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The Staedtler Company of Germany


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#1 moonriver17

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Posted 30 August 2008 - 12:30

I recently purchased a Staedtler Fountain Pen out of the Phillip Benz Collection. It is a 475 model, black with a medium nib. It was advertised on ebay as being part of the Phillip Benz Collection and they reported that it was valued at $315. I bought it for about $20 plus $10 postage. When I received the FP, I was quite stunned! It is a very nice little FP but perhaps a student/economy pen at the most. It is a light weight plastic with a goldtone cap ring and with a goldtone clip. At best, it might be worth $15 which is fine with me but it was advertised as a $315 value?? I love the old (and new) student pens and have always found them to be great writers! With the Staedtler, I received a small piece of 600 grid sandpaper. A note with the FB explained that I need to write my name on this piece of 600 grid sandpaper 5 times and the pen would be "broke in"! I did so and now the pen writes fairly smooth but sounds like a skateboard rolling across the paper. It has just a little bit of scratch to it! Has anyone ever heard of this method of "breaking a pen in" or has anyone had dealings with the Phillip Benz Collection or a Staedtler 475 model Fountain Pen. Thanks

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#2 Jackie_Nookah

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Posted 30 August 2008 - 12:47

Oh my... I sense a 10+ page discussion coming... wink.gif
If you haven't heard about Benz before, then take a look:

Phillip Benz discussed on FPN

Quite a famous guy, I must say wink.gif But don't worry, if he estimated it at $315 and you bought it for $30 then you probably hit the real value of the item. And if you like the pen, then simply enjoy it. The real value comes from the benefits you see in it and it's always the most important part smile.gif

edited to add:

Ah, and with 600 grit sandpaper you're more likely to destroy the nib rather than fix it. Try something in the range of 6.000-12.000 grit and it may help.

Edited by finansista, 30 August 2008 - 12:54.


#3 Glenn-SC

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Posted 30 August 2008 - 12:54

To say that Benz "Invents" the values of his pens is being generous at best.

Why eBay permits him to continue selling is beyond me.

The pen is probably worth the shipping costs.
At least you were only burned for $20.

#4 saintsimon

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Posted 30 August 2008 - 12:55

The Phillip Benz sales folks entertained us a lot around here. Their unrealistic, grossly exaggerated indicated values are are always a good joke and credibility is nothing they can claim anyway. They simply won't stop this foolish marketing method ... laugh.gif

But you got a nice pen for a realistic price, that's what really counts for you.

#5 Blatherscribe

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Posted 30 August 2008 - 12:56

I'm sorry to have to tell you this, but I'm afraid you've run afoul of the infamous Phillip Benz Collection. The people who create these auctions appear habitually to exaggerate the descriptions and inflate the supposed value of the items they're selling.

I'm no expert on the subject, but at $20.00 it would seem that you did get a good deal on the pen.

On the other hand, the advice they gave you about writing your name on sandpaper was (in my opinion at least) horribly wrong. I can't think of a worse thing to do to a nib that doesn't involve a hammer. sad.gif I think that, based on the inflated value and the bad advice, you have good cause to register a complaint with eBay. They sold you something by making false claims about its worth on the open market, and even if they could somehow defend that claim, they instructed you to ruin the product once you had it in hand.


#6 HDoug

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Posted 30 August 2008 - 20:35

Six hundred grit sandpaper is too rough, but if you only wrote your name 5 times I don't think you ruined the nib, unless you have a really long name with a lot of titles. There is something called the "brown paper bag" method that might complete the smoothing process for you. Just use the paper from the bags they use at the market (ask for paper instead of plastic next time), and write your name, and some circles and some figure 8's. Test it from time to time on regular paper. I'm thinking in 5 or 10 minutes all will be good.

Congrats on your find. It seems you have good pen karma!

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#7 RevAaron

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Posted 30 August 2008 - 21:01

A while back I too bought something from the infamous "Benz Collection." A small Sheaffer Balance, an $8.75 black/white striped. I think he copied and pasted from some previous posting, as he often does. I got it at a good enough price, but a number of things were wrong about the posting/pen... And then there was that 600 grit sandpaper. The "write your name 5 times" reminded me of middle schooler voodoo.

Say what you will about The Benzatron, I have to say: he took the pen back and gave me a full refund, including return shipping, just by asking. I paid $33 for the pen, and he also gave me the option of keeping the pen and giving me a partial refund of $15.

Benz doesn't get kicked off of eBay for that reason. Also the reason he has a good percentage, and the reason I gave the guy positive feedback for my transaction. In the end, I'll never buy from the guy again because his descriptions are crackheaded- but I have no regrets over the one transaction I did have. If you want to return it, email him and say that you just got the pen, and that it wasn't up to snuff (an itemized list never hurts), be firm and make sure not put any blame on yourself. Don't try to weasel and go for a partial refund, which often comes off as scammy and fishy. A good chance he'll quite cordially take it back and give you a refund.

As far as smoothing out the nib, I'd start with the paper bag. Don't just do figure eights, but get a lot of angles. Otherwise, you might get a flat spot. If that doesn't cut it, you can move up to the finer varieties of mylar or micromesh.

Live and learn- take anything Benz says about what he's selling with a huge grain of salt and never put your nib to 600 grit sandpaper.

Aaron
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#8 BillTheEditor

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Posted 30 August 2008 - 21:08

That Philip Benz -- quite the kidder.

Edited by BillTheEditor, 30 August 2008 - 21:10.


#9 FrankB

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Posted 30 August 2008 - 22:26

The others have introduced you to the Philip Benz four ring circus and salvation show.

I agree that 600 grit sand paper is far too rough for smoothing a FP nib. May I suggest that Tryphon Enterprizes has a lovely nib smoothing kit that includes appropriately sized sand paper. You could use the kit to undo any damage caused by the lower grit paper provided by Benz, and have it available for future jobs. (No affiliation with Tryphon.)

Edited by FrankB, 30 August 2008 - 22:26.


#10 Neill78

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Posted 31 August 2008 - 03:37

If it was regular sandpaper made for wood, you may not have done too much damage. Check your area for abrasive distributors and ask about 3M micro mesh pads, and make sure you talk to someone who knows what you want them for and get their suggestion. They may even help you or do it for you, as the pads are only a dollar or so.

I would second Tryphon, but last time I contacted them they wanted a $20 minimum order, and I only wanted about $7 of stuff. The minimum order might only be for international shipments, though- you can contact them and see.

And if someone says you paid a bit too much, don't worry. Up here in Canada $10 student pens usually start at $25!
Good luck,

Neill


#11 lovemy51

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Posted 31 August 2008 - 07:21

man! i'm surprised there hasn't been that many posts on this!!!

hi moonriver17,
same thing happened to me before i read about the infamous "benz collection" here at FPN. i got a Kaweco from them/him, which they hyped it up and ended up being nothing but a school pen (same as yours).

when i wrote asking to send the pen back and getting a refund, they counter offered me with a refund of 50% (including shipping cost), which i took.

by the way, mine was valued less then yours. mine was only worth $155... roflmho.gif

#12 RevAaron

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Posted 31 August 2008 - 08:50

Also, Pendemonium sells a nice nib smoothing kit.
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#13 jicaino

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Posted 31 August 2008 - 12:48

IIRC Micromesh is propietary brand for micro abrasives. Up in canada Martin from Woodbin carries Micromesh products. Check it out at http://www.simcom.on.ca/woodbin/
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#14 Sam P.

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Posted 31 August 2008 - 12:58

Oy Vey! Not the infamous Phillip Benz Collection! headsmack.gif
It's been one of my pastimes to view his Ebay auctions just to laugh at the costs. laugh.gif
Anyway, what they're telling you is just about it. (wonders why more don't post)

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#15 bluenotegrl

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Posted 31 August 2008 - 17:20

I don't know anything about the Benz thing, but I do know that I recently got one of those manicurist's blocks at Target for $.99 and the 4 grits seem to work very well for nib smoothing. The finest grit does an excellent job, and the padding is an added bonus if you tend to be a bit heavy-handed.

It's a cheap way to smooth out a nib.

Cheers.
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#16 Shangas

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Posted 01 September 2008 - 01:24

Guys I've had absolutely no luck in getting hold of any super-fine grit sandpaper (I'm still using - though sparingly - 600grit).

Is there something else that I can use to smooth out nibs without damaging it? (apart from a paper bag)?
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#17 moonriver17

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Posted 16 October 2008 - 15:57

QUOTE (moonriver17 @ Aug 30 2008, 01:30 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I recently purchased a Staedtler Fountain Pen out of the Phillip Benz Collection. It is a 475 model, black with a medium nib. It was advertised on ebay as being part of the Phillip Benz Collection and they reported that it was valued at $315. I bought it for about $20 plus $10 postage. When I received the FP, I was quite stunned! It is a very nice little FP but perhaps a student/economy pen at the most. It is a light weight plastic with a goldtone cap ring and with a goldtone clip. At best, it might be worth $15 which is fine with me but it was advertised as a $315 value?? I love the old (and new) student pens and have always found them to be great writers! With the Staedtler, I received a small piece of 600 grid sandpaper. A note with the FB explained that I need to write my name on this piece of 600 grid sandpaper 5 times and the pen would be "broke in"! I did so and now the pen writes fairly smooth but sounds like a skateboard rolling across the paper. It has just a little bit of scratch to it! Has anyone ever heard of this method of "breaking a pen in" or has anyone had dealings with the Phillip Benz Collection or a Staedtler 475 model Fountain Pen. Thanks





#18 moonriver17

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Posted 16 October 2008 - 16:03

QUOTE (RevAaron @ Aug 30 2008, 10:01 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
A while back I too bought something from the infamous "Benz Collection." A small Sheaffer Balance, an $8.75 black/white striped. I think he copied and pasted from some previous posting, as he often does. I got it at a good enough price, but a number of things were wrong about the posting/pen... And then there was that 600 grit sandpaper. The "write your name 5 times" reminded me of middle schooler voodoo.

Say what you will about The Benzatron, I have to say: he took the pen back and gave me a full refund, including return shipping, just by asking. I paid $33 for the pen, and he also gave me the option of keeping the pen and giving me a partial refund of $15.

Benz doesn't get kicked off of eBay for that reason. Also the reason he has a good percentage, and the reason I gave the guy positive feedback for my transaction. In the end, I'll never buy from the guy again because his descriptions are crackheaded- but I have no regrets over the one transaction I did have. If you want to return it, email him and say that you just got the pen, and that it wasn't up to snuff (an itemized list never hurts), be firm and make sure not put any blame on yourself. Don't try to weasel and go for a partial refund, which often comes off as scammy and fishy. A good chance he'll quite cordially take it back and give you a refund.

As far as smoothing out the nib, I'd start with the paper bag. Don't just do figure eights, but get a lot of angles. Otherwise, you might get a flat spot. If that doesn't cut it, you can move up to the finer varieties of mylar or micromesh.

Live and learn- take anything Benz says about what he's selling with a huge grain of salt and never put your nib to 600 grit sandpaper.

Aaron



#19 moonriver17

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Posted 16 October 2008 - 16:19

Greetings,
I apologize for just feeling my way through this discussion site. I haven't clue as to how to use this site. I hope I am reaching everyone when I say thank you for all the comments and information concerning my "Phillip Benz" purchase. As the saga continues, the Staedtler pen in question sprang a leak shortly after I bought it. And by the way, I have been out of town on business for nearly a month, thus, the reason I am just now answering or commenting. I sent the Staedtler 475 back to the guy at Phillip Benz. He wrote a real nice email back to me and offered me a full refund or he said he would send me a pen much more valuable than the Staedtler. I accepted the much more valuable pen, as I only had $30 in this deal to start with. He sent the pen and it turned out to be an "Elite". No, not the Pilot Elite, a line of pens that Pilot came out with in the 70's. It was an Elite brand and had two German words on the nib, the Elite was written in long-hand lettering and painted on the cap. It was not a bad pen and turned out to be a pretty good writer! However, it sprang a leak right at the section area just the same as the Steadtler did! (Both were piston fill) I emailed the guy and he was absolutely stunned! So I sent the Elite back and was told "he would just have to look at it"! In a couple of weeks, I recieved in the mail, the Elite pen back plus a Montex Pen, made in India. So far, so good on the pen from India. It is vintage by the way, used, but in good shape. The Elite was also vintage and used but in nice condition, all but the leaking! Ha! On the second return when I received the Elite, he also threw in a Phillip Benz Brand FP, that is a very nice looking pen. Not an expensive pen, mind you, but a nice looking pen. It has the initials PB on the clip, a contemperary art cap and a black barrell. A cartridge fill. I never heard a word from him after I emailed him about the second pen, the Elite. Anyway, from a financial standpoint, I didn't get hurt and it was kinda fun receiving those pens! But I still don't know who the heck Phillip Benz is!!!!????

#20 RevAaron

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Posted 16 October 2008 - 17:07

My experience with the guy is pretty similar. That is, he is full of BS when it comes to describing the absolutely pristine and virginal state of his pens and he's got hyperbole coming out of his nose- but he is accomodating. I don't know of many (if any) sellers who have given me a refund including shipping when I told him the facts.

Phillip Benz is or is supposedly a dead guy who owned all of these pens. Marc, the guy who actually sold you these pens, fancies himself the "curator" of the Benz Collection. Problem is, newer pens are always finding their way in, no way the guy owned all of these pens. That said, use the search feature to read some of the old Phillip Benz threads- we don't need to rehash it all.

The guy seems to be accomodating as long if you treat him with some civility, but there's a definite "buyer beware" in effect when you buy from him. For a lot of folks it isn't worth the time to be sending pens back and forth to eventually come to a conclusion like yours, so they steer clear.

Anywho-

Aaron

Edited by RevAaron, 16 October 2008 - 17:09.

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