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Endless Pens mystery box


SpecTP
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anyone participate in this mystery box offer from endlesspens? is it worth it?

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Be interesting to find out ahead of time.  I would rather have some info than invest in a total "Mystery".

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750 for three pens where you don’t know what you are getting is not something I’m gonna rush right out and do!

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On 10/7/2021 at 3:18 AM, Hbanger said:

750 for three pens where you don’t know what you are getting is not something I’m gonna rush right out and do!

 

Shameful if that is actually the offer. The mystery box is probably composed of overpriced pens that have not been selling.

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8 minutes ago, MuddyWaters said:

 

Shameful if that is actually the offer. The mystery box is probably composed of overpriced pens that have not been selling.

that would be my guess, overpriced back stock that no one wants!

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49 minutes ago, MuddyWaters said:

Shameful if that is actually the offer.

 

Unattractive, perhaps, but why shameful? It's not like it's squandering precious finite resources or opportunity. The consumer who wants to pick and choose, and knowing that everything supplied in exchange for his/her spend will be pleasing and rewarding, can just pick off the regular catalogue and pay the asking prices, instead of entertaining any ‘mystery’.

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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36 minutes ago, A Smug Dill said:

 

Unattractive, perhaps, but why shameful? It's not like it's squandering precious finite resources or opportunity. The consumer who wants to pick and choose, and knowing that everything supplied in exchange for his/her spend will be pleasing and rewarding, can just pick off the regular catalogue and pay the asking prices, instead of entertaining any ‘mystery’.

 

Unattractive to me, and shameful that they would try to make it attractive to others, if these are just overpriced reject pens (say 300$ pens with Jowo nibs on them). 

 

Less shameful if these overstock pens total double the price tag of $750 or more.

 

$750 are finite resources. 

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40 minutes ago, MuddyWaters said:

shameful that they would try to make it attractive to others

 

I do not agree with (or understand) this sentiment.

 

Here is the description from the website, for the $750 mystery box (far the most expensive of the three options):

Contains:
- 3 Mystery Items
- Total Value ranging from $1100.00 - $1400.00
- All EndlessPens Mystery Boxes include at least one fountain pen

 

It's just an offer, in which you are free not to be interested. I am not interested either, as it happens, but I don't feel like they should be obliged to only make offers in which I am interested, or that making an offer like this seem attractive is equivalent to trying to cheat their customers. 

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8 hours ago, Paul-in-SF said:

I do not agree with (or understand) this sentiment.

 

Me neither.

 

10 hours ago, MuddyWaters said:

$750 are finite resources.

 

So? It is incumbent only on the owner, manager, or otherwise controller of those finite resources to decide how subjectively best to spend them, in order to get meet needs, satisfy wants, derive utility and/or gain value for oneself in exchange. Nobody else is obliged to help him (or her, or it) do better in the equation or at the task, or avoid miscalculations and missteps; and there is no shame — least of all on for-profit enterprises making commercial offers that one is free to accept or reject — in not being a positive contributor to that cause.

 

If any party is guilty of squandering or misusing those finite resources by making suboptimal investment or purchasing decisions, and thus bringing shame, it'd be the controller of those resources, not any of the myriad merchants and vendors making offers in the market at any given time, especially if they are not unconscionably exploiting someone's desperate needs and circumstances.

 

10 hours ago, MuddyWaters said:

Less shameful if these overstock pens total double the price tag of $750 or more.

 

The implication is that the consumer who would even consider such an offer is trying to score a bargain, i.e. a ‘deal’ or transaction that returns better value than at the regular or asking prices for the products and services on offer. In other words, metaphorically playing some sort of game, in a manner that is definitely not designed to deliver ideal (or even average) outcomes for the vendor or serve the latter's best interests. It's not a win-win that the consumer wants, and certainly not one that looks after the vendor at least as much as oneself in commercial trade. If there is to be any shame, then bargain-hunting and trying to squeeze a more favourable exchange for oneself at the vendor's expense would be at least equally as shameful, no?

 

I say so as a hobbyist and consumer who is almost notorious for stacking multiple promotional offers not necessarily intended to be applied concurrently, exploiting loopholes that fail to prevent such manoeuvres which undermine the intentions and interests of merchants, etc. If a vendor making offers to clear stock it can't sell at list/retail/regular prices with seasonal discounts is shameful, then what I do must be shameful, and family and friends who consult with me to get better deals for themselves are not completely free of shame for it, either.

 

Nobody owes it to you, me, or any other consumer to ensure that our ‘choice’ means every next option is more favourable than the best one known previously. One has choice when one can freely, i.e. without being prevented by extrinsically imposed and enforced constraints, select options and courses of actions that are suboptimal for one's objectives and priorities, with or without guidance or warning from others. If the first (and, at the time, only) option known to oneself is considered not ideal, and then two other options that are subjectively worse get subsequently thrown into the mix from which one could select, then there is choice — just no gain or advantage to be had.

 

There is no shame in any of that.

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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3 hours ago, A Smug Dill said:

There is no shame in any of that

 

I do agree with that.  The consumer can accept the deal, or not.  As long as the rules are clear, the vendor is doing nothing wrong.  Caveat emptor applies. 

 

About 5 years ago, I bought a quartz watch from a certain Swiss manufacturer known for inexpensive plastic fashion watches.  They offered an additional "mystery" watch for a relatively modest increase.  I took the chance and .......ended up with a gaudiest watch I've ever seen (that for some strange reason appealed to my sister in law- she was welcome to have it).

 

At the end of it, I felt shame that I could be so stupid to part with my hard-earned for a random item from the bargain bin that was always going to contain the dross that few people wanted.  I don't blame the watch company for that, just my own stupidity.  I won't make that mistake twice.

 

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45 minutes ago, austollie said:

 

 

About 5 years ago, I bought a quartz watch from a certain Swiss manufacturer known for inexpensive plastic fashion watches.  They offered an additional "mystery" watch for a relatively modest increase.  I took the chance and .......ended up with a gaudiest watch I've ever seen (that for some strange reason appealed to my sister in law- she was welcome to have it).

 

At the end of it, I felt shame that I could be so stupid to part with my hard-earned for a random item from the bargain bin that was always going to contain the dross that few people wanted.  I don't blame the watch company for that, just my own stupidity.  I won't make that mistake twice.

 

 

You see, this is a good example. I see it differently than the full responsibility is on the buyer. If the company knew they were selling you a likely undesirable item, and used their marketing tactics to get around that, to me that is shameful. That doesn't mean you didn't act irresponsibly (your call) but I do think there is shared responsibility there. 

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I do not accuse the seller of bad faith, but this is a pig in a poke. If somebody is rich enough to pay $750 for the unknown contents of a box, being happy to risk wasting that amount of money on something he or she does not want or need, then he or she is living in a different world than most of us.

 

David

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Not at the $750 level, but if I were brand new to FP's then this type of box or the one Truphae's offers on a monthly subscription would be appealing. A way of trying things out which otherwise I might not.

 

While my collection is no where near others, I am at the point where there are very few style choices I make in buying FP's any more (yeah, I know the next time Endlesspens or Cultpens has a special I'll get suckered in...again). Now I am more about the writing experience, use stub and broad nibs 90%+ of the time, etc.

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7 hours ago, MuddyWaters said:

That doesn't mean you didn't act irresponsibly (your call) but I do think there is shared responsibility there. 

 

Shared responsibility for what exactly?

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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2 hours ago, tde44x said:

Not at the $750 level, but if I were brand new to FP's then this type of box or the one Truphae's offers on a monthly subscription would be appealing. A way of trying things out which otherwise I might not.

 

For me, there is a threshold, below which I'm prepared to take a punt with what I get in a lucky dip.  The watch example that I gave cost me A$25 (from memory), which is an amount that I could afford to lose.  Unfortunately, that didn't stop me from feeling stupid, even if the loss was relatively small.

 

If I want to be really honest about it, a lucky dip (for me at least) is/ was as much about the anticipation of there being a bargain in there, than it is/ was about trying something that I otherwise wouldn't (although that is a factor).  In reality, there won't be a true 'bargain' in the bargain bin.  By the nature of how these things work, that will only ever contain the pens that the general public chose not to buy, i.e. almost by definition it must disproportionately contain the items that we, as a community, judged as unworthy of our cash.  The only time that you can realistically win is if your taste is different to that of the general pen community.

 

So, all of that said, there is no way that I'd shell out $750 for a mystery box.  I would kick myself for a year, if I shelled out that kind of dosh and ended up with something that I wouldn't want to use with no realistic prospect of offloading it for a decent price on ebay.  If that were possible, the vendor would have done it already.

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3 hours ago, austollie said:

In reality, there won't be a true 'bargain' in the bargain bin.  By the nature of how these things work, that will only ever contain the pens that the general public chose not to buy, i.e. almost by definition it must disproportionately contain the items that we, as a community, judged as unworthy of our cash.

 

Unworthy of the original asking price, anyway. The three items are supposed to be fairly deeply discounted off the original price, however, which might make them more palatable. 

 

My problem with this offer is that there are relatively few items in the high-end range at this vendor that I actually want, and too many others that I don't want. That makes it a bad gamble for me. But not necessarily for everyone -- chacun à son goût.

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Sounds iffy, since they don't offer any control over the items.

 

A sublimely understated fountain pen can be expensive. 

 

A blingy POS with dragons, filigrees and too much metal in general can be expensive. 

 

Not taking the chance to end up with the second option.

 

At least with Truphae's mystery box you can add your own constraints and they will try and honor that.

 

-k

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For some reason, this thread is reminding me of one of the romances my mom wrote in the 1960s.  Girl graduates from college and her aunt or godmother (who paid her tuition) -- as a graduation present -- buys her a run-down gift shop in town for her to make a go of....  At one point, she takes some of the stuff that's been on the shelves for about a decade or so, puts it all into a steamer trunk and makes a sign that says "Trunk o' Junk".   A customer says "What's the deal?" and the girl says (in a conspiratorial tone) "It's a store promotion...."  And the customer (to the owner's relief) buys a couple of brass candlesticks out of the trunk!

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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I think this is a popular tradition in Japan during New Year’s. Kukubukuro is when merchants put together mystery bags of items that are supposed to be more valuable than their asking price. There are often different price points to purchase those bags. 

 

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23 hours ago, austollie said:

In reality, there won't be a true 'bargain' in the bargain bin.  By the nature of how these things work, that will only ever contain the pens that the general public chose not to buy, i.e. almost by definition it must disproportionately contain the items that we, as a community, judged as unworthy of our cash.

 

That assumes everyone in the market (with a genuine willingness to spend money) has perfect access to information about product specifications, availability, and prices; and are not deterred by shipping charges, taxes, and import duty where they apply, etc.

 

My wife and I picked up a couple of gold-nibbed Pilot Capless Décimo pens from the (then one-and-only) Peter's of Kensington store in Sydney a few years back, for A$90 apiece, while aimlessly browsing in-store. About of them were just languishing in the ‘bargain bin’. At the time we were quite into Pilot Capless pens, but I'd never managed to get them at such a low price, even though I'd been able to get a few through online shopping (and avoid paying GST on them as low-value imports, pre-2018) at around the A$120 mark. It wasn't that the hobbyist community judged them unworthy, even at the store's list price less seasonal discounts; but only a very tiny subset of prospectively interested hobbyists would have access to the availability information, pricing, and the physical bricks-and-mortar store, and only a very tiny subset of non-hobbyists would know the pens for what they are and the ‘value’ they represent, without having the products being actively shown and promoted to them. Thus the pens ended up in the next step after garden-variety clearance pricing.

 

I've bought several of my Aurora pens from EndlessPens at (from what I've seen) unmatched low — say, roughly 50% off standard retail — prices. At one point I even saw an Aurora Optima fountain pen in Arancio aurolide offered for something like US$306 (but I didn't buy it, as that shade of orange isn't quite to my taste even though I love orange as a colour; and I bought the Optima Viola for my wife instead for a bit more money). That's an awesome price for an Aurora Optima, there are plenty of fans of the brand and model in the community, and I have no doubt EndlessPens was selling a genuine item; so it was an actual bargain, when the nominal retail price is north of US$720, and EndlessPens usually tries to offload pens in that subgroup at US$400–$450.

 

But, even as someone who just cannot say no to a numerically favourable ‘bargain’, I just have no personal use for that colour, any more than I would have use for a Medium or Broad nib (of which there are fans, who don't share my tastes in very fine nibs and precise writing). So, even if there's an Aurora Optima Arancio with a Medium nib in a particular instance of the ‘Mystery Box’, along with a Sailor Profit Large in a colourway I already own but has a Broad nib, and a Leonardo pen (which is a brand I dislike now, even though I still own one), the ‘bargain’ would be there for US$750 but the encapsulated ‘value’ wouldn't serve me well in fact. I could do better by stalking bargain offers and sniping what matches my tastes and preferences, even if on paper the ‘discount’ I get is not as steep as what accounting for the ‘Mystery Box’ would show.

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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