Question on Kelsey 5x8’s

So I noticed over in the Classifieds there is a Kelsey Excelsior Model U 5x8 press ( and it is listed at $850.

I have seen others for similar prices as well and was wondering if this is actually what the market is bearing for these presses and if that price is due to their portability and their small footprint.

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I got mine for $130 on eBay

Had I bought mine individually I would have paid $150 but it was part of the lot I bought for $800. I just found it interesting that the price is so varied on the 5x8’s.

I kind of informally track presses on eBay when I see them. Seems like a Kelsey 5x8 commands between $500 and $750 on eBay if they don’t have rollers and between $700 and $1,000 if they’re print ready. Much more than that if they’re also painted. “Local Pick Up” can keep an auction price lower (by shrinking the pool of potential buyers), but demand, at least in that market, does put the $850 in the range. I have a 5x8 that I’ll soon be parting with and will probably ask a similar amount when the time comes.

I’d be interested to hear how many of those eBay buyers who get “estate finds” that aren’t print-ready are still happy with their purchase 6 months or a year later. Don’t know how one would collect that data though.

i’m happy with my young american press that my wife picked up last spring at a yard sale for $5.00

I got my 5X8 for $340 (+ $40 delivery) from ebay with spacers, type, furniture, leads and three cans of ink. Granted the sorts were pied in a box lined with rat droppings, the rollers - shrunken and gnawed, the press itself covered in layers of muck (but otherwise complete and intact). Bear in mind, this was back in 2005, before these things jumped up in price.
The press arrived in a plastic tub, packed and secured with old pillows.

Found a 5x8 with two cabinets and lots of extras on Craigslist for $75, yes $75! I bought it from the original owners son. His dad had bought it when he came home from WW2. Press was in great condition, just needed cleaned and new rollers. Keep looking, deals are out there. I also found an Original Cook’s Victor complete for $700.

Nice find Dennis. I just need to put rollers on the one I have and I will be good to go.
Currently I am try to acquire a litho plate press and hopefully I will be able to get it. It has been broken and unused for 6+ years at a local college and just takes up studio space!
I’m looking to build a custom chase for it so I can do large format prints.

My dad and I bought so many. don’t spend $850 even dealers have them from time to time from $200 to $300 here in North East PA I think we have 30 different ones
sitting around, I bought most of mine for $75.00 and under 5 years back or so.. If your (actually) going to use one $ 200 for a real nice one with some type a stick rollers if needed.would set well with me.if you are going start collecting them,,, I woulen’t , you’ll end up with alot of them to do what with? I run a letterpress shop.take my advice.Put your money in something you can have fun with. inking up 2 or 3 lines of type and pushing a lever so the inked type hits some piece of paper just isn’t that fun.