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Ebay Authenticity

pilot custom 74

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33 replies to this topic

#1 glowy01

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Posted 27 May 2017 - 00:22

I am in high school and have a high school budget ( below $110 USD.) .  I saw this listing for a Pilot Custom 74 for $85 shipped from Japan on eBay.  Is it authentic?  How do they get the price down so low?  

 

 

http://www.ebay.com/...id%3A1#shpCntId

 

 

And is this a good pen?  My current collection is 2 Lamy Safaris (M),  and a TWSBI mini (EF).  I want a gold nib with a bit of flex.

 

 

 

Thanks in advance!



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#2 Parker51

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Posted 27 May 2017 - 00:44

Japan has interesting rules regarding the sale of consumer products. Discounting is generally not permitted, so sometimes they sell things out of Japan at prices that seem to make no sense, but as they can't sell the item at discount in Japan and they have the item, it may be better for the seller to sell the item for little to no profit rather than holding onto a product until it sells at retail so as to get the cash in hand.

#3 Zookie

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Posted 27 May 2017 - 00:51

I can't say how good a pen this is, I've never had one.

The seller has over 5300 transactions with a 100% rating which is very good. The shipping sounds about right as well. 

If you wonder how they keep the price down, ask. I'm sure they will let you know.



#4 vermillexlex

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Posted 27 May 2017 - 01:33

I think this pen is suitable for your budget, I'm from Asia myself, don't worry about the low price, that price is consider normal in China, Taiwan or Japan, the markup is quite high in western country, with the tax and shipping cost, also local retail need to earn from selling. But be aware that you might need to pay custom charge, so check with your local custom and see how much they charge, and what are the possibility that you might get check.

#5 gregamckinney

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Posted 27 May 2017 - 03:14

cool-japan is a well-respected seller.  I think you can be confident of authenticity.

 

Best Regards, greg


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#6 Old Salt

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Posted 27 May 2017 - 03:47

I've used Cool-Japan on several occasions. They are a nice group of people and very reliable.
The dollar is very strong right now, and the Japanese economy has not bounced back as quick as ours has. Japanese businessmen are trying to expand their market and increase sales.
Cool-Japan also donates money to rebuilding Japanese areas devestated by earth quakes and the meltdown of the nuclear plants.

#7 inkstainedruth

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Posted 27 May 2017 - 18:30

I've used Cool-Japan on several occasions. They are a nice group of people and very reliable.
The dollar is very strong right now, and the Japanese economy has not bounced back as quick as ours has. Japanese businessmen are trying to expand their market and increase sales.
Cool-Japan also donates money to rebuilding Japanese areas devestated by earth quakes and the meltdown of the nuclear plants.

 

That's good to know.  I was looking at some listings of theirs (as well as those of some other Japanese sellers) on eBay, but couldn't tell which sellers are reputable.  

There are pens that for some reason do not get exported to US retailers, such Decimos in grey (and it doesn't make any rhyme or reason as to why).  Purple, light blue, the dark red -- even that horrid color that I think is called "champagne" (which is beige with pinkish undertones). :sick:  But not the grey....  :angry: 

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth


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#8 Old Salt

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Posted 27 May 2017 - 18:44

That's good to know.  I was looking at some listings of theirs (as well as those of some other Japanese sellers) on eBay, but couldn't tell which sellers are reputable.  
There are pens that for some reason do not get exported to US retailers, such Decimos in grey (and it doesn't make any rhyme or reason as to why).  Purple, light blue, the dark red -- even that horrid color that I think is called "champagne" (which is beige with pinkish undertones). :sick:  But not the grey....  :angry: 
Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth


Funny you mention it Ruth. I bought my grey decimo from them. Just couldn't get into champagne, deep red, light blue, or purple that were offered here in the states.
By the way, if you are going to buy one, you should know that the nibs are much juicier and write thicker ink lines than standard Pilot or other Japanese nibs. I bought a medium. it writes like a regular medium, and it's one of my favorite writers.
I've gone back to Cool-Japan several times and it's always been a pleasant experience.

#9 jmccarty3

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Posted 27 May 2017 - 21:31

Cool-japan (Atsu) is a very reliable seller, so you may order with confidence. Be aware that this Pilot fine nib will be much narrower than those on your Safaris, probably about the same as your TWSBI EF, and it will NOT flex. Don't try to make it do that. This is a terrific value for a well-made pen with a 14k gold nib. Be sure to tell him you want EMS shipment, and don't forget to order the converter. It's a few dollars more, but you will want it.


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#10 Driften

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Posted 27 May 2017 - 22:53

That is a decent price for that pen and as others have said its a good company selling it. The pen gold nib will be slightly softer then the steel nibs you are used to but it's not a flexible nib. It might be slightly finer then your TWSBI Mini's EF or could be about the same. 



#11 mke

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Posted 27 May 2017 - 23:55

> Japan has interesting rules regarding the sale of consumer products. Discounting is generally not permitted

 

Really?

The following is from a page on Amazon, showing the reduced price of a Sailor Profit 21 Standard @ 9900 Yen instead of 16200 Yen which is the Sailor recommendation LINK.

 

セーラー万年筆 万年筆 プロフィットスタンダード21 ミュージック 11-1521-920 ブラック
参考価格:     ¥ 16,200
セール価格:     ¥ 9,900 通常配送無料 (says "including free shipping")
OFF:     ¥ 6,300 (39%)

There are many more such offers on Amazon, Yahoo, Rakuten, and, and, and.

 

Edit: Forgot to show the prices of the Pilot Custom 74 @ 7320 Yen (= 65 USD) upwards LINK. which is even a bit cheaper than the search results at the price comparison site kakaku.com.


Edited by mke, 28 May 2017 - 00:03.


#12 glowy01

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Posted 29 May 2017 - 02:55

Thanks for all the replies! I think I like the finer nibs better for some reason.



#13 Tinjapan

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Posted 29 May 2017 - 05:37

> Japan has interesting rules regarding the sale of consumer products. Discounting is generally not permitted
 
Really?
The following is from a page on Amazon, showing the reduced price of a Sailor Profit 21 Standard @ 9900 Yen instead of 16200 Yen which is the Sailor recommendation LINK.
 
セーラー万年筆 万年筆 プロフィットスタンダード21 ミュージック 11-1521-920 ブラック
参考価格:     ¥ 16,200
セール価格:     ¥ 9,900 通常配送無料 (says "including free shipping")
OFF:     ¥ 6,300 (39%)
There are many more such offers on Amazon, Yahoo, Rakuten, and, and, and.
 
Edit: Forgot to show the prices of the Pilot Custom 74 @ 7320 Yen (= 65 USD) upwards LINK. which is even a bit cheaper than the search results at the price comparison site kakaku.com.


Who is selling them?

Also, many of the online sales for pens are not available for shipment to addresses in Japan.

#14 mke

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Posted 29 May 2017 - 11:17

>  Who is selling them? Also, many of the online sales for pens are not available for shipment to addresses in Japan.

 

Japanese shops  -  and Amazon.co.jp and Rakuten.co.jp is selling to all Japanese addresses.

I bought a new Sailor pen with 40% off at amazon.co.jp

And, I am living in Japan.

 

Amazon.com sellers do not always sell to Japanese addresses. Some Japanese pen sold by a Japanese seller were cheaper (including sending fee) on Amazon.com then on amazon.co.jp 



#15 Tinjapan

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Posted 29 May 2017 - 11:53

>  Who is selling them? Also, many of the online sales for pens are not available for shipment to addresses in Japan.
 
Japanese shops  -  and Amazon.co.jp and Rakuten.co.jp is selling to all Japanese addresses.
I bought a new Sailor pen with 40% off at amazon.co.jp
And, I am living in Japan.
 
Amazon.com sellers do not always sell to Japanese addresses. Some Japanese pen sold by a Japanese seller were cheaper (including sending fee) on Amazon.com then on amazon.co.jp


Some do and some don't. Some did but no longer do.

#16 Parker51

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Posted 29 May 2017 - 11:59

When I wrote of the general rules against discounting in Japan I am referring to traditional retailors. The reason is that in Japan consumer products are often not owned by the retailor. The products are owned by the supplier and so for a product to be sold at a reduced price their would need to be agreement between the retailor and the supplier. Many suppliers do not want there to discounting and will have rules about what can be discounted, when and under what circumstances. This does not apply to all products, even within a category of items and with the movement of products more easily across national borders these practices are in decline, but they do persist in the main.
This type of situation has largely existed in the US in one product category; fine jewelry. The retailors in this sector have very high profit margins, but relatively low sales volumes. They often have much larger selections than their sale volumes would suggest and much nicer stores with nicer fixtures and knowledgeable pleasant sales personell, but this is changing as large retailors have moved into this segment and traditional jewelry stores are disappearing.
I fear just as retailors of various types have disappeared in the US, as consumers search for lower prices, they will do the same globally and there will eventually be no traditional stores left. All will be online, low cost and/or high volume.

#17 Tinjapan

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Posted 29 May 2017 - 12:10

When I wrote of the general rules against discounting in Japan I am referring to traditional retailors. The reason is that in Japan consumer products are often not owned by the retailor. The products are owned by the supplier and so for a product to be sold at a reduced price their would need to be agreement between the retailor and the supplier. Many suppliers do not want there to discounting and will have rules about what can be discounted, when and under what circumstances. This does not apply to all products, even within a category of items and with the movement of products more easily across national borders these practices are in decline, but they do persist in the main.
This type of situation has largely existed in the US in one product category; fine jewelry. The retailors in this sector have very high profit margins, but relatively low sales volumes. They often have much larger selections than their sale volumes would suggest and much nicer stores with nicer fixtures and knowledgeable pleasant sales personell, but this is changing as large retailors have moved into this segment and traditional jewelry stores are disappearing.
I fear just as retailors of various types have disappeared in the US, as consumers search for lower prices, they will do the same globally and there will eventually be no traditional stores left. All will be online, low cost and/or high volume.


That holds with what I have learned elsewhere. One question remains. Where or how do those who sell these pens so much cheaper get them? Are these the products not covered by this practice?

#18 peerless1

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Posted 29 May 2017 - 23:05

A number of years ago Platinum #3776 with MUSIC nibs became available to me for $88.00 per pen. That's right! $88 smackeroos for a pen selling for much much more. This was a legitimate seller in Japan. How could this be?

 

It was not explained to me however, it seems some if not all distributors of pens have to sell what they have or be cut off by their distributors. $88 might be wholesale or a loos. I have no clue. I obtained a bunch - very legal and all - checked if duty were required - it was not - and sold them for $100 apiece. that is one way pen are sourced.

 

Several online sellers sourced their pens from Yahoo Japan Auctions. This remains a good source if one is cautious buying. Hint: If you can connect with the sellers ask if they have more pens. I connected with several older stationary shops that were liquidating dead stock. You have no idea what it feels like for someone to tell you they have several hundred pens from the 1960s and 1970s.

 

Tokyo Russ (remember him?) used to canvass old stationary stores for pens. a friend saw him, in person. Probably hit everywhere near Tokyo by now.

 

Antique stores are high on my list. 

 

They are out there. Takes time and effort.


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#19 Alteyz

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Posted 29 May 2017 - 23:56

One question remains. Where or how do those who sell these pens so much cheaper get them? Are these the products not covered by this practice?

 

From what I know it greatly depends, manufacturers make the pen and the cost of the pen is the "base" price often they then pass those pens to suppliers/distributes who then sell those off to stores/retailers at a price higher to profit. The retailers/stores who hold those pens are not to sell the pens received below a certain price set by the supplier/distributor to avoid a bidding war between retailers and I do know certain sellers who probably source their pens from retailers to dump some of their harder to sell stock online as grey market stock.

 

Not sure if this happens in Japan as I assume they have many things in place to prevent this but in China it's pretty common practice for the manufacturers to produce above what is ordered and sell it on the side eg. they were ordered to make 1000 and they make 1050 and sell the extra 50 on the side. 

 

There have been cases where retailers who could to get additional stock because they undercut the market price from surrounding retailers resulting in complains. In aussie majority of the high end pen stores are owned under the same company as a result quite a lot of pens here are severely marked up eg a Pilot iroshizuku = 50$/bottle, sailor 1911L = 550$, Sailor 1911 standard =330$, Sailor king of pen ebonite = 2800$...etc. We had a retailer here a couple of years back who offered a competitive price on Japanese pens and great service but unfortunately due to complains from surrounding retailers they were dropped and could not get any more supply.


Edited by Alteyz, 29 May 2017 - 23:56.


#20 inkstainedruth

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Posted 30 May 2017 - 03:01

By the way, if you are going to buy one, you should know that the nibs are much juicier and write thicker ink lines than standard Pilot or other Japanese nibs. I bought a medium. it writes like a regular medium, and it's one of my favorite writers.

 

Hmmm.  How does your Decimo nib compare to the nibs on Vanishing Points, which (as I understand it) are interchangeable with them?  Because I have a VP -- it's too heavy a pen for me, so I'm giving it to my husband.  But I have to bring "Mr. BiC fine" over to "the dark side" in increments.  If he likes the F nib on the VP, well and good.  But if he doesn't, my plan was to get myself a Decimo with an EF nib and swap the assembly units between the two pens, so he can have the EF nib and I can have a pen that is more to my liking size-wise. 

Now, though, it sounds as if you're saying an EF nib might still have to be reground to, say, an EEF/needlepoint in order for him to be really happy with the pen.

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."





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