In the early days of establishing Tooltique, we were asked by a gentleman about helping him in the future regarding selling his collection of Antique tools, but by solving the conundrum of not buying them off him at trade prices as he had paid good retail prices for them.
Would I sell them for him when he passed? he asked.
Boy did I want that responsibility? Shipping someone else’s highly prized & valuable antique tools across the globe was a risk and one that could have dire consequences if it went wrong. After all, when we started Tooltique, it was swallowing every penny I had and could get through tool sales. It was also being funded by construction projects I also undertook. However, we just needed more experience in the industry and shipping worldwide.
This has played on my mind for about 4/5 years before Tony Murlands sad passing and the handover of this antique tools domain. It’s been nearly two years since I’ve owned this website domain and it wasn’t an instant start on the project, a few months had passed before I came up with a plan. One that would make this website very different from what we were doing within Tooltique and what others were doing elsewhere.
It’s now nearly 15 months since we started building the website, many won’t appreciate the work, research & development involved in laying down the foundations of what will be a much bigger website.
Anyway, getting back to the issue I wrestled with. It was clearly holding a tool auction twice a year would get us much closer to helping people like this gentleman, who I’m glad to hear is still going strong at his ripe old age.
There are others like this chap who I’ve spoken to in the past and why I say we are scratching around the surface with what is truly available for tool collectors. Much was collected in the Hay day of the later 1990s and early 2000s that are being hoarded, because prices aren’t what they should be. These tool collections will only come to fruition when things get back to how they were and are only released as a last resort.
How is that possible? “I asked myself”. It is possible I suppose when you have so many fragmented groups spread around the globe, especially on many different types of platforms! Remember these are corporate platforms. Should any industry be trusted in the hands of corporates? The simple answer is NO!
Are places like social media and all their trolls going to help? Spouting the ill-educated rants to muddy the waters?
How about Ebay? Where there are some honest tool sellers having their reputations tarnished by chancers, who simply don’t care for anything other than the profits they can make without understanding what they sell. How can the commonly used phrase “I bought it on eBay” help? It gives all people easy access to sell, yes, however, eBay is not passionate about one subject, and look what it did to other areas of the antique market. Auctions simply don’t work on eBay anymore, unless you want to get rid of something cheap. Hence why most sellers on there are now selling things at ‘Buy it Now’ prices.
Is the saleroom the answer? With ever-increasing buyers premiums and the extra 5.95%, they charge customers when using them? What reason do they have to care about the old tools? These people aren’t any different to the large companies that took over the antique fairs years ago, fleecing the poor antique dealers with higher pitch fees and admission charges.
At least on here, you are dealing directly with the source and with our own tech. Yes, we have invested heavily but every penny generated here will also be re-invested to help the progress of improvement. The website will also be built bespoke to our customer’s (both sellers and buyers) requirements.
The point I’m getting at in this post is to highlight the ladies & gentlemen selling their tools are equally important in any transaction, especially when all buyers will become sellers themselves one day.
It’s my job to mediate and represent tools properly, so that buyers are confident in paying prices they feel represents their true worth. This cycle should then be repeated for those tool buyers who one day become the sellers in the future.
As a final thought, just look at what the corporations did to modern tools! God give me strength!