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Thread: Executing a major Pen Flotsam Purge. Discussion.

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    Senior Member manoeuver's Avatar
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    Default Executing a major Pen Flotsam Purge. Discussion.

    I started thinking about this a while back, and instead of hijacking the 'End of the Road' thread, thought we could talk here about methods to pursue and execute a fairly massive purge.

    I still use and love about 20% of my fountain pens, but for a year or so pens have taken up less of my brain real estate. I've started making more music and in fact have been slowly converting unused pens to instruments for a little over a year.

    So now I'd like to scale certain things back. Namely, the space my unused and underused pen stuff takes up in the house.

    I can just move it all to my warehouse, but I'd rather rehome it.

    QUESTIONS:

    1. What is the largest amount of pen stuff you've dispatched at once? How did you arrange the transfer?
    2. What's most important to you if you're selling off a lot of stuff at once?


    Thanks for reading!

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    Senior Member Kaputnik's Avatar
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    Default Re: Executing a major Pen Flotsam Purge. Discussion.

    Quote Originally Posted by manoeuver View Post
    ...I've started making more music and in fact have been slowly converting unused pens to instruments for a little over a year...
    I have no useful answers to your questions in what will probably be the first answer to your post. Sorry about that.

    But when I read that line above, it took me a couple of minutes to realize that you meant selling your pens to get money for instruments (you did mean that, right?). Instead, I had this image of you taking a bunch of pen barrels to make, oh, I don't know, Pan-pipes?

    Literal-mindedness can be such a horrible curse.

    "If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly."
    G.K. Chesterton

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    Default Re: Executing a major Pen Flotsam Purge. Discussion.

    You often see pen lots on /r/pen_swap. Cheaper/entry level pens bundled by the dozen would be a way to offload them quickly.

    If you were more interested in recouping more of the value to invest in musical instruments, then individual auctions would be the way to go.

    If you have a lot of interesting or valuable pens, then you could sell them to someone like PeytonStreet Pens, but what you would save in time you would lose in value.

    If it were me: I'd divide the pens into those I wanted to move quickly, and sell them as a bundle(s). And the rest, I'd post here, penswap and other places where it may take a little longer to move them but I'd likely get a higher return, I suppose it depends on how protracted you want the exercise to be.
    Vintage. Cursive italic. Iron gall.

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    Default Re: Executing a major Pen Flotsam Purge. Discussion.

    /watching for ideas.
    "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."

    ~ Benjamin Franklin

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    Default Re: Executing a major Pen Flotsam Purge. Discussion.

    Thanks for weighing in folks. As I see it there are a few approaches and I'll likely pursue a hybrid.
    • individual sales. Been doing that with reasonable success already. Haven't tried selling on FB yet, only here.
    • lot sales. I already sold that one lot of vintage project pens locally to one of my local crew. he got a screamin' deal.
    • Freebie box at my shop. I have a coffee shop with pretty good pen-people traffic.
    • One Fell Swoop. Put together a huge lot and list it on eBay. Sounds like a nightmare waiting to happen.


    I think a first step will be to separate the wheat from the chaff as it were. It's mostly a mishmash now.

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    Default Re: Executing a major Pen Flotsam Purge. Discussion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaputnik View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by manoeuver View Post
    ...I've started making more music and in fact have been slowly converting unused pens to instruments for a little over a year...
    I have no useful answers to your questions in what will probably be the first answer to your post. Sorry about that.

    But when I read that line above, it took me a couple of minutes to realize that you meant selling your pens to get money for instruments (you did mean that, right?). Instead, I had this image of you taking a bunch of pen barrels to make, oh, I don't know, Pan-pipes?

    Literal-mindedness can be such a horrible curse.

    that is funny! yes, I've been selling pens and buying music gear. It's been quite a binge. Synthesizers, amplifiers, a guitar, drums and cymbals, microphones and other stuff.
    don't get me wrong, I've picked up some new pens too.

    and I'm actually fairly close to finishing a record!

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    Default Re: Executing a major Pen Flotsam Purge. Discussion.

    Well, since many love to buy from antique stores, why not take them there either to sell or consignment?

    Threads like this one and the end of the road should be a primer to new hobbiests.
    Last edited by Chuck Naill; October 3rd, 2020 at 04:26 PM.

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    Default Re: Executing a major Pen Flotsam Purge. Discussion.

    "Flotsam means debris in the water that was not thrown overboard, often from an accident while Jetsam means debris that was actually thrown overboard by a crew of people in a ship." You all were dying to know, right?

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    Default Re: Executing a major Pen Flotsam Purge. Discussion.

    Many of my pens are not all that valuable that I'd even sell them. I have sold in the past, if the price was above $50, and the method of posting easy (as with old 'other' forum).

    So I give them away. The count stands at triple digits.

    Funny this topic should come up, because I am currently doing a huge cull now, to give away. Pens and inks both. I wish I could find either a true beginner, or a teacher who would use them for his students.

    The most 'valuable' of the lot would be one Lamy Safari and one Al-Star (heyyyy! If you're interested...?), both blue/M.

    The only other pen I would actually consider selling would be my Platinum 3776 Chartres Blue, B. It's a firehose.

    Thanks!
    My other pen is a Montblanc.

    And my other blog is a tumblr!


    Dr. Inkenstein--it was a dark and stormy write!

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    Default Re: Executing a major Pen Flotsam Purge. Discussion.

    When deciding to sell off a collection, one needs to just do it. Like exercise, it begins painfully, but leads to considerable satisfaction. Several years ago, when I decided that there are simply too many fountain pens in our house, I began selling one or two at a time. Then came the day when I made a big move. In two lots, I sold over 70 celluloid & ltd ed OMAS senior-size fountain pens to a major retailer who also maintains an impressive vintage selection. Except for about half a dozen I had used, these were mint boxed NOS. I was sad for a couple of days, but able to navigate much more easily around the house. Did the same later with about 30 Viscontis, including a collection of Kaleido Voyagers, with several colors not offered in US. My 149 collection is down from 39 to just 9, although there is one I have my eye on at the moment. Once we reach a certain age, the acquisitive urges mostly disappear. It is liberating.

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    Senior Member Jon Szanto's Avatar
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    Default Re: Executing a major Pen Flotsam Purge. Discussion.

    Quote Originally Posted by manoeuver View Post
    I think a first step will be to separate the wheat from the chaff as it were. It's mostly a mishmash now.
    This is where I happen to be stuck at the moment.
    "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."

    ~ Benjamin Franklin

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    Default Re: Executing a major Pen Flotsam Purge. Discussion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Barry B. Gabay View Post
    When deciding to sell off a collection, one needs to just do it. Like exercise, it begins painfully, but leads to considerable satisfaction. Several years ago, when I decided that there are simply too many fountain pens in our house, I began selling one or two at a time. Then came the day when I made a big move. In two lots, I sold over 70 celluloid & ltd ed OMAS senior-size fountain pens to a major retailer who also maintains an impressive vintage selection. Except for about half a dozen I had used, these were mint boxed NOS. I was sad for a couple of days, but able to navigate much more easily around the house. Did the same later with about 30 Viscontis, including a collection of Kaleido Voyagers, with several colors not offered in US. My 149 collection is down from 39 to just 9, although there is one I have my eye on at the moment. Once we reach a certain age, the acquisitive urges mostly disappear. It is liberating.
    Barry, I'll just mention that the pens I have seen you sell in the recent years, well, not a lot of us have inventory of that level, cream-of-the-crop pens. It's a little harder to figure out how to sell lower-tier items, figure pricing, etc. I have pens that I know younger/newer users might value, at least near the start of their pen life, but it is still not an easy thing to get moving on, as compensation will mostly be in having more room around here and just... less stuff.

    Which is why I bolded the last part, because that has been kicking in lately, and it really is a wonderful feeling.
    "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."

    ~ Benjamin Franklin

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    Default Re: Executing a major Pen Flotsam Purge. Discussion.

    Hi Jon, Isn't growing old more of a rush than we were led to believe? You are absolutely right about selling lower-tier fountain pens, mechanical pencils, anything really. At pen shows, I lower & lower prices on those until they eventually move. I still have several hundred pens in the category you describe. Something else to help remove the clutter. . . I have been giving fountain pens to young collectors I meet who are just beginning their serious addictions. In the past year or two, I have given away maybe 12-15 common color Parker 51s, a few common Esterbrooks, about 25-30 Sheaffer cartridge fillers and Lamy Safaris. For me, the pleasure of presenting a nice, though inexpensive, fountain pen to a serious & appreciative new collector far outweighs the thrill of earning a few bucks. I'll continue doing this once pen shows resume. All 12 fingers & toes crossed. Be healthy, Jon. Always enjoy reading your contributions here. Best wishes, Barry

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    Default Re: Executing a major Pen Flotsam Purge. Discussion.

    Barry, think of 149s as airfare to somewhere special, making memories. Well, maybe in 2021.

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    Default Re: Executing a major Pen Flotsam Purge. Discussion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Barry B. Gabay View Post
    Hi Jon, Isn't growing old more of a rush than we were led to believe? You are absolutely right about selling lower-tier fountain pens, mechanical pencils, anything really. At pen shows, I lower & lower prices on those until they eventually move. I still have several hundred pens in the category you describe. Something else to help remove the clutter. . . I have been giving fountain pens to young collectors I meet who are just beginning their serious addictions. In the past year or two, I have given away maybe 12-15 common color Parker 51s, a few common Esterbrooks, about 25-30 Sheaffer cartridge fillers and Lamy Safaris. For me, the pleasure of presenting a nice, though inexpensive, fountain pen to a serious & appreciative new collector far outweighs the thrill of earning a few bucks. I'll continue doing this once pen shows resume. All 12 fingers & toes crossed. Be healthy, Jon. Always enjoy reading your contributions here. Best wishes, Barry
    Very kind words at the end, thanks for that, and back at you.

    Indeed, it is a new era for me with a longer backstory than is appropriate for the thread. One of the reasons for getting involved in Tim's storyline here is to gain some ideas on how to gradually deaccession these pens. I've given away pens, most often on reddit when a young person has lost their first pen (or, worse, someone nabs it in class). That's a perfect time to send someone a pen to get them going. I've also tried doing "two-fers", where I'll sell a pen like an old Estie J and tell them for $5 more I'll throw in the Sheaffer 'school pen' of their choice. They get a couple writers and I get some space!

    This may be one of my goals for October/November...
    "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."

    ~ Benjamin Franklin

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    Default Re: Executing a major Pen Flotsam Purge. Discussion.

    Can't help you there, Tim. I am tentatively creeping back toward acquisition mode. Well, at least in the sense of making a small attempt to replace pens I foolishly disposed of. It's no biggie though.
    Be a little more open into accepting other viewpoints, if you can, as it really deepens the experience. - Jon Szanto

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    Default Re: Executing a major Pen Flotsam Purge. Discussion.

    I have converted about half of my pens into a.) A small harp, and b.) A handpan in B minor. I listed them individually here, on FPN, and eBay. The hardest ones to sell have been the lower priced pens but I havenít tried bundling them yet. Many have gone to a school teacher pen pal for the students. Iíve contacted a pen seller who offered me a pittance for the lot, but couldnít make myself do it.

    There is a notable hassle factor: the ads and photos and listings, the packaging and mailing. But they all eventually become someone elseís treasure.
    "Nolo esse salus sine vobis ...Ē óSt. Augustine

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    Default Re: Executing a major Pen Flotsam Purge. Discussion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Empty_of_Clouds View Post
    Can't help you there, Tim. I am tentatively creeping back toward acquisition mode. Well, at least in the sense of making a small attempt to replace pens I foolishly disposed of. It's no biggie though.
    Iím between Heaven and Earth at present. Iíve got the vintage pens I want and the modern ones, aka LAMY Al Star and Vista.

    Iíve also discovered Parker Jotter with gel refills.

    And, Mitsubishi lead pencils, not to mention wonderful Autopoint items including pocket knives.

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    Default Re: Executing a major Pen Flotsam Purge. Discussion.

    I sell my excess pens at my local Penshow, had a table there since 2004.

    Itīs fun !
    Last edited by Wahl; October 4th, 2020 at 11:37 AM.

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    Default Re: Executing a major Pen Flotsam Purge. Discussion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wahl View Post
    I sell my excess pens at my local Penshow, had a table there since 2004.

    Itīs fun !
    Definitely. Alas, it's also postponed.

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