How to buy a typewriter

Typewriter production ended in the UK in 2012. However, millions of typewriters were manufactured and many are still around and in working order. The slightly difficult part of buying a typewriter is locating one near enough for you to go and collect it. Typewriters are heavy items and postage costs can be significantly more than the cost of the typewriter itself.

Buy a typewriter when you chance upon one by keeping an eye open as you pass charity shops. Pop your head in and ask the sales assistant if they have any typewriters for sale if there are none in the shop window. Explain that you are keen to acquire one. Ask if you can leave your contact details -- and be notified if a typewriter turns up. Some charity shops will be willing to do this. If a charity shop contacts you, go and check out the model for sale. If it is suitable for your purposes, snap it up.

Look at the advertisement cards in the post office window, library or other local shops. Quite often, typewriters are for sale. If you find none for sale, write your own “Wanted” card. Optionally indicate the price you are willing to pay. This can be counterproductive if someone raises the price they were going to ask for a typewriter, on seeing your card. Add your telephone number and you are likely to get a call before long. Arrange to see the typewriter for sale. Negotiate for a better price if you feel the buyer is asking too much.

Search on an online sales site that offers typewriters amongst its items for sale, such as eBay. Ebay has thousands of typewriters for sale -- but other sites are available. Type “typewriter” into the search box. In the categories section -- where provided -- select your price range and location. This will narrow down the available models. Narrow them down further by deciding whether you want an electric or manual typewriter. Focus in on the remaining models and make your choice based on the information provided. Ask the seller questions if you require further details. Either place a bid -- if the site is an auction site -- or buy the item immediately by proceeding to the checkout.


Try to choose a model for which you can still buy ribbons and other spares. Try before you buy, where possible. Buy locally to save on shipping costs. Choose a lightweight model for easier portability.


Typewriters require more manual force than computer keyboards.

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About the Author

Frank Luger had his first educational resources published in the early 1990s. He worked on a major reading system for Cambridge University Press, became an information-technology adviser and authored interactive whiteboard resources for "The Guardian." Luger studied English literature and holds a Bachelor of Education honors degree from Leeds University.