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Old 11-05-2017, 09:36 AM   #11 (permalink)
 
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I will just echo what Ed said. If your only going to show a few pens, and fancier is better, were talking art gallery fancy, I would go straight to the Majestic Jr in rhodium and gold. Yes it is a 50 dollar kit, but, with a extremely nice blank, this easily presents as a 400.00 dollar pen. It comes in both fountain, and Roller Ball. Make one of each. Then make two Cambridge kits in sliver with gold accents, one in Fountain, one in Roller ball. List these at 300.00 each. Make sure you use an extremely nice blank, like Ed said. Don't go cheap on the blank, it makes the pen. You are making a one of a kind. Make it look like it.

The 400.00 pens will sell the 300.00 pens, and the person who has to have the best of the best, will buy the 400.00 pen.
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Old 11-05-2017, 12:09 PM   #12 (permalink)
 
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Personal opinion, Stephen Brown is an excellent choice but his audience is the fountain pen community that has at least the basic down. For some ground level basic knowledge on what a fountain pen is and how to use and care for the check out the "Fountain Pen 101" in the blog over at www.gouletpens.com.

Excellent series but watch you wallet if you stray from the blog and look at any of his ink or paper.
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Old 11-13-2017, 12:47 PM   #13 (permalink)
 
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My "two cents" based on a year working markets (at least 2 each month for the past 12 months). If you're going to be in attendance and working with the clients then I would suggest getting know more about fountain pens. They are by far my best selling pens at the markets I attend. I starting turning them because I've always owned one but never really knew what it was to "own" a fountain pen until I started selling them.

I've been lucky and only had one "pushy" client that basically told me I didn't know enough about the pens I was selling since I couldn't answer the questions he had about he nibs on the pens. I very quickly started educating myself on fountain pens including swapping out nibs, maintenance, nib types, etc.

This was only 1 client - who has since come back to my booth a few times now and we discuss various fountain pen related things and he has even helped with my education after our first encounter - but I would take the advice of those above that recommend working with a convertible pen to start with until you can get at least the basics of fountain pens under your belt.
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Old 11-13-2017, 03:47 PM   #14 (permalink)
 
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I've made several modern fountain pen kits that are so bad to write with they are in their own little bowl and are never used.
If you want to learn something about fountain pens find someone who will let you write with one of the pre WWII pens with a gold nib. I have a Waterman (Pre WWII) that is so nice to write with that I doubt anything made in the last 40 years will compare to it, short of a handmade or highly tuned nib. It flexes to produce calligraphy style letters if you wish.
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Old 02-16-2018, 11:04 PM   #15 (permalink)
 
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recommend skipping the kit fountain pens , are junk, however kitless is another story , itís a completely different challenge more a mix of machine work skills and turning , but if you master it , very rewarding , and if you get really good, can fetch $100-$200 a pop for well done customs pens


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Old 02-17-2018, 08:29 AM   #16 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Texasshipagent View Post
recommend skipping the kit fountain pens , are junk, however kitless is another story , itís a completely different challenge more a mix of machine work skills and turning , but if you master it , very rewarding , and if you get really good, can fetch $100-$200 a pop for well done customs pens


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Nothing junk about a Mistral or several other kit pens out there.
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Old 02-17-2018, 12:20 PM   #17 (permalink)
 
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Everyoneís junk has the potential to be someone elseís treasure.


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Old 02-17-2018, 12:44 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Some great suggestions here and hope that it is not too much and confusing.

Somethings I learned several years back on this forum:

1. True fountain pen connoisseurs will not let someone else use their pen. The nib begins to wear in accordance to how the user holds and writes. A tiny flat spot begins to develop that is unique to individual writers. Letting someone else use it changes the microscopic edge of the flat spot, and a experienced writer can tell when something is off.

2. Fountain pen connoisseurs have the money and pay more than most ball point/roller ball pen buyers do.

3. Fountain pen aficionados usually KNOW if the pen maker knows his stuff. (You won't be there so that is an advantage to you for not getting put on the spot for immediate technical questions.)

#3 said, The first set of fountain pens that I made years ago, the buyer was as ignorant of quality and smooth writing as I was at the time. Like you, I educated myself - but enough to stay away from it except for special requests.

4. If you can, ask a few questions about the target audience. I live in a generational poverty area of north MS, and there is as big a swing between middle class and the blue bloods as there is between the generational poverty and middle class. The wealthy KNOW quality and won't buy anything less than $500.00, and they know their nibs and feeds - and the seller better know also, or they won't buy. The middle class won't go much over $100.00 and the generational poverty folks stick to Bics. That is not a slam but it it knowing the target people.

BTW, I used to live in Japan (Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya/Toyota City), and learned about "target" audiences there. People are different and have different opinions. Knowing that helps.
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Old 02-17-2018, 03:23 PM   #19 (permalink)
 
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Hank,

Great post. Although I would quibble with the reasoning behind the first point.

The tipping on any reasonably good nib is really, really hard and I can't believe that writing a few thousand words on paper is not going to change the shape to the extent that anyone could tell the difference. A more serious concern in my estimation is that the borrower would be likely to bear down too hard and screw up the tine alignment or worse.

I can't remember if it is on his website or if he said it at a pen show in a tuning seminar, but Richard Binder was commenting on the fairly widely held belief that you can smooth a nib by writing on a brown paper grocery bag. (I believe You can find that advice on this site.) He explained that all you are doing is filling up the rough spots with paper fibers.

Not arguing that you should loan out your fountain pen (you shouldn't, except maybe to your wife), or that tipping doesn't wear (it does; it just is a really slow process).

Anyway, just an opinion that's worth maybe a little less than what you paid for it.

Bill
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Old 02-17-2018, 03:44 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Hank,

Great post. Although I would quibble with the reasoning behind the first point.
. . .

Anyway, just an opinion that's worth maybe a little less than what you paid for it.

Bill
Bill, you are probably right. What I wrote was what was written about 10 years ago, and knowing some of the obsessive compulsiveness habits of fountain pen owners I know around here, I can say that some people adhere to that thought like an old wives tail, whether it is true or not.

In any case, the customer is right if it makes a sale on that kind of financial scale. Thanks for your input on this. We DO like to know what is right.
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