Jump to content

Requesting ideas for downsizing collection without actually giving pens away



Recommended Posts

I'm posting this here because I think the purpose behind this forum corresponds to a degree with my purpose in what I want to do.

 

I have quite a few pens that I want to get rid of, but I don't want to just give them away, for a couple of reasons, see below for those*. What I want to do is to sell them off for very low prices (less than 50% of original cost on the new pens that have only been inked once, some other formula I haven't figured out yet for vintage pens), and I want to sell them to people who are somehow "deserving" -- that is, no more than one or two pens per person, and they should go to people who wouldn't normally be able to afford them, and who would appreciate them, and who (in the case of vintage pens) have some understanding of how to take care of them. I don't want them to go to people who already have so many pens that these will get stored or saved instead of being used, nor to people who would turn around and sell or trade them for a profit. 

 

As you can imagine, the biggest problem is finding such people. This is where I need ideas. 

 

Also I have no idea if this sort of thing would be allowed in this forum, since it's not a giveaway per se. I do want to pay it forward -- I'm not particularly interested in the money I would get, but I'm not so interested in having these pretty darn good pens just fall into someone's lap for the asking. I've given away a few very cheap pens before, and that was fine, and I probably have a few more to do that with. But most of these don't fall in that category.

 

*As for my reasons: One is that more than a few of the pens are mid-range and higher, price-wise, and I want the recipients to appreciate them more than they might if they were free; also there is postage, and I would like to be able to send some of these outside the US, which is pretty prohibitive for free pens; finally, I don't want to try to squeeze every cent I can out of them but if I'm going to be offering such bargains I'd rather they go to, again, "deserving" people. I hope this makes some kind of sense.

 

So to the moderator who is deciding whether to allow this post, and then to anyone else who reads it, please share your thoughts and ideas. Thank you. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 23
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

  • Paul-in-SF

    6

  • Lulu Blue

    2

  • bisbob

    2

  • Ferocity

    1

 I might suggest that if you are looking to control the future of your pens, you'll find that's impossible. I know you have good intentions with 'wanting' the pens to go to people who will appreciate them or deserving of them but there's no guarantees that will happen. None. You have no control over that. What you say 'makes sense to you,' but isn't the way things work.

 

You don't want to give them away, nor do you want to sell them for a market price a seller would pay that you might consider unworthy of the pen.

 

Either way, you are setting yourself up for disappointment. Save yourself mental grief. Don't expect to control human nature.

 

I would suggest setting prices for your pens and sell them. Or give them away. After something is no longer yours you just have to let it go. 

 

Good luck.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Bagpipes are the missing link between music and noise." E. K. Kruger

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have to agree with sgphototn,whole heartedly. When we give something away, it's theirs and they can do whatever they want to do with it... 

It's much easier on the soul... the letting go... 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Slap! Slap! Thank you, although that's way more common sense than I was looking for. 

 

Any dissents out there? 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Sell them. Give some of the money to charity. Then everyone gets to feel good about themselves, some worthy causes get some cash and the pens will go to people who want them. 

 

Selling them to 'deserving' people at less than their real value is open to abuse. There are those who would almost immediately sell them at a higher price. It's just the way it is.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Give them to people here on the forum that you know would enjoy them. PM and offer a particular pen. They pay the postage.

"Simplicate and add Lightness."

Link to post
Share on other sites

Avoid the internet, and give them to people you actually know. That is the only way to determine what you mean by "deserving."

 

Otherwise, sell them for as much as they can get, and put some of the money toward whatever cause you want, and again, I would look local. 

 

But controlling how they are treated or used is not possible once you let go of ownership. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

For some of the pens, you can determine who really values that particular brand or era.  Ask around some of the people who have been around the various on line forums and pen shows if there is a particular person that immediately comes to mind.  Off the top of my head I can think of fans of Parker 51, Parker Vacumatic, Esterbrook, Moore pens, Wirt, John Holland, very early pens, etc etc.  Those recipients would be thrilled to add to their collections for fair prices, and would treasure the pens until their collection is also dealt with one day hopefully far in the future.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have given & been given some really nice pens; they remind me of the persons who gave them to me & I hope the ones I have given do the same for their new owners.  If I don't care about something I have & know someone else will feel differently, I am happy to make that possible.  Whatever happens afterwards is beyond my control & if they later sell them, that is their choice to make.

 

I have a Friend who always want recipients of his gifts to feel they are as treasured as he has felt & lives in trepidation that altho when giving something to someone, that they might later discard or "even sell it!"  I feel sorry for him because I think he is missing the feeling of giving freely but hoping to control actions of the recipients.

 

I may have learned the relevance of "things" while attending local estate sales for inventory for my antique sales.  Some estates were familiar to me & others estates were strangers to me, just as they were to the persons who purchased from me.  The inherent value was the ITEM sold, not who had formerly purchased same.  It is why I have chosen to give things from my family to people that I believe will enjoy them, without regard for what happens after their receipt.  

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
22 hours ago, sgphototn said:

 I might suggest that if you are looking to control the future of your pens, you'll find that's impossible. I know you have good intentions with 'wanting' the pens to go to people who will appreciate them or deserving of them but there's no guarantees that will happen. None. You have no control over that. What you say 'makes sense to you,' but isn't the way things work.

 

You don't want to give them away, nor do you want to sell them for a market price a seller would pay that you might consider unworthy of the pen.

 

Either way, you are setting yourself up for disappointment. Save yourself mental grief. Don't expect to control human nature.

 

I would suggest setting prices for your pens and sell them. Or give them away. After something is no longer yours you just have to let it go. 

 

Good luck.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This seems very wise to me. I hope your pens find good homes.

Link to post
Share on other sites

OK, I surrender. I'll probably end up dividing them into two groups, one to sell normally, and one to PIF in this forum. 

 

I've been waiting to sell until I could get a decent photo setup so I could provide good quality photos to the prospective buyers. I guess I don't have to wait for anything to do the PIF pens. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

For a refreshing change, I'm in agreement with the gist of the replies so far from various fellow forum members in this thread! I feel @sgphototn put it particularly well.

 

On 12/26/2020 at 7:25 AM, Paul-in-SF said:

I want to sell them to people who are somehow "deserving" ...‹snip›… As you can imagine, the biggest problem is finding such people.

 

I think one of the challenges is that you want to feel that the recipients are ‘deserving’, and not just ticking all the boxes in a list of objective criteria, in spite of your having listed some descriptive criteria in your initial post in explanation. It's as if the belief and consequent feeling that you helped someone ‘deserving’ with a non-trivial contribution on your part is the reward you seek, if you're going to part with those pens.

 

As well, the way you use ‘finding’ also seems loaded, in the way ‘finding’ a new CEO for a company is not just a matter coming across someone who could be appointed. You have to actively conduct a search, or invite applications (or at least expressions of interest) — or do both — across as broad a field as you want (assuming you'll subjectively feel it's fairer, and that you haven't only limited yourself to those in your circle of friends and known acquaintances), identify and shortlist candidates, then vet them against what you “don't want” and assess them by your “the pens should go to” criteria, and finally select recipients such that you're convinced you have done well by yourself and won't come to regret your decisions.

 

That takes a significant amount of effort. But, oh, you're already giving away half the cost of the new pen — after taking into account depreciation for having inked it once and thus it's no longer virginal — so it doesn't feel right that it's also incumbent on you to put in all that energy ‘finding’ worthy beneficiaries of your charity, does it? On the other hand, sitting on those unused pens waiting indefinitely for worthy recipients to come along by chance risks further devaluing what is still yours (to give or sell), and nobody benefits in the meantime and so that is an opportunity cost.

 

I can stomach that last part, so I keep my stash of (either brand new, or previously inked but since relegated to disuse for reasons of personal dissatisfaction) surplus pens in a drawer until someone comes along by chance. You'll probably encounter people who are genuinely interested in certain pen models, discussed them with others (and most likely you too) at length on FPN or other hobbyist forums you attend, but haven't yet bought them for whatever reasons. Or someone may come along with a particular use case, asking for advice as to which pens would suit best if they can only ‘afford’, and/or are prepared, to invest in giving it one shot at this point, and you feel it's a use case you're keen to support or enable. That's my least-effort approach to the same ‘problem’ you face, with the full understanding that it's time-inefficient, with the risk that some pens may never end up either getting sold at a bargain price discounted for the buyers' personal merit or given away.

I endeavour to be frank and truthful in what I write, show or otherwise present, when I relate my first-hand experiences that are not independently verifiable; and link to third-party content where I can, when I make a claim or refute a statement of fact in a thread. If there is something you can verify for yourself, I entreat you to do so, and judge for yourself what is right, correct for valid. I may be wrong, and my position or say-so is no more authoritative and carries no more weight than anyone else's here.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

I can sort of get the feeling actually! It's when you've got something you know you're not legitimately using, it's taking up space you could free up for something you WOULD use (or just free up, period, not have to look after the thing), but also you like the thing too much to be like, eh, que será será.

 

I don't really have any clever pointers on where to find people you like enough to give your pens to (other than offline, like people said, but I know that can be challenging if FPs are not that commonly used in your circle). So I just wanted say I kind of get you!

 

It hasn't happened to me that often, but when it does, usually one of the following happens, eventually:

 

1) I get over the attachment to the thing, and can let it go to whoever. 

2) I decide I actually have a use for the thing after all  Often, this is by repurposing - keeping it, but using it for something else. Not a lot of room to do that with FPs, admittedly, but still. This is a really fun solution because it involves creativity!. A couple of the things I had this happen with are now favourites, as well. 

3) While the thing is lying around waiting for my brain to get to either 1) or 2), I come across someone who is into the thing, and give it to them. 

 

In short, in this kind of situation putting things aside to percolate may be a good strategy!

 

I find actually giving things away vs selling works better for me. It's less legwork for one thing, less potential conflict and disagreeableness ('YoU cAlL tHaT VeRy GoOd CoNdItIoN'), and besides there's a superstitious little angle if you will that I'm building good karma, putting out good will - like the concept of grace? (Not religious on the whole, but this part makes sense to me)  But a critical part there is to not get to find out what happens. Otherwise it's tricky. Which I can see could be a problem with fancy FPs in the FP circle because you could end up recognising your stuff after (eg for sale). 

 

One thing I'd add is that the duality of FPs makes this kind of dilemma more likely: they're collectibles, yes, with all the overpricing, competitive sourcing, and other ridiculousness that this entails, but they're first and foremost functional items (sometimes beautiful) and plenty of people use them every day to write the small and big stuff in their lives. The collectible market overlaps over the useable-pen market, and often pressures it in weird ways (see: fake Safaris, LE Safaris for $100 apiece)

 

So I can see how you might want to avoid either someone who, for lack of a better word, hoards pens, maybe to brag about having a large number of them or a complete set of a particular line or whatever, or to someone who's interested only in making a fat profit. It has undertones of ending up complicit in fleecing (lol) someone who likes FPs just like you do but doesn't have much money to spend on them. That's honourable of you, really!

I'm not affiliated with ANY of the brands/retailers/shops/ebay sellers/whatever I mention or recommend. If that ever changes, I will let you know :)

 

Looking for a cheap Pilot VP/Capless - willing to put up with lots of cosmetic damage.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Paul-in-SF

Thanks for the observations.

 

I did do a PIF of 15 pens, and have gotten some really nice written thank you notes from those folks.

 

I also got a good start on selling by posting a list of pens on my local pen posse's Facebook page. Sold 39 pens that way. They were at attractive prices, and I think most of those who bought them were happy with them. 

 

I have acquired an inexpensive table-top light box which allows me to get better photos of the pens I'm hoping to sell, so I think I can probably start selling some of the better ones on eBay fairly soon. Having given up the idea of control and of deserving new owners, I'll just be happy to significantly reduce the number of pens I own, so that I can focus on the ones I really like. Thanks again everyone for helping me work this out in my head. As you have no doubt observed, sometimes I need all the help I can get. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
MuddyWaters

I have found that pricing pens attractively allows me to pick from the offers. Seems like you've been able to do that. Basically the more polite people with whom I can have a fountain pen discussion are more likely to get the pen. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
Paul-in-SF

I didn't pick in this case, it was first come first served. There were a few pens that people missed out on by not acting sooner, but I never even thought about choosing the person to whom I would sell. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
Lulu Blue

I feel you. I often think of giving a presentation as a gift but like you, I don't think it will be appreciated and that's such a waste. S pen should be used and loved, even if it gets banged up a bit. 

 

I'm here, just joined, because I need to sell some pens out of my collection and here is a community of people who love pens. Perfect.

 

I look forward to seeing what you have for sell?

Link to post
Share on other sites
Lulu Blue

By the way Paul, I used to live in SF in the FABULOUS 80s. Mabuhay Gardens!!!! Ethiopean food!!!!!!

Link to post
Share on other sites

What brands are you looking to sell? I'm venturing into Viscontis and would give them a good home.😃

Link to post
Share on other sites
Paul-in-SF

I don't think I'm allowed to sell pens through the regular forums, only through the Classifieds (someone correct me if I'm wrong). Sorry, too, no Viscontis. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Announcements


×
×
  • Create New...