May 09, 2023

where to buy typewriters

I researched various Reddit discussions from the r/typewriters subreddit, spanning from 1 to 7 years ago, to gather information and recommendations on where to buy typewriters. There was a general consensus on several options for purchasing typewriters, including local antique stores, Facebook Marketplace, thrift stores, Craigslist, and eBay. Some users also shared their personal experiences with specific typewriter models and brands. The sources were directly related to the original query, and the information provided seems to be reliable based on the experiences of the users.




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Antique Stores

According to a Reddit discussion from two years ago, antique stores are a recommended place to buy typewriters, with one user sharing their experience of buying a working 1949 Royal Typewriter for $60.

Estate Sales

Estate sales are another option mentioned in the same discussion, with one user noting that some estate sales are online-only.
Facebook Marketplace

Facebook Marketplace

Facebook Marketplace was recommended for finding typewriters being sold in your area, as it offers less competition, good deals, and allows you to check the machine out in person.

Shopgoodwill Website

In another Reddit discussion, the Shopgoodwill website was suggested for finding typewriters online, though the user also recommended local antique stores and Facebook Marketplace.

Typewriter Repair Shops

One discussion suggested looking for typewriter repair shops in your area, as they may also sell typewriters.

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"I need a typewriter for practical reasons. Where should I look to buy one?"

  • User is looking for a working typewriter to use for typing documents.
  • User has tried searching on Amazon but has no clue what to buy.
  • User doesn’t care about antiquity or interestingness, but practicality.
  • User would prefer typewriters similar to modern keyboards if possible.
  • Shopgoodwill website is recommended for finding typewriters online.
  • Local antique stores and Facebook marketplace are recommended for buying typewriters.
  • Shopgoodwill can be iffy because the user can’t test the machine themselves.
  • Electric typewriters are recommended as they have less space between the keys than manuals, are flatter, and are better for long periods of writing.
  • Word processing typewriters might be avoided because of the regulations where the user needs it.
  • Royal stopped making modern typewriters years ago, Smith Corona and Olympia are recommended brands.
  • Brother portable electric is recommended as it is slim, lightweight, and has a ribbon in a cassette that can be removed and popped back in easily.
  • Mechanical typewriters are preferred by some since they don’t require cords and can be used anywhere.
  • Selectric II typewriters are electric and use carbon tape, which produces excellent typeface, but few people can service them.
  • An IBM wheelwriter might be an alternative to Selectric II.
  • Royal FP/KMM/KMG/HH are durable and good once serviced.
  • Smith-Corona and Royal daisy wheel typewriters are fast and fully-featured but have poor keyboards.
  • The carbon tape daisy wheel machines produce the cleanest typeface.
  • A reddit user learned how to refurbish typewriters and started an Etsy shop.
  • The reddit user recommends Royal FP/KMM/KMG/HH manual typewriters once serviced and IBM wheel writers as an alternative to Selectric II.
  • The reddit user hates the keyboards of 90’s Smith-Corona and Royal daisy wheel typewriters but recommends them as they are cheap.
  • The user has some regulations that forbid devices with internet access and doesn’t like handwriting but would like to OCR the documents after the fact.

"Does anyone know where to buy a typewriter? I'm new to this thing."

  • The webpage is a Reddit post titled “Does anyone know where to buy a typewriter? I’m new to this thing.”
  • The post is from two years ago.
  • The post is on the subreddit r/typewriters and has 9 points.
  • The post asks for advice on where to buy a mechanical typewriter, preferably a vintage one.
  • One comment suggests buying a typewriter at an antique store and cites buying a working 1949 Royal Typewriter for $60.
  • Another comment recommends looking for typewriters at estate sales, and mentions that some estate sales are online-only.
  • There is also a suggestion to check Facebook Marketplace for typewriters being sold in your area, as you can find good deals, save on shipping costs, and check the machine out in person.
  • A commenter shares a personal story of finding a fully functional 1917 Underwood at a non-profit thrift store for $75, which was much cheaper than the prices for the same model found online.
  • Another commenter recommends buying a typewriter in person rather than online, as typewriters are heavy machines that can be damaged during shipping and may be expensive to ship.
  • They suggest finding an expert to clean the typewriter, show how to use it, and ensure that it is in operable condition.
  • The commenter bought their first typewriter from a store in their town that sells and services typewriters, while their second typewriter was purchased at an estate sale for $10.
  • A few commenters recommend checking Craigslist or eBay for typewriters, but these suggestions receive less attention than the other options.
  • One commenter suggests looking for typewriter repair shops in your area, as they may also sell typewriters.
  • There is a discussion within the comment section around whether mechanical typewriters are worth buying, with arguments made for their tactile feel and connection to history, but also difficulties in finding supplies such as ink ribbons and the need for frequent cleaning and maintenance.
  • Commenters also recommend considering the type of typewriter when making a purchase, such as choosing between a manual or electric typewriter and a portable or desktop model.

"Heavily debating buying a typewriter for the first time"

  • A user on Reddit’s Typewriters community posted a question about whether they should buy a Smith-Corona typewriter they found on Facebook Marketplace and whether they would regret the purchase.
  • Other users in the community offered advice and suggestions on where to buy typewriters, what price range to aim for, and how to check the typewriter’s functionality.
  • One user advised trying the typewriter before purchasing and recommended donating or reselling the typewriter if the user ended up not using it.
  • Another user noted that typewriters can be “like Pokemon” - once you start collecting them, you may want more.
  • Some users suggested specific models of typewriters, such as the Smith-Corona Sterling or the Tower portable typewriter.
  • Others recommended checking out thrift stores, Goodwill, or antique malls to find inexpensive typewriters to test and familiarize yourself with.
  • Some users also mentioned that Smith-Corona typewriters might be harder to find outside of the United States.
  • Recommendations for YouTube channels to check out included Joe Van Cleave’s channel, which offers reviews of various Smith-Corona models and advice on how to test functionality.
  • One user asked what the typewriter would be used for, and the original poster responded that they were curious about typewriters and wanted to see how it works and type something with it.
  • Several users praised Smith-Corona typewriters for their simplicity, light touch, and sleek design.
  • Multiple users noted the potential for reselling a typewriter if the user ended up not using it, and recommended checking the prices of sold machines on eBay for reference.
  • Some users posted links to additional resources and information on typewriters, such as typewriter repairs, maintenance, and user manuals.
  • Overall, the discussion surrounding buying typewriters was focused on finding a typewriter that works and testing it before purchasing, while also emphasizing the joy of owning and using typewriters as a hobby.

"Advice on Newbie Typewriter"

  • A user of Reddit posted looking for advice on purchasing a typewriter.
  • They provided information about the model they were interested in, called the “Sears Tutor” typewriter.
  • They wanted to know if it was a good brand/model to purchase.
  • A user in the comments provided information that the Tutor is a re-branded Smith-Corona Corsair with a custom ribbon cover.
  • Two other users provided additional information about the Corsair, including mention that it was lightweight and compact, and had a light typing feel.
  • One user said it was designed with cost reductions in mind, however; it feels cheap and rattly in comparison to older machines.
  • Another user advised to consider other options if small size and light weight were not important priorities and to buy it if it’s difficult to find typewriters.
  • Another user provided a link to the user manual for the Smith-Corona Corsair, which would help the original poster make a more informed decision.
  • One user mentioned that it can be difficult to find typewriters for sale in some areas.
  • The original poster provided an update that they were able to purchase the Sears Tutor typewriter locally for the equivalent of $70. They said it works as good as new and described it as a “find.”
  • Another user provided a link to a separate Reddit post about first-time typewriter purchasing that had additional information about things to consider.

Overall, the webpage provides specific information about a particular brand and model of typewriter, as well as opinions on the quality and other characteristics of the machine. Additionally, there is some general advice on purchasing typewriters, including the fact that it can be difficult to find them in some areas. The linked user manual provides further information on the features of a similar machine.

"Buying a typewriter: Where to start?"

  • The Reddit post is titled “Buying a typewriter: Where to start?” and was posted in the r/typewriters subreddit seven years ago.
  • The author of the post is interested in buying a manual typewriter that is vintage and has no plastic housing.
  • They want to know more about the main brands of manual typewriters and how much a good quality one would cost. They have also asked if each brand of typewriter requires a different type of ribbon or if they are universal.
  • A Reddit user shared their experience of buying three typewriters on eBay: an Olympia SM9, an Olivetti-Underwood 21, and an Olivetti Lettera 32. They also plan to purchase an Olympia SM3 via Craigslist.
  • The same user shared that most typewriter ribbons are universal and recommended buying them from FJA Products on eBay.
  • The post recommends some tips for buying typewriters on eBay, including setting a price point and sticking with it, finding one or two models that you want, using eBay’s advanced search to look at “Sold” listings, and putting search radius “Nearest” your location within ~50 miles to find physical store locations for haggling.
  • The Reddit user offers recommendations for specific typewriter models, such as the Underwood 5, a Royal model O or P, an Olympia SM3 or SM4, and a Smith-Corona Silent.
  • Another Reddit user offered to share pictures/links of the typewriter they’re looking to pass on to a newbie.
  • The post suggests that thrift stores and Craigslist are often the best options for buying typewriters, particularly for metal-bodied ones.
  • Another Reddit user recommended against buying online or above $75, as it can be difficult to determine the quality and condition of the typewriter and the costs for returning it if damaged can be high.
  • The same user recommended checking out Star Typewriter in Westwood Blvd in Los Angeles, which has a huge collection of typewriters.

"Thinking of buying a Typewriter"

  • A user on Reddit asked where to buy a typewriter.
  • Another user responded with a website that lists typewriter repair shops around the world.
  • It is suggested to expect to pay a premium for machines from these repair shops.
  • Advice is given to consider buying a machine built before the 1960s, as they are typically very reliable.
  • The cleaning process is addressed, as it is said that cleaning these machines resolves about 90% of issues.
  • The Adler or Triumph portable models are recommended for beginners, as they come apart easily for cleaning.
  • Purchasing a cheaper machine that needs cleaning is another option, specifically suggested to look at local thrift stores, Craiglist, or Facebook marketplace.
  • Another user chimes in and agrees with purchasing from thrift stores, stating that they purchased a blue electric for $27.00 with its case.
  • Concerns were mentioned over buying a machine from a store or website, as it may not work.
  • It is recommended by one user to do a deep cleaning and oiling of their typewriters but is worried about potentially breaking them.
  • Suggestion by the same user is to buy it, find a manual online, and learn from there.
  • The final update mentions that the original user bought a refurbished, fully functional Olivetti Underwood 1968 portable typewriter and loves it.
  • A comment mentions the beauty of an Olivetti that they used in school.
  • The original poster replied that they felt similarly about the Olivetti.
  • The original poster also expresses appreciation for the advice from the other Reddit users, and that they started writing short notes on their newly acquired typewriter.

"Where can i order cheap typewriters online?"

  • The original query was, “Where can I order cheap typewriters online?”
  • Amazon and eBay are not the best places to buy a typewriter.
  • Check local sites like Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, OfferUp, and eBay local to find cheaper prices.
  • Check antique malls, thrift stores, and Goodwill as they can offer typewriters from $20 to $250 with the more expensive ones being in dire need of repairs and evaluations from inexperienced sellers.
  • Try not to spend more than $100 on a typewriter, except for typewriters that have been refurbished by an expert mechanic.
  • Local classifieds are the best way to find something to see first hand and make sure it is in working condition before buying.
  • Typewriters are heavy and shipping costs are high due to their weight.
  • Buying a typewriter locally is much cheaper than shipping it, even when factoring in transportation costs.
  • Local pickups are available on eBay, which can be sorted by distance.
  • There are different types of typewriters for various needs, such as new vs. used, or self-refurbished vs. expert refurbished.
  • It is suggested to avoid buying new machines on Amazon and other retailers as they are cheaply produced and have mostly plastic parts.
  • The Royal brand typewriter is sold on Amazon and goes by different names but is not recommended due to the misalignment of type slugs.
  • Patience is essential in finding what is wanted in a typewriter, as checking eBay multiple times a day for the desired machine is suggested.
  • Similarly, another suggestion is to not give up hope and keep searching, as finding the right typewriter takes time.
  • is another website to buy typewriters, but the machines are not guaranteed to be in 100% working condition.
  • Goodwill’s and antique stores are good options to find a cheap typewriter—a Reddit user on the page bought a 1969 Smith Corona model for $29 including the case.
  • The page and its comments were found on Reddit’s r/typewriters, and the earliest comment is from 1 year and 11 months ago at the time of publication.

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