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Tuesday 15 February 2022

The 7000% Markup on a Brother Portable Typewriter

Looking for something else entirely this morning (actually, an Oliver Model 11, of all things), Google directed me to this online advert:

I immediately recognised the photograph of the Brother Deluxe 220. It was one I had taken, in my kitchen in Swinger Hill, Canberra, on March 4, 2012, almost 10 years ago. Not just the same typewriter, mind, the very same photograph (I posted it on this blog on that date a decade past).

My camera, my typewriter. Okay, that's not unusual. How well I recall a photograph of Alan Seaver's Optima P1 portable being used on eBay by a Melbourne seller called Bill Balatli in October 2011. This machine, previously owned by Richard Polt, was at that time actually in Alan's home in Rochester, Minnesota, 9465 miles from Melbourne. How well I recall, too, that Balatli told me “I am not sure as to who Alan Seaver is, and how we have his typewriter, we never said we have 'his typewriter'. I have never even heard of Alan Seaver or what he has to do with any of this.” Alan responded, “I just checked the shelf to make sure it hadn't escaped and swum across the Pacific.”

No, it wasn't so much the photo that surprised me this time. It was the "new" price. I had bought the Brother in 2012 for $1.75. It is now listed for ₹ 6,500 (Indian rupees), which is $120.65 Australian dollars. That's a tidy little markup of no less than 7000 per cent. Talk about a rip-off! I doubt very much, however, that it is the same machine that I once owned. The one being sold, allegedly, using my photo, is described as a क्रीम / पीले रंग का ब्रदर टाइपराइटर, that is, a cream and yellow Brother typewriter. Perhaps the sellers at the Smriti Typing College at 9 Kingsway Camp, Delhi, are colour blind. They're most certainly blind to the risks of selling a typewriter using someone else's photo ...

Actually, now that I look a little bit further, I notice the Smriti Typing College is also selling a Facit T2 standard of mine, photographed on May 21, 2014: 

I wonder if I'll get a cut of the proceeds?

1 comment:

Richard P said...

Some people have no shame.