HOW MUCH IS IT WORTH?
or - Where do I sell this mower; engine; etc
I get a number of inquiries from someone who has a Reo engine or mower, and they ask, “What is this worth?” or, “Do you know of someone who might interested in this?” or, “Should I keep this, or just haul it to the dump?”. I have posted this page to help answer those questions.
1. What is it worth? - I really can't appraise Reo engines or equipment for someone else. There are too many variables to consider, and the value really comes down to what your buyer is willing to give, and what you are willing to sell it for. One of the most important things to consider is where the engine is located – I would pay considerably more for an engine 50 miles from me than I would for one several thousand miles away. I am still amazed at the emails I get that offer a Reo item for sale, and the writer gives me no clue as to where he is located. One more thing to consider – it is not a good idea to ask for a price from someone who might just want to buy it (ie: me) as that person might suggest a low value to try to get a good deal. As with any collectible item, you should have your own idea of what you have, and what you feel it is worth to you.
The best source for getting some idea of the value of your item would be other small engine collectors in your local area. Is there an antique tractor and engine show near you? There are always a few collectors who specialize in small air-cooled engines at these shows, and chances are you will find another Reo engine or two. Is there a flea market selling antiques or collectibles? Sometimes dealers will have some Reo stuff, and may have no idea what it is worth. These dealers usually price the item high, which leaves them some room to dicker on what they will actually sell for.
There are only a few serious Reo equipment collectors, so the value of these is not usually very high. I have gotten Reo engines for prices ranging from FREE to $150, and I have sold engines from $35 (complete, unrestored) to $90 (restored). However, I also see these engines at swap meets priced from $20 to $100 - but what the seller actually gets for it is usually less than his marked price. Complete reel type mowers are not in great demand, unless they are in excellent condition. There have been a number of Reo engines, parts, and mowers sold on eBay, and the ending bids range from lows of “almost give-away” to highs of “That bidder must be crazy!”.
Reo engines have gone up in value in the past 20 years, and the appearance of more Reo collectors has also driven prices up, especially on eBay. As with any collectible item that is no longer being built, the prices may someday be way up – but then, they may not. Who knows? Certainly not me.
I hope this has given you a general idea of your engine or mower's value, and you will have to use your own judgement on where you want to start pricing it.
2. Do you know of someone who might interested in this? - Well, I might, but most likely I don’t. If the item is well described, with model number, condition, and location I might pass on the email to several fellow Reo collectors. Otherwise I recommend posting the item on eBay, or taking it to local engine shows and swap meets.
3. Should I keep this, or just haul it to the dump? The writer must have some idea that his Reo mower, etc, should not be trashed, but he doesn’t have time to find someone who might take care of it. I really hate to think of how many Reo mowers have ended up in a junkyard, but it is going to happen, and each time it does another piece of history is gone. I’ll make this offer – if you bring it to my home I will take it off your hands, and take good care of it. Not reasonable, you say? Well, I suppose not, but I won’t come to your home to get it either.
If you want to give it away, I do have a suggestion, and this is serious – park it out by the street, or at the end of the driveway, and put a FOR SALE sign on it (DON”T say FREE), and I would guess that it will go to a good home within a few days. Some flea market dealer will be selling it, or some teenage kid will be working on it, trying to get it running again.
© 2005 by Erv Troyer
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Last updated on 12/12/05