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05-12-2022 20:41:47  #1

Inventory Management - Typerwriters & Their Cases

Inventory Management - Typerwriters & Their Cases

Hitting a milestone of having my Typewriter Collection reach fifty (50) machines and their cases (where appropriate), I thought it was time to better organize them for my family (in case something, unforeseen, might happen to me).

I have always maintained an electronic spreadsheet to track machine number, make/model, serial number, paid-for amount, and current market value amount.  Also notes about what might need a repair or replacement part or a function that is terminal but machine is still functional without it.

I was more concerned about my family being able to figure out which machine would belong to which case, as not all machines are stored in their cases but rather on display.

So I decided to set up a 3-ring binder and establish a 1-page data-sheet for each typewriter in my collection.  This would have my Typewriter No. assigned to the machine, some basic info., and 2 colored photos of the machine and the case (where appropriate).

Here is an example of one typewriter data sheet...

I have also decided to apply a bright-red Dymo embossed label on the outside of each case with year/make/model info. for easy reference.

With the 50 data-sheets and a print out of the electronic spreadsheet in this 3-ring binder, it should be relatively easy for my surviving family to sort through machines and cases and figure out what-is-what and associated values if a re-sale would be planned.  There is also a disk-copy of the electronic spreadsheet in the binder, as well

It also makes it easy for insurance purposes.


06-12-2022 12:55:15  #2

Re: Inventory Management - Typerwriters & Their Cases

I use an Excel book with multiple tabs to track just about every imaginable data point, all of it organized to help with ongoing research. Some machines have hyperlinks that open a corresponding Word file containing more detailed information about the specific history of that machine and its lineage. 

While I do keep a column for what each machine cost me, I don't understand how current market value can be logged: In my area - as an example - there are multiple 5-series Smith-Corona models for sale at the moment (similar make, colour, condition), and they range in asking price from $70 to $285 CAD. Current value varies wildly because it's dependent on each individual seller and buyer, and to a lesser extent location. A seller can be someone flipping typewriters for profit ($285) versus an original owner (or relative working from a spreadsheet) who just wants to clear house ($70). And you know those who flip machines more than likely pay less than $50 on average for their inventory. I rarely break that amount - regardless of make/model.

As for the travel cases, I simply use hang tags on the handles that identify the make, model, serial number and my own database number for the typewriter to quickly find it in the spreadsheet. Initially I used rubber bands to hold the tag to the case, but then discovered that the quality of the rubber was extremely poor and unreliable, so I've since switched to butcher's twine.  

My biggest issue with inventory management is storage. At the moment my typewriters are spread across multiple places in the house and garage. This sometimes makes locating a specific machine a real chore. I am hoping to clear out a lot of stuff this upcoming year and have my entire collection in one room, sorted by make. This would also be ideal if someone other than myself would have to sell them off.


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