It’s day 6 of National Stationery Week and today the theme is #StationeryShopSaturday. I’ve posted before about some of my favourite online Stationery Shops so this post is going to be a big round up of all the different places you can buy cool stationery online and the pros and cons of a lot of them so you can make an informed choice when shopping online for your stationery supplies.
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Let’s start with the big boy: Amazon. It seems to be the obvious choice to buy just about everything including stationery. The selection of products is huge and you can get pretty much everything on there including all the big stationery brands, and you can buy it all in one and avoid paying for delivery.
However Amazon doesn’t have it all and there is a problem at the moment with fake reviews and the possibility of knock off items if the products aren’t from an Amazon fulfilment centre. Read product descriptions carefully. My other gripe with Amazon is the whole tax thing. They avoid tax and it isn’t fair on the smaller businesses. So if you can, I encourage you to support businesses that don’t shirk their responsibilities when you buy stationery online.
Pros: Selection, Delivery options, competitive price.
Cons: Massive corporation that avoids tax, some fake reviews and fake products.
Etsy is my favourite place to buy stationery. As you can probably tell I’m not a huge fan of Amazon and supporting a big corporation – if I can I like to find smaller trustworthy businesses to shop from and Etsy makes that really easy. You can also use their search funtion to find exactly what you’re looking for and once you find a shop you like they often have an entire treasure trove of similar stationery goodies. I’ve discovered many wonderful small businesses through Etsy an gotten some great deals on stationery. Check out my list of my favourite Etsy shops here. The only annoying thing about Etsy is that shipping varies a lot so when you search make sure you’re conscious that each shop charges differently and you might be shown items from the other side of the world if you don’t filter your search properly.
Pros: Support small business, more curated selections, shops dedicated to planner supplies.
Cons: Make sure you check shipping times and cost for the shop beforehand.
High Street Stationery Shops
I’ve lumped a lot of these together because let’s be honest most of them are fairly similar in the way they calculate delivery and the selection of products they offer.
I’ve written a big detailed review of Paperchase in the past which you can find here. Generally I’m a fan although not as much as I used to be. Paperchase’s products are pretty unique but the fact that they’re now so popular means that when you buy that funky patterned pencil case it’s likely hundreds of others will have done the same. They are still pioneers of the fun stationery movement though and I’m often still tempted to add things to my basket that might make my daily life a little brighter while I’m working.
Ryman is a really good option for good quality essential items of stationery. They’re one of the only big high street shops I’ve seen stocking Leuchtturm1917 Journals in their stores and online. They are quite focussed on the slightly more ‘boring’ aspects of office supplies and filing but they shouldn’t be forgotten about for their commitment to the basics which we all need.
WH Smith is the classic destination for the back to school buys. In my opinion their forte is their selection of pens. I’m not as impressed with the quality of journals and notebooks they offer. I have fond memories of spending longer than was necessary testing out all their smelly gel pens and then showing them off at school the next day. Alas it seems the smelly gel pen has gone down in popularity but they often have really great offers on pen packs including big brands like Sharpie and Stabilo.
Pros: Often have student discounts and special offers running on packs.
Cons: The selection can be limited and they can come out more expensive.
Independent Online Shops
Now here’s where we can really make a difference when we buy our stationery: choosing to shop from small independent businesses with only a couple of people behind them!
Nikki’s Supply Store is Bullet Journal heaven. She stocks big brands like Leuchtturm and stabilo as well as her own range of stationery that includes designs with biscuits on them(!) and fun and useful desk and list pads to keep you organised. I love how colourful her shop is and you should definitely be following her on Instagram to brighten up your feed.
I sing my praises for Under the Rowan Trees again and again on Instagram, in Facebook groups and on my blog in my big review of her online shop and her stationery subscription box. When I buy stationery online I’ll often go here first to see if I can get what I want. Danielle who runs the online stationery haven is lovely and the customer service is impeccable. She stocks an amazing range of quality stationery supplies and some cheaper fun items like stickers and tapes. Read my full review here.
Pros: Support a small business, personal customer service, good selection of quality brands
Cons: Can be more expensive, less selection
My last selection is more of a wild card. It’s a specific type of online stationery shop a ‘worldwide free shipping from Asia’ online shop. I’ve already written a hugely detailed review of Kawaii Pen Shop which you can find here. They have a really good selection of popular and cheap journaling and stationery supplies. A great place to stock up on novelty pens, washi tape and stickers as well as popular branded pens but be warned the shipping takes weeks! If you’re prepared to wait in order to save money then go for it. Sometimes I’ll order myself a treat from them and then forget about it by the time it’s arrived which is actually pretty exciting! As an added little b[onus heres a discount code which will take 10% off your order, just enter MAGPIE10 at checkout!
Pros: Super cheap and a big selection
Cons: Shipping takes a LONG time and items can arrive separately