Saturday 7 September 2013

The Quick & The Dead; The Olympia That Got Away...Just As Well, Come To Think Of It.

T'is indeed a nice typewriter, although I find it a little bit rattly to type on. And that is perhaps the only bad thing I can say about it. Other than that, it's sleek, super-clean and solidly-built. I suppose what attracted me to the other one, more than anything, was the off-white paint job. All of my machines are dark colours (except for the indescribable colour of my Lettera 32. Is it blue? Is it green? Is it bleen???).
Oh, wait a sec. My Olympia SM9 is light-coloured.
At any rate, looking back, I'm glad that I didn't buy the Olympia this morning. As nicely as it typed, it would have irked me to have paid so much for it from a thrift store. I really didn't feel like being played for a sap by three little old ladies. Maybe they were con artists back in the 1940s. Actually, if they could have proved that for a fact, I probably would have bought it there and then.
Besides, I'll just keep an eye out on eBay for something similar.
Shouldn't be long before something comes up. As long as the postage ain't a killer.
Thanks again for reading!



  1. Ha! I'm about to do a typecast on my newly acquired 66 which is basically a mirror copy of your 99 - and I perfectly understand that "rattly" thing you're talking about...

  2. You did the right thing knocking back that Splendide. Thrift shops have no business asking prices like that. If they are in business and have to make a profit, well and good, but as I understand it, they get their stock for nothing and should accordingly be prepared to make a deal. A few years ago you would have bought that machine for $10.00 to $20.00 . If they had asked that price from me I would have asked them if they could supply a warranty? why not? They are asking a retail price. You cannot have your cake and eat it too.

  3. If you were uncomfortable with the price to begin with, it would likely rankle down the road and yup, there will always be other machines. I'm still tempted whenever I see a Splendid but postage is always a killer to post anything over to here, hmph.

    It seems Thrift stores are anything BUT that these days. I just visited a local one a couple of days ago (no typewriters), and the prices in general were just ridiculous. My own rule for buying stuff now is that if there's even a single doubt, *don't*.

  4. I have to say that a price tag of $100 USD (or its equivalent in Mexican pesos) isn't unusual at all for a typewriter around here. Prices have indeed climbed in the past couple of years, which is one of the reasons why I stopped buying typewriters. Not so long ago you could buy nice, solid, big machines for the equivalent of $15 - $30 USD. And, like you said, that's before the shipping costs are added.

  5. I like these little Olympias a lot.

    $100 does seem a bit steep, but if they sold it promptly for that much, I guess it wasn't.

    I do get annoyed by phrases like, "That's what it said on Google." Sloppy talk and sloppy thinking: Google will provide links to various websites of various degrees of reliability. "I saw it on the Internet, it's true!" is about the nonsequitingest non sequitur ever.

  6. I have spent some silly amounts on some machines, but I wouldn't have spent $100 on that. It seems just a little tooooo much. I just couldn't justify such an amount. That said, I saw the exact same model for sale up here for $230, in the same colours... And it sold right in front of me.

  7. That Splendid 99 is a beautiful machine! I've not run across one of those yet here in Kentucky but I'll be on the look out now!

    BTW, I'm with you on buying machines that are a pleasure to use. If I don't like to type on it, I don't want it taking up space!

  8. The Splendid 99 has a wonderful typeface. I think the $100 was a bit way too much,yet I have spent that much when I really wanted a machine.

    The second time thing happens to me quite often when I hesitate on a first time chance to purchase something I want. I will return or even sometimes just wait a bit. Then on second thought when I decide I will spend the money and get it -- it'll be gone. Happens 99% of the time.

  9. 100 is too rich for me. I am bargain-hunting now, and looking for special things.

  10. I find myself in similar situations as the typewriter flock has grown and my tastes have evolved. Your current Olympia is attractive, but other smooth typers will come along. Congratulations on exercising self restraint!

  11. I love the comments on this post and I agree with every single one of them - $100 for a thrift store portable is way, way too much. Hey, maybe for the person who bought it this is their first and only typewriter and so it didn't seem too reasonable to spend that much. But for the rest of us bargain hunters, who can pass up stuff like this because we have many others at home, it is better not to spend that much on one item, especially when you have doubts about it. I think you did the right thing - something much nicer will come along soon enough, and for less!

  12. Thanks, all. I agree, now that I'm a little more distanced from it all. And yes, I too hate it when somebody says; "Well, on Google, it said blah, blah, blah..."
    I made the mistake (once only) of saying to my doctor; "I looked it up on Google, etc", before realising that a quick search on the internet does not match six years of medical school.
    Like Scott, I too have spent some silly money on typewriters, and I've always taken comfort in the fact that they would be workhorse machines for writing with rather than display pieces that require dusting. There's enough housework at Teeritz HeadQuarters to deal with already.
    But with that model yesterday, I just knew it wasn't worth a hundred bucks, no matter how well it typed, considering that my Splendid cost me sixty.
    At any rate, a search on eBay when I got home landed on a nice early '60s Olympia SF (like one that Fleming used in the sixties) with a fifty-dollar Buy It Now price.
    So I did. If it types anywhere between my own Splendid 99 and the thrift store machine, then I'll be happy.
    With typewriters, like every other purchase that I've delayed with, 'when in doubt, leave it out'.
    There's always another one on the horizon if you want one badly enough.
    Thanks again!

  13. Auch, sounds like a harsh deal. But someone who's willing to pay that much for a typewriter, must do it to actually use it right? Instead of putting it up as a nice ornament.

  14. People (many who should really know better) do seem to look at Ebay asking prices and high-end retail outlets for pricing guidance. I always watch, watch, watch and see what things go for. THEN look out for one to buy. Good you kept your $100, it should get you several excellent typewriters when they come along. And yes, I agree, they are pretty noisy rattlers but type above their weight.