Places To Buy Pens
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Love it or hate it, Amazon.com is probably the best place to buy pens online. They have a huge variety of pens, and not just mainstream models either. Amazon.com has a incredible selection of European pens, Japanese pens, smaller brands, and so much more.
The internet, it all its greatness, has a number of Japanese pen shops. These stores curate a selection of Japanese pens, import them from Japan, and then charge a relatively slight premium on the retail price to accomodate for shipping, duties, and so forth.
There are many dedicated online pen stores (some of which have physical locations). These tend to have higher prices than places like Amazon but they will offer actual customer service if you need it as well as better quality control and warranty support if something happens to your pen. These pen stores will offer a better selection of smaller brand pens as well.
They curate the finest fountain pens from all over the world, ensuring you get the greatest quality. Goldspot always has a staggering number of shapes, filling mechanisms, sizes, and nib sizes to suit everyone from calligraphy experts to complete beginners.
For fountain pen enthusiasts, this company needs no introduction! The Goulet Co. is wildly popular for their selection of pens, vibrant inks, and stationery supplies. They also carry a nice variety of top-brand notebooks for journaling and note-taking. Â Instructional videos on their blogÂ also help to cut through the confusion many people feel around fountain pens.
I built this Top 5 Pens list originally to discuss what some of my favorite pens are in various categories. That worked well for a while, but as this page has grown I realized it was time for a change in how it is presented.
(Notes: Outside of the ECO, I think you could load all of these pens up in a dice cup, shake it, and re-order this list without losing much effect. You can even add in other pens like the Opus 88, TWSBI 580, Kaweco Student, TWSBI Swipe, and more-all while staying under $100, which was the goal here. (Updated 10/25/2022))
(Notes: If you have a favorite manufacturer of single refill pens, it is likely you will be a fan of their multi pen option. Pentel, Pilot, Tombow, Uni-ball, and Zebra all make great models that could easily make the list. Updated 2/1/2023.)
Pilot Acroball - Pilot has a competitor to the Jetstream, but it seems to play second fiddle in its own product lineup to the G2, Juice, and FriXion gel ink pens. Performance-wise, it competes, but fewer options keep it in the two spot. (Buy)
Blackwing 602 - If you want to jump right in to the premium market, the 602 is the choice. It will top many lists, even my own personal list, but not this list. There is no doubt it is an amazing writer, but I do push it down to the number two spot due to the weaker eraser, and higher cost. The great thing about wooden pencils is that even the expensive ones are relatively inexpensive. Feel free to try a handful to see what works best for you. (Buy)
Where do you buy brush pens? It can be really overwhelming to see all these pens that someone has when you have no idea where to even buy any of them. Does that sound familiar? I am just like you, when I see a new pen, I want to know exactly where to buy it and how to get the best deal on it. I sometimes spend way too long searching all the different sites to find the best deal. To help you, let me share with you my 5 favorite places to buy pens online.
I love looking for pens on Jetpens. They have a really helpful youtube channel with super detailed reviews of all the pens. They have all kinds of pens and I really like that they have an option to get any pen individually. This is how I got certain individual colors of Kuretake Fudebiyori. They have free US shipping over a certain amount so I normally wait until I have a cart full to buy.
Another thing they do that I love is they have different sampler packs. So you could try every pink pen or white pen or gold pen that they have. You could try a pack of different small brush pens or fountain pens. I got a bunch of different black fine liners this way so I could experiment and find which one I love. They have fancy pens and stationery, not as many art supplies which brings me to number 3.
There are a couple of ways to hunt for vintage fountain pens. You can go after restored vintage pens, barn finds (aka bargains), or the regular second-hand market. You can also get New Old Stock (NOS), which means the pens are the original and were never sold or unpacked.
Antique stores carry expensive products. However, store owners are mostly experts in large furniture and ceramics. Fountain pens are just old pens to them, I imagine. They also don't take up a lot of space. This particular owner didn't know the filling mechanism (my mum didn't too, but that didn't matter).
These are the stories we're all looking for when buying vintage pens. This has happened to me once, and I've purchased a handful of vintage pens. The reality is that thanks to the internet, most people know reasonably well what they're selling, so you'll have to pay a fair price.
I have to admit that a lot of antique stores here are scoured by professional traders who sell the pens at a markup online. I've had the most success with small, provincial shops that aren't located in large urban or metropolitan areas.
There must be thousands of local pen clubs across the world, and most of them have some sort of trade program for their members. This can be as simple as meeting once a month and offering your old pens for sale.
If you can find a pen show near you, this is a great place to shop for vintage pens. There are a lot of professional traders at pen shows if you want restored pens and don't mind paying a markup. However, there are also loads of pen enthusiasts carrying their own collections. You won't find real bargains, but you will have plenty of opportunity at buying your dream pen at a fair price.
Another great place for finding bargain fountain pens are garage sales. This is a bit more work since most households don't really carry fountain pens anymore, and if they do, generally no more than a few.
If you want to find a bargain, make sure to search for 'fountain pen' instead of a brand and model name. While you know what you're looking for, you want to buy from people who don't know what they're selling. People who don't know what they're selling list items as 'simply pens' or 'fountain pens'.
You don't want to pay top dollar since there's always a chance the product is damaged. I always leave some margin ($10-20) off the market value. If one of every five pens is a complete miss, I've still paid a reasonable price overall.
Don't buy listings with bad or few pictures. Inspect any pictures very closely. Check the tine alignment of the nib; does the nib look straight? You want the nib to have a white tip (iridium tipping material). Look for any cracks in the cap and barrel. Scratches are normal, but cracks are bad. Especially check the cap's edge, since that's where a lot of pens break when they're dropped.
Etsy is better for finding restored pens by professional restorers. This platform has a lot of enthusiasts that put a lot of time and effort into finding good condition vintage pens and restoring them thoroughly. There are also traders on there that import Chinese pens and offer great service.
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Exploring a wide range of modern and vintage writing implements, and how to incorporate them into modern life, with a focus on fountain pens, fountain pen inks, woodcase pencils, and other quality stationery products (especially paper).
If you'd like to promote your business in an effective way, custom pens fit the bill. Whether you're creating pens with a logo for trade shows or branded office giveaways, personalized writing instruments are a great way to make people smile while promoting your brand at the same time. Pens with a name can be given as a gift to thank employees or customers for their dedication. Plus, every time someone writes a to-do list, signs a form, or addresses a letter, you'll be reminding them about your business.
Additionally, the products are also known for their high quality at an affordable price tag. From pens with specialized ink to extra smooth, extra sturdy paper, Japanese stationery is engineered for convenience and comfort as well as longevity. They also employ other innovations in technology such as low viscosity ink in pens, chalk that never smudges, and rotating lead for mechanical pencils. Creative design and attention to detail are some of the things that make Japanese stationery worth looking at.
For anyone who is into a clean and minimalist aesthetic, Muji is definitely a go-to place to shop. While they sell almost everything including clothes, food, and furniture, the stationery is nothing to scoff at either. They sell sets of colored pens at an affordable price, as well as notebooks without any visible branding for those who want to keep things minimal or professional. Their gel ink pens are also well known for the dark ink and smooth ink flow!
For anyone who loves more luxury stationery items, such as fountain pens, calligraphy brushes, or even special Japanese ink, Itoya is a great place to stop by. The flagship store in Ginza is well loved by many locals and tourists alike for their variety of goods! Itoya first opened its doors in 1904, operating as a specialty stationery store. It has since evolved into a chain that even has branches overseas, with its flagship store in Ginza spanning 12 floors, each with a different theme! 781b155fdc