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How to get rid of thousands of hand tools?

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by Stewie26, Jun 10, 2014.

  1. Stewie26

    Stewie26 Supporting Member

    My wife's mother passed away a little over a year ago. We have been cleaning out her house so we can sell it. We have saved the garage clean out for last. Her X husband was a tool nut and tool hoarder. The two car garage has thousands of hand tools, mostly Craftsmen brand. I am trying to figure out the best way to get rid of them. I am not fond of CL as It seems to bring flakes and no shows. Also, I don't want to them to see a garage full of tools so they can come back help themselves later. I am thinking of having a yard sell with the garage door closed. My questions is what is the value of good used tools. BTW, some of them look like they have never been used. Should I ask for 50% of today's retail value or is that too high of price? Any help or thoughts would be appreciated.
  2. Gorn


    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
  3. ChrisB2

    ChrisB2 Bass... in your fass

    Feb 27, 2008
    TalkBass > Off Topic
    I would think you would want an auctioneer to handle that. Sometimes stuff sells for more than its worth, bidding wars due to Auction Fever ya know...
  4. Auction is the way to do this.
  5. 4StringAxe


    Jul 27, 2009
    My condolences to your family for your loss. I agree with auction. Anything you make from it is gravy anyway and will be easier on you.
    Stewie26 likes this.
  6. Perhaps there is a local high school or trade school that might want them? Or your local luthier. Or a wood working club?

  7. Gravedigger Dav

    Gravedigger Dav Supporting Member

    Mar 13, 2014
    Fort Worth, Texas
    Guitar Ed has a good idea. And you can take it a step further. If you donate them to a charity, hopefully one that will actually use them, you will be able to claim the value as charitable donation for tax purposes. If you don't find a worthy place or if you just want to sell them, I would suggest an auctioneer as well.
  8. Stewie26

    Stewie26 Supporting Member

    One thing I have noticed over the past few years. People do not value quality tools like they use to. They buy cheap imported throw away tools from Harbor Freight.
    I have a friend who use to work for Snap On and he said Harbor Freight really hurt his business. So I am thinking these tools are not as valuable as they use to be.
  9. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Depends on the type of tools. Mechanic's tools are one thing, but many woodworkers love the old tools. Also, Snap-On and others have replacement for life. I know of mechanics who have bought used tools cheap, then returned then to the company for free new tools.

    Most schools have gotten rid of woodshop. Craft centers and local woodworking clubs would be a good start.
  10. DblG


    Apr 27, 2005
    Buffalo, NY
    Craftsman brand tools are middle of the road stuff that us handymen buy to do projects around the house...so that's your market. When my dad died a couple years back we had the same thing, although not a full garage. Basically my mom kept us coming back to clean out the basement and get the plethora of mostly un-used tools outta there. We split them up as to what we needed, then donated what we could to friends who needed.
    Stewie26 likes this.
  11. Stewie26

    Stewie26 Supporting Member

    I would say 90 percent of the tools are mechanical and are at least 25 years old. Her X was a crane mechanic at the Long Beach Naval Shipyard. I won't be surprised if I find some tools engraved USN on them. There are piles and piles of tools and I am not even close to seeing what he had.
    I have to call an exterminator and have him spray the garage as there are lots of critters in there.
  12. tastybasslines

    tastybasslines Banned

    May 9, 2010
    Los Angeles, CA
    I think it is worth it to donate them to a charity and take a write off for more than you will probably get for them if you sell them privately. If you are in a position to use the write-off that is.
  13. Stewie26

    Stewie26 Supporting Member

    I was thinking that "Habitat for Humanity" would be a good place to donate as they build houses for the needy.
    One thing odd is that the tax guy said we donated too much stuff this past year, (household items to Goodwill and Salvation Army) which will raise a flag to the IRS and we should be prepared for an audit.
  14. tastybasslines

    tastybasslines Banned

    May 9, 2010
    Los Angeles, CA
    Have you donated more than 10K worth of stuff? It's my understanding that 10K is the limit each year.
  15. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Habitat for Humanity and mechanics tools are not a mix. Call auction houses - they often will come over for free to take a look at what you have. Also, are you on good terms with your auto mechanic? That might be source of info as well.

    The issue with audits is that while 10k may be the limit, not too many people hit that figure. Donating a large number more than once (or any other unusual activity) is a red flag for audits.
  16. Stewie26

    Stewie26 Supporting Member

    Yes...but you would think that the government would allow it as it is good for the community.
    Also, you would think that they would make an exemption when you are liquefying a relative's estate. Just my 2 cents.
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2014
  17. Stewie26

    Stewie26 Supporting Member

    Good point that I did not think of. There are some skill and chop saws that might work though. Also a couple of air compressors.
  18. sell em on TB, cuz I need some wrenches.
    Technotitclan likes this.
  19. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    The problem is, how do they know you're legit and not running a scheme without an audit? They don't ask for supporting documents anymore, so the only way you could show them is through an audit.
  20. Technotitclan

    Technotitclan Lurking TB from work

    Mar 1, 2012
    Rochester, NY
    I'd be happy to take tools off your hands :D In all seriousness an auction house is probably a good bet. They can sell it off in huge sections and get a decent sum for each. If your feeling willing to go through it and find all the wood tools then charities will take those but mechanics tools are not that useful to them. Another option is something a friend of mine did a long while back is invite all your trust worthy friends and family to come over and help organize it. What she did is offer to let every one keep a few things in exchange for helping. Also she bought pizza.

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