What's old is new again. A revolutionary device with a history that dates back almost 150 years is in fashion again, and one business is the beneficiary of the newfound interest.
Meet Typewriters.com: an industry leader in the world of everything typewriters. The business has been around since 1958 but found new life in 2003, when the team decided it was time to have a digital presence and created Typewriters.com.
“When you need something typewriter-related and you see our domain name, we feel like it is a no-brainer,” said Jason Marsdale, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Monroe Systems for Business (the inventor of the printing calculator). Monroe acquired the company in 2019.
Prior to becoming an online retailer, the business got its start selling IBM typewriters under the name Progressive Methods back when the mechanical typing devices were the must-have word processing technology for homes and offices around the world. By the late 1990s, Jim Riegert – who worked his way up the business from service technician to vice president to owner – saw a grim future for the typewriter.
Computers and laser printers were becoming more affordable, and he wasn’t sure how typewriters would compete. With $4,000 and some foresight, Riegert bought the web address in 1997, joining the digital revolution to give the business a second life as an online retailer.
Today the business, which started out with 100 typewriters, now carries about 2,000 devices and a plethora of accessories housed in their 6,000-square-foot-facility in Georgia, as well as their Pennsylvania warehouse. Aside from having the most search-friendly domain name in the market, Marsdale said it’s the staff’s experience and dedication to the product that sets Typewriters.com apart. Together their service technicians contribute 168 years of expertise in the typewriter business.
In addition to featuring new typewriters from brands such as Royal and Nakajima, Typewriters.com also sells reconditioned typewriters. To set themselves apart from used typewriter sellers, Riegert developed the most rigorous typewriter reconditioning processes in the business. Before a previously used typewriter is sold to a customer, it must pass a 21-step process in which the unit is completely disassembled, cleaned, and inspected. Riegert explained that many customers can find refurbished items on the market for cheaper, but those items should not be considered anywhere near as good in quality because they only go through minimal inspection and testing.
“Our 21-step reconditioning process gives you the peace of mind that your typewriter will be completely ready to go when you receive it,” Marsdale said. “You wouldn’t want a mechanic to put minimum effort into a major car repair, so choosing a typewriter shouldn’t be any different.”
The retailer’s biggest clientele fall into three categories: high-security government environments, such as embassies, where typed documents can be the only way to safeguard information; creatives who prefer to unplug from the digital world while writing; and collectors or enthusiasts looking for a statement piece. Speaking of typewriter collectors, acclaimed actor Tom Hanks is a customer of Typewriters.com.
Typewriters.com goes Fast
In August of 2021, Typewriters.com turned to checkout platform Fast to create a seamless payment experience. Fast is home of the one-click payment button Fast Checkout. The button allows shoppers to skip filling out form fields, creating accounts, and remembering passwords.
“Making sure that our customers have a great experience throughout the purchase process is arguably the most important thing for us, which is why selecting Fast was an easy decision,” Marsdale said. “We want the lasting memory to be that we were very knowledgeable, provided high-quality items, and the checkout experience was super convenient.”
In the coming year, Typewriters.com will expand its offerings to new products that complement their main-ticket item in an effort to cement itself as the world's best resource for anything typewriters.
“Fast's convenience,” Marsdale said, “will help us offer our customers the best checkout experience possible.”