The pull cord on the Corona should be an easy fix. It is really annoying, though, when sellers are so inconsiderate.
I've said this a few other places before; Always regard the seller as being completely ignorant about typewriters. Chances are with something like the draw-string or carriage, they might have tapped the keys and seen the typebars move, and thought that they were just ignorant about how the carriage works. They simply don't know. I also expect ever typewriter I purchase to have a busted draw-band, until proven otherwise. I also expect the platen to be rock-hard. Sellers simply just don't know what they are selling most of the time when it comes to these. Ask them to show a picture of it typing if you'd like. As for the SM7 with the frozen carriage - there are two things that contribute to the carriage being stuck-fast, so I have discovered. If the grommets on the bottom of the frame a really stuffed (very common) then it will often bond against the back of the carriage and cause it to stop. The carriage also can fill with gunk, which isn't easy to clean out of the bearings, but it can be cleaned. Pop to your hardware store and get some rubber O rings or washers in anticipation of the grommets being stuck, and be prepared to squirt cleaner into the carriage, while shoving it firmly by hand, to get it clean.
Thank you for your reply.I don't deny sellers being ignorant about typewriters, I just want them to take responsibility for their ads (as they are supposed to do so by ebay rules). :)And thank you for the advice on the Olympia - I'll certainly try to make it work again.
I agree with Scott on the Olympia carriage. I recently cleaned up an SM1 whose carriage was almost unmovable. It came free with generous squirts of PB B'laster (a magical product you may not have in the UK—it dissolves old grease and leaves a light lube behind).
Thank you Richard. Shame about the PB B'laster although (after a bit of research on automotive fan club forums) it seems that we have some sort of counterpart here named PlusGas. I've just ordered it so we'll see if it is any good. If not - I'll resolve to carburettor cleaner.
Plus Gas is what I have seen too - don't forget to relube as necessary any Plus Gassed parts. As for refunds, I once complained about poor packing (a Corona 4, as it happens) when the typewriter arrived in bits - though it does work again now after some Yuri Geller type parts bending. I think the chap gave me the purchase price back. Last Friday's Graphika was sent Hermes by the seller, on its side with THIS WAY UP written ambiguously on one side - no arrows - a wad of bubble wrap and half a dozen random chunks of polystyrene. Obviously the machine didn't work when it arrived but I really can be bothered quibbling over money after successfully repairing it. I got what I still consider to be a good deal and the seller was not the person to whom the paypal account was registered, nor was it the same person who owned or packed the typewriter (the seller's sister, apparently) but I don't have the energy to get too emotionally engaged in the negative side of a transaction after it turned out so well. Ebay experience tells me that no matter how much you explain and apologise for such detailed packing instructions, ignoring them is still an option for the seller. Vital question is, how much did you pay for the SM9, the Corona 4 (unusual key tops!). If they landed for around £20 - £30 apiece, you'll still get your money's worth out of them. I used vintage tennis racket gut to replace a Corona 4 draw band. Good luck!
SM9 was £15 + £15P&P and Corona was £25 + £10P&P. I've already negotiated a small refund for Olympia which will cover the cost of PlusGas. Now I'm about to discuss similar arrangement with the seller of Corona and afterwards I may visit some charity shops looking for an old tennis racket ;)
The Corona still looks like a beautiful typer, if the carriage line is the only thing broken, you should consider being lucky. And maybe ask more detailed questions about the working condition on your next buy?
Certainly it is a beautiful typewriter to me and it looks that sorting out the line should do the trick. And it seems it is one of the early ones - judging by the serial no. as well. Interestingly the pictures in the manual attached (which i'd like to put somewhere on the internet for people to use) are for a slightly different version of it (paper bail, carriage lock). Though I learnt my lesson.
Personally, I'd keep the Corona after asking for a refund of some amount. As far as packing I send instruction to sellers and hope they follow them. Most do, especially on Ebay where I can report them to Ebay or give them negative feedback. With the instructions I also offer to pay more to cover the packing and extra shipping weight since many sellers like to keep the costs down because many buyers want cheap shipping. Cheap shipping equates to less padding and that is very risky with typewriters. Without seeing the Olympia is is hard to judge what may be required. I do know starting with a good cleaning with a solvent like a carb. cleaner or PB Blaster would be a good start and enable you to tell if there was more to the repair than gunked-up hard grease.
O.K. - the vote is practically unanimous - both will stay to be fixed and polished up. Thank you all for your input - much appreciated. I'll make sure that you have a chance to read my typecast from them :)