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The global economy and pencils.

Global Economy - Chart

It seems like general economic news is not too good this year. Just about every day, newspapers report challenging situations that haven’t been experienced for decades. Pencils, like all office and school supplies, will probably react to these changed circumstances.

Has anyone noticed this? Are you personally cutting back? Have you seen any changes from vendors? Any good sales?

14 comments to The global economy and pencils.

  • Michael

    I haven’t noticed much in the way of sales.
    But I lost my Perfect Pencil a couple of weeks ago and I honestly can’t justify the cost of a replacement. As for other cutbacks – I’m pretty well stocked at the moment we shall see what happens as supplies run low.

  • Haven’t spotted any new good deals or sales lately. If anything online prices seem to have gone up quite a bit on some quality art supplies mainly by reducing the discount margin from manufacturer’s suggested retail prices. For example actual prices for Faber Castell art pencil lines have almost doubled at the larger online retailers this quarter. Wouldn’t be surprised if the current global economic meltdown might hasten the disappearance of struggling product lines and even cause the demise of a few manufacturing plants. I understand many textile manufacturing plants have closed down in China already, so there is no reason to expect pencil factories to be impervious to the same market forces. Luckily I am pretty well stocked for the time being, but maybe I should pick a couple more boxes of Mitsubishi Hi-Uni pencils just to be safe…. Drats! JetPens is already out of the degrees I wanted. Oh well it would seem like the business for superior grey-market goods remains strong and healthy.

  • Ouch, Michael, I would hate to lose an expensive pencil. Thanks for commenting.

    Alberto, some excellent observations. Mitsubishi Pencil is publicly traded, so we can at least find some information about how they are doing:

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/cbuilder?ticker1=7976%3AJP

  • Alec Gold

    Hmm, loosing my perfect pencil would be a nasty setback.
    Luckily I have a spare sterling one just in case, bought it at a close-sale once.
    I have a silver plated one as well, but it doesn’t have the sharpener on top, and I have a aluminium one with a plastic sharpener, but I could replace the plastic sharpener for an aluminium one and send you that! Problem is that is only fits regular pencils, so it does for the Mitsubishi Hi-Uni, although it just barely fits. I know it isn’t like the silver one, but it does a reasonable job and with the aluminium sharpener it works out nice.
    So, Michael, ask Penciladmin for my email and I’ll send the aluminium to you. GvFC’s pencils won’t fit, but it still works nice for Every Day Carry.

    I’ve noticed the euro getting stronger and me being able to get some nice deals in the UK on some stuff. But on the other hand, not that much changed. I’ve got a decent stock laying around and I always buy my pencils in two or three cases, especial if they come in nice plastic cases like the Hi-Uni.
    My local shop does have some pencils on stock, but not the things I like, so I’ll have to order them anyway. And when I make a nice order and wait until he has a nice complete package I don’t have to pay the full price.
    On the internet I haven’t come across really sweet deals lately, just regular prices or 5/10% off, but not the cut-the-price-in-half-deals that I like so much :D

  • NateB

    I have checked on any wood cased pencils, but I’ve noticed a ton of (usually rare) mechanical pencils up for auction eBay.

  • NateB

    I *have not* checked on any wood cased pencils, but I’ve noticed a ton of (usually rare) mechanical pencils up for auction eBay.

  • Patrick

    Funny thing, I was just discussing this the other day. The global economy may not be doing well but I gotta wonder how bad things are when people are asking $36.00 a pop for Blackwings on Ebay and they are still selling.

    It’s a nice pencil but c’mon.

  • Alec, that is a very generous reply. I guess we can all sympathize with losing a favourite pencil!

    NateB, I will have to investigate!

    Patrick, thanks for your comment, which triggers some thoughts in me. I should put up a post on “pencil collecting”!

    Blackwings were recently made (1990s), and though not cheap, seem to be readily available.

    I’ve seen a Blackwing box sell on eBay in the same price range as a genuinely rare and historic pencil – an original Thoreau, sold as a fundraiser by one of the charities associated with the Thoreau legacy. (Had I known of the Thoreau auction – I would have pulled out all stops to get that pencil! I’ll admit that I also thought – they shouldn’t be selling this, even if they need funds.)

    Thanks to all for the comments.

  • Thanks for noticing. :-)

  • Michael

    Thank you Alec, that is indeed generous of you,

    Penciladmin, could you please give me the email. I do miss my Perfect Pencil

  • I was forced, by my wife, to stop my pencil of the month club when we had to do some belt tightening. I haven’t been able to add anything to my collection as of late. :-(

  • Donna

    Give up my pencils? Never!!

  • Michael

    Alec has not only sent me the Perfect Pencil but a selection of pencils to go with it. A public thank you to Alec.

    Paul, isn’t there something less important you could give up – eating for instance? XD

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