I’ll try and keep this short. I was going to treat myself to a new low angle block plane from LN and saw a brand new one on ebay. I was the low and only bidder for 6 days, figuring I would save a little even when done paying the shipping. In N.H. they sell for $165, with no sales tax. My highest bid was $135.00 and I was beat by $2.50 at $137.50 plue the $12.00 shipping, so some guy got the plane for $15.50 less than I would have paid. I suppose he might have also saved a bit on a retail purchase if he lived in a state that has a sales tax to. I was disappointed but life goes on and best of luck to him.
Two nights ago I called Woodcraft and they said they had the block planes at $165 each and they would hold one until Thursday evening (no tax and no shipping). I went in today, told the women my name and she went out back to get my plane. The conversation then went something like this. On her way to the register with my block plane she said, “by the way, all of our Lie Nielsen inventory is 20% off until it runs out, so if you need anything else now is the time.” I asked her if she had the bench chisel set, “yes..1 set with the leather case.” Do I need to buy the case? “No and take 20% off the chisels.” I’ll take it. While I was standing there, a customer called and the women who was waiting on me said to the person on the phone, “no I have a gentleman here who is buying the last set of chisels” (wow). In addition, while waiting, an employee with several LN boxes comes up and puts them aside for himself at the register. She then says to me, “Are you all set on bench planes, we have a variety.” Long story short, I got a #4 bronze 20% off. I don’t usually lose my mind like this, but I have also had times when I have passed on what seems like a good deal and regreted it. I have been building my plane inventory anyway, and recent events have demonstrated that life is too short. My wife, who is the most understanding person on the planet, did not even bat an eyelash as she knows how much I enjoy woodworking, especially with winter coming.
The reason I was given that this sale was taking place was due to LN shifting to direct sales and eliminating dealers. I don’t know if its true, and I won’t speculate why they may be doing that. All I know fellow Lumber Jocks, os that I would make a trip to your local Woodcraft and check out the pricing if you have been considering a LN plane. They may being very low key about it, but you may come away with deals that rival anything I have seen, including ebay auctions.
-- Langski, New Hampshire