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Thinking Of Buying A Desiderata Pen Instead Of A Waterman 52

flex vintage dip nib desiderata waterman 52

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#41 PrestoTenebroso

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Posted 10 January 2015 - 20:36

BookCat,
 
Opportunity cost is the idea of using "If I buy X, I can't buy A-W and Z, is it worth it?" It's a rational, logical concept that I invoke when it comes to making decisions, but it doesn't, in itself, tell you what you should do, or allow for the fact that you're a human with both wants AND needs. 
 
It's an economics term, and in business, I can think about it all the time because business is objective, not necessarily personal, and the goals are usually pretty straightforward. (You'd outline them in your business plan and they'd be integral to how you handle your business model.) 
 
It's just that when you use it, you have to compare like with like; Luxury items with other luxury items, necessities with other necessities. If the alphabet is everything you can buy, and you start comparing A to B-Z all the time, you'll never be able to justify anything that isn't absolutely essential. And if you start picking and choosing when and how you use opportunity cost to make decisions, you've essentially forsaken it a logical construct.
 
(So, I guess I'm saying that a pen vs. ensuring your cats don't starve isn't a fair comparison.)


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#42 AZBennett

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Posted 10 January 2015 - 20:41

I will give you two insights into why US sellers charge what they do to post items internationally.

1. They are beholden to Pitney Bowes limited shipping options when selling via Ebay or Paypal.

2. We Americans are often too lazy to figure out how to work through the USPS website to lower the shipping fees.

I have figured it out through trial and error, but the biggest pain in the butt is that everything needs to be weighed in ounces. And after a certain weight limit+a specific package size, the prices double and/or triple. I have figured a few ways around this.

1. I don't weight anything, I estimate the weight into the cheapest shipping method (large envelope for a pen). I do all this from the internet.

2. I pay via the ship from home option. That way the payment is made before I hit the post office.

3. This step is the kicker as any international mail needs to be hand delivered to a postal clerk so they can double check customs info. If you don't mind showing up during the BUSIEST times at the post office you can frequently bypass this when one of the postal managers comes out to take prepaid post and you inform them its prepaid INTL with no liquids or chemicals. The other way is to make it to the clerk and hope he/she doesn't reweigh it because they don't want to bother (again laziness). In either case I have only had to adjust payment once when my item was reweighed and 2 ounces heavier than my allotted payment would cover.

BookCat, I feel your pain. I wish you the best in your search for full flex. I have never used a Desiderata pen but the writing samples look awesome. If they are any flexier than the Watermans 52 1/2v or Wahl ringtop flexible nib that I havr written with then they are awesome and worth pursuing for that level and ease of flex.

Best of luck
Paul

#43 TeaHive

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Posted 10 January 2015 - 20:54

For getting your money back, PayPal ensures you get what your order, or your money back. But you have to open a dispute by the 45th day after your payment. This is in the event that your pen doesn't arrive or you get a different one from what you ordered. This is how I got my money back. Because after a certain point, I gave up on hoping for replies to the many emails I sent to Ackerman's customer service rep.

 

I didn't look too closely at the time, but I'm sure you can go ahead and open a dispute via PayPal now, and there's an option for order cancellation being the reason. (Hope I'm not imagining that!) Either way, just go ahead into your PayPal account and take a look at the options available for that transaction as it stands.

 

If that option isn't available immediately, just email Ackerman to cancel. And if he doesn't refund your money in a timely fashion, you can still open a dispute through PayPal.



#44 Cob

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Posted 10 January 2015 - 20:57

I found that thread just after reading your warning, Linda. Oh botherations! Well I also have a Ranga dip pen with feed on order and their service seems great. I intend to use that pen mostly for testing ink mixes, rather than for flex writing. I don't much like the idea of having an open ink bottle which the cats can knock over, so a pen with an ink supply appeals greatly.

 

One reason I ordered the pump pen was the variety of nibs it could take as opposed to only one which the Desiderata takes. Seems like the average time for the pump pen to arrive is about two months! The Desiderata pens are looking nicer and nicer.

 

 

 

For me the question isn't: $66 isn't expensive for a pen which I can't get elsewhere, but: what else could I buy with $66/£43? Cans of cat food? Pay the phone bill? etc compared to which another fp is just a luxury I want but don't need. Does the 'feel good' factor justify the cost? The majority of my pens were either given to me as presents or are cheap Chinese pens (some of which are really nice). ....But I still battle with myself about buying the more expensive ones which I WANT!

I'm sure we all do this.

Sorry if I am going over old ground - am fading fas t with bad 'flu.  You ask what can I get for £43?

 

Today on ebay I bought three Mabie Todds, two Swans and a Blackbird.  Now one of the Swans and the Blackbird have no clips; the piar cost £11.78.  I have no idea what they are like otherwise and I don't really care; with Mabie Todd, there's a half-decent chance of  good or maybe, very good, nib.  The third pen is a Swan SM200-60 from the late 1930s: £16.  People were put off because it has a couple of cracks on the cap lip...

 

Most repairs in the UK charge about £15 to re-sac a pen; are clips and cracks important?  I can fix them myself of course, but from a writing point of view it doesn't matter.  I will most likely repair them and sell them on which is a hobby - I love writing, but I love fiddling with pens too and if I sell them without losing money I am content.

 

Another example; just before Christmas, again on eBay I bought a pair of Swan pens; this was extraordinary: a gorgeous and inmmaculate Swan Minor SM1/60 with lovely flexible nib in its original box with instruction leaflet and a very respectable 3161 also with a decent nib, as one lot.  I did the necessary on the pens - re-sac etc.

 

I can tell you that the 3161 is up on ebay at the moment and I am already nearly about breaking even on the whole deal with a day to go.  I shall not sell the Swan Minor, it is too lovely.

 

My point of course is that you have to put in the time, and I put in too much most likely.  But despite what I see as a general rise in prices, bargains are still out there to be had.

 

Cob


Edited by Cob, 10 January 2015 - 21:00.

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#45 PrestoTenebroso

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Posted 10 January 2015 - 21:08

Re: Cob's comment.

 

I just want to point out that I wrote what amounts to a manifesto in the FAQ of my website about hunting and gambling for a good vintage flex pen.



#46 Bo Bo Olson

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Posted 10 January 2015 - 21:35

I really don't feel I fail at describing the stages of flex from regular flex and above. I'm quite consistent and persistent.  :wallbash: "Flex" nib!!! :gaah:

 

Mauricio has good description of superflex....there is overlap in the three flex stages and he has had more superflex than I can dream of.

The Waterman 52 I have from him, starts out Easy Full Flex then with a bit more pressure gets Noodlish, so that complicates the 'purity' of a three stage set...superflex.

 

Descriptions of Fountain pen nibs are always only a guide line, be it width and or flex, different companies, different era's.

 

That aside...flex is easy enough to understand to those who wish too. From 'true' regular flex up to Weak Kneed Wet Noodle it is: 1/2, 1/2, 1/2, 1/2 & 1/2 less pressure required than the flex set before. The underlined are the superflex which unlike regular flex, semi-flex, and 'flexi'/maxi-semi-flex's 3 X tine spread; can spread it's tines 4-5-6 or even 7 X a light down stroke. .


German vintage '50-70 semi-flex stubs and those in oblique give the real thing in On Demand line variation. Modern Oblique is a waste of money for a shadow of line variation. Being too lazy to Hunt for affordable vintage oblique pens, lets you 'hunt' for line variation instead of having it.

www.nibs.com/blog/nibster-writes/nibs-germany & https://www.peter-bo...cts/nib-systems,

 

The cheapest lessons are from those who learned expensive lessons. Ignorance is best for learning expensive lessons.

 

 

 


#47 Kataphract

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Posted 10 January 2015 - 21:42

Shipping costs are often a game with eBay sellers and Amazon third party sellers. Sell the item for a cheap price - but inflate the shipping costs! Free shipping - but inflate the item price. Or be honest about both, but if Amazon Prime is invoked for free shipping, well, the item price went up by exactly the postage costs. Which means Amazon Prime got you exactly nothing. So if someone offers you free shipping, think of it the same as a free lunch - there ain't no such thing as a free lunch.

EBay puts pressure on the sellers to give free shipping, which I was not going to do (shipping board games wasn't a matter of a few pennies). I'd be honest, up front, tell people exactly what the shipping costs would be, which were exactly the cost of shipping and no "packaging and handling" charges slipped in, and people would still whine. So, I don't bother with eBay anymore. I specifically banned people from Europe early on from bidding because the prices were astronomical to ship there and they would whine and whine and then whine some more. After they got the winning bid, of course, even when warned that the shipping price would be high. Not to mention is was a royal pain to find out the costs in the first place.

And I'd recommend the Desiderata over the Ackerman on any number of issues.

#48 Cob

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Posted 10 January 2015 - 21:45

Re: Cob's comment.

 

I just want to point out that I wrote what amounts to a manifesto in the FAQ of my website about hunting and gambling for a good vintage flex pen.

Nice and interesting website; thanks

 

Cob


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#49 BookCat

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Posted 10 January 2015 - 21:52

Thank you for explaining opportunity cost.

 

Gosh there are suddenly so many posts that it's hard for me to keep up. I'll try to cancel the Ackerman order ASAP.

 

If anyone can link to a suitable pen on ebay, please do, preferably one which isn't in an auction. I hate auctions.

 

Thanks, Paul, for explaining why shipping is so high (I still love my Skyline).

 

Oh the joy of flex! :D



#50 Tootles

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Posted 10 January 2015 - 22:07

If we are talking pens then as far as I am concerned it is really simple. If one pen is placed in a piece of plastic pipe and wrapped in bubble-wrap then the cost of shipping by First Class International post to New Zealand is around $10 - $15. The cost varies slightly State to State as I understand it. If I am interested in something I will message the seller and ask for FCI shipping and give them the estimate. There is absolutely no need to charge double or more than my estimate - especially on a sub $100 pen.

 

I use the same estimate if sending from here, although it is slightly cheaper here so I do factor in about $1.50 for packaging materials.

 

Actually I am not sure why taking stuff to the post office is seen as such a big deal in the US, in terms of effort I mean. My post shop is 50m from my school. After I have packaged and addressed an item (usually done at home), I take it to the post shop, fill out a green customs sticker that is a requirement, weigh the package and pay the postage. All in all it takes about 10 mins in the shop. The customs sticker is a formality for these kinds of items and only really makes its presence felt when items exceed certain costs or fall into restricted categories. There is a single cost for packages under 200g weight. A single pen would be unlikely to exceed this, so if I was a pen seller I could easily offer a fixed price shipping cost. And I see this from sellers in other countries too. It's only in the US that postage suddenly becomes a Herculean task coupled with a Gordian Knot, at least from what I hve experienced.



#51 AZBennett

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Posted 10 January 2015 - 23:47

Cryptos, as a seller and a few times just giving pens away, I too am baffled at the hoops I have to jump through to send a package that weighs less than a pound in most cases. However, the USPS has their FCI weight/size combinations set at strange level, I beleive at 12 ounces the price doubles for a padded envelope. Thus limiting the amount of ink samples or packaging one xan safely use. Also over a certain width+length and the price goes up. Its all a farce imo. And frustrates me to no end.

#52 FarmBoy

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Posted 11 January 2015 - 01:53

I would put a plain black 52 with a decent nib as a sub-$200 pen and if I were selling one, I'd be elated at 200.  I had a ripple 52 sitting around for a long time at 200 before it went away. 

 

A quick check of completed auctions on ebay and I found many under 100 though they may need restoration.

 

Just a thought on restoration and buying pens...If you do not restore your own pens find a restorer in the US, have the pens shipped there from eBay and then have the restored pen shipped to you.  You could also ask someone to find you a pen and mail it to you.

 

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#53 AZBennett

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Posted 11 January 2015 - 04:50

I agree with everyone's prices on 52 and the size variants. I have a 52 1/2v recently resacced, cleaned, polished, etc and it wouldn't even come close to 200 USD. Granted its user grade for sure, but the nib is superflex by Mauricio's standards. With the discoloration/oxidation, lack of clip and weak barrel imprint it wouldn't fetch much more than just the nib by itself. And you can find many other such user pens on FPN classifieds or other FP boards from reputable sellers.

#54 Cob

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Posted 11 January 2015 - 09:12

If we are talking pens then as far as I am concerned it is really simple. If one pen is placed in a piece of plastic pipe and wrapped in bubble-wrap then the cost of shipping by First Class International post to New Zealand is around $10 - $15. The cost varies slightly State to State as I understand it. If I am interested in something I will message the seller and ask for FCI shipping and give them the estimate. There is absolutely no need to charge double or more than my estimate - especially on a sub $100 pen.

 

I use the same estimate if sending from here, although it is slightly cheaper here so I do factor in about $1.50 for packaging materials.

 

Actually I am not sure why taking stuff to the post office is seen as such a big deal in the US, in terms of effort I mean. My post shop is 50m from my school. After I have packaged and addressed an item (usually done at home), I take it to the post shop, fill out a green customs sticker that is a requirement, weigh the package and pay the postage. All in all it takes about 10 mins in the shop. The customs sticker is a formality for these kinds of items and only really makes its presence felt when items exceed certain costs or fall into restricted categories. There is a single cost for packages under 200g weight. A single pen would be unlikely to exceed this, so if I was a pen seller I could easily offer a fixed price shipping cost. And I see this from sellers in other countries too. It's only in the US that postage suddenly becomes a Herculean task coupled with a Gordian Knot, at least from what I hve experienced.

Couldn't agree more.

 

My eBay sales usually end on a Sunday.  I pack up the pens, and on Monday, get the bus to the local town (five minutes) queue in the Post Office for a bit, place each item on the scales, where necessary fill in the little customs sticker, pay the assistant and that's it.  As I use only signed-for mail, when I get home I add the tracking number to each item and that's it.

 

Cob


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#55 Nanor

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Posted 11 January 2015 - 14:19

Arriving late to the discussion but for what it's worth:

I have a W52v that writes beautifully; bought on ebay for around £50 after much searching and a gamble that payed off.

I also have a Desiderata Pen with a Zebra G nib and if I had to choose between them, I'd pick the Desiderata.  

 

 

Why? Please tell me what you like about the Desiderata in particular and what the W52v lacks by comparison.

 

Horses for courses: The dip pen nib of the Desiderata offers a crisp needle point line which is perfect for attempting writing styles like Copperplate and Spencerian. The W52v was produced as a daily writer and would be a better choice if that's what you're after. I don't use either pen for everyday use, I enjoy playing with their line variation, so I currently find myself inking the Desiderata more often. 



#56 KBeezie

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Posted 11 January 2015 - 14:37

If I were faced with a choice of either, I personally would go the route of the Waterman 52, not so much for the promise of flex, but more because I'm into vintage and I would prefer the pen itself more than just how flexy the nib can be, plus I wouldn't care for having to replace the nib eventually, knowing me I would probably have to replace it after about 6 months as I wouldn't care to remove the nib every few weeks or once a month to clean it before putting it back in, your milage may vary depending on ink and manner of treatment.
To summarize why *I* would go the W52 route:
- I like vintage, most of my pens are vintage
- I lean towards lever fillers if it's not an older piston filler
- While high performance flex is cool, I don't use it often enough to justify getting one and would prefer a daily writer with the ability to add emphasis every so often.
- I don't like having to disassemble and reassemble the nib/feed on a pen once I've found the optimal placement which will happen sooner on a non-stainless steel nib especially since there are days I'll leave the pen inked but not used for a couple days at a time.
- If I feel like playing with high performance flex (which is extremely seldom), I got a box of the same Zebra-G nibs used on the Desiderata (due to having owned one briefly, didn't even know about the Zebra-G before then) and a tachikawa model-40 holder, I can always break that out and play with dip.

#57 FarmBoy

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Posted 11 January 2015 - 16:59

If I were faced with a choice of either, I personally would go the route of the Waterman 52, not so much for the promise of flex, but more because I'm into vintage and I would prefer the pen itself more than just how flexy the nib can be, plus I wouldn't care for having to replace the nib eventually, knowing me I would probably have to replace it after about 6 months as I wouldn't care to remove the nib every few weeks or once a month to clean it before putting it back in, your milage may vary depending on ink and manner of treatment.To summarize why *I* would go the W52 route:- I like vintage, most of my pens are vintage- I lean towards lever fillers if it's not an older piston filler- While high performance flex is cool, I don't use it often enough to justify getting one and would prefer a daily writer with the ability to add emphasis every so often.- I don't like having to disassemble and reassemble the nib/feed on a pen once I've found the optimal placement which will happen sooner on a non-stainless steel nib especially since there are days I'll leave the pen inked but not used for a couple days at a time.- If I feel like playing with high performance flex (which is extremely seldom), I got a box of the same Zebra-G nibs used on the Desiderata (due to having owned one briefly, didn't even know about the Zebra-G before then) and a tachikawa model-40 holder, I can always break that out and play with dip.


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#58 captain1796

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Posted 11 January 2015 - 17:50

I'd look Rick Propas up from PenGuin pens. He is reasonable and always comes up with something. He helped me sort out a 52 full flex nib into a new body for a very reasonable price. Don't pay attention to what's offered on his website. He always has something in a drawer. Also, Gary Lehrer from Go Pens literally wrote the book on Wayerman and is a great dealer with an amazing inventory at all price points.

#59 BookCat

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Posted 12 January 2015 - 18:30

Update: I've had an offer accepted on a vintage Waterman which I found in the classifieds. :D

 

So I won't be buying the Desiderata, at least not now. I'll use the Ranga ebonite dip pen with dip nibs and to test ink mixes.

 

All of the ideas and opinions in this thread have been very helpful, thanks.



#60 TeaHive

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Posted 12 January 2015 - 21:25

Good deal! Hopefully, all works out.







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