In this Goulet Q&A episode, Brian talks about his favorite stealth pens, which pens he gives to people, and what he really thinks about people who leak product releases ahead of time. Enjoy!

Pens/Writing

@PamelaPKelly- Twitter (2:02)

When were “official” music nibs invented? Are they still manufactured for the purpose of composers notating a music score by hand? That is my preferred method (though my also-musician husband wrote his own music notation software program!). Any best nib options? Thanks!

  • sadly I don’t know when exactly they were invented, but they were on dip nibs before fountain pens were even invented, so probably mid-1800’s commercially
  • I don’t know if they were ever really mainstream in fountain pens, pencils were likely a more practical choice for their erasability
  • the music aspect of them is pretty unique, the grind is specific to allow for a higher writing angle
  • most people buying them just prefer this style nib, I doubt they’re writing music by hand
  • Platinum makes my favorite
  • Sailor also makes one, it’s similar to Platinum’s but two-tined instead of 3

@ramit_mitra- Twitter (7:57)

Will love to know what’s your favourite all matte black fountain pens ?

marlin_yo_boi- Instagram (14:15)

What pen do you lend people without having to worry about them breaking?

@crazybirdnerd- Twitter (22:28)

A lot of fountain clips from several brands have that little ball – functional or aesthetic?

  • both
  • it’s function is that it gives a little firmer grip than just a flat clip, but is also slightly easier to get on or off of a pocket material
  • it’s simple, it works!

Ink

@clbdroid- Twitter (28:21)

So you’re looking in your cabinet at your ink stash and thinking I should use a water resistant ink today…now what?…is there an easy way to know if an ink is water resistant? i.e. Are all black inks? Guessing from now on when ordering ink I should mark box/bottle immediately.

  • nope, no easy way
  • there’s not an all-or-nothing indication by color, brand, or anything like that
  • it’s really color by color, and not all of them say if it’s water resistant on the bottle (they usually don’t)
  • you basically just need to know, reference reviews and websites like GouletPens.com
  • If you can’t recall and want to mark it, a small sticker on the cap would help indicate and not leave a permanent mark

Business

Trish S.- Facebook (33:53)

I noticed the Montegrappa Queen pen— is there a person you have in mind to sell such a pen too? Seems very risky to carry such an expensive pen unless you KNOW you can sell it.

  • ideally yeah, it’d be great to have a specific collector in mind!
  • sometimes we know, and we do try to learn what people like if we can
  • This isn’t often the case, sometimes we have to buy on spec, and pray we find someone who wants it, especially if global demand is high and they don’t have enough to go around
  • it’s difficult with really specific, really expensive pens to hit the mark for individual collectors
  • it’s complicated more by very limited stock
  • with pens like these, many retailers will offer pre-orders or special orders, it just makes sense rather than every retailer stocking multiple pens (for the multiple nibs)
  • however the arrangement, it’s still just as authorized and supported through the retailer and manufacturer as a regularly stocked item
  • it’s perhaps different for us as an online retailer since we don’t have people coming into our store, I can see it being further complicated with B&M

origommi- Instagram (47:03)

How do you feel about people who leak product info before the start date in the industry?

  • let me caveat this question by saying I’m not speaking of anyone specifically, and I don’t have any bad blood with a specific competitor of mine so I’m speaking more in principle here
  • the very connotation of “leak” isn’t particularly positive, it implies it wasn’t “supposed” to be talked about yet
  • this is something set forth by the manufacturer, they have a marketing and distribution plan and when that gets disrupted, it complicates things
  • in most situations I’ve observed, pen “leaks” are generally not enjoyed by the manufacturer, it’s frustrating for them especially because they are often coupled with little information or context, or just flat out wrong information
  • on the flip side, it does generate some buzz I guess? But it’s often not super constructive
  • if you’re an authorized retailer, you really ought to adhere to the manufacturer’s wishes
  • the increase in “leaks” has risen with the internet, it “pays” to be first to talk about something, because then people point to your source (blog, feed, store, etc) and you get all the SEO and links, maybe even some pre-orders
  • it’s a short-term gain with long-term harm, from a brand-relationship perspective, so we don’t ever leak anything intentionally
  • we very rarely will accidentally publish something too early on our site, or mention it in a video when it’s not public yet, we do launch 1500 SKU’s a year! But it’s unintentional because we know it’s important to let the manufacturer execute their launch plans

Question of the Week: If you could have a manufacturer create the perfect limited edition pen for you, who would make it and what would it look like? (59:11)

Write On,
Brian Goulet