Safes & Security Containers/Selling safes


I recently purchased a bank building - there are 2 Lefebure safes - and also an old 7 ft  x 3 ft safe door with an inside bar door.  I would like to sell them-

Is there a market for used safes, and how do I find a buyer?  I am in central Wisconsin.


There is a market for everything.  The question isn't whether or not there is a market, it should be about finding buyers.

Unfortunately as safes tend to be a unique commodity, in order to attract buyers you need to be able to display the items you are selling.   This puts an individual seller at an extreme disadvantage for a couple of reasons.   The first would obviously be to display it, the second is storage.   Eventually everything will sell, however if you need it to sell quickly, then you also have to be willing to sell it for bargain basement pricing.   If you want what it might actually be worth, then you have to be willing to and/or have a facility to warehouse it until it sells.   Remember that time is not your friend when selling.

Safe companies generally have large warehouses and showrooms, and because of their time in the industry, they usually have substantial advertising - however, unless your safes have a burglary rating that they think they can sell quickly, chances are they are going to charge you to haul the safes away.

LeFebure safes are basically obsolete.   This company has been out of business for close to 20 years now, having been acquired by Mosler in the mid 1990's.   Mosler has been out of business for 13 years, having gone bankrupt in 2001.   This means that parts are no longer available for these safes, which also means that their value is also going to be suppressed.

So as you probably don't have a warehouse and showroom, your next best bet is to advertise.   Ebay, Craigslist, flyers, etc. are all ways of getting the word out.   As you have the building that they are in, you could possibly hang a banner on the outside advertising their sale.
Be prepared for "lookie-loos", who are curious but not serious buyers.   You also need to have three prices in mind - your asking price (high), the price that you would like (medium), and the lowest that you would let them go for and be happy.

Keep in mind that not only will the buyer have three similar prices in mind, but they will also have to consider the cost of moving or transporting the safes to a new location.   Moving heavy safes can be a hefty expenses.   The potential buyer should have an offering price (low), a price that they would like to spend, and the highest price that they would comfortably spend to get the safe.    Somewhere in between their low, and your high, should be a price that you can agree upon.

The vault door is a different animal.   Basically this has no value unless it has been removed, cleaned and is ready for sale.   Installed it is part of the building.    Depending on how it was installed, it may be difficult to remove.   This translates to MONEY!!!    The potential value of the door means little to a potential buyer that may have to spend thousands to have it removed, and in fact this may be your cost.   And of course they have to consider transportation and cost to have it installed on the other end.   Doors are a specialty market, that even most safe companies don't like getting into.

Hope this has answered some of your questions, possibly pointed you in a direction, and/or given you some items for thought.

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Terry V. Andreasen (Andy)


Safe and Vault related Questions; Antique Safe Repair and Restoration; With over 44 years in the Safe & Vault industry, if I can't answer your question I know where to get the answer. Current Project: Restoration of an Ely Norris Cannonball safe from the early 1900'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. NOTE: I also answer safe related questions in the Locksmith and Antique Safe Categories sections.


44 years in the Safe & Vault Industry. Owner and 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. Author of "The Coffee Table Guide to Antique Safes".

Safecrackers International National Antique Safe Association Safe & Vault Technicians Association (SAVTA)

The Coffee Table Guide to Antique Safes

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 - 2015 - Listed in AllExperts top 50 experts. All Experts 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, including western Nevada

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