Picking Penny Scales: Featured Collector Jeff Storck

Saturday morning, after finishing my “Barn Fresh” post, I asked Lloyd to call our friend, Jeff Storck, to see if we could come by for a visit. I wanted to do a story about an amazing home collection and Jeff’s penny scale collection immediately came to mind. Jeff had been in touch with Lloyd recently about some penny scales that he was ready to sell, so it was the ideal destination for us both. Jeff was happy to meet with us, so we headed out into the beautiful Loudoun County, Virginia countryside.  Continue reading

Barn Fresh

Pickers will often speak of “barn fresh” merchandise. What does that really mean? If you pick, you already know!We aren’t talking about where the item was found, necessarily, but the presence of wildlife in or on it. Animals love to make their homes inside arcade equipment that has been left sitting,undisturbed, nearly anywhere.

Picking can be hazardous work for many reasons. Some of the animals that pickers encounter when they try to load up and transport their finds certainly count as hazardous.  Continue reading

We Need a Donkey in the Goldmine

Lloyd and I often say to each other, “We need another Donkey in the Goldmine.” We are not talking about hiring more employees. That expression is our code for a business home run, or a “big pop”, as Lloyd calls them; the kind of return on the sale of one item that meets our quota for a week or more.There is a story about our Donkey in the Goldmine that illustrates how to creatively finance a purchase.  Continue reading

Featured Item: Cinematone Penny Phono

The featured item from Coinopwarehouse inventory today is the Cinematone Penny Phono.

Penny Phono 1939/1940


Last night, Lloyd and I were at Coal Fire in Gaithersburg, sitting at the bar for dinner and drinks as we often do on a Tuesday night. It’s our mini-date night! Lloyd usually tries to leave his phone at home when we are having dinner out, but he brought it along this time because he was waiting for a call from an auctioneer. He warned me that when the call came, he would need to take it. He wanted to bid over the phone on an auction for this Penny Phono. I have rarely seen him so distracted, picking up his phone and putting it back down!  Continue reading

Do You Remember Mulberry Street?

In 2003, Coinopwarehouse moved to Mulberry Street in Hagerstown, MD. That was the first time the business had been based outside of Virginia. It was a long, two-story, cinderblock building with a concrete floor on the first floor and a wood floor on the second level. It had about sixteen thousand square feet of space, when the outbuildings were included. There was a small show-room that was carpeted and heated, and a second smaller room with a concrete floor and gray cinderblock walls that functioned as a shipping room. That shipping room had no window, so was lit only by fluorescent lights hanging from the ceiling. That environment would challenge the cheeriest of temperaments! On the positive side, the building had 3 loading docks, which was really helpful when we had to load sea containers or unload the pickup truck.  Continue reading

Picking in Cumberland

Today, the game plan was to visit an operator in Western Maryland and buy some equipment. Before we left our warehouse this morning, we had a visitor. Steve Ebner came by with a beautiful, restored AC Sparkplug tester.

He also brought us a few copies of his book, Vintage Coca-Cola Machines.

He even autographed a copy for Lloyd! Coinopwarehouse is now selling copies of Steve’s book for $22.00, so you can order one from our facebook page or email a request to us.  Continue reading

But it’s Saturday!

It was Saturday morning and the shop was closed, officially, although Chase was there working. Lloyd was at home with me, but in his office, just like any other morning, checking his emails, Paypal, text messages, voicemail and Facebook page.
I was thinking about the yard. The lawn needs to be fertilized, aerated, and over-seeded. We could go to Home Depot or Lowes and buy what we need and spend a little time out there. Lloyd had a different plan. Seeing the men working on the yard across the street, he walked over there and asked if they could do our yard next. They could, so he came back and pronounced that he had taken care of the yard, so we would be free to go to Baltimore to pick up a One More Time CD jukebox that a seller was quite anxious to be paid for.  Continue reading

Front Royal to Hagerstown

Ten years ago, Lloyd and I met on Match.com and were engaged, unofficially, 3 weeks later. I wasn’t sure that he was proposing when he asked, “Are you going to marry me?”, which implied that I could if I wanted to, but my answer was a certain, “Yes,” anyway.
This wasn’t the easiest of romantic situations to find ourselves in.With 4 kids from his first marriage, between the ages of 15 and 20, and one daughter, age 15 from my first marriage, we had 5 young people between us who would need to adjust to our relationship. Continue reading