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  1. Hello All: I am new to the fountain pen world, and have quickly ramped up my collection over the last year. I began with new pens, then discovered the joys (and sorrows) of vintage pen collecting. I've gotten some amazing deals and have been quite happy with my progress. I particularly love my numerous Esterbrooks with various nibs, a lovely little Arnold, Parkette, and several Sheaffer Lifetime Balance pens (all lever filled). As you can see, I don't have super high end pens, nor am I likely to, as I am on a budget. And then...I purchased some amazing pens, for great prices, but I think they will need restoring. All of these pens come from a collection that hasn't been cleaned since the 1990's. I assume they'll need work. But I am guessing the first step is to fill them with water to see if they leak? I've been afraid to touch them. They all LOOK amazing, no scratches that I can see. Someone loved them, collected them, and cared for them, before passing away in 2000 I don't know the first thing about restoration! I could use some help here. What do I need to buy, what's the best way to go about it all? Here are the pens I have purchased that likely need restoring (as well as the price I paid, which, as an aside, I'd like to know how well I may have done). All of the pens apparently "thread okay" Parker 51 ($50) Esterbrook Dollar pen with a 2048 nib ($41) Sheaffer Lifetime 51/2" black barrel with silver cap, gold trim, I think it's a piston filler system? ($79) Vintage Orienta German Matching nib ($14.50) I can include photos if it's helpful. But I wanted to get started with the conversation. Thanks to everyone in advance for the help.
  2. Hey guys, During my vacation in Greece, my bag was stolen and with it my trusty Parker 51. So I started to search for a replacement on ebay and a few other sites, and I just realized that they are now selling for like 2-3x the price I got mine back in 2018. It was a British burgundy 51 with a rolled silver cap, and I got it for about 60 bucks or so in 2018. But now, I can't find the same model anywhere below 180~200. Hell, I can't even find a decent one with a lustraloy cap below 100~120. What gives?
  3. How confident can you be that the Montblanc's sold on Amazon are "real"? The prices from Amazon sellers are generally less than the same product available from Montblanc boutiques.Why? How?
  4. AAAndrew

    Pens For Sale 1918

    Two pages of the May, 1918 catalog for Chicago stationers Cameron, Amberg & Co. Oh, and I guess they were selling fountain pens as well.
  5. It looks like M800 Brown Tortoise prices have significantly dropped these days. The pens are regularly going for under $400 at auction which is a vast improvement from the $600 street price. The majority of the pens are coming from Regina Martini who is a fairly respected seller on this site. How is it that she can do this? Is this what they call the gray market? Have they reached market saturation? If she is able to do this and still make a profit, just how marked up are the prices on these pens? If Sailor is able to sell their piston filler Realo for $250, wouldn't the actual price of a Pelikan be comparable? This also makes me wonder just what the size of the fountain pen market is. Does Pelikan move pens in the hundreds? Thousands? Tens of thousands? It's sometimes a bit frustrating that I have no idea what this community looks like as a whole.
  6. mge01park

    Docket Gold Legal Pads 8.5X14

    If you like these, be careful when buying them as Office Depot is $24.99 per dozen and Staples is $67.99..............not a typo. I contacted Staples and after three days they said they would match the price but charge me $9.95 for shipping, although, I have a premium account and pay zero for shipping on all items. Something about that rubs me the wrong way and I'll just wait for a shipping special at Office Depot or when I need more than $50.
  7. PatientType

    Ahhh ... Vats What It Is!

    Several times I've marveled at how fountain pen pricing seems to be so much higher when members in Europe offer pens for sale. I've seen used fountain pens that I could purchase in the US for $250 offered at more than $300. What I'd not realized is the huge difference that VAT makes. The Value Added Tax is imposed in Europe, China, & India. It is supposed to be their version of the sales taxes imposed in the United States. There appear to be two major differences between our sales tax and VAT taxes: 1) VAT taxes are incrementally collected for every value-added transaction. So, if I buy wood, a VAT would be paid on the value of the wood. If I make the wood into furniture and sell it to a retail outlet, a VAT would be paid on the difference betweent he value of the wood and what I sold the furniture for. Then, if the retail store sells the furniture, they charge a VAT on the difference between what they bought the furniture for and what the consumer paid to buy it. 2) VAT taxes are really high. Sales tax in the US ranges from zero in Montana, Delaware, Oregon & New Hampshire to 9.75% in Oakland, Los Angeles & Long Beach California. Also, Internet purchases often do not incur the tax or rely on citizens to voluntarily report such taxes (resulting in a compliance rate of less than 1%). A Wikilinks article lists the following VAT fees by country: Germany 19% Hungary 27% Spain 21% UK 20% Sweden 25% Greece 24% Finland 23% France 19.6% Bottom line... If you're buying a fountain pen from someone is Sweden, they paid more than 25% more for the pen than you might have had you bought it new. As a result, they're likely to expect to receive more for their used pen than you might. I've known there were such things as VATs but not the specifics. I thought others might find this as interesting as I did.





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