Online bidding

Some things to note:
  • Proxy bidding is available. Under the "Place Bid" button is a "Bid as Proxy" check box. This allows you to leave a maximum bid and other bidders will need to increase their bids up until your proxy bid. You will be notified by email if your maximum bid is outbid.
  • Clicking on photo(s) will allow for a larger image to display. 
  • Your user name will display when you are the high bidder. If you'd like your user name edited, please contact us via email or phone and we would be happy to change it to your liking.
  • The auction ending times are staggered so that all lots do not end at once. Per auction rules, the auction end time will extend for 15 more minutes if there is bidding activity on the lot within 15 minutes of the end time.
  • You will receive an invoice after the auction ends, typically emailed the week after the auction, unless shipping costs require more time to calculate. 
  • There is a buyer's premium on all lots sold. It is 10% for current Fine Tool Journal subscribers and 15% for all non-subscribers. 

Some standard conventions (for magazine auction only):

  1. Words in a tool descriptions in all capital letters are word for word what is printed or marked on the tool or is the known manufacturer.
  2. We very often give historical background or present an argument that has nothing to do with the physical description of the tool.
  3. The condition classification is based on The Standard Condition Classification, and we conscientiously try to be very conservative when applying the ratings.

Bids for the magazine auction may be made on our website, by mail, by phone, or by fax.

Mail, Fax, or Internet initial bids must be received by the end of the on the Saturday the day before the auction day. We recommend calling or emailing to confirm we received your initial bids.  



Lots may be previewed by appointment at our location, 9325 Dwight Boyer Rd., Watervliet, Michigan, prior to the Saturday the day before the auction. No one will be allowed on the premises the last two days of bidding, Saturday and Sunday of the auction.

Effective September 2021: There is a buyer's premium on all lots sold. It is 10% for current Fine Tool Journal subscribers and 15% for all non-subscribers. 
Normally no deposit is required with bids, although the auctioneer reserves the right to require an advance deposit under certain circumstances.

When bidding by phone, fax or mail, please use the lot #, which is the second set of numbers in the description (e.g., 5801-23).

At the end of most lot descriptions on magazine auctions is a pair of numbers (e.g., 50-75). These represent our low and high estimates of the probable bidding range. These numbers are provided solely as a guide; you may wish to bid lower or higher than the spread indicated, with the single exception that unless indicated otherwise (by the asterisk [*] preceding the lot number), the minimum bid on any lot is $20.

The letters and numbers in parentheses immediately following the lot description (e.g., VV-24) are for our audit use only and have nothing to do with estimates, lot numbers, or descriptions.

Please read carefully the Terms of Sale (below) and descriptive commentary illustrating the bidding procedure.

For bidding, raising, checking on current high bids, or if you have questions, call (800) 248-8114 between 10 AM and 6 PM Eastern Time. If you call and there is no answer, try at another time. We can't be here 24 hours a day.


1. Mail-in bids or faxed bids: The bidding form, or a reasonable facsimile, must be signed and returned by the end of the day, 12 midnight, Saturday. IF THE SIGNED FORM IS NOT IN OUR POSSESSION BY 12:00 MIDNIGHT SATURDAY THE DAY BEFORE THE AUCTION, WE RESERVE THE RIGHT TO DECLARE ANY INITIAL VERBAL BIDS NULL AND VOID ON THE FINAL DAY. If we have neither received initial verbal bids nor the signed bid sheet, you will not be allowed to bid in any way on the final day, Sunday.

Bids made through our website: A bid made online will be considered the equivalent of a signed form; the rules for mail-in bids apply.

2. It is also a good idea, especially if you mailed in your bid form late, to call us before the auction concludes to be certain that it has reached us. Every past auction has been marred by at least three bid sheets arriving the day after the auction is finished.

3. No deposits are required with initial bids, but payment is expected immediately on receipt of the invoice for items for which you are the successful bidder.

4. Descriptions are guaranteed accurate with regard to authenticity and condition (per the Standard Condition Guide). Returns are acceptable for any reason as long as you NOTIFY US OF THE PENDING RETURN BY PHONE or EMAIL WITHIN 48 HOURS OF RECEIPT OF THE LOT.
With regard to authenticity, there is no time limit for return as long as the reason for return is verified in writing by a mutually acceptable acknowledged expert.

5. Telephone bids are accepted at any time, subject to Item #1 above, and can take the place of Internet, mail or fax bidding. The requirement for a written bid form may be waved for bidders known to us as long as the initial bid is placed prior the auction day, a Sunday.


  1. Internet, written and/or telephone bids are accepted any time prior to the previously specified deadlines. The minimum acceptable bid for any lot is $20, unless the lot number in the listing is preceded by an asterisk [*], in which case any bid is acceptable. In all other cases, if you post a bid below $20 on a lot not preceded by an asterisk, the bid will be adjusted to the minimum bid of $20. Also, if any bids are posted at values other than the correct incremental value, the bid will be posted at the next highest correct increment. For instance, you post a bid of $101; it will be posted at the correct increment (for example, $110) and you will be responsible for paying that figure if the underbidder is at $100. With respect to lots requiring no minimum bid, the maximum bid under $20 will be posted as the high bid. Once the bidding exceeds $20, the high bid recorded will be one increment above the second highest bidder.
  2. Bidders may telephone (800) 248-8114 between 10 AM and 10 PM Eastern Time on the final two days and from 10 AM to 6 PM prior to the final two days to ascertain the current highest bid on any lot or lots. On the final day of bidding, bidding will close at 10 PM Eastern Time or whenever after this time that no bid changes on any lot for 15 minutes.
  3. Bid amounts and raises will be accepted with the following minimums:
  4. $1 - $50: whole-dollar increments
  5. $51 - $100: $5 minimum increment
  6. $101 - $500: $10 minimum increment
  7. $501 - $1,000: $25 minimum increment
  8. $1,001+: $50 minimum increment
  9. In the case of a tied bid, the earliest bidder's bid will be increased one bid increment to break the tie.
  10. If a lot receives only a single bid, it will be knocked down to that bidder for 80% of his or her maximum bid, subject to the $20 minimum, where applicable.
  11. Reserve Bids. Most items are offered without reserve. Occasionally, a lot will carry a reserve; if so, it will be indicated by a cross (+) before the lot number. In the past, almost all items that have had a reserve have easily exceeded the reserve in open bidding, as consignors are warned that they will pay full commission on any lots brought in, so they set very realistic reserves. All reserves, when present, are equal to or, in many cases, lower than the low estimate.
  12. The auctioneer reserves the right to reject any and all bids.
  13. The auction ends at 10 PM Eastern Time, or when any bid does not change for 15 minutes after 10 PM on the closing day. (As a guide for bidders, the final time has varied in the past from 10:40 PM to 3 AM.)



  1. Payment in full is due upon receipt of billing. Any payment not received within 21 days, without prior arrangement, will result in default, with title returning to the consignor.
  2. Payment may be by cash, money order, good check, or credit card. In the case of personal checks from parties unknown to us, shipment of lots may be delayed for funds to clear.
  3. A handling fee of $5 per box will be added to the total bill, in addition to actual shipping charges. This fee partially reimburses us for the labor of packing, preparing, and mailing invoices, as well as the cost of packaging materials.



Lots are available for inspection from now through Friday the day before auction weekend, at the auctioneer's office at 9325 Dwight Boyer Rd, Watervliet, MI 49098. Open by appointment only, please call ahead.


Please Read Carefully

Each lot is listed on its own inventory file, and we record the incoming bids in these files throughout the sale. A typical sequence of events is illustrated as follows:






$450 Ms. A 3/3 --- Ms. A receives her catalog and decides to bid on lot 5703-2; a Stanley #9. She sends in a bid of $450. Because this is the only bid at this time, we do not yet have a current high bid.
$550 Mr. B 3/5 $460 We receive another mail bid from Mr. B for $550. The current high bid is now $460 ($450 plus one increment, or $460). If you were to telephone to ascertain the current high bid, we would tell you only $460, not the $550 actual bid, because at a normal attended auction, you would not be privy to the maximum bid that Mr. B was contemplating.
$480 Mr. C 3/6 $490 This part can be confusing, so please read carefully. A few days later, Mr. C calls to give us his bids and asks the current high bid on lot 5701-2. We tell him that it is $460. He says he will bid $480. We tell him that we accept his bid, but that he is still out as the current high is now $490 (his $480 plus one increment). He is now "out." He can now either pass or continue raising until he reaches his limit, or overcomes the previous bidder's maximum of $550. He enters a bid of $600, which he has decided is his maximum limit. He now holds the current high bid $575 ($550 plus one increment).
$600 Mr. C 3/6 $575
$600 Mr. B 3/6 $600 Mr. B now calls to check the status of the bidding and is told that he is now "out" and that the current high is now $575. He then bids $600, and is told that he has tied the previous bidder, but he is still "out" because the other $600 bid was received earlier. (Note that the current high bid is $600 because of the tie.) Mr. B raises again to $650, thus securing the current high at $625.
$650 Mr. B 3/6 $625
$700 Mr. C 3/8 $675 Ms. A calls again to see how she is doing and finds that the current high bid ($625) is higher than she is willing to go, so she shifts her money to another lot on which she had previously placed a token written bid.

Mr. C calls and finds that he is "out" and decides to go one more jump on the plane, to $700. The current high bid is now his at $675 (the next highest bid plus one increment).

There are no further bids on the plane, so Mr. C, who has bid a maximum of $700, wins the plane for $675.


We hold four magazine absentee tool auctions per year. Anyone wishing to consign items to the auction should This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. before sending them. All sales subject to space.

Some things to note about our NEW online bidding system!

  • Bidding System FAQs

            Do I have to log in to bid?
    • Yes, you will need to create an account and log in to place bids. NOTE: If you created an account for the previous auctions, you can use that account to log in and bid.

      How do I create an account?
    • Below the Login Form on the right side of the webpage, choose "Create an Account" Fill in the required information, check your email for the activation link, and you can then log in with that account going forward to place or review bids. OR Log In if you've previously made an account on the new system.
    • Prior to placing your first bid, it will require you to accept the terms and conditions. After you hit accept, go back to the auction list by clicking Current Auction in the menu above and return to your lot you wish to bid on and try again to submit a bid.

      I can't get into my account. What do I do?
    • Please email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call us at (800) 248-8114 and we would be happy to help.

      How do I see a bigger picture or more information on the lot?
    • On the main auction listing, click each lot and you will see a larger photo and full lot description (if applicable). You can also click on the photo again to enlarge it fully.

      How do I know if my bid went through?
    • Your bid should show up under the "My Bids" link in the Current Auction drop down menu at the top of the website.

      Do I need to bid in order to see the current high bid?
    • No, the current high bid displays both on the main auction page or if you click on an individual lot.
    • Alternatively, when logged into your account, the new system allows for a watch list and review of placed bids on the My Bids or Watchlist pages (under the "Current Auction" drop down menu).

      Will I be notified of my placed bids or if I am outbid?
    • You will receive individual email confirmations for each bid placed or if you are outbid.
    • If you choose to proxy bid, you will be notified each time someone bids against your proxy bid and the system automatically bids on your behalf against them until it reaches your proxy bid maximum and you are outbid.
    • Please check your Spam folders and/or add This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to your approved senders lists in your email settings if you are not receiving the confirmation emails.

      How do I find a particular lot?
    • The bidding system has search capabilities! You can search by keyword, lot number, or browse by category.
    • Your placed bids can be found under My Bids in the Current Auction drop down menu.

      What is Proxy Bidding?
    • Proxy bidding allows you to place a maximum bid which bidders will need to incrementally bid up to in order to win. For example, if you place a proxy bid for $100, bidders will be able to place bids up to your $100 bid and will only be the high bidder if they exceed that. Therefore the high bid will display below your maximum bid of $100 until someone exceeds that amount.
    • You will receive notifications when someone has bid against you and the system bids on your behalf against that person up until your $100 maximum. For example, if someone bids $50 against your $100 proxy bid, the system will place a bid of $55 on your behalf against that $50 bid. If that person bids again at $60, you will be notified your bid has been increased to $65, and so forth up until your maximum of $100.
    • Once someone bids above your $100 proxy bid, you will be notified you are outbid. 
    • If you place a bid of $100 *not* by proxy, the high bid will immediately become $100 and someone will need to bid above $100 to beat you. Proxy bidding allows you to possibly win the item for below your maximum bid. 

      How do I change my login information, screen name, or email?
    • Please email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or give us a call at (800) 248-8114 and we would be happy to assist changing any information in the system.

  • Initial paper, fax, and phone bids must be received by the final SATURDAY before the auction. Initial bids may be raised until the end of the auction on SUNDAY by calling (800) 964-9036 until 10:00PM EST