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One expensive Brother

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Brother De Luxe offered at eBay

In my estimation, Brother typewriters are some of the finest around. For collectors, the variety of machines and labelings makes this typewriter even more appealing. Further, given that these are relatively contemporary machines, they can generally be found in excellent condition, the platen too.1 But is a Brother typewriter really worth $150+? Perhaps so.

At the time of this writing, a typewriter offered by theoldstereoguy at eBay has risen to $152.50. The starting price was only $7.95! The case and instruction booklet are included, making the machine “whole.” That said, it is still just a Brother. Nearly the only thing that distinguishes this machine from other similar models is the faceplate, though, granted, I do find this element particularly attractive.

As bidding is driving the price of this machine, what is its special appeal?

Update: Not sure what’s going on with this auction, but the bidding has reached $355! A little over 20 hours to go.

Brother De Luxe 355 copy

I may have to put my collection of Brothers up for sale on eBay!

Yet Another Update: Bidding is now up to $610!

oh brother copy

I have no words to describe this auction, so I present this video:

© 2014, Mark Adams. All rights reserved.

  1. Platens harden over time. Thus, the older the machine, the more likely the platen will have gotten rock hard, making it difficult for the typeface to leave a decent impression. If you are looking for a machine to type on (not just look at), you may want to take this into consideration. []
{ 10 comments… add one }
  • T. Munk February 8, 2014, 6:37 pm

    I can only hope the bidders just don’t know how absurdly common these are on the ground. 😛

  • TON S (I dream lo-tech) February 8, 2014, 8:36 pm

    This is a race of the clueless. One for the books.

  • Richard P February 8, 2014, 9:03 pm

    Baffling. It’s very nicely photographed, I’ll say that much. Presentation can make a big difference on eBay.

  • Mark Adams February 8, 2014, 10:22 pm

    I note that similar Brothers are offered on eBay for less. The buy-it-now price on two are $127 and $139 — inclusive of shipping — which makes those typewriters much cheaper than the current bid price on the machine above.

    There are some differences though. The one pictured in this post as a red and silver emblem and a red tab key. The others lack the tab key and have a simple, silver emblem.

    All one has to do is search “Brother De Luxe” (or “Deluxe” in some listings).

  • Scott K February 9, 2014, 1:10 am

    Hey… What?
    Further proof that a well photographed item can sell very well on ebay.

  • Steve K February 9, 2014, 3:15 am

    It’s attractive but very over-priced. I was lucky to get the same one for $50 AUD on Gumtree. In my case, the rubber around the basket where the typebars come to rest has hardened, so it’s quite noisy in that respect. Otherwise it’s nice to type on.

  • Mark Adams February 9, 2014, 6:33 am

    The bid price is up to $355. Very curious. I note that the winning bid on a rare Nintendo game reached around $100,000, but it had to be re-listed, as the winner of the auction claimed he (or she) had made a bidding error.

  • ProfessorC February 10, 2014, 2:11 am

    With only an hour to go, it’s $620…and it needs a ribbon! Surely it won’t go much higher, but who knows?
    I’m baffled. Yes, it’s as mint as you’ll likely find, but it’s still a Brother.
    The only things I see besides the great condition is the seller has an impeccable history which adds buyer confidence (100% on nearly 7000 transactions) and the listing has great photography. The current high bidder is also bidding (and winning) on 3 other typewriters according to ebay.

  • Mark Adams February 10, 2014, 2:15 am

    I’ve never been so excited about an auction since that very early Remington went up to bid about a year ago.

  • Mark Adams February 10, 2014, 3:23 am

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