How to Sell a Preowned Pen: A Pen Enthusiast's Guide

How to Sell a Preowned Pen: A Pen Enthusiast's Guide


In the enchanting world of pen enthusiasts and collectors, a time may come when you have to bid adieu to one of your beloved writing instruments. 

You may be making room for a new addition, upgrading to a more luxurious model, or simply need to free up some funds. Fear not, for selling your preowned pens can be a rewarding and successful endeavor if you follow the right steps. 

In this article, we'll guide you through the process of preparing your pen for sale, identifying its make and model, choosing the best platform for selling, pricing it fairly, crafting a captivating listing, and closing the deal with finesse. 

And remember, if you ever need assistance, we at Truphae are always here to buy your pens or help you sell on consignment. Visit our consignment page for more information.

How to Prepare Your Pen for Sale: Scrub-a-Dub-Dub

Clean and Inspect Your Pen: Time for a Spa Day

Before waving goodbye to your pen, make sure it's looking its best by giving it a thorough cleaning and inspection. 

A well-maintained pen will not only fetch a higher price but also attract more potential buyers, just like a shiny new car on the lot. You can fix minor issues like ink stains or a loose clip, but be sure to disclose any major defects, such as cracks or nib damage. 

After all, honesty is the best policy when saying farewell to your cherished writing companion.

Gather Your Pen's Accessories and Documentation: Don't Forget the Bling

Accessories and documentation, such as boxes, papers, converters, and cartridges, can significantly increase the value of your pen. It's like having a designer dress with the original tags and receipt – it's just more appealing. 

So, make sure to store and protect these items from damage or loss. The more complete and authentic your pen's package is, the more attractive it will be to potential buyers.

Take High-Quality Photos of Your Pen: Lights, Camera, Action!

You don't need to be a professional photographer to capture your pen's beauty – just make sure to take clear, well-lit photos from different angles. 

Remember, your pen is the star of the show, so showcase its features and details like you're creating a portfolio for a supermodel. High-quality visuals not only highlight your pen's attributes but also help establish trust with potential buyers.

Identifying Your Fountain Pen: Detective Work at Its Finest

If you're unsure about the identity of your fountain pen, it's time to channel your inner Sherlock Holmes. 

Research its brand, model, and features by looking for any identifying marks or logos and consult online resources, such as pen forums or manufacturer websites. Proper identification is crucial in determining your pen's value and attracting the right audience of pen aficionados.

Where to Sell Your Pen: Finding the Perfect Stage

sell me this pen

Online Platforms: The Digital Marketplace

Selling pens on online platforms like eBay, Etsy, and Amazon offers a wide reach, but it can also be as competitive as a Black Friday sale. It can also come with hefty fees, as well as seller limits. Funds from a sale can also be held until the item is delivered to the buyer, until you have established a strong reputation as a seller.

Research similar listings to create an effective listing, and maintain a good seller reputation – you want your pen to stand out in the crowd. Keep in mind that fees and shipping costs will ultimately decrease the net amount that you receive from the sale - like a cover charge at a fancy club.

Pen Forums and Communities: The Niche Networks

Pen forums, such as Fountain Pen Network, Reddit, and Facebook groups, are like a secret club for pen enthusiasts and collectors. 

Trust and etiquette are essential on these platforms, so be respectful and honest in your interactions – after all, everyone shares the same love for pens!

Pen Shows and Events: The Social Scene

Selling pens at local or international pen shows and events can provide a unique opportunity to interact with potential buyers face-to-face – think of it as speed dating for pen lovers. 

Plan your display and presentation to showcase your pens effectively. Remember that timing and location can significantly impact your success at these events, so choose wisely.

Pen Dealers and Consignment Services: The Trusted Partners

Pen companies like Truphae can help you sell your preowned pens through consignment or direct purchase. It's like having an experienced wingman by your side. 

Choose a reputable dealer or service, and agree on terms and conditions that suit both parties. This option provides convenience and security for sellers who would rather not go alone. They can also provide a quick sales process, as the seller knows that they have a market for your pens and can likely sell them quickly.

How to Set a Fair Price for Your Pen: The Price Is Right

Determine your pen's market value based on factors such as condition, rarity, and demand. Research comparable sales and use price guides or tools to set a realistic and flexible price. Sold listings on eBay can be a great starting point, as many of those are not full-time retailers, and don’t have a large following. The prices achieved by these sellers will give you a better idea of the price you can expect to receive.

Think of it as appraising a fine piece of art. Consider the following condition categories to help determine your pen's value:

Brand New: The Untouched Gem

A pen that has never been used, with all original packaging and accessories.

Like New: The Gentle(wo)man's Pen

A pen that has been used sparingly, with little to no signs of wear and original packaging. 

New Old Stock: The Time Capsule Treasure

A pen that has never been used but may not have its original packaging or accessories. This can also be a brand new pen that comes with all original boxes and papers; however, it is now outside of its warranty period from the manufacturer.

Used: The Trusty Workhorse

A pen that shows signs of regular use, with some wear and tear.

For Parts: The Fixer-Upper

A pen that is not in working condition and is only suitable for parts or restoration.

Crafting an Attractive Fountain Pen Listing: Showtime

Create a compelling listing by providing accurate and detailed information about your pen, including its brand, model, condition, and accessories. 

Use high-quality photos to showcase its features, and promote your listing through social media and online pen communities. Think of it as crafting a dating profile for your pen – you want it to be enticing yet honest.

How to Negotiate and Close the Deal: The Art of the Deal

Handling Offers and Counteroffers: Keep Calm and Negotiate On

Respond to offers and counteroffers politely and professionally. Be patient and willing to compromise to reach a mutually beneficial agreement – remember, it's a two-way street.

Arrange Payment and Shipping: Secure the Bag

Choose a safe payment method, such as PayPal or Venmo, and verify the buyer's identity and address. Pack your pen securely and ship it with tracking and insurance to ensure a smooth transaction. Treat your pen like the precious cargo it is.

Congrats, You Sold Your Pen! Now What?

Secure Payment and Address Confirmation: Double-Check the Details

Always confirm the buyer's payment and shipping address before sending your pen off to its new home.

Shipping the Pen: Bon Voyage

Protect your pen and its accessories during shipping using proper packaging materials. Clean your pen before shipping and consider using recycled packing materials to be eco-friendly – Mother Earth will thank you. Be sure to empty any ink from the pen, or it can cause a mess in transit.

Shipping Methods and Recommendations: Signed, Sealed, Delivered

Choose a shipping method that offers tracking and insurance to protect both you and the buyer. Personalize your delivery with a thank-you note or small gift to leave a lasting impression. After all, first impressions count.


Selling a preowned pen can be a rewarding experience if you follow the steps outlined in this article. Remember that we at Truphae are always here to help you sell your used pen, or even purchase your entire collection. Visit our Sell/Consign page for more information

Thank you for reading, and happy selling! May the pen be ever in your favor.

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1 comment

  • Dick Davies

    Great analysis of a hidden market.

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