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Bromfield Pen Shop - Boston - Review


optoabhi
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Hello,

 

This is my first time to Bromfield pen shop close to Boston downtown. I bought a Lamy Safari Charcoal Black Medium nib, Pilot Iroshizuku Kon-Peki and a Rhodia notepad.

 

The online price for items 1 and 2 is $23.16 and $20.20. Whereas, I had to pay $37.00 and $35.00. I find this as a huge difference.

 

Any advice what should I do with regard to getting a meaningful explanation on this $15.00 average price difference ?

 

Thanks,

Abhi.

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You weren't ripped off. You paid a fair price from a shop that has overhead and provides after sales customer service, and probably collected sales tax. If you bought online, you would save a few dollars, you probably won't pay the Massachusetts use tax you would owe, and you cannot reasonably expect the same, if any, customer service.

 

My advice is that you do your research before you buy stuff, not after. On everything, not just pens.

 

Fred

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I agree that it's a fair price at a B&M store in a "prime" location in downtown Boston. Bromfield is a great little shop with a diverse inventory; I've been shopping there for years. Keep an eye out for their closeout deals, which are sometimes pretty amazing.

Best regards,
Steve Surfaro
Fountain Pen Fun
Cities of the world (please visit my Facebook page for more albums)
Paris | Venezia

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The Chatter forum seems like a better location for a snit fit about a retailer if you really want feedback. Even Market Watch might be okay though it is a pretty upbeat place.

 

As they say in real estate, "willing buyer-willing seller". Bromfield has a very good reputation, but it is a retail store with all the benefits that go along with a person-to-person transaction. Want deeply discounted merchandise? Do the research and buy online. But don't go in a store, fondle the merchandise, get advice and diss them for charging retail for it. It's a reasonable exchange for a privilege many fountain pen users never get considering the distance to the nearest pen shop.

A certified Inkophile

inkophile on tumblr,theinkophile on instagram,inkophile on twitter

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I have to join the previous "threaders" regarding Bromfield Pen Shop in Boston. It's a great place with knowledgeable Fred (the owner), Mary and several others whose names I don't recall) employees who are more than happy to spend time with you (and let you test pens which they will have to clean up after you leave - if you don't purchase them.

 

They have a very nice selection of pens, paper and inks. I second the motion about doing your online research ahead of time so you know the going prices. Not sure where you might be paying the $20.00 for the Iroshizuku on line except for maybe Japan with $12.00 shipping.

 

BTW, after you have done your homework and decide that you do want specific items at a B&M location, you can always ask if they can do a little better price-wise. Sometime the store will give a small (10%? or so discount) just for the asking.

 

If you get on their mailing list you also get notified of their sales, clearance events and vintage stuff - as available.

 

Come visit them (Bromfield) at the Commonwealth Pen Show on September 20th in Somerville and they may have some nice discount deals.

 

Finally, I have no affiliations with Bromfield or any other dealer - AND I do make it a commitment to visit Bromfield whenever possible during my Boston visits.

 

Enjoy your pen and ink and --- Don't forget to write!!

Edited by brgmarketing

“Don't put off till tomorrow what you can do today, because if you do it today and like it, you can do again tomorrow!”

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Just Now ran across this thread..very interesting....

I have purchased from them many years ago...BTI...

{before the internet}....Could not get to FPH in NYCity

cause I was in school.....Would you buy

a BMW R26 and a BSA DBD34 for $800 bucks in

1971...mind you both bikes are cherry....Q

I did in a New York nanosecond...BTW...still

have the BSA.............A real SWEET Ride.......

 

Fred

In North Wales it was reported in 1589 that people still crossed

themselves when they shut their windows..when they

left their cattle and when they went out of their houses in the

morning........K.Thomas...................................

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I was at Bromfield's at Christmastime. Bought a Pilot Metropolitan (for the same price I would have online) and they let me try pens with different nibs so I was able to decide whether I liked an F or M. Also picked up a Clairefontaine notebook with French ruled pages, and several bottles of ink (including one of the discontinued Caran d'Ache Grand Canyon, on clearance for half off).

Standard disclaimer -- just a happy customer.

So, pretty much what other people have said. E-sellers will often have lower overhead, therefore they can offer discounts. B&M stores have rent and utility bills (and the Boston area is a pretty expensive place to live; trust me, I know -- I lived 25 miles west of there for 4 years, and we basically could only afford the house we bought because it was a bank foreclosure). But you can handle the pens and maybe dip test them in a B&M store, and that can be just as as cost effective, in that it might save you from the purchase of a pen that doesn't fit your hand. I know, because I had been in FPH a couple of days before going to Bromfield's, and had looked at one of the Mabie Todd Grammercy pens. Discovered that even though it looked like it would be a good size for me, it was unexpectedly heavy -- disappointing, but not as much as if I had ordered the pen and then had to go through the hassle of sending it back.

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth

"It's very nice, but frankly, when I signed that list for a P-51, what I had in mind was a fountain pen."

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In North Wales it was reported in 1589 that people still crossed

themselves when they shut their windows..when they

left their cattle and when they went out of their houses in the

morning........K.Thomas...................................

 

Some of us still do, especially those of us who have to deal with the public.

Rationalizing pen and ink purchases since 1967.

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Support your local pen shops, if you want them to be around the next time you need something.

 

I buy lots of things online. But if I go to a pen store, see something there that I want, I just buy it there.

"One can not waste time worrying about small minds . . . If we were normal, we'd still be using free ball point pens." —Bo Bo Olson "I already own more ink than a rational person can use in a lifetime." —Waski_the_Squirrel

I'm still trying to figure out how to list all my pens down here.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I agree with those who have posted in praise of Bromfield's. There are few enough B&M pen shops nowadays that we should support the ones we still have.

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Don't mean to pile on but I absolutely agree with previous posters. Much more expense involved in running a B&M. I take every opportunity I can to visit pen stores (few and far between where I live) and am more than willing to pay their asking price for the benefits I receive. The closest pen store to me is about 1hr15min away so I do a lot of online shopping but I'm willing to drive the distance and pay the premium if time allows. It's certainly a much more satisfactory buying experience in a B&M.

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I have to join the previous "threaders" regarding Bromfield Pen Shop in Boston. It's a great place with knowledgeable Fred (the owner), Mary and several others whose names I don't recall) employees who are more than happy to spend time with you (and let you test pens which they will have to clean up after you leave - if you don't purchase them.

 

They have a very nice selection of pens, paper and inks. I second the motion about doing your online research ahead of time so you know the going prices. Not sure where you might be paying the $20.00 for the Iroshizuku on line except for maybe Japan with $12.00 shipping.

 

BTW, after you have done your homework and decide that you do want specific items at a B&M location, you can always ask if they can do a little better price-wise. Sometime the store will give a small (10%? or so discount) just for the asking.

 

If you get on their mailing list you also get notified of their sales, clearance events and vintage stuff - as available.

 

Come visit them (Bromfield) at the Commonwealth Pen Show on September 20th in Somerville and they may have some nice discount deals.

 

Finally, I have no affiliations with Bromfield or any other dealer - AND I do make it a commitment to visit Bromfield whenever possible during my Boston visits.

 

Enjoy your pen and ink and --- Don't forget to write!!

That's a good response. OP is probably a younger shopper and more used to buying online than in brick and mortar. I'm more inbetween him and you older gents. I've been burned online but still risk it for the savings. I also appreciate the sales consultation and trying out a product before you buy it. That is definitely worth the little extra.

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You obviously did not mind paying this price when you were in the store, so no I do not think you were ripped off.

 

On line companies can charge less for a variety of reasons that would take way to long to explain. But if you go to the same B&M shop, regularly buying stuff and building a repor with the staff you may get better prices in the future.

 

The real rip of is going to a B&M shop to test out a pen and then going on line just to get it cheaper. One of the main reasons a B&M cost more is customer service which includes time take to let customers try pens and inks plus having pens in stock etc.

 

Support you local independent shops! Shop local First!

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Support your local pen shops, if you want them to be around the next time you need something.

 

I buy lots of things online. But if I go to a pen store, see something there that I want, I just buy it there.

 

+1 :thumbup:

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The folks at Bromfield Pen are fair and supportive of their customers. The Bromfield Pen Shop is a a treat for the pen enthusiast and deserves our support.

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<The folks at Bromfield Pen are fair and supportive of their customers. The Bromfield Pen Shop is a a treat for the pen enthusiast and deserves our support>

 

+1

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Your thread title uses the word "review" – – but this is not a review. It is simply an observation about the difference between a brick-and-mortar seller and an online seller. You obviously wanted convenience and an-in person experience, but did not want to pay for it.

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The real rip of is going to a B&M shop to test out a pen and then going on line just to get it cheaper. One of the main reasons a B&M cost more is customer service which includes time take to let customers try pens and inks plus having pens in stock etc.

 

Support you local independent shops! Shop local First!

 

Great... now I feel guilty for going to Circuit City to check out TVs before buying one from Amazon. It's my fault they went under! :P

 

Okay, I kid a bit as CC wasn't independent and they had serious issues other than people going in there to browse before buying elsewhere. Also, a $15 price difference on a pen from a B&M isn't that big a difference. I mean, CC was charging $600 more for the TV I ended up buying. Plus, given past experiences, CC's customer service wasn't any better than Amazon's anyway.

 

I also wouldn't do that with a small indy shop like Bromfield's that actually has good customer service. If it's a megachain with (bleep) service, then I don't care. But if it's a small shop that cares about their customers, then I'm all about supporting them. Heck, part of me tends to want to buy something, even if it's something small, from a shop like that even if I don't end up buying what I'm looking at there or elsewhere, just as a thank you for taking the time to help me out.

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I join in celebrating those brick and mortar shops that remain. I'm just bummed that although I live in a large metro area, it is really difficult to get to any of the local shops. The oldest, Gilbertson, Clyborn & Co. has recently closed their doors. There is one other shop downtown, but I work 20 miles away, out in the suburbs, and rarely get downtown during retail hours. I do occasionally get to the suburban shop near my office, though.

 

Also, whenever I am visiting another city, I try to visit their local retailers. I have come to consider myself a friend of Susan, at Avalon Pens in Zionsville, IN, some 180 miles from my home, as we have visited Indianapolis a couple of times a year for the last 20 years or so. I never miss a chance to visit Fahrney's, or Daly's, either. I have managed to find pen shops in a lot of cities, and always find not only neat pens, but also people who share our hobby and are a delight to meet.

 

I have a major "bucket list" of pen shops I want to visit on road trips -- as soon as I can retire and have the time to travel to all those places. . .

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