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Forum topic by stevejack posted 10-27-2020 06:22 PM 902 views 0 times favorited 21 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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191 posts in 233 days

10-27-2020 06:22 PM

I went to an auction for the first time in my life. Lots of tools. Most were useless collections. Had my eye a few nice useful items. Got my DECK kicked in the dirt on all of them. But it seemed many bid on items with a dollar amount nearing what they could get it new for.

One thing that left an impression on me was that some ole woodworkers life time of his beloved tools that built countless gifts for loved ones ended up here in a box at some auction.

Then it hit me.. SHEET one day my tools will be here in a box!!

21 replies so far

View bigblockyeti's profile


6836 posts in 2633 days

#1 posted 10-27-2020 06:57 PM

I’ve been to a few auctions where people seem to loose their minds or forget that once they’re close to new street price on a used item they’re actually going to end up paying more after the buyer’s premium is added on. I worked at a family owned tool rental place in high school, early in my junior year, the brothers and sister decided to close up shop and held an auction. I was amazing, most of the stuff sold for 90% of new street price and they did very well on almost everything, the only thing that brought less money than expected was a like new Ditch Witch trencher they expected to sell for between $8-10K and only brought $4K. Even circular saws, chainsaws and sanders were bringing in the same money as a new tool would cost. This seemed to be the case for nearly everything no larger than a chainsaw and under $200 as people feel the need to get something at an auction independant of need or value.

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

View SMP's profile


2853 posts in 818 days

#2 posted 10-27-2020 07:22 PM

Yeah auctions are usually scams. Especially when there are the suspicious guys that seem to bid on everything but never win…kind of like a casino or ebay, you just have win no matter at what cost!

View hcbph_1's profile


70 posts in 226 days

#3 posted 10-27-2020 08:08 PM

Yup, I’ve been to more than one auction where things went to new or close to new price. When I do go, I have an idea of what an item listed for and usually figure a max bid of 1/2 new price, minus any repairs. To be honest, I’ve gotten better deals of for sale forums off sites like this one.

View sansoo22's profile


1282 posts in 567 days

#4 posted 10-27-2020 08:43 PM

Depends on what I’m looking at really. The used market for just about any power tool around where I live is RIDICULOUS!!! Like I can’t stress that enough. Auctions are no exception. If you can save a hundred bucks off retail they just assume its a good deal and spend away.

Now if I’m looking for planes, saws, or other hand tools it seems to be a bit more reasonable. You wont be paying estate sale prices but you wont be paying ebay prices either. The rare stuff will still pull good money but run of the mill bench planes will be $20 ish for the smaller stuff and no more than $100 for the bigger varieties.

View CaptainKlutz's profile


3825 posts in 2407 days

#5 posted 10-27-2020 09:41 PM

Auctions can be PIA.
The illegal Auctioneer sponsored ghost bidders, and undocumented minimums drive me nuts.

When I go to auctions now; go early and I ask the auctioneer how much he expects my items of interest to sell for. Some auctioneers are upfront about undocumented minimums. but you have to ask, or you never know. When they won’t look you in the eye to answer the sales price estimate question, usually means something shady is happening. :-0)

PS – My tools won’t end up in box at auction! Have raised a legacy of hand tool using into my boys.
My oldest son has insisted several times that all my hand tools and custom work bench be kept for his garage shop. Youngest son is not as mechanically inclined yet, but has also stated he wants part of the collection too.
OP needs to get busy making the next generation of wood workers in his family!


-- If it wasn't for bad luck, I wouldn't have no luck at all, - Albert King - Born Under a Bad Sign released 1967

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4121 posts in 2135 days

#6 posted 10-27-2020 09:53 PM

I’ve learned a lot by going to auctions, mainly don’t bother bidding on “nice” things that interest a lot of people. The big lots are usually good, let the first go to those who really want them (and bid them up), then hope they don’t want the rest at the same price and let them go up for bid again. Picked up a whole bunch of solid oak dorm furniture for $0.50 a piece.

What I always get a laugh out of is one local auction where they stash garbage import tools (below harbor freights standards) among the items. You get to see the $10 angle grinders go north of $100 and sheet metal jack stands for $50.

Of course there is a down side as I still have a few dozen computer UPSs without batteries and a 100 gallon tub full of helium air ballon straps 8^)

View JackDuren's profile


1364 posts in 1872 days

#7 posted 10-27-2020 10:11 PM

Depends…...if I know who has the tools to be sold. It might be worth a almost new price. Don’t you hate buying a new tool and it doesn’t start after you have unwrapped it.

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1364 posts in 1872 days

#8 posted 10-27-2020 10:20 PM

I put my 31-735 Delta combination sander on Marketplace for trade only.. An interested party wrote trying to explain to me how to sell tools and wouldn’t pay more than 1/2 price for tools. He offered my $300. I told him that wasn’t have but between 1/5 and 1/4 the price and told him to walk the plank…..

So it just depends on how hard it is to find and what it’s worth. What’s hard for me to find …...stationary mortisers..
Powermatic…..I’ll pay 3/4 of the price…

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


16979 posts in 3531 days

#9 posted 10-27-2020 11:09 PM

I’ve been to hundreds of auctions, and it’s my belief that every item on the block has three different ‘values’: What it’s worth; what it’ll sell for; and what you’re willing to pay for it.

Sometimes, all three numbers converge. But most often, that’s not the case at all.

It takes a bit of knowledge re: what’s up for sale, and discipline, to get value at an auction. And sometimes it just doesn’t happen because of other folks not knowing values or choosing to let their heart get in the way.

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. - OldTools Archive -

View sansoo22's profile


1282 posts in 567 days

#10 posted 10-27-2020 11:14 PM

It takes a bit of knowledge re: what s up for sale, and discipline, to get value at an auction. And sometimes it just doesn t happen because of other folks not knowing values or choosing to let their heart get in the way.

- Smitty_Cabinetshop

This right here sums up most of my experiences at auctions. You just want to yell “Ya dummy it ain’t worth half that!” but instead you just leave empty handed or with something to restore and sell vs keep for yourself.

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Richard Lee

322 posts in 1688 days

#11 posted 10-27-2020 11:48 PM

Auctions can be great , just know your limit and stick to it.
Been going for years and have got many good deals. I agree I think about the history of the stuff and have said many times that my turns coming.
I remember one acreage auction where the auctioneer asked the owner if the 22 rifle hanging on the wall for sale and he said im keeping it to shoot myself when your done, because the stuff was going so cheap.
Was a quiet moment.

View northwoodsman's profile


412 posts in 4659 days

#12 posted 10-28-2020 12:14 AM

Growing up in the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s I went to many auctions. A friend of mine became an auctioneer and my dad worked part time for an auctioneer for 15 – 20 years. Private auctions, estate auctions, farm auctions and etc. occurred 3-4 times per week. I made some really good purchases. When my dad died 11 years ago we had an auction to help my mom get down to a manageable amount of “things”. We sold tractors, cars, trucks, boats, snowmobiles, lawn mowers, 4-wheelers, plows, discs, tillers, a skid-steer loader, trailers, building materials, chain saws, a saw mill, ice fishing houses, fishing equipment, hunting equipment, restaurant and catering equipment, lumber, ladders, scaffolding, wood burning stoves, snow plows, snow blowers, etc. It was the only way to go. Their were well over 200 bidders. When the auctioneer gave my mom a pre-auction estimate of the value he was right on, within 4-5% at the end. It was in a rural area where everybody knows everybody, I think that’s what makes a difference. If your buddy is bidding on something you don’t bid against him. Sometimes an auctioneer will bundle things together to move along quicker, I have seen hundreds of transactions occur on the spot where someone will hand some a $5, $10, or $20 for the one thing in the lot that they want. I have seen people get more than they paid for things before they have even left the property.

-- NorthWoodsMan

View diverlloyd's profile


4029 posts in 2770 days

#13 posted 10-28-2020 01:00 AM

You have to go to more auctions and learn who are the tool guys and how the auctioneer runs things. Then make friends with them. After that things will be cheaper for you and have a bidding technique for the other randoms. My preferred method is to just hold you bidder card in the air and over pay for a few items. After that every time you whip the card out the randoms will bid once or twice against then give up “ knowing” that when the card comes out you will pay whatever the price is. This also helps later on in the day if you find out there are ghost bidders. You can use the same technique to drive them up and drop items on the at a high price. After that you will be getting things at a cheap or decent price. Treat the tool buddies like they treat you, you will notice they will stop bidding against you so show the same courtesy. Now learn the auctioneer quarks. Does he or she bundle items that don’t get a bid, if it summer time are they over weight and start selling faster the hotter it gets outside? Auctions are a game of attention to details. I’m not a reseller so I don’t mind paying a bit more for things. If your having fun can you put a price on fun time? Anyways that’s what I think about auctions after going to some more you will learn which auctioneers are better and more honest then the others.

View therealSteveN's profile


6628 posts in 1487 days

#14 posted 10-28-2020 04:16 AM

Auctions glory years seem to have come and gone. Change in so many things to do with buying are to blame. It used to be an auction represented the true worth of an object, now he with the least sense, and most $$$$$$$$$ wins.

Just one of many things that have changed in America, for the worse.

Worst is an auction is no longer a party in your front yard where you are years trying to get the tire ruts out of the yard. Now most of them are online, and that is where the wheels come off. Stolen credit cards are the rage as bidders at an auction now. Hard to compete against an Ahat who doesn’t have to pay for his bids.

To keep from losing everything most sellers are doing “Estate Sales” I never got the hang of them, plus pre-set prices are a turn off, it like shopping at a seconds store, also not my thing.

I miss auctions.

The website still is up, but it’s a shadow of it’s former self. Auction Zip was the place to go see where to go for an auction. Now it’s just notice of the same ugly sales at the same ugly places. The sort Capn K talked about. Prior to Auction zip you picked up printed fliers at the Hardware, feed store, Pharmacy, real estate places, banks, pretty much anywhere people were. The handbills told the story, and back then everyone sold out at auction, and the auctioneers were mostly honorable Men. Well, if they weren’t it didn’t take long for everyone to know, and the guy was toast, if he didn’t get his parts kicked to the curb.

-- Think safe, be safe

View stevejack's profile


191 posts in 233 days

#15 posted 10-28-2020 01:19 PM

I have watched people bid up on items that didn’t cost that much NEW

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