How long to guarantee pens?

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bdempseyjr

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Leesburg, FL
I occasionally sell a few pens through an out of state shop and received an email today that a customer brought a pen back to the shop because the customer couldn’t “get it to twist” (Executive style pen). The shop owner now has the pen and wants to send it back to me. I checked my records and this pen was sold in June 2017. So my question to some of you more seasoned folks is how long do you guarantee that a pen will work once it leaves your shop? Every pen that leaves my bench works at the time I make it and at the time it leaves my shop, but I’m curious as to how you all address this. I appreciate your insights and thanks!
 
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WriteON

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Tough call. Six months - One year would be fair. Perhaps if postage is paid both ways you can repair ... replace is your call. Maybe sell new at 1/2 price. The question of was it abused has to be considered. I gave a pen to a cousin... calls in a few months asking how reassemble it. Is the store you deal with a good account? I would say be fair/honest/firm and learn from this.
While we’re on the subject I had a stereo speaker go bad.... 3 years old. $800 system. I have to pay about $75 each way for shipping.
 
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bdempseyjr

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Agree on the one year, and I appreciate your insight. I’m in Florida and the shop is in Pennsylvania- going to get really expensive if this continues to happen. I’ve been with the store for a little over four years- it’s been a pretty good run so far, but this situation has me rethinking.
 

jttheclockman

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The thing is to know it is your pen could be tough because there are so many pen makers. I will guarantee for life if it is my pen that I know for sure I made. Weather a receipt or just my style of pen. Takes nothing to replace a kit or part. I will not pay shipping though.
 

jttheclockman

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Agree on the one year, and I appreciate your insight. I’m in Florida and the shop is in Pennsylvania- going to get really expensive if this continues to happen. I’ve been with the store for a little over four years- it’s been a pretty good run so far, but this situation has me rethinking.
If you are going to have a policy you better make it known. have something written up and not verbal.
 

jttheclockman

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Fair enough John, I appreciate your response. So essentially you’re suggesting a written warranty/disclaimer with each pen?
Absolutely. Whatever you decide is fair for you and if you request a receipt to go with that or not. As I said there are 100's pen turners out there. This is why some people add some sort of maker to show it is their pen.
 

ed4copies

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Mar 25, 2005
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Racine, WI, USA.
Mailing the pen will cost about $5. Once you have it, evaluate what is wrong.

June 2017 is TWO YEARS and a couple months. IF you have to replace parts, you will have to purchase the kit (and hope it has not changed since you made it--parts are not always interchangeable.)

I doubt your jeweler expects you to fix it for free. So let him know the repair cost before you do it, so he can approach the customer for cost of repair or replace choice.

Yes, a written policy would be a good idea, but do it in cooperation with your retailer--repairs are an opportunity for upgrades!!!
 

scotian12

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Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.
I have sold 1000's of pens over the past 20 years and replace or refund any pens that a customer has a complaint on. Not a policy, just good customer service. I've adjusted perhaps 6 pens in those years including one that went trough a washer and two that weren't even mine. There really is not much to go wrong with our pen kits and one must take the long term view. Darrell
 

Jay

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Atascadero, CA
You also need to consider what was said to the customer by the retail seller. Did he guarantee the pen? Does he require receipt? How long did the pen sit in inventory? Did he sell it around June of 2017?

If you didn't have a written return policy in effect prior to this requested return, then you need to establish the policy for the future. If it is just this one pen since 2017 then fixing it or replacing it with the buyer paying shipping is just good business.

BTW I don't sell pens. Just give them away and replace anything that breaks despite the reason if anyone actually complains. I do have a business where I apply similar rules. If it wasn't what you bargained for I'll fix it.

Jay
 

dogcatcher

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Not pens but with game calls, I have replaced reeds and done repair work on some that I sold over 20 years before. My only rule was they had to get it to me and pay for return postage, labor parts and repair was on me.. I also repaired a few pens over the years, same rule. My only rule was that the problem needed to be caused by normal use.

In 2016, I had a major medical issue, and most of my customers now understand that I am unable to make, re[air or doing any "fixing" for them.
 

WriteON

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Agree on the one year, and I appreciate your insight. I’m in Florida and the shop is in Pennsylvania- going to get really expensive if this continues to happen. I’ve been with the store for a little over four years- it’s been a pretty good run so far, but this situation has me rethinking.
Definitely be sure you made it. I made dental appliances. Once in a while I got items back and the office wanted them redone free of charge. I never made them to begin with. Came from a different lab.
 

edman2

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Greenbrier, AR. USA.
I have sold hundreds of pens in the last twelve years. I have been asked to "fix" maybe 8-10 pens in that time. My policy is the first time is free regardless of the reason or when I sold it. After the first time I charge them a minimum to cover my costs. No one has complained so far. They pay postage to get it to me and I pay postage to return it which is added into the price I charge. Works well for me.
 
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Wolf Creek Montana
I guarantee my knives for life unless it's abused or damaged in some other way. I've had two returned out of probably 200+ of them and both cases were abuse. I ate the cost of repair and return postage but was very firm in telling the people that the issue was not my craftsman ship but their abuse. Both customers have never responded to my emails about the abuse but they did get their knives back at no cost.
My pens have the same policy. But sometimes things just wear out and it's lived it's useful time. It's like a pair of pants...you might pay a bunch of money for a nice pair of slacks, but they will wear out over time and the makers won't guarantee them for normal wear and tear, you just replace them.
 

SteveG

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Eugene, Oregon 97404
This is the back of my business card, which I provided with each pen sold. It not only provided my warranty statement, but also pen material and refill info. During my numerous years selling my pens, I only had about 5 or 6 come back for warranty service. It was not that expensive to redo a failed pen. The customer would pay to return the pen, I paid to send it back to them. In one instance the pen had been damaged, but I took care of it in the interest of great customer relations. A few of those returns resulted in add'l pen sales in the course of the warranty transaction. So the open-ended warranty was a net positive thing for my business in both original sales and return business. I am retired now, but would do the same all over again.

IMG_0617.jpeg
 

OK-Pens

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Oct 20, 2017
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In Denmark we have a two year guarantee povided by law. It is up to the customer to prove that the issue is not caused by abuse and it the guarantee don't cover fx ink.
 
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