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Help In Buying A Pen!

parker vacumatic duofold

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16 replies to this topic

#1 Brianm_14

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Posted 11 November 2018 - 23:28

Can I get some advice?

Trying to decide between three pens on eBay. Both sellers have good repuations, and I have had very good experinces with the person offering the second two pens.

-Buy it now: Vintage Parker Vacumatic Azure blue, fountain pen 14 KT Parker nib. $85 plus $5 shipping

-Buy it now or make an offer: Parker English Duofold Red AE, restored bladder, GFT 14 KT Parker nib. $64 plus $7.25 shipping. Have had very satisfactory purchases with this seller. I do have several English Duofolds, am partial to them, but have none in red.

-Buy it now or make an offer: Sheaffer Touch Down filler Fountain Pen, burgundy, GFT 14 KT #5 nib. $41 plus $7.25 shipping. Same seller as above. I have no TD -I like writers, and am less of a collector than a user. I feel sure I can replace the bladder.

Which are good or reasonable buys? What are good offers? How are Sheaffer TD nibs as a writing experience? Should I look around?

All advice welcome! Thank you!
Brian

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#2 Glenn-SC

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Posted 12 November 2018 - 01:25

What's a "good buy" for me (it is the only version of a set that I need to complete my collection) may be a "horrible buy" for you.

 

Should I pay $10 for water or $1 for a banana?  My current condition may make either of those choices the obvious one for me.

 

If you want water for $1 or a banana for $10, then go ahead and buy it.  Your money and your choice.

 

PS:  Now you'll get the "I hate bananas and wouldn't take on if you gave it to me" people who will scream at you because they like water.



#3 PaulS

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Posted 12 November 2018 - 09:02

Hi Brian  -  with the greatest respect to those who post such questions, regret I don't undestand the reasoning behind such posts.    Had the question been couched in the form of which might represent the best investment, or which was the best value for money buy, then replies might have been more useful to you, but the condition/quality of these pens is unknown, so perhaps unfair to ask people to put their heads on the block.

Nibs are also an important and point width can make a bit difference.

My opinion is that you should buy the pen you most crave/desire  -  one of them must surely float your boat more than the others  -  if ultimately you dislike the purchase then put it down to experience  -  how else are we going to learn if not from experience/mistakes.

 

Assume your reference to AE means Aerometric - or as some ebay sellers say 'aromatic', and a tad surprised the Duofold needed resacing, as these squeeze fillers from Newhaven had 'pli-glass' sacs, which mostly go on for ever.           I'd also agree that asking such questions will invite umpteen different answers and leave you more confused that when you started. :D

 

Best of luck.


Edited by PaulS, 12 November 2018 - 09:03.


#4 Karmachanic

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Posted 12 November 2018 - 13:00

It's only a pen. I'm with Paul. Buy the one you like the most.


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#5 PAKMAN

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Posted 12 November 2018 - 15:47

If the Blue Vac is in good condition and restored, $85 is a decent price. If not it will cost you $20-40 to get it restored. If you came to my table at a pen show and I had a nice condition azure blue vac in restored condition I would have it listed for about $125.

 

Can't speak to English Duofolds as they don't float my boat.

 

Depending on the model of touchdown will say how good or bad the price is. Can't really tell with the info given.


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#6 SenZen

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Posted 12 November 2018 - 16:05

Can I get some advice?

Trying to decide between three pens on eBay. Both sellers have good repuations, and I have had very good experinces with the person offering the second two pens.

-Buy it now: Vintage Parker Vacumatic Azure blue, fountain pen 14 KT Parker nib. $85 plus $5 shipping

-Buy it now or make an offer: Parker English Duofold Red AE, restored bladder, GFT 14 KT Parker nib. $64 plus $7.25 shipping. Have had very satisfactory purchases with this seller. I do have several English Duofolds, am partial to them, but have none in red.

-Buy it now or make an offer: Sheaffer Touch Down filler Fountain Pen, burgundy, GFT 14 KT #5 nib. $41 plus $7.25 shipping. Same seller as above. I have no TD -I like writers, and am less of a collector than a user. I feel sure I can replace the bladder.

Which are good or reasonable buys? What are good offers? How are Sheaffer TD nibs as a writing experience? Should I look around?

All advice welcome! Thank you!

 

With my limited knowledge of these specific pens, here goes:

 

1. Do you really like the design? What size is it? I find Vacumatics really good looking, $85 seems like a decent price, assuming it's in working order and doesn't have major blemishes, from my various searches for a silver pearl.

 

2. Do you have a specific ink in mind? Will you be swapping inks? The one thing that's kept me from buying a pen like these is that I swap inks until I find the right combination, but these pens are not easy to clean. They're also probably small pens (large hands).

 

3. The Duofold seems to be more of a known quantity to you, hence a safer choice.

 

4. No experience with Sheaffers, the one that might tempt would need to have an "upturned nib", the general design doesn't inspire me (but might inspire you).


"The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt."

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#7 Brianm_14

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Posted 12 November 2018 - 19:21

Glenn and Paul.,
i accept your criticicisms as valid. Thank you, as they have taught me me something about clarifying my own thoughts before writing.

I was loooking for some guidance as to whether or not these pens were priced within the range of a decent value.
Brian

#8 PaulS

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Posted 12 November 2018 - 21:45

Brian  -  you're not alone - at times we all dither and prevaricate and become indecisive, but for the amounts of money you have indicated, just take the plunge and buy what your heart most fancies  ……………….   of course, you could buy all three, provided the bank manager agrees :lticaptd:



#9 pajaro

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Posted 12 November 2018 - 21:59

Sheaffer TD sounds OK.  I have a few I have paid more for, and the other two wouldn't interest me. 


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#10 AL01

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Posted 12 November 2018 - 22:01

 I may be a little late, but make sure that if your are paying more than about 50$ or so for a vintage pen, make sure it has been restored.

 

 Sometimes buying a used vintage pen can be a risk if it is not restored.

 

 I think you should avoid the Touch Down unless if it is in mint shape.

 

 I have seen them restored for about 55-60$.

 

 The Vacumatic at 85$ is not a bad price, but again, that's if the pen is in decent shape and has been restored.

 

 I usually avoid polystyrene pens, and you own quite a few of 'em, so I'd say avoid the Duofold.

 

 As always....

 

 .... My 2 cents.



#11 corgicoupe

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Posted 12 November 2018 - 23:39

I have had a Touchdown restored for $20 plus shipping.


Edited by corgicoupe, 12 November 2018 - 23:40.

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#12 Brianm_14

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Posted 13 November 2018 - 02:11

Thanks to all who have replied. Virtually all of you helped me, just in different ways. I was concerned about about the value being offered, in the sense that the best value might not be as easily found sgain. But I also learned about how I need to ask for thus sort of expert advice here.

I have a lot of experince as an expert (in other areas -optics and microscopes, for instance) being asked for advice, but I see I need to learn more about being on the recieving end.

Your patience and kindness as as I branch out is appreciated. So far, I have stuck with more modern pens, a few more recent Parkers, and quite a few Esterbrooks. Now to consult the bank. I like Duofolds when they are in uncommon colors (they are easier to swap or sell, too, I think), but the vacumatic seems like a decent deal to grab rught now. I know I'd use it. I feel I am ahead in that it seemed priced right for a restored pen, although there seems to be two ways of looking at that.

Edited by Brianm_14, 13 November 2018 - 02:11.

Brian

#13 1nkulus

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Posted 13 November 2018 - 13:58

I was looking for some guidance as to whether or not these pens were priced within the range of a decent value.

+1

 

IMO, this is usually what the poster is looking for when questions like the OP are posted seeking advice/opinion.


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#14 PaulS

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Posted 13 November 2018 - 14:53

yes, you're right of course - we do know what the o.p. was getting at, but ……………..  not having seen the pens in question does put us in the unenviable position of commenting blind, which could be irresponsible if the purchase turned sour.           Pen purchases are not an exact science - much emotion intrudes, and our heart rules our head, often, and we're all a bit biased either for or against and this affects our ability to be impartial when assessing. 

It's always better to take time and learn from our own experience - hope Brian doesn't feel we've been too dismissive. 

 

The Newhaven Duofold is more expensive for States buyers since they were never made there - but as commented they are polystyrene pens, the nibs nearly always medium and the colours blindingly boring ……………….  but, they are workhorses, never seem to fail, and for U.K. buyers represent one of the best value for money pens if you want to write.          Out of that entire range it's really only the Maxima that excites, and fetches good money, the others have little real interest for collectors, unless the nib is special.  

 

The best advice may still be simply to buy what you fancy  -  without which where is the passion and excitement.       Hope the o.p. does buy one those pens, and we'd be interested to know which and why. :)


Edited by PaulS, 13 November 2018 - 14:54.


#15 Glenn-SC

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Posted 13 November 2018 - 18:35

The other side of that coin is where The Expert recommends to The Newbe that this is The Classic Pen to buy.  The Newbe buys The Classic Pen and The Newbe hates The Classic Pen.

 

Just because a pen is "The Classic Pen" doesn't mean it is even necessarily a "good pen", specially if The Newbe is looking for a every day in every way user pen.  (Think Parker T-1)

 

Now who does The Newbe blame for paying "all that money" for The Classic Pen which is not a every day in every way user pen?  (Too skinny, too light, doesn't write well, fragile, expensive, essentially unrepairable,etc.)  [And before anyone screams about the values of the T-1, know that I own 2.  And the pencil.]

 

They should blame themselves for not doing their investigative work and finding what pen works for them and is a "good value" for them.  Undoubtedly they will blame The Expert. 



#16 1nkulus

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Posted 13 November 2018 - 18:40

not having seen the pens in question does put us in the unenviable position of commenting blind, which could be irresponsible if the purchase turned sour.           Pen purchases are not an exact science - much emotion intrudes, and our heart rules our head, often, and we're all a bit biased either for or against and this affects our ability to be impartial when assessing. 

It's always better to take time and learn from our own experience - hope Brian doesn't feel we've been too dismissive.

 

Agreed.

 

Questions like the OP are easier, compared to 'Best Pelikan pen', 'Which pen under $100', 'First vintage pen to buy' etc., since some thought has already gone into narrowing the field using whatever parameters were important to the poster.

It is now simply outlining the pro's and con's of the selected models to fine tune the purchase decision.  :)


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#17 AL01

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Posted 13 November 2018 - 22:39

Thanks to all who have replied. Virtually all of you helped me, just in different ways. I was concerned about about the value being offered, in the sense that the best value might not be as easily found sgain. But I also learned about how I need to ask for thus sort of expert advice here.

I have a lot of experince as an expert (in other areas -optics and microscopes, for instance) being asked for advice, but I see I need to learn more about being on the recieving end.

Your patience and kindness as as I branch out is appreciated. So far, I have stuck with more modern pens, a few more recent Parkers, and quite a few Esterbrooks. Now to consult the bank. I like Duofolds when they are in uncommon colors (they are easier to swap or sell, too, I think), but the vacumatic seems like a decent deal to grab rught now. I know I'd use it. I feel I am ahead in that it seemed priced right for a restored pen, although there seems to be two ways of looking at that.

 

 

 Heyheyheyheyheyhey....

 

 We all know know what we know, and I am quite sure your advice for optics and microscopes would be great!

 

 I hope you enjoy your Vacumatic!







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