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Too Price Conscious??

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Forum topic by Tedstor posted 1148 days ago 1417 views 0 times favorited 46 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Tedstor

1369 posts in 1268 days


1148 days ago

Hypothetical question about vintage/user tools:
Lets say you were in an antique store and you came across a handsaw that you really liked. It was in nice shape, and would serve you well. You decided $50 would be a good price, but discovered the asking price was $75.
Would you still buy it??

I’m starting to think that its silly for me to pass over a vintage tool that I like over a few bucks. To be clear, I’m not wealthy. I’m firmly entrenched in middle class society and don’t light $500 cigars with $100 bills. I also don’t indicriminately buy tools (very often, anymore. LOL). I only buy tools these days if I truly believe I need it and/or it will add a noticable level of quality to my work. I just think I spend too much time looking under every stone for the “deal of the century”. I think I’ll skip the treasure hunts from now on and just buy the occasional tool that I decide I want….....provided the price is within a wide realm of reason and I can absorb the expense.

That said, I think I’d pay the $75 asking price. $25 shouldn’t separate me from an occasional slice of happiness. Would I pay $100? Probably not. But thats definitely stretching the wide realm of reason in my new school of thought.

Your opinions and criticisms are welcomed.


46 replies so far

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

12266 posts in 2733 days


#1 posted 1148 days ago

I have found several tools that I have regreted walking by only to have them gone later. The question would be how well do you know the type of tool and it’s real value. Also, if it is for use what would it cost to get a comparable quality new tool. One of the reasons I watch ebay is to learn the value of things.

If the price $75 vs $50 is reasonable for the tool and I will be putting the tool to use (not ending up on a shelf) then I would make the purchase. If the cost is considerably less than what I know the retail value is, I would probably buy the tool as well.

Other questions is to ask yourself. Is it damaged, is it complete, can it be made functional? If not, then pass.

One other thing about antique stores. On items over $25 ask them if they will take 10% off the price of the item. Many of the stores have agreements with the sellers that allow them to automatically do that.

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

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Tedstor

1369 posts in 1268 days


#2 posted 1148 days ago

Thanks Wayne. This was a tough question to articulate due to the endless possible variables.

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WayneC

12266 posts in 2733 days


#3 posted 1148 days ago

Your welcome. If I am interested in a particular type of tool, I will search for them on ebay, add 4 or 5 of them to my watch list and then check the final selling prices once the auction is over. You can also search completed auctions to see what they sold for. Factor in a little shipping and I then have a baseline price for a tool. This helps me know what to pay if I find one when I am out poking around. My goal is to find them well below my baseline price. If I did not do this I might pass a $300 tool by that is going for $30 thinking it is only worth $20….. or, I might avoid paying $40 for a tool that can be commonly found on eBay for $10.

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

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WayneC

12266 posts in 2733 days


#4 posted 1148 days ago

One more tip. When looking at tools. I always ask price before I inspect the item. Once I have the price I will inspect and point out any issues with the item and then make a counter offer. If the item want is in a group of other items.(e.g. a box of hand planes with a #2 in it). I would ask the price for the entire group and not draw attiontion to the item I am looking at…. Ok, pehaps that is two tips.

Thought of another tip. If you have not already done so, go buy an icky nasty $1 handplane and restore it. It will really help you look past rust, broken knobs and such and see the real tools that are in front of you.

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

View Loren's profile

Loren

7462 posts in 2284 days


#5 posted 1148 days ago

Once in awhile I buy some old thing because I just like it and
in those cases I’m vulnerable to overpaying. My current weakness
is German concertinas.

With hand tools I’m kind of past my collector phase because I realized
that much of the stuff I just didn’t use and I rationalized buying it because
I though I would in my furnituremaking and instrument building.

Realistically, I find that carefully chosen new hand tools are the ones I
use most. I’ve been at this for a long time though, so I know exactly how
I’ll use most any tool before I buy it and usually will buy only because
the tool offers a significant advantage in convenience or precision
for something I do more than once in a blue moon.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

View NBeener's profile

NBeener

4806 posts in 1810 days


#6 posted 1148 days ago

”My current weakness is German concertinas.”

Razor wire ???

;-)

-- -- Neil

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

12266 posts in 2733 days


#7 posted 1148 days ago

One of these?

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

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Loren

7462 posts in 2284 days


#8 posted 1148 days ago

Yeah. they are fascinating – to me anyway.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

5561 posts in 2064 days


#9 posted 1148 days ago

I like old stuff. I like tools. If a tool is serviceable and, in my mind, useful in my shop AND, I feel the price is right, I’ll buy it.
I own several old Stanley planes awaiting restoration. I bought them to use not to display.
Now, I must admit, I do have hung up in the shop, an old Peavy, a really old, really wide draw knife, and a rather large two man lumberman’s rip saw with missing teeth. They were all gifts. I wouldn’t have paid for any of the lot. Living in the desert, I seriously doubt they’ll see a whole lot of use. Well, I did use the peavy on some mesquite logs.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View SCOTSMAN's profile

SCOTSMAN

5352 posts in 2221 days


#10 posted 1148 days ago

NO don’t worry about it if you figure it’s worth fifty bucks then that’s exactly what it’s worth.Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View Tedstor's profile

Tedstor

1369 posts in 1268 days


#11 posted 1148 days ago

After thinking about this for a bit, I guess the question(s) I need to ask myself are:
1- Which will I regret more; overpaying for the tool or not buying the tool?
I guess I figure that 5 years from now, I won’t remember the few extra bucks I paid for the tool. But I’ll still enjoy using it.

A good example of this phenomenon is the Stanley Eureka bevel gauge that I passed on a few months ago in a local shop. It was in mint condition and its a tool I’ve wanted for some time now. The seller wanted $35 for it. I’ve seen them in similar condition for $20-25. I passed since I didn’t want to get “ripped off”. I also figured I could easily find another if I didn’t buy the one in front of me.
Well, I still don’t have the bevel that I wanted. Not because I can’t find one, but I just haven’t got around to looking. If I would have just ponied up the extra $10, the bevel would be in my toolbox right now, and I wouldn’t be dwelling on it.

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

12266 posts in 2733 days


#12 posted 1148 days ago

Good point, there is a time and gas factor as well…

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

View SCOTSMAN's profile

SCOTSMAN

5352 posts in 2221 days


#13 posted 1148 days ago

TEDSTOR Rethinking it over maybe if you can go for it you’ll not rest on this one until you do. LOL Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View David Kirtley's profile

David Kirtley

1276 posts in 1634 days


#14 posted 1148 days ago

Well, the real question is how good is your estimation of the tool’s price. Could it just be that you are under pricing? If not, well, do you believe it is worth paying a premium price because of availability?

Whether you are doing it as a collector or as a user, it makes a difference. Collectible prices are set by “How much some one want’s something” and not “What it is worth.” When you have both collectors and users competing for the same items, sometimes you just have to walk away. Sometime’s its an opportunity. If you see a collector item at a good price, you can buy it and sell to a collector to pay for your habit. I used to do that myself.

It just boils down to knowing the price of things and if you are willing to pay it. Then to decide on keeping it if you take it.

One other thing to consider. Maybe they are just being hopeful. Tell them what you are willing to pay and then the ball is in their court. Prices are not set in stone. They are in business to sell stuff and not running a museum. If it sits long enough, they might as well have invested in a CD or money market account and made more profit.

-- Woodworking shouldn't cost a fortune: http://lowbudgetwoodworker.blogspot.com/

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SCOTSMAN

5352 posts in 2221 days


#15 posted 1148 days ago

I feel maybe you wanted to all along so from me please go and buy it.I feel you will regret it I have made that mistake look at my new saw with the problems I had and I still went ahead and am delighted I did.have fun young man. Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

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