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Sunday, June 17, 2012

Weekend Reads 6-17-12

Well I hope you’re all ready for a Weekend Reads. Last week’s reads were canceled last-minute due to my computer issues, but I have succeeded this week in spite of my computer still being a little uneasy.

Also, yesterday was my younger sisters birthday! So I spent the day out with her and my family. It was a worthy cause for delaying this post until today. :)

Enjoy the reads!

Links of the week: Top picks from my favorite blogs and forums.
  1. Reviewed by me a while back, FPGeeks dive into their own review of the semi-new Pilot Vanishing Point - Black Matte LE.
  2. A great review (very thorough) of one of Pelikan's Edelstein inks. One of the few brands I still have never tried. After this review, I may be interested enough to finally get a sample for testing.
  3. Brian Goulet reviews one of my all-time favorite Iroshizuku inks. Yama-Budo is a gorgeous purple/magenta color, with some of the best performance of any ink I've ever used. Check it out, and while you're at it, grab a sample. you won't be disappointed with this one.
  4. Embark on an epic journey of discovery! Seriously, check out this FPN post as the OP shares his first-time vacumatic repair with us. Lots of photos.

Q&A Time

Q: “How can you trust the sales people when you don’t even get to see them, since the entire culture of buying pens is now switching from B&M to online”

A: Trust is a huge factor in making a purchase, so this is a very good question. The culture definitely has shifted far away from B&M stores. I’ve not been in more than 2 stores that actually sold fountain pens, and both had a very limited and rather over-priced selection.

The key to making a wise puchase online is to know who you are dealing with. For starts, do some research. Find out how long they’ve been selling for, and what kind of customer feedback they’re getting.

Feel free to email them and ask some questions. Ask them what they do for their repair process (if you’re buying vintage). Remember, you are the customer, and it’s our job as salesmen to ensure you get the right information, and that you're satisfied. If someone is rude abou sharing information, they’re not someone you want to buy from. You’re looking for an open salesman, who has nothing to hide. People who are really slow to respond, uninformative, and short/rude in their emails - keep far away. Buying from these folks will not be a pleasant experience.

Listen to other people’s reviews. Check out FPN, and the market watch forum. If you’re not a member there, join us! We as a community, love to help out and share information and knowledge. The forums are a great place to post questions about specific dealers/sellers, and get general feedback from the community. The market watch forum is a specific forum on there for promoting good salespeople, and warning against bad ones.

That’s about the best advice I can give. Having a good community behind you, like FPN, will really help you make a wise purchase from a good seller. Once you find a seller (or two, or three) that you like, stick with them!

Q: “Why does Montblanc charge so much for repairs! (My own question :)”

A: Anyome want to shed some light on this for me? Here’s the story - I sent in a pen for repair about 2-3 months ago. When I finally received a respond, they sent me nothing more than a bill. A bill that wanted me to pay about double what the pen was worth, just to fix a broken section! I can buy a new one on eBay to about $150.00-$200.00. MB wants $380.00 to replace just the section.

I simply cannot understand that. Even of they had to custom turn the section on a lathe, it is still only worth about $100.00 at most. But this price is ridiculous. Needles to say, I will be seeking assistance elsewhere. I’m just rather disappointed in MB.

So please, shed some light on this for me, if you will. Insider information is welcome, because I truly am at a loss as to why they want to charge me so much for this repair.

Blog Forecast
  • Ink Review: J. Herbin Élcat de Saphir. Wanted to do this one last week, but the PC issues delayed me. We'll give it another go on Monday!
  • Hmm. Any suggestions anyone? I haven’t got anything planned, but I’d like to do a midweek post. Leave me a comment if you’ve got ideas! :)

And with that, I will conclude yet another Weekend Reads. Enjoy your weekend, and have a fantastic Monday tomorrow.

Please leave me a comment below if you will, and let me know about Montblanc, ideas for next week’s blog post, or anything else that you might want to share.

NOTE: I am aware that there might be some issues with the new blog commenting software. Please let me know if there are, and I will log them down. I am working on either fixing it as is, or reverting to the old version. Thanks for being patient and bearing through this with me!

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