You are not logged in. Would you like to login or register?



29-3-2013 11:25:41  #1


Typewriters at an antiques fair

I live near a large exhibition/events venue that regularly hosts a huge antiques fair (around 500 stalls). I went out of general interest, but kept an eye-out of typewriters...

I saw precisely four. They were:

A folding Corona, without case, that had a price-label of £95!

A bland-looking Petite going for £20.

A huge, grey Remington with a super-wide carriage. It looked a 1950s model. I wasn’t interested, so didn’t ask the price.

A 1940s(?) Oliver portable in its case. This was an interesting one as it was painted in a wood-effect finish. I was tempted and asked the price, which was £55. It was a little high for me, but the stall-holder was selling on behalf of someone else and wouldn’t go any lower. It was an unusual piece. I’m still wondering if I should have got it...

Anyhow, most antique sellers I’ve come across either regard typewriters as trash and don’t touch them, or consider anything over 50 years old as a priceless relic to which they attach a bizarrely large price-tag (see the Corona above, which would realistically go for £20-30 on eBay). Does anyone else have similar experiences?

 

 

29-3-2013 15:46:06  #2


Re: Typewriters at an antiques fair

Just wait til you come to Australia. $200 for an Olivetti 32, anyone? 


"Not Yet Published" - My History Blog
"I just sit at a typewriter and curse a bit" - Sir Pelham Grenville "P.G." Wodehouse
"The biggest obstacle to professional writing is the necessity for changing a typewriter ribbon" - Robert Benchley
 

29-3-2013 17:11:42  #3


Re: Typewriters at an antiques fair

Toronto is a real mix. You can find local postings of typewriters listed anywhere from 'free' to over $300.  Most dealers sell typewriters in the $40 - $150 range. One of the first typewriters I bought here was a Royal Quiet Deluxe purchased from a dealer in an antique mall for $20. I think dealers will have a pretty good 'feel' for what items are worth (realisitically) on the market. Shortly after this purchase I found the very same make/model for sale on line from a private local seller for an asking price of $800!!!! I don't think it really matters what ASKING prices are or what you see posted; what really matters is what typewriters are SELLING for. I suppose sites like ebay and etsy are the best reference?


"Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of the typewriter."
 

29-3-2013 17:44:28  #4


Re: Typewriters at an antiques fair

The cheapest I've seen for a pre-war typewriter is $70. That was for a Royal QDL. I don't know WHY I didn't buy it when I saw it. I'm regretting it, now. 

The cheapest I've seen for ANY typewriter is...$15.00. And I think that was for an Olivetti Dora. 

The most expensive I've seen is $365, for a Remington 3 Portable. A nearby Remington 16 standard was also going for $365. I don't care if they're in working condition, that's far too much. Case in point, the portable Remington is still in the same antiques shop...six months later. Unsold. 

Last edited by Shangas (29-3-2013 17:49:48)


"Not Yet Published" - My History Blog
"I just sit at a typewriter and curse a bit" - Sir Pelham Grenville "P.G." Wodehouse
"The biggest obstacle to professional writing is the necessity for changing a typewriter ribbon" - Robert Benchley
 

29-3-2013 20:19:03  #5


Re: Typewriters at an antiques fair

Stevetype33 wrote:

A 1940s(?) Oliver portable in its case. This was an interesting one as it was painted in a wood-effect finish. I was tempted and asked the price, which was £55. It was a little high for me, but the stall-holder was selling on behalf of someone else and wouldn’t go any lower. It was an unusual piece. I’m still wondering if I should have got it... 

I generally have a $50 CDN limit for any typewriter unless it's something very rare or otherwise unusual. In the scenario you described, I think I would have splurged and spent the $85 CDN (£55) for that Oliver as it sounds like it was easily worth a small premium. If it was in good working order it would have been a no-brainer for me.

Typewriter pricing is a funny subject. Most are priced by people who are making a one-time sale and have no idea what they're worth. They look at what other people who also don't know what they're worth are asking, and make up some crazy price. Consequently, pricing is all over the map; a local seller recently listed a fairly common Groma for $500 when an identical model - in better condition - had a Buy it Now price on eBay of $50. I sent her an email asking - very politely - why her machine was worth 10 times more than what they normall sell for. Of course I didn't get a reply.

What's really messing things up for us collectors is that there are enough one-time buyers who also don't know a thing that are paying these crazy prices. Key chopppers too tend to pay more than a typer is worth because they plan to profit off the machine's parts.

I just avoid getting caught up in the entire mess by sticking to my $50 rule.


Stay Safe! 
 

29-3-2013 20:34:52  #6


Re: Typewriters at an antiques fair

Valiant wrote:

I don't think it really matters what ASKING prices are or what you see posted; what really matters is what typewriters are SELLING for.

That's absolutely true. The only problem is, with the exception of eBay we most often don't get to see what the selling price actually was. I lost out today on an Erika that I really wanted. The seller initially wanted $150, and I offered $50.

The lady selling it asked me why I thought it was only worth $50. Several emails went back and forth between us and I provided a very detailed explanation of the worth of a typewriter. She decided not to lower her price initially, but with every passing week she lowered her price a little.

Yesterday it was down to $75 and I decided to offer a little more than my normal $50 limit. She refused my $60 offer and explanation that her typer would end up in a very good home. She countered with $70, but before I had time to reply, she sent me another email saying it had sold and that she just got back home from delivering it. Delivering it? I would have picked it up; I guess that extra $15 really meant a lot to her. Anyway, the point is that very few typers that are overpriced sell for anywhere near their original asking price. 


Valiant wrote:

I suppose sites like ebay and etsy are the best reference?

Etsy? Forget about it. Etsy has to have the largest number of overpriced typewriters that I've ever seen online.

I think eBay is a pretty good reference, but even then there are exceptions. I was recently astounded by two auctions that that I had been closely watching. A Splendid 99, which on a good day is a $35 machine, sold for $220 (in Australia), and my Grail machine, one with a Fraktur typeface, went for $880. Madness, just pure madness I tell you!
 


Stay Safe! 
 

29-3-2013 20:42:33  #7


Re: Typewriters at an antiques fair

I told you that you wouldn't believe it. 

Australian typewriter prices can be absolutely insane. It's one of the main reasons that I only own one. It's all I could afford. 


"Not Yet Published" - My History Blog
"I just sit at a typewriter and curse a bit" - Sir Pelham Grenville "P.G." Wodehouse
"The biggest obstacle to professional writing is the necessity for changing a typewriter ribbon" - Robert Benchley
 

30-3-2013 05:09:17  #8


Re: Typewriters at an antiques fair

I've seen some odd buying behaviour on eBay. I recently bought a Smith-Corona Ghia Super G. It was a buy-it-now for £25 and the seller was very close by, so I snapped it up. Out of interest I started watching other Ghias to see how much they were going for. Soon after I bought mine, another appeared on eBay for £50. It was a nine-day auction that slipped by with no bids. A few days later, the same Ghia was re-listed for £10. It was another nine-day auction that attracted no interest whatsoever. The seller then re-listed for £1.00, and then the Ghia started to attract bids, a lot of them. At the end of nine days it sold for around £70! The next Ghia on the market went for just under £100, but a few days ago I watched another go unsold at an asking price of 99p. A big factor seems to be the postage, many buyers seem to ignore anything that is pick-up only.

     Thread Starter
 

30-3-2013 06:13:56  #9


Re: Typewriters at an antiques fair

I prefer buying things which are pick-up only. I like to see exactly what it is that I'm getting. When I bought my Underwood on Gumtree, I travelled halfway across town to look at it before I bought it. And I carried it all the way home. 


"Not Yet Published" - My History Blog
"I just sit at a typewriter and curse a bit" - Sir Pelham Grenville "P.G." Wodehouse
"The biggest obstacle to professional writing is the necessity for changing a typewriter ribbon" - Robert Benchley
 

30-3-2013 14:45:15  #10


Re: Typewriters at an antiques fair

Shangas wrote:

I prefer buying things which are pick-up only. I like to see exactly what it is that I'm getting. When I bought my Underwood on Gumtree, I travelled halfway across town to look at it before I bought it. And I carried it all the way home. 

I agree with you, but unfortunately it's often not practical. Most of the typewriters I want seem to be on remote Scottish islands or on the Cornish coast.

Aside from seeing before you buy, other advantage of the pick-up is that you don't risk your purchase being wrecked by inferior packaging.

Do you ever get a bargain on Gumtree down-under? In the UK it seems to be used by people who think that a working Brother must somehow be worth £120.

     Thread Starter
 

Board footera

 

Powered by Boardhost. Create a Free Forum