An open letter to all members here on the CCF
As of today 1-11-2011, I am the new owner of Old Coleman Parts. This has been a long 3 month process and there were times when I wasn’t sure if it would actually happen. It took awhile to negotiate, take inventory, complete the due diligence, and finally to raise the needed capital. It has not been an easy process.
I wanted to publicly thank Warren, Brent, and Murff for helping with two days of counting parts and offering me some valuable advice. I want to thank Ed for explaining to me all the nuts and bolts of how the forum program actually works. I also wanted to thank Warren again. This would not have happened without his never ending help in so many other ways. And finally I want to thank Bubba for his continued friendship that kept me from going crazy. Some down home Missouri friendship was what I needed many times.
Thanks to Bob for making this opportunity available to me. I hope he truly enjoys his second retirement.
I would rather have waited a few years until I was closer to retirement but the opportunity came about now so I decided to go forward. I will still be working my regular job and hope that I can run this operation as good as Bob has done over the years. It will make for some busy times but I am hopeful that I can handle it. Sometimes you never know where the current of life’s river is going to take you. I hope that I can meet or exceed all expectations. Maybe with a little luck I can quit my day job and devote my entire time to Old Coleman Parts.
Now I need to ask some favors of those of you who read this. First, I ask for your prayers. If I have learned anything in this life it is this, prayer matters. Second, I ask for your patience. I am going to have to temporarily close and will be unable to accept orders for a couple of weeks. I will reopen on February 1st. I need a couple of weeks to get set up with the web store, credit card processors, business licenses, and other things of that nature. I could not do any of those things ahead of time. I needed to actually own the business before I could start on them. I have done everything else I could do ahead of time. Third, I need your support. As part of the due diligence I reviewed all of the invoices for the last 12 months. I was surprised to see how few members of the forum actually buy parts and supplies from Old Coleman Parts. Most of the sales are to people who probably aren’t collectors. I don’t know the reason why. If you have a reason then I would be happy to hear from you. Your input is crucial to my future success. I want to be the first place you turn for any needed parts.
I am far from being a parts expert. I am sure there are many on this forum who probably have more knowledge than I do in some areas of this hobby. You know who you are and I hope to continue to rely upon you for occasional advice. I do hope to be close to a parts expert within a couple of years. But for now, I will do my best.
You will see some changes in the future. I expect to do more specials, offer club discounts, and a few other things. You will see the parts available to buy section expanded considerably. There will be lots more pictures of available parts. There will also be a section for those non-Coleman brands that we all love. I will also be offering some used parts where it would be appropriate to do so.
I do not foresee any changes to the forum. Under Murff, Ed, Warren and previously Roger’s moderating, the forum has grown beyond what I think any of us ever dreamed it could have been. They must be doing something right. The sheer numbers alone attest to their success. The only change you will see is that I will probably be posting much less. I don’t think I will have the time at least for awhile. There is a lot to learn.
In closing I just want to say again that I do welcome your input. Please email me and let me know what it would take to make Old Coleman Parts your first stop and the best resource possible for collectors and for anyone needing to get their old lamp or lantern working again. My old email address will remain the same but you can also contact me at Mike@oldcolemanparts.com