Letterpress shop sale

Hello All,
I’m new to posting on this list and hope I’m not out of line. I have a letterpress shop on the East Coast that has nearly everything one might expect from a 100 year old print shop.
Linotype with 30 mags full, handtype, woodtype, 8x12 C&P, open 12x18 Kluge, C&P power paper cutter, 2 Windmills, SP-15 Vandercook, etc etc etc. How do I sell it all? Piece by piece or as a shop? I need some serious advice.

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Some things that you need to consider.
Are you looking for max dollar from sale or is a “Good home” for equipment more important? How soon do you want to sell everything? Location, condition, etc all play a part in selling.

Quicker sell is to do everything one time, package deal. Still need to give potential buyers time to arrange pick up and moving, that takes time. Less potential buyers.
Sell item by item. Can make more dollars, but it involves much more effort on your part. Also you WILL end up with items that you can’t sell and you will need to deal with them at some point.

Location is going to have a big impact on how you approach a sale for a complete shop.

More complete inventory and/or pics would help also.

Hope this helps.


If you do not want to deal with a selling item by item, typically on Ebay or Craigslist, you might contact Boggs Graphics. They liquidate print equipment with online auctions through Wirebids.com

I have not used Boggs to sell, but have bought a number of items at their auctions and have found them to be straight forward and trustworthy.

good luck


Hello Dave-

Just by posting here in the discussion section, you have lilkely encouraged folks to “come out of the woodwork” and are probably going to get a bunch of emails about that vandercook SP15 first. Mark my words hahaha.

First thing that will affect price a little is location; second is moving situation; third is what is moving and whether you’ll break it all up. I bet you could sell the vandercook this week; the kluge open press, probably take a bit more work. The linotype will be a harder sell. This is my guess.

If you want to sell it all at once, be prepared to offer a good deal and expect to make less off it financially. You should screen buyers if you care about the use of it all and the ‘good home’ aspect, because some folks will buy and flip portions to get what they want. Nothing wrong with that but it depends on your motivation as a seller.
However, it will probably move more quickly this way especially with an enticing price.

If you sell it piece by piece, you’ll make more on the sales but the equipment will probably sit longer and your space will likely be occupied by it longer and you’ll likely have to make some good deals at the end. This only matters if you’re selling the space soon if you own it, or if renting it and owe rent on it in the interim it could be a pain in the neck if the last heavy thing has to go to storage and you also have to hire riggers to move it there.


A word of advice- lots of items like this are difficult to catalogue sometimes, unless you already have good photo-doc.
So be strategic from the start- I’d take as many pictures as I could, but take them in order and don’t jump around. Spend time detailing each item instead of jumping around- then upload all of them to a flickr album. If you took them in order they should upload into the album in order. It’s free to post there as well.

You could use flickr to tag them with your contact, and even add prices and everything, and then make a listing in the classifieds here. Also on craigslist in the major towns within your vicinity. If you use ebay, marketing by selling some small items but inserting links to your Flickr for pictures is the easiest way to promote, because every tom john and jane won’t be emailing you requesting pictures but they’ll also get ported to your flickr account where they can see the stuff you’re selling; and if they do, flickr link goes to them and they browse at leisure.

Good luck with your sale.

Being East Coast, you may want to consider John Barrett at Letterpress Things (MA) as a possible connection for brokering a sale…

Perry Tymeson in NYC/NJ/CT area as well if you go that route. I know a lot of printmakers here look at his blog for press listings.

Contact me when you sort it out. I have some items that I would like to purchase if price and location work.

Wow! Good advice all. I see I have my work cut out for me with picture taking, cataloging, etc. Thanks for the help everyone, but keep posting those good ideas. I really appreciate it.