Great piece on how to be smart when buying tools on eBay. Personally, I’ve had good luck. But I spend a lot of time watching auctions of tools similar to the one I am seeking before determining exactly what I want and what I’m willing to spend, then even more time waiting till the right one comes up at the right price. There are some non-eBay resources in this post that I hadn’t known about.
I have been buying vintage tools for quite a few years now – both from vintage tool shows like “Tools of the Trades”, online tool sellers, and even *shock-horror* – eBay. My experiences have been mostly positive – even though some people decry buying tools from eBay.
When buying a vintage tool, the primary concern (excepting the price of course), is its condition. Buying online, tool sellers often have some sort of classification system, e-Bay however is a little trickier. The most commonly used tool rating system was established by Vernon Ward and the Fine Tool Journal (FTJ). Reputable sellers will post multiple photos of the tool, clearly showing any defects, and possibly either describing the defects, or posting them as “for parts or repair”. In a recent eBay post for a Stanley No.62 plane, photos were posted showing the defects associated with the plane, i.e. the pitting on the sole…
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