Thursday, October 3, 2013

My Baby Blue Coleman Cooler

Back in June, I bragged about a vintage 70's era Coleman cooler I snapped up for only eight bucks. You might remember the story. The cooler was in pristine condition and even came with it's original three piece inserts-a tray and two freezing containers. Old Coleman coolers can sell for a lot of money on eBay, so I knew I had a nice score. But after a little cleaning up, I sort of got attached to my baby blue cooler. I even put the cooler to work, using it for a Memorial Day picnic at my house. Once the picnic was over however, I was conflicted over whether to keep the cooler or sell it.

Initially there was some definite waffling on my part. On the one hand, you just don't find these coolers everyday. My baby blue Coleman was super clean and in near perfect condition. And when it comes to beverages and food, the cooler can keep it all ice cold for several days. On the other hand, this Coleman could make me a lot of money if I sold it. I even asked readers what they thought I should do? A few folks suggested I keep it, while others advised me to take the money and run! It was a nice problem to have, but still a dilemma! It took about a month to decide, but something happened at that picnic that help me make up my mind.

As I mentioned previously, I used the Coleman cooler at my Memorial Day picnic. During the festivities, I saw a glimpse of the cooler's possible future...and it wasn't good! My nephew, who's twelve years old
My Baby Blue Coleman Cooler-gone but not forgotten!
and loves baseball, decided it was time to warm up his pitching arm during the picnic. Only instead of using baseballs, he conveniently found something else to throw...ice cubes from my Coleman cooler! Fortunately, he didn't throw any at the cooler. But I watched in agony as he kept opening and closing the cooler's lid to retrieve ice cubes. You're probably thinking that Uncle Dude was just being  a curmudgeon, but it was driving me crazy! Like most twelve year olds who do things that make no sense, my nephew didn't just grab a bunch of ice cubes all at once. Nope... the rascal would grab a single ice cube from the cooler and hurl it like Nolan Ryan into my back yard. Then he would begin the process again...and again...and again...and...well, you get the picture! This went on forever and I cringed with each squeaky opening of the cooler's lid. Maybe I am paranoid, but every time my nephew threw the lid back, I envisioned some doomed fate for my beautiful cooler. It also didn't help that I had the cooler sitting on Coleman camping stove legs bought at the same garage sale. The legs were sturdy, but with a kid going in and out of the cooler, you just never know. My nephew didn't realize it, but he helped Uncle Dude make up his mind. The cooler was getting sold!

Because the cooler had come with the original insert pieces, I had two opportunities to make money. The cooler would be one sale, while the three piece set would be sold separately. The cooler was way too big to be shipped, so I decided to sell it on Craigslist. While I may have been able to make a few more bucks using eBay, I knew the high shipping cost would be too prohibitive. It was a decision I
An original Coleman three piece set = $$$
didn't regret. After listing the cooler on Craigslist, I found a twenty something kid who paid me $75 dollars for the cooler. With that out of the way, I listed the cooler's three piece inserts on eBay. The pieces would be easy to mail, and by using eBay I could get more eyeballs on the auction. In my listing description, I played up the opportunity for a Coleman collector to buy all three original inserts in one auction. This seemed to appeal to folks. The three piece set sold for $56 dollars! Not bad for three hunks of old plastic!

Combined I made $131 dollars on my original eight dollar investment. Even better, I no longer had to worry about a nephew, niece or even a drunk uncle breaking the cooler!

Hopefully someone in your family hasn't broken your Coleman gear...or any of your other finds! Share your story in the comment section below.....



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18 comments:

  1. Family...no....puppy who likes to chew....yes...cats that like to knead their claws....yes :) but I guess they are family too right?

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    1. Cats and dogs can count as family. Definitely dogs, anyway-Ha!

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  2. I feel your pain. I've gotten rid of things rather than see them be destroyed by those I love too!

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  3. Exactly! When you know the thing is destined to be broken by a family member, why not set it before it happens?!!

    Thanks for the back-up! ...Dude!

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  4. Hmm... I seem to remember a recent post about Mrs. Dude not wanting to sell a certain Coach purse and you giving her a hard time about it ;) Teasing aside, you obviously made a wise decision to sell. It's a beautiful cooler, and you made a great profit.

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    1. Ha! Thanks, as much as I liked the color, now that summer is over, it just would have sat around the house waiting to get damaged by someone or some thing. So as they say - all's well that ends well!

      Thanks for writing in....Dude!

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  5. I found this retro 1950's silver cooler called a Thermaster. It's sweet!. I have been using it for my groceries, but will eventually sell it. It will be perfect for a mancave!

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    1. Feetinwater-Nice score and you'll get some use out of it! Old coolers seem to do well no matter what. In addition to my Coleman cooler, I also flipped an old 7 UP cooler this summer too.

      Thanks for sharing the story....Dude!

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  6. I have not found any of these cool coolers yet but I will be keeping my eye out.

    Great decision selling the each separately and the cooler on craigslist. You have to be smart in this business. Great read.

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  7. Thanks Adley. As a general rule, I like eBay because I can make more $$$ on an item. But since the postal rates really get expensive when you're talking BIG items, I usually sell bulky items on Craigslist and hope for the best. With the cooler it worked out pretty well.

    And yeah, the Coleman coolers are pretty great....hope you find one in your travels!

    Thanks for writing in....Dude!

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    1. No problem! Make sure to check out my blog as well. Sell on eBay for Profit. :-)

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    2. I will and have...great blog! Also-Let me know how you do with Skimlinks, I've been thinking about using them...Dude!

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  8. Ok kicking myself because I saw this SAME Coleman cooler at GW yesterday. I couldn't remember the name of your blog to look it up and see if it was the same cooler!!! GAH! It was $8. No insert pieces but for $8?? *sigh*
    I will go back today but most certainly it's gone. :(

    ella
    TX

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    1. That is a bummer...I've been there! But you never know, maybe it's still there! Hope you find it...good luck......Dude!

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  9. I sell stuff I would have liked to keep all the time only because my kids will destroy it

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    1. I feel exactly the same way. Once it's destroyed it has no value. A good example of this would be my son's Honda Civic! (I have to laugh about it to keep from crying-HA!)

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  10. Too big to ship?? Parcel select would do just fine...I hate to say it, the baby blue in that condition would have gotten you $150+ on ebay - check out some completed auctions!

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    1. Generally, vintage Coleman coolers sell on eBay in the range of $60 to $100. And you are right, once in a while one hits $150 or more. Recently two identical baby blues sold on eBay-one for $80, while the other sold for $175. It's all about who's bidding on-line that week. But when you sell it on eBay, you have to back out both your eBay and Pay Pal fees, cutting into your profit. You can go parcel select, if you have the scale and labels, but it's not not much cheaper then standard parcel post. Then since your playing in Ebay's sandbox, you run the risk of an unsatisfied buyer who whacks your seller rating.

      Too much risk for too little profit on something I know I can easily sell on CL, where it's all pure profit and no risk.

      Remember the old saying:

      "Pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered'

      I'd rather get fat! Thanks for writing in...Dude!

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