Alternative to E-Bay

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    David Gill

    Tool auctions are a good source of old wood working tools , David Stanley  Auctions are held in the UK  LE67 5EU The next tool auction is on 23rd March 2013 at above post code.

    I have bought tools there the last two years. The Router plane in 2011 for a total including fees of £35 and the Stanley No 3 and 4 1/2 in 2012 for a total of £56.64 The photo shows the planes after I spent a few hours sanding and polishing the handles and steel parts.

    All three planes came in original boxes


    Wigan, Lancs. England :


    I have to find an alternative as well,  I was watching a Disston saw that I was interested in and it sold for 395 dollars US.  Needless to say my bid of 30 dollars fell short. lol.  Lately prices on the ebay have been just silly.  I often wonder if these folks who buy an old saw for almost 400 dollars actually use these tools or just collect them for the sake of owning them…


    George Bridgeman

    I may come along to this – it’s not too far from where I live. Can’t beat a brick-and-mortar auction house!

    @Dave You’re right that the prices have gone up. It’s not as bad over here in the UK but it’s noticeable. Most of the saws I buy are for (eventually) restoring and cost £15-30 but I have paid almost £100 for one that I’m not sure I’ll actually use. It’s a very rare Robert Sorby, 28″ 3.5PPI rip saw, with four medallions and two nibs, in excellent condition. Probably dates from pre-1828, so almost 200 years old. I’m all for putting a saw to use but there aren’t many other examples like it. It’d be incredible for resawing though!


    "To know and not do is to not know"


    I’ve had great luck at flea markets where I live and from time to time garage sales.  For example, I picked up a Stanley #7 for $20.  I have bought tools on e-Bay but Dave is so right, prices can be ridiculous at times. But once in a blue moon, you get lucky and buy something at an OK price after shipping cost.  Chris Schwarz mentioned once that he never buys saws from e-Bay on account that you can’t sight down to see if the saw is straight.   He’s got  point.


    I personally wish eBay would go back to its roots of selling used items…or new for sale by owner. These ebay-stores have ruined ebay to a severe degree. And what is it with private sellers these days who thing a 3 year old veritas router plane [etc.] is worth $10 more than retail and have a shipping price of $30??? Something ain’t right in Denmark here folks. Also…not a big fan of deceptive sales…ie. a buy it now price of $25 and shipping charges of $149  some sellers will do anything to deceive buyers sometimes.



    I agree buddy, I never use eBay these days. I never understand people paying more for a second hand used Item, when they could buy new for less.



    Ebay has largely become a waste of my time as well.

    I just saw a nice set of six Bahco (Berg) chisels, the ones with the shark logo and red plastic handles, sell for $640 ($107 each!). Not long ago, those chisels used to only command $30-$35 each. Good steel yes, but today with Veritas PM-V11 chisels ($70 each) , and other fine tools with superior machining from Blue Spruce ($85 ea), Barr ($80), and Lie Nielsen ($55), it really makes me wonder.

    Those Disston saws that now sell for up to $400 used to go for $140. The former price was probably worth the rehab work that was done on the saw, but the new prices are unfathomable. In the US you can get two very nice brand new panel saws from Lie Nielsen, or full sized, dead-straight, tack-sharp handsaw from Wenzloff & Sons for those prices.

    This is not a good for those woodworkers who are looking for good quality tools but cannot afford this hype.

    I still manage to find a few good deals at local tool swaps, and an occasional score on craigslist, but I wish there were more old (but good) tools in southern California…too much of a car&mechanic culture out here.



    -Scott Los Angeles


    And what is it with private sellers these days who thing a 3 year old veritas router plane [etc.] is worth $10 more than retail and have a shipping price of $30??? Something ain’t right in Denmark here folks.

    Not sure if it is true, but I’ve heard that there is a bit of a grey-market where “used” premium tools are offered worldwide for more than US retail, so buyers can obtain products that are either unavailable or prohibitively marked-up in their country.

    -Scott Los Angeles


    Chris Schwarz mentioned once that he never buys saws from e-Bay on account that you can’t sight down to see if the saw is straight. He’s got point.

    Hmm… Mr. Schwarz. Every time he recommends a useful tool, the prices shoot up. He needs to keep mum. 😉

    -Scott Los Angeles

    Brent Ingvardsen

    You said a mouthfull Scott. Everytime Chris Schwarz mentions a tool favorably, the value skyrockets..


    Meridianville, Alabama, USA

    Brian LaShomb

    Another great place to pick up tools and meet fellow woodworkers are the M-WTCA Tool Meets. I found many deals last year and you can find alot of user grade stuff, and get to see some rarities too when they have the display tables (usually part of  a contest).

    Home Page

    Another benefit of membership is they mail out a old reprint of a publication from one of the members libraries that is long out of print, or out of copyright.

    I’ve been looking forward to this years meet (next month for me) all year!



    I keep a sharp eye on Craig’s List, locally. However, the stupidity seems to have leaked over. Last evening I saw an ad for a miter saw. The saw was rusted into the miter part. The entire miter part was rusted. And the asking price? $125 !

    I have had luck with a couple items recently on eBay. I especially like the practically new Miller’s Falls saw set I picked up for $18. I also got a Stanley #3 in pristine shape for ~$50 just before Christmas. The bargains are few and far between, though. I’ve had the best luck, over the years, purchasing at farm auctions in our rural, Eastern Kansas community.


    Hmm. I know of tool swaps here in southern California, but no tool auctions of vintage hand tools. All I ever see auctioned off is industrial equipment. If anyone knows of any events in SoCal, pleas let me know.


    -Scott Los Angeles

    John-Paul Treen

    Hi all,

    First post here, but thought I had something to add. I’ve met a tool collector (I bought a job lot of 3 No. 4 planes off him for £23.) who swears by car boot sales and scrap metal merchants for tools. I also bought a ‘Made in England’ Record quick release vise, vgc, for £40.

    He claims to be able to buy them for double the scrap metal rate (about £4-5 per vise) then strips them and repairs them, selling them for between £40 and £60.

    When it comes to car boots, he says he’s there as they open (or just before) with a torch, looking for old tools. He showed me his store room, it’s full of old tool chests he bought for £200-300 and then sold a couple of things from and kept the rest.

    He looked at me like I was crazy when I said I wanted to USE what I was buying. Apparently, no-one he deals with would dream of actually working wood with these old tools.

    He buys any Disston on sight and has stacks of them, partnering good handles to good blades. When I say ‘good’, I mean ‘collector good’ rather than ‘working good’. He then polishes them and sells them.

    That’s why you can’t buy a cheap saw or plane on eBay anymore. People who will never use them are just hoarding them.

    Also, don’t think “it’s OK, they’re keeping them for future generations”. They’re not. From the look of his store room and workshop and of the planes he sold me, all his ‘renovations’ are purely cosmetic. Unscrew a handle and the screws are starting to rot away, there’s no oil where you can’t see the rust. Same was true with the frog screws, under the frog, too. The worst bit was that the guy is a carpenter, but his interest doesn’t extend beyond an old tool’s aesthetic value. He has (and wouldn’t sell to me, despite a rather rash offer on my part) saw stocks – just like the ones in Paul’s saw sharpening video – and thought I was from another planet when I mentioned Paul’s saw sharpening video.

    Hopefully he sees it. Hopefully it sparks some interest.

    We need some kind of endowment for an international tool library or literally a millennia worth (in terms of remaining working life) of fine old tools will wither into mantlepiece objects within a couple of decades all for the want of some oil and grease.

    OK, rant over. Sorry about that. Main point: Tools are best bought rusty, in the real world, for cash. Anything else is just convenience, and convenience costs.


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