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Best Place to Sell Quality Used Tools

topbob's picture

I was recently at a garage sale where I managed to purchase a number of high quality woodworking hand tools that are in almost new condition. The sale was being held due to a marriage break-up and the prices were so low I couldn't pass them up. Included were things like a mortise marking guage in rosewood and brass, sliding bevel guages in rosewood, brass and stainless steel, spokeshave in rosewood and bronze, Japanese laminated chisels, etc.  Most of these came from Lee Valley Tools in Canada and are currently retailing for US$30 to US$90 per piece.

Many of these are duplicates for tools I already own or tools I would seldom use. As a consequence, I would like to sell them on the internet. I need some guidance on where best to sell.  eBay doesn't seem to have an obvious category for modern high quality woodworking handtools. In most categories I looked at this stuff would get lost among the 17,000 ads for $2.99 router bits and the like.  I'm also not aware of any other sites that might be more appropriate.  Does anyone have suggestions on best categories to use on eBay to sell these tools or on other good sites to sell used woodworking hand tools?

MarkRD's picture

(post #103171, reply #1 of 12)

The trick with ebay is to set the proper starting price - otherwise you are correct, they'll go for a bargain.

ALso, advertise the brand name "Craftsman" or Snap-on hand tools sell for much higher than the no-name - people pay for the lifetime warranty..

Look up your items on ebay and search the closed auctions to get an idea of what they will sell for.


Measure it with a micrometer, mark it with chalk, cut it with an ax.

Measure it with a Micrometer,
Mark it with Chalk,
Cut it with an Ax.

Visit my woodworking blog Dust Maker
polarsea1's picture

(post #103171, reply #8 of 12)

Another key with ebay is giving your item a complete and accurate title so that when people are searching for something they can find it. 'Square' would get 1000's of hits and your item would be lost. A woodworker would more likely put 'brass rosewood square' or even 'veritas' or 'lee valley'. You'd definitely get a good number of prospective customers. Don't try to put too high a starting price on your items, start relatively low and if you are really worried - put a reserve on the item.

dustmight's picture

(post #103171, reply #2 of 12)

I've had good luck selling from many venues. Ebay is good for tools that are easy to ship....router bits, TS parts, etc. It's not worth the trouble for $2 items though....taking out the ad, packing, and mailing consume time. You might try groupings of the less expensive items to make it worth your time.

The free classifieds on wwing websites have yielded good results, and so has the local newspaper, although the paper tends to me the more expensive option. Detailed descriptions, a bit of "shine" and fair prices seem to be the key.

Edited 7/7/2005 9:47 am ET by knot scott

topbob's picture

(post #103171, reply #4 of 12)

Thanks for your advice.

DickL's picture

(post #103171, reply #3 of 12)

Try the Classifieds section at

bstrangwolf's picture

(post #103171, reply #5 of 12)

Ebay has a home and garden section off the home page. Under this catagory is a tools section which is further broken down into hand and power tools.

Good luck,


KevMel's picture

(post #103171, reply #6 of 12)

Hi Topbob,

I don't know if you've found a good place to sell your tools yet, but there's a "Tool Swap N' Sell" forum on that is VERY active.  It has a great community of woodworkers.  Good luck and who knows, I may even bid on some of what you have for sale.

Troy's picture

(post #103171, reply #7 of 12)

As someone who has a habit of selling and buying stuff I don't need e-bay a good place to sell such things. On e-bay there is a tool section in the collectibles category and quality tools do quite well. Of course I would be glad to take all of your Japanese chisels and bedrock planes for a couple of bucks a piece (kidding) good luck


vibajajo64's picture

Sell used tools (post #103171, reply #9 of 12)

I would try an online site with no listing or selling fees likx

VAM's picture

eBay tips (post #103171, reply #10 of 12)

I've had excellent results in the $20 - $1000 range in the eBay section Home and Garden/Tools.  Everything I sell is an auction (not a "buy it now") with a modest starting price.  I do a seven day auction and people bid the prices to a very fair value.  Write a detailed description and post several photographs so people can see what they are getting.  If the tool has any flaws then describe them.  I choose to ship only through UPS which includes insurance and lets the buyers track their shipment.  And I take payment only through PayPal.

At first I was worried that a low starting price would mean someone would get a hundred dollar item for ten dollars.  After selling more than 400 items that has never happened.

Here is a typical listing...

Norton Hard Translucent Arkansas Sharpening Stone Lightly Used
This stone is what Norton calls Ultrafine and it measures 8 inches by 3 inches and is half an inch thick.  The stone has been very lightly used.  So little, it has never been flattened and there is no noticable dishing.  The hard Arkansas stones are getting scarcer, and have been discontinued by many retailers.  The stone comes in a plastic container with rubber feet and the container can be used to hold the stone when using it.  The tool has been in a non-smoking environment and I am the original owner.  Please see my other auctions this week for high quality tools from Lie-Nielsen, Leigh, Lee Valley, Ulmia, Festool, Record and others.  I have just one of each tool being offered.
start at 29.99 plus 13.40 for shipping  two pictures

madshb's picture

If it is valuable enough - (post #103171, reply #11 of 12)

If it is valuable enough - traditional auction houses might be interested in this aswell. We have a database of auction results. Here we collect furniture designers results. fx. auction results for George Nakashima 

We do have a service where one can connect with top auction houses. Its free to use and no obligation. You can find it here

Best, Mads

bestpowerdrill's picture

power drill (post #103171, reply #12 of 12)

Tools are very important to us, they play an important role in completing the construction and repairing work. If instead of selling the tools, if you are looking to buy a new tools, click on the given link to get the complete details of the best drill machines available in the market-