If you’ve got some used tools, there’s inherent value in them, and you may find that selling them is a great way to raise cash if you’re struggling to pull together enough money to cover an emergency expenditure. That said, it isn’t always easy to know how to go about it, so let’s find out!
The amount will vary depending on the tools you have to sell and their condition. If you’ve got expensive tools that are in good condition, you’ll be able to earn a lot more money than if you’ve got low-end tools, or if your tools are very worn out.
Even low-end tools can be worth selling in situations where you need cash fast, but you should be aware that you won’t earn as much money for them.
The price you can obtain for your tools is also influenced by the balance of supply and demand. If there is an abundance of similar tools available for sale or if many other sellers are offering the same type of tool, your earnings may be lower. On the other hand, if your tools are rare and in high demand, you can expect to command a significantly higher price for them.
Often, you can sell tools for around 50 percent of their original purchase value, although that can go up to around 80 percent if the tools are in great condition. It’s worth finding out what the retail price of the tool (or a comparable tool) might be so you can set your pricing more easily.
Selling sets of tools that go together, rather than selling tools individually, can fetch you more money. It’s a good idea to consider this if you’ve got tools for specific tasks.
If you want to sell your tools online, you’ve got some great options. It’s important to choose reputable sites that will give you access to good buyers and ensure that you are protected as a seller, so here are a few top options for you to consider.
eBay is a great site for selling tools because it gives you access to so many buyers, and there are lots of protections in place on both sides. You can easily find similar tools if you need help creating the listings, and you have a variety of selling formats.
That means you can put tools up for auction if you aren’t sure what their value might be, or you can sell them for a fixed price if you prefer. A lot of people like eBay for this reason, but bear in mind that it will charge fees for the service provided.
Facebook Marketplace is another good option, especially if you want to keep the full price that the buyer pays (there’s no percentage cut on Facebook Marketplace). You get access to local people, which may be preferable for tool sales, and it’s straightforward to use.
However, there are fewer protections for both buyers and sellers, which can be a drawback if you’re going to sell expensive items.
Craigslist can be great for selling old tools, as this is a big category on Craigslist so you’re likely to generate quite a bit of interest. Tools will generally sell quite quickly, which is great if you need the cash in a hurry.
Since a lot of Craigslist deals are completely local, you can offer buyers the chance to inspect the tools, which will increase the amount of interest that you get. You also won’t need to ship heavy tools around the country in most cases.
A great alternative to Facebook Marketplace, OfferUp allows you to create a free listing, and it has many pre-approved meeting places to make the exchange as safe as possible for both parties. This helps you to feel safe and will increase your buyers’ confidence too.
If you want to sell locally, Nextdoor can be a great option, but it’s not exclusively for selling, which makes it less attractive. You’ll have to sift through other community-related things in order to find sales threads, which may decrease the number of people who see your thread.
On the other hand, it’s user-friendly and doesn’t take long to create a listing. You also have the option to choose a secure location for pick-up.
Garage 101 brings an interesting new element to the selling of tools; it also allows you to rent tools. If you’ve got something that you don’t want to part with but you would still like some money for it and you aren’t using it at the moment, Garage 101 is a great option.
If you’d just like to get rid of the tool and maximize your profit instead, you can simply create a final price and sell the tool.
For those looking to shift vintage or antique tools, Ruby Lane could be a great option. It is not intended for modern tools unless they are related to jewelry, collectibles, or something similar. That makes it more limited, but if your tools fit the bill, it can be a great site to pick up money on.
You don’t pay any commission on this website, either; there’s a listing and maintenance fee instead, so this can be a cheap way to sell expensive tools. However, be aware that you need to be able to list at least 10 tools or the site may reject you.
This is an excellent alternative to sites like Craigslist, because it tends to be safer, and there are fewer scammers present on the site. It’s free to list tools and you can also easily interact with other site users on the forum.
You won’t get such a big selling audience as you will on sites like eBay, but you’ll pay much less for the privilege, and your audience is much more likely to be interested in tools than the general eBay community.
Short for The International Antique Shop, TIAS is another option if you’ve got vintage tools that you’d like to turn into cash. It’s a site for the quirky and unusual, so if you’ve got “weird” tools that you think nobody could possibly want, it’s time to check this site out and get them listed.
What about if you would prefer to sell your tools locally, rather than online? Many people find that they have a better experience doing this because they can interact with people face to face, and can allow others to inspect the tools they are potentially going to purchase.
It narrows your audience, but it can reduce the risk of being scammed because you don’t have to mail the item to somebody and risk them falsely claiming a return on it. So, what are your local selling options?
A pawn shop may not give you the best price for your tools, since they need to be able to make a profit when they sell them, but selling to them will give you access to immediate cash and can allow you to sell a large number of tools at once. It’s also a low-fuss option that cuts out all the hassle of taking pictures, describing items, etc.
If you’re going to sell at a garage sale, it’s a good idea to research the tools online first so you know how to price them. You will probably want to go for a slightly lower price since you’ll be reaching a smaller audience, and you want to make all the sales in one day.
Garage sales should be advertised in advance to make sure you pull in a good crowd, but they can be an effective way to get rid of clutter!
A flea market is only a viable option if you have tools that are in high demand, but it can work. You’ll meet lots of other sellers and if it’s a good market with lots of variety, you’ll probably see some great crowds, which makes it easy to sell your tools.
However, you’ll need to get things like a tent and a table, which can make this a less attractive way of selling tools.
If you’ve got a local store that sells or rents tools, you might want to check whether they would be interested in buying your pieces to add to their stock. This will only work with small, independent stores; you’re not going to persuade your nearest Home Depot to purchase your tools.
This can be a quick way to shift a lot of tools and get cash immediately, but remember that they will need to see a profit in your tools, so you might not achieve the best prices.
Another good option for local sales lies in classified ads. You might have a community bulletin board in your local community center or grocery store, where you can put up adverts for items you want to sell. If you’ve priced your tools up beforehand and you want to sell locally, this is a great option.
You might also be able to advertise in a local newspaper, which will again put you in touch with local people looking to get rid of their tools.
Start by cleaning your used tools and making sure they are in good working order. Ensure any accessory parts are with them (or noted as missing in your listing description), and test the tool if possible to confirm it works. This will reduce the risk of problems with your buyers and can make your listing pictures look better.
Next, take some nice pictures. Buyers respond well to good photographs because it gives them faith in the item. You should take close-up pictures of any damage to the tools and include shots from various angles.
A good picture will usually have a neutral, clutter-free background, good lighting, and a clear image.
You should write a detailed description of each tool, especially if you are selling it online and buyers won’t have an opportunity to inspect it. Be honest about the condition, so that buyers feel they can trust you. This will increase the likelihood of making more sales in the future, and reduce the risk of complaints.
Remember to keep your descriptions reasonably concise, however. You might talk about things like the reason for selling and how much you have used the tool, but keep it brief. Use a spell-check tool to quickly check your spelling and grammar, as this can improve the potential buyer’s response to your listing.