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What's happening to the hobby?

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#46 MH81 OFFLINE  


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Posted October 18, 2016 - 06:36 AM

It will cycle around and come down again. Old Buttons, Needlepoint, farm tractors, license plates. All of these had some major spike and eventually waned.
I have building full of old Farm tractors that my parents accumulated back when they were worth $. Now, I can't sell a running, decent condition MH30 for 1000 WITH a parts unit.
Told Mom it'll be yard art below that. At least it'll drive itself out of the way to mow under it.

M Y suggestion; buy as low as you can and never think you'll be able to flip it for a profit. If that ever does happen, consider yourself at least a little lucky.
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#47 Alc OFFLINE  



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Posted October 18, 2016 - 08:01 AM

Yes there are cycles with different things , you mentioned that the prices are down for larger tractors ,over the weekend  a fellow was saying the prices of hit and miss engines have come down a bit from a few years ago . His thought it's because the owners are getting older ,  those are very hard to bring to shows and maybe the younger people can't relate to things that old . I'm not sure , I  still can't afford one but even so those are reasons I wouldn't want one

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#48 boyscout862 ONLINE  

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Posted October 18, 2016 - 09:16 AM

I shop CL several times each day. I don't take it as an indicator of the market prices because there are way too many crack head prices. I can still pickup LTs and mowers at our town dump for free so I see little value to them.

BTW I come from the second richest town in the country(I don't live there now). The rich throw away treasures when they clean out or redecorate. Its easy to pick up freebies that are valuable especially furnature there. The really rich also gave great deals on their cars because the dealers wouldn't give good tradin values.

The true indicator of value is the prices at the tractor swap meets. I've seen prices slip there. I've passed on B&S castirons for $25 because I've bought too many already at $20. I got a 8 hp Wisconsin complete for $60. Last weekend a CC gas tank was $5, Simplicity wheel weights were $60 for the pair(I passed), MTD 960 front ww were $15 for the pair. I've talked to two guys who have large CC salvage yards for their personal projects. One guy said he gets $1500 for a restored CC but only sells a couple per year. He does them by taking an order and big deposit. He delivers in a few months. I see the values slipping and it is just part of "market adjustment". There will always be idiots and crooks but they should be ignored, if you don't want to be fooled. As I said before, I picked up 3 good GTs for a total of $75 this year. I don't see that as bad. Actually, all three of the owners did say that they got rid of them cheap because they didn't want to deal with most of the idiots from CL. I am always polite and use good grammar. It gets me noticed and ahead of the texting generation, Especially with older sellers. Maybe there is a CL backlash? Good Luck, Rick
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#49 LilysDad OFFLINE  


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Posted October 18, 2016 - 09:21 AM

There are always variations on the GT hobby. There was a guy on Red Square (a Wheel Horse site) who built an exact reproduction of an early WH out of stainless steel. Or if your good with wood, you could build one out of oak.

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#50 adamjd200 OFFLINE  

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Posted October 18, 2016 - 09:36 AM

There are always variations on the GT hobby. There was a guy on Red Square (a Wheel Horse site) who built an exact reproduction of an early WH out of stainless steel. Or if your good with wood, you could build one out of oak.

I've seen pics of those two, those guys have great talent.

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#51 johndeereelfman OFFLINE  

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Posted October 18, 2016 - 06:24 PM

Well, I've read through all of the posts, and so far, everyone is only complaining about the recent high prices of tractors. Well, here is something that none of you have touched on, and that is tire prices. I went tire searching the other night, and just couldn't believe how much pricing has gone up. I won't mention any particular companies, however the main company that I usually deal with, has raised prices considerably. I don't like the China made tires, as they dry rot over the course of two to three years, so I was primarily looking to buy Carlisle brand tires. For a set of rear 23x10.50-12 bar tread tires, and a set of 16x6.50-8 multi rib tires, it would cost me well over $350.00 and that's not including shipping. I don't think that I have given that much for a tractor, let along a set of tires! How are we supposed to keep our equipment running if we can't afford to buy tires for them to run on? 


I'll probably step on some toes here, but I think it needs to be said. There is a well known reproduction company that is currently working with one of the bigger farm equipment manufacturers, and I've noticed that their pricing has skyrocketed the past two years. Why? Just because the demand is there? Wouldn't you want to sell your items for less so that you can keep the products moving, rather than keep the product on the shelf due to nobody being able to afford your prices? I just don't get it sometimes. Just getting the necessities will cost you a small fortune! What's up with that?


Just because the demand for product is high, doesn't mean you drive up your pricing. All you are doing is turning away business and ruining the enjoyment for all of us collectors or hobbyists. When I got into this hobby back in 1989, all of the collectors were willing to help each other out. If you have something I want or need, and I have something you want or need, we traded or bartered. The deal was ended with a hand shake and a smile. Even with public auctions, if two or three guys were interested in the same tractor or attachment, they all talked it over and seemed to come to an agreement as to which one of them needed the item the most. Or, if there were numerous items at the sale that each of them were interested in, they would come to an agreement that they would split the items so each of them would go home with something they wanted, and they wouldn't bid against each other driving up the sale.


No days however, it seems as though it's getting to the point that each collector is only interested in looking out for themselves. There doesn't seem to be much trading or bartering anymore, or at least not as much as there used to be. Collectors want what they want, but they don't want to give anything up in order to get it. I stopped going to local auctions, as guys there have attitudes and things have changes drastically. There's no more friendly conversation between two or three bidding collectors anymore. If you're interested in something, and another collector wants the same thing, he who has the most money wins! Even if one collector can't afford to pay more than $100.00 on something, he will deliberately bid up the price just because he thinks the other guy deserves it or refuses to let the other guy get it for almost nothing. That's just wrong in my book, and frankly it's those types of people that just take the enjoyment out of the hobby for me. So I don't go anymore. 


I'm really glad my collection is complete and I don't have to go through what some of you newer collectors are experiencing. I'd like to see the next generation getting involved with these old machines, however with the prices being what they are now days, people just can't afford to get started and I find that really sad.  :(

Edited by johndeereelfman, October 18, 2016 - 07:06 PM.

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#52 fonz3482 OFFLINE  



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Posted October 19, 2016 - 03:20 AM

Johndeereelfman has some valid points, and I think that is why most say the pricing on some of these tractors is getting crazy. Parts and tires for sure have increased considerably! I think I mentioned this in my post above, but I always figure my repair cost in my head, and then what the tractor is worth when I'm done fixing it, and make an offer based on that. Now I'm not figuring in labor to replace any of the items, just parts. I don't care if I insult the seller with my offer, I make the offer and explain myself to the seller.  If the seller can't understand what things cost these days, what things are worth, and price their equipment fairly then they will never sell. I just had a guy email me the other day asking about what a good bolens 1050 sells for in the area, He sent pictures and the machine wasn't running. I explained the issues with the tractor from a collectors stand point, told him what I thought was fair, and the next thing I know, the tractor is on craigslist for $150 more than I told him is fair. So, unless he gets luck and someone pays him $300 for a non running Bolens 1050 with flat tires, a cut up hood, ripped up seat he's going to sit on it for a while! Parts and tire pricing also drives up the prices on these used machines because some people that buy these tractors to flip put hundreds of dollars into them to make them run and mow, then add their labor, then try to double their money, then slap a crazy number on the tractor and hope for the best! I collect Bolens, I as a collector know Bolens tube frames are great machines, but not great sellers, So I never buy them to flip, or expect to make money. I buy them to keep, use and restore someday. If for some weird reason I have to sell a one of my tractors, I place it for sale for pretty much what I have into the tractor. If I get my money back, I'm happy, If I know I can't get my money back out of the machine because I've restored it, or spent too much money on it, I don't even bother selling. I am also glad I have a local connection for parts that is very fair and helpful at all times!


As far as competition in collecting in my area, I'm not sure I have much... I don't attend auctions because I live in the country and farming area. I've been to a few and come to the conclusion that Bolens aren't a common auction item, and If they are auctioning tractors or equipment the auction is mobbed and pricing generally isn't fair because there are too many people after 1 item.  I know of 1 serious local collector in my area, and we kinda share information, and when things pop up for sale we share the info and thoughts on the item, and we have never really had an issue where both of us wanted and went after the same item. So I guess I live in a good area???

Edited by fonz3482, October 19, 2016 - 03:39 AM.

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#53 Leonard VanCamp OFFLINE  

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Posted October 19, 2016 - 07:11 AM

I just recently got into this hobby, my first GT was given to me by my ex-father in law. He seen that I wanted to do a complete restoration on the tractor, not to sell, but to bring it back to like new condition. That is my primary focus with this hobby, any GT I can save from the scrap heap and bring back to like new condition brings me great satisfaction. I think most of the people on here have similar reasons for being in the hobby. I've gotten some very good deals so far, but I mainly get what I do by word of  mouth. I went to one consignment auction and spotted a John Deere 80 cart that I wanted for my collection. It was in repairable condition, so I decided to bid upon it. Ended up getting into a bidding war with a guy who wanted it mainly just for the round corner pieces so he could use them in another 80 cart that he was going to sell for profit. I think that is one issue with the hobby, you have people who look at as a labor of love and others that look at it as a means of profit. While I am not here to knock anyone's reasons for what they do in this hobby, I think if people took a little time to truly understand what the person has in mind when they are buying, selling or trading a tractor or attachment, things would be a little better. Sometimes setting the all mighty dollar aside will bring a new person into the hobby who has a deep love of restoring and/or collecting these wonderful machines we devote our time to. Not to mention possibly making future contacts and friends.

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#54 mac102004 ONLINE  



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Posted October 19, 2016 - 10:37 AM

Hard to buy a 1960-1980 era Massey or Case garden tractor for less than $1k in my area, if they come up for sale. Attachments are rare and also expensive. Guys selling them refuse to negotiate prices. The only real way to get them at a reasonable price is to find them sitting by a garage or something and offer the owner a price. I try not to pay more than $500 for a tractor and these days you don't get much.

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#55 Merle013 ONLINE  


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Posted October 19, 2016 - 01:49 PM

When I started looking for a GT all I seen was the stuff on the side of the road. A friend suggested CL so I took a look. I found a rough looking 1975 PK there with a few attachments. I bought it and the fever began. There are at least 15 GTs/LTs in various conditions (mostly parts mowers) sitting in and around my garage (garage has a full basement too. I am now in the process of building another storage building. Most of these GTs/LTs were given to me for hauling them off. In the last week alone I have been given three LTs, A Craftsman and 2 Murrays. I have found them on the side of the road and on CL. I fix these to resale or I use them for parts. I rarely ever include hours in the price. If I did they would be too expensive to sale. A refurbed LT in my opinion is not worth over $350. By the time you add in tires, oil, oil filter, fuel filter, air filter, fuel shutoff valve (I think they should be standard on all tractors), rebuild deck and belts, there is not much profit left in them. That is if there is nothing mechanically broken. I deal with LTs because it supplies the funds to buy or trade on the GTs that I want to collect. I am not interested in the GTs that have been refurbed already. They have been saved from the scrapyard. I look for the ones that still need saving.  I was given a Troy-bilt Super Bronco. It had flat two flat tires, bad solenoid, bad seat, front end plastic was a mess, needed a starter. I reworked the front end with steel bars that I had lying around. Made it better than the factory. I cannot remember everything I did to it. It was traded for a non-running JD 112. If people think they are going to get rich in this hobby they are in for a big surprise.


I may be wrong but I believe it is just a passing fad for the people that are trying to make a fortune at reselling these tractors. Once they start losing money they will disappear and the market will level out. That being said, I also think this will happen again over and over as time goes on. Like it or not our hobby is subject to change because of stupid fads which seem to repeat themselves e very generation or so.  The market for the older GTs however will probably keep going up. There are a lot of rare GTs now and more every day because they do not make them anymore. The quality of the modern GTs varies like they always have. Let’s face it some of the stuff we collect is more due to its looks than how well it works. Some of the stuff is rare because no one would buy it and the company went out of business. I have my 75 PK that I use for my work tractor and my wife has her push mower she uses every now and then. Everything else is for my hobby.


Well that’s my opinion for what it’s worth. I have attached some photos of some of the tractors that I mentioned to keep the photo junkies interested.

Attached Thumbnails

  • Craftsman.jpg
  • M 13.5_40.jpg
  • M Widebody.jpg
  • Merle 1979 with MF255.jpg
  • T_Bilt.jpg

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#56 Xrperry OFFLINE  

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Posted October 19, 2016 - 07:46 PM

Sometimes it seems like we don't support each other. Not long ago I bought a new in the box (nos) cast iron Tecumseh short block oh160. My first thought was to put it in here to try to sell it. I got 1 response from a member, he knew what I payed for it (15.00. ). He said he would give me 25 for it as I remember. It would be ok for me to make a few bucks he said. Now I know for a fact no one here would sell a new oh160 short block for that.ok so I got it, didn't have a use for it, didn't want it sitting around, so I stuck it on everyone's favorite site ... eBay. Had it sold within hours, at over 500.00. I am not bragging , just saying, I gave everybody a shot at it and nothing happened. Maybe no one could use it, I don't know but it fits in this discussion some where.
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#57 MH81 OFFLINE  


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Posted October 19, 2016 - 09:48 PM

I see some great deals here and they so often jive with me being out of "play" money.
Some things don't sell because eskimos don't need ice, some is timing.some is distance.
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#58 ACmowerguy OFFLINE  

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Posted October 19, 2016 - 09:54 PM

Definitely seeing less tractors parted out and more saved and repaired. I know I have a hard time bringing myself to part something out.

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#59 shorty ONLINE  



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Posted October 20, 2016 - 05:36 AM

I see the gap between the user of vintage equipment and the collector widening. A user might see a tractor needing $100 of parts to be able to use it. And the collector sees $500 in parts to restore. And the prices they pay will reflect that greatly.
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#60 toppop52 OFFLINE  

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Posted October 20, 2016 - 09:14 AM

I see the gap between the user of vintage equipment and the collector widening. A user might see a tractor needing $100 of parts to be able to use it. And the collector sees $500 in parts to restore. And the prices they pay will reflect that greatly.


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