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2017 Philadelphia Pen Show



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I live about 100 miles North of Philly. I started going to

the show in 2009 and but for last year's weather have

never missed this show. The weather for the weekend

looks promising so I will make the trek. This is my home

show, a show that I have always enjoyed going to.

 

As for vendors choosing not come, it is their choice. It is

after all, Philly and winter. We live on the East Coast and

winter does provide its challenges.

 

The fact that all the tables are sold indicates that the vendors

coming know the Philly area has the clientele to make for a

successful trip. And while some of the past regulars are not going

to be there, hats off to F-C for taking the sponsorship on. It's

obvious that the show is changing and there are new vendors

coming. I have seen the same thing happen to the Miami Show

over the last four years. And the changes for Miami have made

it a much better show imho.

 

I babble ... Let the show begin ... I wish F-C and the vendors a great

start to the pen show season!

 

 

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Hi everyone,

 

Does Franklin-Christoph have any show specials at their tables this year?

Scientia potentia est.

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The problem is not what the organizers charge in regard to cost, it is the other costs: Hotel $159 per night, plus state tax 6%, plus city tax 8.5%, plus parking, $52 per night, plus 6% tax, all times 4 nights, plus the cost of meals each day, plus the cost of travel to and from the show. Without tipping this approaches $1,000.00, then add in tips, miscellaneous fees and meals for two one needs to add abou $500.00 more. Travel costs for me beyond regular living costs for diving 9 hours each way adds another $500.00. So, direct expenses of about $200 plus indirect of $2,000.00 mean I would have to sell a lot of pens or other items, or have a pretty high markup.

 

If you are local, and thus sleeping in your own bed and using public transportation to get to and from the show, it is cheap to set up and sell, but if not, Philadelphia is expensive.

 

And the risk is bad weather depressing sales so low as to cause a loss. And so to factor in the high cost of Philadelphia and the possibility of bad weather and you create for a responsible merchant the need to use all this in calculating ones costs and thus ones pricing structure. I for one would rather go somewhere else with lower costs, less risk and thus a lower price point on what I would be selling.

 

Obviously, each vendor needs to make his or her own decisions, but as a Philadelphian who knows the local lay of the land, I thought that I would add some additional information.

 

Firstly, I am assuming that the daily rate for the hotel as you stated is accurate, and the taxes are a real pain. But there are some alternative actions that could impact meals and parking costs.

 

- There is a parking garage at 16th and Race, about a 10 minute walk to the Westin that charges less than $20/day, with rates reduced further as a weekend rate. It is across the street from the hotel that used to host the Philadelphia Pen Show until last year. It is, by the way, also across the street where I used to work. I know the area well, living as I do about a 20 minute walk from 16th and Race. The walk to the Westin is safe and well populated. Of course, there is a possibility of danger wherever the show would be held. One could always leave pens and other items that would be sold at the Westin to be placed in the Show room and then drive to the Parking Garage if one prefers.

 

- It looks like you are counting the cost of meals twice - once in the first line of your post, and then again in the subsequent sentence. In any case dividing the $500 you seem to assume for two people by 4 days, you get $125 per day. While that might be a valid estimate if all meals are purchased at the hotel, it is a bit high if you choose to eat at the large variety of inexpensive alternatives within a block or two of the hotel. The area is quite populated by a variety of meal alternatives. In any case, at $125 per day, there would be no need to add on additional funds for tipping, and I really don't know what you meant by miscellaneous fees. If I were in your shoes and had to do an accounting of marginal costs associated with the Show, I would discount meal costs by the amount that you would have spent at home if you did not attend the show.

 

- Also, I believe that all of the costs associated with a vendor attending a show would be tax deductible, reducing costs even further.

 

- While this is Philadelphia, and there is a chance of bad weather, that probability is pretty low that the weather in a given year would be bad enough to preclude transportation to the show. Even last year, when the weather was both unlikely and hideous, there was a pretty good attendance at the show.

 

While this additional information may still result in costs and risks that are still too high for you, the reduction of costs may be sufficient to justify attendance at that show.

 

Best,

 

Barry

Edited by brgphilly

All things work out in the end. If it is not working out, it is not the end.

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Franklin Christopher has special Show pens, leather and INK as well as prototypes available.

 

The room was booked solid and FC, Bertrams as well as a few others are in the grand hall just outside the ballroom.

 

LOTS of people came out today and tomorrow looks like it will be amazing!

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I live about 45 minutes away in NJ and have no reservations about attending. If your commute isn't too long, I'd recommend taking the plunge, as the weather will definitely not be a factor for any vendors and most attendees, which means you have the chance to learn a ton from some of the most gracious people you'll meet. The wisdom I got at my first show last year was invaluable and could not be replaced by any number of Youtube videos or online surfing. I'd also recommend reading some of the posts on this site and elsewhere (e.g., Anderson Pens website) about attending your first show--all good advice...

 

Thank you Shrimpkin1. The Anderson post was worth reading!

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Thank you Shrimpkin1. The Anderson post was worth reading!

 

Enjoy the show! I'm going Sunday and can't wait

Najeeb

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I wish I could've attended (since I live about 1.5 hours away in NJ) but I have a wedding to attend and other commitments this weekend. I'm not sure if this is the right place to ask, but would anyone there be willing to pick up a bottle of the Franklin-Christoph 17 Ink and mail it to me, or even possibly arrange a pickup later if you are local? If possible, a million thanks!

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I was at the pen show on Friday, and had a very pleasant and productive couple of hours. I got to talking to one vendor, and he said, "What are you hunting for?"

 

"A Pelikan 400NN, brown tortoise, fine or extra fine with a little flex," I said.

 

"I just sold one twenty minutes ago!"

 

"Ouch!" I said.

 

"Wait--the guy who bought it is a vendor. He might sell it to you. I'll find him."

 

And he did. And the pen is now mine for a very nice price. Pen show people are the best!

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I also got my Bexley Simplicity stubbed by Joshua Lax (of J.J. Lax Pen Co.). He did a lovely job. I'd originally purchased the pen from Richard Binder, so it's only fitting that one of Mr. Binder's students did the stub work.

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Thanks for the parking tip brgphilly! The parking on weekends for $7 is at N 16th and Spring St. "PPA Gateway Parking".

 

Just got out of the show. I'm pooped! Long drive home. I'll try and upload a pic or two later. Have fun tomorrow!

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Obnoxiousblue

Hi folks, Mike here. I'm a regular lurker, and frequent the FPN Facebook page too.

I was at the Philly Pen Show today, and was amazed with some of the offerings. I bought quite a lot, well more than I intended. Picked up a Vanishing Point Guilloche (scored a free Metropolitan) some Rhodia pads, a LAMY LX, a Vista, a Taccia Spectrum (which I was surprised I liked so much) some inks and a few pens for friends who joined me at their first show.

Along the back aisle, facing the rear wall was a vendor who had a few (4?) vintage pocket watches out for sale. One older piece, was quite heavy. I don't recall the maker, nor the sellers name. Would anyone here know who it is I'm looking for, and how to reach him?

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Made the trek to the show yesterday. Great show and the turnout looked

to be great. There was a continuous stream of people coming in from the

opening till 1:30 when I left.

 

Kudos to Franklin Christoph for a great show. They also took some of my pen

funds for the Philly Model 31 IPO that has a nice Orange section and a perfect

Masuyama Broad CI. Also went for the Black leather notebook holder that was

another Philly Show special.

 

While I think the show was a little smaller than some of the past shows, there

was a perfect mixture of vintage and modern pens. Two new nib grinders were

there and both of them were quite busy. The show had a very cosy atmosphere.

 

If you get a chance, check the show out today.

 

A great start to the 2017 Pen Show season!

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I was hoping for many of the exhibitors that today would actually be busy instead of the usual Slow Sunday for them. I figured it would be possible with yesterday's weather threat and today's great sunshine. My experience at the show brought to mind something that is normal in many tradeshows, —that 'sales' aren't all about the product itself in absolution. "Sometimes" it's the 'click' between the customer and vendor. We have our own temperaments and character. Some sellers are more our style than others. We are all human with preferences and that was evident at the show, in a good way. I'm no exception, I could have bought my pen from someone else but chose to buy from a vendor I seemed to appreciate more in temperament. While pens are a serious passion for many, it's was nice to be around some good 'ol fashion comradery too.

 

You can see photos from the show from many attendants here: Just be sure that ALL is checked on under the "More" menu on the right.

 

Those who attended on Sunday, let us know how it went!

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I went on Saturday - it was jammed.

 

One of the vendors indicated that I bought from indicated he had already made his money back on the show (this was at about 3:30 PM)

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I wish I could've attended (since I live about 1.5 hours away in NJ) but I have a wedding to attend and other commitments this weekend. I'm not sure if this is the right place to ask, but would anyone there be willing to pick up a bottle of the Franklin-Christoph 17 Ink and mail it to me, or even possibly arrange a pickup later if you are local? If possible, a million thanks!

I have an extra bottle if you're interested

Najeeb

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Along the back aisle, facing the rear wall was a vendor who had a few (4?) vintage pocket watches out for sale. One older piece, was quite heavy. I don't recall the maker, nor the sellers name. Would anyone here know who it is I'm looking for, and how to reach him?

 

 

That's Jonathan Steinberg. I'm not sure how you could get in contact with him, but he will probably be at the Long Island Pen Show in March. Since you are in LI you should definitely make the trip if you haven't been there before.

Parker: Sonnet Flighter, Rialto Red Metallic Laque, IM Chiseled Gunmetal, Latitude Stainless, 45 Black, Duovac Blue Pearl Striped, 51 Standard Black, Vac Jr. Black, 51 Aero Black, 51 Vac Blue Cedar, Duofold Jr. Lapis, 51 Aero Demi Black, 51 Aero Demi Teal, 51 Aero Navy Gray, Duofold Pastel Moire Violet, Vac Major Golden Brown, Vac Deb. Emerald, 51 Vac Dove Gray, Vac Major Azure, Vac Jr. Silver Pearl, 51 Vac Black GF Cap, 51 Forest Green GF cap, Vac Jr. Silver Pearl, Duovac Senior Green & Gold, Duovac Deb. Black, Challenger Black, 51 Aero Midnight, Vac. Emerald Jr., Challenger Gray Pearl, 51 Vac Black, Duofold Int. Black, Duofold Jr. Red.

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I attended the show on Sunday with three friends. This was my first time at the Westin since I missed last year's show due to bad weather. I had a great time and so did my friends. It seemed pretty busy for a Sunday. We got there around 12:30 and stayed until the closing at 4:00. The ballroom was quite full the entire time. I did noticed that the show seemed smaller than in years past. When it was at the Sheraton it used to fill two rooms, but there was just the main room and some vendors out in the hall. Some may have gone home as I know not all the vendors will stay all three days.

 

One of my friends bought his first fountain pen and a bottle of ink (a no-name piston demo and a bottle of black Pelikan 4001), so it was fun showing him how to fill it and how it works. I hope he ends up enjoying it. Another friend bought a pen from Susan Wirth, who gave her a free bottle of Waterman ink with it, and my other friend bought a gold Parker 180 from Paul Erano. I also ended up making my pen show purchase from Paul. I bought a striated Marine Green Sheaffer Balance from him and I ended up becoming a member of the Black Pen Society :)

 

In addition, I had the nib of a Parker Duofold worked on by JJ Lax. I've never used him before but he did a great job at a reasonable price and the best part was that I didn't have to wait at all (I guess that's the benefit of going on a Sunday). All in all it was a wonderful show and I'm looking forward to next year's.

Parker: Sonnet Flighter, Rialto Red Metallic Laque, IM Chiseled Gunmetal, Latitude Stainless, 45 Black, Duovac Blue Pearl Striped, 51 Standard Black, Vac Jr. Black, 51 Aero Black, 51 Vac Blue Cedar, Duofold Jr. Lapis, 51 Aero Demi Black, 51 Aero Demi Teal, 51 Aero Navy Gray, Duofold Pastel Moire Violet, Vac Major Golden Brown, Vac Deb. Emerald, 51 Vac Dove Gray, Vac Major Azure, Vac Jr. Silver Pearl, 51 Vac Black GF Cap, 51 Forest Green GF cap, Vac Jr. Silver Pearl, Duovac Senior Green & Gold, Duovac Deb. Black, Challenger Black, 51 Aero Midnight, Vac. Emerald Jr., Challenger Gray Pearl, 51 Vac Black, Duofold Int. Black, Duofold Jr. Red.

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Brian Anderson

The problem is not what the organizers charge in regard to cost, it is the other costs: Hotel $159 per night, plus state tax 6%, plus city tax 8.5%, plus parking, $52 per night, plus 6% tax, all times 4 nights, plus the cost of meals each day, plus the cost of travel to and from the show. Without tipping this approaches $1,000.00, then add in tips, miscellaneous fees and meals for two one needs to add abou $500.00 more. Travel costs for me beyond regular living costs for diving 9 hours each way adds another $500.00. So, direct expenses of about $200 plus indirect of $2,000.00 mean I would have to sell a lot of pens or other items, or have a pretty high markup.

 

If you are local, and thus sleeping in your own bed and using public transportation to get to and from the show, it is cheap to set up and sell, but if not, Philadelphia is expensive.

 

And the risk is bad weather depressing sales so low as to cause a loss. And so to factor in the high cost of Philadelphia and the possibility of bad weather and you create for a responsible merchant the need to use all this in calculating ones costs and thus ones pricing structure. I for one would rather go somewhere else with lower costs, less risk and thus a lower price point on what I would be selling.

 

Sorry, but you're doing it wrong. We almost never stay at a show hotel. Look at the Club Quarters hotel, literally around the corner from the Westin - $60 less per night, you park at the parking ramp on 16th, which is the same ramp the Westin uses, AND they validate your parking for 35% off - We paid $111 for four days. The Marathon Diner three blocks down the street has an amazing menu for very reasonable prices, I think we paid $35 including tip for a nice dinner for two. Sure, the hotel is convenient, but $60 for breakfast buffet is outrageous when you can go to the Four Seasons around the corner (two or three stores down from Club Quarters Hotel) and grab breakfast for under $10. It's all in scouting out the alternatives and not being picky.

 

I realize this is all after the fact, but consider this for next year. If you ever need suggestions for pen show hotels and dining, feel free to ask us. While I'm not doing McDonalds for dinner, I'm not paying luxury dining prices either. Show hotels even with "Pen Show Rates" are almost always more expensive than something else, and we never go more than five minutes drive out. I'm there to sleep, not have an experience. :)

www.esterbrook.net All Esterbrook, All the Time.
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