Exoticblanks.com

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Randy Simmons

Member
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
Messages
395
Location
Cary, NC
I haven't found a full-on review of these guys yet, so I guess I'll put one up for formailty's sake

exoticblanks.com is the web address

Now, their website had me fooled at first, they sell a LOT more than just blanks. More on that later.

exoticblanks has a lot of different stuff. You can buy snakeskin, feather, carbon fiber, and all manner of tru-stone. Unfortunately they can be a little slow to update their website, as skin and feather blanks sell fast, but calling them is easy and they are great on the phone. The one thing (strange, I think) that they don't really have much of in stock is burl wood. They do have some weird stabilized cactus stuff (which is pretty cool) but no amboyna, maple, box elder or that kind of stuff. Of course, you can buy this stuff from burlsource, but that's a different review :)

Their website e-commerce is easy to navigate, I've never had problems with it. Checking out is a cinch, they take paypal and major credit cards, and none of the shenanigans that some checkout processes put you through (like some home-brew capcha code it takes compound eyes to read, or a bunch of ads for their own stuff to click through)

The pen kits they sell are (mostly) the stuff you can find at other vendors along with some items you can't (the zen, for example). But their prices are phenomenal. You can buy one kit from them, for the same price as the quantity discount from other vendors. exoticblanks also has this nifty thing called mixable discounts, so I can buy one of ten different pen styles, and STILL get a quantity discount on each one. I don't know if they are pulling these things out of a hat or what, but they are dirt cheap and just as good as any competitors kit.

Oh, and the mixable (read: awesomeness) discount feature they have? yea. it applies to blanks too :D

But what really sealed the deal was actually something that happened after my package arrived. They include a detailed invoice with your package (by the way, they wrap it all up very well. They even included bubble wrap. Score!) and on the top of it someone had written "thank you Randy!!:)" with a great big smiley. It might not seem like much but I tell you it really does mean a lot to know there is a real person on the other end who knows your name.

I give them a definite 10. Will order from them again very very soon :D

Randy

~Edit: I forgot to mention, they will sometimes include a few freebies with your order. I got two very nice looking acrylics with mine. Cool!
 
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Signed-In Members Don't See This Ad

Randy Simmons

Member
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
Messages
395
Location
Cary, NC
You guys are awesome. I don't have enough thumbs to put up. One tiny request though... could you maybe stock some presimos from PSI? just thought I'd put that out there :)

Cheers! you guys do great work

Randy
 

Jim Burr

Banned
Joined
Feb 23, 2010
Messages
3,060
Location
Reno, Nv
Dawn usually signs mine...Ed can smell funny sometimes:eek::wink:. I had a box waiting when I was able to head home after 10 straight at the hospital. Big time Exotic fun tomorrow!!
 

terryf

Member
Joined
Jul 10, 2010
Messages
1,276
Location
Pretoria, South Africa
The only thing that turns me off about Exotics is the flat intl shipping rate and refund after shipping policy. Usually wouldnt be a problem but then I get stuck with the 30 bucks hanging in virtual cyber space because I cant access funds once theyre in paypal other than to pay vendors.

I very seldom order more than what would fit into a small rate rate box.
This obviously isnt a problem for you guys in the US.

I have also not seen any other vendor offer kits (RB, FP, BP and pencil) on the same page.

One thing about Ed is that he is very keen to give away his knowledge and that I do appreciate! The vids on youtube were a great starting point for me in this hobby and I watched a good few more than once!
 

maxwell_smart007

Lead Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Aug 4, 2007
Messages
6,494
Location
middle of nowhere in the great, white North
The only thing that turns me off about Exotics is the flat intl shipping rate and refund after shipping policy. Usually wouldnt be a problem but then I get stuck with the 30 bucks hanging in virtual cyber space because I cant access funds once theyre in paypal other than to pay vendors.
Sure beats a no-refund policy! :biggrin: However, I know that as a Canuck, we get dinged on paying, and receiving, via paypal, to the tune of about 2.5 percent extra on top of the bank rate conversion fee...imagine it's the same for S. Africa?

I figure that you could treat the 30 bucks like 'found money', and pretend that it's just free...if they didn't offer international flat-rate, you'd be out that money anyway - use it to buy something else that's fun! :)
 
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Monty

Group Buy Coordinator
Joined
Mar 4, 2005
Messages
7,685
Location
Pearland, Texas, USA.
The only thing that turns me off about Exotics is the flat intl shipping rate and refund after shipping policy. Usually wouldnt be a problem but then I get stuck with the 30 bucks hanging in virtual cyber space because I cant access funds once theyre in paypal other than to pay vendors.....
You could get around this. At check out, select "Sending Check / Call In Info"and include a note to have them send you a PP invoice for the total. Than you won't have this problem.
 

waynewright

Member
Joined
Nov 27, 2007
Messages
78
Location
Wilmington, DE, USA.
I have purchased a number of blanks and other items from Ed and Dawn over the past couple of years and have always been very happy with their service and products. I have also found them very knowledgeable and helpful in answering questions. Excellent people and excellent company. Highly recommend them.
 

Smitty37

Member
Joined
Nov 23, 2009
Messages
12,823
Location
Milford, Delaware 19963
Hmmmm

Well Ed and Dawn and I have a somewhat mixed relationship:
  • We are sometimes competitors in certain products
  • I am a customer of theirs for certain products
  • They have been my customer for certain products
  • We cooperate on some transactions to our mutual benefit
With all that I have also considered them to be great friends - even though we have never met in person.​


Dawn made my all time 'favorite people' list when she said "You don't sound like you're 74 years old" the first time I spoke to her on the phone.​

Ed turned "Herbie" (you who remember the 2011 birthday bash will all remember Herbie) into a beautifully done pen and pencil set for me.​

I won't compare their service to anyone else because service stands on its own and their service is as good as it gets.​
 
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bitshird

Member
Joined
Aug 27, 2007
Messages
10,236
Location
Adamsville, TN, USA.
Although I haven't done much turning of late, I do love doing business with Exotics, I appreciate the nice little extras they throw in, BUT the main thing is their service. That's the most important part of a business, The quality of their pen kits, and grinders are superb.
 

ed4copies

Local Chapter Manager
Joined
Mar 25, 2005
Messages
23,651
Location
Racine, WI, USA.
Ya'know, when you have had a long weekend at the office, it is REALLY nice to have you guys post nice comments. We have a "dream life"! Dawn really enjoys putting "up" the products and I really enjoy being able to talk with fellow turners on the phone and in demos! All-in-all, we just want to say "Thanks!!!" Exotics has made our life much more enjoyable!!

To the specifics: "What about wood?" Stay tuned!! We hope to add much more wood next year. The major problem is, we don't want to sell "wood"!! We want to sell "spectacular wood"!!! And finding sources is not real easy! But I think next year (now that we have tons of new acrylics coming in), we will make the woods a priority. So if you know of any GREAT sources that sell wholesale, we'd like to know about them!!

As for "international"---that IS a problem. It takes longer to pack, the customer is charged more for shipping, far more customers request "tracking" after they don't get the package in the first week or so. We RECEIVE a lot of things that are shipped internationally, so we see who others use to ship. Next year we will investigate those alternatives and see if we can "find a better way". Right now, we appreciate all of our customers!!! But we do not appreciate the "time sink" of international shipping. We hope to find a solution!! And this does NOT apply to Canada---shipping there has been pretty dependable and the Canucks KNOW it will take a while to clear Customs. They very rarely ask for tracing a shipment.

You may ask why tracing is such a "hassle": Because we ship through the USPS website and ship several times a day. So, finding any ONE shipment requires going through SEVERAL "batches" to find the one we need. Also, the software has sent the customer the tracking number when it was shipped---so finding it again seems redundant, to us. Again, as we learn more, we may be able to streamline this process and find a BETTER WAY to ship.

We will keep "working out the bugs" and we appreciate each and every one of you who are going through these growing pains WITH us!!

A very sincere
THANK YOU!!!!

Dawn & Ed
www.ExoticBlanks.com
founded December 2008
 
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ed4copies

Local Chapter Manager
Joined
Mar 25, 2005
Messages
23,651
Location
Racine, WI, USA.
Dean is absolutely correct, this leads to a violation of the rules if I answer the question.

So, I will be happy to answer anyone who wants to know the arrival date of any products---just send me a PM, Please!!

And Joe, I will send you a PM, right away.
Sorry, Dean!!
 

Rob73

Member
Joined
Feb 11, 2010
Messages
749
Location
Park Forest, Illinois
Anyone that can stay professional and deal with my crabby personality gets an A+ ;)
I don't order many kits but when I do I always check exotics first because I know I will get anything I order quickly, it's packaged well and there always a little extra surprise in there. I also like that they source unique products from other craftsmen. The idea of supporting the 'little guys' instead of mass produced overseas items appeals to me. Furthermore if I ever have any questions I can pester Ed in PM's and he's always polite and quick to answer.
 

Lenny

Member
Joined
Jan 6, 2009
Messages
3,461
Location
Searsport, Maine
Whenever I place an order for "pen stuff" I am always thinking about where can I get what I need without having to pay shipping to several different vendors? What I like about Exotics, beside the fact that both Ed and Dawn are so helpful, is that more and more they are adding products, making it truly a "One stop" pen making shop! Comprehensive Variety is a nice goal and I believe they are striving for it!

But they do have a devious plan with those FREEBIES .... I often like those blanks as much or better than what I ordered .... Often I will purchase more of them on my next order!
 
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