With the help of Google and other Internet sources, you can sometimes identify stuff to be sold at a garage sale before ever showing up in the driveway. While some folks might call it cyber stalking, I call it just doing your homework! Take for example the Neat-nick mom who's CL ad stated she was moving. Typing her home address into the Google search bar turned up a link to her home's real estate listing. Clicking on the listing, I found numerous photos of the exterior and more importantly, the interior of the house. From there I could check out how she decorates her home and the quality of her furnishings. As I clicked through the photos, I could tell she really was a "Neat-nick" with some pretty nice stuff in her house! I continued to page through real estate photos, picking out items I hoped she'd be selling at her garage sale. One was some camping gear I spotted in a picture of the garage. Kind of creepy but hey, that's the age of the Internet for you!
With my internet research complete, I arrived at Mrs. Neat-nick's sale at the 8:00 AM start time. I was greeted with a crowded street of fellow yard salers. Normally you don't see that kind of congestion at one sale, but clearly the lack of any additions sales drove everyone to Neatnik's house. The street was crowded, but I pulled the truckster into a safe spot and hustled up the driveway. The first thing I spotted was the Coleman camping equipment I'd seen in the garage picture. It included a camp stove, lantern, heater and pots, dishes and clever folding legs used to support a stove or cooler.
|All this for under $30!|
I then turned my attention to a vintage Coleman cooler sitting on the opposite side of the driveway. Old steel Coleman coolers can sell for huge bucks on eBay. One in near pristine condition just sold on eBay for $200 dollars! How crazy is that, right? If you grew up during the Sixties or Seventies, you probably saw a Coleman cooler at every summer picnic! Many didn't survive, rusting out and eventually being replaced with boring plastic coolers. (Some of which now sell for decent money too.) So once I spotted this rare "Ice Blue" Coleman cooler, I pretty much made up my mind it was coming home with me. Although a little dusty, it was still in great condition and looked like it would clean up nicely. Moving in for the kill, I asked Mr. Neat-nick how much he wanted for the big cooler? He looked over at me and responded in the form of a question, "Ummm, how about ten bucks?"
Now I'll admit ten bucks is a pretty good price, but like any good garage sale picker, I am not taking the first quote. I opened up the cooler and mentioned to him that the plastic tray was missing. With this flaw now pointed out, I hit him with my counter offer of five dollars. Chuckling that I'd "got him" on the missing tray, he agreed to accept five bills for the cooler. But he added a "rider" to the agreement-if he could find the original tray the price would go up to eight dollars.
|All three trays still here!|
|A thing of beauty!|
Despite my growing attachment to the cooler, I haven't decided whether I am posting it on eBay or keeping it. Given it's excellent condition, I am certain it could sell for a ton of money and would probably rival the $200 Coleman cooler auction mentioned above. For now, it's drying out in the garage. But I can't lie....it has a very good chance of seeing many more picnics in my backyard!
This summer make sure you look for vintage Coleman coolers at the garage sales. Great for eBay flipping or your family picnics!
Have you bought and sold any vintage Coleman coolers or similar gear? Share your story below.....
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