My life often mirrors George Goebel's famous line, “My luck is so bad; I bought a suit with two pairs of pants, damned if I didn’t burn a hole in the jacket”. For those of you who are too young to remember, George Goebel was a stand-up comic, singer and actor whose variety show, The George Goebel Show, was popular on television from 1954 to 1960.
I have been checking out the listings on eBay for Stanley Everlast #40 chisels, the non-SweetHeart variety, for the past year. Over this time I have picked up 5 of the original set of 11, with one duplicate. I got a good 2”, a good 1 ¼”, a fair 1”, a fine ½” and two pristine ¼”. I have paid anywhere from $90.00 for the 2”, down to $38.00 for the ½”. The prices I paid average around $45.00 each, which I have considered to be fair, given a good set of 11 would run around the $1,500.00 mark.
The whole idea behind these acquisitions is put together a really good user set of chisels that are of better quality than the current offerings of today and will appreciate in value over time. This theory is behind all my tool purchases, and while I believe it is sound, I doubt I will ever know if I was right or not. I’ll never know because I will never consent to selling my tools as long as I am breathing. After I’m gone, my son will inherit the collection and he can do with it whatever he wants; add to it, use it, or sell the whole lot to the highest bidder.
We are all aware that the world’s economy is in the toilet. I don’t know if you have noticed it or not, but as a result of this tanked economy, the prices for vintage tools has fallen considerably, especially on eBay. An example of this is my old friend woodnut4, a serious vintage tool collector and saw aficionado, who has taken to putting reserve prices on his saw sales. This is something he has never done before in the two or three years that I have been following his offerings on eBay.
I have always been taught that when the economy tanks and prices fall – buy. This goes for real estate, stocks and bonds and all those things you believe will bounce back after life returns to normal. As my tool acquisitions are something I believe will bounce back in value, and then some, I have taken to watching the eBay listings even more closely.
So why, if I smell a good deal in the air, did I start this rant quoting an almost forgotten television personality?
Well the fact of the matter is, every listing that has appeared on eBay for Stanley #40’s over the past four months have either been too short or too beat to consider being a sound purchase or they match the size and quality of the ones that I already own.