tool sales

My father was a machinist his whole life and passed away a few years ago.
My mother wants to sell his tools but she's not sure where to start, and
neither am I. Can anyone give me some ideas on how to proceed? She lives
near Fort Wayne, IN if that's any help.
Reply to
David Yoder
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I guess it depends on what you mean by "tools." Are we talking a tool box with some stuff that looks like rulers, pointed instruments, and a few watch-like devices, or are we talking a garage full of heavy iron that says "South Bend," "Hardinge" or "Myford" on it? The short answer here is to get yourself on ebay and start trying to find stuff that looks like what you have. How much does it sell for? You might also pick up a copy of "Home Shop Machinist" magazine at your local book seller and glance at it. I would advise extreme caution at this point, however. There is a slight chance that you would become infected with the strange and insane desire to make things and see a job done right. You might spend a great deal of time better understanding the past and how we got where we did and why. Next thing you know, you'll be reading "Trustee from the Toolroom," and "Atlas Shrugged" and hand-scrapping shaper rams or learning to gas-weld aluminum airplane frames from the Tinman. My great-great grandfather was a pattern-maker for the West Point Foundry in Cold Spring, New York, and like a fool, I opted to keep his toolbox... Yes, I believe I would advise extreme caution. Your decision to contact this group, indeed, your humble success in finding us belies a dangerous latent enthusiasm for a kind of techno-bonsai that leads straight through the looking glass. It might be best to tie yourself to the mast.
Charles Morrill
Reply to
Charles Morrill
I suggest you price about 15% below current ebay pricing -- this will make demand nice and snappy. If it were me I'd sell the more expensive items on ebay and put the rest in one batch on craigslist.org - GWE
Reply to
Grant Erwin
Somehow you need to size up the collection. I recently bought a smaller Logan lathe from an estate. After talking to the two sons dealing with things, I'd estimate that the total value of all the tools, equipment, and supplies in the house and garage was something like $1000 with the lathe about 1/3 of that. Pretty small deal. I've also seen a shop that is currently almost completely idle since the old man only shows up on an occasional morning. I'd guess it will be up for sale fairly soon. Complete setup for a 3 man shop with mills, lathes, grinders, tool chests, etc etc. Perhaps $25,000 as a wild guess?
See if you can match some of the bigger items to recent e-bay sales. Keep in mind that those sales are "one at a time" items so drop the price you actually get by at least a third.
You really need someone to take a look at what is there. If you could find someone your father used to work with, the local vo tech machinist, someone from this NG, etc to have a look, it would be worthwhile. The local machine tool dealer will offer you 10% of what it is worth.
You might want to dig around in the collection, take a look at the 10 items YOU think are the most valuable, get a description, post it here. If you have some way to post some pictures, you will get a better response.
This is likely to take a while. Good luck!!
David Yoder wrote:
Reply to
RoyJ
[ ... ]
Note that while it is *technically* possible to post the pictures to the newsgroup, it is against the guidelines for discussion groups on usenet, and may be sufficient to lose you your account if someone complains.
So -- if you have a web site with your account -- put the images there, and then post the URL here. (Having the images on a web site will be helpful when it comes time to put the items on eBay -- if you decide to do that.)
If you *don't* have a web site, or don't have the time to figure out how to use it, an alternative would be to check into the dropbox
formatting link
Visit there, and click on the "about the dropbox" bar to get information on how to post there, and the guidelines (e.g. include a .txt file to tell what they are and why they are there, and avoid certain thing which make the filenames more of a pain on some systems -- e.g. *please* no spaces in the filenames, though I understand that those are automatically corrected these days). Best to keep to mixed case letters, numbers, '.', and '_' (in place of spaces). Other characters may be a problem on some system or another.
Best of luck, DoN.
P.S. Another suggestion is to look for a metalworking club in your area. That would provide both people who could tell you what you have, and people who would probably like to buy a lot of it.
I know that I have added to my own tool collection at estate sales. (Though I would *really* have liked to know the owners before they passed away.)
Reply to
DoN. Nichols
Will eBay kill all the good deals??
Reply to
Waynemak
If you want to make money, sell it on ebay. If you just want to get rid of it, look on ebay and see what it is worth, start at that price, and sell it locally.
Steve
Reply to
SteveB
No question ebay has had a profound influence on shaping the world of personal selling. If you take an intro economics class you are quickly taught that all economic theory is based on the assumption of an ideal marketplace i.e. one in which if anyone anywhere offers a good or service at a price then everyone everywhere knows all about it. Well, for many years many businesses ran and made a fat living just on the fact that marketplaces WEREN'T ideal. If a kid in North Seattle wanted a used Fender Stratocaster he could buy one out of the paper, look in the pawnshops, or look at a used guitar store. Did any of those places give him an idea of how much such an instrument would cost if he bought one in Los Angeles? No. Result was the pawnshops and used guitar stores could mark their Strats way up and the market artificially inflated. Then along came ebay and suddenly most of the used guitar stores are gone and pawn shops are back to gold watches and ghetto Peavey guitars again. And they bitch like crazy, saying "ebay wrecked the musical instrument market". Not from where I sit, it didn't! It just cut out a whole shitload of middlemen, and lets buyers get more and sellers pay less.
Ideally, anyway ..
GWE
Waynemak wrote:
Reply to
Grant Erwin
If you just want to get rid of it I just live a couple of hours southwest of you. :) Randy
Reply to
Randy Replogle
eBay broadens the market enormously. This has two effects. One is to drive prices toward a single point nationwide. The other is to make stuff much more widely available.
On the whole, I'll take it.
--RC
Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad
-- Suzie B
Reply to
rcook5
Me too. The biggest downside is that everyone at the flea market thinks they are entitled to ebay prices. I don't quite see it that way and will stop going to them if the trend continues.
Reply to
Jim Stewart
I would check the closest vocational tech school. Either post on the bulletin board or talk to a shop instructor. I'd be inclined to sell the whole package to a deserving student, on an payment plan if necessary.
Reply to
tomcas
And you might want to consider donating part or all to an education institution. You may be able to claim a tax deduction that will be worth more than you could get from a casual sale.
Reply to
Footy
Have you considered an auction house? The ones around here do estate sales all the time.
Reply to
Tim Killian
Used to be one could cruise around and find bargains in junkstores, salvage houses, and auctions. Now everyone in those businesses lives and breathes ebay. The most obscure junk dealer knows exactly the ebay value of everything he/she has. Getting so a guy can't hardly stumble onto a treasure.
Jim Stewart wrote:
Reply to
Rex B
What you've really been taking advantage of is sellers' ignorance of pricing. It's still available at garage sales and estate sales. Yesterday I was following up an ad for a basket-case Shopsmith (always nice to swap better parts for my old ones) from the estate of a grandpa type. I got most of an old Shopsmith (including several parts I needed) plus an entire Shopsmith jigsaw and an intact Dumore CarvIt, which is a carving duplicator tool. Also got a nice carpenter's bevel square, a nice handheld vise and a name-brand 10" Vise-Grips plus a couple of monkey wrenches. Total cost $60. It'll take me a couple of days work to part out the Shopsmith to get my money back and the rest will be gravy.
GWE
Reply to
Grant Erwin
Eau contraire, bon ami.
Good deals are out there. You just have to get up early and work a little harder. You have to educate yourself as to what is selling, and what it is worth.
There is a new supply every day that is brought out of people's garages, attics, basements, storage, wherever.
Trick is to know you have it sold before you buy it.
Steve
Reply to
SteveB
Opposite water, mildly abrasive household cleaner.
Reply to
Ned Simmons
I agree that garage sales and estate sales are still mostly good places to look. Also the far back edge of the flea markets, where people show up late to unload all the stuff they cleaned out of the garage last week. What is lost is the freight salvage and other 'fringe' businesses that would have things they didn't know much about and so could be bought at bargain prices.
SteveB wrote:
Reply to
Rex B

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