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04-1-2017 20:56:28  #1


What is a fair price for a working portable from the 20s/30s?

On eBay the prices range from good bargains to insanely high. Are mint condition working typewriters from the 20s and 30s really worth nearly a $1000?

But anyway, my main question is, how much should I pay for a (think Underwood, Remington, Imperial) portable typewriter from the 1920s/30s that is in working condition, with little or no visible dents? The only thing is that a couple of keys look a bit foggy.

Is $150 USD (not including shipping) worth it?

 

04-1-2017 22:17:21  #2


Re: What is a fair price for a working portable from the 20s/30s?

The highest that I've ever paid for a typewriter is $112 (including), and that was for a 1929 Royal Portable. I regret paying that much, especially when I came across a 1930's Royal Portable (which I prefer the style of) with a tabulator for $75 at a flea market. The only thing special about my Royal is that it's a very nice cream/tan color which I have never seen anywhere else.

​Moral of the story is, would a collector pay that? Probably not, especially for a common portable. But if it's worth it to you, then by all means go ahead. This is just my personal experience and opinion.


A high schooler with a lot of typewriters. That's pretty much about it.
 

05-1-2017 06:03:44  #3


Re: What is a fair price for a working portable from the 20s/30s?

Your forgetting refurbished typewriters that are dismantled, cleaned, adjusted, etc. Those are worth more; but still not $1000


Back from a long break.

Starting fresh with my favorite typer. A Royal Futura!
 

05-1-2017 06:04:35  #4


Re: What is a fair price for a working portable from the 20s/30s?

Pay around $100 max including shipping.


Back from a long break.

Starting fresh with my favorite typer. A Royal Futura!
 

07-1-2017 22:16:23  #5


Re: What is a fair price for a working portable from the 20s/30s?

TypewriterGuy wrote:

Pay around $100 max including shipping.

Doesn't that seem a bit low? I mean shipping something the weight of a portable is still pretty expensive isn't it?



Btw what typewriters do you have for sale?

     Thread Starter
 

08-1-2017 00:02:10  #6


Re: What is a fair price for a working portable from the 20s/30s?

I guess I should say something here.  So here goes:  The only one I can answer for in this case is myself.  Not only would I not pay that much for any typewriter, I could not pay that much--too rich for my hillbilly blood.  The realm of the $1,000 typewriters is a province of those who are higher up on the food chain than I am--and also for those who invest in the supposed future value of things.  There are people who invest large sums of cash for old books.  But instead of reading them--they feel the outside covers to try to tell if they are very valuable.  Paintings, they don't look at the pictures--they look at the signature on the bottom that reads who the painting was done by. 

Investing and speculation I leave to my betters.  I'll just stick to my gooey, maudlin sentimentalities dictating which typewriters I take--and occasionally have included at least two or three 1920s-1930s portable typewriters.  And most of those were given to me--and most graciously received as well.


Underwood--Speeds the World's Bidness
 

08-1-2017 02:33:13  #7


Re: What is a fair price for a working portable from the 20s/30s?

It really depends on numerous factors: model, condition, era, color, location, whether it was refurbished, etc. 20-30's can cover a huge range of models and prices. Under $100 may be difficult to do for more desirable models--eBay becomes more and more inflated by the day. It can be done, but it would take effort and patience. Under $150 would be doable for most, but you have to be careful: most sellers are not knowledgeable of typewriters and have a very loose definition of "working." So evaluate carefully (typing samples are a big plus), and be braced for possible disappointment. Shipping damage is also a risk.

I prefer to buy them in person, but that takes a lot of effort as well; and a lot of time and gasoline. But where you live makes a difference, as regional markets vary in both price and availability.

 

08-1-2017 18:15:28  #8


Re: What is a fair price for a working portable from the 20s/30s?

What would you guys say are the best portable brands?

     Thread Starter
 

08-1-2017 21:58:12  #9


Re: What is a fair price for a working portable from the 20s/30s?

Hoo boy, does that question get bandied about alot.  I can tell you this is where you'll get absolutely NO consensus.  However,  I will tell you that Olympias are a favorite though.  Remingtons are another.  Me, I have an affinity to a certain 1949 Royal Arrow portable known as "Daddy Sam."  But when picking the "best," you gotta be careful--especially if you've come into collecting typewriters only recently.  Yes, you can name one that has a nice touch, a nice print, but look out!!  That thing may have a part that prematurely wears out, and you can't get that part because they no longer make it, and to try to get it from a junker proves useless because that same part wore out on ALL of them.   It takes years to know not which one is the best all around--but the one that works best for you.


Underwood--Speeds the World's Bidness
 

08-1-2017 23:05:46  #10


Re: What is a fair price for a working portable from the 20s/30s?

Thanks for your input TypewriterKing. I am completely new to typewriters and don't really intend to be a collector but I would like to get just at least one machine I can play around with.

So, what makes a typewriter good anyway? Or when debating how good a typewriter is, what do people argue about?

     Thread Starter
 

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