|FAQs & Contact Information:
Who needs a tool consultant?
Anyone who is faced with having to sell a tool
collection regardless of its size should have a working
knowledge of old tools, current values, pricing trends and
what type of advertising would be most effective in getting
interested buyers to the sale. GPTC will do everything from
a verbal appraisal and general advise to a detailed inventory,
grouping the tools into lots, determining a sale order,
photographing each lot, printing a catalog, and building
a web site and putting up a complete list with links to
Everybody knows that 80 percent of a tool collections
value can be concentrated in just 1 or 2 percent of the
tools in the collection. BEWARE of the fast talking dealer
or collector who comes in and “just wants to buy one
or two items.” A collection is much harder to market
once someone has been allowed to “ cherry pick” it.
Where is the best place to have
Anywhere there are good tools for sale is a good
place to sell them. I’ve been to major tool auctions
in Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Illinois,
Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio and elsewhere. While some of these
auctions took place near metropolitan areas, most were in
little out-of-the-way towns where the person who built the
collection lived. One thing that all of these sales demonstrated,
if there were good tools there and the sale was properly
advertised, collectors and dealers would come from all over
the country to buy them.
In the days prior to the Internet, the thinking
was that a collection had to be sent back east to one of
the big auction houses to get the best prices. That simply
isn’t the case any longer, and it hasn’t been
the case since the mid to late 1990s. With international
advertising available on the Internet and national advertising
in trade publications, tool buyers can easily learn about
sales and make travel arrangements.
Can any auctioneer call a
The simple answer is yes. Someone who regularly
sells cars or cows can call a tool auction. The key is to
have someone with a pleasant cadence and who can work in
the 120 to 140 lots-per-hour range. That said, it’s
best to have an auctioneer who understands tools. I’ve
seen non-tool auctioneers sell a valuable Stanley #1 or
#2 bench plane early in the sale and when they see how much
that plane brings, they spend the rest of the day trying
to open the bidding on every common bench plane for the
same money. If you’re going to use a non-tool auctioneer
to sell your tool collection, be sure you hire a competent
consultant to sort out and identify the better tools and
to give the auctioneer a realistic starting range for each
lot. This will keep the sale moving and the buyers on the
edge of their seats. Nothing kills a sale like slowing it
down. A knowledgeable tool person can also advise the auctioneer
on which items to feature in the limited advertising space.
How much does it cost to hire a tool consultant?
The rates very widely depending on the size of
the collection, the estimated value of the collection and
on what exactly the consultant is asked to do. At GPTC we
will work for a flat daily rate plus travel expenses to
advise, sort, lot and determine the best method of selling.
If a full-blown auction is required and GPTC is hired to
execute it, we will work for a percentage of the sale proceeds,
and again, that would depend on the estimated value of the
PLEASE NOTE: WE DO NOT DO APPRAISALS, GIVE ESTIMATES OR EVALUATIONS OF ANY ITEM OR COLLECTION OF ITEMS OVER THE PHONE. WE ALSO WILL NOT SELL ANY ITEMS OUTRIGHT THAT HAVE BEEN ADVERTISED AS BEING IN ONE OF OUR AUCTIONS.
Save your time and ours by not calling or sending email to ask what your specific item or collection is worth. If you really value our opinion, put the item in a box or envelope along with $20 and whatever additional money it will cost to get it back to you, and ship it to us. After we see it in person, we will be happy to give you our opinion of its value and return it to you. For large collections we will happily come to you and evaluate your collection for a fair daily rate or work with your local auctioneer to sort out your tools for an auction.
Planes Trading Company
ALL contacts held in strict confidence