Where to purchase vintage tools is always a conundrum. Firstly, I would suggest, that the best way for a first-timer to buy vintage tools is in-person. That means attending a tool show such as Tools of the Trades, or finding yourself a vintage tool seller – not always the easiest thing to do (easier in the U.K.). It is possible to find vintage tools at antique malls, but don’t count on it. Small places have a hedge-podge of low-value stuff at super-high prices (and are usually trash). Exceptions to the rule are large antique cooperatives, such as Ontario Mall Antiques (NY) (a good place to try and pick up tools made by NY companies).
The alternative is buying online.
Years ago, eBay was a good source of tools, but I think this was mainly the case because unsuspecting resellers didn’t know exactly what they were selling, and buyers got some good deals. This isn’t the case anymore. Many times prices are overinflated. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve bought a bunch of good stuff on eBay and never had many problems. But buying on eBay is sometimes about luck.
So the alternative to eBay is of course online vintage tool resellers. I have created a link above, “Vintage Tools“, which lists the more prominent tool resellers across the world. All these vintage tool sellers, sell quality tools, at a reasonable price. They won’t gouge anyone $50 for a plane worth $15. They show multiple photos of tools, and a description. Sometimes they sell rare tools that you won’t find anywhere else, but prices for normal tools are often quite reasonable considering the time and effort it takes to find the tools. There is of course the cost of shipping, but there is no way around it. Consider it the cost of the fuel and food you would consume while out and about “picking”… and likely coming home empty handed.