I was recently doing some treasure hunting when I came across a real gem; A vintage Beatles Yellow Submarine lunchbox from 1968. It’s not in perfect condition, but it had something that made up for all of its imperfections: the original metal thrermos! Typically, after 40+ years, the thermos tends to be missing, and this can as much as halve the value of the lunchbox. As soon as I openned the Beatles lunchbox and saw the thermos inside, I knew I had found something special. Now all I had to do was negotiate the price I wanted.
After some discussion and a few different offers, I managed to walk away with the lunchbox set for about $30. I felt completely confident that I could resell this piece for a significant profit, but I wasn’t completely sure of its value. After doing a bit of research on the internet, I found the exact same lunchbox and thermos selling for between $600 and $1,200 on eBay. The condition of my lunchbox will put it somewhere right in the middle of those numbers. Not too bad for a morning of treasure hunting!
Here are a few tips to keep in mind when hunting for your own lunchbox treasure:
- If you’re ever considering purchasing a vintage lunchbox, make sure it has the matching thermos or it will most likely not be worth your time. To give you an idea of how valuable the thermos is, my Beatles lunchbox on its own is only selling for between $125 and $395, compared to between $600 and $1,200.
- Not only does the thermos have to be present, it needs to have all of the necessary parts. If it’s missing the lid or the thermos cup, the value will decrease. You should also make sure that the armature that holds the thermos inside the lunchbox is still present.
- Rust is a huge problem with vintage lunchboxes. Once rust has started forming, whether it’s on the thermos or the lunchbox itself, the value will start to decrease greatly. Small scratches are okay, but rust is not.
- Pay attention to both the handle and the closure on the lunchbox. If they are missing or not working, don’t bother. Handles and clasps are huge factors when determining the value of a vintage lunchbox. Both need to be in good condition for the piece to retain its value.
Have you found a great treasure lately? I’d love to hear about it!
Good luck, and happy hunting!