Goulet Q&A Episode 247: Visiting Japan, Tine Spacing, and Using Collectible Pens

In this Goulet Q&A episode, Brian talks about his Japan trip, if nib tines should touch or not, and how he collects and uses pens. Enjoy!

This week:



1) _davide.caruso_- Instagram (13:09)

Have you ever heard of ink staining grip sections? I’ve just received a Homo Sapiens as a gift and I fear that the porous material will stain if I use high sheening inks

  • I have heard of it, sure, but not with this pen
  • I’ve been using a Homo Sapiens daily for over 3 years, and haven’t permanently stained it with any of the crazy inks I’ve put in it
  • generally, black grips of any kind won’t stain, at least not permanently
  • I do find after filling it, that I need to wet a cloth to absorb the excess ink out of the grip, ideally
  • white grips, on the other hand, might
  • the lighter the color grip the more likely to stain
  • certainly the material it’s made of makes a difference, but I haven’t ever had much of an issue with anything hygroscopic like the volcanic rock or ebonite so I think you’re good!

2) kelvs77- Instagram (16:30)

Should nib tines be touching together. Or should there be a space between. Wondering how big a space is the sweet spot. As i notice buying fp lately… The nib tines are sometimes wide apart while others or touching together…. Confused on what to check when buying

  • this is a great question
  • technically ink will flow to the tip of a nib with parallel tines, but it’s usually not ideal to have a nib tuned with parallel tines because any amount of pressure will spread them and work against the capillary action
  • a slight taper is ideal
  • talking to different nibmeisters, there seems to be some debate and personal preference in terms of whether the tip of the tines should actually touch
  • some say “barely almost touching”, others say it shouldn’t, others say they should, and it depends on the pen
  • soft nibs (gold, palladium) are perfectly fine lightly touching, because they’ll spread easily and flow well with normal writing pressure
  • really tight tines with a stiff stainless steel isn’t ideal, that’s pretty universal
  • there really just needs to be room for the ink to flow through, so if the tines are touching they shouldn’t be touching any more than at the tip (that’s when it’s too tight)
  • don’t write off a nib just because it’s touching
  • honestly though, the best guide will be to dip the nib and try writing with it if you’re able, as that’ll tell you the cold hard facts!


3) Dale R- Facebook (22:20)

Whats ur favorite pretending to be black ink?


4) Renee O- Facebook (25:39)

If I’m traveling abroad to a country where a fountain pen brand is made will sales prices generally be cheaper? Are there “deals” to be had?

  • Prices will usually be cheaper in a product’s country of origin, because you don’t have import fees, shipping, distribution, environmental regulations, tariffs, and currency conversion factors at play
  • In Japan, Pilot, Sailor, and Platinum were all cheaper, but all the US pens were double the price as they are here, Europeans were comparable or more
  • In Italy, brands like Pineider, Visconti, Aurora, Montegrappa will be cheaper
  • In Germany, Lamy, Pelikan, Montblanc (maybe?) will be a little cheaper
  • In the US, Noodler’s, Monteverde, Conklin will be cheaper
  • That’s not unusual at all, and it’s just because there are real costs with moving things across the world
  • So when you’re traveling to any country, think about where the homeland is for the brand you’re looking for and budget accordingly!
  • Now it’s also likely there could be some regions of the world where prices are lower simply because of lower cost of living, but I am less knowledgeable of these, just something to keep in mind


5) Victoria L- Facebook (29:56)

What has been your favourite pen-related place/shop/anything during your trip to Japan?

  • I went into detail a bit on my trip to Japan in Write Now episode 115 from 3/13/19
  • I went to 3 stores while I was there
  • Itoya, Eurobox, and Maruzen
  • They were 3 very different experiences
  • Itoya is huge, in the heart of the Ginza, which is like New York’s 5th Avenue
    • Their new store is 12 floors and is between Bvlgari and Tiffany’s, if that says anything
    • 3rd floor is basically all fountain pens, and it was magnificent
    • lots of higher-end stuff, like Namikis, Platinums, Sailors, Caran d’Ache, MontBlanc, etc
    • Everything was under glass, I didn’t get to touch/hold anything because it was crowded, I was tired, and I was pretty familiar with a lot of what I was seeing so I didn’t ask anyone to see anything
    • I was more just taking it all in
    • You could really make a full day trip of this store, it was huge, and even had a cafe on the top floor called Cafe Stylo, which I ate at and it was really good!
  • Itoya had what I guess was their old store, which is 4 floors, and the first one is the only one I went to bc I was short on time
    • lots of lower-end stuff, like Preppies, Pilot Petit1’s, Cocoons, and tons of rollerballs and stuff
    • I bought stuff at this one, not the other one
    • Lots of Petit1’s, some Cocoons, and a couple of Multipens because of the designs
  • Eurobox was almost as different as an experience as you could get while still being in a pen store
    • only vintage
    • total hole-in-the-wall store, didn’t even have a sign from the outside!
    • it was deep inside an old building from the 1930’s, which there aren’t many of there
    • you could pretty much stand in the middle of the room and touch all the walls, it was small! But packed with fun
    • I actually found two of my most treasured finds there
    • Vintage Pilot VP in blue swirl (not sure of the real name) that I’d never seen before
    • Platinum Prime from 1968 or so, sterling silver with 18k broad nib that writes great!
    • there’s more I would have likely bought, but he only took cash! I had to borrow a few Yen to finish the deal 😉
  • Maruzen was yet another experience
    • in store event, and it was busy!
    • not sure how many pens they normally keep set up there, it seems like they must have a pretty good number of them often
    • I got to see more Japan-exclusive things from the big 3 brands than I’d seen at the other stores
    • everything was under glass here too, and there were a lot of reps and stuff around so it was pretty intimidating being there and not speaking any Japanese, I had to use my translator app a lot
    • I was also with my coat and giant backpack and like a big ogre in the store! I was in everyone’s way
    • I ended up picking up a Sailor King of Pens because blue, a Sailor Promenade because I’d never seen it before, it was affordable, and blue, and a Pilot Grance I’d never seen before, also blue
  • It’s hard to say which was my favorite because they were all so different! I really enjoyed Eurobox though, because it was such a spontaneous little diamond in the rough, and I had a couple of really good finds there


6) Eric L- Facebook (46:45)

Do you collect pens for fun (never ink or write with them) or you actually used all your pens in your collection?

  • haha, isn’t all this fun? 😉
  • yes, I definitely am collecting pens that I’m never using
  • not that I’d be opposed to it, but I certainly have more pens than any reasonable person would ever use, so I just don’t need to ink up every Lamy Safari or Al-Star I ever get, for example
  • there are some pens I’m pretty much on auto-pilot now in terms of “collecting”, mainly Lamy’s and TWSBI’s, as well as VP LE’s, Retro 51 poppers, and any exclusive pen that we come out with of any brand (in each color)
  • at this rate, I can use a different pen every day and not repeat for almost 3 years, I’m clearly into “collecting” mode and not just using them for practicality
  • but I am WILLING to use all of them, so there’s nothing I’m particularly preserving and unwilling to ink up!

QOTW: Have you ever bought pens as a souvenir? Which and where? (49:53)

Write On,
Brian Goulet

March 15th, 2019|Goulet Q&A|0 Comments

Why LAMY Opened a Flagship Store in NYC

In November 2018, I had the chance to travel to NYC to attend the celebration of the grand opening of the LAMY Soho store. It was a great time to see the store, host a meet up with lots of other pen fans, and connect with several LAMY employees who had come in from their headquarters in Heidelberg, Germany.

I had the chance to sit down with Kristina Schmidt who is the store manager for the LAMY Flagship store in Heidelberg and Isabel Bohny who is the Head of International Marketing.

Some of what we covered in the interview includes:

  • Why does LAMY want a physical store presence in New York and San Francisco, what is the vision for these stores?
  • Why is it important for a global company like LAMY to have a physical store presence?
  • What were some of the challenges with designing this store?
  • What are some of the elements of this store of which you’re the proudest?
  • What are some things we can look forward to seeing from LAMY in the future?

If you ever find yourself in the New York City area, I definitely recommend making a stop at LAMY’s store! Their address is 452 West Broadway, New York, New York 10012.

Write on,
Brian Goulet

March 5th, 2019|Pen News|0 Comments

Goulet Q&A Episode 246: Hottest Release in 2019, Advice to Entrepreneurs, Selling Brian and Rachel’s Pens

In this Goulet Q&A episode, Brian talks about the hottest new release of 2019, advice to new entrepreneurs, and would he ever sell one of his pens? Enjoy!

This week:


1) chosenfriend- Instagram 

What’s the most anticipated new release this year?

  • good question, it’s really early to say!
  • new Lamy stuff is always hot, and there’s a lot of it this year (AL- Star Bronze, Aquamarine Studio)
  • Pilot 100th anniversary inks, any new Pilot inks are hot!
  • there will surely be other things, but it’s too early to know exactly what

2) Dorian E- Facebook

Show and tell…oldest fountain pen you own…

  • I don’t 100% know but I suspect perhaps either my Waterman Ideal #7 Pink, or my Mabie Todd Swan, around the 1920’s
  • Vintage isn’t so much my thing, but it is cool having pens around 100 years old!


3) kzender- Instagram 

I have three Monteverde inks in my ink collection. I love them but can’t always use them because I can’t open the bottles! The ink seems to clog up the threads and cap, cementing the cap in place. Is there a way to get them unstuck and/or prevent this from happening? Thanks!

  • This can happen with any ink, when it dries on the cap
  • the ink almost turns to a sort of glue that crusts the cap onto the bottle
  • wiping it off the rim after you wipe your nib helps tremendously
  • this is still something I’ll pass up to Monteverde, in case it’s something that’s a trend


4) Christine K- Facebook 

Currently the website lists nib size, nib color, and nib material in the specs for each pen. Is it possible to add a category that would tell us if the nib is a #5, #6, or whatever # it is?

It would also be nice to know if the nib is swappable either within the brand’s own nibs or if a Goulet nib could be used, though I am guessing the mfgrs would not look too kindly on that bit being added due to warranty issues.

  • Okay, this would be nice but it’s not always so clean
  • the fact of the matter is that they aren’t truly universal, definitely not enough for us to broadcast it as such
  • there’s also warranty-related issues around us promoting nibs across brands as being “swappable” or compatible
  • Sometimes the nib is the same but the feed or housing is different
  • Sometimes the thickness or curvature of the nib is slightly different, even though it’s the same size
  • it’s just not always so straightforward, and we struggle a bit with how to display that on our site
  • we have done a couple of blog posts that might help:

5) Jim B- Facebook

Has Goulet considered selling gently used pens — especially those from your (or Rachel’s) personal collection? I would imagine many of your customers would enjoy owning a pen that either of you might have once owned. (Maybe even your staff has pens they’ve tried and decided to move on from?) Is the used pen market feasible from a business stand point?

  • Rachel and I haven’t really considered selling our personal pens at this point, surely we’ll pare it down at some point
  • We haven’t considered selling used pens, not seriously
  • it’s one thing if it’s our team, we sell the products, know them, and can assess them and trust they were used properly
  • selling others’ used pens is more complicated, especially if it’s something we don’t sell/know as well
  • we’d have to determine what type of warranty/return policy to have on it, it’s complicated
  • this is usually best left as private-party sales
  • the only ‘used’ pens I’ve really seen retailers sell is past limited editions, usually of pretty significant value, but even that we’re not really interested in

6) Nolan C- Facebook

What words of motivation would you give to someone that’s thinking of starting their own company?

  • I’m incredibly biased, but I think starting and growing your own company is one of the most thrilling and terrifying things you can do as a career
  • it’s basically like having a kid, in terms of emotional, financial, and time investment
  • it’s an opportunity for you to make your dent in the world, explore who you are, serve others, and even impact the lives of those you hire, it’s an incredible responsibility that can’t easily be replicated in other areas of your life
  • everyone has doubts and fears in the beginning, no one’s born knowing how to start a business
  • if your business succeeds, you’re going to continue to have doubts and fears, they just get bigger and more complex
  • every single entrepreneur you see has fears, fails on the regular, and doubts themselves, the only difference is they don’t let that stop them from making decisions and taking action
  • you have to suffocate the excuses, just cut that crap out
  • “I don’t have enough money”, “the competition’s too good”, “they just won’t give me a chance”, etc, screw all that
  • Excuses are just lies you tell yourself to keep from having to take action
  • If there’s ever anyone that looks like you that’s done it, then you don’t really have that as an excuse
  • QBQ, “what can I do about it?”
  • one this is for darn sure, you will have to work hard, but it doesn’t feel “hard” the way doing a job you hate feels
  • doing work you love and for your own cause is very motivating, and you’ll naturally work harder with momentum
  • Don’t do it because you hate your job and want to “set your own schedule”, I promise you’ll work harder and have more stress in your own business
  • Don’t do it because you want the fruits of it either, like money, independence, etc, because until you’re successful, none of that stuff comes anyway, and to get to the place of success, you have to transcend all that stuff anyway
  • If you really love the work, and don’t love managing or leading, then freelance and DON’T grow a big business, or you’ll be miserable
  • you’ll just have to be comfortable raising higher and higher prices and turning down work as you’ll be a constraint
  • you don’t have to strap yourself with debt, or take some huge risky move, especially in 2019
  • there are more opportunities now than ever to do a side-hustle, try out some of what you love in your off-hours, and if you truly still enjoy it from 7pm-midnight every night after working a full day, then there’s a good chance you’ll still love it when you’re in it full time
  • Gary Vaynerchuk’s first book Crush It was so clarifying for me, I highly recommend it
  • Simple Numbers, Straight Talk, Big Profits by Greg Crabtree is really practical/financial advice when first starting out
  • Worth Every Penny by Sarah Petty is great for freelancers (especially with pricing your own work)
  • Simon Sinek Start with Why
  • In all of history, there has never been more access to information, more resources, more freedom, and more abundance than right now to do your own thing, so what the heck are you waiting for?

QOTW: If you could start your own business doing anything and you were guaranteed success, what would it be? 

Write On,
Brian Goulet

March 1st, 2019|Goulet Q&A|0 Comments

Pineider Avatar = Unbreakable?

Since the introduction of Pineider fountain pens in 2017, Dante Del Vecchio has pushed the envelope in terms of pen design for the brand. From the unique Honeycomb design to the intricate Mystery Filler mechanism, there’s always something new on the horizon for Pineider. Dante stopped by to discuss his latest creation, the unbreakable Pineider Avatar! Watch the interview above for a closer look at the design process and see if it’s truly unbreakable as Brian smashes it with a hammer!

The newly designed Pineider Avatar is the first fountain pen to feature UltraResin, a mother of pearl compound resin, developed in Florence for Pineider. This compound is very stiff and its exceptional features make it a more durable option than traditional celluloid. UltraResin is extremely rigid, like a metal. This makes it resistant to hits, oils, inks, electricity, extreme temperatures, UV rays, and other weathering conditions.

In addition to UltraResin, the new Avatar also features a new assembly technique called GlueLess. Thanks to 3D engineering and manufacturing, this fountain pen is assembled without using a single drop of glue.

The Avatar has a magnetic twist cap that allows a soft touch closure. The band is finely engraved and inspired by the skyline of Florence. The nib is a Rhodium-plated #6 steel nib with a new Pineider engraved logo on it. It’s available in 6 color options; Graphene Black, Abalone Green, Angel Skin, Devil Red, Riace Bronze, and Neptune Blue.

The last big change for the Avatar is the price. Despite all of these upgrades to the design of the pen, the price actually went down! The Avatar will now be available for just $126.40, a great price for the quality of pen it is! This newly redesigned Avatar will be available at GPC in the very near future, so be sure to keep an eye out for it.

For more information, tech specs, and more, check it out on GouletPens.com! What do you think of the new Pineider Avatar? Leave a comment below!

Write On,
The Goulet Pen Company Team

February 26th, 2019|Pen News|0 Comments

Goulet Q&A Episode 245: Sparking Joy, Double Broad Nibs, and Pen Dealbreakers

In this Goulet Q&A episode, Brian talks about ‘sparking joy’, double broad nibs, and total pen and ink deal breakers. Enjoy!

This week:



1) mosephus_jenesin- Instagram (11:27)

Everyone seems to have that one Fountain Pen quality that can instantly make a pen or ink a “no go”. For me, it’s bleed-through, so I tend to use dry inks, relatively dry nibs and feeds, and fountain pen friendly paper. What is your pen feature/ quality that can instantly make a pen or ink not for you? Rachel’s?

  • funny, I’m kind of the opposite of you, I love wet, gushing pens and bleedthrough doesn’t bother me so much!
  • I don’t love scratchy/toothy nibs, that’s not uncommon
  • pens with really thin grips bug me, I have big hands
  • pens with threaded posting, don’t love those
  • I really don’t like flat, chalky ink, weak reds (blech)
  • Rachel, prominent triangular grips (4-finger hold), nothing yellow, nothing with snakes (pattern, theme, name, nothing), picky about texture

2) carrkicksdoor- Instagram (18:12)

What’s the best way to protect the end of a glass dip pen when not in use?

  • I don’t know about the “best” way, but I’ll share my way
  • mine normally just sit in my pen cabinet, in a tray in its own slot
  • but when I’m actively using, I just stick it in an ink sample vial with a tissue or paper towel wadded up in it!

3) smurl46- Instagram (21:34)

You don’t seem to carry double broad nibs where they are available (eg Kaweco). Why not? Not enough demand?

  • yeah, pretty much
  • globally there just isn’t demand, so manufacturers seldom even offer them
  • the ones that do, it’s often only by special order (like Kaweco, Lamy)
  • we dipped our toes in the water with Lamy 2000 BB, and it’s done so-so but below what I’d hoped for one of our most popular models
  • there seems to be more of a resurgence in broads, and maybe that’ll translate to BBs?
  • Too hard to tell, you get a chicken/egg situation if manufacturers don’t offer them readily


4) taywebb91- Instagram (24:46)

I would love to know how ya’ll take the pictures on your website to showcase inks. How do ya’ll do the big splatters and how do you get so many colors and sheens to pull out in one photo? I would love to be able to play around with some of that myself.

  • Tomoé River paper, to start
  • lots of ink, pool it up
  • shoot with ink syringe, blow with a straw
  • different colors just kind of show up, can change a little based on how much ink is put down, letting it dry fully shows the most sheen, lighting conditions can affect it
  • we try to show some of the best of what an ink is capable of, of course it’ll look a little different in a pen bc it’s not putting down the same volume of ink



5) @whamji182- Twitter (29:52)

If a pen says “closeout” on your store, does that mean only Goulet will not be offering it anymore, or it’s being discontinued altogether?

  • it for sure means we won’t be offering it anymore
  • sometimes it’s just because it hasn’t sold well for us, a new color/feature is coming out and we think the existing model is too similar, could be a number of reasons
  • sometimes it’s prompted from the manufacturer (the end of a special edition, manufacturer discontinues something, change in design)
  • we try to put notations about when it’s discontinued from the manufacturer, but we haven’t been 100% diligent about that (4500 SKU’s is a lot to keep up with)
  • sometimes the US will discontinue something but the manufacturer will still make it, and that gets tough to keep up with, too
  • lots of times we only have a couple items left, it’ll sell out very quickly, and we don’t think of it
  • this is something we can think more about, as we realize our site is likely a source for fountain pen “news” related to product updates


6) imfeelingcraftytoday- Instagram (37:27)

How many pens do we really need? i got hooked on fps and my collection has grown since then. the #sparkjoy movement is making me rethink the number of pens i should have since i only use one at a time and having so much has made me feel queasy

  • well, hopefully your pens don’t make you queasy, I don’t think that’s helpful for anyone!
  • I haven’t watched a full episode, so I am not fully educated about Marie Kondo’s methodology in Tidying Up
  • From what I understand, the idea is that you hold an object, “feel” if it brings you joy or takes it away, and keep only the stuff that brings you joy
  • I can get on board with the concept, I am a very tactile person and I definitely have emotional attachments to particular objects
  • for me, with pens, I acquire them as part of my business, which is what I devote a LOT of my life to
  • the feelings I get when I hold them is often positive or nostalgic ones from memories I have with my wife, my team, certain suppliers or manufacturers I’ve worked closely with, or videos I’ve shot
  • so for me it’s different than most people, but I’m just trying to show that it’s not about a certain number being right or wrong, but it’s about your own satisfaction with your choices
  • I personally like Greg McKeown’s book Essentialism, which has a similar vibe to the Spark Joy, with more pragmatism and less emotion
  • “If I didn’t already own this, how much would I pay to acquire it?”, and “Do I love this?”
  • I wouldn’t necessarily attribute your feelings to the sparkjoy movement, I’ve heard fountain pen users across the last decade question the same thing, about how many pens is too many
  • Fountain pens are very personal, and sometimes you are going on a bit of a journey to discover what you really like
  • if you do that long enough, you may find yourself settling in to a nice routine, and maybe only gravitating to a certain number of pens
  • I’ve talked before about people who cap themselves at a certain number of pens and will institute a 1-in-1-out policy
  • others acquire pens to collect, much like you would books, stamps, coins, shoes, whatever
  • there isn’t going to be a right answer for anyone for how many pens you “should” have, but I do feel it’s important to be practical, buy within your means, and enjoy your pens, however many you have

QOTW: What’s one attribute of a pen or ink that’s just a total dealbreaker for you? (47:57)

Write On,
Brian Goulet

February 22nd, 2019|Goulet Q&A|0 Comments

Goulet Q&A Episode 244: If Rollerballs Matter, Making A Nib Drier, and Why Fountain Pen Prices Change

In this Goulet Q&A episode, Brian talks about expanding rollerball selection, making a nib less wet, and pricing trends in fountain pens. Enjoy!

This week:


1) @LightlyFluffy- Twitter (6:50)

Hello! My question is: Have you ever considered carrying rollerball pens from brands you already carry (Lamy, Pilot, Pelikan, Kaweco, etc. Most of them offer RB versions of FP models they make)? With Retro51, do you see a bigger RB market opening up?

  • we have carried them, actually!
  • Lamy Safari, Al-Star, and Pilot Metropolitan rollerballs
  • Pilot G2’s
  • they didn’t sell! We are the only account to return G2 rollerballs!
  • Retro 51 was a bit of a gamble for us, Atlanta show 2018 convinced us
  • It’s really hard to say if we have an opening there, we are just SO known for fountain pens
  • Mission: “To provide fountain pen enthusiasts with the most personal online shopping experience through comprehensive education, exemplary service, and products we believe in.”
  • the key is fountain pen enthusiasts, we actually changed that from writing enthusiasts in 2015 after we carried then dropped rollerballs
  • what convinced us was hardcore pen show-going fountain pen users saying that Retro 51 was pretty much the only rollerball they’d use, or that they buy it for the people in their life that just won’t use a fountain pen, as a “gateway”

2) Gabriel S- Facebook (15:32)

I have a new Homo Sapiens, and love everything about it – except cleaning. Is there an easy way to speed up the process? How do you know when it’s fully clean?

  • I feel ya! I hardly change ink in mine because I don’t like cleaning it
  • keep in mind, this is the same for ALL vacuum fillers, they’re just a pain
  • you basically flush and fill over and over
  • shaking when full of water helps
  • the nib can be removed, but I don’t recommend doing that every time, only for when it’s dried out and needs a deep cleaning
  • fully clean is usually when you can touch the nib to a paper towel and it’s perfectly clear water that comes out, no color/ink absorbs

3) Ryan F- Facebook (24:20)

Why aren’t there more economical vacuum fillers available?

  • the TWSBI Vac700R is the most economical I know
  • I don’t know exactly why that’s the cheapest, and by far
  • I suspect it’s just more complicated to make, and requires a lot of precision to get it right

4) @apostrophobic_- Twitter (27:08)

What do you do when your nib is too wet? This might be sacrilege but i was wondering if there was a way i could tweak and adjust the nib so it’s less of a gusher. I don’t have many inks to choose from and i use mainly watercolor paper for when i draw with pens.

  • it can be done, but it may or may not be something everyone’s comfortable with
  • we’re into disclaimer territory here, try at your own risk
  • sometimes you’re just writing with a nib size that’s broader than what you want, and you’ll only get it to write but so much drier
  • if you tighten up the tines too much you can choke the flow and it’ll stop, or at least flow poorly, there is a limit
  • that in mind here’s how you do it, there are several techniques but I’ll show the one that’s simplest
  • hold the pen with the nib face towards you, feed away from you
  • press down on one tine until it “clicks” under the other one
  • repeat on the other side
  • go back and forth, testing the line width each time you complete a set
  • check alignment for smoothness, and you should be good!
  • if you go too far, just bend them back up by pressing the nib with some moderate pressure on the page to spread the tines a bit


5) @robbob74- Twitter (35:00)

What does it mean if you have a nib that repeatedly get fibers stuck in it?

  • it means you’ve been using your pen!
  • this can happen for a couple of reasons
  • you’re using really fibrous paper
  • your nib is scratching the paper and gathering fibers (misalignment or burr)
  • you’re pressing too hard
  • the fibers will gather up and do one of two things, either act like a wick/felt tip and make it gush (for a while), or block the flow and dry it up
  • brass sheet is made just for this purpose, floss that jank!
  • cleaning the pen can help, but often it requires physical flossing, then you should be good to go


6) Charles K- Facebook (40:25)

Will you carry Pilot VPs with stainless nibs?

  • unfortunately not, in the foreseeable future
  • this has been a Japan-only offering, from what I understand
  • we’ve asked about it, it hasn’t been an option, so we just ask periodically and wait
  • this isn’t unusual with pretty much all the Japanese brands
  • I’ve never tried one for myself, if any out there has, leave a comment!

7) Christopher M- Facebook (42:35)

Have you seen price trends relating directly to the popularity of fountain pens (supply/demand) or more to factors such as the manufacturer location with given import taxation, pen nib and component material? What do you see as the most influential and governing cohort for pen pricing?

Oh, would you be providing a review of the Monteverde Regatta Sport Allura any time soon? Just purchased from you folks but nothing online about this fabulous looking pen!

  • There may be some factor of popularity, and that can affect it in different ways
  • It really depends on the individual product and manufacturer
  • Some products are hard to produce and there are limited ones, so increased demand with a shortage of supply could drive up price
  • with many manufacturers, the more they sell, the more these fixed costs get spread out over time, and the costs can actually drive down
  • this was the case with Pilot Iroshizuku ink, the bottles themselves were expensive to produce (by hand), but as the volume increased, they were able to invest in equipment to more automate it and drive down costs, so it actually lowered in price because it was more popular
  • Being in a niche, generally there are R&D, marketing, and overhead costs with adding new SKU’s or designs, so pens are often more expensive when they’re new
  • there are factors of currency fluctuations, taxes, duties, tariffs, shipping, etc that can all make prices fluctuate that have nothing to do with popularity
  • a lot of times what I see is more incidental factors at play, like a shortage of a certain material, part, labor issue or whatever that drives up costs or affects supply of a certain product
  • For the most part I’m not seeing companies raising prices just because they “can”, but it really is just a case-by-case basis
  • Let’s take a look at the Regatta Sport Allura!

QOTW: Do you hold your pen at a high (above 45) angle, 45, or low (below 45)? (53:50)

Write On,
Brian Goulet

February 15th, 2019|Goulet Q&A|0 Comments