Why do folks sell tools?

  • Advertise with us

« back to Coffee Lounge forum

Forum topic by nicksmurf111 posted 09-08-2014 03:22 AM 1135 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View nicksmurf111's profile


369 posts in 1692 days

09-08-2014 03:22 AM

So, why do I always see Craigslist ads of folks selling tools that they claim they don’t need any longer or lost interest in? I always think that, if I can get it cheep enough, that I can at least have one of everything (at least stuff I can use around the house). Are these folks undercapitalized, plan to be lazy, or just plain not interested? I know people who can’t even walk that enjoy their tools.

-- Nicholas

12 replies so far

View woodbutcherbynight's profile


5843 posts in 2651 days

#1 posted 09-08-2014 03:51 AM


Many of these guys buy a tool, use it for that one project and it gets stuck taking up space in the garage they use to keep the car in. The pawn shop next to my work has almost new stuff and that is almost always the story from these people. Then of course you have the people that think oh that is easy enough having been to a HD class on “how to”. They try and find out that it is never easy and something always comes up that requires more tools or knowledge they did not get in the class. Somehow they finish, or pay to finish the job and then never desire to try again, or lazy as you said.

Fixing something and understanding how things work is slowing going away as a skillset today. In our school district they cannot get teachers for many of the vocational skillsets so those programs have gone away. It seems it is college or nothing anymore. I am a auto mechanic by trade and in our shop at 45 I am the youngest tech we have with 25 yrs exp and a Master ASE rating. The shop is private owned and we have alot of our work from the retailers that the guys they have working have no idea how to fix. The model for many of these retailers is to have one semi experienced tech with the rest being low paid just out of school kids many of whom are gong to school for something else not automotive.

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 3213 days

#2 posted 09-08-2014 05:34 AM

All just a continuation of Dumbing Down of America.

My last job was at a general contractor.
I’m an engineer.
They could not find enough people to do set up and installation or plumbing or electrical work to keep an engineer busy. Had 2 million dollars of work on the books and laid me off for “lack of work”.

Been retired for 3 months and starting a new job tomorrow.
Gonna be working in the solar industry.
I guess if you can’t beat them, join them.

View bigblockyeti's profile


5324 posts in 1962 days

#3 posted 09-08-2014 10:39 AM

I think many people are spaced challenged, if a tool isn’t doing anything and you don’t want it, why keep it? I have quite a few tools not doing anything, but if I need them, many times there’s nothing that will do the job as well, so I keep them because I have the space and I do want them.

-- "Lack of effort will result in failure with amazing predictability" - Me

View jinkyjock's profile


488 posts in 1816 days

#4 posted 09-08-2014 10:48 AM

Totally agree with 2 previous posters.
Sadly it’s not just the USA that is suffering from this dumbing-down.
Over here in the UK we now have shedloads of graduates with virtually useless college/university degrees in Media Studies, Computer Sciences, Graphic Design etc. etc. who cannot get jobs in their chosen field.
In line with this has been a reduction in the opportunity for Engineering/Technical education.
We now have a population with little understanding of anything of a technical nature,
unless there is an App to explain it.
Mainly due to short-sighted Government policies in promoting so-called vocational education, 2 great countries who led the world in Tech/Engineering innovation cannot get enough Tradesmen/Graduates to retain a viable industrial base.
As butcher points out in his post, who will he pass his knowledge on to ?
We will always need Carpenters, Bricklayers, Mechanics, Plumbers etc.
There has to be a shift in emphasis at school level otherwise many of these skills will be lost. Meanwhile Nicholas I can only suggest you continue in your search for bargains, and benefit from those with less foresight than yourself.
Cheers, Jinky (James).

View Mark Davisson's profile

Mark Davisson

597 posts in 3559 days

#5 posted 09-08-2014 10:49 AM

A person might have received the tool as an unwanted gift.
Or the person may have bought the tool for him and then upgraded, and now the person needs to get rid of the original one.
Or a person may have inherited the tool when a loved one died, and it gives him the creeps having it in his shop.
Or a divorce may have resulted in a tool being left behind by the departing spousal figure, and now someone wants to convert it into cash.
Someone may have purchased the tool for a particular job that he believes will never be repeated.
The tool may not work properly, or the owner may not know how to make the tool work properly.
The person may be moving overseas.
The person may need the money to pay child support.
Most likely, the tool gives off an odor that reminds the owner of his 8th grade English teacher who belittled him in front of the rest of the class when he couldn’t properly pronounce Michener.

-- I'm selfless because it feels so good!

View nicksmurf111's profile


369 posts in 1692 days

#6 posted 09-08-2014 02:19 PM

Most folks who have sold tools to me, who inherited it from a deceased loved one are usually bluntly obvious about it. But I’ve bought a lot of stuff that folks just have no value for because they either don’t care to fix it, or just don’t care to start any more projects.

I agree about the dumbing down of America. I was raised by a father who was a computer technician, was taught vocation at home, and saw that many of my friend’s fathers couldn’t do that. I took my undergrad in marketing, and now work basically as a database programmer. I think one insight I have is, that we are (as Americans), or believe that we are so wealthy that we can pay others to take care of our problems…this can take various forms. When it comes to woodworking, carpentry, mechanics, electrical, I’d rather take on those challenges myself and do a better job at them.

I have a mechanic that I have been going to that hasn’t been able to find someone to hire. But in all sincerity, I attribute that to him wanting to pay $10,000 less than someone with brains in worth.

-- Nicholas

View Woodbum's profile


846 posts in 3307 days

#7 posted 09-08-2014 07:06 PM

A lot of Craigslist posters know nothing about the tools they are selling if the prices that they are asking is any indication. A lot of people are space or time challenged and bought tools that seemed like a good idea at the time, but nether had the time or the Give-A -Sh** to follow through. Let’s face it, the hobby of woodworking takes a lot of time and money and today people are uncertain about their futures, so they sell what they absolutely don’t need or won’t use. I firmly agree with the idea that the trades are a dying career path for the average American kid. Most of the building trades are just too unglamorous and too much hard work. Walk on a job site today and look at all of the Latino masons, concrete guys, roofers, drywallers etc. They are willing to work hard and make money. Unglamorous doesn’t mean squat to them. We need all trades today, but we need subs with a decent work ethic that will show up when they say that they will be there and stay on the job until it is completed.
I read articles about schools buying Ipads for every student. That is OK, but maybe we ought to be teaching them skills that involves problem solving in math and reading without the use of an Ipad or even a calculator. Don’t just teach the answer, teach how to arrive at the answer. OK, the rant is over since I deviated wildly from the original post. It’s just my opinion-and I could be wrong. Nah!

-- "Now I'm just another old guy wearing funny clothes"

View papadan's profile


3584 posts in 3610 days

#8 posted 09-08-2014 07:43 PM

Some people just can’t do the work anymore and need the money! :-(

View CharlesA's profile


3361 posts in 2039 days

#9 posted 09-08-2014 07:44 PM

A lot of nice cordless sets on CL around here come from folks build their own decks (sheds, etc.), get all their stuff form HD, save $1000, and then don’t need the tools anymore and sell them. Works for me.

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

View nicksmurf111's profile


369 posts in 1692 days

#10 posted 09-08-2014 07:50 PM

Woodbum, agreed.

CharlesA, I haven’t paid any attention to a single cordless anything. I do think the new impact drivers fill a niche. I may consider getting an impact driver as my first cordless tool. I do see a lot of consumer grade (Christmas special) sets with bad or missing batteries.

-- Nicholas

View CharlesA's profile


3361 posts in 2039 days

#11 posted 09-08-2014 07:54 PM

Cordless 12v drivers are your friend. I don’t use screws much in furniture, but I use then all the time in jigs, around the shop, etc. I love my drivers.

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

View nicksmurf111's profile


369 posts in 1692 days

#12 posted 09-08-2014 07:56 PM

I drag my extension cord around everywhere. I’ll pretend they don’t exist for the moment cause once I buy one, I’ll be buying a new one every 7-10 years, and batteries even more often.

-- Nicholas

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics