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ken masoumi
02-13-2013, 9:23 PM
I know being in Canada we generally don't get great deals like most of you who live in the USA but sometimes I don't understand what the sellers are thinking when they ask 75% to 85% of the price of a new tool.

Is it because they think we should also pay for their personal attachment to the tool they are selling or is it simply a lack of understanding of the used tool market value?

I just had an interesting conversation via emails with a seller of a tool who wants only $50 less than the price of it brand new!
I politely passed on it but wonder if what I'm seeing lately is becoming more common ,as far as I remember the rule of thumb for the price of a used power tool used be between 40% to 60% of its brand new price depending on the condition of the tool of course.

What is your recent experience in buying and selling used tools?
I'll be very interested in reading your responses.

Rick Hutcheson
02-13-2013, 9:46 PM
I think if I'm selling I like the 85% but if I'm buying I like the 40%. Really which side of the fence are you on, buying or selling. Also you say 85% but are you adding the sales tax and shipping to that. And how long are you willing to wait to order it off the web, or how close are you to a store you can buy that tool? Sometimes just seeing a price on a tool doesn't tell everything. I remember talking with a major tool supplier here about the borgs beating their price so much. They said look close at the model number, their's was like a 586 and the borg was a 586r, so not the same tool. Some of the makes have different quality, one maybe metal housing or gears and the other plastic housing or gears, but the same model like stated before.

ken masoumi
02-13-2013, 10:02 PM
I think if I'm selling I like the 85% but if I'm buying I like the 40%. Really which side of the fence are you on, buying or selling. Also you say 85% but are you adding the sales tax and shipping to that..
I'm sorry if it wasn't clear that I was buying,
so if I understand you correctly a $1000 tool can be used for 3-4 years and be sold for $850 ?I thought $600 to $700 would be a fairer price.

Stephen Cherry
02-13-2013, 10:21 PM
I'm sorry if it wasn't clear that I was buying,
so if I understand you correctly a $1000 tool can be used for 3-4 years and be sold for $850 ?I thought $600 to $700 would be a fairer price.

Fair, unfair, who knows where that begins or ends. Personally, I don't want to loose my shirt, so I want to buy cheap. If someone else wants to pay big money, let them knock themselves out.

One thing I have done is just shoot an offer, all they can say is no. The best buy are on the 3 phase industrial machines.

Rich Riddle
02-13-2013, 10:55 PM
I have found people understand the concept of fair, even small children. A fair deal would infer you adequately compensated if you were the buyer or the seller of an object. Generally, the folks here seem to go from 40% to 65% of the current price of the tool, devoid of taxes or shipping as a fair price. Realistically, if you go higher than that, why not simply purchase the tool new?

I have noticed an unreasonable expectation of recouping 85% or more in the classified section here; actually several sellers have been asking more used than prices for new can be found. Many of those sellers have very low post counts and seem to post here almost exclusively to sell items. As always, it's buyer beware. There are almost always more items to purchase the buyers for used tools.

Brian Kent
02-14-2013, 3:19 AM
I agree with you, Ken. The seller might be setting prices according to other Craigslist items - which is also what the seller wants but may not get. And since I am not interested in a machine repair hobby, I seek out the best buy new most of the time. The used equipment in my shop is about 20-25% of new, just a few super-deals.

Jim Matthews
02-14-2013, 8:21 AM
To get a fair comparison of the asking price (for larger equipment, in situ) and the manufacturer's price (which generally provides shipping services) -
find the weight of the object and the scrap value for it. If a seller really wants to move an item, it will be roughly half the original retail - which is generally ten times scrap value.

It's a common problem - Gramps passed and left a garage full of rusting cast iron that nobody wants.
The heirs think it has "appreciated" in value, and want to cash in.

Anymore, if a Craigslist or auction site price isn't what I would pay - I don't bother.
Negotiating a fair price for used gear is a lost art.

Andrew Pitonyak
02-14-2013, 10:18 AM
I know being in Canada we generally don't get great deals like most of you who live in the USA but sometimes I don't understand what the sellers are thinking when they ask 75% to 85% of the price of a new tool.

Some used tools do sell for that, but it seems that most do not. I routinely see Lie Nielsen gear sell for about that providing it is in pristine condition. I don't usually see that for power tools.

Depending on the seller, they may even expect you to make a counter offer and then go back and forth. I hate doing that myself.

Some people, however, are either unrealistic, or just hoping for some poor unsuspecting person to pay their asking price. For a $1000 limited warranty table saw, I would not pay $850 used. The extra $150 would be a good extra expense to have the warranty, packaging, and certainty that all the parts were included. Then again, if they were including a bunch of extras (like a couple of hundred dollars worth of blades), it might make sense.

Brian Elfert
02-14-2013, 11:08 AM
When I sell any used tool on Craigslist I always add a little extra because most of the time a buyer won't want to pay my full asking price. I do price things fairly. The last item I sold a few weeks back I sold too cheap. I had at least 10 people wanting it so I told everyone the price was firm.

Montgomery Scott
02-14-2013, 11:21 AM
Where did this "rule of thumb" come from? What authority is there in this rule? What makes you think your depreciation numbers are anything other than a WAG? A tool is "worth" whatever people are willing to pay for it. Your estimation of what a tool is worth as a buyer is of equal weight as what the seller determines as the value of the tool.

Kevin Bourque
02-14-2013, 11:40 AM
I completely understand it when someone is selling a 2 year old Laguna bandsaw for top dollar, but what really makes me laugh is people who want $750 for a dirty, nasty looking, 40 year old 3 phase Unisaw with the original fence! All things considered I've got some great deals on my stuff, but it seems I find them by accident,( Hey Kevin, my uncle's , barber's, best friends, plumber has some woodworking stuff in his basement...) not by scouring want-ads.
PS. There was a listing on craigslist a few weeks ago for an ancient, rusting, old table saw that looked like it was used by Abe Lincoln. Maybe I should have said, "misused". They were advertising it as an antique, and a conversation piece and were asking $240.00. I guess they figured some yuppies would tastefully faux paint it and display it in their living room. I'd sure like to be a fly on the wall at their next wine & brie party. :D

Charles Wiggins
02-14-2013, 11:57 AM
A tool is "worth" whatever people are willing to pay for it. Your estimation of what a tool is worth as a buyer is of equal weight as what the seller determines as the value of the tool.

The true value of anything is what a willing, unpressured buyer will pay and a willing seller will accept. Until both conditions are met you really don't know the value. That said, I have seen a lot of folks that are willing to pay a lot more than I was. I've been to a few estate auctions and rarely won any bids because it seems to me that the tools almost always go high, far more than I am willing to pay. People get auction fever, so you could argue that they are not so "unpressured" even though they are willing, so I would not count an auction price as a good gauge of value. My classic example is when I gave up and bought a brand new rowing machine because the used ones on eBay kept bidding up over the cost of a new one. How's THAT for value?

My best advice is to: 1) know the market as much as possible (the smartphone is your friend here), 2) set a maximum budget in your mind and stick to it, 3) never insult the seller with an ridiculously low offer, 4) negotiate with the win-win in mind, 5) ALWAYS be ready to politely walk away.

Larry Browning
02-14-2013, 11:59 AM
It seems to me this is a very simple process. Something is worth what someone will pay for it. The seller offers it at a certain price, it either sells or it doesn't. The buyer will either pay the price or he won't. You can offer something for sale at any price you want, it doesn't mean anyone will pay it.
Some things can appreciate in value from new (like houses), while others fall instantly (like cars). It all boils down to what buyers will pay. If you don't think it's worth it, don't pay it. It is that simple.

Brian Elfert
02-14-2013, 1:25 PM
I really love the Craigslist ads where the item is way overpriced and the buyer says something like I know the value of this item and I won't take any less. I guess the seller is hoping to find someone stupid to buy their item. Even better are the guys advertising an item as brand new and the price is significantly higher than I can buy the exact same item at my local Menards. It is obvious they plan to buy the item at Menards only if they actually manage to sell one.

ken masoumi
02-14-2013, 1:48 PM
Where did this "rule of thumb" come from? What authority is there in this rule? .
This rule of thumb is what I have seen/heard people use only as a starting point ,you probably have used it a few time without being aware .
when buying a used tool,you must ask yourself how much is it brand new? then what price range do I have to consider for it since it's used,at this point you must have an expectation for the lowest price (which any lower would be a steal for lack of better terms).and it also can not be more than certain amount otherwise you have no incentive(price wise) to buy it used.
This is all dependent on so many variables(condition,rarity,availability,other fees) but somewhere in there we do use this rule of thumb whether we admit it or not.

Larry Browning
02-14-2013, 2:29 PM
So, If someone offers for sale an item that is still in its original shrink wrapped box and never used, is that still considered used just because it not for sale by a store? Would you expect the price to be less than what the store was getting?

Brian Elfert
02-14-2013, 3:30 PM
So, If someone offers for sale an item that is still in its original shrink wrapped box and never used, is that still considered used just because it not for sale by a store? Would you expect the price to be less than what the store was getting?

ABSOLUTELY I would expect the price to be less.

Why: The warranty may be expired, or I may not have a receipt to get warranty coverage. Most sellers would want cash and if I went to a retail store I could typically use my credit card for extra protection. No ability to make a return if the item is DOA. If I am going to pay full retail I expect all the perks that go along with paying full retail at a retail store.

I bought a new in the box Milwaukee Saw-Z-All for about 25 to 30% less than retail a few years back. The guy said it was a gift he didn't want. I have no idea if that was the truth. He could have stolen it for all I know.

Larry Browning
02-14-2013, 4:01 PM
So, then if the seller takes the item back to the store and gets a refund, and the store puts it back on the shelf, you then expect to pay full price? Would you expect the store to refund the full price to purchaser?

BTW: I am not trying to imply any sort of opinion as to what my expectation is. It is just an interesting topic.

Joe Angrisani
02-14-2013, 4:09 PM
So, then if the seller takes the item back to the store and gets a refund, and the store puts it back on the shelf, you then expect to pay full price?

Yes, if he's in the market for a new item at a store with a warranty.



Would you expect the store to refund the full price to purchaser?

Yes, if that's the store's policy.

Jim Koepke
02-14-2013, 4:21 PM
The pricing of used tools is strange.

Look at good quality chisels from a century ago. Some of them are selling for more than they did when new, but less than a new chisel of equal quality would cost today. That one can be racked up to inflation.

Often items are listed on ebay as some rare item that is priced way too high. If someone is going "sucker fishing" they only need to find one, right?

Sometimes there is an up-charge for the rust and parts "lost to history."

My bank book would look a lot better if some of my tools were listed for "sucker fishing."

If they are ever sold, the listing will have to be named after an old Clint Eastwood movie, "The Good, Bad and the Ugly." It is amazing how bad off those planes are, but they still do some fine work.

Maybe charge for the unbroken parts and throw in the rest for free.

jtk

Larry Browning
02-14-2013, 4:34 PM
Yes, if he's in the market for a new item at a store with a warranty.




Yes, if that's the store's policy.
What if the store has no return policy and all we have to go on is what would be fair?

I know that is all true, but it sure seems like things are really skewed to the customers favor. But I suppose that's the American way, and we as consumers(buyers) have come to expect it.

Brian Elfert
02-14-2013, 5:09 PM
I would probably never buy anything new at normal prices from a retail store that didn't offer a return policy unless I couldn't get the item anywhere else. If the price was clearance or some sort of liquidation store and the price was marked down significantly I would probably accept a no return policy. (Exceptions would be special order items.)

I like the ability to simply return a DOA item to the store for another one. No paying to ship it to the manufacturer and waiting for it to be fixed or replaced and shipped back again.

Jim Matthews
02-14-2013, 6:43 PM
What makes you think your depreciation numbers are anything other than a WAG? A tool is "worth" whatever people are willing to pay for it.

True enough. Those of us with a remotely active curiosity can check the prior sales numbers at IRSauctions, OWWM, Woodnet etc.
The issue is with sellers that have seen one too many episodes of The Antiques Roadshow presuming that because it's old, it's rare.

The secondary presumption is that because it's rare, it's valuable.

There's lots of obscure, worthless trash on Craigslist.
Like I said, it's either at my price or I don't bother calling.

Any seller that says "Price negotiable" and won't establish a starting point is wasting my time.
Money I've got, what I can't get more of is time.

Craigslist sales like this define time sucks.

Larry Browning
02-14-2013, 7:46 PM
All my questions are purely hypothetical I was just trying to figure out what was actually the "fair" thing to do. It seems to me that stores are getting the raw end of the deal in most cases when it comes to returns and resale of those things. But they have to do it because the competition does it. Isn't free enterprise a wonderful thing?

ken masoumi
02-14-2013, 8:59 PM
Alright ,let's have fun a bit with this thread:D.
When looking for used tools in places like CL,I categorize the prices in 4 types:
1= PRICE TO SELL,the easiest one to spot since it's seems most reasonable.

2=PRICE TO NEGOTIATE ,prices like $325 or best offer,you know seller is betting on $300.

3=PRICE TO FEEL THE MARKET,or in other words "I'm looking for a sucker who will pay this much" ,these prices usually get reduced after a couple of weeks.

4=PRICE NOT TO SELL,like "I'm really attached to this tool,it's 5 years old but looks brand new still, it has many years of use left on it why shouldn't I try to sell it as close as possible to a brand new one? ,I'll convince the potential buyers that it has only seen a few hours of use,all the problems with it(manufacturer'ss defects/recalls,shipping damages) has been ironed out and you don't pay the taxes and fees. if it does not sell,I'll gladly keep it.

It is reasonable to assume that we all would like to see the first two types,we value our time and our money and look for deals that both sides walk away content .
The last two are the ones to avoid since it's nothing but frustrating experiences/waste of time and even if you close the deal you may still walk away scratching your head and asking yourself "was that a good deal or did I just got ripped off".
Folks ,please don't take this too seriously,I'm just thinking out loud:).

Lynn Floyd
02-15-2013, 12:38 AM
I have always heard and have said myself that anything is worth what someone will pay for it, but I really feel that we are in the realm of philosophy here. If someone pays a few thousand for a dovetail machine from the 1880's, it doesn't magically become valuable. It was and still is junk. The buyer can get his money's worth neither through use or re-sale. He simply paid more than it was worth. I buy new when I can. When I can't I try to know as much as possible about the machine and price and more or less use the thumb rule of half new price. I speak with experience about paying too much.

Brian Ashton
02-15-2013, 1:30 AM
I know being in Canada we generally don't get great deals like most of you who live in the USA but sometimes I don't understand what the sellers are thinking when they ask 75% to 85% of the price of a new tool.

Is it because they think we should also pay for their personal attachment to the tool they are selling or is it simply a lack of understanding of the used tool market value?

I just had an interesting conversation via emails with a seller of a tool who wants only $50 less than the price of it brand new!
I politely passed on it but wonder if what I'm seeing lately is becoming more common ,as far as I remember the rule of thumb for the price of a used power tool used be between 40% to 60% of its brand new price depending on the condition of the tool of course.

What is your recent experience in buying and selling used tools?
I'll be very interested in reading your responses.

You think it's bad there Australia is way worse. I wish I could have back what I came to expect in Canada.

I mail order everything, and have for years now - even the vacuum cleaner came by post... I'd mail order the groceries and gas if I could figure out how to do it!

They have a bazaar mentality here in that if someone is selling x for $xx.xx everyone thinks it's too expensive and they in no uncertain terms tell them as such... But if the very same people that rage over the price they were to pay have x in his/her hot little hands they have no compunction to demand the same as what the other guy/girl was trying to get and they'll swear it's worth every penny and more - and! that I'm getting the bargain of the century... And it's funny cause they'll leave up for sale for years if they don't get what they want! There is absolutely no middle ground here.

Gouging is so bad here the federal government has just ordered Apple, Adobe and some other giant in the technology field to testify before a panel on why they're deliberately gouging australians.

John Coloccia
02-15-2013, 1:50 AM
All my questions are purely hypothetical I was just trying to figure out what was actually the "fair" thing to do. It seems to me that stores are getting the raw end of the deal in most cases when it comes to returns and resale of those things. But they have to do it because the competition does it. Isn't free enterprise a wonderful thing?

The only time I return something is when I buy it and it's junk, i.e. it doesn't do what it says it does. If a store sells be a table saw, for example, and the fence is warped, then I don't care if it cost $10 or $10,000...it's going back. If the store doesn't want to deal with returns, it should only carry products that work. Well, if they only carry "good" products, they won't make any money. OK, fine. They'd better factor returns into the equation, then.

There's some amount of people scamming the system. I worked part time at my local Woodcraft for a couple of years. Yeah, people steal stuff. Yeah, people return products because they're idiots and they don't know what they're doing. I'll tell you, though, that our "defective" bin was never empty. Most of the returns I saw from dissatisfied customers were products that were well and truly defective.

The "return everything" mentality has come about because stores HAVE to have liberal return policies....because they sell garbage and no one would dare buy anything from them anymore if they didn't. We've essentially turned into the quality control department. Manufactures crank out product and package it as cheaply and quickly as they possibly can, and then the consumer gets to waste time figuring out if the product actually works or not. Under these conditions you'd better have a world class return policy or no one will ever buy from you again.

Tom Fischer
02-15-2013, 2:45 AM
I agree with others. I had an old Rockwell contractor TS, did well by me, but I ran it pretty hard.
When I got my PM 2000, I gave the Rockwell to my neighbor. No charge.
There is some aura about "they don't make 'em like they used to"
Maybe that is true for old real IRON, like Tannewitz or Oliver.
But a lot of stuff was made like junk years ago, and still is (like my old Rockwell)

Mike Cogswell
02-16-2013, 1:00 PM
So, then if the seller takes the item back to the store and gets a refund, and the store puts it back on the shelf, you then expect to pay full price? Would you expect the store to refund the full price to purchaser?

BTW: I am not trying to imply any sort of opinion as to what my expectation is. It is just an interesting topic.

In most places an item cannot be resold as new once it has been sold once. Whenever possible I buy factory refurbished tools since they very often are actually brand new, never used, and come with a factory warranty. The computer I'm typing on was a returned item that I got a great price on despite the fact that it had never even been opened. Even my golfclubs (and my wife's) were bought from the Callaway pre-owned site. If you buy a "like-new", so far every one we've received was actually new and unused.

Brian Elfert
02-16-2013, 1:15 PM
If an item comes back to a store that is sealed and never opened there is no reason it shouldn't go back on the shelf for resale. Perhaps some states have laws against this but certainly not in Minnesota. I know both Menards and Home Depot put merchandise back on the shelves if it is still in the same condition as a new item. I understand a lot of the stuff returned to Walmart and Target is never re-shelved and is sold to liquidators who specialize in returned merchandise.

Mike Cogswell
02-16-2013, 1:31 PM
It depends on the tools as well as the seller.

The average for Lie-Nielsen planes on eBay over the past year is 87% of MSRP. And that's ignoring the fact that they typical eBay shipping charge is 2 or 3 times what LN charges. Of course, they are a highly coveted premium plane that has a lifetime warranty. The popular ones that come up frequently average between 80 and 85%. The reason Lie-Nielsen tools command such a high percentage of retail on eBay is because they never discount.

You can pretty much always get decent deal on most tools if you research what things actually sell for and exercise some patience. Most stores sell returns, even new and unopened, at a discount. "Factory refurbs" are often new and unused returns and can be had for good prices. Retailers (and manufacturers) have sales giving good prices from time to time. I just got a flyer from WoodCraft with 10 or 15% discounts on most items the weekend of 2/3 March. Some, like Delta for example, have periodic rebates. I got about 10% off on my lathe via rebates.

Mike Cogswell
02-16-2013, 1:40 PM
I think if I'm selling I like the 85% but if I'm buying I like the 40%. Really which side of the fence are you on, buying or selling. Also you say 85% but are you adding the sales tax and shipping to that. And how long are you willing to wait to order it off the web, or how close are you to a store you can buy that tool? Sometimes just seeing a price on a tool doesn't tell everything. I remember talking with a major tool supplier here about the borgs beating their price so much. They said look close at the model number, their's was like a 586 and the borg was a 586r, so not the same tool. Some of the makes have different quality, one maybe metal housing or gears and the other plastic housing or gears, but the same model like stated before.

With some manufacturers (like DeWalt) the "r" suffix indicates it's a refurbished item. In other cases, as you said, the content is different. For example, many DeWalt 18v cordless tools included two batteries in the kit. The BORG models typically only have one. The tools are identical, but the BORG one lacks a very expensive battery.