Pencil Pot Of The Month – August 2017

Description: A cup as sent out by Pelikan for the Pelikan Hubs 2017

Price: Pelikan didn’t charge for them. Unknown what Pelikan paid

Material: paper

Further information: Pelikan sent these to Hub Masters for the upcoming Pelikan Hubs that take place all over the world on 22th September 2017, at 18:30 local time.

The pencils in this cup are from a soon to be published blog post about ‘baseball pencils’. The fountain pen in this cup is a Pelikan Go, an affordable piston filler that was targeted at school children.


Here’s a little unboxing video of the goodies Pelikan sent.

..and here’s a photo of the Hub Pub and a Pelikan

Suspicious Sellers 11

There seem to be a few suspicious sellers on Amazon Marketplace.

Well, I say they are suspicious, but I prefer to tell you what’s going on so that you can judge for yourself.

There are several accounts on Amazon Marketplace selling fountain pens for £7.99, £8.99 and £9.99, but even pens usually selling for several hundreds of Pounds are being offered for under £10.

Some of these sellers have real names, some just have random letters as their seller name. All of them seem to be registered in the USA. I wrote ‘seem’ because I don’t know whether Amazon will actually check the address used by sellers who register.

Why would they sell these pens so cheap, far cheaper than what they’d have to pay from the manufacturer?

..and especially when Amazon offers their “A to Z Guarantee”, which means that if there is a problem the customer won’t be out of pocket (and Amazon will probably chase the seller to get their money back…).

I rule out that this is just a simple mistake form the sellers. All these pens are sold by new sellers on Amazon Marketplace and they put a lot of them online. One wrongly priced pen might be a mistake, but not if all you offer is under £10.

Explanation a) Maybe it’s a bored millionaire who just wants to make people happy by reselling pens with a colossal loss.

Explanation b) Maybe they want to get people’s address details? ..but I guess there are easier ways of collecting people’s addresses

Explanation c) When you pay they get the money from Amazon and keep it for a while. Delivery times are very long (many weeks), so they have many weeks before the customers can complain that the product didn’t arrive (and then the postal service can be blamed), so it will be a long time before they have to return the money. Time they could use to get interest on the money or time to pack it all up and disappear.

Well, the good thing is that if anyone wants to try these sellers out and my suspicion that this is dodgy is right the customers are only out of money for a few weeks – until Amazon reimbursed them, so the risk for customers seems small.

Update: shortly after posting this I have been told that Scribble has discussed this issue a few days ago in Facebook’s Fountain Pens UK group. Thanks Mark Porter, for letting me know.

Tombow and Pelikan 3

I have been wondering for a while why all the supermarkets here in the UK sell t-shirts with ‘brand advertising’ – these days mainly Star Wars, but you can also find other brands, like Coca Cola or Volkswagen – while there are no stationery themed t-shirts.

Well, Uniqlo to the rescue! When I moved to the UK in 2001 you could still see this brand outside London, but in the UK it now it seems to be restricted to very few locations. My wife said that there was an article in The Economist explaining that there UK presence actually has the main aim of improving Uniqlo’s reputation for their Asian  customers.

One of Uniqlo's Pelikan T-shirts

One of Uniqlo’s Pelikan T-shirts

Anyway, they are offering currently Pelikan and Tombow themed t-shirts, you can see them here. Unfortunately the Tombow themed t-shirts didn’t make it to Europe, at least not to the UK or Germany …but the Pelikan t-shirts are available over here.

You can find more Pelikan-themed blog posts in the Pelikan category.

Original and Copy 4

A quick non-pencil blogpost – this time: Another Original and Copy one.

A bit more than a month ago I bought the Indus from Fountain Pen Revolution (the one on the right in the picture) for $20 including postage.

pelikan-indus-cappedI didn’t realise that it is a Pelikan copy. I also ordered the wrong nib by mistake. I guess that’s what’s happening if you order late at night.


The beautiful M101N tortoiseshell brown 5

I try to keep the number of fountain pen posts low, but I guess every month or so a blog post about fountain pens is ok without diluting the pencil theme of this blog.

There’s one fountain pen I’ve been keen on ever since I first saw it in 2011. Pencil Talk even mentioned it – and I mentioned that Pencil Talk mentioned it ;^) The Pelikan M101N tortoise brown. A reissue of a fountain pen from the 1930s.

I once saw a real one in Papier Pfeiffer (a brick and mortar shop you might remember from this post), but the brown plastic didn’t look so good in the strong light in the shop, but anyway, I was very tempted to buy this pen. There was also an online shop in the UK that sold it for a very good price, lower than what I’ve seen in any other country (it might have been The Writing Desk – I’m not sure), but I somehow thought I can’t justify paying that much, mainly because I already have a tortoise fountain pen, a white M400 you might have seen in several of my previous posts – and I thought having two beautiful fountain pens will mean that I can’t treasure each of them enough.

…but I kept thinking about that beautiful tortoise M101N. There was a M101N that was released after the tortoise brown version:  the Lizard Special Edition, but I didn’t like the look at all – plus the retail price was much more expensive. Rumours have it that there’ll be a red tortoise version soon. I fear it will be even more expensive than the Lizard version.

Recently I got lucky and got a tortoise M101N for a good price from a seller in Japan. I think I paid  more than what I would have paid at the cheap UK online shop back when it was new – but for 2014 it was a good price. I really wasn’t sure whether I should spend that much, but anyway, now it’s done. I might sell some other pens soon to compensate.

The M101N the most beautiful, but also the most expensive fountain pen I own. It’s a shame it’s so expensive. I know they call it resin, but in reality that’s not so different to plastic, is it? What a shame that these pens aren’t mass produced and sold for a cheap price. Pelikan had a go at cheap piston fillers in the past with their Pelikan Go!. Too bad that didn’t work out.

Wouldn’t it be nice if these beautiful pens were easily affordable? Then I’d love them even more, but I guess the less common fountain pens become, the more expensive they’ll become. Ink is also getting more expensive.

This reminds me of a time when this was quite different. The following is from Herbert Rosendorfer’s book Das Messingherz, p. 508. The book was first published 1979.

In a small stationery shop (…) [he] bought a little bottle of ink. It cost one Mark and fifteen Pfennig, despite being the most expensive kind of ink. (…) How do ink manufacturers get rich? [he] thought. A little bottle of the luxurious type is one Mark fifteen Pfennig, and since I’ve been writing I’ve only used up one. Ok, Heinrich Böll wrote more than me, let’s say – if he didn’t use a type writer or a ballpoint pen – that he used up six bottles of ink. No – [he] calculated all the things Heinrich Böll wrote – no: eight. eight times one fifteen. (…) Ten Mark twenty.

Based on purchasing power (see Kaufkraft article ) DM 1.15 in 1979 is about €1.23 today (~$1.70; £1.00) – I guess even when adjusting for purchasing power, ink was still cheaper in the past.