Jump to content

The Fountain Pen Network uses (functional) cookies. Read the FPN Privacy Policy for more info.  To remove this message, please click here to accept the use of cookies


Registration on the Fountain Pen Network

Dearest Visitor of the little Fountain Pen Nut house on the digital prairie,

Due to the enormous influx of spammers, it is no longer possible to handle valditions in the traditional way. For registrations we therefore kindly and respectfully request you to send an email with your request to our especially created email address. This email address is register at fountainpennetwork dot com. Please include your desired user name, and after validation we will send you a return email containing the validation key, normally wiithin a week.

Thank you very much in advance!
The FPN Admin Team






Photo

Parker Big Red Centennial For $224 On Amazon


  • Please log in to reply
187 replies to this topic

#81 Nyoko

Nyoko

    Near Mint

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPip
  • 43 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 04 December 2019 - 19:36

The Big Red Centennial price is now $220 on Amazon prime with the F nib. It's even lower than when I bought mine at $224.



Sponsored Content

#82 Penryn87

Penryn87

    Mint

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPip
  • 60 posts
  • Location:Georgia
  • Flag:

Posted 05 December 2019 - 22:56

So I broke down and ordered one. I have declared war on black pens lately and this one will make a fine new soldier in that fight. Of course, I fell for Amazon's trick.. it said only one left in stock.. so I ordered it and a few moments later it says their are 6 left.. Whatever lol. This is a pretty good deal. 



#83 A Smug Dill

A Smug Dill

    飽食終日無所用心

  • FPN Supporter - Rhodium

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,675 posts
  • Location:Sydney, Australia
  • Flag:

Posted 05 December 2019 - 22:58

This is a pretty good deal.


Especially considering if gives you access to such a variety of nibs (if you're prepared to wait for the exchange to be processed by Parker post-purchase).

As always:  1. Implicit in everything and every instance I write on FPN is the invitation for you to judge me as a peer in the community. I think it's only due respect to take each other's written word in online discussion seriously and apply critical judgment.  2. I do not presume to judge for you what is right, correct or valid. If I make a claim, or refute a statement in a thread, and link to references and other information in support, I beseech you to review and consider those, and judge for yourself. I may be wrong. My position or say-so carries no more weight than anyone else's here, and external parties can speak for themselves with what they have published.  3. I endeavour to be frank and truthful in what I write, show or otherwise present when I relate my first-hand experiences that are not independently verifiable. If it is something you can test for yourself and see the results, I entreat you to do so.


#84 Penryn87

Penryn87

    Mint

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPip
  • 60 posts
  • Location:Georgia
  • Flag:

Posted 05 December 2019 - 23:29

Does anyone have any insight into this pricing? The Big Red might be biggest deal but the other duofolds significantly are undercutting their normal retail channels.. which surely cannot make their vendors happy. That said, normally when a luxury maker goes on a ‘fire sale’, they just declare the goods to be ‘grey market’; most certainly not the case here. 



#85 A Smug Dill

A Smug Dill

    飽食終日無所用心

  • FPN Supporter - Rhodium

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,675 posts
  • Location:Sydney, Australia
  • Flag:

Posted 05 December 2019 - 23:39

Does anyone have any insight into this pricing?


I'm not sure what you mean there.

Amazon US is just a retailer, which is at liberty to undercut the competition. It's not an item "sold by Parker and fulfilled by Amazon", as far as I can see, so it's not as if the manufacturer or its official regional distributor is cannibalising the sales of the brand's authorised dealers.

As always:  1. Implicit in everything and every instance I write on FPN is the invitation for you to judge me as a peer in the community. I think it's only due respect to take each other's written word in online discussion seriously and apply critical judgment.  2. I do not presume to judge for you what is right, correct or valid. If I make a claim, or refute a statement in a thread, and link to references and other information in support, I beseech you to review and consider those, and judge for yourself. I may be wrong. My position or say-so carries no more weight than anyone else's here, and external parties can speak for themselves with what they have published.  3. I endeavour to be frank and truthful in what I write, show or otherwise present when I relate my first-hand experiences that are not independently verifiable. If it is something you can test for yourself and see the results, I entreat you to do so.


#86 Penryn87

Penryn87

    Mint

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPip
  • 60 posts
  • Location:Georgia
  • Flag:

Posted 06 December 2019 - 00:55

I'm not sure what you mean there.

Amazon US is just a retailer, which is at liberty to undercut the competition. It's not an item "sold by Parker and fulfilled by Amazon", as far as I can see, so it's not as if the manufacturer or its official regional distributor is cannibalising the sales of the brand's authorised dealers.

So it appears Amazon.com Services Inc. is the seller.

What I mean to say is that Amazon isn't a charity, they are not going to sell pens at a loss. If Amazon can get these pens at a price where they can sell these pens and make money, Parker has to know about it and approve it. Yes amazon is the land of deals in some cases, but there are plenty of other pens Amazon.com (the seller) has but does not have anywhere near the kind of discount from normal street price - For example: you can find a Pilot 823 for 267.74 but that isn't far off from 288.00 gouletpens or fountainpenhospital's price.

But at 220 dollars, this price is about ~65% off the street price.. and prime shipping is included too.  

So my questions why is Parker, or a parker-approved wholesaler selling these pens at such a low price. Expecting your retail partners to bare a 20 dollar premium is one thing.. a 400 dollar one? 



#87 A Smug Dill

A Smug Dill

    飽食終日無所用心

  • FPN Supporter - Rhodium

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,675 posts
  • Location:Sydney, Australia
  • Flag:

Posted 06 December 2019 - 02:12

Yes amazon is the land of deals in some cases, but there are plenty of other pens Amazon.com (the seller) has but does not have anywhere near the kind of discount from normal street price


Over 18 months, I've picked up a few high-end Platinum pens sold by Amazon US at less than half the MSRP.

As always:  1. Implicit in everything and every instance I write on FPN is the invitation for you to judge me as a peer in the community. I think it's only due respect to take each other's written word in online discussion seriously and apply critical judgment.  2. I do not presume to judge for you what is right, correct or valid. If I make a claim, or refute a statement in a thread, and link to references and other information in support, I beseech you to review and consider those, and judge for yourself. I may be wrong. My position or say-so carries no more weight than anyone else's here, and external parties can speak for themselves with what they have published.  3. I endeavour to be frank and truthful in what I write, show or otherwise present when I relate my first-hand experiences that are not independently verifiable. If it is something you can test for yourself and see the results, I entreat you to do so.


#88 Honeybadgers

Honeybadgers

    Museum Piece

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,250 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 06 December 2019 - 11:58

I'm not sure what you mean there.

Amazon US is just a retailer, which is at liberty to undercut the competition. It's not an item "sold by Parker and fulfilled by Amazon", as far as I can see, so it's not as if the manufacturer or its official regional distributor is cannibalising the sales of the brand's authorised dealers.

 

Amazon is at liberty to undercut the competition, but it's not a great idea if you want to keep the license from parker to be a vendor.

 

When brick and mortar start to complain to parker about this, I think we may be seeing an overall rise in cost (I suspect the same thing happened with the 3776 being so deeply undercut for a few years on amazon - prices are rising precipitously now)


Edited by Honeybadgers, 06 December 2019 - 11:58.

Selling a boatload of restored, fairly rare, vintage Japanese gold nib pens, click here to see (more added as I finish restoring them)


#89 A Smug Dill

A Smug Dill

    飽食終日無所用心

  • FPN Supporter - Rhodium

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,675 posts
  • Location:Sydney, Australia
  • Flag:

Posted 06 December 2019 - 13:17

(I suspect the same thing happened with the 3776 being so deeply undercut for a few years on amazon - prices are rising precipitously now)

 

 

As recently as 30 November, the Platinum #3776 Yakusugi was sold by Amazon US for an astounding low price.


As always:  1. Implicit in everything and every instance I write on FPN is the invitation for you to judge me as a peer in the community. I think it's only due respect to take each other's written word in online discussion seriously and apply critical judgment.  2. I do not presume to judge for you what is right, correct or valid. If I make a claim, or refute a statement in a thread, and link to references and other information in support, I beseech you to review and consider those, and judge for yourself. I may be wrong. My position or say-so carries no more weight than anyone else's here, and external parties can speak for themselves with what they have published.  3. I endeavour to be frank and truthful in what I write, show or otherwise present when I relate my first-hand experiences that are not independently verifiable. If it is something you can test for yourself and see the results, I entreat you to do so.


#90 katerchen

katerchen

    Slow and furious

  • FPN Supporter - Rhodium

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 931 posts
  • Location:Austin,TX
  • Flag:

Posted 06 December 2019 - 16:08

Amazon pricing is weird, to say the least. I'm sure it's algorithm based that I won't even start to guess, how it works (and goes way beyond supply, demand and sales volume).

 

It's especially visible when the exact same product with slightly different features is being sold all over the price spectrum. Eg: this same pen with a medium nib is 260 right now (which is still below street price).

 

A while back I was watching Pilot Irohshizuku prices ... they varied from $15 to $29 per bottle, changing all the time. Watching the price fluctuations was almost like watching the stock market.



#91 Honeybadgers

Honeybadgers

    Museum Piece

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,250 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 08 December 2019 - 09:13

 

 

As recently as 30 November, the Platinum #3776 Yakusugi was sold by Amazon US for an astounding low price.

 

Your first instinct is to look up one of the rare, uncommon, and most expensive versions? And not the common, everday that has been the staple "$65-80" price range recomendation here for like three years? Talk about confirmation bias to skew your argument, man.

 

The price of the cheapest models on Amazon has shot up nearly 30% in the last 4 months. It's not quite as high as traditional retailers (yet) but the prices are coming up. And I haven't seen them dip back down (though I could be wrong here, I just haven't seen it happen yet) even eBay's prices have come up alongside amazon, which indicates to me that platinum is starting to come down on the JDM retailers that were providing the steeply discounted models.

 

I repeat my argument - Amazon has market dominance, but unless Parker wants to go whole-hog on Amazon as its only retailer, it needs to keep a better leash on what Amazon can charge. If retailers start dropping Parker because they can't sell the duofold or sonnet at even remotely competitive prices and are losing money by keeping the brand, Parker may see an overall net revenue loss. That's actually how things tend to go with companies that carry brands. It's why endlesspens makes you register for the website before you can see their crazy hopdrop discounts.

 

And maybe they won't care or notice. It's equally plausible. But a good product manufacturer knows that they have to keep their vendors happy. Visconti and MontBlanc in particular are very careful about even letting their retailers offer sale prices. they usually make them "hide" sale prices to keep them from auto-popping up on google market and undercutting the sales of other retailers who don't want to run a sale. It's a little sneaky and anticonsumer, yes, but it's just a weird market quirk.

 

Either way, I still think the duofold is a great pen at $300 or less. I hope to grab another one in the next month or two at $220 and I'll swap it for a big signature nib. And to appease my local parker retailer, I'm using him for the wedding stationary for when my Wife and I actually have our ceremony  :P


Edited by Honeybadgers, 08 December 2019 - 09:16.

Selling a boatload of restored, fairly rare, vintage Japanese gold nib pens, click here to see (more added as I finish restoring them)


#92 A Smug Dill

A Smug Dill

    飽食終日無所用心

  • FPN Supporter - Rhodium

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,675 posts
  • Location:Sydney, Australia
  • Flag:

Posted 08 December 2019 - 13:04

Your first instinct is to look up one of the rare, uncommon, and most expensive versions? And not the common, everday that has been the staple "$65-80" price range recomendation here for like three years?


First instinct? Some pens have a place in my "saved for later" list of products for months on end, for the express reason that I want to be notified (but not proactively by email) by Amazon of changes in price and availability every time I go to view my shopping cart. The yakusugi, light briar, Jupiter ebonite, and a couple of celluloid Platinum #3776 models are on that list.

"Platinum #3776" is not synonymous with only the Black On Black model (or any other colour with the same MSRP), but is a fairly large family/series of pen models, in which the gold-nibbed Black On Black and Bourgogne models were not always the most basic or cheapest but also certainly not the most high-end or expensive. "Sailor 1911" is not synonymous with the Profit Standard in a basic opaque colour. "Lamy 2000" does not designate only the black Makrolon version, or even just that one and the stainless steel version.

Talk about confirmation bias to skew your argument, man.

The price of the cheapest models on Amazon has shot up nearly 30% in the last 4 months. It's not quite as high as traditional retailers (yet) but the prices are coming up.


I'm not the one who is wilfully overlooking Platinum's 30% increase in MSRP this year in the basic gold-trimmed and gold-nibbed Black On Black, Chartres Blue and Bourgogne models in making an argument.

Not everyone aims to get the cheapest model of Platinum #3776, Sailor 1911 Large, or Parker Duofold Centennial irrespective of material and finish in the belief that "it's all about the nib" and that it's the default way of acquiring different nibs in those product families through retail, because the manufacturers don't make replacement nibs separate SKUs available to consumers through authorised dealers.

I repeat my argument - Amazon has market dominance, but unless Parker wants to go whole-hog on Amazon as its only retailer, it needs to keep a better leash on what Amazon can charge.


Now you're actually changing your argument.

Amazon is at liberty to undercut the competition, but it's not a great idea if you want to keep the license from parker to be a vendor.
 
When brick and mortar start to complain to parker about this, I think we may be seeing an overall rise in cost (I suspect the same thing happened with the 3776 being so deeply undercut for a few years on amazon - prices are rising precipitously now)


What you originally said speaks to a relationship dynamic that gives Parker significant power and/or leverage over Amazon, whereas now it sounds like you're changing your tune, and alluding that Parker does not have that power and/or leverage outright but "needs" it to protect its broader business.

Either way, I still think the duofold is a great pen at $300 or less.


Compared to the gold-nibbed Leonardo Officina Italiana models... maybe. Compared to Platinum #3776, Sailor Professional Gear ("Classic"), or the Lamy 2000 Makrolon or other gold-nibbed Lamy pens (and the Studio Palladium, cp1 Platinum, Accent Piano Black, and Imporium and Dialog 3 in various colours and finishes have all been sold recently for under US$200 each), I personally don't think the Parker Duofold Centennial Classic Big Red Vintage is that great, even though I've been curious enough to spend money on one.

As always:  1. Implicit in everything and every instance I write on FPN is the invitation for you to judge me as a peer in the community. I think it's only due respect to take each other's written word in online discussion seriously and apply critical judgment.  2. I do not presume to judge for you what is right, correct or valid. If I make a claim, or refute a statement in a thread, and link to references and other information in support, I beseech you to review and consider those, and judge for yourself. I may be wrong. My position or say-so carries no more weight than anyone else's here, and external parties can speak for themselves with what they have published.  3. I endeavour to be frank and truthful in what I write, show or otherwise present when I relate my first-hand experiences that are not independently verifiable. If it is something you can test for yourself and see the results, I entreat you to do so.


#93 Penryn87

Penryn87

    Mint

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPip
  • 60 posts
  • Location:Georgia
  • Flag:

Posted 10 December 2019 - 19:52

My pen came in the mail today. I'll probably do a full review after I have had a week or two to get to know this pen a little better but here are some photos and initial impressions. 

https://imgur.com/a/o9IjHEk < Photos

As a quick side-bar back to our lively debate on the pricing of this pen: taking a look around the major online retailers, just how many of them are not selling Parker/Waterman anymore is very revealing. Goulet is the biggest standout, and the ones they still do sell Parker don't carry anywhere near the full line anymore. Of those that are still selling Parker if they even sell the Duofold, most of them do not sell the full range of Duofold (maybe just one or two models). So Parker (bleep) off the traditional retail might not be as big of an issue as it seems. 

So Parker now has a lot of pens to sell and has to sell them somewhere. But do their vendor partners even want them? Niche FP stores, unlike Amazon, is relationship based, even if your online primarily. Do these vendors really want a customer seeing a pen they bought previously priced at 65% less that what they bought it for? Of course not. As to pricing, Amazon wants to keep items in their warehouse for as short of a time as possible, and as it has been said, carries a lot of weight in pricing. What makes the most sense is that Amazon is pricing these pens so that they are sold-out or nearly sold out by the time the next shipment comes in: ergo, the pricing for these pens are therefore adjusting with demand. 

Now.. back to the pen.

My initial impressions - This pen is suppose to have an MSRP of around.. checks notes :yikes: ...  $788.00   :lticaptd:; thoroughly overpriced. The materials of the body do not feel up to the standard of what would be the asking price of a pen of that anything north of 300 dollars. The nib on the other hand.. this is the real bargainEven at 262 dollars for the medium nib, the nib does match it's aspired price point. E.I. - the nib is big: for a nib of this size, with a two tone finish, nothing out there comes close to my knowledge at this asking price. Yes, Pilot will sell you a comparable 15 size nib for around 220 dollars, but you have to get to step up to an 845 before you can get a two tone. For a 'big nib' and a two tone finish, to my knowledge a Pelikan M800 - for 100+ dollars more - is the only thing close in terms of readily available at a comparably close price point. 

QC - Parker is not skipping out on QC - the nib is essentially perfect from the factory; smooth, great flow, no pressure required to write. While other materials might not be up there, the fit and finish is very good. The feel screwing off and on of the cap isn't as nice as a Pilot or Pelikan, and it only begrudgingly posts. Capped it is about the same length as a capped M800; posted it is approx. a full centimeter  :o  longer than a comparably posted M800. However, the arrow clip lines up very nicely with the "Duofold" barrel impression (see photos). 


 



#94 A Smug Dill

A Smug Dill

    飽食終日無所用心

  • FPN Supporter - Rhodium

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,675 posts
  • Location:Sydney, Australia
  • Flag:

Posted 10 December 2019 - 22:19

The nib on the other hand.. this is the real bargainEven at 262 dollars for the medium nib, the nib does match it's aspired price point. E.I. - the nib is big: for a nib of this size, with a two tone finish, nothing out there comes close to my knowledge at this asking price. Yes, Pilot will sell you a comparable 15 size nib for around 220 dollars, but you have to get to step up to an 845 before you can get a two tone. For a 'big nib' and a two tone finish, to my knowledge a Pelikan M800 - for 100+ dollars more - is the only thing close in terms of readily available at a comparably close price point.


This is what I personally don't get. Is the marginal value — especially since you alluded to price, so it's an appeal to the idea of worth in buyers' minds — of a "big nib" over a physically smaller nib (e.g. a Pilot #15, compared to a Pilot #10 nib) in the difference in the weight of gold, when larger nibs do not inherently or categorically write better?

I understand some users may prefer larger nibs aesthetically, or imagine that larger nibs convey more of a sense of stature, and some may prefer the feel of longer tines; but that's not categorical, in that yet other users may prefer nibs that are not oversized for the pen, not too ostentatious, and allow precise control. So, I'm not challenging the individual's preferences here, but just pointing out that large, soft, flex, smooth, etc. are not characteristics that are inherently superior.

That reduces the argument to, "larger nibs simply sell for higher prices in the market, irrespective of whether they make for better writing instruments or are liked by everybody," if that is even statistically true.

Same as the two-tone thing: I personally like the aesthetic appeal of a two-tone nib better, say on a Sailor Professional Gear Classic — and bought an extra pen just to acquire that, as I already have one with a fully rhodium-plated nib and another with a fully ruthenium-plated nib — but they aren't inherently worth more (in gold content, by rarity, or just pricing). For example, a two-toned 14K gold Pelikan M400 nib and a monotone 14K gold Pelikan M405 nib are just as common and readily accessible, and are priced identically by Appelboom, Fontoplumo and La Couronne du Comte, while Cult Pens sells the monotone nib more cheaply while EndlessPens sells the two-toned nib more cheaply; and a basic black Sailor Pro Gear Classic with a two-toned 21K gold nib is usually priced identically with an entry-level ivory/yellow/orange Sailor Pro Gear Classic with a monotone 21K gold nib.
 

QC - Parker is not skipping out on QC - the nib is essentially perfect from the factory; smooth, great flow, no pressure required to write.


I'll wait and see what the replacement Fine Italic nib on my Duofold Centennial Classic Big Red Vintage is like, when Parker finally sends the pen back to me, but I found the factory Fine nib disappointing out-of-the-box. I'm glad to hear that you had better luck with yours, or just different tastes that happen to align with Parker's own idea of what makes a good nib.
 
I do hope that the replacement FI nib will surpass my reasonably low expectations and blow me away. Given that Parker's local distributor told me the Duofold nibs are only made on demand in France, I hope whoever works on the nib actually looked at the writing samples I provided, which was produced using my best italic nib, ground by Dan Smith for me to my specifications from a Pelikan M600 EF nib. I mean, hey, the Duofold Centennial's nib is physically larger than the Pelikan M600's nib, so there must be more potential for Parker to produce a superior Fine Italic nib, right?


As always:  1. Implicit in everything and every instance I write on FPN is the invitation for you to judge me as a peer in the community. I think it's only due respect to take each other's written word in online discussion seriously and apply critical judgment.  2. I do not presume to judge for you what is right, correct or valid. If I make a claim, or refute a statement in a thread, and link to references and other information in support, I beseech you to review and consider those, and judge for yourself. I may be wrong. My position or say-so carries no more weight than anyone else's here, and external parties can speak for themselves with what they have published.  3. I endeavour to be frank and truthful in what I write, show or otherwise present when I relate my first-hand experiences that are not independently verifiable. If it is something you can test for yourself and see the results, I entreat you to do so.


#95 Honeybadgers

Honeybadgers

    Museum Piece

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,250 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 11 December 2019 - 00:24

You have to admit, gil, that your ideas on nibs are very, very, very specific. For someone who wants a glassy smooth and well tuned nib, the duofold's fine and medium are (bleep) impressive. They lack the "precise" feeling, but trade that very consciously for smoothness.

 

I personally didn't love the nib for my tastes either (but it was purely a subjective dislike, the nib wrote and was stunningly smooth and well behaved) so I have similar hopes that the needlepoint will satisfy me.

 

But again, the nib itself is pretty objectively good in that it writes and doesn't do anything that everyone would hate, i.e. skip, hard start, scratch/bite the paper, etc... Things Visconti struggles with

 

Also, what don't you get about nib size? It's drama. Flare. proportions. Some people like small, understated nibs, but others like them big and flashy and flambouyant. And the duofold is easily on par with montblanc and pelikan in regards to the "flare" that they have. Performance has nothing to do with size (some of the best writing nibs ever made were dinky little #1 and #2's of yesteryear)

 

No point trying to to be so snarky. People's tastes are pretty obvious.


Edited by Honeybadgers, 11 December 2019 - 00:29.

Selling a boatload of restored, fairly rare, vintage Japanese gold nib pens, click here to see (more added as I finish restoring them)


#96 Penryn87

Penryn87

    Mint

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPip
  • 60 posts
  • Location:Georgia
  • Flag:

Posted 11 December 2019 - 00:45

I am not saying it performs any better. All I am saying is that if you want a big flashy nib in a new pen, your other options are going to cost a lot more money. 

As to the nib itself, Parker's nibs come from the factory in my experience to be very smooth and wet. So far, it does best with the lightest touch and is all and all very unoffensive. 

 



#97 A Smug Dill

A Smug Dill

    飽食終日無所用心

  • FPN Supporter - Rhodium

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,675 posts
  • Location:Sydney, Australia
  • Flag:

Posted 11 December 2019 - 02:28

You have to admit, gil, that your ideas on nibs are very, very, very specific.


I'm not sure whether you're inadvertently conflating specific with rare and uncommon there, or intentionally alluding to my preferences being rare and uncommon, or neither.

I personally want, and encourage, everyone to be as specific and discerning with everything as users and consumers with retail dollars to spend. F**get "mainstream" tastes — and, just to be clear, I don't mean let's just be all counter-culture and give the majority the finger. I mean let's give product manufacturers and service providers a million individuals to deal with and appeal to, with every one of them being "an island" or "unique" minority with very specific tastes. I reckon that's the way to test just how good a company, brand or service is. If there are a million discerning users/customers who are very specific about their wants and preferences, how many can this particular company satisfy with their stock standard products, and how prepared are they to appease or otherwise accommodate those who are outside of that "core"?

To Parker's credit, it seems to have the full list of fourteen(?) nib width grades and types available for the Duofold with respect to its nib exchange programme for new purchases, notwithstanding that Parker's web site appears to state otherwise. That's more than what Pelikan and so on would agree to, never mind the (or, should I say, "my beloved"?) Japanese Big Three fountain pen brands in that regard. The stock standard F-or-M-only nibs with which one could order a Duofold Classic may not be impressive or even satisfying to everyone, but the range of options for nib exchange is unrivalled, even though the quality and performance of the "non-standard" options remain to be seen and attested.
 
That's the point. We're hobbyists and individuals. Never mind what everyone or anyone else likes, when their satisfaction is nothing to me? We aren't pretending to be like-minded just to foster some sense or illusion of "community". What do I personally like, and can Parker, Pelikan, Visconti, Aurora, Nakaya, Platinum, Pilot and Sailor satisfy my requirements, never mind what anyone else think of them? Heritage and country-of-origin, to me, are especially unimportant; I'm Chinese-Australian (if that means anything to anyone) myself, but I don't go pretending the Chinese make better pens than the Germans, or barracking for Australians to make equally well-regarded pens and inks as the Italians and the Japanese manufacturers.

 

For someone who wants a glassy smooth and well tuned nib, the duofold's fine and medium are (bleep) impressive. They lack the "precise" feeling, but trade that very consciously for smoothness.

 

And I've love for individual users — every single one of them — to research, assess and decide for themselves that smoothness trumps whatever else in their requirements as users of writing instruments, as opposed to looking to what others like. The only time, in my opinion, that it matters what others like is if I'm looking to (buy and) sell something to them.

We're a community of fountain pen users because of our shared interest in the (acquisition and) use of fountain pens, not because we share (or should share) the same tastes.
 

Also, what don't you get about nib size? It's drama. Flare. proportions.

 

I'm saying I don't "get", or see any indication, that it's categorically superior or more popular in the global fountain pen user community. However, if statistically consumers are prepared to pay more for that in the market, and/or can explain or rationalise it as having more gold content because of the sheer size, so be it.
 

No point trying to to be so snarky. People's tastes are pretty obvious.


No, it isn't. I see people "appealing" to being in the mainstream in terms of requirements and tastes.

When I walk onto Sydney Town Hall Plaza (which is just outside of one of the largest voting locations around here, and attendance at a voting centre in Australia is mandatory and required by law), and I get approached by pamphlet-pushers soliciting votes for particular parties or candidates, I tell them to shove the propaganda and just answer the question, "F**get that. What is your candidate going to do for me (and people who think/feel like I do, irrespective of how small a minority that might be) if he/she gets into office?" Once, I was surprised when the "supporter" went and grabbed the candidate and had him speak to me and my concerns. He got my vote that day, even though he belonged to a political party for which I'd otherwise never vote on broad themes.

That's what I think we as fountain pen users and purchasers should put brands such as Parker, Pelikan, Lamy, Nakaya, Platinum, Pilot and Sailor through.
 

I am not saying it performs any better. All I am saying is that if you want a big flashy nib in a new pen, your other options are going to cost a lot more money.


Fair enough.


As always:  1. Implicit in everything and every instance I write on FPN is the invitation for you to judge me as a peer in the community. I think it's only due respect to take each other's written word in online discussion seriously and apply critical judgment.  2. I do not presume to judge for you what is right, correct or valid. If I make a claim, or refute a statement in a thread, and link to references and other information in support, I beseech you to review and consider those, and judge for yourself. I may be wrong. My position or say-so carries no more weight than anyone else's here, and external parties can speak for themselves with what they have published.  3. I endeavour to be frank and truthful in what I write, show or otherwise present when I relate my first-hand experiences that are not independently verifiable. If it is something you can test for yourself and see the results, I entreat you to do so.


#98 Penryn87

Penryn87

    Mint

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPip
  • 60 posts
  • Location:Georgia
  • Flag:

Posted 11 December 2019 - 04:01

I know you sent in your pen for a italic fine.. which is a nib I’m also interested in. Have you seen a writing sample as to what this nib might write like? I’m also curious as to the nib Exchange Program you see. 



#99 Honeybadgers

Honeybadgers

    Museum Piece

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,250 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 11 December 2019 - 04:08

 

I'm not sure whether you're inadvertently conflating specific with rare and uncommon there, or intentionally alluding to my preferences being rare and uncommon, or neither.

I personally want, and encourage, everyone to be as specific and discerning with everything as users and consumers with retail dollars to spend. F**get "mainstream" tastes — and, just to be clear, I don't mean let's just be all counter-culture and give the majority the finger. I mean let's give product manufacturers and service providers a million individuals to deal with and appeal to, with every one of them being "an island" or "unique" minority with very specific tastes. I reckon that's the way to test just how good a company, brand or service is. If there are a million discerning users/customers who are very specific about their wants and preferences, how many can this particular company satisfy with their stock standard products, and how prepared are they to appease or otherwise accommodate those who are outside of that "core"?

To Parker's credit, it seems to have the full list of fourteen(?) nib width grades and types available for the Duofold with respect to its nib exchange programme for new purchases, notwithstanding that Parker's web site appears to state otherwise. That's more than what Pelikan and so on would agree to, never mind the (or, should I say, "my beloved"?) Japanese Big Three fountain pen brands in that regard. The stock standard F-or-M-only nibs with which one could order a Duofold Classic may not be impressive or even satisfying to everyone, but the range of options for nib exchange is unrivalled, even though the quality and performance of the "non-standard" options remain to be seen and attested.
 
That's the point. We're hobbyists and individuals. Never mind what everyone or anyone else likes, when their satisfaction is nothing to me? We aren't pretending to be like-minded just to foster some sense or illusion of "community". What do I personally like, and can Parker, Pelikan, Visconti, Aurora, Nakaya, Platinum, Pilot and Sailor satisfy my requirements, never mind what anyone else think of them? Heritage and country-of-origin, to me, are especially unimportant; I'm Chinese-Australian (if that means anything to anyone) myself, but I don't go pretending the Chinese make better pens than the Germans, or barracking for Australians to make equally well-regarded pens and inks as the Italians and the Japanese manufacturers.

 

 

And I've love for individual users — every single one of them — to research, assess and decide for themselves that smoothness trumps whatever else in their requirements as users of writing instruments, as opposed to looking to what others like. The only time, in my opinion, that it matters what others like is if I'm looking to (buy and) sell something to them.

We're a community of fountain pen users because of our shared interest in the (acquisition and) use of fountain pens, not because we share (or should share) the same tastes.
 

 

I'm saying I don't "get", or see any indication, that it's categorically superior or more popular in the global fountain pen user community. However, if statistically consumers are prepared to pay more for that in the market, and/or can explain or rationalise it as having more gold content because of the sheer size, so be it.
 


No, it isn't. I see people "appealing" to being in the mainstream in terms of requirements and tastes.

When I walk onto Sydney Town Hall Plaza (which is just outside of one of the largest voting locations around here, and attendance at a voting centre in Australia is mandatory and required by law), and I get approached by pamphlet-pushers soliciting votes for particular parties or candidates, I tell them to shove the propaganda and just answer the question, "F**get that. What is your candidate going to do for me (and people who think/feel like I do, irrespective of how small a minority that might be) if he/she gets into office?" Once, I was surprised when the "supporter" went and grabbed the candidate and had him speak to me and my concerns. He got my vote that day, even though he belonged to a political party for which I'd otherwise never vote on broad themes.

That's what I think we as fountain pen users and purchasers should put brands such as Parker, Pelikan, Lamy, Nakaya, Platinum, Pilot and Sailor through.
 


Fair enough.

 

This was one of the more pointless rants you've made, man.

 

You argue that you both want people to be specific but acknowledge that a company has to keep its market appeal broad.

 

And then you discredit the entire point again by reminding everyone that parker does do kind of exactly what you're asking by offering more nib type options than any other mass market manufacturer that I know of on a normal production model (excluding the sailor nagahara line or custom/bespoke stuff.)

 

You admit that you prefer nibs be very precise. I'm personally on the same boat, though I can sometimes find the appeal in a really good smooth nib's little feathery edges.

 

The thing is that we can't all be reviewers. A good rule of thumb instead is to find someone whose tastes align with yours and follow them. I personally follow Jim Sterling for video game reviews because his tastes parallel mine, and games he hates/likes, I tend to as well. So I value his opinion as a critic more than a generic review.


Edited by Honeybadgers, 11 December 2019 - 04:09.

Selling a boatload of restored, fairly rare, vintage Japanese gold nib pens, click here to see (more added as I finish restoring them)


#100 A Smug Dill

A Smug Dill

    飽食終日無所用心

  • FPN Supporter - Rhodium

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,675 posts
  • Location:Sydney, Australia
  • Flag:

Posted 11 December 2019 - 06:54

I know you sent in your pen for a italic fine.. which is a nib I’m also interested in. Have you seen a writing sample as to what this nib might write like?


http://www.fountainp...nibs/?p=1679789
 

You argue that you both want people to be specific but acknowledge that a company has to keep its market appeal broad.


A producer and/or seller of consumer goods, that are entirely discretionary purchases and nowhere near being essentials and/or monopolistic, has to manage its image and appeal in order to attract interest and custom in the market.

It then has to satisfy the customers who actually committed to purchases and spent money, lest they reject and return the products (within the provisions of applicable consumer law, or under the retail channel's "satisfaction guarantee" type of business policy), or give unfavourable reviews of the products or word-of-mouth recommendations against the brand which work in opposition to the company's marketing efforts.

And then you discredit the entire point again by reminding everyone that parker does do kind of exactly what you're asking by offering more nib type options than any other mass market manufacturer that I know of on a normal production model (excluding the sailor nagahara line or custom/bespoke stuff.)


I don't see what the problem or where any perceived inconsistency is with what I'm advocating.

If more users and consumers are specific in their personal understanding of how they want their writing instruments to be, in isolation from anybody else's requirements and tastes as well as what manufacturers supply as the basic/default options, then the Fine and Medium nibs Parker offers with its Duofold models will satisfy fewer customers out-of-the-box.

However, it benefits the user community and prospective customers to know the flexibility and terms of Parker's above-average nib exchange programme. More people buying Parker pens with the clear intention of sending the F and M nibs right back for exchange and get one of the other 12 (or however many) available-with-a-lengthy-lead-time nib options will put pressure on Parker, once it has been locked in by the customers handing money over.

If the F and M nibs on offer only satisfy 50% of purchasers, who can see other "better" possibilities within reach, then it's going to force Parker's hand. Pushing or "playing" for a trend, which presumably Parker would see from its business intelligence data and otherwise monitoring the market, that the company is wearing a lot of operational costs by (purported) only making the other nibs on demand, but could risk losing market share and relevance if it tried to pull back from its extensive nib exchange programme, will put immense pressure on the company to change.

Ideally, like Sailor, Platinum and Pilot, it will eventually (be "forced" to or otherwise) offer more nib options on the ready at the time of initial sale.

All this is premised on more purchasers in the fountain pen user community being specific, discerning and insistent about their individual preferences, without undue regard for any other party or his/her/its preferences in the market.

I understand that some people don't want to wait for nib exchanges to be effected by Parker's current policy and procedures, but "the answer" to that is to give the company the implied ultimatum — through purchasing behaviour and spending patterns — that either it speeds up the nib exchanges (or, better sill, make more options available at time of sale and out-of-the-box) or lose custom, revenue and industry standing.

You admit that you prefer nibs be very precise. I'm personally on the same boat, though I can sometimes find the appeal in a really good smooth nib's little feathery edges.


"We" — as fellow fountain pen hobbyists and peers in that community, or between customer and manufacturer — are not friends. I'm advocating what's good for the collective by everyone being both "picky" and "pushy" as consumers and customers, instead of trying to cajole or steer users into having compatible or similar tastes and make it easy on manufacturers like Parker.

The more "your" tastes in pens are in no way regarded as "mainstream" or "learned", and don't sit well with Joe Bloggs and me, who will then each insist on having things our way as if that's all that matters in "our" hobby, the better it is for altering the landscape of the market and the industry. As you once said to me, "You do you." That's what I think would be good at a large scale. The more fragmented and specific "we" are in our likes, the harder companies will have to work for our consumer dollars, and the more opportunity there will be for niche product manufacturers and service providers.

That doesn't mean "we" are enemies or have antagonistic relationships with each other, either. Unsympathetic, uncompromising and unrelenting in interactions is how I think "we" can change and improve things in an ecosystem.

As always:  1. Implicit in everything and every instance I write on FPN is the invitation for you to judge me as a peer in the community. I think it's only due respect to take each other's written word in online discussion seriously and apply critical judgment.  2. I do not presume to judge for you what is right, correct or valid. If I make a claim, or refute a statement in a thread, and link to references and other information in support, I beseech you to review and consider those, and judge for yourself. I may be wrong. My position or say-so carries no more weight than anyone else's here, and external parties can speak for themselves with what they have published.  3. I endeavour to be frank and truthful in what I write, show or otherwise present when I relate my first-hand experiences that are not independently verifiable. If it is something you can test for yourself and see the results, I entreat you to do so.







Sponsored Content




|