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Ebay Authenticity

pilot custom 74

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33 replies to this topic

#21 Tinjapan

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Posted 30 May 2017 - 03:18

Stan,


Your post juggled the puzzle pieces around such that I think I know what is going on here.

A few years ago I was looking for a digital video camera. While in Yodabashi Camera looking for one, I saw the then newest model DSLR camera from my favorite maker and it sported a built in videoa camera. I was about to but it new at full Yodabashi Camera price when I thought of Map Camera just a coupe of blocks away, in the same building as Kingdom Note.

Map Camera had several of this newly released camera for sale as "shinkohin" if my memory is correct as to the term. It means 'Preowned but never used'. "Now who buys the newest model camera and then turns around and sells it without ever opening the box just after buying it?" I wondered. One of these cameras went home with me at a HUGE discount.

I had seen this before with other cameras and electronics but now decided to learn how/why this happened.

From knowledgable people with first hand experience I learned that it customary for sales staff in Japan to be compelled to sell 100% of their sales quota even if this means they must buy whatever they do not sell themselves. (This is what I call a "Welcome to Japan" moment). Who needs five of the exact same camera? Who can afford to keep them? Having no need for so many cameras and a need to pay the rent, the sales man takes them to a "Recycle Shop" to get as much back as he can. Thus, there are lots of unused preowned cameras, electronics and other stuff out there at a fraction of the MSRP.

This practice of forcing sales people to buy what they do not sell extends to, perhaos it is more correct to say starts with university student clubs. Freshman students are tasked with selling tickets for whatever their club is selling at the school festival. They are told that they must sell all the tickets and if they do not, they then must buy what they do not sell.

Somehow, knowing this, I still did not apply this knowledge to fountain pens. I bet that this practice is found also in the fountain pen world and would account for much of what is being sold at greatly reduced prices.

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#22 Old Salt

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Posted 30 May 2017 - 03:29

Ruth, They are the same nib in the Decimo and VP. I have a VP and Decimo, both in medium. They both put down a thicker, wetter ink line than my sailor medium nibs. About the same as a sailor broad. I much prefer to write with the Decimo. Its lighter and just feels better in the hand. The clip is not as pronounced and doesn't get in my way. I'm not sure what to tell you regarding the extra fine. Needle points scare me..lol.. if you already have a VP then use your judgement based on your own experience and I think you'll be fine. How do you find that the fine nib on your VP writes?
Both my pens have 18k nibs don't know if that makes a difference.

#23 Drone

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Posted 30 May 2017 - 13:40

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!

 

Hi, and welcome to the FPN. Japanese pen manufacturers are notorious for naming exclusive Distributors in regions and/or countries outside of Japan, then they either make them, or let them jack-up the prices on their high-end products, sometimes to more than double the price found in Japan! For example: That Pilot 74 you mentioned costs about $70 USD on ebay plus about $12-$15 shipping by air to the U.S. from Japan via EMS Express with online tracking. But the same Pen will cost you around $160 USD plus shipping from a reputable U.S. seller like Goulet Pens in Virginia. (Example links are included below.)

 

IMO, considering the size, materials and build-quality, the Pilot 74 fountain pen is a square deal at $70 USD; but personally I would not pay a lot more for that pen. Keep in-mind that if you buy the pen direct from Japan, getting the pen fixed under warranty or otherwise will be more difficult than if you bought the pen from a seller in your country. It is up to you to decide if paying 129% more for the pen in your own country is worth it or not.

 

Today, the Internet helps to level the playing field for us buyers. It's called Arbitrage, be smart and put it to work for you. See this:

https://en.wikipedia.../wiki/Arbitrage

 

Quoted examples:

* [Soft Medium nib] Pilot NAMIKI Custom74 Fountain Pen Black 14K #5 SM New Japan $69.95, ebay

http://www.ebay.com/...~QAAOSwDiBZHZ3b

* Pilot Custom 74 Fountain Pen - Clear, Fine $160.00 (MSRP $200.00), Goulet

https://www.gouletpe...-fine/p/PN60455
 

Disclaimer & Warning: I have never used the ebay seller mentioned above, it is just one selected from several with same/similar prices and terms. I am a satisfied customer of Goulet Pens, but that is my only affiliation.

 

Good Luck, David


Edited by Drone, 30 May 2017 - 14:00.


#24 inkstainedruth

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Posted 30 May 2017 - 22:26

Ruth, They are the same nib in the Decimo and VP. I have a VP and Decimo, both in medium. They both put down a thicker, wetter ink line than my sailor medium nibs. About the same as a sailor broad. I much prefer to write with the Decimo. Its lighter and just feels better in the hand. The clip is not as pronounced and doesn't get in my way. I'm not sure what to tell you regarding the extra fine. Needle points scare me..lol.. if you already have a VP then use your judgement based on your own experience and I think you'll be fine. How do you find that the fine nib on your VP writes?
Both my pens have 18k nibs don't know if that makes a difference.

 

Haven't actually gotten the husband to try it. :blush:  Need to either sit him down tonight or tomorrow night before we leave for the Triangle Pen Show (or at least make sure the pen and a sample vial of ink gets packed...).  Replacement nib assemblies are sufficiently expensive that I don't want to get a pen with an EF nib without having a rough idea whether he's going to like writing with it.  And if it turns out he actually likes the F nib on the Vanishing Point, then I can go buy myself whatever the heck nabbed Decimo I want and decide I need....  :rolleyes: 

I know he has borrowed a couple of of my Parker 51s.  Liked the pen size but not the M nib on the Burgundy Aero; wasn't that enamored of the EF nib on the 51 Vac -- but on that pen I had the tines opened a little when I had it repaired, because the nib was a little scratchy.  

The only other pens I have with EF nibs are a Pelikan M405 and another 51 Aero (and the Aero I bought a few years ago from Pendleton Brown specifically for my husband because it was an EF nib -- I got to try that Aero before I bought it and it was a lovely smooth writer :wub: ).

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth


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#25 dcwaites

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Posted 31 May 2017 - 00:28

Cool-Japan's prices are not unusual for the Pilot Custom 74. I usually buy from vendor i-love-australia because while his prices are a few dollars more, his shipping to Australia is much less. 

Buying directly from Japanese vendors (eBay and Rakuten), $70~$75 is the 'normal' price for the Pilot Custom 74 and it's equivalent, the Platinum Century 3776. 

Cool-Japan seems to be the only one with the clear demonstrators. He also has one in Medium (http://www.ebay.com....=item489cc52643) if you are not too sure on a Fine.

 

I have a Custom 74 in Medium, and it is one of my favourite pens, with one of my best nibs.


fpn_1412827311__pg_d_104def64.gif

 

 

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#26 fabri00

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Posted 01 June 2017 - 20:54

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.


Never heard that.
There are shops in Japan making discounts in pens (like Morita in Osaka for example), and shops not making discounts.
It is not a matter of rules, and it depend from strategies of the shop.
Furthermore the vat has increased few times since Mr. And lead the country, and for export outside Japan they can deduct vat from selling price.

#27 fabri00

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Posted 01 June 2017 - 20:56

Please read Mr. Abe here above, and not Mr. And.

#28 Tinjapan

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Posted 01 June 2017 - 21:41

Never heard that.
There are shops in Japan making discounts in pens (like Morita in Osaka for example), and shops not making discounts.
It is not a matter of rules, and it depend from strategies of the shop.
Furthermore the vat has increased few times since Mr. And lead the country, and for export outside Japan they can deduct vat from selling price.

A couple of weeks ago I ran across a store with a table outside full of stationery products at greatly reduced prices. They were getting out of the stationery business to focus on their hanko (name stamp) business. They had Pilot (non FP) pens and told me that Pilots are the hardest pens to find at discount prices. They could only do so because they are no longer in need of a supplier. So, I believe there is something to this.

Edited by Tinjapan, 01 June 2017 - 21:41.


#29 fabri00

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Posted 02 June 2017 - 19:30

A couple of weeks ago I ran across a store with a table outside full of stationery products at greatly reduced prices. They were getting out of the stationery business to focus on their hanko (name stamp) business. They had Pilot (non FP) pens and told me that Pilots are the hardest pens to find at discount prices. They could only do so because they are no longer in need of a supplier. So, I believe there is something to this.


I visit the shop of Mr. Morris in Osaka since 5/6 year as I visit Japan for business one or two times a year, and he sell also Pilot at discounted price.

#30 fabri00

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Posted 02 June 2017 - 19:31

Morita,not Morris..... Sorry

#31 Tinjapan

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Posted 03 June 2017 - 01:43

I visit the shop of Mr. Morris in Osaka since 5/6 year as I visit Japan for business one or two times a year, and he sell also Pilot at discounted price.


Yes and as has be said, there are many different arrangements and factors. Points not dscussed dirrectly include prices for tourists vs. prices for residents. Often prices are less for overseas tourists than residents and the relatively new VAT tax refund system is not the reason though is a big part. A few years ago a law was passed requiring that sales tax be inluded in the price on the price tag. While this is no loner strictly followed, many shops continue the pratice. It may be possible that he is just not charging you sales tax.

I often read that Itoya is more highly recommended than Marzen to overseas buyers as Itoya offers a tax refund whereas Maruzen does. I being a resident, this is not a factor.

Another factor is that, for whatever reasons, the arrangements made between suppliers and stores may be differrent for each store. Itoya has looked into having store exclusive inks made by Sailor but the terms sought by Sailor were not doable for them, yet doable for smaller stores. Itoya Ginza now carries Kobe inks but could not have their own made. I have some more iside ino on this, but can share it.

Other factors. Some items I just can not buy because I am not Japanese. Sometimes this is due to residece and after showing my resident's card, I am allowed to purchase. Other times residence does not matter.

Some sellers sell to me at the overseas prices though they know I am a resident. . Some do not charge me sales tax though they know I am not a visitor from overseas. Though I have never asked for such special consideration, I do accept if/when offered.

I do not know Mr. Morita's set up, but to take experiences from just one seller and apply them to the whole FP industry in Japan is folly.

#32 JunkyardSam

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Posted 06 June 2017 - 00:10

When I buy through eBay I look at "cerisiersjaponais" first just because I had a good experience with two transactions totalling $440 (two Pilot Custom 743s.) He packages the pens particularly well. Like many eBay sellers, email him first to make sure he has the pen in stock: http://stores.ebay.c...aponaisblossom/

 

I prefer Amazon Prime over eBay though. You can get a Custom 91 or 74 for around ~$85 and if there's anything wrong with the pen it's easy to return. Prime eligible means you get the import prices with fast shipping since it comes from a US warehouse. So yeah, the price you're seeing is correct for an imported pen.

 

I've purchased double-digit # of Pilot & Platinum gold-nibbed pens through Amazon. I had to return one -- (a PCH912 FA) -- and the process was simple and free. I also got an ink bottle that was broken, once, but again -- a simple return.

 

Do know that sometimes Pilot pens arrive writing too dry and may require adjustment. (I've encountered this with some Lamy, Sailor, and Platinum nibs as well. The issue always comes down to how tight the tines are touching at the tip.) But it's relatively easy to adjust such things and worth learning... 


Edited by JunkyardSam, 06 June 2017 - 00:12.


#33 jde

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Posted 06 June 2017 - 13:32

Is it a good pen? It's a great pen! But flex it won't be.



#34 mke

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Posted 06 June 2017 - 13:37

I like the Custom 74. Still, I cannot decide if a Sailor Standard or a Platinum 3776 or a Custom 74 is the better pen.







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