Recently, I embarked on a journey of selling a portion of my mechanical pencil collection on eBay. Not the ones that hold special memories or have distinct sentimental value, but mostly duplicates and some pieces here and there that I’ve grown less attached to. There were a few reasons behind this decision. Firstly, there’s a need to declutter; having too many pencils around began to feel overwhelming. Secondly, I wanted to share some of these unique pieces with fellow enthusiasts, hoping to spread the joy and fervor.
Now, listing on eBay is no walk in the park. Pricing, especially, is an art form. Early on, I priced low, only to be bombarded with messages calling me out, which I get – it’s a competitive marketplace. Underpricing might impact others trying to make a sale. It’s akin to home comps; if one person undervalues, it could potentially bring down the average market price.
Conversely, there are times I might price higher. Not out of greed, but considering factors like the rarity of a piece, the effort it took to procure it (like importing a Sharplet from Japan), and the additional resources in presenting it appealingly with quality photos. With decades of collecting under my belt, my pricing isn’t arbitrary. I evaluate based on past sales, rarity, and the added value of convenience – especially for items hard to find in the U.S.
I want to be clear: my goal isn’t to make massive profits. In a world where we talk so much about scalping, that’s not my game. In fact, I often sell my custom-made pencils at virtually no profit, driven purely by my love for the community.
That said, selling is never easy, even with such a niche collection. And, for those thinking of diving into the pencil reselling world, know this – it’s not a goldmine. The buyer’s market is surprisingly small, but I’m thankful for the handful of loyal, repeat buyers I have.
Yet, there’s a silver lining. The sheer joy when a buyer shares their story, their excitement over a color variant they’ve never seen, or their nostalgia for a specific model – that’s what makes it worth it. Sharing the love and enthusiasm for mechanical pencils, one sale at a time, has been an incredibly fulfilling experience.
To everyone who has been a part of this journey, whether as a buyer or a fellow seller, thank you. The stories, the shared excitement, and the mutual appreciation for these little instruments of art is what keeps the passion alive.