The Complete Guide to Purchasing Writing Equipment

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The Complete Guide to Purchasing Writing Equipment

Writing equipment is an essential investment for any business, even in the days of digital communication. Pens are necessary for signing essential documents, making quick notes, and a host of other functions. Pencils can be erased so they are great for making any notes that need to be removed later. Both pens and pencils come in several forms, each of which has benefits. There are also highlighters and markers to consider, both of which have several forms. Finally, businesses should also stock up on a variety of writing accessories, including refills and correction materials.

Writing equipment can be bought at stationery shops, supermarkets, department stores, and online. One great place to stock up is the online marketplace eBay. In addition to offering a large selection of products, eBay has great prices and bulk items to save even more money on large orders. Plus, the auction site is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week so business owners can place an order at any time.

Types of Writing Implements

There are three main types of writing implements: pens, pencils, and highlighters or markers. Most businesses need a combination of all three. However, there are a variety of options within each category, so buyers should weigh up the benefits of each product.


There are three main types of pen, each with its own writing style. Pens vary in the thickness of the lines they create. The thinnest pens are labelled as micro fine, followed by super fine or extra fine. Thicker lines are created by fine, medium, and bold pens.

Ballpoint Pens

Ballpoint pens are the most common, with their tips being durable and long-lasting. The tip is literally a small ball contained within the cartridge. As the pen glides across paper, the ball moves and deposits ink. The ink used by ballpoint pens is thick and oily, which makes it water-resistant as well as resistant to smudging.

Rollerball and Gel Ink Pens

A rollerball uses the same mechanism as a ballpoint pen, but has a smoother writing action because the ink used is thinner and water-based. A variation of the rollerball is the gel ink pen, which uses an even thinner gel-based ink.

Fountain Pens

Unlike ballpoints and rollerballs, fountain pens have a nib tip that draws ink from a well inside the pen. Sometimes the nib can be changed to adjust the thickness of the line. These types of pens are great for making an impression or for giving as gifts, and they write smoothly. The ink can be replaced when a refill is needed and different colours may be used interchangeably.

Highlighters and Markers

Highlighters and markers provide an easy way to organise and label information in an office. Highlighters come in multiple styles, and there are three types available: permanent, dry erase, and wet erase.


Highlighters are great for making small pieces of information on an invoice, report, or other document stand out. They are available in several colours, typically yellow, pink, orange, green, and sometimes blue. There are three designs of highlighter to choose from. The most common and traditional one is the tank style highlighter, which has a large barrel shaped body. There are also pen style highlighters, with bodies that resemble pens to make them easier to hold. Liquid highlighters have special ink that is water and fade resistant for the best performance.


Permanent markers can be used to write on nearly any surface and their inks are fade resistant. Most often found in black, they can also be purchased in a rainbow of other colours and even metallics. Heavy-duty markers are great for industrial use. There are also dry erase markers that are designed for use on whiteboards and glass transparencies. These wipe away easily with a cloth or hand, but a dry eraser is a tidier option. Wet erase markers require moisture, such as water or a special remover, and can be used on overhead transparencies and erasable calendars. Wet and dry erase markers also come in an array of colours to make organising information easier. With any type of marker, it is good to check that it is odour-free, as some markers can have an unpleasant smell that disturbs some employees.


There are two types of pencils: traditional wooden and mechanical. Wooden pencils are very inexpensive and require the purchase of pencil sharpeners. Mechanical pencils never need to be sharpened and they can be reloaded with lead to prolong their life. In both cases, business owners must consider the type of pencil lead, typically made of graphite.

Wooden Pencils

Wooden pencils are classified on an H, B scale, where H stands for hardness and B stands for blackness; the middle of the scale is designated as F. The most commonly used pencils are B, HB, F, H, and 2H, respectively. These lie in the middle of the scale that ranges from 9H to 9B.

Mechanical Pencils

Mechanical pencils are also evaluated by hardness and blackness. In addition they are evaluated on how thick the lead is, or its diameter. The thickness of the line determines it purpose. The table below lists some of the most common forms of pencil lead for mechanical pencils.

Pencil Lead Thickness (mm)



Thin, fine line

Good for everyday writing


Slightly thicker line

For drawing and sketching

Good for everyday writing


Thick, strong line

Good for those who rarely use pencils or heavy handed people

It is worth noting that mechanical pencil lead ranges in thickness from 0.3 mm to 3.2 mm. Some manufacturers even offer 5.6 mm lead.

Writing Accessories

In addition to the writing implements themselves, it is always a good idea to stock up on some accessories. This is especially important for a busy office.

Pencil Sharpeners

Wooden pencils require a pencil sharpener. There are basic models that have no container for the shavings, models with a container for the shavings, manual desktop mountable sharpeners, and even electric sharpeners.


A few large erasers may also be helpful, especially with wooden pencils. However, both wooden and mechanical pencils can come equipped with erasers at the end. For mechanical pencils, consider stocking up on replacements for these erasers.

Ink and Lead Refills

Consider purchasing ink or pencil lead refills. They prolong the life of a pen or pencil and can save money in the long run. Business owners need to ensure that they are buying the correct replacement product. When buying leads for mechanical pencils, ensure that the diameter is compatible with the pencils. For example, 0.5mm lead will not work with a 0.7 mm pencil.

Correction Materials

Finally, correction materials are good for fixing errors that crop up when using pens. There are three forms: liquid that is brushed over the mistake, tape that glides from a dispenser, and pens that write over the mistake like any other pen. Liquid covers virtually any surface, tape applies smoothly, and pens are the most precise.

How to Buy Writing Equipment on eBay

eBay is a great place to find all sorts of industrial and business resources, including writing equipment. This online marketplace is made up of a network of independent sellers who rely on feedback from you and other buyers. You can search easily for large amounts of supplies at great prices and place your order whenever it is convenient to you. To search for writing equipment, you need only enter a keyword, such as "bulk ballpoint pens" in the search box. eBay then finds all of the listings that match the search terms. You can filter the results by price and condition.

Tips for Shopping on eBay

eBay has a variety of tools to make shopping online easier. Use the advanced search function to find whatever you are searching for more easily. You can also visit the eBay Help Centre for assistance, such as how to register for an account, choosing a payment method, and the basics of buying on eBay. eBay also has a variety of desktop and mobile tools that to keep you connected at all times, whether you are using a computer, tablet, or smartphone.


All businesses need a supply of writing equipment to manage documents and stay organised. Pens and pencils are essential resources that come in many forms. Buyers can choose from ballpoint, rollerball, and gel-ink pens for everyday use. For special occasions, a fountain pen may be required. When buying pencils, consider the hardness of the lead for both wooden and mechanical pencils, and the diameter of the lead for mechanical pencils. There are also highlighters and markers to choose from; dry erase, wet erase, or permanent should be chosen according to how they are going to be used. Buyers should look for odour-free varieties of markers.

Buyers should also consider the variety of writing accessories available. For pens and pencils, look for replacement ink and lead, a sharpener is a necessity for wooden pencils, and erasers are also worth considering for both wooden and mechanical pencils. Finally, correction materials can be used to cover up any mistakes. Whatever writing equipment a business needs, buyers can always visit eBay at any time for a great selection of products.

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