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Re: Removing prices from a listing once a pen is sold
Edited by stephenoverbury on December 7, 2017, 9:38 pm
I wish to add a few of my own humble opinions on this matter from the point of view of someone who has spent over forty years as a buyer and seller of thousands of pens from the very ordinary to the top ten world record breaking pens, such as a namiki i sold for half a million. I think that pens are somewhat different than coins in terms of everything. We do not have a consistent grading policy nor do we have accurate information as to how many of an item were produced in many instances. There is the often overlooked consideration of how badly someone wants a thing or if, in the case of auctions or even on pentrace, two arch rivals are attempting to buy some thing to outdo each other. I always asked, What are the chances of ever seeing another example in my lifetime in any condition, before committing to buying a rare expensive item. I tended to deal in items which were more in the rare or unique category and wrote my own price ticket. You have to ask the value of posted prices. I mean, if these are on pentrace you know right off the prices will be much lower than anywhere else. IF they are on, let us say for example, GOPENS, the prices will be high. Gary L. took great pride in charting every single pen he bought and sold and being able to look at this information when reselling items. He would also on occassion remove higher end items when they did not sell giving some people the impression they had sold at the rates offered. But the problem with his list, and say that of a much more developed list, the prices realised at Bonhams, is that you can't buy or sell at those prices. Both have developed a very advanced following based on trust and return policies they have earned. I remember buying a lacquer pen ages a go from a dealer in Tokyo who kept whining that I would resell for a lot more. I pointed out that this pen of his, a makie pen, had at that point in time never reached more than three thousand pounds sterling. Ever. IN public auction that is. So, after a weekend marathon negotiation he settled for twelve thousand dollars.I sold it for $120K a few years later having featured it in my landmark book.I bought a parker 75 space pen at a chicago pen auction for twelve grand and resold it for forty in bonhams. Does that mean this information helps you shell out, let's say, twelve grand for the same pen today. Absolutely not. It does not take into account the fact that I marketed the item through coverage in the Times of London, that I had buyers lined up then. Today, that pen would hardly realize even six grand so what value is a price book guide, eh? Not to forget the consideration that many of these so called rarities have mysteriously turned up. Money tends to do this when items sell for a lot. Same with the lacquer pen example. I had the clients to resell. I could do that. But could the average collector or dealer? Absolutely not. No way.
This is a big subject and i could go on forever as most of my life has been spent in the world of buying and selling rare vintage pens.I once offered a Boston lawyer quarter of a million U.S. dollars for the "lily" unique repousse waterman he owned and he turned it down. Does that mean the pen he bought for ten grand was worth more than the ten grand or even the ten grand? No it does not. Nor would I offer even five grand today. All this talk about money gets in the way of what I think pen collecting should be about, namely, pure enjoyment without regard to book prices.....
In 1988, having read in the British press countless articles about how the vintage duofolds were fetching huge sums, I made my first overseas trip to London with a suitcase full of every coloured duofold from the 1920s, I was willing to sell my four hundred pieces, about fifty Big Reds wholesale to the dealers who were cashing in. But guess what? Nobody wanted to buy even one piece. Yes, they had sold one or two a month for four hundred pounds but had no need for so many even if they could be had for sixty pounds each....posted prices can be deceiving....
Just posting to give some younger collectors a look from my experience. Sorry to ramble so much.....
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