Husband died and I'm left with lots of tools

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Blog entry by Wendy posted 05-12-2009 08:27 PM 2476 reads 0 times favorited 23 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Does anyone know how I should go about selling my husband’s tools? I know that they are too heavy to ship and I don’t know of too many woodworkers in this area of northeast Arkansas. How do I price the tools? Can someone give me advice on how to get this accomplished as I am contemplating moving out of state. Thanks for your help.

-- Wendy

23 comments so far

View PurpLev's profile


8536 posts in 3678 days

#1 posted 05-12-2009 08:37 PM

you can post them at the Arkansas Craigslist for sale forums

as far as pricing them – you can google each one and see what it sells for either on eBay, or craigslist, or other places (used) or you can post the model numbers here, and I’m sure folks could help you price those accordingly.

sorry for your loss.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View a1Jim's profile


117128 posts in 3606 days

#2 posted 05-12-2009 08:39 PM

Hello Wendy
I’m so sorry for your loss. I would be careful about selling tools that you don’t know about many people tend to look for ladies who are in your situation. If you can look on e bay for similar tools that’s some what of a gauge of what things cost but some Items tend to sell way below market value. Another way is to check the price of the new tool of the same brand and ask 75% of that. With out knowing what you have it’s very difficult. some big items have little value an some small Items are very valuable. I would say if you can post some photos of what you have here on LJs all of us can help. another thing to look out for is including things that my seem like they should go with the tool your selling. As an example I was at a garage sale and a lady sold a used router for $80 that cost about $110 new that’s fair but the buyer asked if she would include all of the router bits and she did .Just before the fellow scooped them up I looked over and there must have been 50 router bits and many probably were over $100 each when new and I would guess what he got for free was worth around $400.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Bradford's profile


1434 posts in 3852 days

#3 posted 05-12-2009 08:42 PM

Also if you just want to part with them, you could donate them to a woodworking shop at a high school in memory of your husband. A lasting tribute.

-- so much wood, so little time. Bradford. Wood-a-holics unanimous president

View Frankie Talarico Jr.'s profile

Frankie Talarico Jr.

353 posts in 3386 days

#4 posted 05-12-2009 08:48 PM

I know on there is a service on ebay that will give you a rough idea. I’m not sure if you need to be registered, I am so I couldn’t tell you. cllick here to see ebays service
under the big blue button there is some text that says whats it worth. This might give you a rough idea. Tag sales always work, especially if you put it in the paper.

Good luck

-- Live by what you believe, not what they want you to believe.

View lew's profile


12103 posts in 3784 days

#5 posted 05-12-2009 09:05 PM

The donation to a school is a great idea. If that doesn’t appeal to you, the shop teacher at the school may be able to put you in contact with people willing to give you a fair price.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Francisco Luna's profile

Francisco Luna

943 posts in 3422 days

#6 posted 05-12-2009 09:09 PM

It’s really sad when we loose a fellow woodworker, my condolences in you loss.

First thing to do is a detailed inventory of the most significant tools and machinery, with Brand Names and models. you can post pictures here,so we can help.

Pay special atention of some and vintage hand tools (if any) , like handplanes, spoke shaves, handsaws, chisels, braces, stones, etc, many of these tools have a high value because they are collectibles.

-- Nature is my manifestation of God. I go to nature every day for inspiration in the day's work. I follow in building the principles which nature has used in its domain" Frank Lloyd Wright

View kolwdwrkr's profile


2821 posts in 3619 days

#7 posted 05-12-2009 09:13 PM

I’m sorry to hear about your loss as well. Here on lumberjocks we are always willing to help. If you wanted to post a list of your tools I’m sure people will tell you the price you are likely to get. I hope you are not taken advantage of in this aweful time.

-- ~ Inspiring those who inspire me ~

View JimmyNate's profile


124 posts in 3379 days

#8 posted 05-12-2009 09:19 PM

My condolences.

I agree that listing them individually on craigslist starting around 75% of retail is a good idea. Pictures and model numbers are key to getting the most value. Good luck.

-- "We are what we repeatedly do; excellence then is not an act but a habit." ---Aristotle

View Don K.'s profile

Don K.

1075 posts in 3355 days

#9 posted 05-12-2009 09:23 PM

I also agree that if you were to post pics and names here….or even just what they are with the name brand if you can’t load the pictures. We would be glad to help with what they are worth.

-- Don S.E. OK

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3851 days

#10 posted 05-12-2009 09:46 PM

Wendy, there are a lot of members here who would be willing to help you get a ballpark figure for your tools. Here is Grizzley’s web site and you should be able to get pricing for new tools from it. With the tools you are going to sell, model, approximate age, any upgrades and condition, are some of the important factors that go into pricing a tool. With used tools, if they are in good to excellent condition, I generally expect them to go for at least 50% of new value.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View ND2ELK's profile


13495 posts in 3803 days

#11 posted 05-12-2009 09:47 PM

Sorry for your loss. I do not know about auctions in Arkansas but here in Iowa, tools go high at auctions. You do need to advertise in the surrounding area papers well in advance to the auction. The only good thing about an auction is that in one day you are done selling everything. Just a thought.

God Bless

-- Mc Bridge Cabinets, Iowa

View SwedishIron's profile


142 posts in 3670 days

#12 posted 05-12-2009 10:19 PM

Sorry for your loss as well… With the auctions be selective as to which ones you decide to do business with since 1/2 of them will want to buy the entire lot of tools from you in one lump sum.. which won’t work out as favorable for you. Negotiate a flat commission percentage w/ them if you go that route. Again, take your time and seek help from LJ’s if you have any questions.

-- Scott, Colorado

View Greg3G's profile


815 posts in 4114 days

#13 posted 05-12-2009 10:47 PM

Wendy, I am truly sorry to hear of your loss. I hope that you take a moment and consider perhaps keeping a few of your husband’s tools to pass on to your children. My Grandfather suffered a stroke while I was overseas many years ago, and in my absence, all of his tools were sold off at auction. I would have loved to have had just a few of his hand tools, but they were gone. I know it may seem like you would be carrying around a bit of his old junk but perhaps you could let your child choose one or two that may have had some special meaning or memory. If I can ever be of service, please feel free to contact me. Take care and God Bless.


-- Greg - Charles Town, WV

View closetguy's profile


744 posts in 3921 days

#14 posted 05-12-2009 10:55 PM

I have always sold everything I have listed on Craigs List. List everything with good pictures and you will probably clear the tools out pretty quick. Using Craigs List will eliminate having to ship anything.

-- I don't make mistakes, only design

View DrDirt's profile


4424 posts in 3771 days

#15 posted 05-12-2009 11:20 PM

Wendy – I think that there is a lot of good advice. It will be painful but do the homework online via Craigs List, which you can do at your leisure.

One piece of Advice – tell any financial advisors to call back in 6 months. Right now the sharks are going to be after you and this is Twice as bad with the economy such a wreck. If you have to liquidate things – just drop it in the bank (I know the interest is almost non-existant) but just place it in a safe spot until you get your bearings and figure out your next move be it out of state or not. The guys combing the obituaries for sales leads are not your friends, they are just looking for fat commisions.

On a lighter note – I recall the woodworkers prayer – - “Please don’t let my wife sell my tools for what I TOLD her I paid for them”

Hang tough – it will get easier.

-- “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” Mark Twain

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