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Sell a batch direct to an ebay seller?
Old 03-14-2016, 11:15 AM   #1
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Sell a batch direct to an ebay seller?

DW's uncle had a machine shop for many years, and has a good sized collection of old machinist tools and supplies taking up space in their garage. They need to move (health reasons), and are looking to get rid of this stuff.

They are not computer savvy at all, and from what I've heard, they expect to get big $ for this stuff, thinking back to what it cost them years ago. I don't have a full inventory, but have seen some of it. I looked on ebay for similar things, and some old micrometers and such might fetch $20 or so. But after all the messing around, packing, shipping, possible follow up problems, and one of us will need to do it all for them, I'm not sure it's worth the effort.

But then I searched on ebay for machining tools, sold, limited to 100 miles, and I came up with a number of sellers in the area, and I see they have a 'contact' button. So I'm wondering if it is worth (after getting a full inventory), contacting some of these sellers and asking for a 'take it all' price, you haul it away? Let them take the profit, but our Aunt and Uncle could just be done with it.

Or is even contacting them about an off-ebay transaction a violation? Since I'm not trying to buy their stuff off-site but sell them a batch of stuff and let them sell it on ebay, that sounds kosher, but ebay may have other ideas?

I'll probably buy a few items myself, that are in nice wood cases and such. Not that I need an old dial micrometer like that, but they are just too cool!

Sounds good to me. Opinions? Other options?

-ERD50
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Old 03-14-2016, 11:42 AM   #2
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If you reach someone via their eBay contact button, you can offer to put the lot of items up for their bid, local pickup only.

Tools, especially older ones, are sturdy and heavy, and thus costly to ship. Items that may be worth $10 each are tough to sell individually if shipping alone will cost $15. To solve that, you could auction a set of items that you know fits within a USPS flat rate box.

For auctioning purposes you might pick out the smaller, easier to ship items, plus anything that might have collector value, for example, old automotive-related items, then gift or donate the remainder. Finding good homes for old stuff can be a fair amount of w*rk.
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Old 03-14-2016, 11:46 AM   #3
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You could look up estate sale auctioneers, they do this all the time.
(this way is at least set up to be more honest as they auction it and you pay them 10%-20% of the auction price, so higher price is better for them.)

Or just contact the ebay fellows, they may want it, and who cares what E-bay thinks as long as you are paid cash. These folks will want it at bottom dollar.

Either way they will get 10-15 cents on the dollar of what they paid.

Once you clean out a house, you find out all those precious things people treasured as valuable are nearly worthless because you don't have 6 months to sell it and wait for the 1 person in the country to love and buy it.
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Old 03-14-2016, 11:50 AM   #4
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My late FIL had a broaching business and when he died his widow had a bunch of quality measuring tools and a whole lot of extra parts that were made under a government contract - think military equipment parts, etc.

I sold the measuring tools on eBay for a good price individually and used the USPS flat rate shipping for the heavy stuff.

The parts, I learned, had become obsolete and I sold $40K retail of parts for scrap for a few bucks. I had contacted a guy who bought whole lots to resell and he was able to research the part numbers and determine that they simply was no current or future demand for them.
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Old 03-14-2016, 11:58 AM   #5
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1. Contact a number of the ebay sellers and see if you can get a few to come out and make you an offer. Let them know others are bidding. Related to this, you may find one who isn't interested in this stuff for some reason but might suggest what it's worth and to whom or maybe just refer you to another contact.


2. Contact an auction house and see what is possible to set up where a minimum bid would be in place for the lot (and what their charge is if the minimum bid isn't met and there is no sale.) Or, maybe they will suggest a piece-by-piece or lot-by-lot auction with minimums.


I agree with you that unless there is some significant money involved, advertising and shipping this stuff piecemeal will be one big pita. Ugh. (Unless you actually like spending time doing this like a hobby of course.)
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Old 03-14-2016, 01:00 PM   #6
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Quote:
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1. Contact a number of the ebay sellers..
Sometimes you can determine who the eBay sells are and just go to their own website, bypassing eBay altogether.
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Old 03-15-2016, 12:56 PM   #7
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Thanks for the replies, I'll see if they are interested in any of these routes.

Funny thing is, when I mentioned to someone I know, they said - 'hey, I'll take a micrometer in a nice wooden box' - DW does not understand.

-ERD50
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Old 03-15-2016, 01:09 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
Thanks for the replies, I'll see if they are interested in any of these routes.

-ERD50
Isn't the bottom line, since you personally aren't an expert in the area, really to:

1. Get a fairly accurate idea of what the stuff is worth via different selling channels (one piece at a time, bulk, auction, etc.) and.......

2. Determining which selling channels are viable due to your personal time, shipping issues, whatever.

If you're talking about getting $10k for the stuff if you bust butt for months piecing it out or, say, $7k if a bulk bidder shows up with a truck and it's all gone in a couple of hours, I know which one I'd do!
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Old 03-15-2016, 01:34 PM   #9
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DW's uncle had a machine shop for many years

I would call the competition machine shops in the area with your list.
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Old 03-15-2016, 04:01 PM   #10
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I would put a batch on Craig's list or ebay. This would attract any local ebayers and some collectors . I once had a batch of hologram belt buckles that someone wanted me to sell on ebay . After researching the prices I put a few up . I was contacted immediately by a few collectors to buy the whole group .After a brief price discussion I ended up selling them for double the original asking price for the whole lot .
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Old 03-15-2016, 04:43 PM   #11
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When my mom passed away. we closed out her home. My dad had a bunch of old tools, but I did not want them because they were obsolete. Example: a Yankee screwdriver where you push in and it spirally drives the screw in. I have a small cordless drill that does the same thing now.
i have a beautiful dial caliper in a wood box, but everyone now uses the digital ones.
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Old 03-15-2016, 08:00 PM   #12
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One of my prized possessions is a micrometer in a wooden box that my mother used working in a factory in WW II. She made parts for an analog computer, which was pretty sophisticated stuff in those days. I would never sell that micrometer.

Analog Museum - Ford Instrument Co.
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Old 03-16-2016, 01:20 PM   #13
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One of my prized possessions is a micrometer in a wooden box that my mother used working in a factory in WW II. She made parts for an analog computer, which was pretty sophisticated stuff in those days. I would never sell that micrometer.

Analog Museum - Ford Instrument Co.

Wow, interesting!
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