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Thread: Newbie Question for Experienced FPG's....

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    Default Newbie Question for Experienced FPG's....

    I am curious... where do most people who start collecting or have been collecting for a period of time buy their pens with the most success when looking at the used market? Is it primarily on pen specific community sites like this, ebay, pen shows, flea markets....? Also, any tips to offer if buying online? Thanks and looking forward to any help given!

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    Default Re: Newbie Question for Experienced FPG's....

    Quote Originally Posted by sniper777 View Post
    I am curious... where do most people who start collecting or have been collecting for a period of time buy their pens with the most success when looking at the used market? Is it primarily on pen specific community sites like this, ebay, pen shows, flea markets....? Also, any tips to offer if buying online? Thanks and looking forward to any help given!
    I don't quite get it...are you asking about vintage or contemporary pens?

    Contemporary, all over the place. Vintage, mostly here on FPG where there are a few really good sellers, or online from ' trusted' fleabay sellers.

    Where I live, flea markets are useless; they ask a hundred for the equivalent of a Sheaffer No-Nonsense. Which naturally sits collecting dust for eons.

    When I go to yard sales, I always inquire about fountain pens. Only one person had any, a beater no-name lever-filler for a dollar. And yes, I bought it!

    PS: as far as fleabay, I hate auctions, but we have gotten a few cheap lots of random pens for repair, and some decent Osmiroids. I ❤️ 💕 love Osmiroids.
    Last edited by Sailor Kenshin; September 20th, 2019 at 09:03 AM.

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    Default Re: Newbie Question for Experienced FPG's....

    I've bought some from a few sellers here, several from eBay. Just started all this like 18 months ago.

    Edit: mostly I buy vintage. I've gotten decent deals on modern, but lightly used, pens here.

    Patience is key for me to get the deal I want on a pen in the condition I want. I find it best to learn common / good models, then research prices on ebay (using the sold items search) and watch ads for awhile. Once I have an idea of what a pen typically costs vs condition I can start looking for a good enough deal.

    Stick to items with very good pics and ideally pics of nib from angles where you can see if it is damaged or worn. Ideally look for writing samplesóthose sellers tend to know what they are selling and care. Look also for cracks in cap near opening, near clip, and in barrel near section, or on hood of hooded pen. Can be hard to tell. Sellers who know FPs and are trustworthy won't sell broken pens without warning.

    Also I can recommend a few sellers on ebay and here if you pm me.
    Last edited by azkid; September 20th, 2019 at 10:14 AM.

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    Default Re: Newbie Question for Experienced FPG's....

    This is a reasonable question, given the bewildering array of sellers. Even the good sellers are many so Iíll streamline my answer.

    For new, go check out gouletpens.com. They sell a variety of brands and have good tutorials. Two dedicated brand sites are Edison pens and Franklin-Christoph.I never use eBay except for seller speerbob whom I trust. He sells new old stock . Nibs.com has a used section on their site.

    When I zero in on a pen I really want and itís over $100, I shop used here or on fountainpennetwork.com forum. I have never gotten a bad pen from either forum, vintage or modern.

    Iím a modern pen only user and there are gurus here who have eye popping vintage collections. Theyíll be along in a moment to help you with those. Good luck and enjoy the hunt!
    Last edited by VertOlive; September 20th, 2019 at 10:08 AM.
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    Default Re: Newbie Question for Experienced FPG's....

    I used to initially buy from amazon as there prices most competitive. For used pens I primarily use Ebay. But be warned that sellers leave out details that would be obvious to even an inexperienced user.

    For instance if a metal pen as lacquer missing I'd expect it to to be mentioned but a lot of sellers would overlook this. Or aspects such as visible cracks, rust or bent clips. But for all of those bad experiences there always Sumgai's out there that make you keep coming back for more.

    Even some experienced sellers can be a bit dodgy as they may spend so little time on each pen before listing it. I've sold about 62 pens on Ebay over the last 1 and 1/2 months it's interesting being on the other side, trying to match what I'd expect of sellers myself.

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    Default Re: Newbie Question for Experienced FPG's....

    I have a "no fear" relationship with ebay now and regularly search on there for new or used pens. I'm very careful to look at pictures and read descriptions, but the ebay buyer policy that "you get what you paid for or your money back" is worth remembering. If a seller sends me a pen that is cracked or has a bent nib or some other problem that wasn't mentioned, then they get it back. It's straightforward and streamlined and although I may have to take a package to the Post Office, it doesn't cost me anything because the seller pays for the return postal label.

    I get good pens much more often than I get bad pens although I don't buy very many.

    Other sources are online pen sellers of which there are many depending on where you live.
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    Default Re: Newbie Question for Experienced FPG's....

    Many new collectors make the mistake of buying anything and everything, sometimes just because it looks cheap or different.

    Consider what you like about fountain pens and focus, whether that is on periods of manufacture, specific brands, filling systems or whatever. I have heard of people who start collecting pens to make money, you will be the exception if that is you, most collectors spend rather than make money.

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    Default Re: Newbie Question for Experienced FPG's....

    I bought almost all of my vintage pens on ebay (but looked especially in the beginning very careful on the seller reputation and never bought something from unknown nobodies).

    I like auctions as sometimes you can make a bargain, on regular sales the sellers (at least the reputable ones) know exactly what they have and price it accordingly.
    If the auction price goes above your predefined limit just let it go, there is always a next nice opportunity.

    But you have to be aware when buying a vintage pen you always could get a lemon or a pen you absolutely donít like.
    Especially when you are not that experienced yet (but can happen also with a lot of experience).

    And you have to be aware that these pens are really old and any time (assuming you buy them to use them) something might break.

    So buying a vintage pen is always a gamble and you should be able to afford getting a lemon every now and then.

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    Default Re: Newbie Question for Experienced FPG's....

    Know the product; do your research before attempting to buy.

    Buy the seller as well as the product; really check their feedback and be sure to check where the pen is now.

    If at all possible find a local pen club; fondle, fondle, fondle.
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    Default Re: Newbie Question for Experienced FPG's....

    Since my focus is Esterbrook J type, I have been able to obtain restored and repairable pens and NOS nibs on eBay.

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    Default Re: Newbie Question for Experienced FPG's....

    Quote Originally Posted by Fermata View Post
    Many new collectors make the mistake of buying anything and everything, sometimes just because it looks cheap or different.


    .
    I did exactly that, and it has been a wild and happy ride.

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    Default Re: Newbie Question for Experienced FPG's....

    Quote Originally Posted by Sailor Kenshin View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Fermata View Post
    Many new collectors make the mistake of buying anything and everything, sometimes just because it looks cheap or different.


    .
    I did exactly that, and it has been a wild and happy ride.
    Kind of the same. I mean, there's no substitute for having a pen in your hands. How else is one supposed to determine what they like? Turns out, if you have local pen posse gatherings, you can try others' pens. Still, trying a pen for five seconds isn't as informative as using one day in and out.

    I've come to believe that buying and trying cheap (sub $20) pens at the very beginning isn't a mistake but rather an excellent and fun strategyó*if* it's reasonably restrained and at least somewhat informed.

    Besides, exploring different types of pens is fun for many of us.

    One can thoughtfully determine at least some what they like or dislike with the first several pens to better inform subsequent purchases. It worked for me, at least.

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    Default Re: Newbie Question for Experienced FPG's....

    I only buy vintage, at shops or pen shows, never bought a pen I did not write with.

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    Default Re: Newbie Question for Experienced FPG's....

    No one has gone into specifics and the OP really hasn't clarified the area (new, vintage, brand, etc) they have an interest in.

    However, one way to cover most of the bases is to locate a dealer who is both fair and supports many of the above (except for new, commercial-brand pens). I give very high marks to Teri Morris and Peyton Street Pens. Teri has a large selection of vintage, both restored and NOS, as well as very interesting lines of new pens (Indian ebonite pens, shop-made custom acrylics) and more. The best part is you can get into vintage while knowing the pen is in good working order with people who stand behind the work. Short of going to a pen show and trying out some of this stuff, this is the best way to get into some of the corners of the pen world. Recommended.
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    Default Re: Newbie Question for Experienced FPG's....

    Thanks for all of the responses. Itís a jungle out there. Like most new collectors, hopefully good information. Like this will help the learning curve. Iím looking for vintage primarily.

    Will attend my first pen show this week too.... looking forward to taking it all in.

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    Default Re: Newbie Question for Experienced FPG's....

    Quote Originally Posted by sniper777 View Post
    Will attend my first pen show this week too.... looking forward to taking it all in.
    Well, that right there is going to be a huge step in the right direction. Focus on the pens themselves, not the "building of a collection". It seems like in recent years, new pen folks are putting a premium on how many pens they can amass, and then a while down the road find that they have a big collection of not particularly special pens. Get to know the pens, the eras, the models, and slowly start deciding what you'd like to make part of your life. I think most of us over-buy at first, but take your time and focus on value rather than volume.

    If it's the Dallas Show, be sure to look for Will Gunadi, who will give you a lot of assistance!
    "When Men differ in Opinion, both Sides ought equally to have the Advantage of being heard by the Publick;
    and that when Truth and Error have fair Play, the former is always an overmatch for the latter."

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    Default Re: Newbie Question for Experienced FPG's....

    Where I live there are no pen shows or clubs or even stores that sell fountain pens, except for one or two that carry Pilot Metropolitans. This means that I've had to buy almost all of my pens online. In addition to Fred Ryder's recommendation for Peyton Street Pens, you may also want to check out Deb Gibson's website at http://goodwriterssales.com. She has very reasonably priced vintage pens, and the pens and deals are good enough that I don't mind the slightly higher shipping from Scotland to the US. I bought a Parker Duofold Junior (made in England) from her for under £50 that is one of my best writers. Deb is also a forum member.
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    Default Re: Newbie Question for Experienced FPG's....

    Thank you for the recommendation. Most kind. I'm happy to hear that the Parker is working well for you.
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    Default Re: Newbie Question for Experienced FPG's....

    Quote Originally Posted by sniper777 View Post
    Thanks for all of the responses. Itís a jungle out there. Like most new collectors, hopefully good information. Like this will help the learning curve. Iím looking for vintage primarily.

    Will attend my first pen show this week too.... looking forward to taking it all in.
    Are you going to the Dallas Pen Show?

    If you are, I'll be there as one of the vendors. My table will say Redeem Pens. My focus is restored vintage pens, many with flexible nibs. If you stop by and say hi, I'll give you some pointers on where to go in the show if you're looking for specific type of pens.
    - Will
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    Default Re: Newbie Question for Experienced FPG's....

    Quote Originally Posted by penwash View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by sniper777 View Post
    Thanks for all of the responses. Itís a jungle out there. Like most new collectors, hopefully good information. Like this will help the learning curve. Iím looking for vintage primarily.

    Will attend my first pen show this week too.... looking forward to taking it all in.
    Are you going to the Dallas Pen Show?

    If you are, I'll be there as one of the vendors. My table will say Redeem Pens. My focus is restored vintage pens, many with flexible nibs. If you stop by and say hi, I'll give you some pointers on where to go in the show if you're looking for specific type of pens.
    Yes! I will definitely stop by to say hello and thank you for the offer.

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