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Thread: Pen Show Dynamics. Los Angeles and far more...

  1. #21
    Senior Member david i's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pen Show Dynamics. Los Angeles and far more...

    Quote Originally Posted by tandaina View Post
    David, I think you are definitely well connected. :P

    I'm sure pen shows differ, the one I attended didn't even have a public day and private day. It just had its weekend and you paid to enter whichever day you went.

    And I'm sure it makes a huge difference that I'm not really a collector, I'm a user. I happen to have a niche I love to use which creates a "collection" so to speak. But I'm not really a collector. I look for pens I want to use, not pens to fill a "hole." And my budget is a fraction of what we're talking about above. A $700 pen for $350 isn't a bargain for a user like me, because my whole pen show budget (when I went) was $150. (Plus the money I brought to have a nib ground.) That puts things in a whole other range. I buy antique, I have really zero interest in most modern pens either. And maybe pen shows post internet really just cater to the higher rollers? Perhaps the lower end antique collecting market has moved almost entirely online? Because I found it very, very difficult to find those fun quirky pens for under $200 that I enjoy.

    My other question to pen show expects... Frequently dinners and drinks events are mentioned... Yet as someone who I think is at least a familiar name on a board like this, and would love to meet folks in person, how does one even find out about, or snag an invite to these events? I would have loved to spend some time with pen folks just talking pens and passing things around and sharing stories, but I suppose I'm just not well known enough? Again, this is probably linked to my inability to buy and sell at the level of many others and I understand that. I'm really not trying to be whiney, just wondering how a small change pen enthusiast might get to rub shoulders with the pen elite a little tiny bit.
    Hi,

    You raise a couple points I can address. In general and at the very least I would note that one (or at least I) cannot capture every nuance and every variable in a a couple page note, just as one cannot teach how to practice medicine in a couple page chapter

    My "Can't buy a $100k collection when one has $20k to spend" was meant to be a dramatic example, not implication that one must spend that sort of green at a show in order to matter. Pens at pen shows can be found retail, in the $30 to $10,000+ range, and pens that retail at that range often show up discounted to some degree or another, even before one negotiates or offers to buy an entire personal pen hoard. Knowledge of the market and ability to assess-- or at least to attempt to negotiate with-- a given seller matters at least as much. Obviously, some situations will require hefty expenditure. Not all do. As someone else noted in this thread, my friend Miro (present on FP pen groups now and on ebay, along with just a few shows d/t his commute), was offering Peli 140's, vintage, working, sometimes with flex and other exotic points, made of celluloid, for $80 to the public. Given that restoration of these can run $40-90, this was a rather good deal. Most of us offer these pens at $140 or so. Indeed in prior years I worked deal with Miro to buy 20 of these at at a time, as they make great website stock.

    As to dinner meetings. Yes, I was a bit casual perhaps in describing the process of connecting with collector/dealers at shows, but it isn't that tough to do. When engaging with dealers on the quiet days while rounding Thursday and Friday, one can mention it would be great to join in for evening events. Certainly if such is said to me, to Erano, to Susan Wirth, that can be a big door opener. Indeed, I have invited newer collectors who email me about pens on my sales website when they mention they will be at a show. Some collector/dealers though courteous enough tend to use the shows to catch up with a specific clique of pen friends. That's fine, but they probably are not the ones you will join. My pen show count is down from 10/year prior max to about 5-6/year now. I go to the majors. Having bought several private collections en masse this year, some of which had more pens than I typically buy at shows, my need to buy stock is a bit less urgent than in the past, and my hospital takes care of me well enough that I have to think carefully before taking vacation day for a 12 hour shift (or a few shifts) to attend a smaller show.

    I'll leave open the offer to those reading this. If you plan to attend a show I'll attend, and if you plan to be there on the early days, drop me an email before the show. You likely can end up at dinner with my group or with another congenial group of table holders.

    The evening lobby gab often is present, though some shows lack a good lobby, though it is a bit diminished as the crowd ages. We don't have wheeling dealing, trade stock open until 1am as happened in prior decades. There is no barrier to participation though.

    regards

    david
    Last edited by david i; February 20th, 2014 at 03:39 PM.
    David R. Isaacson, MD

    http://www.vacumania.com : Sales site for guaranteed, restored collectible pens.

    The Fountain Pen Board /FPnuts : Archived Message Board with focus on vintage.

    The Fountain Pen Journal: The new glossy full-color print magazine, published/edited by iconic fountain pen author Paul Erano.

    Facebook pen group "Fountain Pens"/FPnuts: Davey's casual Facebook group for collectible pens.
    7500 members and growing. World's heftiest daily vintage pen eye candy

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    Default Re: Pen Show Dynamics. Los Angeles and far more...

    Quote Originally Posted by lsmith42 View Post
    And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how we get from Pen Shows to, um, er, not-pen-shows in 18 steps...
    Thanks for the,um....."de-briefing".....


    John

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    Default Re: Pen Show Dynamics. Los Angeles and far more...

    "I'll leave open the offer to those reading this. If you plan to attend a show I'll attend, and if you plan to be there on the early days, drop me an email before the show. You likely can end up at dinner with my group or with another congenial group of table holders."


    I wouldn't mind meeting you at or after a pen show,David,but the only one I've been able to go to in recent
    years was the Miami Pen Show,and that was only in 2009 and 2010. Don't know if you intentionally don't go to
    that one,but as much as I would like to go to a different one--even the Atlanta show--it hasn't been financially
    feasible. Still,if the possibility comes up to go to a different pen show....then maybe that might be possible.


    BTW,what is your area of practice?



    John

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    Senior Member david i's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pen Show Dynamics. Los Angeles and far more...

    Quote Originally Posted by sumgaikid View Post
    "I'll leave open the offer to those reading this. If you plan to attend a show I'll attend, and if you plan to be there on the early days, drop me an email before the show. You likely can end up at dinner with my group or with another congenial group of table holders."


    I wouldn't mind meeting you at or after a pen show,David,but the only one I've been able to go to in recent
    years was the Miami Pen Show,and that was only in 2009 and 2010. Don't know if you intentionally don't go to
    that one,but as much as I would like to go to a different one--even the Atlanta show--it hasn't been financially
    feasible. Still,if the possibility comes up to go to a different pen show....then maybe that might be possible.


    BTW,what is your area of practice?

    John
    Hi John,

    Well, any show I attend usually is not by accident

    In my trimming from 10 to 5-6 shows per year, and with Miami having left the Biltmore Hotel, itself a world class resort that made the trip a special vacation, and given that this nice show is a bit small (I have bought and sold some nice pens there), I have not been attending of late, also because it tends to fall when I am working, and giving up three days of work for a small show would not make sense. If the show this year falls when I am off, I might pop down.

    Happy to get together if we share a show.

    My practice focuses on Hospital Medicine. I have done Emergency Medicine as well.

    regards

    david
    David R. Isaacson, MD

    http://www.vacumania.com : Sales site for guaranteed, restored collectible pens.

    The Fountain Pen Board /FPnuts : Archived Message Board with focus on vintage.

    The Fountain Pen Journal: The new glossy full-color print magazine, published/edited by iconic fountain pen author Paul Erano.

    Facebook pen group "Fountain Pens"/FPnuts: Davey's casual Facebook group for collectible pens.
    7500 members and growing. World's heftiest daily vintage pen eye candy

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    Default Re: Pen Show Dynamics. Los Angeles and far more...

    The LA show was/is outstanding. (First Attendance 1993) David takes the time to pass along creditable advice and concern for those with less knowledge and patience, (not to forget those of us who can learn something new every day). Like most things in life you can pay for an education in many ways. David is one of the few who are willing to share knowledge and advice! That is rare!

    Every show is enhanced when he is in attendance!

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    Senior Member david i's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pen Show Dynamics. Los Angeles and far more...

    Quote Originally Posted by ladynib302 View Post
    David, your comments are insightful, valuable and instructive! Thank you for the effort you put into this post. It is a real contribution to learning to appreciate the culture surrounding pen collecting in general and the pen show environment in particular. When we began collecting, Roger Cromwell's class in Philly addressed early on identifying what kind of pen person one is: A user, collector or investor (or a mixed-breed). His perspective helped refine our goals and confirm our identity within this experience. You, too, have done a fine job, using your own life experience, explaining how you have accomplished your own goals and perhaps as an outcome helping newbies better understand how to best navigate within pendom. It is always fun to learn new things from you at a show about the pens you manage to amass. Those of us who will never do what you do still can appreciate what you have put together that you so beautifully write about, photograph and catalog for posterity. You are a fun mentor at the shows. Thanks again for all the clarifying comments you made. I am sure it will help many going forward.
    Thanks.

    My only poke at your post would be to note I believe no one should be an investor in old pens. Pen Collector? Sure. Pen User? Why not?

    My quite old thread on "Collector vs User": http://www.vacumania.com/website/peneducationuser.htm

    Pen Businessman? You betcha.

    But, "Investment" perhaps should not be used in association with old pens.

    I can expand on this, but perhaps readers can see some of the issues already...

    regards

    david
    David R. Isaacson, MD

    http://www.vacumania.com : Sales site for guaranteed, restored collectible pens.

    The Fountain Pen Board /FPnuts : Archived Message Board with focus on vintage.

    The Fountain Pen Journal: The new glossy full-color print magazine, published/edited by iconic fountain pen author Paul Erano.

    Facebook pen group "Fountain Pens"/FPnuts: Davey's casual Facebook group for collectible pens.
    7500 members and growing. World's heftiest daily vintage pen eye candy

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    Default Re: Pen Show Dynamics. Los Angeles and far more...

    Would like to be at Baltimore, but timing is bad. And, again, I'm trying to wean the habit of taking vacation days for smaller shows. Have had fun there. Erano will be there. He should cause enough trouble to keep things interesting...

    regards

    d
    David R. Isaacson, MD

    http://www.vacumania.com : Sales site for guaranteed, restored collectible pens.

    The Fountain Pen Board /FPnuts : Archived Message Board with focus on vintage.

    The Fountain Pen Journal: The new glossy full-color print magazine, published/edited by iconic fountain pen author Paul Erano.

    Facebook pen group "Fountain Pens"/FPnuts: Davey's casual Facebook group for collectible pens.
    7500 members and growing. World's heftiest daily vintage pen eye candy

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    Default Re: Pen Show Dynamics. Los Angeles and far more...

    David, Do you think Balto- Show will grow now that the new venue will accommodate more dealers and there is free parking and an airport location for convenience with travel (shuttles, light-rail, etc); plus access to more restaurants and shopping? Too, it falls 5 months from the big D.C. Show in August. Wonder if Bert will continue to shoot for two days versus three? What would you like to see?

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    Default Re: Pen Show Dynamics. Los Angeles and far more...

    Quote Originally Posted by ladynib302 View Post
    David, Do you think Balto- Show will grow now that the new venue will accommodate more dealers and there is free parking and an airport location for convenience with travel (shuttles, light-rail, etc); plus access to more restaurants and shopping? Too, it falls 5 months from the big D.C. Show in August. Wonder if Bert will continue to shoot for two days versus three? What would you like to see?
    Hard to read tea leaves.

    Any business venture newer and smaller than established competition faces hurdles. Time will tell.

    regards

    d
    Last edited by david i; February 21st, 2014 at 11:42 AM.
    David R. Isaacson, MD

    http://www.vacumania.com : Sales site for guaranteed, restored collectible pens.

    The Fountain Pen Board /FPnuts : Archived Message Board with focus on vintage.

    The Fountain Pen Journal: The new glossy full-color print magazine, published/edited by iconic fountain pen author Paul Erano.

    Facebook pen group "Fountain Pens"/FPnuts: Davey's casual Facebook group for collectible pens.
    7500 members and growing. World's heftiest daily vintage pen eye candy

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    Default Re: Pen Show Dynamics. Los Angeles and far more...

    I like fountain pens. I spend some time on them. My wife (and others) probably are amused by this. But, relatively speaking, I see that I don't hold a candle.

    Here's my take on the LA Pen show as a newbie pen show attender. I went down there Sunday and got in when it opened. I had made a couple decisions about what specifically I was going to look for (a Sailor Realo and a Pilot Justus 95). I made the rounds rather quickly, and asked about prices on the pens I wanted when I saw them. I enjoyed seeing Mottishaw's booth, and trying the various Mottishaw grinds on his dip pens. I ran into Mr. Krinke again. And I got to actually handle some of the nice urushi pens I'd love to have. Bottom line is that I ended up buying the Pilot Justus 95 for significantly less than I would have been able to get it online or anywhere else, and I bought it from a guy who it turns out has a small home pen business not too far from my house, who I will try to deal with again in the future. 90 mins in and out, taking home a very nice new pen (oh and a bottle of Eclat de Saphir and a box of Pilot violet ink cartridges). All in all, a fun experience and well worth the trip.
    Last edited by eqlzr; February 25th, 2014 at 12:07 PM.

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    Default Re: Pen Show Dynamics. Los Angeles and far more...

    I'm enjoying this thread. I'll make it out to my first pen show ever (Toronto in November). Might get a pen or two. Looking forward to learning lots. This thread serves to further stir my enthusiasm.

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    Default Re: Pen Show Dynamics. Los Angeles and far more...

    Well, I reported that enterprising matey spammer. Alas, dude, Jon is already the King of Clubbing.

    But it's an excellent reminder that the 2015 Chicago Pen Show is next weekend, April 30- May 3. We are having a little FPG meetup on Saturday morning at 10 am at the Anderson's table. All are welcome. Feel free to PM me for more information or if you want to try to find us later in the day.

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    Default Re: Pen Show Dynamics. Los Angeles and far more...

    Has there ever been a Phoenix Pen Show?

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    Default Re: Pen Show Dynamics. Los Angeles and far more...

    Quote Originally Posted by tandaina View Post
    David, I think you are definitely well connected. :P

    I'm sure pen shows differ, the one I attended didn't even have a public day and private day. It just had its weekend and you paid to enter whichever day you went.

    And I'm sure it makes a huge difference that I'm not really a collector, I'm a user. I happen to have a niche I love to use which creates a "collection" so to speak. But I'm not really a collector. I look for pens I want to use, not pens to fill a "hole." And my budget is a fraction of what we're talking about above. A $700 pen for $350 isn't a bargain for a user like me, because my whole pen show budget (when I went) was $150. (Plus the money I brought to have a nib ground.) That puts things in a whole other range. I buy antique, I have really zero interest in most modern pens either. And maybe pen shows post internet really just cater to the higher rollers? Perhaps the lower end antique collecting market has moved almost entirely online? Because I found it very, very difficult to find those fun quirky pens for under $200 that I enjoy.

    My other question to pen show expects... Frequently dinners and drinks events are mentioned... Yet as someone who I think is at least a familiar name on a board like this, and would love to meet folks in person, how does one even find out about, or snag an invite to these events? I would have loved to spend some time with pen folks just talking pens and passing things around and sharing stories, but I suppose I'm just not well known enough? Again, this is probably linked to my inability to buy and sell at the level of many others and I understand that. I'm really not trying to be whiney, just wondering how a small change pen enthusiast might get to rub shoulders with the pen elite a little tiny bit.
    I have a friend who makes fountain pen name tags, with magnets to hold it on. Would be great for shows, pen clubs. You might contact him. Ryan Brenner ryan@brennerluggage.com20160723_153958.jpg
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