Trading Tips
  1. Be organized. Have your trade list prepared before you propose a trade. Things to include: Pen scans are great, but in lieu of photos, provide a good description. The trader will need to know if it is an Eskesen pen, the style, a brief description of the artwork and caption panel.
  2. Condition is important. Declare all flaws in advance. Bubbles are a major concern among float pen collectors. Is the window scuffed? Is the pen bowed? Will it write?
  3. Float pens are temperature sensitive. Ask your trade partner to provide an address where the pens you send will not be left in the direct sun or freezing cold.
  4. Trade proposals are always agreed to by both parties before any pens are shipped.
  5. Traditionally, a domestic float pen trades for another domestic float pen 1-1
  6. Traditionally, a trade is pen for pen.
  7. In a trade, each collector is responsible for shipping charges for their outgoing package.
  8. Be sure to decide in advance if packages are to be insured.
  9. If you are trading float pens within the USA insurance is a viable option. If insured packages are lost or damaged it is possible (with patience) to receive compensation. International packages are another matter. While it is possible to insure them, it is often expensive. Filing an international claim is complicated and takes weeks. I am not sure I have a solution, just wanted to make you aware of the issues involved.
  10. It is wise to have a plan "B" to share the loss if one package does not reach it's destination.
  11. Make sure pens are properly wrapped to insure safe passage.
  12. Trade in good faith. Be committed to making the trade a success for both parties.

International trading can be tricky. I don't know how it works on the other end, but since I live in the USA, I am familiar with the restrictions here. To send a foreign package from the USA requires a green 'customs' slip. You will be asked to declare a value for the goods and list the contents of the package. Many countries add a duty or tax to incoming packages that exceed a certain value. For example, packages from the US to the Netherlands, will be taxed if the declared value is more than $35. This rate varies between countries. You can not 'declare' a package is worth $32 on a Customs slip and then insure it for $75. It's fraud. Ask your foreign partner to advise you on the matter of 'declared value' before you ship.

Shipping tips... Free boxes are available at the USPS for Priority Shipping. If you are sending a few pens via First Class, a regular letter envelope is NOT sufficient. An AIR padded envelope is great, but be sure to attach the pens to something stiff so they do not get bent in transit. I use cardboard, making sure to put the clips of the pens INSIDE the flutes on the edge of the cardboard. If you know the weight of your package, you can calculate your shipping charges in advance by visiting USPS or if you prefer, UPS.

Trading Advice... If you have yet to tread in trade waters, I highly recommend that you get your feet wet by contacting one or two collectors. Maintain control by slowly adding more as YOU are ready. If you post your name as a trader you will be contacted by several collectors all at once. It can be overwhelming. Start slow and easy.

Trading isn't for everyone. It requires time, a commodity not all of us have to share. Many collectors are not involved or interested in trading. Before I will post your name as a 'trader', you must have something to trade and have some trade references. Build trade power by buying pens in duplicate, but not in large quantities. Maybe 2 extras at a time to start. Avoid sinking a fortune into all the wrong pens. Refer to my pen list and others to see what is commonly available. Invest in pens that are unique. People on my traders list have a good trade record with myself and other collectors.

Become familiar with pen Definitions/Anatomy Button and definitions.
Float About is a good place to start. Even though I am not actively trading, I can always point you in the right direction.

Happy Trades to you!

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