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What sells on eBay: Typewriter Keys

Although some vintage models are still sought after by collectors, generally speaking there is little demand for old typewriters. They can often be picked up for just a few dollars, and it’s not unusual to find them being given away for free because their owners just want to be rid of them.

Old typewriter sold for US$12 on eBay

However, it is still possible to make a good profit from old typewriters as their keys are used by some jewellery makers and other crafters.

Large Lot of Typewriter Keys on eBay

99 Vintage Typewriter Keys sold on eBay

60 Antique Smith Corona Typewriter Keys

You don’t need to have huge lots of them to make a useful profit, the keys from just one machine can fetch a good price, as you can see from the images below.

Typewriter Keys for Jewelry Making

48 Antique Typewriter Keys

Old typewriters can be found at estate sales, garage sales and flea markets, or on Craigslist, eBay or in the local newspaper. The type to look out for are those with metal-rimmed keys.

Although I found lots of examples of typewriter keys selling for good prices on, I found none at all when I checked on the eBay UK site, and all those that came up on and were from sellers in the United States. This suggests that if you are outside the United States and selling vintage typewriter keys is something that appeals to you, you may well achieve the best results by listing them on rather than your own country’s site.



  1. Debbie Henry says:

    Hey Lynn!

    GREAT post! One thing I wanted to add… when selling these old keys, make SURE you put the following keywords in:

    “flat back”, “Altered Art”, and most importanly “STEAMPUNK”. The Steampunk niche is hot, hot, hot!!! Check it out… it is WELL worth your time and effort. My big challenge is how to profit in the Steampunk niche using public domain stuff… hmmmm….:)

    Best, Deb
    Debbie Henry recently posted..Making Your List &amp Checking It Twice

  2. Lynn says:

    Hey Debbie!

    Nice of you to drop by and thanks for the keywords suggestions. I have to confess that I know very little about Steampunk but I will certainly be looking into it now!

    I finished reading your Fishing for Niches book just before Christmas and will be writing a review here soon so watch this space ;-)

    All the best for a happy, healthy and successful 2011.

    Warm Regards

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