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Pens, Inks And Samples Pass-Around In Australia

australia pif giveaway pens inks

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#1 A Smug Dill

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Posted 29 August 2018 - 01:02

Not unlike how things are in New Zealand, postage costs in Australia are almost prohibitive for exchanges and giveaways even when just sending stuff domestically, especially when they involve pens, which Australia Post has explicitly stated are not to be sent by letter post, which is far cheaper, but must be sent in parcels (Parcel Post minimum cost A$7.95) that are not subject to being stomped on by automated mail processing machinery.
 
A better way may be to pass around a box of surplus and not-my-cup-of-tea-but-may-be-someone-else's items of up to 3kg, using a flat-rate prepaid mailing bag – costing A$13.80 to ship between any two points in Australia – and let participants take from it and add to it as they wish.
 
I would like to gauge the level of interest in such an exercise. I'd be happy to put the following into a box, pay for the first leg of its journey and kickstart the process:

  • 3 new Hero 395 pens fitted with converters; these pens supposedly have semi-flex steel nibs, which is a feature I personally don't care much about
  • 2 three-ounce bottles of Noodler's Baystate Concord Grape ink – one new, one mostly full
  • 1 three-ounce bottle of Noodler's Prime of the Commons blue-black contract ink – mostly full
  • 2 three-ounce bottles of Noodler's Polar Green ink – one new, one mostly full
  • 1 three-ounce bottle of Noodler's Polar Brown ink – mostly full
  • 1 three-ounce bottle of Noodler's Kiowa Pecan ink – new
  • several 3ml samples (in plastic pipettes) of the new Sailor Nano souboku pigment ink; I just received my three bottles in the mail yesterday
  • a few 3ml samples of Sailor Nano kiwa-guro and seiboku pigment inks

and possibly:

  • one or two 3ml samples each of some De Atramentis scented, Diamine, and Pilot Iroshizuku inks I have.

I'm still waiting on my eBay order of plastic pipettes to arrive from China, so it may take another three or so weeks before I'm ready to get the samples ready for shipping.

 

I don't personally intend to track the box's travels, or who has taken or added what to it, but if participants could just post in this thread:

  • that they want to be the box's next stop
  • what is in the box, after they have received it, taken what they wanted and perhaps added to it themselves; and
  • their commitment to sending it at their expense on to the next interested party

I think that ought to be sufficient to keep things moving.

 

What do you think?



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#2 Steveg58

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Posted 29 August 2018 - 23:04

I'd be interested but the 3kg bag is enormous. Aust Post used to have a 1Kg bag as well which is substantially cheaper.

I have inks and also a bunch of Hero pens which are give-away material.

JustWrite sells the 30 ml plastic bottles that they use for their own inks which might be better than glass bottles but I'd say stick with samples rather than whole bottles. 

 

Cheers, Steveg


Edited by Steveg58, 29 August 2018 - 23:08.


#3 A Smug Dill

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Posted 30 August 2018 - 00:16

Steveg,
 
Thank you for the feedback.

Australia Post may be bringing back(?) prepaid flat rate 1kg satchels for individual retail from 1 October 2018, but they won't be substantially cheaper than 3kg ones; the difference between the two sizes, after the upcoming pricing changes (about which I only just found out), is $3.
 
I wouldn't say the 3kg satchels are enormous, certainly not in physical dimensions or volume. I have a stack of flat-packed, generic mailing boxes that are designed to just fit inside 3kg satchels, and the boxes aren't that large at all at 270x200x95mm. They won't fit inside the new 1kg satchels. Also, if I'm shipping bottles of ink, then I'll want to put in sufficient void fill material. I've had a bottle of ink smashed inside a shipment (which came from the UK) because the bottles weren't properly packed and sufficiently protected; it ended up staining half the other merchandise on that order, as well as soaking one corner of the carton leaving it more vulnerable to being torn.
 
fpn_1535586285__damaged_shipment_of_inks
 
I certainly don't intend to take any chances and let that happen when I send the box to someone.
 
As for plastic bottles versus glass bottles, should you choose to participate, you're welcome to transfer the ink into smaller plastic bottles before shipping the remainder out to the next recipient, if you think that is better for either you or them. I'm happy to pay the asking price for a 3kg prepaid satchel for the first leg of the box's journey; any alternatives available to me (e.g. use my own packaging and forgo a flat rate if sending outside NSW using Australia Post, or using Officeworks' Mailman service instead) in the next few weeks may not be much cheaper anyway.
 
Anyone would be more than welcome to turn this initiative into more of a travelling caravan of ink samples for subsequent recipients. I personally don't want any oversight or control of this ‘project’ once it gets on the road; I'm just trying to kickstart a community initiative for Australian fountain pen users, and my primary motivation is in redistributing surplus pens and inks that anyone would care to donate. Setting the expectation of having to send the box and its contents on for a price of A$14 gives would-be participants plenty of room to add to what gets passed around.



#4 RedDingo

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Posted 08 September 2018 - 12:18

I would like to gauge the level of interest in such an exercise. I'd be happy to put the following into a box, pay for the first leg of its journey and kickstart the process:

 

 

What do you think?

I think it's a great idea.  I've always been jealous of the opportunities available in the US.  Recently I thought of doing something similar through our monthly pen meets in Brisbane.  It saves on postage and the people have a month to sample the package before returning it at the next meeting.  I had thought of seeking support from retailers but it should be the realm of the Distributors.  Unfortunately I don't have a list of them supporting the Australian supply.

 

I'm happy to support your suggestion and the postage price is not that significant when you consider the cost of the goods inside.  I think it's a great idea an in time I'm sure it will have legs.  Besides it will be fun.

 

However, I'd like to encourage people to do a review of the items to get their personal perspective.

 

I'll pm my address.



#5 AndyLogan

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Posted 08 September 2018 - 18:05

This would be interesting.


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#6 A Smug Dill

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Posted 09 September 2018 - 09:03

I'm happy to support your suggestion and the postage price is not that significant when you consider the cost of the goods inside.  I think it's a great idea an in time I'm sure it will have legs.  Besides it will be fun.


Thank you very much! I'm glad you put your hand up to be the first stop of the box, especially when you seem to be quite connected to the community of fountain pen enthusiasts in Brisbane.
 

However, I'd like to encourage people to do a review of the items to get their personal perspective.


Yes, of course. I won't make it a condition or even demand a pledge or promise from anyone to do that, though.

I just picked up 26 bottles of new inks from Peter's of Kensington this week (and have another 14 on order), including some Rubinato inks that haven't been much reviewed on FPN, and since they come in 67ml bottles, I'll be happy to include several samples of each of those so anyone interested can try them out, and hopefully we'll get one or two or three reviews of each colour out of that.
 

I'll pm my address.


Roger that.

#7 RedDingo

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Posted 24 October 2018 - 02:16

Sorry for the slackness in taking so long to get back here.  Sometimes I get distracted with my calligraphy workshops, pens for repair, and the watches and clocks.

 

You have my attention again.  I've replied to your pm.



#8 A Smug Dill

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Posted 24 October 2018 - 03:36

I'm astonished that my three separate eBay orders of pipettes never turned up in eight(!) weeks. Is the Australian Border Force stopping them from coming through? Not that I was notified of anything being held, and that I would be required to arrange its release and/or give an explanation of what the items are for.

Anyway, luckily I have now received a couple of hundred 1.8ml sample vials, so I'm just going to go ahead and send the box off by the end of this week.

I'll finalise what goes into the box in the next couple of days. At this point, I intend to include 81 filled sample vials, most likely being:
  • 9x 1.8ml of Sailor souboku pigment ink
  • 3x 1.8ml of Sailor seiboku pigment ink
  • 3x 1.8ml of Sailor kiwaguro pigment ink
  • 3x 1.8ml of Sailor STORIA Magic Purple pigment ink
  • 4x 1.8ml of Noodler's Golden Brown ink
  • 4x 1.8ml of Noodler's Green Marine ink
  • 4x 1.8ml of Noodler's V-Mail Burma Road Brown ink
  • 4x 1.8ml of Noodler's V-Mail Mandalay Maroon ink
  • 4x 1.8ml of Noodler's V-Mail North African Violet ink
  • 3x 1.8ml of Diamine Red Dragon ink
  • 3x 1.8ml of Diamine Oxblood ink
  • 3x 1.8ml of Diamine Evergreen ink
  • 3x 1.8ml of Diamine Green-Black ink
  • 3x 1.8ml of Diamine Sherwood Green ink
  • 3x 1.8ml of Diamine Jalur Gemilang (Malaysian-market exclusive) ink
  • 5x 1.8ml of Rubinato Nero Inchiostro black ink
  • 5x 1.8ml of Rubinato Blu-Nero Inchiostro blue-black ink
  • 5x 1.8ml of Rubinato Blu Inchiostro blue ink
  • 5x 1.8ml of Rubinato Verde Inchiostro green ink
  • 5x 1.8ml of Rubinato Sepia Inchiostro ink
in addition to some new or almost-full bottles of some Noodler's inks I have as surplus and/or no longer want to use, especially now that my collection of commercial inks has grown to over 125 different colours. I'll also include some empty sample vials to make it easier for downstream recipients to add to the collection of ink samples available for sharing.

I have also decided not to keep any of the new-old-stock Hero 395 pens for myself, so there will be a total of four of those.

RedDingo will be the box's first stop. I'm grateful for his support of this initiative. Since he has expressed interest in CJK calligraphy, I'm very happy to send a copy of the kaishu calligraphy practice book (reviewed here) and a brush that's of the right size to use with it, even though it's not really related to the fountain pen theme. I have a couple more spare copies and calligraphy brushes that aren't already earmarked as Christmas presents, so if anyone else is interested in picking up a set down the line of this initiative, I'd be happy to include them in the box's contents now.

#9 A Smug Dill

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Posted 28 October 2018 - 01:38

All packed, and the package will be on its way to RedDingo tomorrow!

 

fpn_1540689831__fpn_aus_pass-around_box_

 

fpn_1540689882__fpn_aus_pass-around_-_he

 

fpn_1540689918__fpn_aus_pass-around_box_

 

8 × Ink bottles
BrandColour and/or TypeSizeStatus
Noodler'sBaystate Concord Grape3 ozFull (NOS)
Noodler'sBaystate Concord Grape3 oz>90% full
Noodler'sKiowa Pecan3 ozFull (NOS)
Noodler'sPolar Brown3 oz>90% full
Noodler'sPolar Green3 ozFull (NOS)
Noodler'sPolar Green3 oz>90% full
Noodler'sPrime of the Commons blue-black contract ink3 oz>80% full
RubinatoVerde Inchiostro green writing ink67 mlFull

 

81 × 1.8 ml sample vials
LIDBrandColour and/or TypeQty
1Sailorsouboku blue-black pigment ink9
2Sailorseiboku blue-black pigment ink3
3Sailorkiwaguro black pigment ink3
4SailorSTORIA Magic Purple pigment ink3
5DiamineRed Dragon3
6DiamineOxblood3
7DiamineGreen/Black3
8DiamineEvergreen3
9DiamineSherwood Green3
10DiamineJalur Gemilang3
11Noodler'sBurma Road Brown5
12Noodler'sMandalay Maroon5
13Noodler'sNorth African Violet5
14Noodler'sGolden Brown5
15Noodler'sGreen Marine5
16RubinatoNero Inchiostro black writing ink5
17RubinatoBlu-Nero Inchiostro blue-black writing ink5
18RubinatoBlu Inchiostro blue writing ink5
19RubinatoSepia Inchiostro sepia writing ink5

 

Other items
ItemQty
Empty 1.8 ml sample vials20
Hero 395 fountain pens with aerometric converter4
Sailor clipless pen with 55° Fude de Mannen nib1
Chinese calligraphy brush2
Yan's Kaishu Forms water brush calligraphy practice book
(with reusable practice pages; just write on it with clean water)
2
 
In case anyone is wondering, the package (inclusive of all void fill, etc.) as it stands weighs 2.4kg.


#10 A Smug Dill

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Posted 29 October 2018 - 08:09

RedDingo, it's on its way to you now. The tracking number is 60121535878093.

I bought Extra Cover to the tune of $200, so please let me know if it arrives damaged in spite of my best efforts to pack it well inside the box and put padding on every side between the cardboard and the Parcel Post satchel.

#11 RedDingo

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Posted 03 November 2018 - 11:40

RedDingo, it's on its way to you now. The tracking number is 60121535878093.

I bought Extra Cover to the tune of $200, so please let me know if it arrives damaged in spite of my best efforts to pack it well inside the box and put padding on every side between the cardboard and the Parcel Post satchel.

Thanks Gil, you've done well, the package arrived on Thursday in very good condition. It was so neatly packaged, I hope I can do the same.  Thanks for the photo above, I'll use it as a guide.  I forgot to take pics myself. :-)

 

We had some friends up from Melbourne so haven't had a chance to try them out yet but definitely looking forward to it.

 

Thanks again for the chance to try them out.

 

Cheers . .

Danny



#12 A Smug Dill

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Posted 03 November 2018 - 12:52

I'm very glad to hear that, mate. I'm a paranoid packer and usually go quite overboard with tape and void fill, but I also have the unfortunate habit of stuffing too large a payload into limited carriage volume, so once something is unpacked even I have trouble putting things back the way they were in a hurry, haha!

 

I still remember when I first arrived in Australia. The international flight landed in Melbourne, and we had to clear Customs there before catching a connecting flight interstate. Once the Customs officer dug several things out of my suitcase to have a look, there was no way everything was going back in in the span of fifteen minutes! Major panic.

 

By the way, I've updated the spreadsheet with some new inks I just ordered; I've carelessly allowed my collection to grow by yet another 25% since I put the list up. Do let me know if there's an ink of which you'd like a sample vial to test and review. :)







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