By continuing to use this site, you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more
Forum sponsored by:
Forum sponsored by Allendale Jan 24th

Workshop disposal

All Topics | Latest Posts

Search for:  in Thread Title in  
Duncan Trigg28/11/2021 15:55:39
4 forum posts

Hi All

My dad now 90 has decided to dispose of the contents of his workshop and locos ( two 5" gauge 0-6-0 tanks both working no current boiler certs) . Which routes do you you think is the best way to dispose of it all. I guess locos separate from the workshop. look forward to advise


noel shelley28/11/2021 18:26:22
1022 forum posts
19 photos

Try to contact a local Model Engineering club, or list the items on here for sale! Better than falling into the hands of a dealer and almost certainly get you better prices. Where abouts are you in the UK ? Best Wishes Noel.

Duncan Trigg28/11/2021 18:44:55
4 forum posts


Thanks for reply

We have tried that route. He has been a member of one from the 1960,s. The problem is they seem to want everything for nothing and only maybe some items. We need to clear all in one go. To list all the items would be so vast. And how do we value the items. I do feel it would be the dealer's in the end of no other want. Need someone starting out and wants a whole workshop in one go. In southern England I have it all photographed. Happy to send images

Clive Brown 128/11/2021 18:57:32
751 forum posts
37 photos

Hi Duncan,

A regular dilemma and a somewhat sad one. The approach depends upon what level of financial return you want from the disposal.

Dealers should offer an easy, low hassle route. the price will be low. They're often regarded as vultures but they have a living to make.

The best returns will be via an on-line auction site but that can require a lot of work in preparing and monitoring adverts and then arranging transportation/postage. There can also be time-wasting non-payers and unreasonable requests for dispatching heavy items.

A model engineering club might work for you but results will be uncertain and multiple potential buyers will have to be dealt with, probably mostly looking for "bargains".

Take your pick.

Edited By Clive Brown 1 on 28/11/2021 19:00:50

Dave Halford28/11/2021 19:20:06
1891 forum posts
22 photos

A middle road might be to ebay the lathe and the other large items with their matching tooling.

So the lathe gets all the chucks cutters, holders, steadies etc, so someone new has all the gear to start. Same if there's a mill or even a pillar drill. Use the photos to 'list' whats included.

There's not that many big items sold like this any more and newcomers are more likely to pay a premium if it's all included.

Try to sell any random stuff to those who turn up

Vic28/11/2021 20:01:24
3017 forum posts
8 photos

I see this sort of thing very often. Folks want the best price but they aren’t prepared to do any work for it. The most likely buyer to “clear all in one go” is a dealer, but at a far lower price.
My advice is to take some pictures and share them online to see what the interest is. If that’s too much work then a dealer it is then?

Bazyle28/11/2021 20:03:14
6182 forum posts
222 photos

We were discussing this in our committee last week.
It is almost unheard of for someone to want to buy a complete workshop in one go. Nor are they likely to want to buy both a lathe and a mill straight off if they are beginners.
Club members are likely to have already got a lathe but might be looking to upgrade if the item offered is better. Likewise they might be after a mill if they already have a lathe. However 95% will already have the major items.
What club members tend to be interested in the the small tools, taps, dies, metal, and sometimes lathe accessories like vertical slides.

Likewise it is hit and miss whether someone in the club wants a loco, but possibly there is the advantage that many of them will know and have seen his locos. A large (eg 5in pacific) high quality loco does best at an auction house but 060 tank runabouts are the target for beginners through the well known traders who advertise in ME. There are quite a few garage traders who prey on people in your situation however so if they say they are a member of a club see if you can check that they are participating members, not just using it as a front to gain respectability.
Next problem is if you expect someone from the club to just give up their time, maybe hours, petrol etc to come and assess everything for free. It tends to fall on a few members of the committee who are retired and after a few years just get tired of being put-upon.
So with a club discuss a fair share, like advice on the larger items in return for them having the small stuff.

Ramon Wilson28/11/2021 23:08:37
1245 forum posts
331 photos

This happened to a good friend of mine a few years back. Sudden development of health problems that gave him concern when operating machinery lead to a relatively quick decision to seek a dealer rather than the potential vagaries of dealing with lots of different people in disposing of his workshop.

Reasonably well equipped (it had featured in MEW at some point) his first contact was met with a ridiculously low offer which he refused but he was contacted again the following day by 'the boss' who made a much more sensible one. Agreed, it was much less than he maybe would have got by dealing with individuals but he was assured they would clear the shop as he wanted.

They arrived on time, it took three hours and there was no hassle over the agreed amount. In one short period his problem had been solved at a stroke, something his ongoing health problems benefited from.

To maximise a workshops perceived worth is a difficult one but as someone has already said most individuals just want bargains at give away prices - at least a dealer is up front - yes they do need to make a profit but they do solve a problem if you want to dispose of a workshop quickly.


Chris Crew29/11/2021 00:06:35
179 forum posts

A few years ago I was invited by a woman, with whom I had no connection, to view her late father's workshop in case there were any items that I may be interested in. There were a couple of things and I offered what I considered to be a very fair price for the items which she declined, I then increased my offer which she also declined. I then enquired as to the price she actually wanted for the items but she refused to name a price at which point I politely explained that it was obvious that we could not do business and left the premises. I was not out to take advantage of this person but she obviously thought I was, hence my leaving.

I would suppose that when relatives, who know nothing of model engineering, but have witnessed a lifetime of the deceased cherishing and treasuring of their tools and equipment become convinced that it must be worth some kind of fortune and are very suspicious of anyone offering a fair 'market price' when disposal becomes necessary. So, there are three options: either sell it yourself and try to get the price you personally suppose it is worth, hand it all over to an auction house who will charge you transport fees, commission and VAT on their services etc. or auction it yourself online. At least in an auction you will get the maximum price that any one buyer in the audience would be willing to pay and the price will depend on the size of that audience and the demand for any particular item at that particular time. Whichever route you choose to go down I have a feeling that the results will not be entirely to your satisfaction but that is life, sadly.

Martin King 229/11/2021 09:03:56
939 forum posts
420 photos

Hi Duncan, You have a PM waiting.


Bob Worsley29/11/2021 10:02:47
106 forum posts

Another possibility is a local auction site. They will clear it, catalogue it, auction it, no hassle.

Just been to one where a chap died and a house full of his collection, mostly old test equipment, was sold at prices that amazed me. There was everything there, scopes, counters components etc etc, about 700 lots worth. At a 15% commission must have done well.

This was an industrial auctioneer, so used to this type of equipment, not certain the small town one would be anywhere near as good. Look at their previous sales, the catalogues, and what the lots got to judge.

You don't say where you are, as is normal, so nothing local to me will be of interest.

Martin Kyte29/11/2021 10:04:03
2638 forum posts
46 photos

You do have to consider things from the buyers point of view.

1. The dealer. They have to clear and collect everything including stuff they don't want. All their time is costed and they then have to sell at a higher price to make a profit/living. The advantages to the seller being it's quick and easy which has some value in itself.

2. The club. Generally msot people are well set up aready and unless there is a specific item someone is desperate for a transaction will only take place if items are bargins. Sometimes it's nice to know were things went and that they are being enjoyed.

3. eBay. Massive amount of work but probably the route to realising the maximum return.

regards Martin

Duncan Trigg29/11/2021 11:53:58
4 forum posts

Good Morning All

Thank you all for your replies and PM,s. I have taken all into account .You have all come up with the thoughts we had. Dad and I will work it through . he is not into making money but just fair deals, I and he are glad he is doing now so he knows he has dealt with it not leaving it to later when it maybe more of a headache. He has enjoyed his hobby the friends made , tasks under taken. the collection amassed.

At the moment For instance I have put a 5" driving trolley on Ebay to test the market. I will also put a home made small watch maker / small part lathe see how that goes. Contacting the dealers and auction houses

Once again thanks all . PM people I will email

All Topics | Latest Posts

Please login to post a reply.

Magazine Locator

Want the latest issue of Model Engineer or Model Engineers' Workshop? Use our magazine locator links to find your nearest stockist!

Find Model Engineer & Model Engineers' Workshop

Latest Forum Posts
Support Our Partners
rapid Direct
Eccentric July 5 2018
JD Metals
Eccentric Engineering
Subscription Offer

Latest "For Sale" Ads
Latest "Wanted" Ads
Get In Touch!

Do you want to contact the Model Engineer and Model Engineers' Workshop team?

You can contact us by phone, mail or email about the magazines including becoming a contributor, submitting reader's letters or making queries about articles. You can also get in touch about this website, advertising or other general issues.

Click THIS LINK for full contact details.

For subscription issues please see THIS LINK.

Digital Back Issues

Social Media online

'Like' us on Facebook
Follow us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter
 Twitter Logo

Pin us on Pinterest