Welcome, we want to explain why we want this website to be membership based.
We have been trading online in some form since the end of the later 1990’s and have seen and experienced a whole lot in that time, some good things and some not so good. This experience has brought with it a whole lot of retraining and study which is evident in our websites.
We were once power sellers on eBay and built a business which had over 35,000 positive feedback score and once featured in the Daily Mail newspaper under the heading ‘EPAY’. Now, although at the time we were in direct contact with the US eBay direct there was never any help with our concerns regarding the platform. Eventually we stopped using their services before stepping forwards into retraining in web development and Search Engine Optimisation, ranking 3rd on google for ‘SEO specialists’.
Our SEO business did well but customers often lacked the dedication to use the advice given and sat back and let us undertake the work but to say there was many a free hour to get them into position is an understatement and few failed to appreciate what it took to get them there. So a decision was made to build something new and something that corporate’s would have little interest in due to the lack of repeatability. Antique Tools in effect was 20 years in the making!
What better then than step into the world that I grew up in and follow in the footsteps of my father who had been an established used tool dealer. That was 5 years ago (Jan 2015) building the now established Tooltique website where we have built a reputation of getting things right and selling tools that have received a lot of, skill and attention to make the suitable for purpose. Very rarely do we receive complaints or returns and treat our customers fairly as we would want to be treated.
Anyway back to eBay, many of the original Power sellers will attest to what i’m saying that eBay has no a hint of compassion for its sellers. It’s a hell hole and building a business on there is like building a home on quicksand. I and many other’s can say without any doubt its demoralising and time and again this place never fails to deliver disappointment. It may not be immediately apparent but like all those sellers before know ‘the chicken always comes home to roost’.
Here is its undeniable problem, said person comes up with an idea or product line and becomes successful for a while, then others notice and join in on the bonanza. Then there is a frenzy and prices rise because the choices are abundant for customers, more join in on the action and the knowledge is diluted. It becomes about money not the subject and more less conscientious ‘sellers’ start grabbing what they can, diminishing the reputable sellers as buyers ‘bought it on eBay’. Buyers start getting less quality, worst service and this reduces trust further. Prices will fall and stay deflated forever as i can attest to other categories of antiques, in particular ceramics.
Why is it happening to Antique tools now and not earlier? Well, in the early days postage prices was a big factor, anything heavy was almost impossible to sell because of this reason. The couriers opened this market up and their roll in this is of significant importance.
That’s before you get me started about eBay’s Global shipping programme and Pitney Bowes that ‘dispose’ of any tool containing rosewood before refunding buyer & seller. It’s a scandal and put to question who many antique tools have been lost this way. Yes, I enquired but hit a brick wall with this, it needs an organisation and legal challenge to take them on.
Anyway there is a lot of history and experience behind what i am saying and mark my words as its already happening again. There is no love between us and eBay and later you will remember these words when you feel equally exasperated.
Each sector has a choice, lie down with the devil or separate itself and fight back. Serious collectors should consider refraining from using eBay for selling or buying. This will reduce eBay prices but if they are low enough people will look outside to sell their antique tools, they already are in many cases.
Sellers want to sell where there is a good reputation to achieve good prices, buyers want to buy in the knowledge that there potential purchase has been described and presented accurately. They also want to do this as easily as possible with professionalism. Yes we all want a bargain but the place for that should never be online, buying online should be for the things that can’t be found locally.
Already we are seeing a disjointed approach to selling antique tools and fees being paid to unrelated organisations for services that have no affinity or knowledge around this subject. At least here as you can already see there we have invested and are related to this industry, any membership funds will be re-invested into better services and wider knowledge.
You will also be empowered with making contributions to others with your specific knowledge and hopefully at a later date more will spring from having a community of similar minded people.
With all good things it takes knowledge, time and investment for a good website to be created and this is why this is a first of its kind for this topic. Until now no-one has taken the steps to invest heavily (yes it’s expensive) into a valuable resource for others which enables interaction between people and is specifically designed to include and provide a service.
- Membership websites naturally have higher quality users.
- With memberships we understand the costs have to be outweighed by the services we provide.
- Memberships allows for better communication and provides a central point.
- Members form a driving force and together can make things happen.
- Membership stops spam and deters tire kickers.
We hope you will join us and lets continue the journey together.