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Free Shipping & 20% Of Selected Merchandise @ Goulet

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44 replies to this topic

#21 cleosmama

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Posted 04 May 2014 - 18:12

Everybody who buys from an online retailer pays for shipping, whether it says shipping is free or not. It's passed on to the customer in some way or other.

 

I don't mind the 2ml vials from the ink drop. I might try the other companies (Todd's and the Andersons) for other samples now that I know you get more ink. But as far as being afraid to have a vial spill or drop into a lap, both Todd and the Goulets and the Andersons (I think) sell a vial rack that works pretty well to hold samples upright. For those who want every last drop, a syringe is the way to go. 



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#22 Jenks

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Posted 04 May 2014 - 19:19

Everybody who buys from an online retailer pays for shipping, whether it says shipping is free or not. It's passed on to the customer in some way or other.

 

 

 

I don't actually agree with that and if you do some comparison shopping you'll find out it isn't actually the case. For example, if you wanted to buy a new Lamy Safari and a bottle of Diamine ink, which I actually do if Ancient Copper ever comes back in stock. Just looking at Jetpens and Goulet you'll find out that a Safari costs $28.00 at Jetpens and Diamine costs $12.50 for a total of $40.50, which would qualify for free shipping. At Goulet's you will pay $29.60 for the Safari and $12.95 for the ink totaling $42.55 and would not qualify for free shipping so you would have to add $5.95 for a total of $48.50 for the same exact products. It is only $8 but if you have a tight budget every little bit counts. I don't see how Jetpens passed the free shipping cost to the customer in that example. I'm not saying it is true for every product but for many Goulet's is one of the more expensive retailers.

 

As for your 2nd point I do have the rack to hold my samples but you can't tilt the bottle to fill your pen with it in the rack and that was almost always necessary when only 2ml was in a vial. That was my whole point. With 3ml I can leave the vial in the rack for the first filling and see if I like the ink before I have to resort to breaking out a syringe to get every last drop. It was never about getting every last drop for me. Instead it was about being able to fill my pen at least once without resorting to tilting the vial and risking a spill.

 

I just think that newbies should know that there are cheaper options out there where you can get more for your money. It isn't as important to some people as it is to others but I'm not sure why it ruffles feathers so much to point out that Goulet's is not perfect in every possible way. :unsure:



#23 mm1624124

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Posted 04 May 2014 - 22:58

.I just think that newbies should know that there are cheaper options out there where you can get more for your money. It isn't as important to some people as it is to others but I'm not sure why it ruffles feathers so much to point out that Goulet's is not perfect in every possible way. :unsure:

 

I really don't think that was the point in the responses.  More that Goulet's competitors are not any more perfect either.  Comparing prices is a matter of semantics since it can depend on the type of items and number of item purchased.  For instance Goulet's can be cheaper than Jetpens depending...and with free shipping I took advantage of that. 

 

I am a very studious comparison shopper, but I'm also sensitive to how my items are shipped and that has GREAT value for me, which I consider a form of cheap insurance and assurance.  And I have paid what I consider exorbitant shipping charges for items that I cannot obtain just from any retailer.  YET those charges were compensated by extreme care in the way the items were packaged, shipped, and expedited--no complaints, just an awareness that any buyer should practice.

 

I've seen a number of "great deals" posted here that I didn't consider all that great for me.  This is the first that I've seen such an outlandishly, personal display over a "great deal" that didn't appeal to a few folks when some of us are very happy with it.  :)



#24 KBeezie

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Posted 05 May 2014 - 00:22

 

I really don't think that was the point in the responses.  More that Goulet's competitors are not any more perfect either.  Comparing prices is a matter of semantics since it can depend on the type of items and number of item purchased.  For instance Goulet's can be cheaper than Jetpens depending...and with free shipping I took advantage of that. 

 

I am a very studious comparison shopper, but I'm also sensitive to how my items are shipped and that has GREAT value for me, which I consider a form of cheap insurance and assurance.  And I have paid what I consider exorbitant shipping charges for items that I cannot obtain just from any retailer.  YET those charges were compensated by extreme care in the way the items were packaged, shipped, and expedited--no complaints, just an awareness that any buyer should practice.

 

I've seen a number of "great deals" posted here that I didn't consider all that great for me.  This is the first that I've seen such an outlandishly, personal display over a "great deal" that didn't appeal to a few folks when some of us are very happy with it.  :)

 

 

To give a comparison, there's a certain Swedish store that charges a rather modest $3 flat rate shipping anywhere in the world, can use that same flat rate even with four bottles of diamine ink, and the 30ml bottles themselves are rather reasonably priced as well about $4.11 or so each, and my first order took about a week which I thought was great, but they sent the wrong ink for one of them, and now it's been close to 4 weeks after promise of a replacement, and number of other people are still waiting on their orders or can't find anything in stock, and support has been rather lackluster. 

 

But it's *soooo* much cheaper than GouletPens... :P 



#25 Jenks

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Posted 05 May 2014 - 01:12

But it's *soooo* much cheaper than GouletPens... :P

Well it seems we'll just have to agree to disagree. I've placed about 4 orders with Goulet's outside of the Ink Drop and 2 of them went wrong. Yes, they did fix things when I contacted customer service but I had to wait for my replacements. (Even with ALL that packing I ended up with a cracked preppy that drained all the ink out overnight resulting in Dragon's Napalm everywhere.) That kind of thing can happen to anyone and I happen to think that customer service at Goulet's is top notch. I've actually never had to get anything replaced with any of the other vendors I mentioned except one and their customer service was also amazing. I believe there are lots of good stores/web sites out there that should be supported and I'll leave it at that.

 

I admitted upfront that I was miffed with what I see as miserly samples that make filling a pen more difficult. Clearly it is something that doesn't bother anyone but me so I will continue to purchase my 3ml samples elsewhere and be happy.

 

What I truly do not understand and find completely baffling is why over the top personal attacks occur when you criticize Goulet. I have not drank the the Goulet Kool-aid and don't see myself doing so anytime in the future so I guess it is something I will never understand. :unsure:



#26 syoung98

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Posted 05 May 2014 - 01:21

You mean its possible to order less than $75 from a pen store...huh?

#27 hot cocoa

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Posted 05 May 2014 - 04:09

 
I admitted upfront that I was miffed with what I see as miserly samples that make filling a pen more difficult. Clearly it is something that doesn't bother anyone but me so I will continue to purchase my 3ml samples elsewhere and be happy.
 
What I truly do not understand and find completely baffling is why over the top personal attacks occur when you criticize Goulet. I have not drank the the Goulet Kool-aid and don't see myself doing so anytime in the future so I guess it is something I will never understand. :unsure:


I'm very sympathetic toward the 2ml v 3ml distinction you're drawing, as a practical matter. IIRC, Goulets did offer 3ml when they first started out, and somewhere along the line, that changed. I'm always on the side of most bang for my buck, even if I have bucks aplenty to spare, so there should be no shame in speaking your peace about pointing out factual price per unit differences where they exist.

I like that the Goulets provide so much knowledge to the fountain pen community. My impression is that value-added service likely adds to the overhead costs of running their business, and is reflected in their middle-of-road pricing structure.

I do have to say that I haven't shopped at Goulet since they stopped offering FPN loyalty discounts, so it's nice to see promotions like they're running now as it puts them back on my businesses-to-buy-from radar.

#28 79spitfire

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Posted 05 May 2014 - 06:36

You mean its possible to order less than $75 from a pen store...huh?

It must be for someone...


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#29 MrsGouletPens

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Posted 05 May 2014 - 15:33

Hi all,

 

What a lively discussion! A lot of valid points being made, and I'm happy to help provide some insight.

 

First, I want to go over history, as I want to correct some misconceptions and provide some context. We started our business in late 2009, and began doing ink samples in early 2010. We only had J. Herbin, Pelikan, and Diamine at the time, as I recall. At the time, there was only one other competitor offering ink samples - Pear Tree Pens (who are sadly no longer in business today). They were offering 1ml samples in a glass vial, as a set of 4 for $5. They were popular, and we wanted to differentiate ourselves. We located plastic vials that you could fit a pen into, and because the plastic cost less than the glass vials, we were able to offer a little more ink for the same price. We standardized on 2ml because we felt it was an appropriate amount to get a good test of the ink before committing to a bottle, the price was going to be economical, and it was easy to standardize with the pipettes we were using at the time. Keep in mind it was just me and Brian at this time, and we were doing all the samples ourselves. We started Ink Drop in late 2010, and were doing all that ourselves too. While we had to raise our international price a year in, we've been absorbing increased domestic shipping costs over the last four years to keep the cost at $10. Ink Drop is a beast to do at the size we're at, but it's an incredible labor of love, too. I am so forever grateful for the team we have now to help us out. There's no way Brian and I could have sustained it on our own.

 

We were also one of the first to do color-accurate swabs of all the inks we carried. After offering all the ink samples, we realized we needed a way to display the colors. We started by uploading swabs onto the product pages for the samples and bottles, but as the color range grew it was difficult to compare them. So we launched the Swab Shop in mid-2010 as well, which was an incredible labor of love (and is still a beast to keep updated), as a value-add tool to help folks find their ideal color in addition to the samples. There is no cost to use this tool, so we consider it built into our overhead as we calculate fair prices.

 

They might correct me if my dates are wrong, but I believe iSellPens and the Andersons started offering their ink samples in the last year, possibly two years. iSellPens came first, offering 3ml samples for the same price as our 2ml samples. The Andersons followed suit. I know their companies are much smaller than ours, and I'm glad that they've been able to make the economics work to offer the prices they do. I can't say what will happen as they grow, if they want to, but that's up to them to make the math work.

 

Here's the bottom line. If you are looking for the cheapest price, we won't always be it. And that's okay. It's a losing battle to always be the cheapest, because someone else can always do it for less. We have a lot of overhead to support, as we've grown in size, and we offer a ton of value-add services that need to be considered in the price of our products. Our swabs, photography, and online tools (Swab Shop, Nib Nook, Pen Plaza) are some of those things, then add the customer service aspects, the quality of our packing, the educational videos and blog, our engagement on social media with our customers.... these are things that are no additional fee, just part of the overall cost that we have to consider.

 

I just wanted an opportunity to provide some context and explain more of our philosophy on pricing. :)


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#30 Jenks

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Posted 05 May 2014 - 15:35

I'm very sympathetic toward the 2ml v 3ml distinction you're drawing, as a practical matter. IIRC, Goulets did offer 3ml when they first started out, and somewhere along the line, that changed. I'm always on the side of most bang for my buck, even if I have bucks aplenty to spare, so there should be no shame in speaking your peace about pointing out factual price per unit differences where they exist.

I like that the Goulets provide so much knowledge to the fountain pen community. My impression is that value-added service likely adds to the overhead costs of running their business, and is reflected in their middle-of-road pricing structure.

I do have to say that I haven't shopped at Goulet since they stopped offering FPN loyalty discounts, so it's nice to see promotions like they're running now as it puts them back on my businesses-to-buy-from radar.

 

I agree that their web site is miles ahead of anything out there and provides a service free to all. I use it all the time. They have to pay for it and the video with their overhead so that does impact their pricing. Thanks for at least one understanding person. I was feeling a little lonely. :)

 

This will be my last post in this thread and on Goulet's ever. You can only tilt at windmills for so long. I have to admit I found the response to my post upsetting and took the night to sleep on it. I was not upset by the illogical posts of the individual that felt the need to use 2 of their first 5 posts on FPN to launch juvenile personal attacks on me. That could be easily dismissed and ignored considering the source. What I found upsetting was that apparently what I did in criticizing a business was considered far worse than the conduct of that person. I've always found this place to be a nice place and I felt that was totally out of bounds but apparently it was not if you dare criticize Goulet's.

 

mm1624124

You describe my statement as follows: "This is the first that I've seen such an outlandishly, personal display over a "great deal" that didn't appeal to a few folks when some of us are very happy with it." Really? Outlandish? I actually though I was being polite but apparently I missed that boat.

I do have to question that you had no problems however with someone saying that I was a, " ranting, loud mouth" and "ridiculous" not to mention that I was trying to "weasle" additional stuff from the poor little business. Don't get me wrong. I don't expect anyone to defend me or what I say but was I really the one that was outlandish in this exchange? Really?

 

Goulet's is a business they are not our friends they are a business. I addressed my comments to a business not to individuals. I will give one last example before I am silent forever (yes I know you will all be happy to hear that) on this subject. I had cancelled my Ink drop subscription and wanted to get in some final shopping using the discounts. I had my cart loaded up with about $150 of stuff and went to check out. It was about 5PM on the 31st. Guess what? Goulet's not wanting anyone to use that discount one minute longer than they should had already taken away my access. Little problem being that I lived on the West Coast. Yep, they stop the discounts at 5pm when they leave the office in Virginia. That would be 2PM in California and I have no clue what time in Hawaii. It is that attitude that bothers me. Compare that attitude with La Couronne du Comte that keeps extending the 15% discount for FPN so everyone gets a chance.

 

I know that I haven't changed any ones opinions but this whole thing has had an impact on me. My Quixotic quest is over. I hope to leave the battle field more gracefully than I entered. It was never my intention to be rude to any single individual. If I was I sincerely apologize. Adios.


Edited by Jenks, 05 May 2014 - 15:49.


#31 yogalarva

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Posted 05 May 2014 - 15:44

I don't want to get involved in the debate that has started here (too little time to catch up, and then form an opinion, then compose an intelligent response), but I thoroughly enjoyed the little extra incentive to shop with the Goulets (which I do anyway).  I was able to get 20% off a VP nib and some ink and then because it came out to be roughly $68 dollars after that, the difference between filling my cart the rest of the way to $75 vs paying for shipping was the same, so I ordered some little things to do a giveaway on my blog.  I probably wouldn't have spent $75 just to get free shipping, but it is nice to be able to get some treats to share the FP love.  :-)


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#32 MrsGouletPens

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Posted 05 May 2014 - 17:02

Goulet's is a business they are not our friends they are a business. I addressed my comments to a business not to individuals. I will give one last example before I am silent forever (yes I know you will all be happy to hear that) on this subject. I had cancelled my Ink drop subscription and wanted to get in some final shopping using the discounts. I had my cart loaded up with about $150 of stuff and went to check out. It was about 5PM on the 31st. Guess what? Goulet's not wanting anyone to use that discount one minute longer than they should had already taken away my access. Little problem being that I lived on the West Coast. Yep, they stop the discounts at 5pm when they leave the office in Virginia. That would be 2PM in California and I have no clue what time in Hawaii. It is that attitude that bothers me. Compare that attitude with La Couronne du Comte that keeps extending the 15% discount for FPN so everyone gets a chance.

 

I'm very sorry that you perceived this as a poor attitude on our part. The truth is that the Ink Drop enrollment/cancellation is an entirely manual process. We do all of the monthly billing on the last business day of the month, because it takes about 2 hours to cancel expiring members and then bill the next month's members, and 4-6 hours to prepare the shipping labels. If we have any hope of having it ship on the first day of the month, we have to start the day before with all of these tasks. Unfortunately it does mean that expiring memberships lose their member discounts a few hours before the end of the day. However, we are entirely happy to honor these discounts if the order is placed anytime that day - just put a note in the order comments (or send us an email) and we'd be happy to adjust the prices back to member discount levels. The good news is, we're working on a new automated subscription module (tentatively scheduled to roll out this fall) which should help with some of the manual logistical things we have to do to keep Ink Drop running, and perhaps allow us to extend the member discounting through midnight (at least, midnight our time).

 

Even though we are a business, we are still made up of real people, so I take all of this feedback to heart. Thank you for sharing your opinion, as I'm sure many other people could perceive things the same way too and don't always speak up. I like hearing both the praise and the complaints, because it challenges us to make sure we're doing our very best. So I really do appreciate the feedback, even if it's hard to hear.


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#33 _Stormin_

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Posted 06 May 2014 - 16:32

Truthfully, I find the 2mL sample size more than adequate. Having just refilled a pen for a THIRD time time from one of the vials in this months Ink Drop, it's more than adequate as a SAMPLE to gain knowledge of an ink. It's not the largest sample size on the market, but it is adequate as a SAMPLE.

 

The free shipping is a nice touch for the month, and I have already take advantage of it once.



#34 FayeV

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Posted 06 May 2014 - 21:29

Y'all are a bunch of enablers ... just saying. :P

 

I placed my order today for a bunch of misc things, including a couple bottles of inks and 6 samples. I'm really looking forward to receiving the Rohrer & Klingner glass dip pen, something I discovered in that other thread (the one about what you do with your samples) where several people mentioned using glass pens to sample inks. I saw FiberDrunk's review on glass pen comparisons and also her link to the Goulet video about using glass pens. OMG look how easy it is to clean! That pretty much sold me. :D

 

I just hope my package arrives early enough on a weekday so other peeps in my house don't catch wind of all my recent FP related purchases. ;)  I have 7 bottles of ink arriving tomorrow. A pen and bottle of ink arriving next Mon-Wed. I'm hoping my Goulet order does NOT arrive on Saturday. Any idea how long it takes for an order to California?


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#35 syoung98

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Posted 06 May 2014 - 22:14

MrsGouletPens, thanks for the truly helpful response. And that is in no way meant to be a passive-aggressive criticism of Jenks. I think he raises some fair points. However, your response demonstrates why I am a customer, and why I will continue to be. Goulet is a business, and if you don't make a profit, you won't continue to exist. Still, I appreciate that you aren't merely concerned about profit-margins. I truly believe that you offer well-rounded, quality service to your customers.

 

Personally, I have a fixed amount of money that I'm able to spend on pen-related pursuits. Cost is, therefore, an important consideration for me. Even if in some cases I have to pay a little more than I might elsewhere for a particular order, I'm willing to do so at Goulet's because I recognize the value of the services you provide. I simply haven't found similar resources elsewhere (notwithstanding the great info I find here at FPN). I have benefitted from all of the unique tools you mentioned, as well as Brian's videos. I know I will continue to consult them. I'm guessing that a lot of us who are part of this forum do--they come up regularly in posts, if I'm not mistaken. Certainly you choose to put those resources out for anyone to use, whether they buy from you or not. But at the end of the day, I realize that while you don't charge us to use them, they certainly aren't free. 

 

Finally, I want to say that in my opinion you have been innovators for online pen-related retail, and I really appreciate that. I'm glad you are here, and I hope to continue to contribute in my small way to making that a long-term prospect.

 

edit: to change "OP" to Jenks, which is who I meant.


Edited by syoung98, 06 May 2014 - 22:15.


#36 Komitadjie

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Posted 06 May 2014 - 22:53

That's the same reason I patronize Goulet regularly, Syoung98.  The ability to compare swabs, the giant selection, and the incomparable packaging are worth the extra buck or so on an order.  I personally want that place to BE profitable, because I want 'em to stay in business and keep cleaning out my wallet for awesome inks.  :lol:

 

Although to be honest, that free shipping offer *is* a bit (bleep) for me, considering that I typically can spare maybe $25 for a couple bottles of ink or something like that.  Oh well, their store, not mine,  and I'll certainly keep going back.  Just won't be using THIS offer.   :)


Edited by Komitadjie, 06 May 2014 - 22:54.


#37 inkstainedruth

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Posted 07 May 2014 - 01:12

Like syoung98, I have a limited budget for this hobby.  So I shop with whoever gives me the best deal at any given time.  Sometimes it's at the Goulets, sometimes it's at isellpens, sometimes it's at Anderson Pens or Zeller Writing.  Sometime it might be someone else entirely.  At the moment, while the 20% off with free shipping over $75 is tempting, we just had to shell out over $425 (!) to get the lawn tractor fixed.

As for the rant (and yes, that's what it was, I don't care what the motivation was), the guy's entitled to his opinion.  But likewise, we are entitled to our opinion of *it*.  Which led to this thread being into its second page.  Seriously?  When most "hey we have a sale on" threads are what, 3-4 posts at most?  

Dunno about the rest of yinz, but I have better things to do with the rest of my day, which has been largely fairly crappy to begin with; that check I wrote (Noodler's Konrad with Diamine Presidential Blue -- and no, I can't tell you which of the above mentioned vendors was the source for either pen or ink at this point) to fix the lawnmower was just pretty much the last straw....

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#38 Komitadjie

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Posted 07 May 2014 - 03:07

Hey, if 'ya absolutely gotta' write a check for something like that, at least you wrote it in style.   :D



#39 MrsGouletPens

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Posted 07 May 2014 - 03:15

Y'all are a bunch of enablers ... just saying. :P

 

I placed my order today for a bunch of misc things, including a couple bottles of inks and 6 samples. I'm really looking forward to receiving the Rohrer & Klingner glass dip pen, something I discovered in that other thread (the one about what you do with your samples) where several people mentioned using glass pens to sample inks. I saw FiberDrunk's review on glass pen comparisons and also her link to the Goulet video about using glass pens. OMG look how easy it is to clean! That pretty much sold me. :D

 

I just hope my package arrives early enough on a weekday so other peeps in my house don't catch wind of all my recent FP related purchases. ;)  I have 7 bottles of ink arriving tomorrow. A pen and bottle of ink arriving next Mon-Wed. I'm hoping my Goulet order does NOT arrive on Saturday. Any idea how long it takes for an order to California?

I know, right? Glass pens are super easy to clean - just rinse and dry with a paper towel... simply amazing. It can definitely put down a lot of ink, at least I usually do, but the easy-to-clean factor can't be beat for a quick writing need (like doing up a swab!).

 

CA orders usually take about 2-3 business days to arrive from us.

 

MrsGouletPens, thanks for the truly helpful response. And that is in no way meant to be a passive-aggressive criticism of Jenks. I think he raises some fair points. However, your response demonstrates why I am a customer, and why I will continue to be. Goulet is a business, and if you don't make a profit, you won't continue to exist. Still, I appreciate that you aren't merely concerned about profit-margins. I truly believe that you offer well-rounded, quality service to your customers.

 

Personally, I have a fixed amount of money that I'm able to spend on pen-related pursuits. Cost is, therefore, an important consideration for me. Even if in some cases I have to pay a little more than I might elsewhere for a particular order, I'm willing to do so at Goulet's because I recognize the value of the services you provide. I simply haven't found similar resources elsewhere (notwithstanding the great info I find here at FPN). I have benefitted from all of the unique tools you mentioned, as well as Brian's videos. I know I will continue to consult them. I'm guessing that a lot of us who are part of this forum do--they come up regularly in posts, if I'm not mistaken. Certainly you choose to put those resources out for anyone to use, whether they buy from you or not. But at the end of the day, I realize that while you don't charge us to use them, they certainly aren't free. 

 

Finally, I want to say that in my opinion you have been innovators for online pen-related retail, and I really appreciate that. I'm glad you are here, and I hope to continue to contribute in my small way to making that a long-term prospect.

 

edit: to change "OP" to Jenks, which is who I meant.

Aww, thank you so much! It means a lot to me, truly, to hear that the things that we strive to do are recognized and appreciated from a customer's perspective, especially what you said about what we've been doing for the FP industry. I truly don't mind having competitors because 1) they're helping spread fountain pen love too, 2) they challenge us to keep innovating and improving, and 3) I think there's room for all of us to differentiate and give you guys choices depending on your needs. I always hope that our true intentions come across, as we really do mean well and want to run a fair and honest business. We're not in it for the money - that's never been the goal, merely a necessary tool to help us keep growing and keep on doing what we love. We hope to make just enough profit to stick around for years and years!


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#40 79spitfire

79spitfire

    No the car is NOT painted with Bay State Blue..

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Posted 07 May 2014 - 03:23

Jenks, nice avatar.

 

Businesses are made up of people as well. I would strongly suggest you not visit a barber shop with your attitude, you would likely get a 'free' haircut you wouldn't like. Often people take offence at being treated less than human.


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