On Selling My Mechanical Pencil Collection: A Journey of Passion & Purpose

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.


I feel very grateful for the pieces you sold me. I thought the prices were more than fair. Thank you for parting with them :pray:


The decluttering need – definitely hear it! What a massive trove you’ve collected over the years, Thomas. All told, what would you say was the total count at your peak?

I’ve definitely accumulated far more than I intended, but luckily I’ve also had some space constraints that helped limit me. Still… it’s a bit daunting trying to decide what to sell.

Hang on… you mean other sellers on eBay have reached out to you and chastised you for listing items at prices below theirs? That’s harassment. You are perfectly within your right to sell at what you want. And it’s not like you’ve got dozens in quantity for a given pencil.

So based on your language, it sounds like you’re intending quite a purge. How far down in overall quantity are you targeting?

[ RANT] I am a big fan of the OHTO SP-15 and already had 2 of them, plus the ballpoint (BP-15?), when those enormous auction lots started rolling through YAJ. At first prices were quite high. I was patient and it paid off. Eventually a number of bidders were exhausted and that cut the pool. Still, it appears SMP is in the business of reselling so he wasn’t going to stop. He pushed my auctions higher than other bidders did. I got one lot of MP and one of BP. Well, his prices are high and I’m going to undercut him when I resell my excess. It’ll be interesting to see if I get any guff. [/ RANT]