After much deliberation and many hours of wrestling with the idea of holding tool auctions we came to the conclusion a new website was needed to address some things we have experienced running our Tooltique website.
First and foremost was how would this benefit our Tooltique customers? who have come to expect certain standards for user grade tools suitable for fine woodworking etc and to help tool collectors at the same time.
We understand there are some buyers who just like to undertake the work involved in setting up their own tools and generally they are looking for the best unrestored examples. We on the other-hand realise by selling tools such as planes in their natural state will often mean those tools haven’t been through our rigorous refurbishment process and may confuse new woodworkers when they don’t initially work as our refurbished tools do. This has often meant we have had to refine these lightly used tools ready for use but selling them at the retail prices they fetch without this work done.
Tool collectors often have a preference to ‘as is’ original condition and we don’t sell anything unless its ready for use by the user in Tooltique, besides that, buying these tools is often difficult because we can’t offer retail prices for the best antique tools. These have traditionally been sold at auction with a commission charge and are sold directly to other collectors. As dealers of old tools we can’t generally compete without inflating prices.
The solution was to create a new auction website: www.antiquetools.co.uk
Antique tools is a fascinating subject and understanding it plays a key role with how buyers of tools can help fund their user grade tools or their antique tool collections. So in building this website we have looked at how information can be shared and how people can learn as they get more involved.
Rough estimates are given on each Auction Lot, although this is a rough guide and doesn’t consider the demand for the said items at any given time. The market and demand for old tools is always fluctuating and condition plays a huge role when buyers get involved.
Buyers of tools eventually one day become sellers of tools and when they have finished using them a tool auction may very well be the best place for our customers or their families to easily sell off tool kits in the future.
Our view is this with auctions and old tools, are there any distinct factors that make a tool stand out? There is no point auctioning tools that are abundant or easy to acquire and those that are offered should be elevated to such places only through condition, originality or rarity.
The website this far has taken 14 months to build and we are now ready for our first tool auction, starting on Thursday the 16th of September concluding Sunday the 19th of September. Preview Auction Lots Here.
You will see the website has a similar layout to Tooltique on the front end, however is very different in its capabilities.
Why did we choose to make it a members only website? Well it plays a very important role in that it stops time wasters engaging in the auctions and stops false bidding. Members are given a defined role according to their membership type with added benefits and access for different plans. Membership also helps fund the progress of the website with things like video’s that will soon talk about key features about antique & vintage tools and their properties, characteristics rarity etc.
The current version of the auction system has been to develop a good solid ‘timed auction’ facility first, followed by a live auction system that will be held at a location in Norwich next year. This is bespoke and built to include specific features to accommodate buyer’s needs where buyer’s premiums are concerned when buying higher value items or items in bulk.
Because we have built our own auction system we have eradicated the costs from 3rd party software and thus ensuring buyer’s premiums can’t be affected as a result in the future. Membership type helps those members with reducing these fees if their spending warrants the additional costs involved.
Available for all members to share information regarding their tools, gaining insightful information regarding other tools from both ourselves and other members.
This feature is there for those who have specific knowledge in a particular field of collectable tools. Those who would be regarded authorities in their subject can be recognised and identified by others within membership platform once they submit an article.
As Auctions pass, members will be able to research tools within the My-account areas that have been sold within the antique tools website, they will be able see final achieved prices and compare condition with many images assigned to each item. For example: If the search Norris A5 plane it would bring up all these same planes sold and they can be compared to each other.
This is an overview but exciting times for collectors and those interested in finding more fine old tools in original condition.