C.S. Coleman was very much like most hard working Pennsylvania family men. He had a young family and worked full time trying to get ahead in life. In the 1960 there was an enormous amount of U.S. Military Surplus. Mr. Coleman had heard of Government Surplus auctions going on at the local U.S. Military Installation in Mechanicsburg, PA. Always a salesman, Mr. Coleman decided to attend a Surplus Auction. It was then that the “Surplus Bug” had bit. He bought a few surplus lots each week at auctions and sold the items on the weekends and evenings.
C.S. Coleman bought our current location which was a farm at the time. It was then he decided to take a huge risk and quit his full time job to become a dealer in surplus, materials, scrap metal, scrap cars, and whatever else he could huckster. Our original store was a chicken house that was on the farm property! C.S. Coleman would drive a truck, with his young son riding shotgun, down to the auctions every week and continuously add inventory to the growing store.
Business was good at C.S. Coleman’s (our original name), but the aggressive young second generation Coleman knew that things could be even bigger. Coleman’s decided to start a mail order catalog business. They started publishing catalogs in house and mailing those to as many customers as they could afford and so started our ever popular catalog. The original catalogs contained generators, building materials, odd ball close out items, and of course genuine U.S. Military surplus clothing and equipment. For many years we worked long, late hours attending sportsman’s shows, mailing catalogs, and constantly running trucks to and from local auctions adding inventory.
Once again, wanting to take the business to the next level, Coleman’s launched head first into the digital age with our online store www.colemans.com. The website was developed in house. Along with the relatively young new company called eBay, our online sales drove us into the next level of retail.
Second Generation Coleman takes full control of C.S. Coleman’s Surplus and renames the company Coleman’s Military Surplus, LLC. We have always loved U.S. Military Surplus but felt we needed something more. It was then decided that the Coleman’s would also travel to Europe to seek out more unique products. We continue to work very hard to search the globe for the most unique, interesting, useful, and awesome products that you will not find anywhere else! We still operate a physical retail store, twice-yearly mail order catalog, and www.colemans.com. With over 2,000 items and more being added constantly, Coleman’s is your one stop store with Army/Navy and US and European military surplus products including hunting gear, camping gear, emergency and survival products.