View Full Version : While I was sleeping, Used tools all became collectors items with the price to match

01-17-2007, 01:34 PM
Just got back from a road trip to the big box club for the half skid box of laundry powder and 30 gallon bottle of softener. While on that side of the county I stopped by the Used tools store. Bought, Sold and Traded. When did used tools become collectors items with prices to match. Used hammers way above the cost at the big box stores or industrial supply joints
An Aluminum head 3/4" rod stock on an old handle before the faces were mushroomed A deal at $8.00
assorted brass heads/round stock 1/2" to 2"dia $10.00 to $35.00
You get the idea, we are outside of Detroit by 20 miles and the job shops and small factories are closing like flies dying at the end of 24 hours.

Are the prices as nuts where you are. Guess I will buy mostly new now :D

01-17-2007, 01:35 PM
Aye, but those are used American Iron hammers. Much more valuable than cheap new Asian hammers.



Spin Doctor
01-17-2007, 02:14 PM
Its amazing. All of my prized expensive tools are just junk to the missus

01-17-2007, 05:23 PM
When I want to buy, 98% of what I find looks and is priced like you describe. About 2% is what I consider a fair or better deal.

However, I apparently have a multi-dimensional multi-universe existence. That above describes the universe I exist in when buying tools. But I have somehow developed an ability to switch to an alternate universe automatically and instantly whenever I try to sell something. In my "seller universe", almost everything is the same EXCEPT the tool prices are very, VERY low.

01-17-2007, 05:52 PM
What is a "used tool store"?
We sure dont have any of those around here.

consider yourself lucky you have the opportunity to overpay- it beats the alternative, where there is the occasional chinese made hammer at the thrift store, but no used tools or machinery within several hundred miles.

Well, we do have a couple of pawn shops- if you like to pay double retail for worn out Sears circular saws.

01-17-2007, 05:55 PM
Yup, talked to a machine dealer the other day and he told me that he cant give the stuff away. I told him that if the prices matched the condition of the machinery, I might be able to afford something. He said, and I quote, "if I reduce the cost of the machine, then how do I make up for the lost sales over the past year?"

I told him that something was better than nothing.

He told me that he would rather sell the machine on ebay and take a chance of getting ripped off. Because he could, 9 times out of 10, get a better price on the bay.

Had me there, I will admit. So I told him that I would let him sell the one I was looking at in his shop on ebay and left.

We were polite and all but, I aint making up for his year of lost sales. No one has been giving me raises lately either.

Such is life.


01-17-2007, 07:24 PM
Bad Dog we must have come to this planet on the same mother ship because that they way it is with me to. Even if it is new in the box, I can't get .02 cent on a dollar. LOL
Reis think a pawn shop that only deals in tools, old toys and propane refills.
he had logan 9" runs for $1500.00 and an old bench top v belt drive mill/drill for $900.00. Old vises cleaned up and painted Wiltons 6" wide $200.00 more than a new 6" wilton costs
Rock he must be a brother or cousin of this guy.Same song and dance here:rolleyes:

01-17-2007, 07:37 PM
Periodically, when I need a laugh I request a quote from my nearest used machine tool dealer in Baltimore.

Last week it was a not unattractive Clausing 13x24 lathe w/ a couple chucks, a steady rest, and a rubberflex collet setup.


Yes, I know what someone (or some government agency or institution of higher learning) paid for that lathe in 1965. It was a shiny Zero-Halliburton briefcase full of crisp bills.


It's 2007, manufacturing in Baltimore is for the most part gone and the empty spaces turned into "industrial chic" condos and lofts.

A small manual lathe is only of interest to a small handful of home machinists or fledgling jobshops, and most of them are willing to wait and hunt for the bargains.

I've been very unsuccesfully seeking a small-ish mill at a reasonable price. By coincidence my Dad just offered me his Burke Millrite not 20 minutes ago. He'll probably want 5 grand for it...

01-17-2007, 07:43 PM
the old tools that I have and don't need anymore I GIVE to my son, I don't sell them to him.

01-17-2007, 07:48 PM
I was kidding. He won't accept a penny. He will however come over and hang around my shop endlessly, which is fine with me.

01-17-2007, 10:16 PM
Same problem here. We have two pawn shops here and I very infrequently drop in to see what they have. I don't know why I bother and I mostly don't anymore. Both guys seem to think that used tools improve with age and abuse and price them accordingly.

As for my tools, they go to mainly to my son in law who I know will make good use of them. But, only over my dead body.

01-17-2007, 11:22 PM
The two "legit tool resellers" (not the every Mon to Sat, but never on a Sun yardsale types) that I "go to" first, do not always have the lowest price marked, but will deal. They also tend to sell "the box of misc stuff" with the machine. Both places are not on the internet, nor are they close to the "tourist" areas of the counties South and East, so the prices do favor a "user" customer base. Both will only give a "warrenty" on the motor for 30 days, so the machines and tools are "sold as is"; but they don't "rustolium rebuild" and then charge you for the labor. In part the price I pay is a "finders fee", because "everyone knows" that both places have an inventory turn over.

P.S. All this does "suck" when/if I want to sell something locally.

dan s
01-17-2007, 11:37 PM
My father has told me countless times ďsome people have more money than brains.Ē Maybe Iím bias, but I canít stand yuppie baby boomers; so many of them that I have to interact with fall into the more money than brains category. One guy that I work with is paying $15k to have his basement Finished. Now hereís the kicker, itís already roughed out. The only things not done are drywall and carpeting. When I told him he could do it himself for less than 5 he said I donít know how, and I donít care to learn. I donít know about the rest of you but for $10k I think I would learn how.

Anyone noticed how expensive stuff gets on EBay when the word Southbend is used?

Your Old Dog
01-18-2007, 07:54 AM
We have a couple of flea markets in this area and a couple of dealers who charge really high prices. I don't even bother to look at their tables. The secret is to get to the market early before those guys are setup and go around to the junk tables. That and garage sales is where most of those dealers get their stuff.

I was at a ham fest several years ago. A guy had a set of Starrett radius gauges in nice shape on his table. He said he wanted $25.00 for them. I tried to Catholic him down a little but he wouldn't budge. I found out yesterday that's just about new price for them at Enco !!

01-18-2007, 12:02 PM
Enco doesnt carry Starrett radius gage sets- but they do carry Mititoyo, ranging from 100 bucks up to 400 for a set.
MSC carries Starrett- they do have one cheapie at 80 bucks- but the majority of the Starrett sets are a hundred bucks and up.

So 25 bucks for a Starrett set, while not the worlds most screaming deal, is still 15% to 30% of retail price.

I know what a used tool store is- we just dont have em around here.
We never had much industry, or, even much population- when the midwest was full of big industrial cities and factories, we were a few hooplehead scandanavian loggers standing around in the rain waiting for the bars to open.

Seattle doesnt really have ONE used machinery dealer. There is one used tool store down there- Hardwicks- but the last time I was in there, it was 80% new tools, with a few used tools, none cheap.

While Pittsburgh, or Buffalo, or Detroit lose population every year, each of them is down to less than half of their peak populations, all those people move to the West- so we have much more competition for much fewer tools.
If you wanna see something really pathetic, check out the tools section of the Seattle Craigslist.

01-18-2007, 12:25 PM
You guys are kidding me?
Precision where it's needed, ok. Moore & Wright, Mitutoyo, Starrett.
But radius guages! C'mon?

01-18-2007, 03:27 PM
I have several drawers full of Starrett and Lufkin and Browne and Sharpe gages and measuring tools that I almost never use, but I like owning. There is no question that for the few times a year I use them, cheapo chinese would probably work as well.

But I bought most of them used, pretty cheap, because I LIKE em. I enjoy owning these jewel like precision tools.

Sure, its overkill- but it wasnt a lot of money, and its a pleasure every time I pull one out.

Cost benefit ratios are fine, for corporations. But me, I wanna enjoy myself in my short time here.

And my Starrett radius gages are a very minor luxury indeed.

I hear Russian Billionaires drink 23,000$ bottles of cognac- now thats silly.

01-18-2007, 03:41 PM
Point taken, Ries. I just think that for the average backyarder (broke), the money could be better spent where real precision is required.
To each his own. As long as we are getting satisfaction from our tools.
Rgds, Lin