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Thread: Why so very few postings about inexpensive Chinese pens?

  1. #101
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    Default Re: Why so very few postings about inexpensive Chinese pens?

    I've had a Wing Sung 698 inked since December 2017 and I have had zero issues. I gave one away and the person has had zero issues. Yes, that is only two pens but I am happy.
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  2. #102
    Senior Member calamus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why so very few postings about inexpensive Chinese pens?

    Quote Originally Posted by Medieval View Post
    But the main reason Western companies have their stuff made in China is to have it done as cheaply as possible, and they won't pay to have the job done properly.
    Done properly? What's that supposed to mean?
    Obviously "done properly" means gold plating frequently falling off within months or pens frequently arriving with baby's bottom and misaligned tines. And paying a high price for it.

    The argument for making it in China just for cheap costs is not true and, as I stated before, is a long worn out stereotype. I'll let Tim Cook, head of Apple, speak for me:
    "There's a confusion about China. The popular conception is that companies come to China because of low labor cost. I'm not sure what part of China they go to but the truth is China stopped being the low labor cost country many years ago. And that is not the reason to come to China from a supply point of view. The reason is because of the skill, and the quantity of skill in one location and the type of skill it is."


    And China has an abundance of skilled labor unseen elsewhere, says Cook:

    "The products we do require really advanced tooling, and the precision that you have to have, the tooling and working with the materials that we do are state of the art. And the tooling skill is very deep here. In the US you could have a meeting of tooling engineers and I'm not sure we could fill the room. In China you could fill multiple football fields."
    Well, you've got me there. If the head of a huge corporation tells us that they're having their goods made in China because of the higher quality of the work and that it's simply not true that the slave labor, I mean labor, is cheaper, well there you go! Obviously he wouldn't dream of making a self-serving statement, or handing consumers a snow job.
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    Default Re: Why so very few postings about inexpensive Chinese pens?

    Quote Originally Posted by calamus View Post
    Well, you've got me there. If the head of a huge corporation tells us that they're having their goods made in China because of the higher quality of the work and that it's simply not true that the slave labor, I mean labor, is cheaper, well there you go! Obviously he wouldn't dream of making a self-serving statement, or handing consumers a snow job.
    There's also another factor: China is very aggressive about routing it's production of rare earths to favour manufacturing inside China. This is a huge incentive to manufacture electronics there, but it's a major political issue and you'd be crazy to expect any CEO doing this to discuss it.

    But as a general rule, you're right of course - and that factor applies too.

    As for China not being a low labour cost country, it depends on what the labor is doing and what statistics you believe -

    https://thediplomat.com/2017/12/is-c...r-really-over/

    ...You can still get unskilled labour in China for $100 a month. And assembling fountain pens - and plonking components into circuit boards for Apple - are unskilled jobs.
    Last edited by ilikenails; January 13th, 2019 at 09:12 AM.

  4. #104
    Senior Member Cyril's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why so very few postings about inexpensive Chinese pens?

    China produces mostly everything, Lot of chemist to a grain of salt. Over here lot of mass-produced stuffs.
    perhaps if you try to get something good you have to do good research and you have 90% chance to get it for a reasonable price. Recenlty I found some chemistry stuff that is not available in uk.
    I bought some pens from China and they are great writers.
    Quality you expect from a comparison of hi-end brands of writing instruments, if it the ergonomy and the writing quality, they are not bad.They are moderate and good writers. Most of the pens I tried are very good and I had the opprtunity to swap their nib with a German Steel nib to give more better and I never underrate some Chinese pens.

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    Default Re: Why so very few postings about inexpensive Chinese pens?

    I just bought a set of four Jinhao X450's off Amazon for $19.95 plus tax and shipping. I wanted something classic/traditional, not gawdy, that wouldn't look out of place being carried and used by an old thing like Mr, or be out of place in a business setting or at church.
    When they arrived in today's mail call, I inked them up with Jinhao black, blue, purple, and green ink cartridges.
    Like the fountain pens I had back in the dark pre-Internet days of the 1970's and 1980's, I didn't clean the nibs/feeds before inking. All four write great. I have zero complaints.
    I'm retired, on a low monthly fixed income. I can afford the Jinhao pens. I am thinking of getting some more, in fact.
    I ordered one of their Ebony wood 51A's today, and may order a 51 with Rosewood and Mahogany sometime this year, and maybe three or four of the ceramic pens; The Ship and the Dragon pens, and possibly the Bamboo and Lotus set. I also plan on getting some of the Fine and FUDE nibs.

    I'd love to be able to get a lever fill Pelikian (spelling?) and some Schafer No Nonsense Calligraphy pens like I had back then, but a new lever fill from a "good" European or Japanese company costs more than I have after paying rent. The Pelikian I had back then cost under $20. I don't remember what model it was. I remember it had a brown plastic body and cap. The only place I see the No Nonsense is on eBay. I don't do eBay or PayPal -- period.

    From what I read in this thread, I guess I should keep quiet when I get a new pen, since I can't afford "better" or vintage pens. Posting an inexpensive Chinese manufactured pen insults and offends too many people.

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    Default Re: Why so very few postings about inexpensive Chinese pens?

    But that's just the thing - you just ordered a bunch of Jinhaos, which won't last very long, from my experience. These are not durable pens. You are already thinking of ordering more. For this price, you could get a European or Japanese made pen that will last you and your kids lifetime. Lamy Safari and Pilot Metropolitan comes to mind.

    I'm sorry, but I just can't get excited for cheap, poorly made pens when perfectly fine pens exist within the same budget. For the 12 pens you have and have ordered, you could get a second hand Lamy 2000, which go for <$100 in the second hand market, and that's a great pen, not just "perfectly fine". For this money you could get a Pelikan M200, brand new.

    You have spent more on cheap pens that will fall apart in months - and they will, because I had a bunch and they're all in the trash a long time ago - than you would have on an amazing pen already. And you keep ordering more.

    In my country we have a saying: you're never rich enough to be able to buy cheap. Food for thought.

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    Default Re: Why so very few postings about inexpensive Chinese pens?

    Quote Originally Posted by Medieval View Post
    The main reason why some people look down their noses at pens and other items made in China is snob value. Many of the cheap Chinese pens manufactured today are far better writers than those made by the traditional fountain pen makers in the West who who are run by companies who could care less about fountain pens. I'm looking at you Parker, Sheaffer, Pelikan, Waterman....


    In truth, there is nothing left of what the above brands once were except their name. There is no expertise or fountain pen culture or innovation within the companies that own the above brands.

    There are good reasons why most things are made in China and it's got nothing to do with cheap labour. Companies could outsource everything to Congo or somewhere if labour costs were the main factor because there are many countries that have cheaper labour than China. In modern times, it's much more about China having the best technology and the most skilled workforce.

    There are many views about China that are too stereotypical. And slave labour is rampant in the West too. People complain about the notorious warehouses at Apple or Amazon or many call centres, but they're luxurious compared to many places. China doesn't have the monopoly.
    Precisely. All of my chinese pens function far better than other pens I've bought.
    (Looking squarely at you Monteverde, Montegrappa and Noodlers...you're all shite!)
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    Default Re: Why so very few postings about inexpensive Chinese pens?

    @adhoc
    I'm wanting to order a couple more because I like them. Also, they are different from what I have.
    Did you notice I said I don't do eBay or PayPal?
    Back in '06 when the Nintendo Wii came out and was pretty much impossible to find locally, I found two at a local big box store.

    I bought both. Kept one , put the other up for auction on eBay. Unopened, complete as supplied by Nintendo.
    The thief who won the auction was unhappy with it. I don't know why. Low graphics resolution, maybe? Anyway, "he" filed a false claim with eBay and PayPal, claiming it had been opened before he received it, things were missing, etc.

    eBays "Buyers can do no wrong -- sellers can do no right" policy meant they ignored my photo and video evidence the Wii was unopened when I put it in the shipping box, and it was well packed with foam peanuts to avoid shipping damage.

    eBay and their PayPal division/department took the winning bid amount plus shipping and buyer's PayPal fees, out of my bank account, issued a refund to the thief, AND TOLD THE S.O.B TO KEEP THE Wii!!! I was out the $395 I paid for the Wii, $50 FED-X shipping, the eBay selling fee, and the PayPal fee.

    I've refused to use either since. Oh, eBay also closed my store (didn't refund the store fees) and my buyer's account.
    Why the hell should I give either another chance to screw me?!?
    Last edited by Ugly Old Guy; January 13th, 2022 at 01:11 PM.

  12. #109
    Senior Member Robalone's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why so very few postings about inexpensive Chinese pens?

    IMG_5288.jpg

    I collect and am passionate about very old , pre war BCHR etc.
    But I've played around with the Chinese/ Indian 'cheapies' and found then to be pretty darn good (for the most part ) Some of them have minor issues, but generally they are quite well built, and perform more than adequately, and they are much fun for experimentation/ modification.
    I must say, I was biased against them initially, but have since reversed my opinion, and would recommend them as an introduction pen to someone tentatively starting out .

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    Default Re: Why so very few postings about inexpensive Chinese pens?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ugly Old Guy View Post
    @adhoc
    I'm wanting to order a couple more because I like them. Also, they are different from what I have.
    Did you notice I said I don't do eBay or PayPal?
    Back in '06 when the Nintendo Wii came out and was pretty much impossible to find locally, I found two at a local big box store.

    I bought both. Kept one , put the other up for auction on eBay. Unopened, complete as supplied by Nintendo.
    The thief who won the auction was unhappy with it. I don't know why. Low graphics resolution, maybe? Anyway, "he" filed a false claim with eBay and PayPal, claiming it had been opened before he received it, things were missing, etc.

    eBays "Buyers can do no wrong -- sellers can do no right" policy meant they ignored my photo and video evidence the Wii was unopened when I put it in the shipping box, and it was well packed with foam peanuts to avoid shipping damage.

    eBay and their PayPal division/department took the winning bid amount plus shipping and buyer's PayPal fees, out of my bank account, issued a refund to the thief, AND TOLD THE S.O.B TO KEEP THE Wii!!! I was out the $395 I paid for the Wii, $50 FED-X shipping, the eBay selling fee, and the PayPal fee.

    I've refused to use either since. Oh, eBay also closed my store (didn't refund the store fees) and my buyer's account.
    Why the hell should I give either another chance to screw me?!?
    Ebay is for buyers, not for sellers. In this way I completely agree with you - stay away from ebay like the plague, their fees are monstrous and they are out for seller's blood.

    You have a used section here on FPGeeks, as well as over on reddit you have a subreddit called pen_swap. I have traded there many, many things and always everything was perfect. I would highly recommend it. The people are nice, the scammers are virtually non-existant because of the rules that are set in place - and both the seller and the buyer must follow them. If you're dealing with people that have more than 1 or have even several trades confirmed, which you can instantly check as it says how many confirmed trades they have right next to their name, there's basically no chance of getting scammed. Did I mention no fees? Yeah, no fees. But you do need Paypal, that is true. But from what I understand you have bad experience with ebay, not paypal anyway. Paypal is also quite greedy with fees, but at least they're normally OK to deal with.

    I would encourage you to spend some time on this, it can really be beneficial, both as a seller and a buyer, you get to try things out you might not be able to otherwise due to budget constraints. Good luck!

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  16. #111
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    Default Re: Why so very few postings about inexpensive Chinese pens?

    Inexpensive Chinese pens exist so you can take something out of the house with you that will be no great loss if stolen, mislaid or damaged.

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    Default Re: Why so very few postings about inexpensive Chinese pens?

    Quote Originally Posted by Medieval View Post
    The main reason why some people look down their noses at pens and other items made in China is snob value.
    That seems to be the case not only for pens, but for many other affordable items. Snobs seem to think that a stuck up attitude means they have good taste, refinement and sophistication. In reality, it just means that they have an attitude problem.

    There are good reasons why most things are made in China and it's got nothing to do with cheap labour. Companies could outsource everything to Congo or somewhere if labour costs were the main factor because there are many countries that have cheaper labour than China. In modern times, it's much more about China having the best technology and the most skilled workforce.
    No, it is about cheap labor. When labor costs in China increased, many overseas companies decamped and relocated to Vietnam.

    Quote Originally Posted by Scrawler View Post
    Inexpensive Chinese pens exist so you can take something out of the house with you that will be no great loss if stolen, mislaid or damaged.
    Or for those who want a perfectly good fountain pen for $20 or less. I have a Hero 100 and a Wing Sung 601A. Both are great writers, especially the Hero 100. They are cheap in price, but not cheap in quality.

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    Default Re: Why so very few postings about inexpensive Chinese pens?

    Quote Originally Posted by Scrawler View Post
    Inexpensive Chinese pens exist so you can take something out of the house with you that will be no great loss if stolen, mislaid or damaged.
    This. Or to slightly add to it, they are pens that you can take out of the house with you that you don't need to think about and you can stick in a bag or shirt pocket without fear.
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  22. #114
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    Default Re: Why so very few postings about inexpensive Chinese pens?


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    Default Re: Why so very few postings about inexpensive Chinese pens?

    That seems to be the common snag. They all seem unnecessarily heavy to me. On the other hand I don't really mind heavy pens.
    Regards, Chrissy | My Blog: inkyfountainpens

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    Default Re: Why so very few postings about inexpensive Chinese pens?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chrissy View Post
    That seems to be the common snag. They all seem unnecessarily heavy to me. On the other hand I don't really mind heavy pens.
    The fact of weight has been an issue for me for a long time and more so now that I have limited hand function due to medical treatments. The brass body pens weighting more than 40g become tiresome very quickly and the reason I appreciate some of the more expensive European types is that the materials are much less weighty.

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    Default Re: Why so very few postings about inexpensive Chinese pens?

    Quote Originally Posted by Scrawler View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Chrissy View Post
    That seems to be the common snag. They all seem unnecessarily heavy to me. On the other hand I don't really mind heavy pens.
    The fact of weight has been an issue for me for a long time and more so now that I have limited hand function due to medical treatments. The brass body pens weighting more than 40g become tiresome very quickly and the reason I appreciate some of the more expensive European types is that the materials are much less weighty.
    Seems to me that you would like some of the beautiful inexpensive acrylic Chinese pens, too, then. I love them and own several, partly because they are light in weight.

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    Default Re: Why so very few postings about inexpensive Chinese pens?

    Quote Originally Posted by TSherbs View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Scrawler View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Chrissy View Post
    That seems to be the common snag. They all seem unnecessarily heavy to me. On the other hand I don't really mind heavy pens.
    The fact of weight has been an issue for me for a long time and more so now that I have limited hand function due to medical treatments. The brass body pens weighting more than 40g become tiresome very quickly and the reason I appreciate some of the more expensive European types is that the materials are much less weighty.
    Seems to me that you would like some of the beautiful inexpensive acrylic Chinese pens, too, then. I love them and own several, partly because they are light in weight.
    I would love some recommendations. I am looking for an absolute maximum of 20g.

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    Default Re: Why so very few postings about inexpensive Chinese pens?


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    Default Re: Why so very few postings about inexpensive Chinese pens?

    You have spent more on cheap pens that will fall apart in months - and they will, because I had a bunch and they're all in the trash a long time ago - than you would have on an amazing pen already.
    Well, no. Certainly not always, and frequently (and with some brands) usually, no.

    I have some of the Wing Sung 3003 pens that look like a Pilot Prera loaded and handy to use for about 3 years now. They're solid pens, well made, and unlike the clear Prera I have, haven't cracked. the nibs are better from the get go than the Pilot nibs. The Wing Sung 699, which is like the Pilot 823 in appearance and function, and have had them loaded for over a year. They write well, and I haven't had any problems with them. The 823 pens seem to have a problem with cracking along the seam at one end or the other.

    Jinhao pens don't seem to be of the same quality, and the celluloid Balance pen was a disaster. The plastic shrank and distorted after a few years. But that's no worse than I've seen with some Visconti and Omas pens that have come through for repair... at under $50 VS....

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