3x5 Kelsey on ebay $1000.bid!!

There is a 3x5 Kelsey on ebay now, mint condition, seller refurbished (?). Sixteen bids are up to up to $1000.00. (Yes, One Thousand Dollars.)

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Oh, I almost forgot…listing states (among other claims):
“This machine can also be used very successfully for: Die Cutting, Scoring, Perforating, Consecutive Numbering, and Embossing.”
Gotta run now, “I smell the coffee!”

Stanislaus, i use my 3x5 for perforating short runs of tickets, do you think you could do a presentation folder on a 3x5???? i smell your coffee, wait its mine, gotta go.

dickg, don’t drink his coffee….it’s really kool-aide! Probably the green colored/flavored one.
I can diecut, score, perf, number, and emboss on my kelsey, just like you do. I can also print with it too!

Girl with a Kluge: If you can do all that with your 3x5 Kelsey, why do you need a Kluge? I don’t drink coffee, nor Kool-Ade. Nor did I pay a thousand dollars plus for my 3x5 mint condition AND seller refurbished Kelsey. The issue is not what can (or cannot) be done, by an experienced printer who understands the basics of letterpress, be it on a 3x5 Kelsey, Kluge, Vandercook, a sign press or whatever. The issue is the seller making claims to some unknowing purchaser (bidding $1000.00 he/she must be unknowing) as to what he, the seller, claims can be done on a 3x5 Kelsey. You do have to admit though he did a nice job of refurbishing it,as it is pretty, and would and probably will make a nice paperweight.
Enough said, I rest my case…Girl with a Kluge: “How much did you pay for your Kluge?”

Girl with a Kluge, i found a kelsey foiling unit on ebay a couple of years ago, now my 5x8 has a foiling unit, the darn thing works pretty good, until i saw it on ebay i didn’t know kelsey even made them. There is a 12x18 kluge with a foiling unit on it near me, it comes with a couple of chases and the motor is single phase 220, the best part is its going for around $2000, how would you like to become Girl with kluges???? Dick G.

Ethics concerns me too~the expectations of a dreamer, the excitement of a novice. As a boy my little 3 x5 was affordable and would do everything I had the patience to coax it to, including the capacity to mash my finger. But it was the struggling over its enormous limitations that taught me my earliest lessons in letterpress work.
As for the price someone is apparently willing to pay for the 3 x 5 Kelsey on eBay, I’ll bet you a hundred smackeroos that the buyer jumps ship and doesn’t come up with the money. BUT, if the bidder is someone who has a lot of money to play with, what the heck. To all you owners of Kelsey presses, remember that when the tide comes in all the ships in the harbor rise. Wm. J. Murray

Twenty bids = $1225.00, can you believe it??

The buyer was the same person who earlier had bid $1000. An ebay newby with 0 feedback.

My grandfather bought me a 3x5 kelsey back in 1961, i think is was a kit from them that came with 3 fonts of type, cases, a stick, tympan and press board, tweesers, everything you needed to start printing, i think it was around $60.00. Dick G.

I’ll throw one into the mix, I just bought a 5 x 8 Kelsey with two cabinets and a ton of extra stuff for $75 off of Craigslist!!

Didn’t see the ad this time, but if it’s the sameone I’m thinking of, they always run the same copy for all Kelseys they sell.
That’s why I can always get a laugh reading the listings on ebay.
I must admit - I ONCE numbered 1000 carbonless forms with a 5X8, but I was much younger then.

Hey…. that’s the free market in action. While I wouldn’t pay anything near that for a 3x5, I don’t begrudge someone who does get that much…. AS LONG as he describes it accurately.

The way I see it, the purchaser also has a responsibility to know what he is buying, especially if he is paying a lot of money. Then if he’s willing pay a thousand bucks, it’s his money…. he can do with it as he pleases.

yikes… posted twice by mistake


Here is an example of what a kelsey can do.

i was just going to chime in… but you posted it for me :D
i’m intrigued by all this talk of a foiling unit for the kelsey 5x8….

I picked up a 3x5 that was missing the rollers, 2 small type cabinets w/type and a box full of fun old yearbook blocks from the 40’s off craigslist for $60 about a month ago. The press is broken down and I was refinishing it in company colors but hey I’ll take $1000 for it instead :)

0 feedback? Someone is running up their own auction. What did it go for? I did a quick search for the auction and didn’t see it.

That looks pretty nice in the pics. I only hope mine comes out that nice when I’m done refinishing it.

Hey Stan P. here is another one….not quite as pretty as the first one. Perhaps looks don’t matter, as long as it functions properly. How much is a vandy these days? I’m fairly certain you can print with with both of these….I know I can.

Kelsey Excelsior letterpress printing press
Vintage 3 x 5 press with many extra printing essentials
Item condition: Seller refurbished
Ended: Sep 04, 201116:40:29 PDT
Bid history:
38 bids
Winning bid: US $1,275.00


A 3x5 Kelsey on Ebay. 15 bids up to $1025.00. (yes, One thousand, twenty-five and…no/100 Dollars.) The seller claims this press is capable of die cutting, scoring, perforating, consecutive numbering, AND embossing. Only 22 hours left to bid so you might want to bid now and beat the last minute rush. I have no problem if followers of P.T. Barnum are bidding these kind of bucks. My concern are the claims made by the seller for the work done on this press!


It is a gorgeous little machine.

It is a gorgeous little machine.

So is my un-restored one…and dimes to doughnuts it prints just as well.
OK…it needs rollers at the moment…so maybe not.

“Oh shucks!
Could have had a Golding Pearl !”

The first press I ever bought was a 3x5 from that same seller. When it got to me the board it was bolted to was split in two, right down the middle, and the operating dog made no contact whatsoever with the ink disk. Also, while pretty to look at, the paint job was extremely easy to damage.

I sent it back and got a full refund, and bought my 5x8 for about $130 from someone else.

And I thought I over paid for my Kelsey on craigslist.. turns out for less than 200 dollars I did well! I will put some rollers on it and we are set!
My mantel though will be lonely with out it.

I made out well on Ebay years ago and got a great Kelsey 5x8 for around $60 plus shipping. But I have seen some sketchy ads listed. One guy was selling a Kelsey, said it worked great etc etc but I noticed in the photos, it was missing an ink disc. That is sort of a big thing to leave out of the description. He was billing it as a great starter press and was getting lots of bids… I think it was up to around $600 at the time. I emailed him and asked if he was planning to mention the ink disc was missing but he didn’t reply. Sadly some poor sucker probably paid a lot for that press that was missing some vital parts.

Yes Dave, you could’ve had a Golding Pearl. Or WE could’ve had a Golding Pearl, with joint custody on alternating weekends. I’ve always wanted one of those. Learned the trade on one of them during World War II. Now, in 18 bids the 3x5 Kelsey, minutes ago, went for One Thousand Two Hundred Thirty Dollars —-and—-00/100.
That’s $1230.00. WOW, WOW, WOW!

Yeah that’s pretty amazing Stan…reminds me, I need to touch base with you on something we talked about at the Wayzegoose…I’ll try to contact you off the forum, so check what ever email you use here…

Pearls are definitely sweet little presses, and much preferred over a 3x5 Kelsey…but some folks don’t seem to have room for even those, which I couldn’t understand, because they don’t take up that much space….
…I’m not looking for one…just sayin’.

I just hope whoever bought this thing gets it in one piece, and is happy with it until they learn that they could have spent their money much more wisely…to each his own.
I’ll bet the seller’s happy.


The issue is not what can (or cannot) be done, by an experienced printer who understands the basics of letterpress, be it on a 8x5 Kelsey, Kluge, Vandercook, a sign press or whatever. The issue is the seller MAKING CLAIMS to some unknowing purchaser (bidding $1000.00+), about what can be done on a 8x5 Kelsey. (Die-cut, emboss, score, perforate, good heavens, it’ll even print.) You do have to admit though, he did a nice job of refurbishing it, as it is pretty, looks something like an Adana; would probably make a nice paperweight.
Enough said, I rest my case.

Isn’t there already a thread about these Kelseys on Ebay? Why did there have to be another one made? I mean, is this really helpful? :P