Hello Terry,

I have read a number of your educated posts with great interest. My question is two-fold - -  1) To find out the appropriate sale price for a steel safe I'd like to sell (I think it's an antique), and 2) To get some suggestions of focused forums on which to offer it for sale.

I have it currently posted on Craigslist with a number of photos here: http://newyork.craigslist.org/brk/for/4341799217.html

It is a fully functioning, HEAVY, steel safe manufactured by Herring-Hall-Marvin Safe Company. The Yale dial combination lock works perfectly with absolutely no issues and I have the combination.The unit has some scratches, etc. as shown in pictures.

In case it affects the "value", the unit is currently in a street-level garage so it can be rolled fairly easily onto someone's truck with appropriate help and a ramp i.e. it doesn't have to be extricated from a building.

Dimensions: 41.5"h x 27.5"w x 25"d
Color: Brownish/ Greenish
Lock: Yale dial combination lock
Description: Single door, 3 shelf interior (top shelf is removable) and working wheels (typical single-direction style)
Location: Jefferson Street and Knickerbocker Avenue in Bushwick, Brooklyn in street-level garage.

Ideal for:
Camera and/ or video equipment
External backup drives

Thank you for any help/ information you can provide.
D.  Saunders


While I would be more than happy to look at your safe, you have made several mistakes in your description of the safe.   While it may possibly be an antique, it is still a collectible, however it is NOT a heavy steel safe.   Your safe is what we refer to as "cast iron type, fire resistive" container, though the only cast iron portion is the frame of the door and door jamb.   The rest of the safe is a thin sheet metal inner and outer shell, with a fire resistive insulation material in between.

Second this container is neither appropriate or ideal for the overnight storage of cash, valuables or valuable documents.   It is not designed for weapons storage or back up drive storage.
This container was designed with the simple purpose of providing some protection for general purpose document storage, from heat.   THAT'S IT!   Unfortunately due to its age, it also does NOT meet any current standards for fire resistance.

While you are free to advertise it for what ever purposes that you wish, and as you have indicated that you have read some of my postings, it is only fair for me to point out that lots of potential buyers who see safes similar to yours on the internet, eBay or Craigslist, contact me for an evaluation prior to purchasing.   My evaluations for buyers and sellers alike try to be as unbiased as possible, pointing out both good and bad points, so offering the container as something which it is not, could stand out as real negative.

As far as "focused" forums for selling items such as your safe - sorry there are none.   While you can use sites such as eBay or Craigslist, these are general purpose sales forums.   Another recommendation would be to put together flyers about your safe to drop off at antique stores or auction houses, though these facilities generally charge a commission for helping you sell the item.

Having the safe in a location which is easily accessible to a potential buyer is a definite plus.   You would be surprised at how many people that have one built into a wall on the third floor of a building with no elevator, and of course they want it removed without any cost or damage!!!   Chances are they aren't going to find a buyer, and the safe will be there for another 50 years!

In order to answer specific questions, identify, evaluate or appraise your safe, I'm going to need photos.  They should include full exterior and interior.  Detail photos should include pictures of the dial, handles, hinges, artwork, locks, bolt work, castors, cabinetry and any special details or damage.  Note:  You may have to remove the back panel on the door to gain access to the lock & bolt work – I will need these pics.
If you have a particular detail that you have a question about, I will need a photo of it along with your question.

I will also need to see any documentation that you have in regards to your safe.  If your safe has a unique historical perspective, you should be able to document this with letters, newspaper articles or photos, if not it is simply a story and will have no bearing on the value of your safe.

Please use as high a resolution as possible so that I can examine details of your safe.  Pictures which are low resolution, out of focus, or from a distance don’t help when we try to evaluate the container.  Note:  with higher resolution, you may only be able to send 2-4 pictures per email, depending on the size of the file, I have a 12mb limit per email.  If photos are larger than 2mb each, you may only be able to send 2 or 3 photos per email, requiring several emails.

Please don’t send me “cell phone” photos.   Also, please don’t use online, internet photo drops as most of these also don’t allow me to easily access the photos for examination.   Send the pics directly to me, while this may be more work for you, it will make my job easier.

Please send all of the requested photos to:  andy@securitysafeusa.com

Note:  As I am in the field several days each week, covering a huge service area, I may not get back to your photos immediately, but I will respond as soon as I get an opportunity.  Due to field work, emails may tend to get backed up which means I may not answer them immediately.

Our informal evaluation is at no charge, however if you feel you need a formal evaluation or appraisal for insurance, estate sales, donations for tax write offs, or to establish it as an antique, there is an administrative fee for this service.  


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Terry V. Andreasen (Andy)


Safe and Vault related Questions; Antique Safe Repair and Restoration; With over 40 years in the Safe & Vault industry, if I can't answer your question I know where to get the answer. Current Project: Restoration of two Tilton & McFarland safes from the 1860's. Will answer Safe & Vault related questions concerning age, value, restoration, moving, opening & repairing, parts, operation and history. Note: It is not my intention to teach you to open safes or to provide information which may aid in the unlawful opening of a safe. I will not give out drill points or information which I deem inappropriate.


40 years in the Safe & Vault Industry. Service Manager for one of the largest Safe & Vault companies on the West Coast. Graduate of Lockmasters Safe Lock Servicing, Safe lock Manipulation and Safe Deposit Lock Courses. Graduate of Locksmith Institute. Certified Instructor for the California Locksmith Association teaching Basic and Advanced Lock Servicing, Basic Safe opening and Repairing. Factory Trained by AMSEC, LORD Safes, LeFebure, Mosler, KabaMas, LaGard and Sargent & Greenleaf

SafeCrackers International and the National Antique Safe Association

Graduate of Locksmith Institute 1972 Graduate Lockmasters Safe Lock Servicing 1974 Graduate Lockmasters Safe Lock Manipulation 1975 Graduate Lockmasters Safe Deposit Lock Servicing 1985 Instructor Certified - California Locksmith Association - 1985 Factory trained by AMSEC, MAJOR, STAR, Johnson-Pacific, Kaba-MAS, Allied-Gary, ISM, Lord, Brown Safe, EXL, Mosler, Diebold.

Awards and Honors
2009 - 2014 - Listed in AllExperts Top 50 Experts. All Expert Categories - Safes & Security Containers, Locksmithing, Antique Safes. Retired US Army Chief Warrant Officer (CW4), with 39 years of total service. With numerous awards from Vietnam, Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom. US Navy - 1971-1981 US Army Reserve 1984-2013 US Army Retired

Past/Present Clients
US Secret Service, FBI, BATF, Local Law enforcment agencies, Diebold, Hamilton Pacific, Red Hawk Int., Chubb International, Bank of America, Wells Fargo Bank, Mechanics Bank, El Dorado Savings Bank, many Credit unions and smaller banks. McDonalds, Togos, BurgerKing, TacoBell, Carls Jr. FoodMaxx, SaveMart, Lucky's, Albertson's, Raley's, Safeway, NobHill, Bell Markets, PW Markets. Great America, Century Theatres, Cinemark Theatres, UA Cinemas, and many homeowners and small businesses. Provide warranty service for lock and safe manufactures. Service Area is Northern California (Fresno to Oregon and Western Nevada)

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