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What tools should beginners look for and buy at estate auctions?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by bill s preston esq, Nov 5, 2012.

  1. bill s preston esq
    Joined: Feb 1, 2011
    Posts: 315

    bill s preston esq

    Now that I've figured out how to take the wheels off the driver's side of my 52 Chrysler wagon, I am going to a couple of estate auctions and need to drastically improve my tool selection.

    Coming up in the next couple of weeks are auctions with items listed below. What would be a good buy (midwest prices) for the welders?

    What else do you see on the list that you'd pick up and what else, in general, do you look for when you are out and about at sales/auctions?


  2. tlmartin84
    Joined: Jul 28, 2011
    Posts: 923

    from WV

    Torch set if they are brand name torches, Victor, harris, smith. etc.
    The upright AC.
    And more/all of it.

    I like to pick up the large items here. I typically look them up on ebay and check new prices before I go. The small stuff if it goes for a few bucks by all means pick it up.

    You would be surprised at the value in stuff you pick up for a few dollars in a random bucket of tools.

    I typically stay away from small electrical/handheld tools unless they are newer models that I am cerain I can get parts for. I picked up a router while back for 20 bucks looked brand new. The base was missing, bought it online for 10 bucks. Same router is over 100 bucks new.
  3. manyolcars
    Joined: Mar 30, 2001
    Posts: 8,536


    everything! anything!
    a quart of oil for a dollar at an estate sale or $5.50 at Walmart
  4. There's some decent welding equipment listed there, but keep in mind they may not let you try them out to assure working condition. Bid on them as if you'll have to put a few bucks in them. The acetylene set might be a good bet, especially if the tanks are full! The hand tools could be a good buy, too. Don't shy away from them if they're off-brands and not Snap-On, Craftsman, or Mac. As long as they're made in the US or Europe, they should be good to work, and they'll go for cheap.
    Keep in mind though, lately auctions have been bad news, at least in my experience over the last couple years. Since this whole "Storage Wars" show and its ilk have polluted the garage sale/auction scene, people are bidding stupid money for this stuff. I have seen welders that regularly fetch 200-300 sell for 800+ at some of these auctions. If you pull in to the place, and you see a bunch of box trucks with out-of-state plates, either don't bother and keep going, or keep your money in your pocket and stick around for a laugh at these overbidding dolts.

  5. J'st Wandering
    Joined: Jan 28, 2004
    Posts: 1,772

    J'st Wandering

    I never find hand tools to sell all that cheap at auctions and usually they are mismatched. Know what you can get the stuff for new before you go. Harbor freight is the ongoing joke for crappy tools but some of this stuff is probably no better and will sell higher.

    I go to sears or someplace similar and buy what I want new.

    I have a Lincoln 225 ac/dc welder, drill press, and other stuff that I have bought at auctions and did o.k. but never came away thinking that I hit the lottery.

  6. old me
    Joined: Mar 20, 2011
    Posts: 108

    old me
    from Iowa

    One thing you may do before the auction, is to check the prices of new compressors, welders, cutting torches,etc.
    A lot of auctions I have been to, the prices that used (up) equipment goes for isn't much less than new. People seem to get in to a "zone" when bidding, or they do not have any idea what new price is on the item they're bidding on.
    I'd much rather spend another fifty bucks on a new compressor or welder with a warranty.
    Keep your eyes open though, there's usually some bargains!
    Good luck!!
  7. tlmartin84
    Joined: Jul 28, 2011
    Posts: 923

    from WV

    people do the same thing online (eeeebay) which amazes me, you can look up prices before or while you are bidding

    been watching a used intake, its up to 380 bucks, brand new 400 dollars IDIOTS
  8. auction rules we go by....
    bid on things that are of value to you 1st
    bid on items 2nd for resale only if you know for sure it will sell above your buy price
    set a $ limit for each item when you are previewing the auction(make a list)
    be patient do not bid first unless there is absolutely no one bidding espiecially on choice of multiple items
    yell your bid price loudly do not let auctioneers set the bid amount
    be ready to pay for , haul,dispose of what you buy

    good luck

    you will remember the items missed more than the items bought...
  9. dad-bud
    Joined: Aug 22, 2009
    Posts: 3,884


    Good advice here Bill S - do your homework and have an idea of what values each item is likely to bring.
    eBay is a great resource to use for checking what's available and what it is likely to go for.
    Good luck and I hope you end up with a truck-load of new tools to test out on your car.
  10. 2935ford
    Joined: Jan 6, 2006
    Posts: 3,682


    if it's mde in USA/Canada grab them!

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