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Interest In Ink Sample Subscriptions?


oceanlover4evr
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Since Goulet Pens stopped offering Ink Drop, and Ink Crate has been discontinued, there really aren't any domestic (CONUS) services for those who maybe want an easy surprise subscription of ink samples. I know there's Arledrop but I liked the thematic nature of the Ink Drop a lot more.

 

So my question is this: has there ever been any interest in maybe starting up a thematic ink sample subscription service again? Maybe through Kickstarter or Patron. Or is this something people would be interested in?

Inks (Always willing to trade samples, PM me!): Noodler's Rome Burning, Noodler's Henry Hudson Blue, , J. Herbin Poussiere de Lune, P.W. Akkerman Laan Van Nieuw Oost-Indigo, Chesterfield Antique Slate, Chesterfield Antique Shamrock, Chesterfield Antique Jade, Chesterfield Antique Orchid, Chesterfield Capri, De Atramentis Apricot, De Atramentis Alexander Hamilton, J. Herbin Rouge Hematite (sans gold), Organics Studio Willow Green, Sailor Storia Magic Purple, Sailor Tokiwa-Matsu, Diamine Eau De Nil, Franklin-Christoph Midnight Emerald, Franklin-Christoph Black Cherry

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It's a lot of work for negligible return, needs a heap of forward planning to consistantly acquire interesting inks in sufficient quantity (& much harder still if you're not in the industry), modern subscribers don't even like subscribing for long advance periods. Plus mail services will only ever get more stringent on posting liquids.

 

My gut feeling is that ink samples are great as a standalone, but it's unsustainable as a subscription service. eg if you've done it for a while & still have some customers from 1st month alongside newcomers, how long before you can "repeat" an ink you've done before?

 

GP probably only did it more as a community service to build up their audience as they started up.

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Take a look at this site: https://www.inkjournal.com/collections/fountain-pen-ink-flight-samples

I came upon this site fairly recently, and haven't ordered from them yet, but they certainly seem to enjoy what they are doing. They are in New Jersey.

 

Sharon in Indiana

"There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self." Earnest Hemingway

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I use ink journal's ink flights. I got into this too late for Goulet's, but I've not missed any of ink journal's. Not only have I been happy with their selection, but I get it quite promptly.

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It's not themed, but Goulet has a surprise-me sampler. I prefer the Anderson's 3mL samples, and they have Sailor inks as well... no official random or themed, but you could always ask them to make you one? Not a subscription, but I often found the fixed monthly interval (if fun) too soon to try all the inks. Also, if you live near a pen show they go to, you can save on shipping at pick it up at the show. Did that last year with maybe 20 inks when I was comparing (discontinued now) Chesterfield to Diamine.

 

The problem for established inkophiles, though, is that you can have so many bottles or other samples that there's too much overlap. At the end of my Ink Drop days, at least one and one time three were duplicates. Looking at Jan-June Arledrop, 15 of those 60 would be dupes, maybe 7 to ink I have at least a 30mL bottle of.

 

Ink drop was $2 per including the shipping for 5 x 2mL. Doubt that would be do-able by anyone who wasn't getting the ink wholesale. Closest I guess a person could do is place an order with a pen shop, though, and have them send "copies" out to a whole list of people. $13 for 5 or so?

Edited by radellaf
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  • 1 month later...

Since Goulet Pens stopped offering Ink Drop, and Ink Crate has been discontinued, there really aren't any domestic (CONUS) services for those who maybe want an easy surprise subscription of ink samples. I know there's Arledrop but I liked the thematic nature of the Ink Drop a lot more.

 

So my question is this: has there ever been any interest in maybe starting up a thematic ink sample subscription service again? Maybe through Kickstarter or Patron. Or is this something people would be interested in?

In the Netherlands, Appelboom offers the Inxperiment

 

https://appelboom.com/inxperiment

 

And they offer two shipping options : a regular one and an "only ink and refill" one at only €5 ($5.87) worldwide !!

 

https://appelboom.com/delivery-and-return-information

 

I'm planning on subscribing this ink subscription soon but if you want to hear about customers experiences, you can take a look at

 

www.stylo-plume.org

 

It's a French forum but it might helps some of you understanding French and for the others, maybe try it with google translation ???

 

I hope it would have help you in any way.

Please forgive my bad frenchie English.

 

Love from France to all of you pen pals !

 

Marjorie

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Given the inks they carry and their outstanding service I would like to see the wonderful folks at Vanness start a monthly or quarterly ink sample subscription. They have a great selection of inks including hard to find ones. I like their labels and quantity of samples. Their shipping of samples is fast and affordable.

 

Not pushing or anything ........ but ........... c'mon!! ;)

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Hi OceanLover, et al,

 

(Me too, btw :D). I don't how that ink journal outfit is pulling it off... I'll have to check them out, but what makes the ink drop a money losing proposition are the ever-rising labor, packaging and shipping costs.

 

Shipping inks requires A LOT of extra packaging to ensure their safe, DRY arrival and then you have to add the postage rates... not to mention the costs of the ink and vials and the sky-high labor costs... and offer it all at a price where people won't ask "WTH"?

 

The Goulet's stopped their program a while ago and according to Brian it had been operating in the red for quite a while before they were finally FORCED to give it up.

 

I think the only reason some stores continue to offer samples AT ALL is because they're usually not bought alone... we usually also buy a pen or a couple of bottles of other ink we like, etc., etc.

 

I wish I could paint a brighter picture, but as a businessman, I can easily see all the liabilities and shortfalls of such a program... and it's low ROI... because thinking back... for each of the sample vials you receive... how many of those actually triggered the purchase of a full-sized bottle?

 

Be well and enjoy life. :)

 

 

- Anthony

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I'll admit that I never signed up for stuff like InkDrop -- I didn't think I'd be able to go through the samples fast enough before the next batch came. And I'm having a bad enough time with ink samples where *I* pick the colors I want to try.... :blush:

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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Just a follow up on InkJournal. I have now picked up both the July and August drops. Nice choices in each one; I actually got the August one at the DC Show instead of having it shipped.

 

It looks like they are going to start a subscription service, so you might want to look into their page. They are quite prompt with their shipping, and clearly still having fun with the whole thing.

 

Sharon in indiana

"There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self." Earnest Hemingway

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Just a follow up on InkJournal. I have now picked up both the July and August drops. Nice choices in each one; I actually got the August one at the DC Show instead of having it shipped.

 

It looks like they are going to start a subscription service, so you might want to look into their page. They are quite prompt with their shipping, and clearly still having fun with the whole thing.

 

Sharon in indiana

Hi Sharon,

 

Excellent. Thank you for posting this... I have yet to look into it myself... :blush: ...but I'm very happy to hear it has your endorsement. :thumbup:

 

Be well and enjoy life... even if it kills you. :D

 

 

- Anthony

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Hi Sharon,

 

Excellent. Thank you for posting this... I have yet to look into it myself... :blush: ...but I'm very happy to hear it has your endorsement. :thumbup:

 

Be well and enjoy life... even if it kills you. :D

 

 

- Anthony

 

hahahahaha

"There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self." Earnest Hemingway

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