Need Advise - May need to sell entire shop!

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jimwill48

Moderator
James
Hi Everyone,

Need a little advise, I'm not sure if this is the correct forum or not but... Due to the economy and unemployment I may need in the near future need to sell my tools (shop). I know that everyone is going to say/think not to do it, that things will get better and I'm sure they will but I'm not sure they will in time for me. Really I'm not wanting a pity party, I'm just very much a realist and I see how things are shaping up and they are what they are. In the next 8 weeks or so if things don't turn around, I will be in a position where I will need to liquidate my shop tools. In the grand scheme of things they can be replaced in the future when things get better. To make a long story short unemployment will run out around Christmas and me and my wife will need to make some hard decisions. Could be that I will need to relocate to a cheaper area, don't really know. Hopefully things will change and this will not happen.

What my real question is: How is the best way to sell off the tools, etc? I checked into an auction and found that, that is not feasible. Things like Craigslist is kind of scary due to who knows, who or what can show up on your doorsteps. I though of a tool yard sale. Classified ads on this site. Having an open house/shop sale for fellow woodworkers, etc. Best would be someone to just buy everything but no chance in that, I think. I guess I kind of worry about selling off the best stuff and being left with the rest.

What do you all think?

Thanks....James
 

Bigdog72

New User
Geoff
James,

I have tossed around the same ideas, not due to the economy, but due to a health issue. I actually go in for surgery tomorrow. I think that Craigslist is a good way to go but.... you have to be prepared. If a guy wants to look at your table saw, wheel the table saw out front so that is the only thing he is looking at. Don't invite anyone into your shop or home unless you get a good vibe. Ads here work and ads on WoodNet seem to work well. With all that being said, I hope things work out for you.

If you decide to sell I would be interested in a drum sander if you have one (if I am still able to use one!).
 

Douglas Robinson

New User
Doug Robinson
If you have to sell I like the idea "Having an open house/shop sale for fellow woodworkers, etc." You could post it here and we could organize a BBQ get-together/sale.

Since you said you know most will say don't sell, I will forgo that. Good luck.
 

DaveD

New User
Dave
Well, no need to get paranoid about it.Try to sell the high dollar items here first. If they don't sell pretty quick then the price is probably too high. Next,put them on craigslist for a good price and they will sell there too.. Do a cash only and post pictures in the craigslist ad. Expect people to negotiate price. My prices always have 10% to play with. Same when I buy. Can't hurt to ask for 10% off if I'm willing to pay full price anyway.

Maybe only sell a few at a time. Don't make it look like you are desperate. Most expensive/heavy/big ones first. I have both bought and sold on craigslist. All kinds of stuff. Even got/gave freebies. Its the wave of the present/future. Can't be anymore dangerous than ads in the paper. Out of probably 30 buy/sells, I have never encountered anyone other than some average citizen trying to buy/sell something.

The closer you get to the holidays the harder it will probably be because the disposable income (whatever there is of it) is going to holiday stuff.

I have also tried to sell bundled tools or tools with attachments and it doesn't seem to work out for me. So I then I'll strip them down and sell the parts (example: saw, stand, blades, etc) and actually make more money in the end, but it is more of a hassle.

Hope it all works out for you.
 

striker

Stephen
Corporate Member
James,

Very sorry to hear of the circumstances you find yourself in. I'm sure its quite stressful. After reading your post, I find myself wondering what it is you do and if there is any connections I may have to pass along. If I'm thinking that way I'm sure there are plenty of others thinking along the same lines. Maybe you can add a post describing what professionally your about and maybe help will come in a strange way.

I usually meet CL responders up the street in a shopping center because " its easier than finding my place". Of course the real reason is "I don't think I want you to know where I live".

Good Luck,
Stephen
 

Bas

Recovering tool addict
Bas
Corporate Member
Jim, sorry to hear you have to sell.

My $0.02:
- Selling everything at once is difficult, and you'll take a hit on the price
- Try selling here on North Carolina Woodworker, and maybe post on some of the other woodworking forums as well, especially items that can be easily shipped (saw blades, router bits, accessories etc.)
- Start with your big ticket items first. Someone who comes to buy a table saw may ask - anything else you want to sell? That's a good way to sell more without a massive advertisement
- Price aggressively and smartly. If you ask too much, you won't get any serious buyers, only looky-lous who want to lowball you or unsavory characters. But at the right price, you'll get real woodworkers and sell quickly
- Don't worry about the good stuff going first and being "stuck" with the rest. You'd be surprised what people will pick up as a secondary item. You can always make a "grab box" of items each costing $1 or $5 or $10. Use those items as your negotiating items, e.g. "sorry, I can't take anything off the price for the table saw, but how about I throw in these two featherboards and the hold down clamp?". That's how you get rid of those.
 

CarvedTones

Board of Directors, Vice President
Andy
I have also tried to sell bundled tools or tools with attachments and it doesn't seem to work out for me. So I then I'll strip them down and sell the parts (example: saw, stand, blades, etc) and actually make more money in the end, but it is more of a hassle.

Hope it all works out for you.

+1 on that advice. There are some discriminating buyers out there, but for a substantial number (most, I think, if you are talking CL buyers) accessories have no value when they are shopping for an item. Yes, they may realize later that it was good that they paid a little more for the router that had a bunch of bits or the saw with featherboards, but I think you are better off pricing separately. This is definitely true for machines; when I see someone selling multiple stationary machines as a bundle, I expect big savings.
 

Dragon

New User
David
Sorry to hear about the hard times. I know all too well whereof you speak. My wife has been out of since Labor Day last year. Don't give up the ghost just yet. There has been another extension of unemployment benefits for up to 20 more weeks. This is due entirely to so many folks still being unemployed, our glorious govt. types fear riots and civil unrest if several hundred thousand people suddenly hit the streets in a foul mood.:kamahlitu:qleft7::qright5: Hold off selling as long as you can but at the same time, "shop" your stuff around and line up a few buyers......for the just in case.
 

JackLeg

New User
Reggie
Ask walnut jerry how the lady in Salisbury did on selling off her husband's stuff when she began with NCWW. I went by the last day of the sale and most of the good stuff was gone, so someone bought it!

As a licensed auctioneer, I understand the complexities of a auction sale, especially with advertising and a small amount of merchandise. But, perhaps if you took some really good photo's of each item, similar to what the internet auction guys do, and posted it on NCWW and elsewhere, you might get the results you are looking for. People will buy sight unseen, ask Phil Ashley.

My 2 pennies.
 

boxxmaker

New User
Ken
I believe this ws brought up,not sure,but the last thing you want to say is I HAVE TO SELL.You may want to say something like going in a new direction.Or just make it plain to whoever that your not giving them away.This way you will eliminate a few a of the ones wanting to take advantage of you being down on your luck.I hope that things turn around for you though an you won't have to take that route.
 

JackLeg

New User
Reggie
I believe Peggy in Charlotte has also had pretty good luck selling her entire shop. :icon_thum I think she began on NCWW also. She "caught" me this way! LOL! :wsmile:
 

walnutjerry

Jerry
Senior User
James--------It is indeed sad to hear that type news.

When I promised a friend I would help his wife sell the shop "stuff", I really did not know how it was going to work out.

We decided to go with selling the larger pieces first-------the price was usually 50% of new comparable machinery. Machinery less than 2 years old with little run time was set at 75%. Some items included some accessories.

I spent a lot of time researching prices on the internet for small items such as hole saws, router bits etc.

We did have a NCWW sale first--after listing on the NCWW site and entertaining any interest for specific pieces. The widow had two yard sales after that and still had gobs of things left. Shop gadgets are hard to sell at any price. Even carbide router bits were slow to sell at 50%. We did sell all the machinery except a Delta shaper----practically new.

You have more value than you realize , probably. Shame of it is------you take a beating value wise when you liquidate.

Good luck on your decision and best wishes for you.

Jerry

PS--If you want to talk one on one about it PM me and we will set a time and place to do it.
 

CrealBilly

New User
Jeff
James my advise to you my friend is a man has to do what a man has to do and once a man makes up his mind he does it.
 

ScottM

Scott
Staff member
Corporate Member
James if it comes to it, and I sure hope not, be prepared to sell piece by piece. Very few folks are looking to buy a full shop but folks are always looking to buy certain pieces.
 

jimwill48

Moderator
James
Thanks Everyone,

I've gotten some good advice and it seem the main info is to sell the larger tools piece by piece. Then deal with the small stuff (router bits, blades, shop gadgets separate). Also when it comes time (if it does) it will not be as a "Fire Sale" or act of desperation. I will know in advance when the time has come and will start the process.

Hopefully it will never come to this but you do need to plan for the future. I hope this thread continues as there is some great comments and maybe someone else out there is in the same boat and it will also help them.

Thanks,

James
 

pirate71

New User
Evans
I just spent the summer selling stuff for a single mother. Her husband had a garage full of tools. The total value based on today's prices was about $13,000. I managed to get about 57% of the retail price. But, I really had to work hard at it.

I tried to make sure that higher ticket items went for at least 60%. Most of the time I was successful but occassionally a tool just wouldn't command it. Some items went quickly while others took 2-3 months to get them sold. One that surprised me was his Delta dj-20 long bed jointer(it was an X5-five year warranty). It took 3 months and I only got $900($1900 retail). It was less than 3 years old and barely used. I think that item was harder since less people have/want that kind of item and I was competing with grizzly, etc new prices.

Long story short, if you want to keep the prices up, plan on it taking some time to get rid of items. If you wait until the last minute, you'll have to take less to get somebody to step up to the plate quickly.

I used CL for everything. My thinking was the audience was much larger. I do live a little out of the way in Durham for the Durham/Raleigh/Chapel Hill CL and that caused me some issues on smaller items. For example, it wasn't worth it for someone to travel to me to pay $30 for a $60 item.

I am retired so if I can help you get rid of items in this CL market, I will be happy to assist.
 

merrill77

Master Scrap Maker
Chris
I'm surprised nobody else has recommended eBay. For small things that are easy to ship, you should consider it. _Especially_ things that have a small market - your market will be much bigger on eBay, since you have nationwide reach. Planes and older hand tools fall into this category and generally command higher prices on eBay than you'd get on CL. People are willing to pay for the convenience of having the item arrive at their door - instead of driving all over the place (I'm occasionally one of those people).

Chris
 

WoodWrangler

New User
Jeremy
James I do hope this NEVER has to happen. I hope you find employment ... or employment finds you asap. In tight times you might even need to leave your field of expertise ... a good friend and past co-worker of mine was making great pay in IT until about five months ago and is now "toughing it out" as a retail manager 30 miles from his house making half of his previous pay. It's tough ... but sometimes you gotta go outside the normal routine to pull through.

You've got some hard decisions to make ... but don't give in just yet (or ever!)
 

Dudelive

Dude
Senior User
James I do hope this NEVER has to happen. I hope you find employment ... or employment finds you asap. In tight times you might even need to leave your field of expertise ... a good friend and past co-worker of mine was making great pay in IT until about five months ago and is now "toughing it out" as a retail manager 30 miles from his house making half of his previous pay. It's tough ... but sometimes you gotta go outside the normal routine to pull through.

You've got some hard decisions to make ... but don't give in just yet (or ever!)

Jeremy makes a great point that I think you will do very well at listening to with a clear mind and then read it several times to let it sink in.
Another thing to consider, although I understand tough times are tough and it may seem like there is no light at the end of the tunnel.....trust me there is, now back to what I was saying.....selling tools can and will generate some money as long as they sell and as long as the tools last, but when you have sold the last of the tools that will sell and there are still tough times ahead, you have too ask yourself what do I sell now or what do I do?

I have been there where you are at as well as some of the others that may be on this site, and like Jeremy mentioned I had to go outside of my normal area and I didd NOT like it at all but in the end after all was said and done it worked out for the best and yes I was considering selling my tool boxes and tools that took me some 40+ years to collect. I could not have gotten half of the present day cost and even then that would NOT have been a solution. Selling tools to solve a problem usually is only a temporary solution too a much bigger problem. So as the saying goes " been there " but did not sell and now I am darned glad I didn't.

Good luck
God Bless
 

Robert Arrowood

New User
Robert Arrowood
I'm surprised nobody else has recommended eBay. For small things that are easy to ship, you should consider it. _Especially_ things that have a small market - your market will be much bigger on eBay, since you have nationwide reach. Planes and older hand tools fall into this category and generally command higher prices on eBay than you'd get on CL. People are willing to pay for the convenience of having the item arrive at their door - instead of driving all over the place (I'm occasionally one of those people).

Chris


Not only that they feel like they WON something.James hang in there man.And we will all keep you in our thoughts.
 
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