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Pen Swap Inquiry: One-Sided?


elysee
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Yet again, I am trying to purchase a Montblanc Oscar Wilde ballpoint pen. This time, I trying to get this pen via a pen swap from a seller from whom I have purchased several pens in the past. However, since I have only done one pen swap in the past, I figured that I would ask the advice of those here who have done pen swaps since this swap seems a little one-sided (not in my favor) to me.

 

I have like-new but without boxes Cross Townsend Lapis Lazuli ballpoint pen, pencil and rollerball pen and Cross Townsend Jade ballpoint pen and rollerball pen. I have kept each set in its own leather pen case, only taking them out to look at them on occasion; once in a while I may write a little bit during one of these little "visits" as well. Since these Cross Townsends are so recognizable, I have been reluctant to use them in public. However, having them sit around my house being admired on occasion rather than used is a waste of these lovely writing instruments. So, I thought that it might be nice to trade them for a couple pens which I might use, one of which is the Oscar Wilde ballpoint; other than the Montblanc star atop the pen, the ballpoint is not recognizable to those who are not familiar with the Oscar Wilde Montblanc series.

 

The seller said that he would take the five Cross Townsend pens/pencil (Lapis Lazuli ballpoint, pencil and rollerball pen and Jade ballpoint and rollerball pen) in exchange for the Montblanc Oscar Wilde ballpoint pen. Since he is currently selling a Cross Townsend Lapis Lazuli ballpoint pen for $499, the my-five-pens for his-one-pen swap seems one-sided in his favor. I understand that he is a seller and must make a living but even I know that the Lapis Lazuli pencil is rare as is the like-new living-in-leather-pen-cases condition of my five pens.

 

What are your thoughts on this pen swap?

 

Any advice that you can provide would be welcome and appreciated. Thanks! : )

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  • OcalaFlGuy

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My advice would be to sell your pens and take the money to purchase the pen you desire. If the proposed trade is that one-sided then you may end up with the pen you want and some cash in your pocket.

Thomas Bush Numismatics & Numismatic Photography

www.tbnumismatics.com

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There was a BP and MP here on FPN 4 years ago. The seller wanted $530 for the pencil $630 for the BP. He finally sold the pencil, I didn't see where he ever sold the pen at least on FPN.

 

There has been a recent BP sell for $300 and $500 on Fleabay. There is one now closing in a couple days with no takers with a start bid of $339. Another one sitting there with a BIN of $500. Sitting there unsold.

 

That sounds like he's giving you barely $100 Each for your pens.

 

I normally try to be tactful and keep the cards close to the chest during negotiations like this.

 

I think here I would have just laughed in his face. I don't know what the MBOW lists for new or even IF his pen is new since you don't mention that but the $300 and $500 Fleabay examples were mint. You also appear to Not Care about any original packaging. Since you make no mention of the seller selling NOS pens, I will take it that his OW is used as yours are.

 

Totoro is right, sell them yourself. Oh, but FIRST, hang back ten until the last closing seconds then JUMP ALL OVER the $339 one on Fleabay like a Crazy Nastyass Honey Badger. (Find him on YouTube if you are unfamiliar.)

 

You would need to take some nice pics and put some effort into your Fleabay/FPN listings but I would think you could easily [EDIT] Substantially beat the $300-500 he is offering you.

 

Bruce in Ocala, Fl

Edited by OcalaFlGuy
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Addendum. Let's assume you get the $360 shipped one on Flreabay, that THEN means he's offering you about $72 each for Each of

your 5 Very Nice pens.

 

So.

 

Ask yourself that lopsided question Again. ;)

 

 

[EDIT] There have been recent Lapis Rollerballs and BPs go for $250-300 on Ebay.

 

So, let's look at it another way. You're giving him the Lapis BP, and about $100 cash (That gets you to the $360 one on Ebay) and since you're feeling so generous, you give him **the 4 other pens/pencil for FREE**

 

How's that sound to you?

 

Bruce in Ocala, Fl

Edited by OcalaFlGuy
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Addendum. Let's assume you get the $360 shipped one on Flreabay, that THEN means he's offering you about $72 each for Each of

your 5 Very Nice pens.

 

So.

 

Ask yourself that lopsided question Again. ;)

 

Bruce in Ocala, Fl

Well, it is analysis like that which made me feel as if the trade was one-sided (in his favor).

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Elysee, be SURE you see my additional EDIT to the post you quoted.

 

Bruce in Ocala, Fl

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My opinion, your thoughts are what matters. If you think it is a bad deal, it is. I would tend to take Bruce's advice, especially the part about waiting til the literal end of the auction to bid. I can tell you that the bitter taste of a bad deal lasts much longer than that new pen feel.

 

Paul

"Nothing is impossible, even the word says 'I'm Possible!'" Audrey Hepburn

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I normally try to be tactful and keep the cards close to the chest during negotiations like this.

In this case, I believe that I hurt myself by not asking others for advice regarding this potential swap. I believe that a "swap" should be fair to both individuals involvedm and "keep[ing] the cards close to the chest" in this case benefits the other person and hurts me. There is no lack of tact when one asks for help and does not name those involved.

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My opinion, your thoughts are what matters. If you think it is a bad deal, it is. I would tend to take Bruce's advice, especially the part about waiting til the literal end of the auction to bid. I can tell you that the bitter taste of a bad deal lasts much longer than that new pen feel.

Paul

The pen of interest is not on eBay. This is not an eBay pen swap.

 

I know that I would not be happy with the pen if I felt that I got a bad deal. In fact, that would make me avoid (never contact or buy from) this seller in the future.

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Keeping your cards close to your chest can be done in negotiation Without trying to take advantage of the other trader.

 

They Aren't synonymous.

 

Bruce in Ocala, Fl

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There have been recent Lapis Rollerballs and BPs go for $250-300 on Ebay.

 

So, let's look at it another way. You're giving him the Lapis BP, and about $100 cash (That gets you to the $360 one on Ebay) and since you're feeling so generous, you give him **the 4 other pens/pencil for FREE**

 

How's that sound to you?

 

Bruce in Ocala, Fl

Hmm, that makes this swap even more one-sided (in his favor) that before. I am definitely not feeling THAT generous!

 

Thanks for the additional comment -- a nice eye opener! : )

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Keeping your cards close to your chest can be done in negotiation Without trying to take advantage of the other trader.

 

They Aren't synonymous.

 

Bruce in Ocala, Fl

Ah, but I lack experience in swaps. Other than the one swap, I buy pens. So, I need guidance with the "cards" and the "vest". ; ) Hmm, maybe you should be my negotiator. ; ) Edited by elysee
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This sounds so one-sided that I would walk away.

 

That is the problem when you are dealing with a seller. The seller is out to make money, so he has to have a mark-up. The seller wants to sell at "retail" price and buy at "wholesale" price. If you were trading with another end user, the mark-up incentive is not there, and the trade would likely be more even.

 

And as was said, you have to feel good about the deal.

If you feel you are getting the short end of the deal, don't do the deal...walk away from it.

San Francisco Pen Show - August 28-30, 2020 - Redwood City, California

www.SFPenShow.com

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Damnit man, Ocala guy. If I didn't know any better I'd say you know your stuff.

 

 

 

 

I kid I kid

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Damnit man, Ocala guy. If I didn't know any better I'd say you know your stuff.

 

I kid I kid

 

Not so much here really. But I Did know what questions to ask and how to find those answers to help solve the problem.

 

I DO know the Lapis and Jade are Cross's uber-flagships and I knew About what the FPs sell for. (Honestly, just from That, the "deal" smelled at the start to me, but I also had No Clue what the MBOW BP went for either. :rolleyes: ) I had No Clue about the $ for the BP and RB in those finishes either. I didn't even have to remember how to spell Lazuli, I just searched Fleabay for Cross Lapis Ballpoint (and then Rollerball) for completed sales. It took less than a minute to pull them up and check them out. It's kind of hard to argue completed sales numbers especially when there are few of them to compare to each other.

 

My friend Andrew Duthie says we are all blind monkeys without Google. I can't disagree enough to argue very strongly against him., ;)

 

Bruce in Ocala, Fl

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As you mentioned, the dealer is in business to make money. So that's a given! Also remember that, although you may think (and I am not saying you are wrong) that your pens are in perfect condition, they may not be when inspected by an expert. In addition, keep in mind that the seller has to guaranty your pens when he sells them, so there is a small amount of risk there too. Although someone asks a certain price for an item and, at some point, the item is marked "sold" not necessarily mean that the price received was the price asked.

 

In my opinion, unless you are standing face to face and negotiating, the person with the most experience will always come out ahead. Some people view a trade like you are describing as a competition. One that they must WIN, and WIN BIG!

 

Have you told the dealer that you think the offer sounds very one sided and then offered to negotiate further? In the negotiation process, there is something known as the BATNA. The letters stand for "best alternative to (a) negotiated agreement". The ultimate BATNA for most negotiations is for one person to simply walk away.

 

Good luck and enjoy your learning experience.

“Don't put off till tomorrow what you can do today, because if you do it today and like it, you can do again tomorrow!”

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Thanks for the advice -- I appreciate it! I am not so foolish as to give away my lovely pens for free. This was a good learning experience and it made me appreciate the fairness of my original trade. It is nice when the goal of those involved in a trade is being fair to one another rather than trying to get ahead. To me, that is the nature of a trade -- both happy, fair, and even.

 

I emailed the seller that the offers (there was a second) are too one-sided.

 

Thank you, again! : )

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