I became involved in the antique world before I left high school. In my hand tool specialty, after more than thirty years, I am still a collector. I grade antiques on the following basis:
The condition of the piece – Is the piece usable?
The popularity of the piece – Does it sell in a week; a month or a year?
The rarity of the piece – Is it truly a piece that is never seen?
Advantage: It ALL goes away quickly…
The majority of the antiques I buy are purchased outright. This is usually in situations where there is a real estate decision being made. There is a time factor involved and it is more convenient to just get things gone at a decent value so, that efforts can be focused on other priorities.
Advantage: Better Return for the owner…
With larger quantities of antiquities, I will sometimes take on a consignment. Consignments eliminate the traditional adversarial role between buyer and seller. We are both working towards maximizing the end selling price. In many cases, I am taking things the owner thought were worthless and realizing prices that astound them.
Many of the online auction houses are not just hitting the seller with fees. They are hitting the buyer with fees. This is impacting the sale – a buyer being impacted by a 10% premium might be inclined to offer 10% less. Further, there are many of these auction houses that are charging you just to list the items themselves on a piece-by-piece basis. If they have already been paid just to list an item, they may not be overly motivated to get it sold.
If you have the time, the consignment route provides a way to maximize your return and with Olde Trade Tools – the means are there to reach the greatest audience possible.
This matters most to Consignors – If I’m outright buying, the owner probably doesn’t care a great deal about how efficient I am at selling.
Facebook Market Place
This is a relatively recent development which I began in the summer of 2020. Today, I maintain over 500 items on the Market Place App. This creates a constant flow of traffic winter and summer.
The Timber Frame
In my back yard, I maintain a 16’X20’ timber frame building laid out like a 19thC general store. Customers can visit on weekends and have the ability to “try out” tools. I have a reasonably up-to-date security system complete with recording cameras.
Aberfoyle Antique Market
As of August 22, 2021, I will be opening Booth No 59/60 every Sunday at the Aberfoyle Antique Market. There is approximately 300 square feet of indoor space and another 500 square feet of cover outdoors. This is long time tool dealer Ivan Dufour’s old booth; which of itself will bring new customers to my doorstep.
The Olde Trade Tools Website
This website is a new addition for 2021.
Pickering Tools of The Trades Show (Spring and Fall)
I have sold tools from my collection at the Pickering Tools of the Trades Show for many years now. The show will not likely resume until the Spring of 2022.
Kijiji and Yard Sales
I have been a collector for more than thirty years. When I had excess hand tools, I would sell them off through Kijiji and Yard Sales.
Hand Tool Email List
Over the years, I have gathered contact information for woodworkers and hand tool collectors and created an email list. This is a group of hardcore woodworkers. I would contact this group – now more than two hundred strong – every few months with stories of my tool exploits and information about upcoming tool events. I am currently in the process of encouraging this group to go to the BLOG’s on this website.
There are an additional twenty-five people on the email list who are out of province in Canada. With the addition of the OTT website; and my willingness to ship in Canada; I expect that this number will grow considerably. Hand tools are not as prevalent in the western provinces and my prices are competitive.
In the Media
I am published in Canadian Woodworking. Parts of my extensive hand tool collection was displayed for six months at the Wellington County Museum and Archives. I have done television work about antique hand tools. In general, I am regarded as a subject matter expert.
This inspires confidence for buyers, particularly those who are new to hand tool woodworking.
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