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Thread: Cost Comparison Across 6 Ink Brands

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    Default Cost Comparison Across 6 Ink Brands

    I wanted to look at ink price points between Noodler's and Diamine, then decided to expand it for a larger sample. The only real criteria I applied was that I included three boutique inks (DeAtrimentas, Diamine, Noodler's) and three inks by big pen companies (Parker, Pelikan, Platinum). This was by no means meant to be an industry representative sample - just a quick, off the cuff, comparison.

    I took the prices off of Goulet's website and put it into a spread sheet to compare the price by unit volume. So the choices were limited by Goulet's selection of inks. I chose to compare it as dollars/ml (USA) which really comes out to cents/ml. Ounces are converted to milliliters. I was going to do several ink colors but it quickly became apparent the prices were repeating so I stopped. I used conditional formatting to add a pastel red (pink) fill color behind the prices per unit volume which were below average. The prices highlighted as such are cheaper than the average price across all six brands.

    The results were that Noodler's is substantially cheaper, even at $$/ml measure. That surprised me a little. I expected some of the big pen company inks, like Parker Quink, to be cheaper than boutique inks. Plus the amount he sells is generous compared to other offerings, especially in the 4.5oz bottle. Another surprise is that Noodler's inks, unlike others, stays at the same price point no matter the quantity. Diamine, for instance, is cheaper in a larger quantity. Image below:



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    Default Re: Cost Comparison Across 6 Ink Brands

    I've done a comparison between the different ink manufacturers at various sellers.
    I am not surprised that the big brands cost more per ml when compared to the "boutique" inks from large volume manufacturers (i.e. Noodler, Monteverde, Private Reserve). From what I have noticed of the feel of the ink, the $0.02-$0.10 difference is noticeable. The "boutique" inks tend to write very dry for me, almost worse than writing with straight water. Some are harder to clean out of a pen and/or converter.

    Also, most things will be cheaper per unit because part of the cost is packaging, both physical and process. A larger bottle will always be cheaper than a second bottle of the same size. Also, the time to fill a larger volume is less than the time to fill, move, and fill a second bottle.

    And speaking of manufacturing, the bottle design is also part of the cost. Noodler's and Private Reserve are rather basic bottles. Nothing special to look at, not a packaging you would want to display or leave out. Diamine at least has some visual interest and the cost of manufacturing that bottle vs the other is going to be higher because of the detailing and shape.

    PM me if you want a link to my sheet.

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    Default Re: Cost Comparison Across 6 Ink Brands

    Request to add price data from Diamine, Callifolio, and KWZ inks as sold by Vanness Pens (lower than Goulet on Diamine, last time I checked).
    - Will
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    Default Re: Cost Comparison Across 6 Ink Brands

    Vanness's Diamine is slightly more expensive than Goulet, but once you account for shipping, it is probably less. However, GoldSpot and Anderson Pens are the winners for Diamine (before shipping).
    KWZ is $0.20/ml, and $0.23/ml for iron gall.
    Callifolio is $0.28/ml

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    Default Re: Cost Comparison Across 6 Ink Brands

    I appreciate comparisons.

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    Default Re: Cost Comparison Across 6 Ink Brands

    Quote Originally Posted by naimitsu View Post
    Vanness's Diamine is slightly more expensive than Goulet, but once you account for shipping, it is probably less. However, GoldSpot and Anderson Pens are the winners for Diamine (before shipping).
    KWZ is $0.20/ml, and $0.23/ml for iron gall.
    Callifolio is $0.28/ml
    How so?

    Goulet's $7.50 for 30ml Diamine
    Vanness $6.00 for 30ml Diamine

    Plus you get free shipping for orders above $35 with Vanness.
    - Will
    A place to look for restored vintage pens: Redeem Pens

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    Default Re: Cost Comparison Across 6 Ink Brands

    Quote Originally Posted by penwash View Post

    How so?

    Goulet's $7.50 for 30ml Diamine
    Vanness $6.00 for 30ml Diamine

    Plus you get free shipping for orders above $35 with Vanness.
    I was looking at the 80ml bottles.
    Last I checked, Goulet was at $14.95 and Vanness was at $15. Whereas Anderson was at $12.95.

    I almost never look at the smaller bottles as 1) the bottles tend to be more blah, 2) it costs more per ml, and 3) if I like the ink enough to buy a bottle, I am going to buy a bottle that will last me awhile.

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    Default Re: Cost Comparison Across 6 Ink Brands

    IMO, the comparison is a bit flawed, or at least done with keeping only the U.S.A. market in mind.

    You are giving noodlers and private reserve an advantage because they are manufactured in USA whereas with diamine and de atrementis, they get expensive due to import duties and shipping.
    A bottle of diamine costs 6.6 at La Couronne Du Comte which comes to around $7.4 per bottle of 80ml. Noodlers is $12.5 for 90ml.

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    Default Re: Cost Comparison Across 6 Ink Brands

    Also: Noodler's is Noodler's. I've suffered the consequences of trusting Mr. Tardiff for a while, and am now happy to pay the premium asked by others to have peace of mind that a given ink will be consistent with what I've come to expect, not precipitate in the bottle etc.

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    Default Re: Cost Comparison Across 6 Ink Brands

    Quote Originally Posted by inklord View Post
    Also: Noodler's is Noodler's. I've suffered the consequences of trusting Mr. Tardiff for a while, and am now happy to pay the premium asked by others to have peace of mind that a given ink will be consistent with what I've come to expect, not precipitate in the bottle etc.
    Yeah, but this is a different matter.

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    Default Re: Cost Comparison Across 6 Ink Brands

    Quote Originally Posted by naimitsu View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by penwash View Post

    How so?

    Goulet's $7.50 for 30ml Diamine
    Vanness $6.00 for 30ml Diamine

    Plus you get free shipping for orders above $35 with Vanness.
    I almost never look at the smaller bottles as 1) the bottles tend to be more blah, 2) it costs more per ml, and 3) if I like the ink enough to buy a bottle, I am going to buy a bottle that will last me awhile.
    That's your specific pattern of buying.
    I on the other hand buy 30ml ink all the time for colors that I don't want to marry yet.
    I only have one (about to become two) Diamine 80ml bottles vs 6 Diamine 30ml bottles.

    And the fact that 30ml inks are still available for all colors indicates their popularity.

    To get a more accurate data you have to predict the ratio of sales for 30ml vs 80ml and tailor the per ml price accordingly.
    - Will
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    Default Re: Cost Comparison Across 6 Ink Brands

    Quote Originally Posted by inklord View Post
    Also: Noodler's is Noodler's. I've suffered the consequences of trusting Mr. Tardiff for a while, and am now happy to pay the premium asked by others to have peace of mind that a given ink will be consistent with what I've come to expect, not precipitate in the bottle etc.
    I don't know why people are so enamored with Noodler's ink.
    I've tried a couple of samples and I think the colors are ... tacky.
    And it stains anything it touches and it looks oily.

    Their names are about the only thing that impressed me
    - Will
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    Default Re: Cost Comparison Across 6 Ink Brands

    Quote Originally Posted by TSherbs View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by inklord View Post
    Also: Noodler's is Noodler's. I've suffered the consequences of trusting Mr. Tardiff for a while, and am now happy to pay the premium asked by others to have peace of mind that a given ink will be consistent with what I've come to expect, not precipitate in the bottle etc.
    Yeah, but this is a different matter.
    Perhaps it is. And indeed, I have often found that very high-priced inks are not necessarily 'better' than others of more modest pricing. But I've also come to avoid some brands due to inconsistencies or problems, whereas the products of others have never disappointed me.
    That being said, I think the price discussion is a moot point to begin with: we obviously don't 'need' all these ink colors, just like we don't 'need' a dozen or more fountain pens: it is all a pursuit of pleasure. And ink is relatively cheap, overall, considering all the fun of usage, sharing of samples etc. you can get out of just one bottle. If I fancy a color and a bottle, I'll buy it, and not start comparing the pricing between Noodler's 'Dragon's Napalm' and Pilot Iroshizuku 'Fuyu-gaki'... The approx. $15 price difference surely wouldn't plunge me into a financial abyss, and I'd probably never use up either bottle in a lifetime, given that there's about a hundred other colors waiting on the shelves

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    Default Re: Cost Comparison Across 6 Ink Brands

    Quote Originally Posted by penwash View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by inklord View Post
    Also: Noodler's is Noodler's. I've suffered the consequences of trusting Mr. Tardiff for a while, and am now happy to pay the premium asked by others to have peace of mind that a given ink will be consistent with what I've come to expect, not precipitate in the bottle etc.
    I don't know why people are so enamored with Noodler's ink.
    I've tried a couple of samples and I think the colors are ... tacky.
    And it stains anything it touches and it looks oily.

    Their names are about the only thing that impressed me
    Its all personal preference, including yours. Folks you are getting off topic. This is a simple cost comparison.

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    Default Re: Cost Comparison Across 6 Ink Brands

    Dhruv,

    Well I suspect from your standpoint it would be. It is what it is. A quick, off the cuff, bit of my curiosity on my part that I thought was interesting - nothing more. You are quite welcome to contribute your own comparisons. That would be great.
    Last edited by Armstrong; March 16th, 2016 at 12:08 AM.

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    Default Re: Cost Comparison Across 6 Ink Brands

    Quote Originally Posted by naimitsu View Post
    Also, most things will be cheaper per unit because part of the cost is packaging, both physical and process. A larger bottle will always be cheaper than a second bottle of the same size. Also, the time to fill a larger volume is less than the time to fill, move, and fill a second bottle.

    And speaking of manufacturing, the bottle design is also part of the cost. Noodler's and Private Reserve are rather basic bottles. Nothing special to look at, not a packaging you would want to display or leave out. Diamine at least has some visual interest and the cost of manufacturing that bottle vs the other is going to be higher because of the detailing and shape.

    PM me if you want a link to my sheet.
    1. Take another look, Noodler's varies from that 'rule'. It is the same cost per unit volume regardless. Not a judgement on whether one way is better than the other, just an observation.

    2. That is a consideration if you care about the bottle. To me ink and pens are tools, and I have no interest is spending greater, often much greater, amounts of money for objects of art. All depends on a person's approach. I have investigated glass bottle costs and they are surprisingly expensive. Even for small volume lab type bottles. So that Noodler's comes in plastic, to me and considering only my own approach, it is an advantage that they do so.

    3. I will, thank you.

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