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You're Crazy! That Costs How Much?!?


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98 replies to this topic

#21 Misfit

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Posted 04 August 2020 - 06:51

Please forgive my grammar in the topic headline.  I accidentally typed Your instead of You're and in my haste to click the post button didn't catch my mistake until it was too late.  And unfortunately I'm unable to edit my stupidity  :wallbash:


You can edit the title, at least I found it that way. I don’t know how much time passed, but it was the same day when I found out I could edit the post and title as the OP.
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#22 Estycollector

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Posted 04 August 2020 - 10:00

My great uncle used to respond when someone pushed back on his price for a horse he was selling, it only costs a little bit more to go first class. ;)

Edited by Estycollector, 04 August 2020 - 10:00.

"Respect science, respect nature, respect all people (s),"


#23 Karmachanic

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Posted 04 August 2020 - 11:58

My response might be along the lines of, 'more than a cup of coffee.'


Edited by Karmachanic, 04 August 2020 - 11:59.

"Simplicate and add Lightness."


#24 carola

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Posted 04 August 2020 - 15:43

Who are these people who are rude enough to ask the price of a personal item? They don't deserve an answer, so choose between, I don't remember, and I would rather not say.

That´s probably really a difference in culture. I just don´t consider it rude to be asked things like that. Well, depends on how the question is articulated of course, but that goes for about everything. If I am asked politely, everything is fine. And it simply doesn´t happen that a complete stranger stops to ask me the price of whatever belongings. I am talking about people I am already in a conversation with (friends, colleagues,...).

 

And I have never once in my life been in fear of someone hearing me mention the price of whatever or seeing something I have and getting robbed afterwards. That just... doesn´t happen in my world.



#25 como

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Posted 04 August 2020 - 16:02

Only one Swiss ever asked me “how much these pens in your collection cost more or less, if I may ask?”. And she is Swiss by marriage, originally French. She only asked, I am sure, because she knows me well. People in general don’t talk about money. I did tell her.



#26 Mysterious Mose

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Posted 04 August 2020 - 17:16

This thread has some implications about our hobby.
 
In general, cost is related to value, which usually reflects quality or features.  A $300. Fountain pen with a gold nib is better than a $60. pen with a stainless steel nib which itself is better than a $10. school pen.  Someone who is not a user or collector of fountain pens might still appreciate the value of more expensive pens as compared with less expensive pens.  However, he or she might not appreciate that the value of high-end pens is worth it.   
 
Up to a certain point (mine is about $1,000.00) we users and collectors agree.  However, beyond that point, we consider the added value frivolous.
 
My introduction to high-end pens came in 1973.  My boss, who had some hippie-like traits, used a Montblanc fountain pen.  I spent decades wondering why the Montblanc pen was worth its high price.  In 1989 I asked my fiancé to give me a Montblanc fountain pen as an engagement present.
 
Other hobbies share this high-end concept.  Several weeks ago, I was foraging for a cardboard box to use in shipping.  This particular box included a shipping label / invoice.  The owner of the adult home where I live had bought 6 bottles of Scotch for $1500. From England.  I like Scotch, but consider $250. a bottle excessive.  I’ll spend $80., but not $250., especially without tasting it first.  The supplier had some Scotch for thousands of dollars a bottle.
 
Apparently, W.C. Fields believed in high-end liquor.  His last will and testament identified in great detail, as part of his estate, some liquor worth hundreds of dollars a bottle, in 1940’s dollars.  He directed to whom he would leave this liquor.
 
I’m sure members of the board can identify other hobbies that believe in high-end products.
 

 


Dan Kalish

 

Fountain Pens: Pelikan Souveran M805, Waterman Expert II, Waterman Phileas, Stipula Splash, Sheaffer Sagaris, Sheaffer Prelude, Sheaffer Cartridge Fountain Pen, Sheaffer School

 

inks: Pelikan 4001 Brilliant Schwarz (Brilliant Black), Pelikan 4001 Königsblau (Royal Blue), Edelstein Sapphire, Edelstein Onyx, Waterman Encre Bleu (Inspired Blue), Diamine Mediterranean Blue, iroshizuku (Pilot) ama-iro (Sky Blue), Montblanc Mystery Black


#27 inkstainedruth

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Posted 04 August 2020 - 17:40

That said every time I see something pretty to wear I gasp "I could buy a Nakaya for the price of that sweater!" It actually keeps me from spending too much as I try not to buy any item of clothing that costs more than a Twsbi 580.

:lol:

This morning at the dentist's, the new hygienist was admiring my purse, which I bought in a discount store.  No name, made in India, more or less the size I wanted and the features I wanted -- not least of which was that I wanted the shoulder straps to not have the (pseudo?) leather layer over the padding NOT DISINTEGRATE the way my previous purse had.  The previous purse was Stone & Co. and I had it for roughly a YEAR  :angry:.  New one?  Doesn't have the padded straps, but DOES have them clearly made out of leather.  Saved me about $25-30 US too.

Then when I was making the followup appointment I accidentally stabbed myself with the pen I had with me (and also got ink all over my hand in the process).  The guy at the desk offered me a trash can to throw it out....  It was the Pilot Decimo (so I'm really hoping I didn'damage that 18K nib  :o; and I had JUST refilled it last night so I  now have Tsuyu-kusa on a couple fingers and also -- don't ask me how -- on the EDGE of my hand below my pinkie  :huh:).  I said "I'm not throwing this out!  This cost $120!"  I hadn't planned to say anything, because of course at first glance it would just look like a click ballpoint;  it just blurted out....  

Yes, that's me.  A $45 purse and a $120 pen.   :rolleyes: 

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth


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#28 Intensity

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Posted 04 August 2020 - 17:42

Luxury products don't necessarily have USEFUL value, they are more like investments or have intrinsic value due to constituent materials or artistry, or even sentimental value.  For example jewelry: one can wear $5 jewelry or $5,000,000 jewelry.  It's just decorative, has no useful qualities.  Asking how much someone's jewelry cost is usually considered rude around where I live. 

 

I think of most fountain pens over $5 to be luxury items, since the utilitarian $1 fountain/ball/gel pens work just fine for actual writing.  It's up to individuals to justify whether their luxury spending is reasonable for any items they own in any category.  What might be too expensive for some is pocket change for others.  And I don't mean because of income only, I mean that people ascribe different levels of importance and value to different items.  For instance those collecting or frequently buying new handbags might spend $300 on a bag and consider it a great deal, since maybe the same bag is normally priced close to $1000.  But their friend who doesn't care about handbags could say  "I wouldn't spend more than $100 on a handbag, I have one that works and it only cost me $60; I will use it until the strap frays."  etc.


“I admit it, I'm surprised that fountain pens are a hobby. ... it's a bit like stumbling into a fork convention - when you've used a fork all your life.” 


#29 bemon

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Posted 04 August 2020 - 17:43

Generally when I'm out and around people in a meeting situation for example I'm using my L2K or Pilot VP so as not to attract attention. I'd rather not talk about how much I spent on a pen. In the odd situation I've been asked about either of those pens I can say "Well not cheap, but I've had them for ages and they'll last many more years." Which is true. 

 

A co-worker of mine likes the idea of fountain pens, and likes writing with mine. I gave him a Jinhao and he's looking at ordering a Monblanc with points he gets from a corporate program he's enrolled with.

 

Last week I had my M805, GVFC Classic and Edison Collier 18k with me. He used each, really enjoyed them but as he asked how much each pen was I told him what they usually sold for although he could get them for less as I did if he really looks. he got progressively more horrified.

 

But we talked about it after and he's really into cooking so has exorbitantly priced kitchen knives. So the way I framed it up is "Well just like for the cost of one of my pens you could have a lifetime supply of Bic Cristals, for the cost of one of your Japanese knives I could have a lifetime supply of 'gets the job done' Cuisinarts." I also reminded him that what I'd pay today if I had to replace all my pens is not what I have paid. For example I bought my GVFC from a friend for less than a quarter what the same pen new sells for. I also didn't pay MSRP for my M805. I dont' think anyone pays MSRP for Pelikan. 

 

My Edison Collier I paid full price for, with a steal nib, but got a break on the 18k nib after the fact. 

 

So they're still expensive but they don't have to be "MSRP expensive."

 

Also, Covid did do a good job of re-calibrating my spending comfort levels for a while there, so for a few months I couldn't get my head around the idea of spending on another pen despite having a relatively expensive collection. Turns out it was only a temporary re-calibration. But I was briefly back on the other side and was personally taken aback at the amount I've spent on pens. 


Edited by bemon, 04 August 2020 - 17:55.


#30 BaronWulfraed

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Posted 04 August 2020 - 20:46

the way to work for about 6 months parked across from me, a Masarati. No toney clothes on the owner when he came out of the store with his bags of groceries. Earlier that week when parked outside a coffee shop we were eating in our car and a variety of sports cars pulled up and parked, the one in front of us that parked was a Ferrari and again a casually dressed man got out,,this one a lot older

You need a Lamborghini for the trifecta



#31 sandy101

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Posted 04 August 2020 - 21:18

I reassure myself that a mid-life crisis with motorcycles would be far more expensive.

 

A friend of mine who loves cars was making fun of a S T Dupont I got (in the sale)

 

I pointed out that he only had two cars on his drive - and only one behind - and the oil change on his fancy mustang has cost twice as much as the S T Dupont he was holding in his hand.


Edited by sandy101, 04 August 2020 - 21:20.


#32 Mysterious Mose

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Posted 04 August 2020 - 21:39

I reassure myself that a mid-life crisis with motorcycles would be far more expensive.

 

A friend of mine who loves cars was making fun of a S T Dupont I got (in the sale)

 

I pointed out that he only had two cars on his drive - and only one behind - and the oil change on his fancy mustang has cost twice as much as the S T Dupont he was holding in his hand.

But owning a motorcycle is much less expensive than owning a car.  Think of how much you would save on gas.  You could even change the oil yourself.


Dan Kalish

 

Fountain Pens: Pelikan Souveran M805, Waterman Expert II, Waterman Phileas, Stipula Splash, Sheaffer Sagaris, Sheaffer Prelude, Sheaffer Cartridge Fountain Pen, Sheaffer School

 

inks: Pelikan 4001 Brilliant Schwarz (Brilliant Black), Pelikan 4001 Königsblau (Royal Blue), Edelstein Sapphire, Edelstein Onyx, Waterman Encre Bleu (Inspired Blue), Diamine Mediterranean Blue, iroshizuku (Pilot) ama-iro (Sky Blue), Montblanc Mystery Black


#33 carola

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Posted 04 August 2020 - 21:47

But owning a motorcycle is much less expensive than owning a car.  Think of how much you would save on gas.  You could even change the oil yourself.

Oooooh... that depends...

My motorcycle was definitely more expensive than my car. And I remember the first year I had it, I had to buy a second set of tires... B)



#34 sandy101

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Posted 05 August 2020 - 00:09

But owning a motorcycle is much less expensive than owning a car.  Think of how much you would save on gas.  You could even change the oil yourself.

 

I don't own a car either, so I save tons of money on gas and insurance.



#35 Parker51

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Posted 05 August 2020 - 01:17

You need a Lamborghini for the trifecta


I haven't seen any recently because I retired last year and no longer drive to and from work. I used to see them on nice days as there is a dealership in the town I drove through daily and I occasionally drove by the dealership as I had a client who lived near it.

#36 markh

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Posted 05 August 2020 - 03:13

I heard the following story, afaik it true (though it didn't happen to me)

 

A high school teacher using a fountain pen in a class was asked and said how much his pen cost. I don't remember the number, but it wouldn't have been excessive for the pen wackos around FPN.

 

The students were aghast - why pay so much for something you are just going to use up and throw away??

 

My point is that most of the things surrounding us - think of something as expensive as your mobile phone - are "used up" and discarded after not all that long.

 

The idea that even a relatively cheap pen can be refilled, and if cared for could last several lifetimes, is probably a completely unheard of idea by most of the people who see your pen.

 

You really can't blame them - they've lived with wooden pencils, bic ballpoints and the like - disposable things.

 

 

.


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#37 Runnin_Ute

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Posted 05 August 2020 - 03:23

I don't have a problem telling people how much a particular pen cost, but it depends on context of the conversation. If it gets to that point, it is usually because they have more than a passing interest.

Brad
 
"Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind" - Rudyard Kipling
"None of us can have as many virtues as the fountain-pen, or half its cussedness; but we can try." - Mark Twain
 


#38 TexasCollector

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Posted 05 August 2020 - 05:45

I like to tell the price, when it’s not awkward, so people can stretch their sense about other people’s values. Slipping in that a pen like this goes for about $1500 gets the point across!

#39 Estycollector

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Posted 05 August 2020 - 09:50

I was going to comment earlier about the contrast between cost and value. Things can have a high value and cost little like the clock on my desk, a mid 1950's wind up Big Ben I found on eBay or a mid '80's clock radio, also on eBay. Probably my biggest surprise lately has been the 200 meter Casio MDV-106 dive watch I found for $45. 

 

There is a tendancy to think the most it cost the better it writes, but judging from the posts here of high priced pens cracking and leaking, I just know it's not true necessarily. There are plently of Esterbrook nibs that perform well that costs less than a six pack of good beer. 

 

Like Ruth, I've had some accidents with a FP. While in a meeting the 1932 Esterbrook Dollar spewed Waterman Serenity Blue all over a form I was completing. What can I expect from a $20 pen...LOL!! :)

 

Also, I don't find the gold nibs to write any better than steel. 


"Respect science, respect nature, respect all people (s),"


#40 carola

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Posted 05 August 2020 - 11:34

The thing with cheap modern pens is often that you simply can´t do anything about it, if they don´t work as they should. I have one really nice looking no-name pen that I got as a giveaway and that was thoroughly unwriteable from the beginning. The nib is... mmmh... yes, let´s say I´ve seen better ones, but the real problem seems to be the feed. It simply doesn´t do its job and as it is somehow fused/glued/welded/whatever to the pen, I am not able to get it out, not even with the help of a professional. And even if I did, it would probably be impossible to find a replacement.

 

The pen cost me zero bucks but nonetheless I am really angry about things like that happening. The pen is sitting around as some sort of decoration and that´s not what I want my pens to be, at least not as their sole use.

 

My approach to the problem is to specialize in a) vintage pens ("vintage" qualifying for me as being built no later than the early 1960s, I know where I can go when I need help there) and somewhat higher end modern pens with a good reputation concerning functionality and customer service. I have seen some pens for sale at really low prices I would have liked very much by their looks, but I refrained from buying them because of debatable functionality out of the box and difficult customer service. I simply don´t want to buy the possible hassle.

 

As for the gold nibs/steel nibs question: I have come across some very nice steel nibs writing like butter, yes. But at the end of the day, I like (most) gold nibs better. And I just tried a vintage Pelikan Palladium nib, hating its guts immediately because of the barely legible scrawl it gives me - the exact same nib being recommended to me by someone who liked it very much. Let´s be happy there are nibs out there to suit everyone.


Edited by carola, 05 August 2020 - 11:34.







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