Buying Promotional Pens for Business Marketing: How to Source Custom Printed Personalized Pens and Pencils

There are hundreds of different products commonly used as promotional gifts from mugs to baseball hats or mousemats to calendars. Personalized pens or pencils are one of the most cost effective items to consider for business marketing as they can be purchased for as little as 8 cents when bought in bulk.


Printed pens are available to buy online at a variety of price points and most styles of pen can be customized, in multiple colors if necessary, with specific company logos, website details and telephone number, a sure way to remind customers who to call first.

Promotional Printed Pens

While cheap printed pens are attractive from a cost angle, it’s important to remember that cheap can often look nasty; the pen may be too thin for large hands or it may leak due to poor quality refills leaving a poor but lasting impression. It may therefore be better to spend a few extra cents on a better quality pen which feels good to use and, being bigger and wider, will allow more space for a larger logo or additional company information.

Types of Personalized Pens

Imprinted pens fall into the following broad categories:

  • Ballpoint pens – available in twist, click and stick form, they are usually the cheapest and offer the widest range of style choice in multiple colors. Refills usually last the longest so pens have a longer marketing life.
  • Rollerballs – offer better, smoother writing quality but are more expensive often as they come with a cap.
  • Gel pens – refills do not have longevity but they are excellent writing instruments and will make a lasting impression.
  • Fine liners and fibretips – these are not as popular as printing is more expensive on their metal outers.
  • Fountain pens – expensive but a good option for executive corporate gifts. They can also be used as part of a personalized boxed gift set with a matching ballpoint pen and pencil.

Simple wooden pencils are a cost effective and eco-friendly alternative to plastic pens.

Alternative Promotional Gifts

Markers, highlighters and sticky notes may not be considered by many promotional product buyers but offer a good alternative to pens and pencils, especially as costs are now far lower due to their popularity. Highlighters and sticky notes also offer a greater surface area to place promotional messages or memorable logos.

Cost of Promotional Pens and Pencils

Small wooden pencils start from around 8 cents when bought in bulk quantities of 5000+ from online stores like PENSRUS; full size pencils cost upwards of 11 cents each. Cheap stick pens start at 16 cents per piece; better quality ball points like the Springster (see picture below) cost from 43 cents dependent on quantity; expect to pay from $1.34 per piece for branded products like a good quality Paper Mate® ballpoint pen.

Pen and pencil gift sets cost upwards of $7.50 with boxed executive pen sets costing upwards of $25. It is best to compare quality and price of options on offer from several different websites before placing an order.

Marketing Pens

Promotional pens can be a great marketing tool as well as being practical gifts for corporate clients. Simply use them as cheap giveaways at stores and trade fairs or invest in higher quality items for personalized gifts.