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Xfountainpens - Legit?


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#1 K9training

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Posted 26 October 2011 - 13:11

sorry - new here and not to add to the questioning... but i recently bought a few pens and ink from xfountainpens.com. shipping is quite speedy - but their email response is notta. also many times you call - no answer and it cycles over to a hold pattern for 5-10' each for 2-3 times and hangs up. I had a bad pen and tried to rectify the issue - but no clue where we stand - and then today I see a double charge and that should never have happened. wrote 2 emails last night and will see what happens.

on the flip side - so to speak, I wrote goulet a few times and get a pretty speedy response overall.

So are they legit or a bit shady?

and please - I am not bashing - just enquiring. I may have to find another place...

#2 heineda

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Posted 26 October 2011 - 13:26

XFountain pens sells Jinhao pens under their own brand name. So, to answer your question, no they are not legit. They are simply re-branding. I have owned a couple of Jinhao pens and will never own another. The nib dries out overnight on all the Jinhao pens that I have owned.

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#3 rockydoggy

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Posted 26 October 2011 - 13:43

I've bought stuff from them several times. I've had mixed results with their pens--but then I've had mixed results with Jinhao pens regardless of where I've bought them; so no more of those for me. On a more positive note, I've had no problems at all with ordering ink from Xfountainpens, esp. during one of their sales (their Chesterfield brand of ink is repackaged Diamine). My orders have been fulfilled in good time and arrived well-packaged. (No connex.)

#4 danthemann5

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Posted 26 October 2011 - 14:58

I ordered a pen from them and received it with no problem. It's labeled as "Bulow", but it is clearly a Jinhao. I don't, however, think that this is shady. There are many companies who purchase products from suppliers and re-brand them as their own. For instance, I have on my desk a calculator branded as "Staples" brand after the office supply store. At the same time, I would speculate that the office supply store didn't manufacture the calculator, but rather purchased it from a supplier and re-branded with their name. Undoubtedly, there is some sort of contract or agreement that allows them to do this. There is nothing wrong or shady about it. I make the same assumption about xfountainpens. There is the very real possibility that the pens are manufactured by Jinhao under the other brand name, Bulow, in place at the request of the brand as part of a purchase agreement. They may come out of the factory that way. Of course, this is all speculation on my part. In any case, the pen I purchased was cheaply made, but is a very smooth writer.
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#5 K9training

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Posted 26 October 2011 - 15:17

Ok thank you. I just bought a pen from Todd at isellpens.com. Nice guy. I was impressed about the ink prices at xfountainpens though. but not a great selection. I will use my judgement about the info you people provided. Thank you again.

#6 danthemann5

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Posted 26 October 2011 - 15:23

isellpens.com is a great source. I've purchased several pens from Todd and have never had a problem. He ships things extremely fast; I have nothing but good things to say about him and his business.
For your first pen, you should buy a Pelikan m200 or a TWSBI 540.
For vintage, get a Parker Vacumatic or a 51.
Once you go Vac, you never go back.
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#7 K9training

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Posted 26 October 2011 - 15:25

I got that feeling! Thanks Dan - you're the man...

Edited by K9training, 26 October 2011 - 16:01.


#8 Uncle Red

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Posted 26 October 2011 - 16:39

K9training, I'm surprised you had trouble with xFountainpens, Derek responded to me very quickly. Did you get the charge straightened out?

#9 K9training

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Posted 26 October 2011 - 17:52

I had to call multiple times to get a hold of anyone. the emails they do not respond to. H checked into it and said that if the 2nd charge goes through - they would take care of it. shows up on my visa site but their records show nothing for a 2nd charge on sunday after it was already charged on saturday. so we will see. Not sure what the guys name is - He never told me the few times we talked. I did buy a nice pen from Todd (isellpens) though - not that i needed another one but hopefully it is a better pen overall. now to get a few more bottles of ink.... B)

#10 K9training

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Posted 26 October 2011 - 21:06

Addendum: just received my 2 new pens - one a different kind for a defective one i got. but the ink they sent me was not turquoise - it was a greenish tourmaline. sent them 2 emails because sick of calling so we shall wee what happens... weird eh?

#11 bhbarto

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Posted 26 October 2011 - 23:50

My sole experience with Xfountainpens a couple of years ago was not positive. I ordered one of the SRX Galaxie pens of some color and shape or another. The pen was really heavy, the paint was chipped on arrival, and worst of all, the pen had the ink flow of a turtle and it took a lot of work to get the flow started. I think the nib would have been OK if I could have ever got any ink to flow trough it. I just threw it away and took the $10 loss.

However, your experience may vary. They do a pretty good job of advertising their product though.

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#12 79spitfire

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Posted 27 October 2011 - 01:50

My sole experience with Xfountainpens a couple of years ago was not positive. I ordered one of the SRX Galaxie pens of some color and shape or another. The pen was really heavy, the paint was chipped on arrival, and worst of all, the pen had the ink flow of a turtle and it took a lot of work to get the flow started. I think the nib would have been OK if I could have ever got any ink to flow trough it. I just threw it away and took the $10 loss.

However, your experience may vary. They do a pretty good job of advertising their product though.


I'm sorry to hear that, The couple of times I ordered from them the sale was fine and the pen shipped quickly!

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#13 snorlax

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 22:24


My sole experience with Xfountainpens a couple of years ago was not positive. I ordered one of the SRX Galaxie pens of some color and shape or another. The pen was really heavy, the paint was chipped on arrival, and worst of all, the pen had the ink flow of a turtle and it took a lot of work to get the flow started. I think the nib would have been OK if I could have ever got any ink to flow trough it. I just threw it away and took the $10 loss.

However, your experience may vary. They do a pretty good job of advertising their product though.


I'm sorry to hear that, The couple of times I ordered from them the sale was fine and the pen shipped quickly!


Add me to the list of people who are struggling to get an order fulfilled from xfountainpens.com.
I haven't tried calling, but I eventually get email responses stating that the pen I ordered will be shipped ASAP.
What a mess, but this is just one buyer's experience. Nevertheless, I thought I'd add my voice to the chorus.

Ironically, I am familiar with the concept of rebadging Chinese goods from my life in music.
Brass instruments made by Jinbao [not Jinhao ;-)]appear under numerous brand names and are of highly variable quality. Just one letter difference between fountain pens and tubas!!

In any event, I have seen some alternatives to xfountainpens on this thread and I intend to investigate them. This is my first post here, but I have learned much by reading for just a few minutes...thanks!

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#14 cuza

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 23:25

If you insist on dealing with Xfountainpens do so through Amazon Marketplace. You have recourse and a big gorilla on your side in the form of Amazon Customer Service. Amazon is generally very good at keeping their Marketplace vendors on the up-and-up.


I ordered an Xpen and got a rebranded Jihhao X750. It was an okay transaction which I'm not in a particular hurry to repeat.

cuza

#15 superfreeka

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 23:39

Went to the xfountainpens.com website out of curiousity and found rebranded Jinhao pens at 4x their normal cost. Worse yet, the exact same pen was rebranded twice on the same page, once for $40 and again for $13. Disgusting.

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#16 snorlax

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Posted 15 January 2012 - 04:50

Reference post 13 above
The pen came today.
It seems to be OK.
No inkflow problems so far with the extra-fine "Knox" nib.

Let's see how it holds up.

If my experience with brass instruments holds true,
the Chinese pen manufacturers will improve quality over
time and eventually come pretty close to the real thing.

Right now the best Chinese brass instruments have 9x% or so of
the quality of American or European counterparts at 3x% or so of the cost.
To reach that point took less that 10 years.

How long has Jin Hao been making pens? Does anyone know if Jin Hao
is working with an AMerican or European company on product design and
materials? I'm very curious to see if Chinese fountain pens are following
the same path as Chinese tubas!!

Finally, does anyone know what Jin Hao means? I'm curious, since many of
the musical instruments are from Jin Bao or Jin Yin.

In any event, in fairness to xfountainpens, my purchase did arrive and
seems to be OK in quality after a bit of writing.

The emerald green ink is nice, too. ;-)

Edited by snorlax, 15 January 2012 - 04:51.

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#17 P.A.R.

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Posted 15 January 2012 - 05:09

The only negative experience I have had with xfountainpens has been that there was a delay with redeeming a gift certificate I was supposed to receive for my birthday. Because of this problem, the xfountainpens staff gave me a free 50ml bottle of ink along with my purchase.

I have only ever contacted them through email for customer service. I have always received replies fairly quickly (on week days - it says on their website that they don't offer services on weekends) and as such have never needed to call by phone. Their shipping is fast and pretty much always free (it's easy to spend $15 ordering anything fountain pen related.) They often include free items (usually ink) with larger orders (sometimes smaller ones as well.) So, when using my gift certificate, I got two free 50ml bottles of good ink when purchasing a Parker IM - which is my favorite overall pen in my collection.

As for the quality of their products, the ink has always been good quality for me. Medium wetness flow and good performance even on cheap copy paper. Only one of their inks, "obsidian," ever disagreed with one of my pens. The pens are a different story. I have owned or tried from their site the following...

Bulow: x49, x450, x530, and x750. Very smooth nibs, some flow issues that could probably be fixed with some tinkering. Finishes on the x450's weren't great quality.

Staffen: SRX Galaxie Novae, SG2400, and SG2500. Nibs weren't quite as smooth, but the feeds were a bit better. Finishes were better as well, except for the paint that rubbed off of the Galaxie.

Overall I am a very satisfied customer, though I have not ordered from xfountainpens in a while.

Edited by P.A.R., 15 January 2012 - 05:27.

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#18 Jimmy James

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Posted 15 January 2012 - 05:25

From what I can tell, the site is a relatively solid one that mostly delivers. Whether or not you feel their items are worth what they charge is another matter. I'd have serious issues buying pens from them for those prices because I know I can do a lot better myself on eBay or other places, and I wouldn't really be interested in the ink unless I could get more definitive information about what one of their colors corresponds to what Diamine color name.

I am getting very interested in buying some of their nibs for playing around with in Noodler's Ahab pens.

#19 januaryman

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 19:26

Addendum: just received my 2 new pens - one a different kind for a defective one i got. but the ink they sent me was not turquoise - it was a greenish tourmaline. sent them 2 emails because sick of calling so we shall wee what happens... weird eh?

I had very similar results from Customer Service, (if it even exists!) trying to get a response about a defective pen. I finally trashed it. Maybe they figure they can out wait you. They did me.

That said, I have an x750 that writes superbly, an x450 I like, and I had some ink from Chesterfield that didn't match the displayed colors on screen. I gave the ink away. It's a mixed bag with them. Stick with the traditional places, like isellpens or goulet or one of the many other good reliable sources.
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#20 P.A.R.

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 20:32

They often send me free stuff when I do order from them, but for various reasons (products and pricing offered, customer service) most of my recent and future orders have been/will be with better dealers - either through Amazon or with the Goulets. The only thing I see myself getting again from xfountainpens will be Knox nibs from my Noodler's pens - the order came about a week after the order, so I don't have much to complain about.
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#21 filedog

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 23:09

I ordered an X750 from them, it is clearly a Jinhao, didn't think twice about that.
Whith xfountianpen you get your order in 3 days rather than 3 weeks, so that's part
of the higher charge. There's a thread somewhere about "bulow vs jinhao" referencing
pens from this seller. The x750 i got from xfountain pen has a better converter,
and was available in a selection of German (Knox) nibs. As others have mentioned,
the Knox are pretty darn nice. For about $20 including shipping, I am happy
with them. My pen came thru fine, so I have no cust. svc. experience. I had bought
and x750 from China, and I like the platform. Bit heavy, but well balanced, nice
feeling section. What I don't like about the China seller version is the one size fits
all nib. Mine was a WET wide medium, more like a broad. Nice enough, but wider than
I want. So, getting one with a better, narrower nib (my Knox is a true medium) works
well for me. So far the pen is perfect, right out of the box. Small writing sample
included too, so there was some testing done. Overall I'm satisfied. Hope you get
your issues resolved.
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#22 SamCapote

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Posted 11 February 2012 - 01:39

I can only vouch for having done two orders for the Knox K35 nibs for use in the Noodler's Ahab pens. Went flawlessly, just placed a third order for nibs. Reading this thread, I don't think I would use them for anything else though.
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#23 SylvainP

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Posted 11 February 2012 - 03:32

I've been happy with my purchase from them. The bulow x750 I got is much better than the jinhao x750 I bought on eBay (different feed, nib, converter) and works much better. The nib kit is very nice and use one on my ahab and one on the billow x750. Delivery was fast too.

#24 inkstainedruth

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Posted 11 February 2012 - 05:43

I too was curious about them, especially since their mailing address is local-ish for me (although apparently just a maildrop or an office with a phone person, since the street number doesn't exist as far as I could tell: there's an alley -- Terminal Way, for those familiar with Pgh's South Side -- at that point with a bunch of warehouses that had offices and such, and presumably it's in there).
Contacted a friend who had a glowing customer review on Goulet Pens and asked whether he had ever dealt with xfountainpen. Friend said that he had gotten several X450s (IIRC) from them and was of the opinion that they were fine for testing out inks; also said that he had had good customer service from them, so YMMV....
At the moment I'm not to the point of ordering inks from anyplace (been pricing stuff on a whole lot of websites, and looking at the reviews here for colors and ink properties); the one local pen shop has a bunch of inks on backorder, but I was in there today (2/10/12) to pick up a Parker piston twist converter and the pen counter guy said he had a bunch of inks due to arrive in a couple of weeks. Local may not be as good pricewise as online, but OTOH you have to consider shipping costs in the price; while I couldn't afford to get a pen there at the moment, the converter seemed to be priced on par with what I saw elsewhere (some cheaper, some more) -- and $1.50 for meter parking, while expensive, is still probably cheaper than most of the shipping rates I saw unless I was making a big order from someplace.
I do like dealing face to face if I can -- and am a firm believer in "support your local (independent, if possible) businesses". I also like being able to see stuff up close and in person, rather than depending on variable color correction on monitors; as a knitter, i want to be able to feel as well as see the yarn (the only time I actually ordered online was because my LYS couldn't get me the color I wanted (special ordering from the specific supplier is problematic, apparently, unless you're putting a HUGE order and folding that into it). They tried for me gamefully anyway, and then called me up and told me to use one of the big online sites (and recommended one). Likewise, I want to be able to see, if at all possible, how the ink behaves; yes, I know that some sites do sample vials, and will likely go that route, but if I can get what I want locally, I will.
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#25 Penman1

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 05:21

XFountain pens sells Jinhao pens under their own brand name. So, to answer your question, no they are not legit. They are simply re-branding. I have owned a couple of Jinhao pens and will never own another. The nib dries out overnight on all the Jinhao pens that I have owned.

Dan

I hope you don't mind my offering just a thought: some inks dry faster than others, which I'm sure you already know. While I'm not necessarily recommending Jinhao pens, I find that Montverde ink works well with most pens, which of course, ought to be capped when not in use.



#26 Penman1

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 05:27

sorry - new here and not to add to the questioning... but i recently bought a few pens and ink from xfountainpens.com. shipping is quite speedy - but their email response is notta. also many times you call - no answer and it cycles over to a hold pattern for 5-10' each for 2-3 times and hangs up. I had a bad pen and tried to rectify the issue - but no clue where we stand - and then today I see a double charge and that should never have happened. wrote 2 emails last night and will see what happens.

on the flip side - so to speak, I wrote goulet a few times and get a pretty speedy response overall.

So are they legit or a bit shady?

and please - I am not bashing - just enquiring. I may have to find another place...

I've had a different experience with xFountainpens. I've always got quick response to my email queries. Now, while I rarely use my $600.00 Mont Blanc pens for daily use on regular paper, I find that xFountainpens' Nemosine Fission pens are absolutely without question the best pens you can buy for the money. EF nibs are touchy, but Fine nibs do the job. I use Monte Verde ink. Flow problems are extremely rare, and easily remedied by a quick cleaning with distilled water. As for named brands (the usual suspects, I would tend to purchase them via Fahrney's. Just fyi.



#27 Sasha Royale

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Posted 11 June 2014 - 08:19

xFountainpens  is in the business of selling fountain pens.  Much of its line consists of "low-budget", Chinese pens, which

they sell at an inflated price.  Nothing wrong with that.. There are better sources.  They also buy bulk volumes of Diamine 

ink, and repackage under the Chesterfield label.  I think it is a good deal.  

 

"Mail Order only" sellers are seldom well-staffed.  Poor response is not unusual, though annoying, especially in case of error.  

Contact your credit card provider and dispute the erroneous charge.  Reconsider whether the savings are worthwhile.  

 

Keep this in mind >>>  A "mom and pop" business, in which "mom" quits, can become very difficult to operate smoothly.  

 

All of my Jinhao fountain pens, with shipping, cost under $7 total.  The range is "acceptable" to  %&)(#$@! .  Paying $15.95 

is unlikely to improve the quality.  

 

That said, I don't think anything "shady" is going on.  I know a brick and mortar shop that sells $125 fountain pens at $149.

xFountainpens sells $10 pens at $15.  Our local high school band sells $0.45 chocolate for $1 .  

 

Welcome to capitalism..