WHY SO MUCH
FOR A STUPID CAN OF SODA
Believe it or not, we sell a lot of them. There are a lot of serious coke and Pepsi collectors out there, and we're one of the very few sellers who offer discontinued collectible cans which are full.
Why so expensive? We get that question a lot, and it’s a fair question, though sometimes the people asking act as if we’re committing a felony!
First, presuming the can is shipped domestically, we charge $19. Between eBay and PayPal, we lose $4 off the top, as they've even started charging their draconian commission against the shipping charges.
Second, I don't know if you've ever stopped to think about it, as we so much take canned coke and Pepsi for granted, but a full can is heavy! Packaged, it weighs over a pound. The USPS has dramatically increased rates over the past four years, it now costs $8 to ship an insured one pound package ($30 internationally) – and yes, PayPal requires trackable, insured shipments. After paying eBay commissions and shipping/insurance. After eBay and PayPal commissions, and the shipping fee to the USPS, that $19 is now down to $7.
Packing material matters too...it has to be water tight. Second, it has to be very well padded (without adding too much weight or you'll pay even more for postage), because the post office is kind of rough. If someone pays $19 for a collectible can of coke or Pepsi, they expected it to be pristine. They dent very easily (ever notice how thin they are), and so you really have to pack them well. There's another dollar. That $19 is now down to $6.
Why water tight? Well, cans of soda tend to rupture if frozen (in winter), and in summer they'll explode if they get too warm. We lose some there. But even worse, if they go via air (and the almost do, especially overseas), they're generally sent in unpressurized cargo holds. They really tend to explode there! We lose about 10% of the ($19) cans we ship, and have to reship them for free. Supposedly the USPS insures their Priority Mail packages…but only for the cost of the item…they do not refund postage. Typically they deny the claim (which takes half an hour to file, then another half an hour to dispute their denial – it’s easier just to ship a replacement and allow the USPS their pretense at competence. The $19 is now down to $4.
Last, I don't know if you realize how acidic soda pop is. Ever do that junior high school experiment where someone donates a tooth, and you drop it in soda pop? Takes a few days, and it is dissolved. Now remember how thin that aluminum can is. Believe it or not, after about two years, maybe three, soda pop cans will start leaking...the soda will eventually eat little pin holes in the can.
Within three or four years, just as people are really getting interested in having a can of whatever discontinued flavor it is, you've lost about 50% of your inventory, and have to sell them at a loss really, as empties.
By the time it is all said and done, we're making $2 per can, for all the hassle of stocking them, cleaning up after them as they leak, and then going through all the motions of packaging them properly. Really not worth it all. EXCEPT...they get LOTS of hits, and we hope that people will look at our other offerings (antique and ancient gemstones and jewelry). So it's a cheap advertising tool, but believe me, otherwise not worth the effort.
As a side note, we have sold as many as 20 or 25
different varieties to such places as bars, cafes, and restaurants like
"The Hard Rock Cafe", who have an Americana motif. We once sold 40
different cans to the Hard Rock Cafe in