Buying Specialist Writing Equipment Online

Like if this guide is helpful
Buying Specialist Writing Equipment Online

There are many different types of specialist writing equipment available online. Each type is unique in its design and function. Although there is still specialist writing equipment manufactured today, most of what people find online and on eBay is antique or vintage. Since the invention of the computer, specialist writing equipment has become less functional, but more desirable, for antique and vintage collections. Most antique pieces are still functional for those who wish to learn any one of the art forms that involve this writing equipment.

Most writing equipment falls into one of several categories. Each of these categories contains a way of writing and usually a time period in which the equipment was used. When collecting these items, it is important to know the different types of writing items and what they do. Remember that both modern and antique writing equipment can be considered specialist writing equipment, depending on how it is used. Many people prefer working equipment.

Types of Writing Equipment

There are as many different types of writing equipment as there are writers. Many writers and collectors are very picky about how they write, with what they write, or what they wish to collect. A few writers and collectors do not use anything else but a certain brand, such as a Montblanc pen or a specific kind of ink well.


Pens range from extremely expensive to extremely inexpensive. There are many types of pens that can be easily found online. Most of these pens have a specific purpose or style of writing. Pens are a matter of personal preference, and sometimes, occupation.

Pen Type

Use and Pros


Roller ball

Standard writing

Often used by students, teachers, and nurses

Mostly inexpensive but some are collector's pens

Sometimes sold in large packages with several different colours

Soaks into paper, so they are good for high-quality paper

They may leak

May not write on all surface types

If not high-quality, they can break easily

Ball point pen

Everyday writing


Ink soaks in and dries immediately

Not very durable

May come unfastened and break

Fountain pen

Distinctive style

Classical writing style

Considered upscale

Different writing experience

Can use loose ink or cartridges

Tend towards leaking


Nibs may break easily

Marker or felt tip pen

Can produce thick or thin lines

Write on a variety of surfaces

Often come in many colours

Soak into the paper rapidly

Not for normal writing

May be difficult to write on paper

Can leak

May bleed


Extremely distinctive style of writing

Produces elegant script

Does bleed

Needs separate bottle

May spill or leak

Not for beginners

Calligraphy pen

Come in sets

Produces the lines used in calligraphy

Accommodates many different styles of writing

Used for wedding invitations and other similar documents

Must be learned

Difficult to write with for beginners

Need a high-quality paper or cardstock for proper appearance


There are many more styles of pens. Ancient pens were made from feathers, such as the quill pen, while others were made from reeds. The styles listed above are all modern and can contain a variety of different types of ink. The type of ink a person uses is a very individual choice. Most quality inks can be purchased online and on eBay. Some pens come already filled, others require cartridges, and still others require loose ink and an ink well.

Inks and Ink Wells

Inks are made from many different substances, and there is very little ink that can stand the test of time. Most antique pens do not have ink at all. For modern pens, there is a vast choice of ink types. There are gel inks, liquid inks, and viscous calligraphy and quill inks. Many of the ink choices for antique pens are reproductions of the original. Most original inks can be replicated using recipes from different printer's books.

Many people collect inkwells. Inkwells are small bowls or jars that were filled with ink for dipping a quill or reed for writing. These work best with quills and reeds for writing, but are often also highly collectable. Often, the older inkwells are made from silver, gold, bronze, or brass depending on the quality and era. These are very specialised pieces that most collectors seek out. Many of the inkwells can be filled and used as a writing device.

There are also ink bottles that are collectable. These usually come in sets, and sometimes the sets are of different types of ink. Other times, the sets are of different coloured inks. When searching for a set of ink bottles online, be sure that the set matches and it is authentic. Most online retailers, like eBay, have some form of certification or guarantee that the set is authentic.

Stamps and Seals

Stamps are also a form of writing equipment. There are both modern and antique stamps. One of the more collectable types of stamps is a wax seal. It is simply a seal that is usually pushed into heated wax to seal an envelope. Some stamps and seals represent a family crest or symbol while others are just for fun.


There are many different types of paper available. It ranges from ordinary, lined notebook paper to Egyptian-made papyrus. Some collectors and writers believe that there is an art to making paper. Although the paper is not usually collected, a poem or drawing on a specific type of paper can be extremely valuable. Paper is also used to authenticate and age a poem, story, painting, or drawing.

Many writers match the paper to the ink and pen they are using. Some paper soaks in the ink, making it seem more like paint than ink. Other types of ink glide across the paper and almost sit above it. Each of the inks react differently on different types of stationary or paper. To obtain specialty paper, a person can usually purchase it from people who manufacture it themselves.


Like pens and paper, there are many types of typewriter. These typewriters range from the simple push-key typewriter, which was the first to be used, to the sophisticated electronic typewriters. Many typewriters can be found at auction due to their availability. Many of the older typewriters cannot be purchased anymore because they are no longer made and there are very few left in the world.


Computers are in a category all on their own. There are many computer programmes that are specialised for writing. Most of these programmes have a specific purpose, such as making cards, brochures, and letter writing. There are also specialised keyboards, such as the zero-impact keyboards and holographic keyboards. Many corporations are now requiring ergonomic keyboards and computer peripherals that are highly specialised for combating carpal tunnel syndrome.

Uses for Specialist Writing Equipment

There are several different uses for specialist writing equipment. Many people feel closer to their work when they use something different, antique, or specialised. Then, there are people who collect these objects as art or for the fun of collecting them.

Letter writing

Some people like specialist writing equipment, such as quills and calligraphy pens for writing letters. As handwritten letters become less popular, these instruments become collector's items. There are still people who prefer to write by hand.

Cards and Invitations

Writing cards and invitations is a good use of a type of paper known as card stock. Card stock is exactly what it sounds like. It is a heavy paper designed for making invitations or cards. Ordinarily, a person uses a quill, calligraphy pen, or a fountain pen to write what they would like on the invitation or card. Stamps can also be used to decorate or seal these cards.

Buying Specialist Writing Equipment on eBay

When purchasing specialist writing equipment on eBay, it is good to know for which type of equipment you are searching. If you are searching for "specialist writing pens", then enter those keywords into the search box, and then hit search. Once you hit search, a list of products that match your search terms are shown. Browse through this list and select the one that best matches what you wish to purchase. There are usually many different listings for each search term you use on eBay.

Once you have found one that is interesting to you, click on it. This brings up a detailed listing of the item. Read the description carefully. It should have all of the pertinent information about the item as well as the shipping and return policies of the seller. Make sure that the policies are agreeable to you, and then take a look at the seller's feedback. This is a feature that eBay has, which can provide a potential buyer with information regarding how a seller conducts business.


No matter which type of specialist writing equipment is being searched, it can generally be found online. Many times, it can be found on the online auction website, eBay. Whether you are collecting the equipment or putting it to practical use, specialist writing equipment can be interesting. Finding the perfect recipe for an ancient ink or finding an authentic ink well can be one of the more exciting things about collecting and purchasing writing equipment on the Internet.

Pens, paper, ink, inkwells, and other writing implements have changed drastically throughout the ages. As the manufacturing process gets better, so does the equipment used for writing. If a person collects antique writing equipment, there is plenty available. If a person is looking for a functional piece of writing equipment, there are also many options from which to choose. Regardless of whether the equipment is antique or new, most of it can be found and purchased on the popular auction website, eBay.

Have something to share, create your own guide... Write a guide
Explore more guides