Sunday, June 1, 2014

How I save on Keurig Coffee Makers

Recently, I found myself at my favorite little thrift store and once again came across another great score. Walking along the shelves, I spotted a Keurig coffee maker. But it wasn't your average kitchen countertop Keurig. Nope, this was a heavy duty model usually reserved for offices and business. Dana, the store manager, had priced this special Keurig model at $25 bucks. Not a bad price, considering similar models sell for well over $200 bucks new. I was definitely interested, but a bit nervous about spending $25 big ones for something that might not be working. Not wanting to take any chances, I did what any smart thrift shop picker might do. I decided to plug it in and test it.

Grabbing the bulky coffee maker, I walked to the back of the thrift shop where my buddy, "Sarge" volunteers his time. A former Vietnam vet, Sarge has his own workshop in the rear of the store where he makes repairs to donated items. Usually when I check in on Sarge he's tinkering with some donated item. Other times, he's taking a well-deserved snooze in his chair. The little guy likes to put me to work too, often asking me to help him move furniture when he spots me. Fortunately he cut me a break this day. No heavy lifting was required! With coffee maker in hand, I stuck my head around the corner of the partition that separates Sarge from the rest of the store and asked him if I could plug in the coffee maker? Sarge loves company, so he gladly welcomed me back to his kingdom.

Being invited back to Sarge's work area is a special treat. The main reason I enjoy it so much is because he reminds me of my grandfather and his basement workbench. Like my grandfather, Sarge's bench is neatly organized with lots of little drawers and shelves for all his tools. On one shelf he has an AM radio that's always playing oldies while he works. On another shelf sits a fluorescent lamp shining down on Sarge as he tinkers away. Above the bench on the wall is a cross and an old framed photo of President Kennedy. The President looks down on Sarge as the old veteran makes his repairs. I guess it's a guy thing, but I love hanging out with JFK and good old Sarge at his workbench.

My conversations with Sarge almost always follow the same pattern. He begins by proudly showing me something he's repaired. Usually it's a vacuum cleaner, stereo or boom box. He then tries to convince me that the repaired item is something I just can't live without and urges me to buy it! My response is always the same. No matter what the thing is, I compliment him on fixing it. I then tell Sarge that's although it's really nice, I already have one. (Whether I do or not.) I wrap it up by assuring Sarge his repaired item will sell quickly once it's put out on the shelf. I am not sure if Sarge realizes I give him the same old lines, but he always seems to enjoy our give and take.

Back at the workbench with the Keurig, Sarge showed me where I could plug in the coffeemaker. We also filled the tank with some water. I then turned on the Keurig and while the screen lit up, nothing else happened. As President Kennedy watched from high on the wall, Sarge and I proceeded to fiddle with the Keurig, but to no avail-the thing wasn't working. But even though the coffeemaker looked like a dud, I was still interested. I knew there was a chance Keurig might replace the broken coffee maker if I called their consumer hotline number. As I ran all my options through my head, Sarge called over Dana, the store manager.  It was time to negotiate with her. Telling Dana that the Keurig didn't seem to be working, I asked her if she'd sell me the broken coffeemaker for five bucks? To my surprise, she agreed with no hesitation. With that, I unplugged the coffeemaker, told Sarge I'd see him later, and headed to the front of the store to pay.

If you don't know already, I am big a fan of Keurig coffee makers. I've blogged about these great machines several times in the past. So once I got my office version Keurig home from the thrift store, I really, really wanted it to work.  So much so, in fact, that I decided to give it one more try at home. Setting it up on my kitchen counter, I plugged the machine in and hit the brew button. Guess what happened? Yep, the dog gone thing actually worked! Don't ask me how it happened, because I have no idea. Maybe President Kennedy threw down some Irish luck at me as I was leaving the store? Whatever the reason, the thing was now operating perfectly fine. Needless to say, I was ecstatic! The Keurig now had the potential to earn me some major bucks! With that in mind, I wasted no time posting the miracle Keurig on eBay.

Lo and behold...it works!
Keurig coffeemakers are big sellers on eBay. Many used models sell in the range of $40 dollars. Large office versions sell for even more. How'd mine do? The Keurig that miraculously decided to start workinng after  leaving the thrift store sold for $120 dollars! And to give you an idea of how well my luck was going with this Keurig, I'll blow your mind with one more piece of incredible happenstance. You can imagine how hard it is to package a big, bulky Keurig for shipping? Well, not for me. I actually found an empty Keurig coffee maker box for the exact same model in the local school recycling dumpster! I often visit the dumpster to retrieve boxes for shipping. Obviously the school must have purchased the same model and tossed the box with it's packing material in the dumpster! With the recovered box, I just slipped my Keurig inside, slapped a shipping label on it and sent it on it's way. The buyer probably thought it was the originally box for the coffee maker. It sounds unbelievable, but I swear it's true!

All in all, it was a pretty lucky thrift store flip! But that's what makes it all worth while, right? Have you flipped a Keurig or other coffee maker? Share your story in the comment section below. Meanwhile, I think I may go visit Sarge at his workbench. Who knows what I'll find there next?











 
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22 comments:

  1. I have thrifted a couple of Keurig machines. What I found was that many of their early machines had problems. Keuring stood behind their products BUT in order to take advantage of their guarantee you needed to send in the little "cup holder" portion of the faulty machine. I found that out the hard way! After my experience I noticed that many of the machines in thrift stores were missing this easy to overlook piece. My advice is that if you come across a good one do be careful to make certain that all the components are there,

    By researching on line I also found out that sometimes there is a sort of trick you need to do to sort of get the air out of the lines and kind of" prime" the pump. It has been a couple of years and I don't remember the details but it had something to to with putting you finger over a certain tube in a certain area .... then letting it go. I'll bet that info is still available online somewhere.

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    1. Janet- Thanks for the info. I do remember Keurig's "cup return" policy now that you mention it. Also remember that when you call them with a problem, they will try to talk you through it, so they are very good that way.

      Thanks for writing in....Dude!

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  2. Actuaally, I'm a percolator girl myself. Nice score! Interesting how it didn't work in the store, yet worked at home. You must have some kind of Keurig mojo or something Dude!

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    1. Loraine- Ha! I do want to try percolator coffee sometime, just to go "old school". I'd think it would taste pretty good. Always remember my parents and grandparents using a percolator back in the day.

      I got lucky with that Keurig. Believe me, I've had some unlucky duds too, but who wants to read about that, right? I try to focus on the positive -lol !

      Thanks for checking in...Dude!

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  3. They are fickle. Mine works like a dream at home but when I tried to take it with us camping it wouldn't work at all. We actually had parked our camper at my father in law's vacation cabin so I took into into there and plugged it in. Nope. Brought it home and it has faithfully worked every morning since. He has the same outlets and voltage we have. So strange. Nice find!

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    1. Deana - That's funny. Glad I am not the only one. Thanks for backing me up on it. In my case, maybe I bumped something loose and it started working again? Who knows for sure, right? Just glad it did because it turned into a major score.

      Thanks for writing in and sharing your Keurig story...Dude!

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  4. i found a keurig for $10 at a YS but passed I too am hesitant to spend $ on something that may not work. I was however, talking to my mom last week who mentioned theirs wasnt working and she bought a new one. The old one was on the porch getting ready to go to the dumpster. Long story short and a lot of "really? you can part it out?!?!?!" the coffee maker is being safely stored for me when i visit in a few months LOL. First thing on the list is call Keurig and see if they will replace it LOL

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    1. mrs4jachi - For sure, make that phone call. If your mom's Keurig is under a year, they should replace it and send you a new one. If it's over a year old, they sometimes offer you a new model for half the price. Either way it's a good deal!

      Thanks for checking in with your Keurig story....Dude!

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  5. I keep looking for a Keurig, but haven't been lucky enough to find one yet. So glad yours decided to start working. Congrats on the great sale! And this Sarge fella sounds like a really special person. Everyone needs a Sarge :)

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    1. Kimberly - Keep looking, you'll find one eventually. Just make sure it's not missing the cup insert. (See Janet's comment above.)

      Sarge is a good guy and a real character. Stopped by today in fact, Wasn't there. So the workbench lights were off. Ha!

      Thanks for the congrats and for writing in....Dude!

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  6. I'm more impressed with finding the correct box! I once was trying to figure out how in the world I was going to ship the biggest grand Barbie dollhouse. I couldn't list it until I figured out how much it would weigh, and I sure didn't want to spend money on a brand new box. I was on my way home and found the perfect size box (for outdoor water feature) at someone's curb. It fit perfect when I got home. Now my neighbor is part of Amazon Prime, so I get all her boxes and packaging bubble wrap. Plus she just updated her kitchen, so I got all her appliance boxes for future dollhouses! It's all about thinking outside the box...or just having good neighbors!

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    1. feetinwater - Pretty crazy my finding that box, wasn't it? Got lucky on that one. Overall, I hate the challenge of finding the right box for the right item. Mailing shirts and such are easy, it's the big stuff that's a pain.

      We use Amazon Prime all the time and it's awesome source for boxes and bubble wrap. Usually the boxes are a perfect size for shipping. I've been thinking about blogging about it, just haven't got around to it.

      Isn't it funny how folks like us come to really appreciate boxes and bubble wrap? It's all "gold" to me !...Ha!

      Thanks for writing in....Dude!

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    2. "Gold" is soooo right! Free packing materials puts the "P" in profit! Last week I drove 12 miles to pick up 2 big giant bags of styrofoam packing peanuts that some lady listed for free on Craigslist. It was totally worth the trip!

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    3. HA! I am right there with you. One time I was driving down the road and spotted a clear plastic bag full of styrofoam peanuts on the shoulder of a very busy road. SInce there were no houses on the road, I figured it must have blew of the back of a truck. So I was like, "That's mine!" and made a quick U-turn, jumped out of my car and ran out to grab it!

      What we do for packing material, right?

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  8. I found one of those Starbucks Verismo systems at GW for $8. I scooped it up and sure enough it worked perfectly. I was going to sell it but I decided to keep it for the game room instead.

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  9. Did you stop to by a lottery ticket on the way home from the dumpster? What are the odds! LOL

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    1. Margaret- I know, crazy right? I've had some good luck over those dumpsters. Once found a jacket in the regular trash dumpster that I sold for around $30 dollars. In fact, with school ending soon, I need to make a point to visit the dumpster, since that's the time of year when I found the jacket. (Probably was in the school's lost and found all year)

      Thanks for checking in...Dude!

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  10. I wonder if your Keurig score just needed time to heat the water? Mine, found at my favorite GW for $30 takes a few before it's ready to brew.
    I found a second one a few months later that I gave to my daughter. :-)

    ella

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    1. Ella- Thinking back, that may have been the reason. Makes perfect sense.

      Thanks for possibly solving the mystery....Dude!

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  11. I wonder if the school donated the old Keurig and that is why they had the box for the new one? I have yet to find one. The ones that come up on my FaceBook Garage sale group are asking Ebay prices :-(

    I did sell a coffee machine awhile back that you could use the two travel mugs or the pot. I can't recall what I got though

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  12. Oh and I found one of those hot cocoa machines yesterday. Unfortunately it was not the Cocoamotion but a Cocoa Latte by Back To Basics which is recalled. Im going to call Monday to see if they are still offering replacements

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