Tips and Techniques for Selling Your Shopsmith Tools

As much as it pains me, some folks just don’t need their tools. Perhaps you’ve outgrown them, or maybe you inherited them and need the value they represent more than their functionality. That’s OK. So what do you say we do everything we can to get you them most money for your tools? Since 1987 I have sold hundreds of Shopsmith tools, and I’ve also bought more than my fair share, and in this blog I’ve written about my experiences in order to help connect buyers and sellers of Shopsmith tools. Here are of few tips to help you accomplish your goals…

  • My first tip is that when you are through reading this post that you take a look at my post titled “Tips and Techniques for Buying Shopsmith Tools”. In it I explain to buyers what they should do to make sure that they are confident and totally satisfied with their tool purchase. Knowing the tips that I share with them will give you some good ideas about what you need to do as a fair and honorable tool seller. In the end you’ll know your tool will go to a good home, and that you’ll be able to sleep soundly knowing that they are not going to fall into “buyers remorse”, and perhaps even causing you headaches by using eBay’s feedback to retaliate or by embroiling you in a needless Paypal dispute.
  • Take a look at the individual posts relating to the tools you are selling to make sure you know about the history of that tool. Shopsmith tools have gone through a lot of change over the years, and you need to know the details to make sure that the tool you think you are selling is in fact the tool you have to sell.
  • If you are selling the tool online make sure that the photos are clear and cover every detail you can. Choose a well-lit area to take the photos, and when in doubt, add another light.

  • Don’t leave the buyer to assume anything! In my “Buying a Suit on eBay” Blog (seriously!) I mention that many suits today are made in China by people who don’t read English. The English labels inside a suits lining may say “Wool“ or “100% Silk“, but that doesn’t mean that the suit is made of wool or silk! There is a label in a suit that must disclose the country of origin and the actual material, but the “show labels” can say anything you want! Back to tools. If a prospective buyer sees a “Forest Woodworker II” carbide saw blade on a Shopsmith saw arbor hanging on the pegboard behind your Mark V in the photo in the eBay listing, they may believe that it is included with the Mark V. Is it? Isn’t it? Make sure that you include a COMPLETE listing of all items which are included in the listing; and if something makes its way into the photo that shouldn’t be there, either edit it out of the picture using Microsoft Paint, or state clearly something like: “Please note that the blade shown in the wall in the photo is NOT included in this auction.”. If something is included in the listing but not shown in your photo, consider taking another, of make sure that you not this prominently in your ad. Say something lever like “There is an awesome 8 Gallon Ingersoll Rand Model SS3J2-WB air compressor included with this Shopsmith Pro Planer; but it was too shy to be photographed with the planer.”

  • Offer to send additional photos upon request. Buyers understand that eBay charges for extra photos and that you may have additional photos. Rather than waiting for them to ask, offer this extra touch up front. The other advantage is you will now have their email address, so you can send them a friendly reminder the day before you auction ends!
  • All major Shopsmith tools have serial numbers of date codes on them. If your tool is a Shopsmith Mark V you can visit Shopsmith’s web site and find the birth date of the tool. http://www.shopsmith.com/ownersite/serialnumber.htm On the Mark V the serial number is located on the left side of the Headstock (Power Plant), on the vent plate or on a Red/White Sticker. Note that the serial #’s were switched to a date code in 1988. If your tool is another Shopsmith tool you can either email or call Shopsmith’s customer service. Ask for Linda and tell her Scott Markwood says “Hey”.
  • Because the color of Shopsmith tools MAY indicate the age of the tool, make sure your mention if the tool has been repainted. The fact that it’s been re-touched or repainted isn’t a bad thing; but changing the color to mimic a newer production model, then not disclosing this fact is tantamount to fraud.

  • I suggest to Mark V buyers that they ask the seller to confirm that the speed dial turns freely and that there is no bearing noise. To do this you want to make sure that the headstock isn’t coupled to a bandsaw or any other SPT tool, and make sure that the tool is running before you turn the speed dial. Once you confirm that all is in order, mention in your listing what you learned. Say something like: “We cycled the Mark V’s speed dial through the entire speed range, and no unusual noises were observed.” This may be a great time to state the obvious to the buyers with a disclaimer that states “Please keep in mind that though this tool has given faithful service all these years with no maintenance problems, I am not a tool expert, electrician or mechanic, and this is a 25 year old tool. There may be unknown conditions that are not warranted by me or the manufacturer.”
  • The Mark V has been manufactured by no less than five companies, so provide either a photo of the name plate from the headstock or at the very least the serial number and the other text from the name plate.
  • There have been several versions of the Shopsmith 5-in-1 tools, including the 10e, the 10er, the Mark I, II, V and VII. There has NEVER been a Mark IV, though the Mark V is regularly listed as a Mark 4 on eBay. The Mark V has been made in several models with distinct differences. There has been a Mark V model 500, 505, 510 and 520, and you can find more information about this in our Mark V post within this blog.
  • If you’ve added any upgrades to the tool, mention them! This is important because some of the older tools have undesirable features that you may have addressed with an upgrade or retrofit. For example, many older Mark V’s have been upgraded with a new two bearing quill, and many Shopsmith bandsaws have been retrofitted with ball bearing blade guides. Describe what the upgrade does, and give a testimonial while you’re at it. Say something like: “The original bronze bushing guides were like fingers on a black board and were in constant need of lubrication. Since upgrading to the new ball bearings the noise is gone and the sealed bearings require zero maintenance.” What if your tool has no upgrades? Say something in your listing like: “The Shopsmith 11” Bandsaw has continued to evolve since its introduction, and unlike so many companies, Shopsmith never leaves their older tool owners behind. All upgrades since this bandsaw was produced are retrofitable to this classic saw and are readily available from Shopsmith.”
  • How will you ship the tool? Will you ship it assembled, partially disassembled or totally disassembled? Include photos or better yet a video of the disassembly process and make sure that all loose parts, set screws, etc. are placed in well labeled a Zip-Loc bag. The Mark V is a very easy tool to break-down and reassemble, so don’t let this scare you off. It the tool is to be shipped assembled I would still suggest that you remove the legs. They are held in place with fives screws each, and with them removed the tool will ship much more compactly (saving you or the buyer money) and the tool will be less likely to become damaged due to toppling as the center of gravity will drop dramatically.
  • Before listing your item, do a quick Completed Auction Search of similar items. This will let you know what the current going rate is for that item, and unless there is something special about your deal, your location or your copywriting skills, use the going rate as a rule of thumb for establishing your opening bid.
  • That reminds me to mention that buyers HATE reserves! If you know you must have $2000 for your tools or else you are going to give it to your son-in-law, then start your auction with $1997 as the opening price. At least that way potential buyers know where they stand, and only serious bidders will jump into the fray. Personally I’m a little more confident in my ad writing abilities, and I’m a bit of a gambler, so I would start the auction at $997 or $1447.
  • Don’t mess around with 10 day listings. They cost you more, and after three days you are still left with a seven day auction! Buyers are looking for instant gratification, and seven days is long enough.
  • Consider a “Buy It Now” price. This will cost you a bit more, but it will have a valuable psychological effect on the bidders. If you are reasonable in your asking price, and assuming that someone didn’t win that last Shopsmith Mark VII that they’ve been dreaming of, they just might take it off your hands right away and not risk missing out to a sniper. Likewise, the “Buy It Now” price serves as a benchmark for potential buyers who may not know the going rate of your tool.
  • If your goal is to make the most money you possibly can for you tools, please note that tool prices are seasonal because woodworking is seasonal. Woodworkers are active hobbyists and as such are in their gardens, on their Jet Skis and climbing rocks during the Spring and Summer. That means you will have fewer buyers competing for your items if you can wait to sell them in the Fall and Winter.
  • Feel free to send me your ads, and I’ll be happy to offer tips and suggestions. I’ll even post them on my blog at no charge.
  • Lastly, consider adding a link to our “Tips and Techniques for Buying Shopsmith Tools” (linked above) within your eBay listing. This will show that you have nothing to hide, and that you are looking out for their best interests. They might find it in a Google search anyway, so you might as well be the one to offer a good tip.
Good luck! Scott

14 comments:

  1. Scott, I have a significant collection of Shopsmith tools and accessories--call it what you want, but it was long my pride and joy, but used so little that it all deserves a great home. I would be interested in talking with any prospective buyers. My email is lfc5030@gmail.com. My collection includes two power stations, plus the dust collector, and the metal tool boxes that Shopsmith briefly sold--new and still in their shipping boxes. I have all of the bits, covers, upgrades, boxes and boxes of great Shopsmith resources!

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  2. Larry, what part of the world are you and the tools?

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  3. I have a like new ShopSmith V that was received as a gift from woodworking father-in-law. Only used few times. Many, many accessories. Can provide pictures and additional details. Please make offer.

    jimkurtz@att.net
    Memphis, TN

    ReplyDelete
  4. I have a third generation Shop Smith pin router system that I would like to sell. Used very little and in very nice condition.

    mpclowes@verizon.net
    Bellflower, Ca

    Phil

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  5. Hi~
    Do you know of a Canadian counterpart to your website? I have inherited a complete package ShopSmith with too many accessories to mention but would prefer to sell it up here. Any advice would be much appreciated. We are located in British Columbia.

    Many thanks,
    B

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  6. Not that I know of, but then again there may be other Canadian Woodworkers checking in here. Keep an eye out for them. Scott

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  7. I have a Smithsmith V complete with tools and band sand, routor, jioner and much more to sell ...please email me at macdusty2@yahoo.com

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  8. I am looking at a Shop Smith Mark V that has had minimal use and is approximately 25 years old. Any idea what it is worth. It has the smaller band saw, table saw, boring machine, disc sander, and drill press. Any help would be appreciated. My email is John.Moore@sjh-mt.org.

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  9. I have a bunch of misc mark V upgrade kits and various blades and arbors, most new in the package. I also have a lot of shopsmith books and magazines if interested please contact me for details. Thanks

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    Replies
    1. Andrea, I just saw your post, I am interested in purchasing some of your items. Email is camauto@aol.com or camautotech@gmail.com

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  10. I am in Florida Sarasota Bradenton Area have Mark V and several attachments to sell. Nice items.E_Mail healthdeptguy@gmail.com

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  11. I'm selling a Shopsmith 10ER with parts in Dover, DEL. through the Krrb website for $100. Photos are posted on Krrb. It hasn't been used since the 1070s and the electric cord is frayed.
    -Viv

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  12. Shopsmith 10ER with parts and accessories Will be sold by Green Gavel Auctions, at a farm auction in Felton, DE on April 2, 2016.

    -Stuart

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  13. I have a Mark V 500 in great condition. Serial number indicates it was born in 1986. I have 3 Mark V's and need to sell this one. I tested it, cleaned it out, replaced 2 of the bearings and it is now in perfect running condition. It has all of the original stock accessories. Located in upper NJ. dcarmichael451@hotmail.com.

    ReplyDelete

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