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Vintage Coca-Cola Machines: Guide to Buying Old Coke Coolers

I'm a work-from-home mom who loves all things vintage and antique!

Get advice on estimating the cost of a vintage Coke machine.

Get advice on estimating the cost of a vintage Coke machine.

How Much Is an Old Coke Vending Machine Worth?

In the case of old and antique Coca-Cola vending machines (also known as Coke coolers), the prices can vary greatly depending on the following:

  • The condition of the machine
  • The location of the seller
  • The popularity of that model of machine

If you're looking to sell a cooler, the best way to estimate the value of your item is to determine how much similar items in similar condition have sold for. Similarly, if you're looking to buy a particular model, you can look at past sales to estimate how much it will cost you. As they say in real estate, the value is basically whatever someone is willing to pay!

How to Find Recent Sales Prices of Coke Machines and Coolers

Do some research! You can check the listings of machines for sale on craigslist and eBay.

How to Find Current Sales on Craigslist

You can browse the listings on craigslist to see what sellers are asking for their antique items. However, that doesn't tell you if the item will actually sell for that price—or if it will sell at all. I recommend contacting the craigslist seller by email and kindly asking them if they would mind sending you the actual selling price of their machine. They may be more inclined to do this if you are from another area (not local), so they know you're not a competing seller.

How to Find Past Sales on eBay

On eBay, you can find past sale prices by searching the completed and sold listings. Here's how to do that:

  1. Click on the small "Advanced" text next to the "Search" button in the upper right.
  2. Enter your keywords (for example, "vintage Coke machine").
  3. Under "Search including," check the "Sold listings" box. Hit "Search" to see previous listings and what they sold for.
  4. Alternatively, you can check the "Completed listings" box, then hit "Search." This will show you all relevant items that either sold or simply had their listings end. You can use this to get an idea of what models are less popular and what asking prices are too high.

Be aware that these searches will only show you items sold in the last few months.

Examples of Past Sales on eBay: Model and Selling Price

For a helpful point of comparison, I've listed some sale prices below for antique machines that actually sold on eBay around 2011. Please note that this is historical data and may not reflect current values or sales prices. It provides an interesting look into how prices fluctuate over time.

  • Restored Vendo 44: $4,500
  • Restored Cavalier 96: $3,526
  • Vendo 44: $1,580
  • Original Condition Vendo 44: $1,500
  • Westinghouse WD-5: $1,350
  • Late '50s to Early '60s Machine With New Compressor: $1,250
  • Vendo 39: $1,100
  • Vendo Coke Machine: $1,025
  • Vendo 110: $1,025
  • 1950s Vendo 80: $883
  • Cavalier CS-64C: $810
  • Cavalier C-51: $651
  • Vendo Coin Changer Machine: $545
  • Vendo Coin Changer: $530
  • Vendo V-23: $500
  • Vendorlator 27A: $499
  • 1940s Coca-Cola Machine: $350
  • 1950s Coca-Cola Vendo 39 81 110 Coin Door: $330.99
  • 1950s Coca-Cola Vendo 39 81 110 Coin Mechanism: $330

There are only a few price guides that cover vintage soda machines and coolers. I would recommend these two:

  • Vintage Coca-Cola Machines Volume II: Collectible Coolers, Vending Machines, and Fountain Dispensers by Steve Ebner: This book is out of print, but sometimes used copies surface on Amazon or eBay.
  • Classic Soda Machines by Jeff Walters (linked below): This book is also difficult to find, but it's occasionally available on Amazon and eBay as well.
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Happy Coca-Cola Collecting!

I hope this advice will help you in your search for the perfect vintage cooler. If you're unable to afford a full-size older model, why not consider a modern mini fridge in the meantime? There are a lot of retro-looking Coke-branded mini fridges to choose from, and you can find the 6-can size for $50–$60. Maybe it'll help you save up for the antique vending machine of your dreams!

Please leave me a comment on what type of Coca-Cola item you are searching for!

Serge on August 20, 2020:

How muchas is worh a 1950's Vendo SC-72 coke machine....it's been restored and has a new refrigeration system in it....

gwrampramp@frontier.com on September 18, 2018:

1946 Coca Cola machine Jacobs 26 what is worth ?

addedebor on September 27, 2015:

Have you ever thought about creating an ebook or guest authoring on other websites?

bret reed on January 08, 2015:

I have this old coke refrigerator I was wanting to know what is worth

Soledad Gomez Cochran on December 23, 2014:

I wish I could taste the old drink of Coke

Benjamin on June 10, 2014:

Yes I'm trying to sale my vendo 39, could you maybe give me some tips

Martin7 on September 14, 2011:

Hello i am looking for 1940's or 1950's coca cola or pepsi cola machines for a cheap price that i could restore my self.

Thanks

Martin7

Robert on August 03, 2011:

We are looking for a key for our Vendo 110. It is Chicago Lock Key Code PR 503. Any leads / help is greatly appreciated. We don't want to have to drill out the locks and replace them. We are trying to keep it original.

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