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Conid Poll: What Would You Like To See When They Reopen?



What would you most like to see from Conid next?  

36 members have voted

  1. 1. Once Conid reopens their doors in the spring, what would you like to see most from them?

    • A larger focus on customer service and communication.
    • A more concrete, transparent manufacturing schedule.
    • More options for materials.
    • New pens, or variations on current pens.
    • A split storefront, between ready-to-ship pens and custom orders
    • I?d prefer to see something else (please comment below).


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I’ve been thinking about Conid’s current offerings a lot, recently. Speculating about where the brand will go in the coming months and years. What do you want to see them focus on next, which direction do you think the brand will take?

Personally, I hope they’re able to find the time to innovate, once they have their backlog under control and their process ironed out. I’m a huge fan of the Minimalistica, and would order one made in a nice celluloid or attractive resin in a heartbeat (though a friction-fit cap may not jive well with ‘fancier’ materials). Also an ink window on the Delrin model, even for a higher price, would be an instant buy. I’d also welcome any new pen models, especially some more in the no.6 nib range.

 

I’d love to hear any thoughts and opinions you might have, below. I know Conid’s processes and practices can be a divisive topic for some, but let’s try to keep our gaze on the future.

 

Cheers!

Edited by EliH
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  • EliH

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  • ralfstc

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  • penzel_washinkton

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  • Wolverine1

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Im very happy with the pens. I would like more choice in materials

 

I definitely agree. The ‘In Flanders Fields’ Kingsize was an especially gorgeous limited edition. I’d like to see more of that caliber.

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penzel_washinkton

Definitely their customer service and communication. This is the issue that caused order pause in the first place but if they go back to their old ways then the break is pointless since it will be repeated in the future.

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I'll just leave this here...

 

fpn_1582470155__p1010217.jpg

 

 

Every time I see a photo of Francis’s custom Conids, my soul dies a little.

 

If only they were for sale...

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Conid's customer service is just fine. They dont need to change anything.

Though I myself would agree with that statement, I’m sure there are many people who would tend to disagree.

 

I have only ever had the most positive interactions with them, and I’ve rarely had to wait more than a week for a reply. For some people I think the unrealistic shipping estimates can be a bother, which is fair, but for others I think their expectation is that if they spend this much on a pen, the manufacturer should be immediately reachable.

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penzel_washinkton

Conid's customer service is just fine. They dont need to change anything.

Wow, talk to some of the folks in this thread then:

 

https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/topic/348034-conid-delivery-time/

 

Saying that it is fine is just plain delusional when there are ample testimonials of their poor communication throughout the ordering process.

Edited by penzel_washinkton
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So, penzel, you think I am delusional. So be it. What I think is that FPNers have unrealistic expectations, and they really like bitching and moaning on this forum. That is what the problems with Conid all boil down to. So, it is just fine if you consider what I said delusional. Free country, you are entitled to your opinion as well as me to mine.

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I think Conid's costs are high. I do understand it's a low-run product, but it's a lot of money. I suspect that even with production in the EU and associated wages and benefits (which I support 100%) there might be a way to reduce the price.

 

Communication and wait times are not ideal either.

 

To be clear, though, this is a fabulous product from a deeply talented team!

 

Cheers,

 

Ralf

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I think Conid's costs are high. I do understand it's a low-run product, but it's a lot of money.

 

Are you talking about Conid's production (and/or operational) costs, or Conid's list prices for its pens?

 

I suspect that even with production in the EU and associated wages and benefits (which I support 100%) there might be a way to reduce the price.

Personally, I don't care one way or the other about the manufacturer's profit margins, and I don't mind if its pricing (with whatever margins) makes its product inaccessible or just uncompetitive. Given the ‘love’ many on this forum seems to have for Conid as a technically excellent, engineering-focused pen manufacturer, I'd love to see it refine its processes, so that it knows exactly what is in its production pipeline and precisely how long it takes from order to manufacture to dispatch, and commit to it.

 

"Our pens are precisely engineered machines, and so is our company. When we say 36 days lead time, we mean exactly that, based on our clear view of what is in the queue and how long it takes to make your pen. Barring catastrophic exceptions, such as destruction of our production facility or regional lockdown by the government in response to health threats, the lead time could only be shorter (if some orders in the queue ahead of yours get cancelled) but not longer. Nothing jumps the queue ahead of your order, and we don't promise anything we can't deliver. We've learnt from our past mistakes and we now understand where our weaknesses were, but we've fixed them now. Every estimate is calculated individually by an improved and tested algorithm, which we stand behind 100%." is the sort of attitude or face I want to see from such a firm. The high ink capacity or the patented aspects of the filling mechanism in terms of design are nothing if not matched by equally excellent manufacturing processes. There is nothing artisan or artistic about it; I'd buy from Santini Italia if I wanted individually crafted pieces of work with great European workmanship. (Santini and Katrina are responsive to boot when contacted, take my requests seriously and attend to them with care, and their customer service is stellar.)

 

I also don't think much of "premium" fountain pens that use JoWo or Bock nibs, but I do understand that Conid may not be in a position to produce its own nibs as well as it can pen bodies, so it would make sense for Conid to partner with a specialised, industrial-scale nib manufacturer that offer equal precision and consistency to match a well-engineered pens. If JoWo doesn't deliver on that, then it's up to Conid to kick its butt because it has a flow-on impact that jeopardises Conid's reputation. If I'm going to spend north of €400 on a fountain pen with a basic JoWo or Bock nib, I want to be dealing with a machine-like producer that won't let me down. Responding to customer queries within, say, 2 business days with useful information and without fail would simply be part of the firm's "programming" or DNA.

 

That's what I want to see.

 


 

I do care about some retailers' profit margins. If it isn't worthwhile for a friendly retailer to deal with me commercially, because the margins are not high enough — much less if it's losing money because of "free" shipping or what-not — then that friendly relationship isn't really going to continue for very long, is it?

Edited by A Smug Dill

I endeavour to be frank and truthful in what I write, show or otherwise present, when I relate my first-hand experiences that are not independently verifiable; and link to third-party content where I can, when I make a claim or refute a statement of fact in a thread. If there is something you can verify for yourself, I entreat you to do so, and judge for yourself what is right, correct for valid. I may be wrong, and my position or say-so is no more authoritative and carries no more weight than anyone else's here.

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My personal opinions only!

 

I meant the price to the consumer. For me, a pen has to write really well, and while I enjoyed my Conid's technical gee-whizzery, I came to believe that I could have a better writing experience more cheaply. As an example, my Scribo comes from a small European product, was cheaper than my Conid, and writes like nothing else I own. I don't think Conid has high profit margins, in fact, if I were guessing I'd say they probably have very low margins, partly because they are doing so much CNC work and are labour intensive. By reducing costs I meant possibly finding a way to capitalize on some economies of scale, which would of course require inventory etc etc. It seems to me that JIT manufacturing inevitably will create long waiting times if people like the product (Morgan cars, etc).

 

I understand that a reduced price to the consumer might increase demand, but hmmm. I'm not sure that it would make that much difference either way. It's worth noting that at the moment the website doesn't list prices (I checked to evidence my wee rant) which makes me suspect there's a rise coming up. Anyway, it's a premium product where there tends to be little price sensitivity apart from people who perceive them as offering marginal value. In other words, those who like 'em, like 'em!

 

I agree with Smug Dill that a proprietary nib option would be a game changer!

 

It's fun playing armchair Fountainbel, but as I said before, it's a nice product, and I know I couldn't do any better :-)

 

Ralf

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  • 1 month later...

So, penzel, you think I am delusional. So be it. What I think is that FPNers have unrealistic expectations, and they really like bitching and moaning on this forum. That is what the problems with Conid all boil down to. So, it is just fine if you consider what I said delusional. Free country, you are entitled to your opinion as well as me to mine.

Just a point on their communications front. I ordered a Kingsize in June of last year. I am still awaiting it. I have received a single email in response from them, out of three queries about changing something very simple with the order. I dont mind waiting for something like this, even pushing a year, but I dont think that receiving no reply for a very simple one line question is particularly acceptable. Not sure how that is worthy of being considered moaning or unrealistic expectations.

Edited by Merackon
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