Make Money selling old Tools

October 22, 2015 by  
Filed under New, Spotlight

Make Money selling old Tools

Since we’re talking about making money I have to mention this really great niche – make money selling old tools. 

This works in part because most of us know have some knowledge about some kind of tool. Not to mention they’re available almost everywhere you look from flea markets to garage sales. Planning a few hours on a Saturday morning will always yield a few used tool deals.

I’ve even found discontinued power tools on the discount table at my local big-box store. You’ll have no problem marking them up reasonably and selling them accordingly.

Focus on power and professional tools.

Also look for specialty-purpose and over-sized tools. Don’t forget to look for bargains on the accessories as well. People may own the tool but want to buy a case or an extra power pack.

The over-sized tools are mostly contractor-type but they may be a specialty version tool for the consumer. Things like large mixing drills or floor staplers.

Even over-sized pry-bars and levels. Someone will always need what you have – if only for a single project. You’re saving them money over buying a brand new tool for a single use.

To make money selling old tools keep these details in mind.

What are people buying? People will buy everything basically. As long as you focus on the three areas, specialty, power and over-sized. I have sold cement mixers (specialty/power) all the way down to special purpose drill bits (specialty/over-sized/accessory).

They sell quickly in the warm months but you can also make good money in winter if they have been priced well.
The cement mixers were small enough for the homeowner and the drill bits were a professional item. They were over-sized concrete bits. In both these cases they were priced much better than a new tool purchase. And in both cases the homeowner had a project they needed to accomplish at their home.

Another type of buyer you may get is the professional contractor.

I’ve had contractors looking to expand their tool inventory in advance of a particular job. Or they found something in one of my ads that was an exceptional price.

I’ve also had contactors that have called in a panic. They needed a particular tool asap because theirs had just broken on the job. In a case like that they probably don’t have time to go shopping. Or the expense of a brand new tool is not cost effective at this stage of their job. Note: In cases like these I’m referring to higher-end power tools.

Some hot sellers.

Keep in mind they are usually only interested if it’s available immediately. That interest level drops if they have to wait on you since they are potentially losing the work day anyways. In cases like those I try to to meet with them asap.

You may be a contractor yourself with a supply of tools that you have retired. The good news for you is that since you are probably using professional grade tools to begin with – these are hot sellers. Just make sure to write your ad detailing that fact.

Start by cleaning them and making sure they are safe to use. ‘Tag’ them with any notes as some tools have quirks that only the seller may be familiar with.

If you want to turn this into a legitimate business you could use your business card in place of a tag. Just punch a hole in the corner and attach it to the tool with wire or a zip tie. Jot any important notes on the back. Bag any spare or loose parts that are included.

You can attach the bag to the tool (or cord) again with a zip tie. Include the manual if possible. If you don’t have the original you may be able to download one from the internet.

“To make money selling old tools your first step is to make sure you price them well.”

It’s time to take great pictures.

You want to include as many pics as you’re allowed. Here are a few tips for the best pictures. Start with a clean item – no one wants to look at, or purchase a mud-caked tool. You may have trouble generating interest in a case like that unless it’s marked FREE.

Put something relative close-by to indicate its size.
Next pick a clean spot to stage your item. Even better if it’s appropriate to the tool. For example, an open spot on your tool bench.  I’ve held it in my hand and I’ve also open a tape measure in the shot.

You’ll need a master.

You want a few ‘master’ shots – showing the entire item. You want a few close-ups too. Remember to show details such as the manufacturers label as well as any wear or damage.

Finally, if you really want to make money selling old tools then take a picture of the tool in the context of it’s intended use.  If that isn’t possible use a workbench surface or shop floor. You could also use your imagination and create an industrial themed backdrop.

I would take many tool pictures using a diamond checker plate on the garage floor. This gave me a rugged industrial theme and some consistency across all of my industrial items. Get a picture of it in-action if possible.

If you can’t create the action-shot you could download a stock shot as long as it’s consistent with the actual item. That last one can be more difficult to arrange so consider it optional. I wish you success in your quest to make money selling old tools.

Best of luck and collect well.


“Links in this post may be affiliate links. By clicking + purchasing I would receive a commission.”

Please follow and like us:

Make Money from old Stuff

October 20, 2015 by  
Filed under How To, Spotlight

Make Money from old Stuff

It’s no secret that you can make money from old stuff.
Whether for reasons of nostalgia or the overall belief that older is better, many of us prefer older tools and hardware. We naturally associate the weight and feel with durability and longevity. You yourself may have used the expression, “they don’t make them like they used to.”

“I’m a big fan of vintage power tools. There’s something about the solid metal casing versus the economical plastic housings you find on today’s tools that’s a big plus for me.”

“To make money from old stuff you first need access to old or interesting stuff.”

Where do you start?
You’ll need to get your hands on your favorite old stuff before you can begin. If you don’t have your own warehouse of inventory then it’s time to go looking for some. The first thing you should do is decide what area, or niche, interests you.

I started many decades ago. It began with auto parts. As a teen I would run home after school to continue working on my first car – a 1968 AMC Javelin SST. I was 14 and too young to drive but I loved that car. I tore into it …removing and replacing pieces, cleaning and rebuilding parts as I progressed.

What’s your Javelin?
The work generated a surplus of parts that I sold off to finance the buying of yet even more parts. I soon learned I could make money selling old tools as well. It happened very naturally and grew organically over the years. So that would be my advice to you.  Discover your own Javelin and jump-off.

Assuming you have your area of interest, the next thing to do is make a list of everything you have good access to. For example, consider your surroundings and geographical location. Are you located near an ocean or desert, or maybe a mountain range? Do a search on EBAY. You’ll be shocked to see what people are paying for natural items such as shells, rocks and small pieces of driftwood.

Regardless of where you are located something is being discarded or overlooked by the locals. Do you reside in a big city, small town or maybe you’re isolated in the country? Are there any recognizable landmarks or industries within travelling distance? People from around the world may collect branded items from those landmarks or industries.

All these questions are simply to get you thinking of opportunities you may have not considered. I mention auto parts as being my jumping-off point but over the years I’ve deviated into many areas. That happens as your interests change or new opportunities arise.

Years ago I worked near a large open quarry. I had access for a period of about two months. I made full use of that access by collecting pieces of rock that contained fossils.

And there were tons of fossils to find after blasting. I sold them as pieces for gardens. Knowing what I know now I could have spun it even farther my making molds and selling the casts – that’s another story.

Surprisingly you can make money from old stuff.

Think big-picture.
When I started, all my buying and selling was done through classified ads in newsprint. I would have to phone-in the ad copy every Tuesday. It would show up in print by Friday that same week.

Then all responses were through the single phone line in the house – without an answering machine. Today with an internet connection, email and the smart phone the frustrating part is taken care of.

So, wherever you are located I can almost guarantee you are in a position to make money from old stuff somehow. I will continue to add articles outlining several ideas I’ve used. In the meantime grab yourself a journal or notebook, and do some brainstorming.

Best of luck and collect well.


“Links in this post may be affiliate links. By clicking + purchasing I would receive a commission.”

Please follow and like us: