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Old 01-12-2017, 10:41 AM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Fountan pen service after the sale.

My family and friends tell me that I should be selling my pens. My question is when you sell fountain pens, do you test the pen for proper operation before you deliver it? Do you handle nib adjustments or are you customers on their own? Do most customers consider nib adjustments part of the experience?
My reason for asking is that out of the 5 I have made so far, one has been problematic and I kept it to use for a learning experience.
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Old 01-12-2017, 12:20 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Interested in replies to this thread, too.
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Old 01-12-2017, 01:05 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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I have two broad categories of fountain pen customer:

1) Hard-core fountain pen users. These folks really like to receive a nib in tuned condition, but are capable and willing to do tweaks themselves. They judge your competence based on whether the nib writes smoothly when you give it to them, but won't bug you about tune-ups down the road.

2) Newbie fountain pen users. These folks don't know anything about tuning a nib themselves, rely on you to get it right for them and to tune/repair if anything happens. They aren't as demanding initially (they won't turn up their nose as "Iridium Point Germany" for example) but you will have to hold their hand down the road.
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Old 01-12-2017, 01:36 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by duncsuss View Post
I have two broad categories of fountain pen customer:

1) Hard-core fountain pen users. These folks really like to receive a nib in tuned condition, but are capable and willing to do tweaks themselves. They judge your competence based on whether the nib writes smoothly when you give it to them, but won't bug you about tune-ups down the road.

2) Newbie fountain pen users. These folks don't know anything about tuning a nib themselves, rely on you to get it right for them and to tune/repair if anything happens. They aren't as demanding initially (they won't turn up their nose as "Iridium Point Germany" for example) but you will have to hold their hand down the road.

These are "services after the sale". IF you have the ability to perform them, it can be an additional revenue source, as well as establishing you as the source of their future pens--due to your expertise.

Adjustments need NOT be FREE!!
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Old 01-12-2017, 07:13 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ed4copies View Post
Adjustments need NOT be FREE!!
Fair comment
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Old 01-13-2017, 07:39 AM   #6 (permalink)
 
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For on going success in selling fountain pens, you do not need to become a nib meister, but you do need to know the rudiments of tuning.

I don't fill every pen I make, but I do give it a good dip in an ink bottle. While I am looking for scratchiness and smooth writing, I am also making sure the ink flow doesn't stop after a few words.This can be caused by a few things, and should be addressed before it goes to the client. I have only had two "kit nibs" that I had to replace because I couldn't fix this issue. Once I am satisfied, it gets a good flushing and drying in my salad spinner.

As was mentioned above, experienced users will do minor tuning, but if the problem is deeper they will call for support. This is not acceptable out of the box. A newbie, with this type of problem, will become frustrated very fast. They will most likely not be able to get it going, and will likely return it for repair. This wil be expected at your expense.

Avid fountain pen users tend to have multiple pens, I know some that have hundreds. The out of box experience, is a huge deciding factor in wether they will be back or not. It is well worth the time to do a little research, watch some videos and practice. I have a long way to go to become an expert tuner. While it sometimes takes me a while, every pen I send out the door writes well. If a problem does slip through, I make it right.

While repairs and re-tuning down the road can be an added service, no customer will accept having to pay extra for their pen to write well out of the box.

Just my two cents. I will see if I can dig out a few links when I get down to my office.
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Old 01-13-2017, 04:14 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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As both a consumer and a maker, I have agree with Darrin. I give away all of the fountain pens I make, but each one goes out the door with a tuned, smooth-writing nib. If someone sells me a scratchy or skipping or hard starting pen without giving me a chance to try it out and without offering to fix it at no cost, not only will I not be back, but neither will any of my friends.

You owe it to your business to sell a product that works well, so test it and learn how to fix the problems.

Just my opinion.

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Old 01-14-2017, 04:58 AM   #8 (permalink)
 
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When I make an FP I fill it and use it until it is empty, tuning it as needed. Then I give it a thorough cleaning. After it is sold I'll service it or as long as these hands will be able to do the work. I think that standing behind your work is what results in repeat business.
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Old 01-27-2017, 11:30 AM   #9 (permalink)
 
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I also fill and test every pen I sell. This is done to ensure all components work and that the nib writes smooth and as wet as it should. Once they are tested it gets cleaned an sent on its way.
I have never had a customer contact me telling me their pen wrote poorly, was scratch, or did flow well enough. For the 15 minutes I spend using the pen it can detect any issues that you would not want to pass along to a customer. For that reason it should be done as bmachin stated, you will have a customer who is happy with the out of the box experience, that doesn't require anything to write beautifully!
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Old 01-27-2017, 01:13 PM   #10 (permalink)
 
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How do you guys tune a FP?


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