Selling Used Woodworking Equipment

A woodworker is closing down his shop and wants to sell off some older equipment. In this thread, he gets advice on how to go about it. December 14, 2005

We are closing our manufacturing facility in Connecticut, and I have questions on auction options for selling machines. We make boxes, trays, footstools - small items. Machinery is not CAD/CAM at all. Old school machinery. We have, for example, two manual Onsrud routers, four lathes, two radial arm saws, etc.

I spoke with an auction house, and I get the feeling they will take a lot of the profit. The guy who looked at our machines said the modern cabinet shop isnít going to find a lot of machines for his use. Advantage of auction is they can sell everything from tables to hammers, etc. We asked him if we were above 100K in machines. He said way below. Also, I will meet with a used wood shop machine dealer next week. Have not gotten a quote yet.

What option is the best in my situation? Anybody done an auction and been satisfied? Is internet auction a good alternative?

Forum Responses
(Business and Management Forum)
From contributor J:
I do not have any experience with this, but I wanted to make one comment. It seems like people get good prices for their machines on E-Bay and it gives the small shops like mine the opportunity to bid on things we may not otherwise find very easily at auctions or dealers. Also, there is a Machinery Exchange on this site which may be helpful.

From contributor N:
If you have the time, you might want to advertise individual machines on some of the hobby woodworking sites. Most, if not all, of them have buy and sell sections. You may be able to get a decent buck for your machines, which you most certainly won't get through an auction house. In my opinion, auctions are for buyers, not sellers.

From contributor R:

I would start them on E-Bay or list them on WOODWEB. Your stuff will bring more if you can hold it a little while, maybe one of those mass faxes to a long list of factories that use woodworking machines.

From contributor B:
I have always had good luck advertising single phase machinery in the Hartford Currant. Not so with 3-phase machinery, though. If yours in single phase, you might want to give that a try. Also, the WOODWEB Machinery Exchange has worked well for me. I sold my Delta Unisaw in a couple of hours.

From contributor O:
If you're near a major metro area, post what you have for sale on Craigslist, Tools section. Your biggest problem will be then selecting a price. Craigslist is free to buyer and seller.

From contributor J:
Just type in, then pick out which city you're in from the list. I believe you can only advertise one thing per day. So you would have to list all your equipment in the same ad.

From contributor X:
Price your items at what you want, then open your business doors and let the public come in to browse and purchase. Post large signs outdoors and advertise in your local paper. You will dispose of so many items. Do this for three weeks or so, and also at E-bay. You should get a decent return on your money.