Goulet Q&A is now available as an audio podcast! Click here  for the RSS feed to use in your podcast app of choice, or click here for a direct download.

In this episode, I talk about why you would ever need more than two fountain pens, if legal pads ruin your nibs, and what I do to prevent getting scammed!

New/Upcoming Products – (3:21)

Pens/Writing – (9:11)

1) @Tudor109- Twitter – (9:17)
What is the justification for owning more than 2 fountain pens? Love them, want more, but can’t justify the $

  • You’re asking the wrong guy (or maybe, exactly the right guy!)
  • It’s the same reason you justify owning more than 2 of anything beyond just its basic function
  • bottom line, you just love it and that’s all the justification you need
  • for me personally, it’s entertainment, personal enjoyment, maybe a little bit of brag factor (esp on social media), collectibility, and a bit of incentive/reward for goal achievement
  • some people may actually “need” multiples, for different colors of ink loaded up at once (teachers, writers, cartoonists, etc)
  • others may just collect them, like stamps, coins, dolls, whatever
  • there’s a historical component, especially with vintage pens
  • there’s certainly a social component, especially when you get into collecting, repair, etc

2) Hugh C.- Email – (16:45)
I have been eyeing the Kaweco AL-Sport because it seems like a durable pen that would easily survive my pocket or bag. However, I was wondering how well you think it would survive in a drop test sort of scenario. My TWSBI Eco had survived drops, but it has a lot of ugly scratches to show it. I am a student who can be very clumsy and drop things, so I would want to get a pen that would be a one-time purchase because of durability. My friend has the VERY durable Karas Kustoms Fountain K, except I think the AL-Sport looks a lot cooler, and would rather buy that.

  • I haven’t thrown this across the parking lot yet (though I’m tempted to!) like the Karas Custom
  • I think it’d hold up really well, it’s solid metal
  • The Eco is plastic, so of course it will scratch
  • The coated ones (like the black or blue) will scratch, the brass or Raw one will hold up best

Ink – (21:26)

3) John S.- Facebook – (21:30)
In your opinion, what’s the best bottle of ink to put on my desk at work to say bam! I use fountain pens

Paper – (25:06)

4) Julian M.- Facebook – (25:07)
Will I ruin the smoothness of my nib by writing on paper of lesser quality (e.g. legal pads)?

  • technically, yes!
  • Will it happen soon enough for you to notice? Probably not
  • paper is abrasive, and will wear down the hard tipping of a nib over time
  • the rougher the paper, the faster it’ll wear down the tip
  • You might be talking about 10 years instead of 15 (with heavy use), or something like that
  • all in all, it’s not significant enough of a factor to be the sole reason to change your paper, it’s more important that you enjoy the feel and the look of the ink on the page

Business – (29:30)

5) poundcakeshuffle- YouTube – (29:33)
I see scams posted on YT, for example someone purchases a $400 tablet and returns it. The seller receives back a $175 tablet that is broken as the return. My question is what is your company’s return/exchange/credit policy and how does your company protect itself from scams?

  • We have our return policy updated on our site, just in case you’re watching this later and we’ve changed anything, so check there first
  • 90-day returns, for whatever reason
  • full reimbursement on new condition products, just get it back to us
  • we cover shipping if it’s our mistake, a defect, or damaged in transit
  • if you ink up your pen we’ll still take it, minus 10% for cleaning/restocking fee (we have to discount it at that point, too, since it’s not new anymore)
  • no returns on used ink or paper, or closeout/bottom shelf items (some exceptions)
  • bottom line, we’re pretty easy to work with
  • Trust is our currency…this community is really great, and for the few times we might be taken advantage of, we more than make up for it with the speed and ease of trust
  • we do get frauded up front, that some with the turf
  • we have an enterprise-level fraud detection system in place which helps, but inevitably there are some bad people out there
  • it’s not enough to really stress about, otherwise I’d be paranoid and treat everyone like a thief and I just can’t live like that!

6) Kevin G.-Facebook – (35:27)
How “aware” are you of other retailers around the world? (Not in like an espionage way) What I mean is, do you do research on them and see what they carry and their strategies? would you avoid a product if you know there lots of retailers carrying it already; would you go for a product because you know not many other retailers have them?

  • I’m generally aware, but I don’t spend any significant amount of my time watching what anyone else does
  • most of my feedback comes from the community! people asking us to carry things, telling us where else they see it
  • I can’t place my finger on most retailers’ strategies, I’d have to make a lot of assumptions there and it wouldn’t do me a lot of good because I’d rather focus on my strengths and what makes sense for my company
  • when it comes to carrying a product though, I will definitely consider it if others aren’t carrying it
  • that’s a double-edge sword though: sometimes no one carries something because it’s new or undiscovered, sometimes it’s because there’s no demand for it an no one cares!



Troubleshooting – (45:22)

7) Beth S.- Facebook – (45:23)
When filling a converter via the ink syringe method, I find that it takes a long time and can be difficult to get the ink started. Any tips on how to get writing more quickly and easily?

  • That’s because the feed isn’t primed, it’s the same way with a new cartridge
  • try dipping the nib in the bottle to get it going
  • force ink down the feed with the converter

QOTW: What is your live video streaming channel of choice? With Katch.me winding down, Periscope plateauing a bit, Facebook Live now available, and YouTube streaming available, there are several avenues for streaming video. Which have you used and prefer? – (50:25)

Thanks so much for joining me this week! You can catch up on any old Q&A videos you missed here.

Write On,
Brian Goulet