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Staples New "fine Writing Instruments" Section. Starts To Sell Good Fps Again.

parker sheaffer cross

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#61 PS104

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Posted 14 April 2014 - 05:14

I suspect Staples is just dipping its big toe into the waters of fountain pens. Kudos for them for even exploring this venue regardless of what some of the nay-sayers are posting on this thread. It may just be in a few stores but it's a start



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#62 KBeezie

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Posted 14 April 2014 - 05:20

I suspect Staples is just dipping its big toe into the waters of fountain pens. Kudos for them for even exploring this venue regardless of what some of the nay-sayers are posting on this thread. It may just be in a few stores but it's a start

though I suspect it's more to sell the 'luxury' novelty of it than it is for the actual benefits of it. 

 

But hey least a Staples employee by the register knew what I was talking bout when I asked about blotting paper "oh you mean like for fountain pens?", despite that neither the store or online carries it. 

 

Maybe tomorrow I'll hit up the local staples and get a picture of their current selection and prices. 


Edited by KBeezie, 14 April 2014 - 05:20.


#63 DaveBj

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Posted 14 April 2014 - 14:35

 

In my area there's not a single place I can go to actually 'touch and feel' a FP other than a staples locked up in those vertical displays. Have to rely on what's said online. 

Ditto.  The only shop where I was ever actually able to handle a FP was Fahrney's in downtown D.C., when we were living near there.  It's sort of out of the question now.  Internet is the only option, but oh my, what an option!


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#64 OcalaFlGuy

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Posted 14 April 2014 - 16:39

I stopped by one of our 2 Staples in town this morning.

 

A point to add to Fla Blue's pic.  While our display was essentially the same, they were changes made to it. ALL the pens also had a thick plastic circular sleeve covering almost all of the barrel. That made it almost impossible to even get the cap off the pen to even Look at the nib. You could handle the cap, just not move the pen enough to remove it.  I did get the cap off one of the Sonnets, it had the nib bent up about 45 deg.  :(

 

Also only the top row of our display was FP's all the rest were BPs or RBs. 

 

The only bottle ink I saw was Quink Black though there were Parker and Waterman carts.

 

The only Bagasse left was some college ruled wire bound notebooks.  :(  Now this also is the store in town that never carried that much Bagasse, I'll have to check the other store for that and see if they still have any.

 

BIG push by Cross though. An isle endcap with 2 $15 FP's one name the Dubai. Dubai??!!  :yikes: A Cross?!

Plus a big display of Cross reading glasses at the front of the store.

 

Bruce in Ocala, Fl



#65 KBeezie

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Posted 14 April 2014 - 23:32

In mine, there were a couple FPs (maybe 6 or so out of the whole store, some in blister packs not in the 'fine writing' category). 

 

But... If you look at the cross FPs in the top right of the display (the 89$ and 105$ one), I noticed that every single one of the fountain pens in the display had destroyed nibs, even though you can't remove the pens from the display. 

 

It was quite sad to look at really... 

 

PS: The only international standard cartridges they had were 8 packs Large of either Waterman Intense Black, or Waterman Serenity Blue. They did have FP refills for Sheaffer, Cross, Parker, and some others. 

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Edited by KBeezie, 14 April 2014 - 23:33.


#66 Florida Blue

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 01:42

In mine, there were a couple FPs (maybe 6 or so out of the whole store, some in blister packs not in the 'fine writing' category). 

 

That's about as many as I had seen in my local Staples. Only the top row or so was dedicated to fountain pens whereas the rest were rollerballs or ballpoint pens. I haven't seen the plastic tubes before though. It seems a little extreme and makes the display practically useless.

 

Staples does sell a cheapy Franklin Covey branded fountain pen, which is made by Cross. They also have Sheaffer calligraphy pens in 1.1, 1.5 and 1.9mm nibs. Both are in blister packs on hooks. They might also have Pilot Varsity disposable FPs. 

 

As mentioned before, the only bottled ink they seem to stock is one lone bottle of Quink black.


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#67 Sallent

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 02:23

Those plastic tubes make me so sad. I would definitely never buy a pen from Staples.


Ball-point pens are only good for filling out forms on a plane.

#68 OcalaFlGuy

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 02:28

Meh, I'm just happy enough for them to have more pens.

 

I can understand the anti-theft measures. Interesting though that they seem to have distinctly different levels of protection available for the display. (Pretty smart really) Maybe they have different layouts for the display based on the stores loss %'s.  (Which would make my store's astronomical.) It sounds to me that the nib bends are probably corporate level at Staples idea.  There's too many bent nibs for it to be just a store manager's idea. If bending the nib stomps them from having to replace the display model, then good on them.  Display models are supposed to be just a step up from a pic to entice you to buy the item or at least ask to look more closely at one. They aren't usually supposed to be totally functional. It seems to me the main objective of the display Isn't being massively hindered.

 

They do need to get some more ink in but I'm sure that's lack of sales volume related too. The more pens they sell, the more requests they will have for ink.

 

Bruce in Ocala, Fl



#69 inkstainedruth

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Posted 16 April 2014 - 02:30

I wholeheartedly agree. Staples may not be a dedicated, independently-owned pen shop with knowledgable staff, but it gives people who don't have access to B&M pen shops the opportunity to at least examine and touch a few different fountain pens. They have several now for sale, only Parker and Cross, but many people who were brand new to the hobby reported they bought their first fountain pen from Staples. Many FPNers were introduced to fountain pens when they purchased a Cross Aventura or Bailey for $20 on a whim at Staples and realized how wonderful using a fountain pen was.

True.  For me it was some random $6.95 Parker cartridge pen -- a Reflex, maybe? (the one with the rubberized section, which unfortunately turned out to disintegrate on one) in a blister pack.  When, after my second one had the same issue -- and Staples no longer carried those pens, I ended up at an old-time stationers in downtown Pittsburgh, where I got what is now my first Vector; temporarily losing that pen, and trying to find a replacement, eventually lead me to here....  Although for a couple of years there, it was cheaper to buy packs of cartridges at Office Max.  :rolleyes:

And my local Staples now carries Quink Black in bottles occasionally (I've seen as many as three at one time) although they tend to have it on the bottom shelf under the refill carousel, so you kinda have to look for it.  I've also seen Pilot Varsities and the BIC disposable FPs in blister packs at times.

Yes, it's annoying that you can't try (or even really handle) the pens.  OTOH, I seem to recall that they had some better pens online.  Plus, the aforementioned Office Max seems to only carry the Parker Urban sets (and the price has gone up on them since I got mine) and, well, mine is pretty awful (but the silver lining there is that  I *did* learn to use a converter and -- more importantly -- bottled ink).

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth


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#70 inkstainedruth

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Posted 16 April 2014 - 02:44

Hmmm.  I wonder what happens if someone new to fountain pens buys a pen from that display and then discovers that they neither have ink nor can buy any when the pen runs dry, assuming it came with a cartridge.  

That's what I ran into a couple of years ago at Office Depot -- they had a special display of pens for graduation gifts, and they had some Yafa pens that took what I now suspect were probably Int'l Standard mini-cartridges.  But Office Depot did *not* appear to carry refills :angry: -- how whacked is that?  So I had a guy open up a box for me to get information and there was a place online that you could order a pack of the mini-carts from.  And the shipping cost more than the cartridges did.  So the store lost a sale.  And an opportunity (even back when I was buying Parker cartridges, Office Depot never carried them at all).

Ya gotta give Staples credit for trying -- even if it's a hatchet job of a try....

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth


"It's very nice, but frankly, when I signed that list for a P-51, what I had in mind was a fountain pen."

#71 ISW_Kaputnik

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Posted 16 April 2014 - 02:49

I wonder if some of the non fountain pen users looking at these displays think that the bent nibs might be normal.

 

Staples did not get me started on fountain pens, but if I had wanted to buy one locally at the time I got interested, it would have been my only real choice, other than scrounging around for vintage ones at antiques stores.  I did buy a two-pack of Bic disposable fountain pens there once, just out of curiosity to compare them with the Pilot Varsity.  A friend of mine who noticed my fountain pen use bought one of these there (can't find an actual Staples link for it).  I would have steered him toward something else if he'd asked first, and did give him a better pen than that later.

 

At various times I've noticed different fountain pens and inks in the store.  If there is something in their online catalog that they don't carry locally, they will order it for you, and you can usually pick it up in the next day or two.  I could get Iroshizuku inks there that way if I wanted to.


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#72 WriteAway

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Posted 17 April 2014 - 02:43

Check out their expanded online offerings at staples.com. They are adding at least a few interesting pens not found in their stores. They are also reducing their retail presence, so I would guess that pen choices at the stores will be fewer, rather than more:

 

http://www.usatoday....osings/6114525/



#73 newvintage

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Posted 17 April 2014 - 17:51

I, for one, would definitely still buy my Iroshizuku from Goulet Pens--their service is awesome, and they represent the best of small/family businesses.
just my $0.02
:)

#74 Waski_the_Squirrel

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Posted 17 April 2014 - 23:21

Until the magic of the internet, stores like Staples were my only resource for fountain pens. I always bought my Parker Quink there, and, when I bought my Cross pen, it was purchased there. The first fountain pen, a Parker Vector, was purchased in a stationary store in a mall in Harrisburg, PA which no longer exists. But, I used to see them for sale up through college in small town drug stores.


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#75 Gloucesterman

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Posted 18 April 2014 - 00:04

Back in the early 2000's, I think, I was just getting into FPs in a more serious way. I happened to be at Staples and noticed that they were discontinuing selling Pelikan. They had the M200 in blue only and were offering the FP and the RB for $15.00 each.

 

Yup, I grabbed both of them and have enjoyed the ever since.

 

I like the idea of Staples selling fountain pens BUT, if they have any interest in making it popular and profitable venture, it can't be a "store display only" presence as they currently have. There has to be a personal aspect to it as well as an expanded line of accessories as commented on above. If they don't make a decision to look at the market and choose to see the potential (definitely appealing to a more upscale customer - imo), then, again - imo, they are wasting their time and resources. (If they dump FPs, they would probably have a GREAT clearance sale!)

 

It would be particularly interesting to learn what degree of "success" they are currently achieving with what they are doing now.

 

BTW, if you are a regular Staples customer and have their Rewards card, you sometimes receive some pretty good deals on stuff. I recently got a coupon for $25.00 off any purchase of $75.00 or more with free shipping. If I had wanted to, I could have purchased 3 bottles of Iroshizuku ink (some were about $25.00)  for the price of two. Instead of paying $25/30/35.00 per bottle, it would have cost me $18.00 (although they don't carry all the colors). On top of that, they do give a 5% rebate in the form of Rewards to spend online or at the stores.


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#76 Kataphract

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Posted 18 April 2014 - 00:17

More good than bad in my opinion. Haven't been in my local Staples recently. (also have OfficeMax and Office Depot close) Staples/Office Max almost exactly the same distance from home. (~2km), Office Depot about 3.5 miles (~5+ km)


I was at an Office Max just a week ago and they had in some Cross fountain pens, maybe a Parker (I seem to recall some Parker ink, too).





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