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How do you limit your collecting (if you do)



How do you limit your fountain pen buying (if you do)  

40 members have voted

  1. 1. How do you limit your fountain pen buying, if you do?

    • Budget per year (etc.)
      5
    • Limit to specific category/ies of pen
      8
    • Limit to specific model of pen
      3
    • Limit to specific maker of pens
      4
    • Limit total number of pens
      10
    • Limit number of pens per year (etc.)
      3
    • One (or multiple?) pens per publication/promotion/birthday/other achievement or milestone (give us details, please)
      4
    • Other (please let us know bellow)
      16


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loganrah

Like any other collectable item there is often a drive to buy more and more fountain pens, to complete the collection or find the perfect pen. But we all know that is pretty unlikely to happen. So, how do you limit your buying of pens? 

 

I have a three part system at the moment: 

1. I only buy new made pens that I believe will actually exceed in functionality other pens I own. And I try to sell any new made pens that I'm not using (since I can replace them fairly easily).

2. I limit my vintage pen buying to a small number of categories. At the moment I am only buying Parker 51s and early safety pens. 

3. As I am a researcher I am trying to limit myself to one pen per publication or other career milestone (for example I just complete my PhD oral defence). Since I already have too many pens I  back dating this: I can't buy any new vintage pens until I have published enough papers to account for all the ones I already have. I expect that it will take me 2 or 3 years before I can buy more...

 

I'm interested to hear what other people's systems are, if they have one. 

 

I'm even more interested to hear from people who had a system and gave up on it: Why didn't it work for you? Would you try it again? 

 

 

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A Smug Dill
1 hour ago, loganrah said:

I'm even more interested to hear from people who had a system and gave up on it: Why didn't it work for you?

  1. Limit the number of fountain pens I can have to the number of slots there are in my pen display/storage box(es). Didn't work because not having enough storage slots just meant that the boxes I had were not fit for purpose, and I was in a position (financially and otherwise) to retire and replace inanimate objects that prove to not be fit for purpose. Furthermore, it's a rule that was undermined from the start because I already had a dozen Platinum Plaisir and twenty Wing Sung 3008 pens (individually dedicated to particular inks, more or less) sitting in pen cups; was I seriously going to count them as taking up 32 pen storage slots? If not, then obviously the less important pens don't need to take up storage slots if I don't have enough of them physically.
  2. Limit my spend on pens (and storage boxes, carry cases, etc.) to a budget. Didn't work because my budget is undefined and fluid, and I lack discipline to keep to one.
  3. FOMO is ruinous. What if an attractive pen is suddenly on flash offer for half-price or less? Or a new limited edition (that, for argument's sake, I don't feel is overpriced) pen just got announced, and it's now-or-never if I want to buy one brand new (and not pay multiples of the asking price later because someone else with the budget and ‘freedom’ to buy one or several now to resell as new later).
1 hour ago, loganrah said:

Would you try it again?

 

No, if by ‘it’ you mean the system that has failed before.

 

The (only) effective way to limit and/or stop myself from doing something is to lose interest in it first. There are mental tricks or ‘hacks’ (e.g. NLP techniques) to do that kind of thing to oneself, but I just don't want to.

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.

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maclink

I do have limitations and I think we all do.  However, mine have evolved with time and as my pen accumulation grew.

 

My main drive was, and in large part, still is, curiosity.  Although not at the forefront of my pen purchasing habits, I do have a budgetary limit because I do delve into the more expensive pens to the point where the cost of this hobby does significantly factor into my personal finances.  

 

I see pens mainly as writers, with artistry taking a distant second, so I am not interested in, and therefore stay away from pens that are expensive largely because of the artwork or intricacies put into on their production.  If there's no new ergonomic design, functional feature or nib to account for most of the expense, then I avoid those pens.... a limit, if you will.

 

My curiosity has led to an accumulation of pens that are eclectic in style, manufacturers/makers, filling systems, nibs, ergonomics etc.

 

I am not longer interested in oversized pens and now limit my purchases to medium and recently, smaller pens.  This is all down to the gradual discovery of what pen characteristics suit me best.

 

I had limited myself mainly to modern pens.  It's not only up until fairly recently, that my curiosity has taken me into the vintage zone.  My experience there has been mixed and will therefore soon end in terms of new acquisitions.

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I resell some, once in a while. Especially those i rarely use. At the moment i own about 15-20 pens

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ParramattaPaul

I buy what I want, but I am very selective and therefore set limiting.

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vicpen123
2 hours ago, maclink said:

 

My main drive was, and in large part, still is, curiosity. 

 

I see pens mainly as writers, with artistry taking a distant second. If there's no new ergonomic design, functional feature or nib to account for most of the expense, then I avoid those pens.

 

My curiosity has led to an accumulation of pens that are eclectic in style, manufacturers/makers, filling systems, nibs, ergonomics etc.

 

Says nearly all for me. Mostly vintage because modern pens are not that much advanced. Once I acquired a P51, P45, P75, Parker UK and modern Duofold, Vacuumatic, TWSBI 580, Pilot VP, Esterbrook J, Sheaffer inlaid and Triumph nibs, Sheaffer Touchdown and Snorkel filler, Platinum 3776, Sailor 1911M I figured that I had enough nib styles, filling systems, unique styles and good looks so that I don't need any more pens.

Pen peace.

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lionelc

i have to say that i set a number for the year - this year it was 17

 

from that number i will have a want list - eg. pen bbs 355

 

this usually leaves half a dozen empty slots for curiosities and FOMO deals

 

system worked well last year, hit a snag this year when a grateful patient donated an assortment of vintage/modern pens - the debate still rages - do these 5 pens count towards the total? 

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maclink
26 minutes ago, lionelc said:

hit a snag this year when a grateful patient donated an assortment of vintage/modern pens - the debate still rages - do these 5 pens count towards the total? 

Of course not! :P

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lionelc
1 minute ago, maclink said:

Of course not! :P

if only the wife will agree

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Nurmister

If there is a big purchase I'm making, I try to sell pens of equivalent value to keep myself net neutral. It's far more fun to exploit rather that continuously explore when it comes to pens -- learning the nuances of a specific few pens, really getting to know them in the long term imbues them with greater value.

 

The topside of a nib is its face, the underside its soul (user readytotalk)

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4 hours ago, maclink said:

I do have limitations and I think we all do.  However, mine have evolved with time and as my pen accumulation grew.

That's exactly my 'limiting' system, as well.

With exceptions made (e.g. 'frust shopping, I formerly did only with shoes) when my brain is in standby mode and I see a pen that has nothing special but I like the look of it. Only to regret the buy later.

One life!

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twigletzone

My limiting factor is what I call "the twitch" - my subconscious sense of when I've spent quite enough of this month's pay cheque on yet another  pen/piece of clothing/necklace/random consumer goods. I just start feeling slightly dirty if I throw too much money away on shiny toys, especially things I already own a lot of, and doubly especially if I own a lot of them AND have a life in which I almost never need or use the ones I've got. (Which sadly is where the fountain pens fall these days.)

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maclink
13 minutes ago, twigletzone said:

My limiting factor is what I call "the twitch" - my subconscious sense of when I've spent quite enough of this month's pay cheque on yet another  pen/piece of clothing/necklace/random consumer goods. I just start feeling slightly dirty if I throw too much money away on shiny toys, especially things I already own a lot of, and doubly especially if I own a lot of them AND have a life in which I almost never need or use the ones I've got. (Which sadly is where the fountain pens fall these days.)

Confession is good for the soul. :D  I know exactly what you mean.

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LuckyKate

I hate collecting things and the complexity of having multiples of anything I don't need. That has kept my fountain pen collection down to about 30 pens in twenty years.

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sgphototn

I stopped considering myself as a collector but only as a user of pens to write with. If the pen isn't going to be a writer with excellent characteristics I'll use and enjoy, it gets put in the giveaway or sell pile.

 

That's been a wonderful feeling for me to not be bound to the 'latest and greatest' pen fever.

"When things go well for days on end, it is an hilarious accident." - Kurt Vonnegut  

 

Carl Sagan - The great science communicator's poetry to the Cosmos

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I take x dollars worth of pens to pen shows to sell and try to come home with fewer but better pens equivalent or less than the cash I made selling pens. Didn't really work this last year with no pen shows after the Little Rock show. I have limited my buys to the cash I have stashed in my "Pen Fund" slush fund. Just 4 pens since this time last year.

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MoriartyR

I’m more aligned with Dill on this. I continue buying pens until I lose interest, either because I don’t find there is anything that I will like as much as ones I already have, or because another pen (and box) will just be a burden to store. Or, honestly, because I’m a man and we tend to have these preoccupations for a few years and then get interested in something else.

 

I think I’ve reached the point where I have no interest in trying any more brands. What I have seems to cover every different type of writing experience and situation that I want a pen for - many times over. There are probably three or four brands where I am still open to buying another if I really like the look of it. I would get another Aurora Internazionale if they release one, or another acryloid Visconti Homo Sapiens, or another Montegrappa Extra 1930 / Otto. But I really have enough of those, so I hope I would only do it if a new model really felt special.

 

Oh, and my wife says I can’t have any more pens. So there’s that.

 

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Geslina

I am in the early phase of accumulating pens, but hope I’ve learned from collections in the past that got out of hand.  At this point, I’m using almost all of my pens.   The less pricey ones that don’t interest me as much as they did at first, I use them at work, where it won’t be such a disaster if I lose or drop one.  I would love to be able to get my young nieces interested, and pass unused pens on to them, but they are all about social media and cellphones, and since they stopped teaching cursive in schools, it seems too few young people are interesting in actual writing.
 

I have been thinking on this subject lately - how many is enough?  How many more pens do I need? When this started, I never believed I would wind up spending as much as I have for a single pen...now that I know that that is possible, I’m considering treating myself to one what I would consider “luxury” pen -okay, maybe two - like an Aurora 888, or something in that range.  Not sure which yet, as I have not done too much research into pens over $300. I stopped looking at #penporn on Instagram, which shows a lot of colorful (and beautiful) acrylic pens by smaller independent pen makers - they are all so pretty and tempting, but usually sold out and mostly seem to be Jowo nibs anyway, which I already own a few of.  Plus, I get the feeling that those types of pens become an obsession in themselves.  I don’t want to turn in to that tunnel in the rabbit hole.  But I am considering vintage - if I can find them in person, not online.  So I figure, in the end, maybe 20 to 25 pens would be enough.  Maybe.  I just want to stay in control, and don’t want to have things that I don’t use.  I’ve got enough baggage in my life!

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Geslina
1 minute ago, MoriartyR said:

 

Oh, and my wife says I can’t have any more pens. So there’s that.

 

Haha!  Ain’t THAT the truth!  Glad I don’t have anyone paying much attention to my spending anymore.  When I bought my first “expensive” pen - a Twsbi Diamond Mini, I told my mother what it cost and she almost had a heart attack.  I justified it to her by saying I was going to use it for art/drawing, and she relaxed a little....but I would imagine if I were married, it would be like the olden days, when my significant other would say suspiciously “Is that a new purse?” And I’d say, “What, this old thing? Oh no, I’ve had this forever!” 

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inkstainedruth

For me, it's a combination of factors.  If I like a certain brand/model, I'm more likely to buy one in a different color and/or different nib.  But OTOH, I'm not a c-worder playing Pokemon going "gotta get every color/size".  Which is why, for instance, I've stopped getting Parker Vacumatics -- I have the colors I like in the size pens that work for me that I can afford. 

A lot of my pens are vintage, and the price of repairs get factored in. So a lot of pens I've gotten at estate sales or antiques malls, and if I think the price is too high, I walk away.  I don't do the "buy identical pens, one to use and one to stick in a box thing.  And I do have to pay attention to budget.  

I have bought more pens already this year than all of last year -- but they were either finds I got for a good price, or pens that I could buy with stimulus checks -- otherwise I would have waited in hope that I could have found deals on them later on.  And I don't buy super-expensive pens -- the most I've ever paid was for the M405 Stresemann -- and I saved money by getting one on eBay from a seller in Europe, thus saving myself both the Chartpak markup and (because I was in the US) VAT.

The only pens that DON'T get used now are the ones that still need to be repaired.  Or a few of the really cheap pens I got early on (mostly $5 US Chinese pens).

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth

"It's very nice, but frankly, when I signed that list for a P-51, what I had in mind was a fountain pen."

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