Friday, December 15, 2017

Marked down

As the price for typewriters on online classifieds and auctions seems to escalate, the amount of machines in local thrift shops seems down. This may be related, or pure chance of course.

In a round of a few local second-hand shops including a very large one, only one typewriter was spotted. This one had been in the store for a while and was now marked down from 15 to an 8 Euro asking price.

By now it was tucked away in a dark corner, jammed and looking rather forlorn. The top-cover is badly mauled and the Remington emblem is broken. A spare top cover from a portable is included with an intact emblem, should the buyer want to fix it up. Apart from the cosmetic state and a tabulator-bar that has warped out of shape it seems to be in good shape and fully working condition. Even a dust-cover is thrown into the package.

Alas, no sale even for 8 Euro. Would be fun to tinker with, but wrong period for the collection and rather too large to insert unobtrusively into the house.

On that, the amounts being offered for nice, clean pre-war portables looks to be going through a bit of a spike here. On the one hand there are a few traders that buy and then re-sell the machines via more international outlets for a several hundred (and they apparently do sell, looking at the shop-sites data). On the other hand the value attributed by many to these obsolete machines may well have gone up over the past few years. Even when not 'collecting', then as an item to have one of. Some as a static and transient 'interior decoration' for sure, but also some to have and keep one working machine.

In its distressed state, the Remington would fit the bill as a 'vintage' looking prop. A steal at the price. It may sell yet :-)


  1. A counter-good price problem is that as more people become aware of typing and the typewriters the demand drives up the price. I think the days of the good typewriter for $5.00 is mostly gone. Seems everyone wants too high of a price even though the typewriter may be in dire need of restoration.

  2. I wonder what "ordinary" typewriters will sell for in 10 years? 20? 50?

  3. Also wondering how typewriters would/could survive in the longer run. For one, perhaps two generations it'll be kept in the attic, but beyond that...?