Jump to content
Classifieds is broken, please do not submit any new ads ×

Japan Or Usa? Importing Vs Supporting Favored Vendors


Morames
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hey everyone. I'm in a bit of a quandary. I've been looking at the Pilot Custom 74 demonstrator in blue, fine nib, for quite some time. I know it has been mentioned multiple times by Brian Goulet (I'm not affiliated with any supplier/retail company) as being one of his favorite pens. I like how they bundle it with the blue Noodler's ink, which after sampling I really want.

 

So here's the deal. I can buy the pen on Amazon/ebay for about half the price. Money is an extremely important factor in my decision or I wouldn't even hesitate. Am I better off going through a trusted and known store or is spending almost half worthwhile? I need to add that the Japanese imports either don't have a converter or only come with the con-50, and I would buy a con-70 to add to the pen. The con-70 is $11.00 on Amazon.

 

Please help me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 19
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

  • kazoolaw

    1

  • Ghost Plane

    2

  • Waski_the_Squirrel

    1

  • Morames

    6

How important is it that it works first time out of the box? Can you afford down time and shipping if you need to return to Amazone for any reason? What about transportation to drop off the parcel?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey everyone. I'm in a bit of a quandary. I've been looking at the Pilot Custom 74 demonstrator in blue, fine nib, for quite some time. I know it has been mentioned multiple times by Brian Goulet (I'm not affiliated with any supplier/retail company) as being one of his favorite pens. I like how they bundle it with the blue Noodler's ink, which after sampling I really want.

 

So here's the deal. I can buy the pen on Amazon/ebay for about half the price. Money is an extremely important factor in my decision or I wouldn't even hesitate. Am I better off going through a trusted and known store or is spending almost half worthwhile? I need to add that the Japanese imports either don't have a converter or only come with the con-50, and I would buy a con-70 to add to the pen. The con-70 is $11.00 on Amazon.

 

Please help me.

also have a look at ebay.com

 

http://www.ebay.com/sch/Pens-Writing-Instruments-/966/i.html?_from=R40&_sop=15&_nkw=pilot+74&=&rt=nc&LH_ItemCondition=3

In case you wish to write to me, pls use ONLY email by clicking here. I do not check PMs. Thank you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

How important is it that it works first time out of the box? Can you afford down time and shipping if you need to return to Amazone for any reason? What about transportation to drop off the parcel?

It would be hands down the most expensive pen in my collection, other than the broken Montblanc Meistrstruck (sp?) 149 I need to send in...$80 repair...My next best pen is my TWSBI Vac 700 EF that I love to death, Goulet purchase. Honestly I very much would rather go goulet, they have never let me down. Brian has been a tremendous, stupendous, fantastigorical help on my fountain pen quests. I'd have to say Stephen Brown is the only other person I've turned to as much for a better understanding of what to look for and pitfalls to avoid.

 

I probably don't even need to be spending money on this right now. It's just gnawing away at me, and I've been holding off the Liberty's Elysium because of the package deal. Shipping isn't the issue because there are a couple Diamine inks I would like to purchase. I just struggle with $160 on an item I've never seen in person, and am probably too much of a newbie to appreciate.

 

The whole ordering shipping transport thing is a moot point, though the idea of getting a poorly setup or damaged pen makes me wither some. The other thing is Japan doesn't seem to have colored demonstrators, only the clear. And those are more then the black and gold pens...which appeal to me considerably less.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You might want to watch the Goulet's youtube reviews of the pens. If you're new, it'll give you more info about the pens & their performance.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You might want to watch the Goulet's youtube reviews of the pens. If you're new, it'll give you more info about the pens & their performance.

I love all of the reviews and the weekly Q&A's that he/they do. It's the main reason I want the pen.

 

I feel like I probably need to get the pen through them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm a little on the fence on this issue. I try my best to shop at my favorite B&M/web seller (I really want them to do well and stay in business). However the Japanese pens straight from Japan can have an extremely good price. I bought my Justus 95 at a pen show at a nice discount but later found that I could have done much better straight from Japan. I checked my B&M and they didn't have the 3776 Century so in that case I went to ebay and got a great price.

PAKMAN

minibanner.gif                                    Vanness-world-final.png.c1b120b90855ce70a8fd70dd342ebc00.png

                         My Favorite Pen Restorer                                             My Favorite Pen Store

                                                                                                                                Vanness Pens - Selling Online!

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If price is a major factor then I would suggest getting it from a Japanese seller. If it has out-of the-box issues send it to someone like Danny Fudge for adjustment. It would probably still work out cheaper than the local seller. It's all very well and good wanting to support local businesses but if money is tight then there is nothing wrong or reprehensible about seeking the best deal irrespective of where that may be.

 

Just my take. I am spared such quandaries. Nobody sells decent pens here in NZ, everything is purchased online.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I do think there will be a place for bricks and mortar outlets, but let's face the facts. Here I am, sitting on my bed with my Mac typing messages to members of the fountain pen fraternity that are sharing messages from across the globe. Twenty years ago, any enthusiast would have no where near the ability to develop their hobby or interest to the extent that is possible now.

 

We watch youtube reviews, come to know of rare and unique brands, and have the ability to share and utilise the experiences of others, in a way that was not possible a few years ago. I certainly end up spending far more these days then I could have back then.

 

With that come markets that you can now tap, as pricing becomes more of a global affair, rather than regional. Goulet Pens provide a fantastic service, but part of Brian's success is his innovative streak. from a great youtube channel, to ink drop he really has done a fantastic job with a changing market for niche interests such as ours.

 

So my take is go with the better price. If anything, the manufacturers will have to innovate and provide better prices across all markets, if they want to maintain a presence in that market.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you all, I appreciate your help with this decision. I believe Pilot makes very good fountain pens, and doubt there will be any out of the box issues. That being said, I can't remember if the Goulet's have a chance to check each pen individually when they come in. The one convenience would be getting to pick the demonstrator color, only clear is available from Japan, and the ease of customer support.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I like the Goulets, and I try to support them. But, my two most expensive Pilot pens were purchased through Amazon because of a significant price difference. I don't feel guilty. I like the Goulets, but I need to look out for myself as well. I'm not emotionally capable of spending what the Goulets ask on those two pens. On Amazon, the prices were within what I could stomach.

Proud resident of the least visited state in the nation!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I probably don't even need to be spending money on this right now. It's just gnawing away at me....

Free advice being worth what you pay for it: hold off on your new purchase. It sounds like money is tight. If you have an irresistible urge to spend, fix the 149: you'll have a premium pen for less than he price of a pen you've never even held.

 

gary

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you everyone. I did end up ordering from Google, but I feel like because it was a package deal with an extra $20 in stuff for the price of the pen and three better $11 con-70 converter, which I would have had top purchase that the$160 pen became more of a $130 pen. Plus I really love blue and the pen would cost that much from any seller since Japan only has the clear demonstrator and the solid color pens. It's not so much a money thing it's a justification/wife approval kind of thing.

 

Fountain pens are an obsession and not so much a necessity, per se. It has been a rocky road with a lot of very cheap unsatisfying pens I was trying to use to distract me from the ones I really want. I'm just wanting to move on from unreliable $3-$10 Chinese knock offs. While I like my FPR pens they are still not the most refined pens. I have a TWSBI which I adore, but if I want to try different inks I have to completely clean it, which I've been doing.

 

So all of this led to my compromising. I got the Pilot Custom 74 demonstrator in blue, and the Faber-Castrell Loom from Goulet and a platinum chartreuse ef from Japan.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 7 months later...

This thread is hilarious. On the local vs international ... I buy a ton of small stuff from local stores in my other hobby (bicycles) ... but rarely ever buy a bike from them. The deal drives the purchase a lot of the time (wherever I can find the deal). So with the Goulet's ... I'm steadily buying ink and other things from them but rarely any nicer pens. I'll let the deal drive the decision. I wonder if the quandary is isolated to those who have honed their pen love on Japanese pens?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

i have purchased form the goulet's a couple of times and am extremely impressed and recommend them without hesitation

 

on the issue of the 74, you can essentially get 2 for the price of 1 by purchasing from japan

 

you can buy a medium and a fine, check them out and choose the nib and body you like best and then resell the other pen for the same cost as buying 1 pen from the goulet's as one example of what is possible

 

to me this is a compelling value proposition ...

 

my two japanese pen purchases have been a-ok so far but i am always aware that one day i could get a bad one

 

i am also glad to see that the goulet's are doing very very well from what i see

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If it was a small price difference then I would support the "local" seller. However, half-price...that's a no brainer to me.

 

David

For so long as one hundred men remain alive,we shall never under any conditions submit to the

domination of the English. It is not for glory or riches or honours that we fight, but only for liberty, which

no good man will consent to lose but with his life.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When my family and I lived in Japan, we took advantage of the exchange rate, the opportunity to try out pens, and the lower cost of pen and paper items. In effect, we supported "locally." Now that we can see prices from around the world in an instant and get community feedback on the reliability of a seller, the definition of "local" is changing. I like supporting the family-run businesses whenever they offer a competitive advantage. Sometimes that competitive advantage, and this is certainly true with the Goulets, is customer service. There is a price for good selection, rapid shipping, low cost shipping, incredible packing, and outstanding customer service. What the consumer is willing to pay for these intangibles is up to each person.

 

Buzz

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The problem lies within Pilot, and not Goulet. Goulet is limited to 20% discount off the list price for the US. So, why does the $200 Pilot 74 constantly sell far below the price of the $180 Pilot Falcon from Japanese sources? Somewhere around $50 less. Seems like Pilot has jacked up the price of the 74 for the US market. The consumer isn't given an equal choice.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share








×
×
  • Create New...