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Iroshizuku Price Increase


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#1 Okami

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Posted 12 December 2009 - 18:37

The word from two very reliable sources is that JetPens will no longer be carrying Iroshizuku inks (sometime around March). All the colors will be available from sources such as Art Brown and the Fountain Pen Hospital. However, there will also be a new retail price - $35 per bottle. This will bump it above Caran d'Ache to the pinnacle as the most expensive ink out there.

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#2 Nikhil

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Posted 12 December 2009 - 18:40

Why is it so expensive? Maybe I am just not informed properly, but I have never heard about any of the good aspects of this ink? If it was cheaper, I'd buy a bottle, but even $20 is too much. What makes this ink worth this much?

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#3 Scriptorium Pens

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Posted 12 December 2009 - 18:44

Well foo! I guess I'd better stock up on Ku-jaku, since it's a favorite and I haven't seen anything else quite like it. The others I can find something comparable to in other brands.

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#4 Chemyst

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Posted 12 December 2009 - 18:52

The word from two very reliable sources is that JetPens will no longer be carrying Iroshizuku inks (sometime around March). All the colors will be available from sources such as Art Brown and the Fountain Pen Hospital. However, there will also be a new retail price - $35 per bottle. This will bump it above Caran d'Ache to the pinnacle as the most expensive ink out there.

Thoughts anyone?


If that is going to be a U.S. distributor price, that just be foolish. We are/were all very merrily importing it ourselves for ~$25/bottle.

JetPens offers some convenience over buying off eBay or international sites, so I use it. That convenience is not worth an extra $10/bottle though.

Assuming that Iroshizuku Inks don't raise the price in their home markets, I'll go back to importing it myself. I suspect others will do the same and the U.S. distribution scheme will either have to come back down to $25/bottle or fold up.

All hypothetical of course, until we actually see these predicted changes...
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#5 Discordianist

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Posted 12 December 2009 - 19:01

Also the weak dollar might play the part here :) Good for us European importers thou and I don't think the prices in Japan will increase..

#6 jphu

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Posted 12 December 2009 - 19:04

I don't understand why Jetpens wouldn't carry this anymore... poor sales?? I can't imagine that :huh:

I'm curious to know who is the source of info. This 'announcement' sounds like it's trying to drive up demand while predicting a low supply in the future.

Already ebay sellers have jacked up the prices so it's like $32-$34/bottle shipped. $35/bottle before shipping from ArtBrown or FPH sounds like this ink will be priced way beyond my price range.

Don't get me wrong, I have a few bottles and they're great, but there are alternatives.

#7 Tumbleweedtoo

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Posted 12 December 2009 - 19:08

If true, my guess too is the weak dollar. Though I love these inks, there are a lot of other good inks that I have not yet tried that will be cheaper at least for a little while longer. I hope that right now the current price of gold and silver is not at a bargain price in US dollars!

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#8 PaulK

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Posted 12 December 2009 - 19:16

I really like my kon-peki but I'm not ready to spend that much. As it was, the cost of shipping from Japan pushed the total cost around $30-plus USD. I can stop-by the local ink-pusher's store to pick up a nice Diamine or Waterman ink in the low $10 range.

Dang shame.

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#9 Chemyst

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Posted 12 December 2009 - 19:25

I can stop-by the local ink-pusher's store to pick up a nice Diamine or Waterman ink in the low $10 range.

Dang shame.


Concur.

While I like some of shades of autumn colours, I don't like it, say, three times as much as I like similar J. Herbin shades.
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#10 Okami

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Posted 12 December 2009 - 19:40

Sources are Pocket Blonde here: Pocket Blonde Blog who spoke to a Pilot rep at a pen show. And a penfriend in Hawaii who knows the Namiki rep.

I don't think that it is JetPens choice to no longer carry this ink. Not trying to start a run on the ink as I have no relationship with JetPens. I just think it will dry up the sales since JetPens was the only half way reasonable source.

Edited by Okami, 12 December 2009 - 19:42.

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#11 Neill78

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Posted 12 December 2009 - 19:41

The price increase reflects the strong yen/weak dollar. Iroshizuku is an import item and the importers have to cover the exchange somehow. If the market stabilizes I'm sure you'll see the ink price go back to normal too.

#12 Kamiyashi

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Posted 12 December 2009 - 19:58

I would strongly protest a change at that cost! $35 a BOTTLE? They have to be out of their ever-lovin' minds! I've bought all but five, even going so far as to import the limited editions, and even I would have to draw a line at that price!

I'm sorry, but the value of the yen versus the dollar does not excuse that sort of increase. A bottle in Japan costs 1,500 yen, which is roughly $16.80 in US dollars with today's current exchange rate ($1 = 89 yen). So how in the world can they justify charging almost 50% more than it's worth in Japan!? :wacko:

If the point is to make them widely available to the public, why would they think jacking up the price to such an absurd level would be a good idea?! :bonk:
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#13 Neill78

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Posted 12 December 2009 - 20:12

I'm sorry, but the value of the yen versus the dollar does not excuse that sort of increase. A bottle in Japan costs 1,500 yen, which is roughly $16.80 in US dollars with today's current exchange rate ($1 = 89 yen). So how in the world can they justify charging almost 50% more than it's worth in Japan!? :wacko:

If the point is to make them widely available to the public, why would they think jacking up the price to such an absurd level would be a good idea?! :bonk:


Because this is not a product that is distributed in the USA (as far as I know). The people who are selling it are importing it themselves in relatively small quantities, so they likely are not getting full distributor discounts, and they're paying shipping on top of that. I really doubt that Jetpens or other companies who are jacking up the prices think it's a good idea; they are just protecting their bottom line.
Until Iroshizuku becomes an officially distributed product with more price protection and a large domestic inventory these kind of price fluctuations are inevitable.
If you try to import this ink yourself you won't get a better price, once shipping is included.

#14 dizzypen

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Posted 12 December 2009 - 20:12

That is a very silly move. They are going to see the bottom drop out of their sales as soon as this increase takes effect.
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#15 professionaldilettante

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Posted 12 December 2009 - 20:21

Now.... Does anyone have direct word from Jetpens themselves to verify this information? We can't all go crazy buying up the ink that's left if Jetpens themselves won't be changing anything.
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#16 Kamiyashi

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Posted 12 December 2009 - 20:22

Because this is not a product that is distributed in the USA (as far as I know). The people who are selling it are importing it themselves in relatively small quantities, so they likely are not getting full distributor discounts, and they're paying shipping on top of that. I really doubt that Jetpens or other companies who are jacking up the prices think it's a good idea; they are just protecting their bottom line.
Until Iroshizuku becomes an officially distributed product with more price protection and a large domestic inventory these kind of price fluctuations are inevitable.
If you try to import this ink yourself you won't get a better price, once shipping is included.


I'm well aware that this is a Japan only product and I don't think that Jetpens is beyond the range of reason with their $22.50 with the cost of the ink and importing; that's only a $5.70 percent mark up over the cost of the bottle in Japan, which I don't think is at all unfair given they're actually importing them from Japan themselves. I am grateful to them making such a great product available at a reasonable cost and I have bought fourteen bottles from them, not counting all the people I've recommend them to that have purchased as well!

However, if making it available to places like FPH and Art Brown at $35 a bottle is the direction Pilot USA is going, that's where I start getting irritated at the almost 50% mark up when it's supposed to be coming from US distribution at that point, eliminating the import angle of things. If Pilot USA can't make it for less than the $22.50 of Jetpens, it's ridiculous for them to step in and do this.
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#17 Chemyst

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Posted 12 December 2009 - 20:54

Because this is not a product that is distributed in the USA (as far as I know). The people who are selling it are importing it themselves in relatively small quantities, so they likely are not getting full distributor discounts, and they're paying shipping on top of that. I really doubt that Jetpens or other companies who are jacking up the prices think it's a good idea; they are just protecting their bottom line.


If all the major pen shops are going to start selling it, as the OP stated, then it sounds like a distribution deal is in the works for 2010. In which case, the price should go down, not up.

If you try to import this ink yourself you won't get a better price, once shipping is included.



You will. You can import it yourself from Japan at ~$25/bottle shipped. The hassle factor is a little higher, so I buy from JetPens most days and pay a few dollars more, once their shipping is worked in. The hassle factor (for me at least) isn't worth $10 though and if these rumours come to fruition, I'll be back importing it myself as the need arises.


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#18 professionaldilettante

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Posted 12 December 2009 - 20:54

Let us see if there is Iroshizuku in Hong Kong when I go on vacation in a couple of weeks. If it's only 16 dollars a bottle, man.... I've struck gold. Considering everything under the sun labeled as "For Sale in Japan Only" flys across the pond and ends up in Hong Kong for the same price, I'd bet the same has happened to the inks.
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#19 Neill78

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Posted 12 December 2009 - 21:14

If all the major pen shops are going to start selling it, as the OP stated, then it sounds like a distribution deal is in the works for 2010. In which case, the price should go down, not up.


That's good news, although I guess it means certain places that are selling it now won't be selling it anymore.

If you try to import this ink yourself you won't get a better price, once shipping is included.


You will. You can import it yourself from Japan at ~$25/bottle shipped. The hassle factor is a little higher, so I buy from JetPens most days and pay a few dollars more, once their shipping is worked in. The hassle factor (for me at least) isn't worth $10 though and if these rumours come to fruition, I'll be back importing it myself as the need arises.


You may be right, I was probably thinking of Canadian dollars. I don't know what kind of import duties exist in the USA but that is also something I always factor into the price. If customs doesn't get me, then lucky me. Judging by the comments here I'm guessing that most people aren't willing to deal with the hassle of going direct, but aren't willing to pay for the added convenience of buying domestically. I guess we just wait and see what happens next year. Although here in Canada nothing is going to change much.

#20 Jimmy James

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Posted 12 December 2009 - 21:22

I find it a bit mysterious that JetPens will no longer carry the ink. How is the company going to stop that? If the price went down below what JetPens could import it for, that would make sense. I don't see how they would keep JetPens from selling it otherwise. Even if they don't have dealer status with Pilot USA (and I don't know if they do), they would surely be able to continue doing what they're doing now. If they have dealer status, I'm not sure why they wouldn't be able to carry something that is widely available.

ETA: If it is true, perhaps this will provide JetPens with a reason to import the vividly colored Sailor inks if they're not limited editions (I seem to have seen mixed commentary on that).

Edited by Jimmy James, 12 December 2009 - 21:23.







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