Today's post is by my friend and fellow seller, Lori McAulliffe, eBay ID – rocketcitysales.
After reading Suzanne’s post about others finding and selling old manual typewriters making a nice profit, my husband began looking for old typewriters out on his visits to Auctions, Thrift Stores and the like. Well I can finally report he stumbled across an old typewriter at a local thrift store this past Tuesday (July 13, 2010). The typewriter was marked $20 he talked them down to $15. This particular model came with the case and key to lock the case. The typewriter and case had been very well kept and clean for its age. Once he brought it home, I immediately began the process of researching Royal Quiet Deluxe Typewriters. What I discovered was very exciting.
Using Terapeak research, I discovered this model would sell for an average of $50 on eBay, plus I learned for the same model that came in colors (pink, red, blue and white) these can sell for upwards to $300 and more depending on the color. That made for great information to keep on file when out searching for other typewriter finds. Upon completing my research in Terapeak, I began formulating a Keyword title and description in TurboLister.
I soon discovered that this item is searched for by DeLuxe and De Luxe, so I was sure to include both spellings in my listing title. I also discovered that the word Manual was an important keyword to include. I would have thought the word vintage was a good keyword, but soon discovered this word did not improve searchability or increase views. The auction listing description I created included a self story as well as accurate information about the item and links to detailed information about buying typewriter ribbons and other manual typewriter sites. I also found an instruction manual for this typewriter posted on the web in a PDF file that I could print and include with my Typewriter since it did not come with the original manual. Here are links to some websites about Typewriters I located:
The Classic Typewriter Page
Your Royal Portable
Next step was taking detailed pictures to show off the condition of this typewriter, plus actually typing on a piece of paper and including this in a photo I found was key to showing buyers item worked and verifying clarity of the keystrokes. I took over 12 pictures of this item and since it was the middle of the week, decided to try to sell my item in a one day listing with starting price at $39.xx and a Buy It Now of $50.00.
I can testify that all this hard work paid off. In less than 12 hours our $15 find sold for $50.00 plus shipping. Here is the listing:
Thanks for this great information, Lori! Congratulations on your sale.