The 6 Best Places To Sell Used Tools

Do you have some used tools you need or want to sell? Let us help you figure out how much your used tools are worth and the best place to list them to get the most money back in your pocket.

best places to sell used tools

Most contractors and hobbyists will have moments where they look around the shop and realize that they have too many tools. Or rather, they realize they don’t have enough storage to afford keeping all the tools they have. When this happens, it often is best to look for a place where you can sell used tools. But, where can you go to sell them while still maintaining a decent profit?

There are several places where you can sell some used tools for a decent profit, almost all of which can be found exclusively online. Some of the more popular options include:

  • Facebook Marketplace
  • Craigslist
  • Etsy
  • eBay
  • Pawn Shops
  • Auction Houses

Trying to find a good place to sell tools can be difficult, especially if you are in a neighborhood where most people don’t buy tools. Thankfully, this guide will help you understand the ins and outs of most tool-selling websites.

Where Should You Sell Used Tools?

Whenever you’re selling used items, there are only a handful of places that you can go to sell them at a decent price. When we’re looking at tool sales, we’re excluding yard sales and flea markets because most of them do not pay a decent price on tools. In fact, many places will only get you pennies on the dollar.

To make things easier, we’re going to explain each major used tool marketplace and give you a better idea of what to expect from each.

Facebook Marketplace

Facebook has become a great place to sell just about everything, especially since you can link up with like-minded people in the community around you through it. This marketplace often gives you some of the better prices on used tool sales, but it all depends on who buys the tools and what tools you’re selling.

Important Points To Know:

  • They do have a selling fee, though this can be waived. Facebook also collects taxes, too.
  • Facebook Marketplace checks for brand veracity. You can’t go around selling fake DEWALT tools here, as it can get you banned. This is the type of site that will check where your ICON tools are made.
  • You need to be careful when meeting people in person. Do your transaction in a well-lit area, using safe payment methods. Also, make sure to use tracked shipping and get proof of sale.
  • You can run ads for the items you want to sell. This can help boost your chances of selling more obscure tools.

Craigslist

Craigslist has been a staple of the internet’s marketplace for decades. It even existed before eBay! To sell on Craigslist, place an ad under “For Sale” in “Tools.” Arrange a time with a buyer, and get your stuff sold. In terms of payouts, this website is fairly hit or miss. Thankfully, it’s very possible to get a decent price on a used toolkit:

Important Points To Know:

  • Craigslist has a serious scamming issue. There have been hundreds of cases where sellers have been scammed into shipping tools elsewhere or even robbed during the exchange. When listing tools on Craigslist, insist on meeting at a police station for the exchange and do not tell them where you live. Always ask for a money order, Cashapp, or cash.
  • In most parts of the country, you will need to pay a fee to post on Craigslist. This can range from $5 to $50, depending on the area you’re trying to sell in.
  • Craigslist does not protect sellers. If you want some safety or peace of mind, go with almost any other platform.

Etsy

Depending on the type of tools you’re selling, Etsy could be a good choice of platform. Etsy does have a specialized section for tool sales, but they tend to veer more on the hobbyist and crafter side of things. If you have awls, small drills, antique hammers, or leatherworking tools, this is a great platform to choose from. If they’re more professional in grade, you might want to skip this one.

Important Points To Know:

  • Etsy does have seller protections in place. As a way to ensure quality sales, Etsy makes a point of having policies in place for sales gone wrong.
  • You do have a listing fee you’ll need to pay. This fee varies depending on your seller status as well as other issues.
  • Unlike Craigslist, you can boost your listings with advertising. This costs more, but it’s the easiest way to make sure that you get eyeballs there.
  • This is an ideal place to sell antique tools. Machinery tends to be very popular here, if only as scrap for jewelry.

eBay

When it comes to selling used goods, there are few marketplaces as massive as eBay. This site even became a major car sales hotspot for people that consider themselves “shadetree mechanics.” If you want to sell here, you can rest assured that you will most likely find a buyer. Unlike many others on this list, eBay is a global marketplace.

Though it is the number one platform for selling used tools right now, it’s worth pointing out that eBay doesn’t come without problems. According to many sellers, eBay tends to bring in rather low sales prices because it’s a flooded market. Even so, it’s very possible to have a great price for a vintage DeWalt.

Important Points To Know:

  • Like most other marketplaces, eBay charges listing fees. New sellers can have those fees waived during certain promotions.
  • How much selling power you have depends on your account. Different seller accounts will have different visibilities, amenities, and sales protections. If you just need to sell a couple of tools, a personal account with some ads will work fine.
  • There are serious issues with the way eBay treats sellers. If you have been looking at online forums featuring eBay sellers, you will see a lot of complaints regarding the way that eBay behaves. eBay is one of the only sites that openly sides with buyers unequivocally, even if the buyer may be at fault. This has led to serious scams, financial losses, and more. This site has been dealing with this issue for almost a decade, if not longer.
  • PayPal is the most common payment method for both eBay and Etsy. The payment platform has a specialty dispute line for both.
  • You can also hire a professional eBay seller to do the work for you. They will charge a slice of what you get paid for your tools, but they tend to have better results.

Pawn Shops

If you don’t feel like going through online means, then your best bet is not to use a garage sale or a flea market. Rather, your best option might be a pawn shop. Pawn shops are notorious for lowballing sellers, but it’s still not as much of a lowball as you’d get in a yard sale. What you can get will depend on the local pawn shop’s policy.

Important Points To Know:

  • Pawnshops will only take used tools in excellent quality from brand name manufacturers. This is because pawn shops have to look up the make and model in order to get a proper valuation for their profit margin equation. If they can’t do that or if they feel the item is not sellable, they’ll reject it.
  • You can expect to be offered 30 percent of the market value for your tools. Ouch, right? Well, it’s better than nothing and it’s money that will be paid out to you via cash right then and there. This makes it one of the fastest ways to make sure that you get money for your tools.
  • This option might not always be accessible or doable. Pawn shops aren’t found in every town, and even if you have a pawn shop, there’s no guarantee the shop will be interested in tools. Use this with a backup plan.

Auction Houses

Do you have a lot of tools that were once used in a shop? Are they in decent shape? If the answer is yes to both questions, you may want to hire an auction house to get the highest bidder. This is best for extremely pricey tools that can’t be sold to hobbyists. It’s a one-day deal, and it will require you to advertise the sale to people and parties that would be interested in it.

Important Points To Know:

  • You will need to hire an auction house for this. Houses often ask for a flat fee or a portion of the proceeds to go to them. You may need to be the one who’s in charge of advertising the sale.
  • This is best suited for shop sales. If you’re going out of business or trying to sell your shop, this is a good option simply due to the bulk of items.
  • The logistics can be a bit much to handle. If you can’t set aside a whole day for this matter, then you are going to need to try another option.
  • This is usually the best way to get top dollar on obscure tools. Auction houses don’t play.

Related Questions

What kind of tools do pawn shops prefer?

The best tools to pawn are name-brand power tools that are in decent to excellent quality. So, if you have a DEWALT power saw or a Milwaukee brand power drill, then you probably have something that a typical pawn store owner would like to buy. However, it’s important to note that many pawn shop owners do not buy power tools. It’s a liability issue.

How much will pawn shops pay for tools?

This all depends on what tool you’re selling and what condition it’s in. With most top brand tools, you can expect a payout that’s between $50 and $150. More complex power tools can easily get you up to $500, if they’re in good condition.

If you want to get top dollar, the best thing you can do is show the tool to multiple shops and choose the highest bidder. With that said, discrepancies tend to be small.

What should I do if my old tools don’t work anymore?

If your tools no longer are in working condition, you can sell them for scrap metal. To do this, go to your local recycling center or scrap yard and ask them to pay you for it. Most will do it by weight.

Check Out These Comparisons Between Name-Brand Power Tool Manufacturers

Ossiana Tepfenhart

Ossiana Tepfenhart is an expert writer, focusing on interior design and general home tips. Writing is her life, and it's what she does best. Her interests include art and real estate investments.

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