Often times, as DIYers, we want to get a great deal on tools. In this episode we’ll go over 6 things you’ll want to do to get a good deal on the tools.
I say want because lets face it we don’t need awesome tools, we want them. So join me as I walk through all the things I do to secure deals I have gotten on some of my favorite tools.
Also feel free to leave comments and feedback on how you get great deals on the tools you own.
And if you want to watch it
Hello and welcome to the fourth episode of the BudDIY Podcast, where we’re going to talk to you about six things you need to do to be able to find a good deal on tools. But first, if you’re listening on YouTube, please feel free to hit that subscribe button and hit the notification bell so you know when new episodes are going to be available. If you’re listening to an audio version and you’re on the website, feel free to open up a podcasting app and search for our podcast there. We’re available on most major podcasting applications. And if you don’t want to do either one of those, feel free to visit the website at B-U-D-D-I-Y.net, buddiy.net, and give a listen there and look for other articles and interesting things that are there.
So with that, let’s go ahead and get into the episode, and that is six things to do to be able to find a good deal on tools. What brought this topic about, and that is one time I was told that I’m really good at finding good deals on tools, either used or new, and that they wish they could do it as well. So I want to run through these six things that I think it takes to be able to find and get a good deal on used and new tools.
The first thing is, and this is one thing I think all of us do, and that is browse sales sites regularly. The first one in this list would be Craigslist. I think this is the quintessential, where you’re probably going to find a good deal because somebody is selling something they really don’t necessarily know the value or they just want to get rid of it quick. The best way I know how to do that is to use a mobile app where you can delete entries, and then anytime that’s in the future, they just won’t show up again because the app knows you’re not interested in it. You could do other filters as well. And it’s just kind of fun to flick on your phone when you’re waiting in the line somewhere for something.
The other way to use Craigslist is on the website. It’s still super simple. You can save your searches and you can even download RSS feeds to a feed reader to be able to get through things faster. And if you want to go for bonus points, you can write a program to read that RSS feed and filter things out and spend entirely too much time doing that.
The next website would be Facebook. Everybody loves Facebook. But hey, there’s some really good deals and in all honesty, I’ve probably gotten more good deals on Facebook than I have on Craigslist. A couple of examples are I restored my Unisaw this last year and I didn’t have a fence for it. I had the fence fence, but I didn’t have the railing, which, without the railing, the fence is useless. Probably vice versa as well. But anyway, I didn’t have one when I restored the Unisaw and I was kind of… I found on VerySuperCool Tools that they had the plans for making a rail. So I was just going to follow those instructions and create a rail for the fence that I had.
Well, along the way, I was just browsing Facebook and found a rail and fence actually and an extension table that fit on a Delta Unisaw for $100. That is crazy, stupid cheap, if you’ve ever priced a new Biesemeyer fence with rail. Plus, it came with an extension table. So it was just too good of a deal to pass up and I just had to jump on it that day. We got it taken care of and I was able to get it. Again, crazy good deal. I was super excited.
And then the other one was a jointer and a planer. Came across it and literally jumped on it that night. I saw it in a woodworking group on Facebook, which is another place that I suggest on Facebook. Literally while people were debating about it in the Facebook group, whether they wanted to go get it, I had my dad drive over there. He looked at it, didn’t see anything wrong, so I just bought it over the phone. You can see in the conversation history where somebody had called just after I had bought it and everyone was disappointed that it had sold. But since I jumped first, I got it and everybody agreed it was a good deal. So if you’re on top of it and you’re constantly browsing websites, you can get a really good deal.
There’s three other places. I’m just going to go through them quickly. The government auction sites called publicsurplus.com and govdeals are good websites. I got my Unisaw off of publicsurplus.com. The thing about that is it’s schools or other government organizations that are posting the auction on there and you never know when that’s going to be. I know for Oklahoma, stuff rarely pops on, but when I was able to get my Unisaw, it was a technical school that was cycling out all of their old stuff and getting new stuff. So they literally had almost an entire woodshop posted on there. So I was able to pick and choose some good stuff. They actually had a Powermatic 66 five horsepower, 10-inch table saw. I mean, it only went for like $1,100 and I was seeing people buying that particular one used for around $3,000 still. Crazy good deals available, you just got to find them.
Then the next site is go to forums, woodworking forums. Not only are they great for communicating with other people and learning more, but these are the people that usually are trying to sell their equipment and have kept up with their equipment. They want their good equipment to go to a good home, to other people that they know treat it well. The problem with this is dealing with shipping. If you’re across the country, you’ve got to figure out freight shipping and that might blow the entire thing out of the water. So just keep that in mind.
The final site is eBay. I’ve never personally bought anything off of eBay that was a tool of some sort because I’ve never found a good deal on the tools that I was looking for. I have talked to other people though that have found good deals on tools, but they were specifically looking for those tools. I’ve not run into that yet, but I do keep checking eBay, not as regular as say, Craigslist and Facebook, but probably once a month I’ll hop on there and see if anything piques my interest.
So that was really number one, just some different sites to go to and that you should browse them regularly. The next one is actually very much related to the first one and that is know the market for the tools that you’re looking for in your local area. I know when I first start looking for a tool, I have no idea what a good price is. Even though researching on the internet, I’m never really sure what a good deal is because most of the time people aren’t selling them in my area very frequently to understand a good price for my area. I kind of get a general idea like, “Oh, national average is $800.” $800 might be high for my area, but I know if I see it for $1,000 at that point, then that’s way too high.
But after browsing regularly and consistently on websites, you’ll start to see some averages of things that pop up and you can eventually come in and find that one that’s lower and you can just jump on it. So definitely pay attention to the prices, maybe even write them down. I’ve done that in a few cases so that I can track it in Excel to see what the prices are. And you can eventually find it because you’ll know it’s a good deal based on the market around you.
The third thing you need is patience. I mean, let’s face it, a lot of the… We’re DIYers, we’re not full-time workers doing different things. So we can afford to have patience on most tools because we don’t need them right now. We can get by with other stuff. So this affords us the opportunity to wait for that amazing deal. I mean, take the look at in my example of my fence, I waited nine months because I was in the middle of restoring it. I didn’t really need a fence at the time and that was just part of the progress that I was going to make in restoring the table saw and one just popped up and I found the amazing deal. So definitely have patience even though it’s one of the hardest things in the world, let me tell you. I saw some stuff and I’m like, “Oh, that seems like a really good deal,” but I was a little nervous about it, so I’m like, “No, I’m not going to get it.” And so far, things have worked out well.
The fourth one is not necessarily something everyone can do, and that’s have friends and family that are able to just jump over and look at something. If you can find something within a hundred or 200 miles and you have family in that area or friends that are willing to take a look, it’s awesome if you can have them go over and take a look. And it’d be really cool if they could go ahead and buy it or put a down payment down for you, that way you don’t miss out on those really crazy good deals.
So you might just talk to your family and be like, “Hey, I’ve been looking for this equipment, it’s something that I’d really like to have. If there’s something in the area, do you think you could be able to jump over and look at it for me? I’ll buy you a case of beer if you do that,” that kind of thing. Because that’ll help you find that good deal and be able to jump on it when it’s there. I know it’s something that’s worked out well for me.
The next thing I really recommend doing, and it’s how I found a few good deals, is check weekly sales ads fairly regularly, not only in the newspapers, but online as well. Companies are all the time trying to run sales because everything’s faster in the retail space. People are trying to put out good deals and do Black Friday all day, every day of the entire year kind of thing. So they’re constantly throwing out sales and if you keep an eye on them and have patience, you can get some really good deals.
So this last year, I had been using my father-in-law’s RIDGID tools for a long time. I always felt really bad about using them, but not bad enough to give them back, especially since he had another set. Well, I finally decided, you know, I’m using these things a lot more, I really need to get my own set. Shortly after that, I got a tax refund and Home Depot did a massive sale so they could capture your tax refund. It’s totally good business sense, so I don’t blame them at all. I got some really good deals because I got $1,000 worth of power tools from RIDGID for around $550, $500 or $600 with tax.
The reason I got so much is because of one simple feature. And that’s if you buy their bundles, the batteries that come with them have a lifetime guarantee and if they go bad, you just send them in and they’ll swap it out for a new one. No other manufacturer does that right now that I’ve been able to see, to guarantee their batteries. The batteries are expensive and I don’t want to have to buy a new battery every couple of years when, for the next 20, I can just send them in and get new batteries from them. Because the version that they’ve had right now, even though they just come out with the OCTANE version of RIDGID, is still the same battery structure and connection as they’ve had for the last 10 or 15 years. So I mean, they just released a new version of the RIDGID tools. I’m sure the battery is going to work for a lot longer into the future, so I should be good and set.
The other is whenever companies are trying to put out a new version of a tool. I know I got a compound 12-inch miter saw from DEWALT because they came out with a new version and they were trying to clear out their old stock really fast. So I got that at almost 40% off from being brand new because they were just trying to get the stock out of the way really fast so they could sell the new version. And really the only real difference that I could see, other than a little bit of stylistic change, functionally-wise, is the new one had a laser guide of where it was going to cut. That’s cool, but people have been using miter saws forever without that feature. So I figured I don’t necessarily need to spend another $200 to get that feature. So definitely be checking out sales ads and ads online for a couple of places. And look for the last year’s version, in a sense, that they’re trying to get rid of those and cycle those out.
So with that, we’re at the last point in finding and acquiring a good deal on tools. To some degree, in my opinion, it’s the hardest, and that is set aside some money. I shoot for trying to set $1,000 to the side to be able to buy tools that I need. It takes me a long time to save that kind of money up. I rarely hit $1,000 before I find a tool, but it gives me a goal to shoot for that once I get that, then I don’t have to save for it anymore to be able to buy that next thing. Honestly, it’s really hard to kind of set and be able to do that. But if you’re able to do it, it’s totally worth it so that you can jump really fast and get a good deal when you see it and just be able to hand over cash.
Sometimes you can use that cash as a negotiation tactic where, let’s say something’s $200 and you have $150 in your hand, you’d be like, “I have $150. Are you willing to take it?” A lot of people, psychologically, they see the money and they don’t want to let it go, they don’t want it to disappear. And so they’ll be like, “I’ll go ahead and take the $150.” Whereas if you were talking to them on the phone and you were like, “Can you take $150?” They’d be like, “No, I really want the $200.” It’s a psychology thing that you can do to get that negotiation down because cash is king and everybody loves cash because it’s money and they want money for their product.
So I really recommend having a little stash on the side. I feel like for pretty much everything that we do as DIYers, $1,000 will cover probably 95% of all the tools that you’d want to buy. Plus, it’s like, if you get an idea for a great project that you want to do and you need a couple of things, you can just run over, pull a little money out of that stash, and you can go get some materials that you need without much resistance, in a sense.
Anyway, that’s kind of… Those are my six things to do in order to find and get good deals on tools. Those are the things that I’ve done and it’s worked out really, really well for me. I’d be curious to hear what you’re doing. So if you want to leave those in comments or emails, that’d be greatly appreciated. So with that, let’s jump to the final segment of our episode, and it’s a failure.
So I’ve been working on a basic mobile workbench as part of the weekend woodworker course and one of the things is to put casters to make everything mobile. Well, I went to go buy the casters and I saw they were two-inch castors. To me, they were like, “Oh, man. These things look kind of small. I mean, I know they’ll hold like 600 pounds when they’re all four on there, but they’re kind of small.” And I saw the two and a half inch cast and I’m like, “Ooh, those are big. Those are beefy. I like the look of those better. Let’s just go ahead and buy those.”
So I put the two-inch bag, bought the two and a half inch bag, didn’t think anything of it. Went home, got everything ready, flipped the table over, ready to put the casters on, and it’s literally the last step, and they don’t fit. The holes are just barely too wide to be able to fit on the two two-by-fours. The holes themselves are just too big to get the screws through to be able to screw it down, and even if I did, only one of them would be able to go into wood. And I was just like, “Oh my gosh, I can’t believe I just did that. I totally screwed up and now I can’t finish this thing until I get back to Lowe’s in a couple of days.”
So now I’m just kind of sunk for a few days and it was just so depressing and annoying. I was like, “How did this happen?” And I thought it’s because I didn’t pay attention to what I was doing. I didn’t look at the two casters and understand what the difference is between the two. I didn’t look at the size of the holes that was going to connect it. I didn’t look at the size of the base compared to a two-by-four. I didn’t measure anything. I just was going like, “Oh, that would be so much better.” And how often do we do that? We’re like, “Oh, this’ll be better,” and in the end, it’s not better, we just thought it would be.
In the future, what I’m going to do is I’m going to try to look at something that I want to change, especially when I want to change it on the fly like I did, and I need to step back for a moment and think about it. What kind of effect will this have on the work that I’m doing? Will it fundamentally change it? Will it have no effect? What’ll happen? I’m going to try to get better at doing that so that I don’t make that mistake again and really kind of block myself from fully finishing a project when I could finish it.
So with that, I thank you for your time. I thank you for giving a listen. Please subscribe in your podcasting application, if you haven’t. Visit the website, https://buddiy.net, and leave a comment on the episode if you want to. Thank you for your time and have a great day.