Goulet Q&A Episode 239: MSRP, Factory Tours, and Goulet Day-to-Day Schedules

In this Goulet Q&A episode, Brian talks about MSRP, factory tours, and his and Rachel’s day-to-day!

This week:


Sami QR- Facebook (05:17)

What is preventing acrylic maker to emulate the Omas Arco Verde or bronze, or even the vacumatic celluloid ? Is there any other material out there that may emulate this at reasonable price which does not involve explosive compounds ?

  • there are some physical properties of celluloid that allow for certain patterns/colors to really pop
  • there could be ways to emulate these in acrylic resin, but the techniques may be different and not yet mastered in the same way
  • it’s often more than just matching a color, it involves multiple steps of breaking or cutting into pieces, adhering back together, then turning in a specific pattern
  • it’s entirely possible to get pretty darn close, it just depends how “mad scientist” a company wants to get to develop an exact match
  • the difference you have today is few pen manufacturers are making their own cast resins
  • cast resins are pretty challenging to make, especially mastering certain techniques
  • I would argue it’s not practical for most pen companies to cast huge lots of resin themselves, they’re usually getting from a supplier for the eyewear/jewelry industry, or other turned/manufactured goods (like vapes)
  • huge resin manufacturers will make a host of different colors, but since the pen industry isn’t the primary market for these resins, they’re not making colors/patterns to specifically match vintage pen materials
  • it’s possible to emulate though
  • Pineider has their Arco, which is a modern take on Arco celluloid
  • Dante specifically designed this to be similar, but with his own flare


Dyuti G- Facebook (20:21)

What is the difference between J.Herbin and Herbin inks? Any reason for the name and bottling variation?

  • They’re in the middle of a rebranding effort, so their names will be a little transitional
  • instead of everyhing J. Herbin, they’re breaking out into two lines
  • Herbin will be their standard line, like the 30ml bottles, sealing wax sticks, stuff like that
  • the 1670 and 1798 ink colors will be Jacques Herbin, more of their premium line (like Pelikan Edelstein, Lamy Crystal, Pilot Iroshizuku)
  • more may be in development on a Jacques Herbin line that’s being tested right now in France
  • No word yet on what that might be for us here in the US
  • keep in mind, Herbin started in 1670, so it’s 349 years old!! They’ve undergone a lot of branding efforts, I’m sure!

prrfecone- Instagram (30:36)

I often find the colour of the ink changes considerably depending on how long it has been in the pen and which pen it is in. This change is usually for the worse, the colour is not nearly as nice. Any way to alleviate this?

  • this is fairly normal, the water is evaporating out of the ink (more common in winter due to lower relative humidity) and the dye stays behind, leaving a darker, more saturated color
  • not letting it sit there more often
  • water down your ink a bit
  • dip it in a little bit of water if it’s been sitting a while
  • use a pen that seals really well (some are better than others) like Platinum 3776 Century, TWSBI, Pilot Custom 74/823
  • this is entirely subjective, I actually love more saturated colors so I like when this happens!


colors_and_beads- Instagram (38:08)

What’s the point of MRSP if all retailers have the same “discounted” prices? Should that one be the MRSP?

  • MSRP is manufacturer suggested retail price
  • It’s the price the manufacturer sets as “full retail”, and is what you’ll often see in print advertisements, at company stores, flagship retailers, and the like
  • manufacturers often set their wholesale price off of MSRP, so it impacts the margins that both they and the retailer will get
  • because discounting can happen all over the place with certain brands, it helps manufacturers to have an MSRP so they have a target to shoot for in terms of positioning themselves in the marketplace
  • retailers can of course discount below that, but you’ll almost always see the manufacturer (when selling direct) sell at full MSRP
  • online you see a lot more discounting, because competition is a lot stiffer, and there’s a degree of separation (risk) when buying online that incentivizes lower prices than in-store
  • Not to say all B&M’s charge full MSRP or all online retailers discount, but you get the idea
  • manufacturers can’t dictate what retailers sell for
  • manufacturers CAN dictate what is publicly advertised, through what’s called MAP (minimum advertised price)
  • when you have authorized retailers, they respect the MAP pricing (which is set regionally) or else they’re in violation of the manufacturer’s wishes
  • we could debate why MAP and MSRP are relevant, but largely it’s for of branding and consistency
  • what makes it so tough online is if you see it at full MSRP some places and discounted elsewhere, you naturally tend to think that the discounted price is the true value and that everyone else is charging a premium
  • in fact, most retailers in a given region are paying (around) the same price for their goods, so when they discount they’re taking a hit on their margins
  • you’ll often see smaller retailers (sometimes a company of one person) with extremely low overhead offer or sell a product below MAP, which they may only have one or two, or even none of! But online you have no idea how big they are or how much stock they have
  • it can wreak havoc online, especially in marketplaces where algorithms are triggered to price match or show lowest price first, so it can really go haywire quickly when people go too low
  • B&M stores are more cut off from the outside world, so if they are deep discounting one or two pens, it really doesn’t impact anyone else
  • you’re still seeing some adjustments in the ecommerce landscape from traditional B&M
  • MSRP and MAP help give a floor to the discounting, give consistency in branding, which ultimately provide reliability and stability to the manufacturers and retailers, which is required for growth


Joseph J- Facebook (53:10)

I liked the Lamy plant tour. Any chance on doing others, maybe Visconti?

  • I did shoot footage of Stipula, Pineider, and Nettuno, but I have yet to edit it together!
  • Others could certainly happen, but I don’t have it planned at the moment
  • It’s quite time consuming and requires a lot of effort and coordination, but it’s certainly something I’m thinking about!
  • So yes, this could certainly happen, but I can’t promise when


elisaldez- Instagram (56:27)

What’s your favorite non pen-related podcast?

Elizabeth D- Facebook (01:00:21)

Does “a day in the life of Brian & Rachel” stay pretty consistent, or does it change a lot every day depending on what’s going on? We over at the Nation have surmised that you two spent more time signing cards lately

  • Oh my gosh, it can change a lot!
  • We have some regularly scheduled meetings we try to keep consistent, but there’s a lot going on
  • we have young kids that are now getting into activities, we’re involved in our church, there’s a lot in our personal life that affects our schedule
  • work stuff is a mix of regular work and project work, so we’re always djing our schedules together
  • we have been signing more notecards, though, partly because of our increased volume through the holidays
  • we want to help out our team and lead by example, so we’re signing more notes as we can!

QOTW: What pen color/material would you like to see revived? (01:08:03)

Write On,
Brian Goulet

January 11th, 2019|Goulet Q&A|0 Comments

Coming Soon: New Diplomat Magnum Colors

In July 2018 we introduced one of our new favorite pens, the Diplomat Magnum! This fountain pen has been around for several years, but last year was the first time we offered it at Goulet Pens. It’s been a game changer in the sub $30 price range for fountain pens for both first time users and collectors alike. And there’s good news – six new colors of the Magnum are coming next month!


We did want to give you all a heads up that the current colors of the Magnum are no longer going to be made, so if you have your eye on one, now is the time to grab one of those.

The new Diplomat Magnum colors should be here in mid February and will be available with a Fine, Medium, or Broad steel nib. It also comes with a standard international converter and a cartridge. The price for the new colors will be $21.60. Be sure to sign up for the waitlist to be notified as soon as they are available!

What do you think of the new colors?

Write on,
The Goulet Pen Company Team

January 11th, 2019|Pen News|0 Comments

MBTI + BuJo: 4 Ways to Improve your Note-taking Strategy

Are you excited to take notes, but a bit overwhelmed about what strategies to use? Social media offers so many impeccably crafted spreads and elaborate systems, but what would work best for the way that you personally like your information organized? Taking some time to consider your own habits can help narrow down the seemingly infinite realm of note-taking possibilities.

Here at Goulet Pens, we use the MBTI personality assessment to better understand our individual personality traits and how they translate into a work environment. We’ve gathered some tips from our experience with MBTI in hopes of giving you inspiration for your own note-taking and journaling strategies!

If you’re also a fan of the MBTI Personality Test, then join us in sharing your favorite BuJo strategies. If you don’t know your Myers-Briggs Personality type, and would like to know before reading on, we like 16personalities.com for our MBTI assessments!

Introverted (I) vs Extroverted (E):

While one’s level of extroversion is often associated with socialization, it relates to their relationship to stimuli in general.

A Lamy CP1 fountain pen in Black and a Leuchtturm1917 Medium A5 Dot Grid notebook.

A Lamy CP1 fountain pen in Black and a Leuchtturm1917 Medium A5 Dot Grid notebook.

For note-takers who are particularly introverted, they may find too many colors or patterns overwhelming, or even off-putting. To make journals easy on the eyes, we suggest using a simplistic layout with only one or two colors, or more muted hues.


Those who are more extroverted tend to seek out stimuli, so the more the merrier! Jazz up pages with brightly colored sticky notes, stickers, washi tape, highlighters, or different brightly colored inks. We can’t be falling asleep looking at our own journals!

Observant (S) vs Intuitive (N):

The Observant population is less concerned about the abstract or the imaginative, and is just in their notebook for business. The S may find they only need a place to write down the bare minimum of information: day-to-day notes, practical information to get the task finished. There may be less interest in planning for things, and there’s no real desire to attach emotion to what goes in the notebook.


Note-takers who are more in the Intuitive camp, or N, are more than likely going to prefer a place to keep track of plans and goals. The more space allotted for brainstorming and inspiration, the better. They may even benefit from certain pages being dedicated to ongoing lists for themed ideas.

Thinking (T) vs Feeling (F)

Thinking vs Feeling strategies in regard to journaling are a little nuanced, but we will suggest that our F personalities dedicate a little extra space to get those feelings expressed in their notes. Thinkers tend to be more focused on the logical and rational, so they’re already doing that by #gettingthingsdone in their notebooks – their “journal entries” resemble ship logs more than autobiographies, and that’s equally fantastic!


Feelers want that additional space for the actual “journaling” portion of note taking, because it helps them to process all of those feelings so that they don’t clog up the flow of day-to-day practical information. One way to help these entries coexist with daily tasks is to make a separate section or page in a spread for journaling that won’t interfere with the task flow of the BuJo. For those F personalities who are more private or have a particularly large amount to write, it may be beneficial to invest in a separate journal altogether to devote to thoughts and feelings.

Judging (J) vs Prospecting (P):

Some of us love to have our options open and a-plenty, while some of us cringe at the thought of having too many things to choose from. That’s one of the primary differences between the Judging and Prospecting personalities, and one that could have an effect on our note-taking strategies.

For those who are more Judging, they may benefit from more detailed and broken down notes for a project. Being able to assess the bite-sized tasks helps a J feel like they have a handle on their productivity. Checking off each subtask will fill them with satisfaction and keep them motivated. Even having a set of “rules” or a key could help Js maintain consistency and fill their heart with happiness. For non insta-BuJo stars, purchasing a notebook or planner with pre-made inserts can provide structure with just enough space to allow note-taking styles to flourish.


Prospecting personalities, on the other hand, should probably not use the subtask method. In fact, this method can be really overwhelming to those who are more big-picture planners. Being able to stay flexible is the key to success. Too many rules and details don’t allow for much mental wiggle room, so sticking to simple, overarching goals or just focusing on general opportunities can establish something encouraging, but not stifling, to look toward.

Perhaps these MBTI-inspired techniques can cure some of your writer’s block. What’s your MBTI personality type? Did you find a strategy that resonated with you? We’d love to hear about your experience in the comments!

Write On,
The Goulet Pen Company Team

January 9th, 2019|Tips & Tricks|0 Comments

Pen Battle: LAMY Safari v. Pilot Metropolitan

We have a battle for the ages as two of our most popular starter pens are going to duke it out to see who will reign supreme! Favorites among newbies and enthusiasts alike, both the Pilot Metropolitan and LAMY Safari offer a great writing experience for under $30! Let’s take a closer look at our two challengers:

LAMY Safari

  • Made in Germany, very Bauhaus-inspired
  • Wide variety of colors with annual special editions
  • European nib sizing, available in EF, F, M, B 1.1mm stub, 1.5mm, and 1.9mm
  • Weighs 17g and made of resin
  • $29.60 Price Tag

Pilot Metropolitan

  • Made in Japan
  • Many regular colors, but no special editions
  • Japanese nib sizing, finer detail
  • Available in F, M, 1.0mm stub
  • Weighs 26g and made of lacquered metal
  • $23.99 Price Tag

Now that we have some of the technical specs and facts out of the way, why might you choose one over the other? Adrianne from our Customer Care team sides with the LAMY Safari for a number of reasons. The ergonomic triangular grip and lightweight design make it a great option for longer writing sessions. The nibs are easily swappable throughout various LAMY models including the Safari, so you can go from an Extra-Fine nib to 1.9mm stub nib in the blink of an eye, offering dramatic line variation. The Safari is also built with very intentional design choices as well, such as the converter notches lining up exactly where it needs to be installed, making it that much easier to use.

Colin, our Community Coordinator, plants his flag for the Pilot Metropolitan. He argues that the heavier body gives the pen a more substantial and durable feel while also having a more classic design. The Japanese-styled nib allows for a finer line which makes it a great choice for students who use cheaper paper. The Metropolitan also comes with a converter, which the Safari doesn’t! This adds to the savings as you don’t need to shell out another $6 for a converter to use your favorite bottled ink right away.

Get more information and read reviews of these two amazing workhorse fountain pens by checking out GouletPens.com!

Now where do you stand on this heated debate? Which side do you stand on? Leave a comment below and let us know if you’re Team Safari or Team Metropolitan!

Write On,
The Goulet Pen Company Team

January 8th, 2019|Pen Reviews|0 Comments

7 Ways to Treat Yourself!

With the holidays in the rearview mirror, it’s time to shift your focus and treat yourself! After diligently curating the perfect gifts for all your friends and family, why not splurge a little on yourself? Did you receive a Goulet e-gift card? Here are 7 perfect ways to indulge on fountain pens, inks, or cases that you normally wouldn’t. Treat yourself!

Treat Yourself… to your First Flex Pen: Conklin Duragraph with Omniflex Nib

Been eyeing a flex nib to add to your collection but haven’t pulled the trigger yet? The Conklin Duragraph with Omniflex nib offers a fountain pen with vintage appeal, but also a modern flex nib to show off great line variation!

Treat Yourself… to Fountain Pens On-The-Go: Girologio Pen Cases

Take your favorite fountain pens wherever you go in a safe & secure case from Girologio! These leather cases come in a variety of colors, like Oxblood, and in a variety of sizes!

Treat Yourself… to your First Gold Nib: LAMY 2000

Taking the plunge into gold nib pens is almost a rite of passage for fountain pen users. The LAMY 2000 offers an easy transition as it’s one of our favorite entry-level gold nibs around! Enjoy a smooth-writing experience with the hooded nib along with the no-nonsense Makrolon design.

Treat Yourself… to Pen Cleaning Nirvana: Goulet Pen Cleaning Set

Cleaning your pens can be a headache, especially if you don’t have the right tools! Fix that and find yourself in pen cleaning bliss with the Goulet Pen Cleaning Set. Featuring 2 ink syringes, a bulb syringe, and a bottle of Goulet Pen Flush, stubborn ink won’t stand a chance!

Treat Yourself… to your First Visconti: Visconti Mirage

Visconti has plenty of grail-worthy pens, but the newly available Visconti Mirage is their most affordable pen model yet! At under $130, the Mirage has a swirling resin body and satisfying magnetic cap. Great option to try out the Visconti brand.

Treat Yourself… to a Complete Rainbow of Inks: Monteverde Emotions Ink Set

With so many colors and brands to choose from, finding the perfect inks to add to your collection can be a stressful endeavor. Check all your inky boxes with one purchase by going with the Emotions 10 Ink Set from Monteverde!

Treat Yourself… to Better Handwriting: CursiveLogic Workbook

Has your handwriting seen better days? Up your game with the CursiveLogic Workbook! This comprehensive manual offers an intelligent way to re-learn cursive writing. From step-by-step instructions to practice sheets, this workbook will have your handwriting looking better each day!

Be sure to find all of these great products in our helpful shopping guide! Have you been treating yourself to any new pens, ink, or accessories this holiday season? Leave a comment below and let us know!

Write On,
The Goulet Pen Company Team

January 7th, 2019|Shopping Guides|1 Comment

Goulet Q&A Episode 238: 7 Deadly Fountain Pen Sins, Restoring Old Found-In-Drawer Pens, and Pens in Film Scenes

In this Goulet Q&A episode, Brian talks about his 7 deadly fountain pen sins, restoring “found” desk pens, and his favorite fountain pen spotting in a film.

This week:

  • Had daughter’s birthday, Christmas, New Years, lots going on at the Goulet house!
  • wasn’t planning to shoot Q&A this week, wanted to squeeze it in
  • dug into the archives to get questions, keeping it short and sweet
  • team has been SO busy here, it’s been way busier than expected!
  • lots and lots of closeouts, definitely check those out on the site, started with 180 items on closeout, now closer to 100
  • there’s a lot we stocked up on for the holidays, some sold through, some didn’t, so we’re wanting to lighten up our inventory to free up cash to invest in new products and projects for the new year
  • we live and die by how we manage our inventory!
  • Yafa ink deal extended on select pens, Purple Rembrandt, Violet Aero, Pelikan m800 Stone Garden and m600 Vibrant Orange, a number of inks we’re clearing out that we won’t continue carrying
  • Some new stuff will be coming but not a lot for the next few weeks, we and everyone else are getting into the swing of things still
  • Coming up on Write Now number 100! Can’t believe it! We’re also going to hit our 10th year selling fountain pens
  • Just talked about New Years resolutions, and I’m already making progress towards mine!


1) Anonymous- Facebook (12:55)

“What are your 7 deadly sins of fountain pens?

  1. Greed- most expensive and inexpensive item in your collection.- Namiki Yukari Moonlight, and I guess free Noodler’s pens that came with my ink!
  2. Wrath- item you love to hate.- Flex pens! Any anything eyedropper
  3. Gluttony- your most delicious product.- anything LAMY, TWSBI, I don’t even think about it I just get it. And a lot of special inks!
  4. Sloth- your most neglected product.- pretty much any pen that needs to be cleaned, though I have gotten better about it!
  5. Pride- item you’re most proud of.- Any exclusives or co-branded stuff
  6. Lust- the product your really want but just can’t get.- the next pen, whatever that is! Clearly I struggle with FOMO. But really Sailor and Montblanc, let’s be real
  7. Envy- who in the pen community do you envy the most?”- really no one, but I do really appreciate the skills of nibmeisters and could have lived an alternate life doing that work full time!

2) Rob B- Facebook (21:34)

Are the sections of the Kaweco Classic Sport and Skyline Sport pens interchangeable? I might know a guy who’s thought about a Mint pen with a Bordeaux grip…or something similar.

  • Haha, asking for a friend, eh Rob?
  • Yup! Totally interchangeable between these models
  • Swap away!


3) @LucyHoneychurch- Twitter (22:23)

I use the Leuchtturm notebooks as a diary and never quite know what to do with the perforates pages. I use them to try out ink but I never need 8 pages for this. I’m curious what other people do with the perforated pages. Wish you the best for 2019!

  • I’ve been using them for years and never torn out a single page
  • I don’t think those pages are there for people who use them as regular diaries
  • It’s more if you want to use it like a notepad, tearing off directions to give to someone else, making a to-do list you intend to throw out, whatever, it’s literally meant to be disposed of! I’m curious to hear what others do with it


4) Curt A- Facebook (26:37)

People keep finding old, abandoned pens in desk drawers. How about a “How-to” for resurrecting them?

  • this is something I get asked about a lot, which is tough because i’m not a pen restorer!
  • depending on the age, condition, type of pen there could be a lot of steps to be taken, that all vary and need pro advice
  • The best I can do is give a few first steps:
    • You can almost always assume there’s ink dried up in the pen that won’t work
    • the dried ink will need to be cleaned out, and it will be difficult
    • the dried ink will often clog the pen entirely, so it won’t be easy to flush the pen
    • you can pretty much assume you’ll need a pen flush, as that’s what’ll help break down the dried ink
    • soaking the grip of the pen will be most helpful, and probably require a couple of days
    • an ultrasonic cleaner does wonders in this scenario, best to just do the whole dang pen
    • if this doesn’t do it, then you’re into restoration territory, and that’s outta my specialty!
    • unfortunately I don’t know of many people that do restoration work, but this is where FPN and Goulet Nation can help


5) Tyler H- Facebook (38:10)

What is your favorite Movie/TV Show scene that showed a fountain pen?

  • truth be told, I haven’t noticed all that many, but there are threads about that stuff on FPN and Reddit
  • I guess this is my favorite? It’s at least the most notable and memorable one that I’ve seen: from an old Mickey Mouse short called “Thu The Mirror” where Mickey’s dreaming and becomes miniature in a room where inanimate objects come to life
  • He uses a lever-filling fountain pen like a machine gun to fend off invading playing cards chasing him for having danced with the “queen” card
  • It’s kinda messed up and a little creepy, but the fountain pen is prominent and unmistakable!

QOTW: What are you looking to accomplish in 2019? (43:59)

Writing Prompt: Write down a SMART version of your New Years resolution (a goal for 2019). (44:39)

Write On,
Brian Goulet

January 4th, 2019|Goulet Q&A|0 Comments