Gotta get a Yeti for Christmas? Good luck!

Published 1:04 am Saturday, December 19, 2015


Merchants say calls for Tumblers constant

In the tradition of Cabbage Patch Kids in 1983, Tickle-Me Elmo in 1996, and the Wii in 2006, there is a must-have, hard-to-get item on many Christmas gifts this year.

Only this time, it’s for grown-ups, and it’s a cup. A Yeti tumbler, to be exact.

Yeti Rambler Tumblers, the insulated cups that keep cold drinks refreshingly cold and hot drinks almost unbearably hot – both for extended periods of time – have distinguished themselves as among the most difficult Christmas gifts to find. The 20- and 30-oz. versions aren’t even available on the Yeti website.

“It’s the amazingest thing I’ve ever seen in all my years in business,” said Joe Richburg of J. R.’s Lawnmower Shop in Opp. “We get calls from young people, old people, and everybody in between.”

Anthony King of Fletcher’s Outdoors said, “It’s been a pretty hot item. I don’t know of any dealers within 150 miles of us that have any of them. “

Nobody saw the demand coming.

“We got all that we pre-booked,” King said of the popular Yeti Ramblers. “We just didn’t pre-book enough.”

Sarah Brabner, who works at Fletcher’s, said the store receives upward of 50 calls a day looking for Ramblers. At present, they only have 10 oz. Rambler lowballs, and Rambler Colsters in stock in drinkwear. The Colster holds 12 oz. cans or bottles. The products are made from 18/8 stainless steel with double-wall vacuum insulation.

Richburg said he had the tumblers in stock for a while before they really caught on.

“Still, if a husband got one, he came right back to get one for his wife,” Richburg said. “If a mama got one, a daughter would need one.”

King said word spread that Fletcher’s had Ramblers in stock, and his employees shipped them all over the Southeast. Even more interestingly, many of those customers shipped the tumblers right back to Andalusia.

“They would ask us where to get them engraved, and we said Christopher’s,” he said. “So they’d get the number and ship them back.

Even with the product as scarce as it is, Chris Lawrence said they are engraving at least 50 per day.

“And we also sell jewelry,” he joked.

Lawrence estimates they’ve engraved 2,000 of the popular tumblers since Father’s Day, and 40 to 50 a day in the last month.

“It’s slowed down some since they’ve gotten harder to find,” he said. “But we had 20 brought in today.”

He also has engraved a number of similar brands, like Orcca and RTIC, but said they also are getting difficult to find.

Both King and Richburg both agreed that the Yeti products are great, but Richburg can’t figure out how they caught on so big. The tumblers retail for $29.99 and $39.99, and are being sold for as much as double their retail value on Ebay right now.

“I’m a Shark Tank watcher every night,” he said. “I’m always trying to figure out what will go in business. I’ve even asked people, ‘What makes you want a Yeti cup?’

“I think right now, they’re just an easy, good Christmas gift,” he said.