I'm surprised the guy admitted to paying $75 for the lot. (if in fact he REALLY did pay $75) He should have known he would get bashed for stealing the stuff. Personally, I don't care what he paid, or how much he tries to make on it, but the fact that he came here to pick everyones brain to price the stuff for him DOES bother me.
This whole thread got me thinking though. For my part, if I found some mega deal at a flea market or junk store I don't think I'd have any general qualms over taking advantage, its something about the direct personal transaction with the previous owner or his family that I prefer to handle differently.
re the cash, the seller and I figure it was the money his dad got from selling another of the turret lathes which had been bought new back in the 50's when his father was running a shop. IIRC father is still alive, now in a nursing home I believe. The family is clearing out the house for eventual sale (I think). While we were humping stuff around the seller (a son) told me of the memories he had of the lathe I was buying- he and his brothers set to work making brass widgets by the thousands, several times it was taken upstairs for some manual ops done by their mother. No way I could have kept the money.
Hey guys, I got this immaculate Deckel a little old lady paid me to take away, how much do you think I could get for it?
Sorry, I tried but couldn't deny myself
Yeah right. The dude walks up to a yard sale and there's a PRISTINE Gerstner box chocked full of like new tools that the old lady didn't even know was in there. Her old man died 25 years ago and she never even opened up the box. No one else is interested in this box-O-tools so he skofs it up for $75. He has no idea what it is but he figures maybe he can stash his pile of Rolexes in it but he has to sell the mikes to make room for the keys to his Ferrarie.
He left out the part about how the old lady had this dynamite 19 year old chick in the house that was just dying to bang the guy. Well it turns out the chick was the long lost grand daughter of some Saudi prince so instead of banging her he wants to know what she's worth. If someone here can't help he'll just put her up on EBay. Give me a break............Bob
If you're going to post such an aggressive thing, please actually read the post so you're.. informed of what actually happened. No old lady. No scamming. I know when to go to yard sales as well as a whole list of other such things to find the better items before others. I do it as a side JOB. Some of you are being so ignorant. It's a nice box. Can't you just say that if you don't have pertinent information on it.
I don't have a huge problem with getting a good deal at a yard or estate tag sale. I've gotten lots of good deals, mostly when nobody else wanted the items, or even knew what they were. My wife and I go to them of a Saturday as a "day out" many weekends. Naturally I like 'tool sales", and we don't really need any more furniture etc, we used to shop them for that sort of thing.
I've paid more than asked, a time or two, for individuals, but in general, if I get a good deal, it's the seller's lookout. Most of the sales are run by professional estate sale folks that I go to.
Individuals usually think grandpa's toolbox that they took all the mics and otehr tools out of and has only undecipherable special purpose jigs left in it (lumps of metal, basically) is worth $1200. or they suggest that the 40 year old heavily worn mics are "worth" X amount of the current catalog price, usually half.....
The worst are retired guys, who know what they paid for everythng 40 years ago, and want 70% of catalog, even in this economy. I just go on by unless once in a great while there is something in excellent shape that I actually NEED.
I find the concept of "worth" to be offensive. The "worth" concept pre-supposes equal condition and equal capability, regardless of reality.
The real test is "market value". The market value of an old Starrett 1" mic with no tenths vernier and lots of wear might be $15, or $0, depending on whether you are going to use it, or collect it. For USE, it might be worthless. To a collector, who knows?
I bought a Dumore 44 TP grinder with a host of accessories for $25 a while back. The sellers had no clue what it was, and thought it was a shoe polisher (no joke, it had a buffing wheel on it). I resisted paying more, and they went for it. Sounds really bad, doesn't it? I really screwed those folks.........
Well, it needed a motor bearing, it still needs two spindle bearings, and at time of purchase I saw that the box plus some of the accessories were rusty, the belt was shot, etc. The low price was because I figured it had problems and needed work/parts, taking a risk that it was not actually repairable. If I pop for the parts, I will have paid in total a reasonable price.
That said, I'd have been inclined, if I had discovered a drawer full of goodies after taking a tool box home, to go back and spiff them some more $$. or, if I didn't want the tools, to return them.
I've returned stashes of money before. That is only right.
No, my problem with the poster is purely that he apparently joined to get a free estimate. He "stole" the box, let alone the tools, which at flea market pricing per would still net him a tidy profit, AND he now wants a free estimate to boot.
if he's "in the trade" to any extent, as he appears to have said, and isn't just an "ebay trader", he should know the rates and not need us.
About the emotional attachment many here have to a tool box... some people spend more of their entire life (total hours) with a tool box like that making a living than they do with their family. It means no more to you than its "ballzyness" (or whatever.) I think this is part of the reason why you are getting so much flak.
It is a beautiful box. Worth a lot to the right person whether they keep their tools in it, their "male jewelry" or give to their wife to keep hers in (I hear they are popular with women these days.) If it has the keys to it it is worth about $100 more for some reason. A white oak version of that box went for about $700 on eBay recently (you can check yourself.) A similar model goes for about $900 new from Gerstner.
Back to the emotional thing. Many of us would really value such a box. Even more so if it was handed down from a relative or a mentor. There is no way we would part with such an "attached" box for just about any amount of money. Having said that... very few of us would ever buy a new one at full retail. We might not even buy a used one off of a dealer (eBay or otherwise.) It is the provenance, the attachment, that gives it value.... to some of us. A machinist has more "invested" in such a tool box than most any of the tools that can go inside it and even multi-thousand dollar machines.
Leaving aside (sort of) all the emotional stuff....
You got a great deal and were very lucky. I am envious.
You said you want to maximize your profit on this deal. You are asking for help valuing the stuff you got in the box and the box itself. OK that is pretty fair. Many members of this community on PM ask about the value of a job they are doing or a part they are making or whatever. Very common question and often there are long discussions about the value of a certain type of work. Most really want to know what is a fair value for their work or part. Quite simply with a one off (you aren't sitting on a truckload of NOS Gerstners) to maximize your profit you need to just put it out to bid on eBay and see what the market brings you. Study the other ads on eBay for similar items and figure out what the seller does to present his item that brings the highest bids (lots of good photos really help.) Do your homework, present your item, make your sale, take it to the bank, get on with the rest of your life.
What irks me about your post is you are not really a member of this community. The only thing you have contributed is this story of a great deal you got on some old tools and a box. You say you have been lurking here for a while... then, out of the blue, you make this post and ask us to help you maximize your profit. My question to such an "offer" is; What's in it for me (or us)? Why should anyone help you maximize your profit when all you are offering is a hearty "thanks" and we may never hear from you again? What will you do to reciprocate?
My previous offer still stands.
This whole thread should be deleted.
Originally Posted by grandtools
Politics and personal feelings aside, I sent a PM, received a response via email and then nothing.
I meant what I said and no disrespect.
Care to reply?
What irks me is the fact that you come here to get pricing and then put the stuff on ebay. A lot of us refuse to buy from there for various reasons so if your going to wave the carrot in front of everybody here at least give us a chance at buying the stuff. I think its pretty rude myself.
As far as the Gerstner being ballsy (not a good choice of terms) it is a very classy way to store any small collection of whatever.
The real nerve that was hit is this: Where will my tools be 25 years after I am gone. Will my wife or childern know what they are or what they meant to me. Some tools were gifts from loved ones long gone. With car payments, rent and a newborn at home some of those tools were hard to come by way back in my 20's.
Some of us make things that were not here before. We can point to a machine or device and say "I made that". People who push paper from one side of the desk to the other will never know how that feels.
Appears to be Mahogany to me.
Gerstner produced chests in this size and species for a time, but it would now be a custom (not sure they would even do it). They produced them under their own name and also, I believe, for Starrett.
I have both the Starrett version and a 52 in Mahogany (purchased from a PM member), and I'm a member of the Gerstner owner's group. I'm not looking to unload mine, and I often find myself feeling as if I am honoring those who owned the chests before me by taking good care of them now.
Mahogany makes it rare, and the condition even more so. It was a great find and I can't fault someone for getting a good deal. If the seller did not take the time to understand the value of the item, where is the fault? Even my wife can recognize the inherent value in a good-condition Gerstner box.
As a longtime beneficiary of the knowledge and experience this forum has to offer, I can also understand why some react the way they do.
Commerce is commerce, but what goes on here sometimes (perhaps often) transcends that. As such, new posters should understand that pursuit of profit - particularly when it's so transparent - is not the most welcome of objectives here. Yes, the rules may change a bit for those who have many more posts than I, but I accept that. This is not eBay, and that's a good thing in my opinion.
It's a work of art
I have a 1954 red oak, date is from a receipt for machining related materials and tooling found under the bottom drawer when I restored it.
Originally Posted by Mike in MI
My box has no serial# or Model # anywhere on it, have seen some like it but no one can come up wth a model #. Maybe in those days Gerstner didn't put that info on them.
I wouldn't sell it for any amount of money. I have a great deal of pride in restoring it. It is a piece of someones life -- I use it daily and now it is a part of my life.
Last edited by ietech; 03-09-2010 at 08:27 AM.
that puts it well imo, with two important provisos....that you're not taking advantage of someone who could reasonably view is incapacitated to figuring out what its worth AND that you not just brow beat someone into it, ie they're a willing seller offering it. If someone is too stupid or lazy to make any effort to ascertain value, and they're offering, i have no ethical issue....I mean it says the brand on the box the value is a google away....otoh beating up on some old widow who's shell shocked at having to deal with everything, has no clue what things are worth, is broke and doesn't own a computer, well, that i have an issue with. Kind of follows the code we all have a responsibility to take care of ourselves and those who can't take care of themselves
Originally Posted by Mike in MI
Last edited by Mcgyver; 03-09-2010 at 01:52 PM.
I've never seen so many guys panicked about what will happen to their "Gerstner" after they die, yet looking for super deals in the Commerce section of the site? I hope those same individuals are as concerned about the well being of their spouses and families upon departure. And how many of you have taken the time to itemize your shop with pictures and estimated values so your families know what the strange whatchamacallit in the corner is? I'm sure a few have but the vast majority have not.
The guy didn't break in and steal the box and tools and he only saved a few hundred bucks. It wasn't a cherry 54 Vette for $5K. Guys brag non-stop about the deals they find on this forum and everyone high fives them. The OP's only fault(s) was a poorly chosen first post topic and being too lazy to figure out the values for himself.
I'm sure we'll see them on ebay soon enough. Done ranting.