I see the same thing with *some* of the folks running estate sales here in Phoenix. I recently made a fairly generous offer (but still far below the asking price) on a non-working Royal "model O.". The estate salesperson chuckled at me and said "Honey, you'd pay twice the asking price for that at an antique shop." I responded "If someone wants to pay that much for a dust magnet, I suppose it's their problem. But it's a shame it will never type again." She looked at me like I had just escaped the mental ward.
Yeah…with all honesty, offering $60 for that Olivetti is being generous and I'm only doing it because I want to make a sad typewriter happy, and that price is $30 less than the tag is asking... We must seem like we're escaped from an institution to them. But we know who's right. :D
Oh, they certainly know how to gouge a naive public. You just have to remember that not everyone knows the value of these typewriters in the same way you do, and they are targeting Gen-y buyers that have never used on, but are using them as home decorations. Often these machines are sold on consignment as well, so the person selling the item is just as silly as your regular ebay seller. Otherwise: See my recent post on "Ebay Rare".
Wow. I was just so put off by the prices that I never considered people might actually spend $150 for a broken typewriter. Suddenly things start to make sense…!
Yep. My "home decorations" all work, and I personally can't see the point of they don't. Same thing with antique radios, which I also collect and restore. Different strokes...
Agreed. As many as I can get working, I have.
On the home decorations thing... A friend of mine spent $200 on a crusty life preserver that had fallen off a maresk freighter. $150 for a busted machine... !
I seem to remember the London antique markets charging more or less reasonable prices and the sellers would possibly have moved a lttle. But then, what is a reasonable price? I think £60 would be an ok price for a shop and some consumer rights if it were an excellent condition studio 44 but a 45 in bad shape? Maybe £20? Maybe leave a card with your max and a phone number with the seller and see if the money talks.
I did leave my number and an offer, though I doubt any action will be taken. I'll probably drop by again in a few weeks to see if there's a different response.It's hard to say what one would be worth with this kind of problem…the value should drop considerably compared to one that is in excellent condition. Because if you don't know how to fix it, then it's fairly worthless other than to look at.
Wait a month, then offer $40. make 'em sweat.
I have found some fairly good deals on typewriters at antique malls (like an Olympia SM9 in perfect shape for $35), but I agree with you -- usually all I find are 3 or 4 damaged, overpriced machines. But sometimes you can get lucky and find a good one tucked away in the corner of some booth, usually on the floor.
We'll, in the meantime, (as of 6pm CST 12/6/13, auction ends 12/11) there's an Olivetti 45 with script font on eBay for sale for a very reasonable price.