greater.

As part of your direct sales effort, you can call GSE resellers who buy equipment they can sell. Often they have customers that are always looking for equipment.

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