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View Brett's profile

Why do some ordinary planes sell on eBay for crazy-high prices?

by Brett
posted 08-04-2011 07:59 PM


20 replies so far

View Bertha's profile

Bertha

12951 posts in 1441 days


#1 posted 08-04-2011 08:11 PM

There’s a rare common plane with an unusual casting feature or an aborted modifications. Collectors can sniff these things out. I never bid right after Xmas when guys have cash. Some just don’t know what they’re buying. Other’s are just bid warring. I’ve seen it too.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View Gary Roberts's profile

Gary Roberts

140 posts in 1770 days


#2 posted 08-05-2011 06:02 AM

I agree with Bertha and would add that many people simply pay way too much at auctions. But, I live in New England with enough sources for tools that I can afford to wait for what I want. Or maybe I’m just a bottom feeder.

Some people pay more for a spotless plane, thinking it will somehow be worth more in the long run, or work better. I don’t know. There’s one or two in every crowd.

Now, if I’m selling something, it’s fine with me if someone gets into a shooting match.

-- Gary Roberts, http://toolemera.com

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

12302 posts in 2846 days


#3 posted 08-05-2011 06:15 AM

Also, are you sure it is selling or asking price. Many times stuff is listed for way more than it is worth. Also, are the Jointers Bedrocks or such?

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View Brett's profile

Brett

636 posts in 1431 days


#4 posted 08-05-2011 05:53 PM

Wayne, the jointers were not Bed Rocks, and the high prices were the actual selling prices.

Gary, I live in Texas where the tool market is pretty thin. In all the flea markets, antique malls, and (most) garage sales I’ve been to in the last few months, I think I’ve come across only two Stanley Bailey bench planes. I’ve seen a Winchester, a Keen Kutter, an Ohio, and numerous, generic, low quality bench planes, but that’s about it.

At one garage sale, I met an older gentleman, a former antique furniture restorer, who had about 20 bench planes, incl. many Stanleys, but when I first met him I already had purchased and fixed up the user planes that I need, and his asking prices were not low enough for me to buy and resell for a profit. He moved here from somewhere else in the country a few years ago, and he said that the antique market here is very thin. Texas’s population didn’t really take off until the advent of air conditioning (which I’ve been grateful for over the last week of 110-degree temps) in the 50s and 60s, and by that time, hand planes had fallen out of disuse. I know that online prices are not great, but many of us are not blessed with the sources that you Northeasterners do. Lucky stiffs! <wink>

-- More tools, fewer machines.

View Gary Roberts's profile

Gary Roberts

140 posts in 1770 days


#5 posted 08-06-2011 03:30 AM

True, the Northeast is sorta blessed with old stuff. The Town I live in, Dedham, dates back to the 1600’s. Not that I find much old stuff here but the local auctions often haves surprises.

I think the big push over the last five years towards hand tools has also raised prices all around. That’s another reason to restore tools on your own. That rust bucket of a #4 might just be hiding under a coat of dirt and ready for rehab. There are enough dealers who sell parts that you can even replace what’s hopeless.

I’m sorry to say I sold off the majority of my Stanley tools around ten years ago. There are still those I use or kept for collecting sake but the majority went out to auction when prices were high. If I had kept them, I would have made a little more now, but the worth of the dollar is so low I believe I would have lost out now!

-- Gary Roberts, http://toolemera.com

View poopiekat's profile

poopiekat

3735 posts in 2483 days


#6 posted 08-06-2011 02:55 PM

There’s always a few sellers with potentially great planes to own, but they list them only with the “Buy it Now” option, with a price in the stratosphere. These people are hoping to snag some compulsive buyer on the fly. You can easily disregard these listings, and pay close attention to the planes listed at no-reserve auction. The final bids are truly the most reliable, accurate indicators of what an plane’s true value really is in the marketplace….because, after all, that’s what it sold for with national exposure! I pass by dozens of ebay tools daily, because the price went beyond what I’d be willing to pay. However, I’ve pounced on a few deals on Stanley #2’s and #45s, once I became familiar with the prices they typically fetch, and ended up with a few bargains. Hey, I’m in the market for a late-model F-150; you wouldn’t believe what those things go for…......... same story.

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

View MedicKen's profile

MedicKen

1602 posts in 2211 days


#7 posted 08-06-2011 03:13 PM

Because people are stoopid

-- My job is to give my kids things to discuss with their therapist....medic20447@gmail.com

View CharlieM1958's profile

CharlieM1958

15801 posts in 2967 days


#8 posted 08-06-2011 03:39 PM

Ever watch Antiques Roadshow? The value of some items can be out of sight, just because it is the “in” thing to collect right now.

As far as ordinary, common planes going for high prices, like MedicKen said, people are stupid! I think guys put planes up with high starting bids just to see if some dummy will bite. Some folks are just gullible enough to believe that if the starting bid for an old #4 is $100, it MUST be worth that much for some reason.

And then, of course, there are the bidding wars. Someone puts in a reasonable bid, somebody else trumps him, and before you know it emotions are at play, and the plane is going for three times what it’s really worth.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Brett's profile

Brett

636 posts in 1431 days


#9 posted 08-07-2011 03:37 AM

Must be bidding wars. All the high-priced auctions I saw recently had multiple bidders (and bids) and the prices just went through the roof.

-- More tools, fewer machines.

View Loren's profile

Loren

7823 posts in 2396 days


#10 posted 08-07-2011 03:59 AM

Well, as a seller there are a lot of things you can do to get higher prices
on average from your auctions, but freakishly high selling prices are just
that, anomalies. I’ve sold stuff for less than I thought it was worth and
I’ve had stuff sell for more… and in the average range you learn
where you can make or lose money. Sometimes bidders go nuts –
hard to know why.

Sensible tool buyers don’t pay outlandish prices for common planes -
I reckon a Bailey jointer is worth about $50-80 in usable condition
with no cracks in the casting. Why some buyers pay much more at
some auctions is baffling, but I’ve seen it happen.

A few months ago a went to a seized assets auction and people
were smiling and bidding and it was like they were on drugs… I
know they were mostly reseller pros, but I suspect a lot of
people were getting carried away because there was so much
excitement in the room.

At live auctions I’ve got the best deals, usually, at events with
anemic attendance or apathetic crowds.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

View Brett's profile

Brett

636 posts in 1431 days


#11 posted 08-08-2011 01:38 AM

“Shill” bidding? Bidding by non-genuine buyers to drive up the price?

-- More tools, fewer machines.

View krisintoronto's profile

krisintoronto

8 posts in 1546 days


#12 posted 08-08-2011 06:48 PM

I would say a #7 jointer is worth around $80-100, corrugated a bit more. #8 is worth around $100-150, more if in a great condition.

I think planes in decent condition are not that common and the prices Walter gives in his books are often outdated. Some people will pay extra for a plane in a very clean condition. And jointers in a great condition are not that common anymore…

View MrRon's profile

MrRon

2981 posts in 1992 days


#13 posted 08-08-2011 08:10 PM

Buying from E-bay can be dangerous. For one thing, you have to bid unseen. You don’t know if the deal is good until you have it in your hands. Some sellers are very savvy. I stay away from E-bay sellers that are there conducting a business. I believe E-bay was set up originally to get individuals together to buy, sell and trade. It has now become a business. I prefer not doing business in this fashion.

View Brett's profile

Brett

636 posts in 1431 days


#14 posted 08-08-2011 08:45 PM

I’ve had decent luck on eBay, but I tend to avoid buying a tool unless there are a lot of pictures. I bough an old 60 1/2 low-angle block plane for $20, but when I opened the package, I discovered there was a chip missing from the sole just behind the throat. I went back to the eBay listing and saw that the seller had conveniently forgotten to show a picture of the sole. I learned my lesson, but the plane still works fine, despite the chip, so it turned out okay.

I realize that buying on eBay is a bit of a gamble, but the prices there are typically a whole lot cheaper than those at specialty tool vendors. It’s kind of like buying a warranty on an electronics purchase at a large department store. Sure, you might occasionally be glad you bough the warranty, but over a lifetime, I suspect the cost of the warranties far outweighs the occasional savings one gains when a product fails while still under warranty.

-- More tools, fewer machines.

View Brett's profile

Brett

636 posts in 1431 days


#15 posted 08-15-2011 09:38 PM

Now I’m really confused. Last week I tried to sell an old tool on eBay for $5. Nobody bought it. This week I dropped the price down to $4. The current bid is about $14. Go figure.

-- More tools, fewer machines.

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

12302 posts in 2846 days


#16 posted 08-15-2011 10:06 PM

You ended up with at least two people that want it….. You never know. :)

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View yrob's profile

yrob

340 posts in 2401 days


#17 posted 08-21-2011 01:09 AM

Sometimes its random. If you have a couple guys that are not experienced with ebay, they will often bid early (on a several day long auction) and run up the price. In my case, I use www.justsnipe.com and just set whatever I want my limit to be in there and forget about it. It will bid 5 seconds before end of auction and you can snatch quite a few things at a good price that way.

-- Yves

View wingate_52's profile

wingate_52

219 posts in 1318 days


#18 posted 08-21-2011 01:31 PM

This is a STANLEY BAILEY SMOOTHING PLANE No 3. All complete and still in it’s original box, looks to have had little or no use, ideal for the collector or for use, see pictures for details.
The above discription of my no.3 purchase with a cracked and repared handle. The only use it had was bad use. It now has a new blade and chipbreaker and is awaiting a new set of front and rear Bubinga handles.The photos avoided the bad bits.

View yooper's profile

yooper

192 posts in 1576 days


#19 posted 08-21-2011 03:33 PM

I take the emotion out of bidding by using Esnipe.com. I set my limit, and Esnipe puts that bid in a couple of seconds before the end of the auction. I win some. I lose some, but I always pay my price if I win. Esnipe requires you to put some money in your account, and charges a low fee for it’s services, but in the long run, they have saved me a lot of money.

-- Jeff, CT - better late then never

View mvflaim's profile

mvflaim

183 posts in 1839 days


#20 posted 08-22-2011 03:36 AM

it’s a simple case of supply and demand. The same thing can be said for US stocks.

-- http://mvflaim.wordpress.com/

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