If you’ve been following new products in the fountain pen world, then you’ve probably already seen that J. Herbin is coming out with another 1670 ink, Bleu Ocean (deep blue). 

These images are provided to me by J. Herbin, I’ll be doing my own as soon as I have the ink in tomorrow. 

The Release

Right away, I can say it’s going to be a little nuts. I know for a fact that we’re getting fewer inks than we need to allow everyone to get one, and it definitely doesn’t help that this is the only shipment of the ink that’s going to be here until November. I’m willing to bet that it’s going to sell out at just about every retailer pretty quickly, so make sure you are ready to act fast. I definitely wouldn’t say that if I didn’t believe it, but I know this ink will go fast. 

Okay, so it’s always crazy when there’s a release of a new ink like this. The original 1670 ink, Rouge Hematite, has been wildly popular and that sets up a huge level of hype for Bleu Ocean right off the bat. As time has passed from the initial announcement of this ink earlier in the summer, hype and speculation has been building, and undoubtedly many of you are fantasizing about how this ink will satisfy all of your hopes and dreams. Well, it might do that, it might not. What I’m going to do is work to give you the most accurate representation of this ink as possible, so that you can make an informed decision before partaking in the inevitable landrush that will surround the release of this ink. I’m expecting my shipment of Bleu Ocean to arrive to GouletPens.com tomorrow, but I’m going to hold its release until Thursday 9/13. This is for two reasons:

1) I want to have time to use the ink myself, and post a review of it on Wednesday. This is an expensive ink, and I don’t want you to buy it sight unseen just because of hype. I want you to be able to make an informed decision before going nuts chasing after it.

2) Scheduling a release time will allow you to have a fair shot to get the ink from me. I’ll explain more below. 

Logistics of Ordering from GouletPens.com

Now to the part that really matters to you, how can you get a bottle of Bleu Ocean? We are getting a pretty good stock of this ink at GouletPens.com, but we also have a record-breaking email notification list for them. We begged and pleaded to get as much of the ink as possible, but the amount that came from France is limited into the US, and we only get so much of a cut of that stock. We’d be much more comfortable if we were getting two or three times what we are, but such is life. Because of the limited nature, you’re going to have to be diligent about getting this ink if you want it in the initial release. I’m going to tell you everything you need to know to give yourself the best chance to get it from us. 

So, here is what you need to do to have the best chance to get J. Herbin Bleu Ocean from GouletPens.com:
  1. Sign up on the email notification list for the ink, which you do by clicking on the ’email me when back in stock’ link below the ‘Add to Cart’ button on the product page, then typing in your email. As soon as we make it available for purchase, you’ll be notified by email. This isn’t required for you to buy the ink, but is just an extra reminder to let you know as soon as the ink is live and available for sale.
  2. Get to GouletPens.com as close to 1pm Eastern US time as you possibly can, because that’s when we’re releasing the ink for sale. We chose this time to accommodate the most number of people around the world as possible. I know that it’s not an ideal time for everyone, and I’m really sorry if it isn’t for you. 
  3. Load other items into your shopping cart ahead of time. Get to GouletPens.com early, and load up whatever else you want before 1pm EDT. Once we make the ink live, all you have to do is add it to your cart and checkout with everything else you already have. The first people to checkout get it, just having it in your shopping cart doesn’t reserve it for you! We may have a run not only on the ink, but on other products we regularly stock. It’s likely we’ll be out of stock on a number of products once the release happens, though exactly what I’m not sure. If we’re out of something else you wanted to purchase at the same time, just go ahead and buy what you can with the ink, and we can always hold your order until the rest of what you want comes in if you email us after the fact…just make sure you checkout with the ink, that’s the most important thing for you to do.
  4. Arrange for someone else to purchase it if you’re not able to at 1pm. If you have an important meeting or appointment at the time of the release, arrange for a family member or friend to help you purchase it. It’s impossible for us to predict how fast the ink will sell out, I’ll honestly be pretty surprised if it lasts to the end of the day. 
  5. Make sure your credit card or PayPal is working properly. There’s nothing worse than going through all of the excitement of getting your ink in your cart only to find out your card expired or you forgot to update something on your PayPal account. Get it all straight ahead of time so you know you’re good to go when you checkout. 
  6. You have to order through GouletPens.com. There will be such a mad rush of people flocking to our site, shooting us emails, and calling us, that we can’t guarantee you anything unless it goes through our website. Our inventory is real-time through our site, and it’s the only way for us to ensure that we don’t oversell. We’ll do our best to take your order over the phone if you need us to after 1:00pm, but we only have one phone line and may not be able to pick up right away. We’re sorry if this inconveniences you at all, but it’s the only way we can manage everything during a release like this. If you are having technical issues with our website at that time email us and we will help you as soon as possible.
Here are some other pointers about this event:
  • There is a limit of one bottle per person. I wish we could do more, and we’ll lift this limit for future shipments of the ink. But for this first shipment, I know there will be a temptation to hoard the ink and stock up, which will allow fewer people to get a bottle at all. I know you wouldn’t want someone else buying them all up ahead of you, so we’re putting this limit in place to make sure the most people can get at least get one bottle.
  • We will be offering Bleu Ocean in samples. We debated about this a lot, as doing up samples of the ink obviously makes fewer bottles available. However, we can get over 20 samples from a single bottle of ink, which will allow you to at least try the ink if you’re not able (or willing) to get a full bottle right away. Since it’s a brand new ink and spending $22 on an ink sight-unseen might be a bit of a risk for you, we figure it’s better to offer the samples than not.
  • Purchasing your ink only matters if you checkout. Holding it on your waitlist or shopping cart doesn’t actually reserve your ink, it all matters on who checks out first.
  • You can call us, but we may not be able to answer. We only have one phone line, and it gets tied up at a release time like this. Email is preferable, and will give you the greatest likelihood of a quick response.
  • If you wanted to buy other items that are out of stock, please put a note in your order comments to have us hold your order and combine it when the items are available if you’d like to save on shipping. 
Why doesn’t GouletPens.com take pre-orders or do waitlists?

There are several reasons why we don’t offer pre-orders or take your money in advance:
  • Limited supply. There’s nothing worse than thinking you’ve got a product reserved for you, only to find out it was oversold. Then you’re stuck scrambling at the last minute trying to find it anywhere you can, and it’s very stressful!
  • Delays!!! They happen ALL the time, across all brands. We’ve seen new product releases literally last a year and a half from their first product delivery date (that was extreme, but happened), and holding a commitment for a product that long is just crazy.
  • Damage in shipping. It happens! Sometimes we’re anticipating a big order of a new product and we get things in and 1/4 of the product is crunched, wet, or defective in some manner. Then what? If we already sold it, we have to explain it to a group of disappointed (and likely angry) customers. Nope, we like to get things in hand, make sure we know exactly how many we have, then sell them with exact numbers.
  • It’s just not fair. When we have an email notification list that’s 2-3 times larger than our expected stock, then that would mean that all of the ink would already have been promised to the first people that signed up, and no one else would even have a shot at it. With a scheduled release like we do, it allows the most diligent and eager individuals to get the ink, and rewards those who want it the most, instead of those who just found out about it first. 

Many retailers do preorders, and it is tempting to do because it snatches the attention of the eager buyer. But, for all of the reasons above, we feel that the longer term strategy of doing things the way we do it is a better way. It’s better for us, and better for you. You know if we sell you something, you’re going to get it as soon as it’s available, and you won’t be oversold. We’ve been doing this for several years now, and it’s been a proven and successful way to handle big releases with limited stock. 

We did a waitlist….once. It was the very first batch of J. Herbin 1670 Rouge Hematite ink that we received over two years ago. We had more people on our waitlist than we had bottles, and that was without ever listing it on our site. Thankfully, we hadn’t taken anyone’s money, but the act of promising several customers bottles of ink that weren’t going to be able to get it was something that made those people pretty upset. Not only that, it just made it so that the people that got the inks first were the ones that just so happened to contact us about it, not necessarily the people who really wanted it the most. Plus, because we had sold the bottles before they even came in, they were never even listed on our website. It was confusing for everyone else because it wasn’t ever publicized that we received the ink (since we didn’t have any to sell, at that point). We knew there had to be a better way.

We tried doing our first ‘landrush’ for the subsequent shipment of 1670 ink, and it worked out much better. We did it just like we’re doing here, letting everyone know in advance when we’re listing it, and it gave everyone the fairest opportunity to get it if they wanted it the most. Plus, all of the excitement of everyone arriving to get it at the same time made it into a whole event, which is exciting for everyone. And this is how we’ve continued to do it since.

So here’s the timeline for how everything’s going down:
  • Tomorrow (9/11/12) the ink is scheduled to arrive, and I’ll immediately begin swabbing, taking pictures, and working up a review of the ink.
  • Wednesday (9/12/12) I’ll post a review (with video) of the ink here on Ink Nouveau and on my YouTube channel.
  • Thursday (9/13/12) at 1:00pm EDT (Eastern US time), we’ll make the ink available for sale. We’ll temporarily put our site into maintenance mode as we put the ink in stock, then we’ll bring it back up with the ink in stock. Let the landrush begin! :)
This should be a pretty fair way to go about it. If you have any questions, feel free to post in the comments. Keep an eye out here on Wednesday for my review, and good luck on Thursday!
Write On,
Brian Goulet