Broken Royal 10 ....heart is broken too.

It all started three weeks ago. I saw a Royal 10 on eBay. It pulled my heartstring.

You see, I've always wanted to own a Royal 10, either carriage shift or basket shift. Many typospherians have sung high praises of the machine, for its sturdiness, modern design and the sound it makes when keys are hit. Seems to me it's the dream machine.

The following two pictures are from the original post on eBay.Who can resist such a beauty from the 1930s?

The next thing I remember is I woke up early in the morning, bid ferociously,( the machine garnered 33 bids, and yes, thanks to at least a dozen of shill bids, which I don't mind) even though I'm clearly aware of the huge huge shipping cost I have to pay. I'm not a rich Chinese, I just love to pay for things that I love. 

After winning the bid, I immediately gave very detailed packing instruction to the seller who is based in Morgan town, West Virginia, but obviously he ignored. He replied everything is already packed so no changes could be made. I literally said to myself,"OK, it's fine then." thinking that the seller is probably an antique dealer because the pictures in the original post looks professional and the seller has 100% rating. And he's American, people I trust. 

Three weeks later, the regular courier guy knocked the door on a Monday morning, and shouted" You've got an international parcel" My heartbeat quickened, but when I actually saw it, it skipped a beat..maybe two!  There's a hole on the outside packaging, a bad omen for what's inside. 

To make the story short, one knob is broken, one side glass is off, the frame near the keyboard on the left hand side is broken, the foam under the typeslugs is off too. The last straw is, the carriage is forever in the pictured position, indicating serious internal damages. You can hear tinkling sound from inside every time the machine is lifted up.  

Who's to blame? I think the seller should shoulder the bigger portion. The packaging is far from being adequate. He used only two thin layers of foam to wrap up the machine, leaving the knob area open, which is prone to damages during transportation. Even worse, please take a look at the worn-out box he used to transport a precision machine! 

I demanded him to take back the machine. For one thing, I don't have a place to store a broken desktop typewriter. Sooner or later, I'm going to have a Royal 10 in excellent working condition. I live in a small apartment. My family is already complaining about the growing collection. Secondly, he probably knows how to restore the machine. I collect, but don't know a thing about restoration, plus there's no spare parts available in Shanghai. Americans are said to be handy people and DIY is a popular pastime in US, for which I greatly admire. 

He accepted and refunded me fully.Now I'm waiting for the post office to open. In China they normally open at about 8:30. 

But who's responsible for my broken heart and almost a month's stomach butterflies! 

Asking for help: Any typospherian wants to sell me a Royal 10, in excellent condition and preferrably elite typeface? Please contact me. As for price and shipping cost, please be reasonable. Thank you. 


  1. Oh no!! What criminal neglect. At least the seller accepted responsibility.

    My friend Herman lives near Morgantown and hosts a wonderful typewriter collectors' meeting every fall. I wish you could come.

    1. Richard, the seller says he's a good friend of yours. hehe

  2. What a nightmare. I've had a similar experience but with a less classy/valuable typewriter.