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Goulet Pens Dropped As Sailor Ink Provider

sailor ink alternatives to sailor ink

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57 replies to this topic

#1 Gloucesterman

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Posted 18 July 2013 - 00:37

First, No Affiliation to Goulet Pens!

 

I am on their mailing list for blog and other information. Today I received the following information via their blog posting:

Goulet Pens being dropped by Sailor

http://www.inknouvea...e760b-303424241 (sorry for the long link, I don't know how to make it smaller)

 

To summarize, Sailor ink will no longer be sold through Goulet Pens, according to Itoya, Sailor's American distributor. Brian was very professional in the manner he used to present and explain the situation (kudos to Brian).

 

Out of curiosity I did a bit of comparison shopping on another prominent pen, paper, ink etc. site. The following is what I found

 

Goulet Pens Sailor ink prices:

Regular (non pigmented ink)  $12.50/50ml bottle

Sailor pigmented ink $24.00/ 50ml bottle

 

Site B (who shall not be named, okay, it's Voldemort's ink inc. - not really) ink prices:

Regular (non pigmented ink)  $17.00 /50ml bottle

Sailor pigmented ink $33.00/50ml bottle

**** FYI - this site does carry some Sailor pens, but not very many and not the more expensive ones, based on my quick search of their site)

 

Maybe I don't run a hugely success company, BUT, if I had a choice between paying $12.50 rather than $17.00 or $24.00 rather than $33.00 for the same exact product, even though I might get free shipping from the "not Goulet" place, I know where I would have purchased my Sailor ink.

 

Obviously there maybe other consideration in the distributor agreement that are not mentioned BUT, it seems that a much large seller would definitely reap significant financial benefits with the elimination of an alternative supply source offering a 30% (approximate) discounted price.

 

Yes, manufacturers can and do select vendors to sell their products (do the initials MB  ring any bells), however, IMHO, there may be some major restriction of trade issues here beneath the surface. If that is the case, and we may never be able to find out the full reason, then we should at least be aware of it and respond in our own individual and appropriate way.

 

I encourage others to check out the alternative sources for Sailor inks (not necessarily the full line of Sailor pens) and come to your own conclusions.

Well, that's my .02 cents worth.

 


“Don't put off till tomorrow what you can do today, because if you do it today and like it, you can do again tomorrow!”


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#2 Waski_the_Squirrel

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Posted 18 July 2013 - 02:03

I actually was ready to order 3 bottles of Sailor ink and an orange Sailor Regulus when I got this today.

 

Needless to say, Goulet pens will get an order for 3 different inks, and I will order a different pen (or more inks) from JetPens. 

 

I live in a small, kind of remote town, and I don't like businesses that won't work with the small retail outlets. Several businesses in my town struggle because of this. Sailor is now off my list.


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#3 MrsGouletPens

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Posted 18 July 2013 - 03:16

Thank you for sharing the post, and for your kind words of support! We still don't quite understand the reasoning, but sadly they weren't interested in making an exception for us to continue to represent their brand.

 

With regards to "Site B", I don't think that company goes through the US distributor; rather, they appear to be importing directly from Japan (bypassing the US distributor) as they have a wide range of Sailor pens that are not available in the US otherwise. I believe this is true of many other brands as well, given some differences in availability and prices of products. If we were better connected worldwide, maybe we could have the same luxuries of getting products otherwise not available to us here. But I think this also explains the higher prices they charge on some of these things (including Sailor inks)... they don't get the bulk-buying/negotiation advantage that going through a distributor does, so they are more subject to currency/market fluctuations and higher import/shipping fees. But I'm just speculating, I don't know any of that as fact... just putting 2 + 2 together from what I've observed.

 

I will be curious to see, in the coming weeks, if any other retailers get dropped as well. It really is a shame, as we do like their inks. But there are many alternatives, so we'll press on and we'll be okay. :) Thank you all for your continued support!


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#4 Brian C

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Posted 18 July 2013 - 03:41

Neh...I always like Waterman inks better anyways.



#5 Penne Stilografiche

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Posted 18 July 2013 - 03:47

All I can say is this is a bad move for Sailor, there sale will probably decrease. It doesn't matter much to me anyway, Goulet's will still be the only place I buy my inks at, even if one brand will no longer be sold there (a brand of which I never purchased, I only buy Diamine and Noodlers now, 2 very great ink brands...)


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#6 Gloucesterman

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Posted 18 July 2013 - 04:02

Brian & Rachel, you are entirely welcome.

 

One additional perspective, at least in my mind is, I would think if I were dealing directly with the manufacturer and given the size of "B", as I would understand that relationship, I would expect to actually have a lower cost because I don't have to include a "distributor's" additional mark up for receipt, repackaging, reshipping and any possible adjustments or returns.

 

Also, several of the posts on your site mentioned difficulties with the Sailor pens that required shipping back to Japan and significant cost to the consumer. This leads me to view the distributor, Itoya in this case, as primarily a one way channel. They don't seem to have the repair, replacement, return overhead of a dealer or some other distributors like Chartpak - Pelikan. Note: I had a question recently about an old Pelikan and found the contact info, including the phone number for Chartpak. I called them and was put through to the repair department - (where they look at and, in some cases, actually do the repairs there), where I spoke to a very nice and knowledgeable woman who answered my questions completely.

 

Continued success and I just got the "EntreLeader" book from my local library. Thank you both for that as well.

 

Just one more thing, I heard a new word may be added to the American Standard Dictionary next year... the word is "Gouleting" and it refers to extreme, high quality, ultra-secure packaging! Okay, I was just kidding about that but it should be there given your reputation!


“Don't put off till tomorrow what you can do today, because if you do it today and like it, you can do again tomorrow!”


#7 Penne Stilografiche

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Posted 18 July 2013 - 04:06

Brian & Rachel, you are entirely welcome.

 

One additional perspective, at least in my mind is, I would think if I were dealing directly with the manufacturer and given the size of "B", as I would understand that relationship, I would expect to actually have a lower cost because I don't have to include a "distributor's" additional mark up for receipt, repackaging, reshipping and any possible adjustments or returns.

 

Also, several of the posts on your site mentioned difficulties with the Sailor pens that required shipping back to Japan and significant cost to the consumer. This leads me to view the distributor, Itoya in this case, as primarily a one way channel. They don't seem to have the repair, replacement, return overhead of a dealer or some other distributors like Chartpak - Pelikan. Note: I had a question recently about an old Pelikan and found the contact info, including the phone number for Chartpak. I called them and was put through to the repair department - (where they look at and, in some cases, actually do the repairs there), where I spoke to a very nice and knowledgeable woman who answered my questions completely.

 

Continued success and I just got the "EntreLeader" book from my local library. Thank you both for that as well.

 

Just one more thing, I heard a new word may be added to the American Standard Dictionary next year... the word is "Gouleting" and it refers to extreme, high quality, ultra-secure packaging! Okay, I was just kidding about that but it should be there given your reputation!

:thumbup:  :thumbup:  :thumbup:


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#8 The Good Captain

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Posted 18 July 2013 - 07:37

Thank you for sharing the post, and for your kind words of support! We still don't quite understand the reasoning, but sadly they weren't interested in making an exception for us to continue to represent their brand.

 

With regards to "Site B", I don't think that company goes through the US distributor; rather, they appear to be importing directly from Japan (bypassing the US distributor) as they have a wide range of Sailor pens that are not available in the US otherwise. I believe this is true of many other brands as well, given some differences in availability and prices of products. If we were better connected worldwide, maybe we could have the same luxuries of getting products otherwise not available to us here. But I think this also explains the higher prices they charge on some of these things (including Sailor inks)... they don't get the bulk-buying/negotiation advantage that going through a distributor does, so they are more subject to currency/market fluctuations and higher import/shipping fees. But I'm just speculating, I don't know any of that as fact... just putting 2 + 2 together from what I've observed.

 

I will be curious to see, in the coming weeks, if any other retailers get dropped as well. It really is a shame, as we do like their inks. But there are many alternatives, so we'll press on and we'll be okay. :) Thank you all for your continued support!

You'll be fine - there's plenty more fish in the sea, as they say. Or in this case; on it.


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#9 cbaytan

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Posted 18 July 2013 - 10:41

I was enjoying Sailor's inks through Goulet's unmatched  friendly service and packaging >4000 miles away from Turkey. Sailor's decisions is on it's own, But if Sailor had such a policy they should've apply the policy from the very  beginning to the Goulet's and such, One thing is for sure, dumping already existing distribution channels and stores all of a sudden is not an appropriate behaviour.towards stores and their existing customer population.

 

So my decision is I won't be using Sailor inks nor any Sailor FP supply  until inks get back into Goulet's stocks again,.for sure.


One boring blue, one boring black 1mm thickness at most.... 

Then there are Fountain Pens with gorgeous permanent inks..


#10 inotrym

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Posted 18 July 2013 - 13:00

Sailor made a bad decision. That will definately cost them money.

I mean if you don't make your products easily available, then obviously the chances or selling are decreased.

So, hopefully they will reconsider.

 

 

That said, I personally have no bad feelings for Sailor as a company. They still make great products and they still are on my "to buy" list if I ever find their inks and pens in stock.

 

 

Are they just dropping "small" vendors (*) or they are they about to abandon the whole US market?

 

 

(*) I actually don't consider the Goulets to be a small company. I mean, the guys do business woldwide and have a great reputation! They may not be huge, but IMO they 're definately not small.



#11 Daisy25

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Posted 18 July 2013 - 14:25

Just one more thing, I heard a new word may be added to the American Standard Dictionary next year... the word is "Gouleting" and it refers to extreme, high quality, ultra-secure packaging! Okay, I was just kidding about that but it should be there given your reputation!

:lol: Awesome comment.  

 

And so true!  I had a shipment come from Goulet where it was clear the postal service had not treated my package with tender loving care.  There was a tear in the box and a significant sized dent.  Everything inside?  All nice and snug and safe! 


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#12 AlejoPlay

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Posted 18 July 2013 - 16:16

A total shame.  Sailor is shooting themselves in the foot, frankly.  I think all Fountain Pen companies should be grateful their products are being sold at all . . . especially a company like Sailor that is unknown to most non-FP afficionados.  Add to that screwing over a company as beloved as the Goulets' . . . and it's just a very very bad move on their part.  I guess when my Sailor BB is over I may just get some Noodler's 54th or Skrip.



#13 inkstainedruth

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 04:04

When I first got into FPs, I believed in supporting local B&M businesses.  Unfortunately, I am having to sort of give up on the closest thing Pittsburgh has to a "real" pen shop -- I ordered a couple of Private Reserve inks in NOVEMBER and they're still not in (when I checked a few months ago the inks were *still* back-ordered...).  So it's not just Sailor trying to look at the "where can we get the most bang for our buck".  I'm also wondering what other small retailers will be dropped because the product turnover isn't high enough; I spent an hour or two last night looking to see what e-sellers (still) carried it, and (if they did) which colors.  I could see the Goulets dropping the line if it didn't sell well, but to have the rug yanked out from underneath them, as it were, just seems to be really rude.  (No affiliation other than as a happy customer, BTW).

Incidentally, when I was buying inks in said B&M last year, a friend asked me to see whether they stocked -- or could order -- Sailor inks, and I was told that the store didn't get much call for the brand locally.  And the last time I attempted to navigate the simply horrible Parker website, that store no longer seemed to be listed as a authorized Parker dealer.

I would think, given that we are a niche market (let's face it, we are), that companies would be trying to make ink available in as many places as possible -- *not* try to build up demand by limiting availability.  Unless the shipping costs from Japan have gotten to be truly horrendous -- but it sounds as if the ink was all sent to Itoya, who then passed it on to the retailers.  Or else they're having manufacturing issues and so the supply is limited all along the "foodchain"....

Anyone outside the US know if this has happened to their local Sailor retailer?

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth


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#14 Bill Wood

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 18:24

Itoya yanked their inks because Goulet doesn't carry their full line - that would include pens.  Goulet decided not to sell Sailor pens - but still carried their inks.  Completely a business decision. 

 

I think AP hit the nail on the head

"I think all Fountain Pen companies should be grateful their products are being sold at all"

 

A very true statement.  Let's face it - it's not like the entire nation is turning to Fountain Pens for a Grand revival.  Face the facts. Overall we're a small group and I can't imagine making a decision like this one.   Business must be very good - or - very bad in the Itoya ranks.  They have totally under estimated the number of customers Goulet has.  I very much doubt that they'll recoup the loss from other vendors. Not a chance.


Edited by Bill Wood, 19 July 2013 - 18:28.


#15 tguk911

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 19:50

http://www.ipetition...-gouletpenscom/



#16 cbaytan

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 20:18

Signed.

 


One boring blue, one boring black 1mm thickness at most.... 

Then there are Fountain Pens with gorgeous permanent inks..


#17 Penne Stilografiche

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 20:20

I obviously can't speak for the Goulet's, but I do think they wouldn't want to continue selling their products after what they have done. They have a selection of 100's of different inks, Sailor was probably not flying off Goulet's shelves.


Edited by collectiblepens.com, 19 July 2013 - 20:24.

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#18 J Jordan

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 20:36

All I can say is this is a bad move for Sailor, there sale will probably decrease. It doesn't matter much to me anyway, Goulet's will still be the only place I buy my inks at, even if one brand will no longer be sold there (a brand of which I never purchased, I only buy Diamine and Noodlers now, 2 very great ink brands...)

 

Well sure it well, but some manufacturers also feel pride in being exclusive, or at least their defintion of exclusive. They don't mind taking the cut, if it portrays a certain image. That you can only get their product from certain people.


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#19 Bill Wood

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Posted 20 July 2013 - 21:55

For those who enjoy the Nano blue black, Tsuki Yo is a very close match.  So is Diamine Moonlight diluted just a bit!



#20 de_pen_dent

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Posted 21 July 2013 - 05:32

Sometimes, if your sales are low, it may be a better decision to consolidate the dealer network - that way, atleast each dealer's sales go up and so they are more likely to keep the line.

 

Eg, 1000 bottles over 100 dealers = 10 bottles/dealer

900 bottles over 50 dealers =  18 bottles/dealer

(Numbers are obviously made-up and this is over-simplified, because in reality, they are likely hoping to get a greater commitment from the remaining dealers for Sailor products to offset the reduced dealer network, but you get the point)

 

It was a business decision by Itoya - saying that they stuck it to the Goulets or implying that this was some kind of vengeful act is a little silly, IMO.

 

I like buying from the Goulets - great guys to deal with, as are plenty of others.   But this is not going to make me boycott Sailor or anything like that.   


Edited by de_pen_dent, 21 July 2013 - 05:32.

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