Putting a price on old tools

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Forum topic by willie posted 07-19-2012 02:07 PM 1464 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View willie's profile


534 posts in 2597 days

07-19-2012 02:07 PM

I have looked all over the web trying to find some info on how to price old tools. I find a lot of sites that want to sell me books but that’s not what I want. Is there any site that I can go to to find out what old tools are worth? I need to sell some of my excess tools and would like to price them fairly but am not sure exactly what they’re worth. Any info would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Willie

-- Every day above ground is a good day!!!

8 replies so far

View Brandon's profile


4152 posts in 3094 days

#1 posted 07-19-2012 02:35 PM

You can always search completed auctions on ebay. This will show you what people are willing to pay for the tools.

-- "hold fast to that which is good"

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

5089 posts in 2636 days

#2 posted 07-19-2012 03:42 PM

I’m not sure you get the best idea of value on e-bay….but I have no better idea. The audience is so broad there it may not reflect conditions in your specific region. Still, the info may be valuable. the only there though I had is to ask on forums such as this for each tool. If you have a lot of stuff to sell, that’s a lot of asking… best reserve that method for the more unusual things.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View sikrap's profile


1121 posts in 3502 days

#3 posted 07-19-2012 09:00 PM

If you want, send me some pics and I’ll be happy to tell you what I think they’re worth. I have the Murlands Guide and the Walter’s price guide. PM me and I’ll send you my email address. I will be most helpful on planes, chisels, and eggbeaters. I don’t know enough about saws to be able to help you with those.

-- Dave, Colonie, NY

View David Kirtley's profile

David Kirtley

1286 posts in 3141 days

#4 posted 07-20-2012 01:42 AM

You are not going to find anything that is what you are looking for. The price guides are worse than worthless – in my opinion. Prices are all over the map. It depends on where you are, how common the tool is, the condition of the tool, and the the crazy factor when collectors and speculators step into the market.

A good start would be (assuming good condition—clean and in good working condition) would be a bit under half what similar quality tool costs new. As condition goes down, so does the price.

There are exceptions but they are really rare.

Now, the first thing that you might think is “But wait, I saw a (insert your choice of example) in a price guide where one of those went for $2000 (or some other ridiculous price that can get astronomical)” Rest assured, the likelihood of having something that rare and expensive and hooking a buyer willing to pay that much is pretty close to the odds of winning the lottery.

For the most part, those really expensive items are one of a kind (or nearly so) things that just never made it commercially or some really obscure historically significant item that is nearly impossible to get provenance for and without a lot of research (as in nearly a lifetime of study), you would never even know what they were. These would be things like a Cesar Chelor plane or some weird patent sample.

-- Woodworking shouldn't cost a fortune:

View lumberjoe's profile


2899 posts in 2391 days

#5 posted 07-20-2012 01:44 AM

Old tools are worth what someone is wiling pay for them


View hhhopks's profile


652 posts in 2520 days

#6 posted 07-20-2012 03:23 AM

Because of shipping cost, genrallly it is not cost effective to buy tools via Ebay.
I only buy when I really wanted something and don’t want to wait.
Flea market, garage & estate sales usually has better pricing but you never know what is there until you get there.
Real live auction, you’ll never know until you get done.

So, what is fair? I guess it is fair, when the seller and buyer both agree on the price and the terms of the sale.

-- I'll be a woodworker when I grow up. HHHOPKS

View woodworker59's profile


560 posts in 2344 days

#7 posted 07-20-2012 05:02 AM

old tools are always worth more to the seller than they are the buyer…best bet just use them and don’t worry about selling them.. make some neat stuff with them and sell that.. more profit… have fun and build something.. Papa

-- Papa...

View nwbusa's profile


1021 posts in 2429 days

#8 posted 07-20-2012 06:38 AM

“Old tools are worth what someone is wiling pay for them

—- Joe”

Truer words were never spoken.

-- John, BC, Canada

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