Increasing Pen Value

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SDoxey

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Feb 18, 2022
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Lindon Utah
For those who sell pens, what are some ways you increase how much your pens are worth? Such as inlays, materials, or segmenting.
 
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jttheclockman

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Feb 22, 2005
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Do not shy away from kits at all. They will sell or can sell just as much as a kitless. Seen it done it. Kitless is fountain pens unless you do a few like Skiprat use to. Fountain pens in kit form can be upgraded with better nibs. The blank will sell the pen the most because that is what people focus on. Theme pens can sell better as well as segmented pens with colored materials. People love color. Plain wood pens will not sell as much compared to colored pens. Even famous woods. Because people can not prove what the famous wood is even though you supply detailed material. Another factor is fit and finish that you apply to any pen can drive up price. Expensive material for blanks can drive up price. Finally many times just the venue you sell your pens at will or can drive the price up. You can not be scared to put that outrageous price on a pen. Learn your clients and your product well. Do the best job you can do. Good luck.
 

mark james

IAP Collection, Curator
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Sep 6, 2012
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Medina, Ohio
Use vintage materials (cellulose , celluloid, etc)

Use precious metals

Use gemstones

Incorporate skills like hand engraving or stone setting

Don’t use a kit

Make something that’s ergonomically pleasing
Read, re-read, and re-re read to what John wrote!
 

Woodchipper

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Cleveland, TN
Interesting thread and posts. Pens are like new cars on the lot. What you want, what you can afford and add-ons make up the market. I looked at a pickup truck while waiting on an oil change. Base price was $47K ( I have owned houses cheaper) but options raised the price to $66K.
 

SteveG

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Dec 21, 2009
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Eugene, Oregon 97404
I have added sterling silver images of all sorts, available as 'charms' and jewelry to the barrel and finial areas of kit pens. These are nice enhancements when they compliment the basic design/material of the pen.
 

SpiritRider

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Jan 19, 2020
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Illinois
Sorry to horn in like this but I think it goes well with the original question.

I had a quick education on nibs at the show this weekend. Can you change the nibs on all kits and if not how can I tell? What nibs do you offer for the upgrade?
I had 5 people interested in fountain pens at the show and found that I need to learn more about them.
 

jttheclockman

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Sorry to horn in like this but I think it goes well with the original question.

I had a quick education on nibs at the show this weekend. Can you change the nibs on all kits and if not how can I tell? What nibs do you offer for the upgrade?
I had 5 people interested in fountain pens at the show and found that I need to learn more about them.
Jan, I am not a fountain pen maker so can not answer your question with certainty. You did find out one important thing if you are going to add fountain pens to your selling list and that is there is a knowledgeable base of people who use them out there. This is one area I never dove into because it takes quite abit of study and learning and practicing that goes into making and selling fountain pens. The better and more knowledge you have the better you can communicate with customers. Knowing what nibs to use, how to properly tune them, what inks are best, what ink delivery system works best and when, proper ways to clean the pens and so on. This is what makes a good salesperson. Rollerball and standard ink pens are less finicky and require less indepth info and easier to sell. But with this all said I suggest you ask this question and many more on the Fountain Pen forum here. https://www.penturners.org/forums/fountain-pens.50/ There are plenty of fountain pen makers here to help you. Good luck.
 

frankonthetis

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Feb 13, 2018
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Location
Thetis Island, B.C., Canada
Found out through my supplier [William Wood-write] that the Vertex Magnetic Fountain pen doesn't allow you to change/replace nibs. Have stuck to Baron & Triton as they can be replaced/changed. They are also postable, cap screws onto body while the Atrax is non-postable making it somewhat shorter. Usually give out a pdf file Fountain Pens 101 to customers buying fountain pens, has all the info useful to users.
 

leehljp

Member Liaison
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Feb 6, 2005
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Location
Tunica, Mississippi,
Some of this has been mentioned but I will reiterate it -
• What is the first thing that draws one to a particular pen? - mirror shine, or perfect sheen, or colors or intriguing design.
• What makes the person pick up one pen over another? - Personal preference to design, color or base pen blank component.
• Upon Picking up the pen - What do they notice immediately - precision fit and mating of components, smoothness of finish (if shiny) or warm feel of the wood or material.
• Quality of material

LOOONG ago, there was a thread on IAP in which the design, particularly segmented pens, in which the precise angle. i.e. one degree angle versus two degree angles were not quickly noticeable but one of those seemed to jump out and say "perfect". Also, the spacing and location of different segments - 1 millimeter shift can make all the difference in the world. This is somewhat similar the golden rectangle in creating or drawings.
 

Joebobber

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Sep 24, 2018
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Erie, North Dakota
Some people, believe it or not, want a wood pen with no finish at all on it. Just sanded raw wood. Some people want glass shiny. I have found that even a simple segment of a different color works or even hybrids. If they see something they like or that reminds them of someone or something price doesn’t really matter. But it has to be unique.
 

Dannv

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Aug 1, 2022
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Location
Sparks
Sorry to horn in like this but I think it goes well with the original question.

I had a quick education on nibs at the show this weekend. Can you change the nibs on all kits and if not how can I tell? What nibs do you offer for the upgrade?
I had 5 people interested in fountain pens at the show and found that I need to learn more about them.
Look for Dayacom kits that use $6 nibs. They use Jowo nibs and you can get replacements and different widths. Just get the new nib in the standard Jowo housing and screw it in. The Jowo nibs are supposed to be decent for steel nibs. The one I did for my wife (a Jowo nib in a kitless pen) works great for her.

Exotic Blanks caries the Dayacom kits and you can filter by manufacturer.
 

Woodchipper

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Mar 15, 2017
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Cleveland, TN
Some people, believe it or not, want a wood pen with no finish at all on it. Just sanded raw wood. Some people want glass shiny. I have found that even a simple segment of a different color works or even hybrids. If they see something they like or that reminds them of someone or something price doesn’t really matter. But it has to be unique.
How about a quick coat of lemon oil? I think plain, unfinished wood would be soaked with dirt over time. Then the problem is how to clean it, if cleaned.
 

BoonareeBurl

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Jun 13, 2022
Messages
33
Location
California
How about a quick coat of lemon oil? I think plain, unfinished wood would be soaked with dirt over time. Then the problem is how to clean it, if cleaned.
Actually, you bring up something I've been meaning to ask: For pens with a CA finish, what's the best way to do a casual cleaning of dirt or perhaps ink residue? Maybe wipe with a damp microfiber cloth?
 

egnald

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Jun 9, 2017
Messages
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Location
Columbus, Nebraska, USA
In my opinion, the choice of materials and the story behind them can make a big difference in the value. For example:

Bloodwood, comes from the tree that bleeds. Bloodwood trees grow in tropical South America. They have red tannins in the sap so when the wood is freshly cut, the tree looks like it is bleeding. (have a photo of a "bleeding" bloodwood tree on hand).

Bois de Rose, is an extremely rare "True Rosewood" and it only grows in a narrow strip of forrest on the tiny African island of Madagascar. It has become a protected species and can no longer be exported so there is only a tiny amount left since the export ban went in place.

Sonoran Desert Ironwood is indigenous only to the Sonoran Desert area in Arizona ... etc.
Burl from a giant redwood from a Falk, California a Historic Logging Ghost Town ... etc.
Ambonya is called the King of Burls because it is the World's most sought after wood ... etc.
From the stave of a barrel that contained Jack Daniels whisky for more than 7 years ... etc.

Anyhow, you get the idea. - Dave
 

BoonareeBurl

Member
Joined
Jun 13, 2022
Messages
33
Location
California
In my opinion, the choice of materials and the story behind them can make a big difference in the value. For example:

Bloodwood, comes from the tree that bleeds. Bloodwood trees grow in tropical South America. They have red tannins in the sap so when the wood is freshly cut, the tree looks like it is bleeding. (have a photo of a "bleeding" bloodwood tree on hand).

Bois de Rose, is an extremely rare "True Rosewood" and it only grows in a narrow strip of forrest on the tiny African island of Madagascar. It has become a protected species and can no longer be exported so there is only a tiny amount left since the export ban went in place.

Sonoran Desert Ironwood is indigenous only to the Sonoran Desert area in Arizona ... etc.
Burl from a giant redwood from a Falk, California a Historic Logging Ghost Town ... etc.
Ambonya is called the King of Burls because it is the World's most sought after wood ... etc.
From the stave of a barrel that contained Jack Daniels whisky for more than 7 years ... etc.

Anyhow, you get the idea. - Dave
Completely agree: The story is very important!
 
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