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
- 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?