Hand Tools Archive

About guys like bode..

David Weaver
when jim bode first showed up, I wasn't a fan. I've bought a couple of things off of him since then, but nothing significant (ward chisels - sometimes he has something good for a user without it being a $125 paring chisel).

He's come back toward the market a lot since then in terms of prices on many things.

But the thing is, he can build a customer list and sometimes that's even good for someone like me. That reconditioned spiers was $250. The infill fad is sort of over for anything but custom orders, though that doesn't always show on ebay. But the days of common norris planes being $500+ in unrestored shape is over. I remember a user on woodnet who bought gobs of older planes, and he's probably out a lot for it. It was 3 digit or 4 digits in the number of planes that he had.

So, the result is, I can list a plane like this on ebay at $250, which I did, and it will sit at that for a month. Nobody knows who I am, and who I am isn't that important - I'm a nobody - but when I sell a working plane, it means working, not marginal. If someone buys a plane, they tend to buy the next couple I post.

What Jim can do, though, is probably get close to twice what I can for this plane and if he can't, he probably has somewhere in his inventory an $800 norris no 2 that's just missing a ward iron. This plane probably loses less value, swap the irons, do whatever.

I don't have that customer list.

When I was younger, I had a valuable guitar - a jem 10th. I'm older now and I don't like that kind of ripper guitar, but it was a nice guitar. I played it a lot. They were $1999 new. They can touch 5 figures now if they're unplayed and $5K even with playwear, more from the right dealer.

When I went to sell my guitar in the early 2000s, I had it listed all over the place for $2950 - used. I had tire kickers from all over the place, but nobody really wanted to buy. All of them complained loudly about a dealer from a place who sold only jems. He must've had a dandy of a customer list, because he ended up buying the guitar, paying to ship me packing and packing materials, he said he didn't have one of the type in stock (they were a limited run) and he likes to have one of everything, so he'd list it high "Because that's what you do when you only have one". I sent it to him, he gave me some grief about it having more playwear than expected (I think that was just part of his gimmick, I didn't deceive on the description), he said "thanks, you're the first person who ever actually packed the guitar the way I asked", he listed it for $4950 and it sold before the end of the day.

(to this day, I've had about 100 guitars - that's the only one that ever sold for more used than new. This is the only infill that I've had that sold for double what I paid, too, I guess -strange that in both cases, the items went to dealers to be resold).

I just don't have the personality to try to start reconditioning these planes, doubling the prices and curating a list of customers willing to pay. That curated list is the key if someone wants to make money. and I've never had an issue with anything that I've gotten from bode, though I've had a lot of problems with auction lots from MJD.

I'll bet over the years, I've lost $50k on tools, guitars and stones. It's part of the process. I'm a lot better at breaking even now, but the hobby is pretty cheap compared to some.

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