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Thread: How do American retailers stay in business?!

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    Default Re: How do American retailers stay in business?!

    Sociological and economic research say otherwise. When even pro-business publications and think tanks acknowledge that class mobility in the US barely exists, some anecdotes from a guy hawking make-a-million books is not convincing.

    This really isnít the place for such a debate, in part because weíre off topic, but also because if youíre really serious about making millions through abstinence, youíre not buying fountain pens.

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    Default Re: How do American retailers stay in business?!

    As someone else mentioned, if I can find a product in the US at reasonably comparable price (~10-20%), I try to buy domestic.

    Some US pen retailers offer free nib modificationsĖit may still be cheaper to buy from Europe and work directly with a nibmeister but doing so takes time and hassle. US retailers generally have very good customer service (European retailers generally do too, but there are added time and costs associated with international shipping). And most pen-related sales are for cheaper items, where price differences are less of an issue, or where international shipping costs offset potential savings.

    Goulet produces a ton of videos and is very active on social media platforms. Obviously this content is free but it does create value for the consumer. I can't quantify the value I've gained from the videos but I do feel like paying a higher price is my way of returning some of that value to Goulet. I don't have to do this but I don't mind.

    As others mentioned, price differences also vary a lot depending on the manufacturer. Some manufactures impose stricter controls to ensure that prices are roughly equal in different geographies.

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    Default Re: How do American retailers stay in business?!

    There is some additional security in purchasing in your home country. I have sometimes been willing to pay more for that. But usually not. I am parsimonious and highly value my savings. And I can't stand the idea of paying for somebody's marketing bullshit. The Goulet crap in the mailings is just stuff I throw out and resent paying for. I prefer other vendors.

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    Default Re: How do American retailers stay in business?!

    Quote Originally Posted by guyy View Post
    Sociological and economic research say otherwise. When even pro-business publications and think tanks acknowledge that class mobility in the US barely exists, some anecdotes from a guy hawking make-a-million books is not convincing.

    This really isnít the place for such a debate, in part because weíre off topic, but also because if youíre really serious about making millions through abstinence, youíre not buying fountain pens.
    I just linked research from an investment giant that notes that the majority of millionaires, clients they service, are self made. If you have contradictory evidence, please provide them. No one is arguing about class mobility. The claim was made against someone saying most wealth is inherited rather than self made. Again, the issue is not abstaining from buying fountain pens, but avoiding paying double when you can buy cheaper elsewhere. Thankfully, I dont have to abstain as my career choice affords me that option, but its financially stupid to pay more for the same item.

    Quote Originally Posted by TSherbs View Post
    There is some additional security in purchasing in your home country. I have sometimes been willing to pay more for that. But usually not. I am parsimonious and highly value my savings. And I can't stand the idea of paying for somebody's marketing bullshit. The Goulet crap in the mailings is just stuff I throw out and resent paying for. I prefer other vendors.

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    Correct. Those videos, newsletters, and marketing all costs money, which is where your extra dollars go. They arent doing it just out of the goodness of their heart. About half of those 30-60 minute videos is spent showcasing new products AKA its direct to consumer advertising.

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    Default Re: How do American retailers stay in business?!

    Well, by all means, buy from Europe.
    I use a fountain pen and a paper planner - paperinkplan.wordpress.com

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    Default Re: How do American retailers stay in business?!

    I almost exclusively do. I think I've only bought my first 3 pens from US retailers (Pilot Metro, Lamy Safari, Pilot 823). The rest have been bought elsewhere.

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    Default Re: How do American retailers stay in business?!

    The Pelikan distributor in the US, Chartpak is the one who puts a very large markup in place, which forces the US based retailer (who must buy from Chartpak) to adjust their pricing upwards to make a reasonable profit. And like someone mentioned, they can't discount to heavily with repercussions. The dealers can't buy directly from Pelikan.

    Joshua of The Pelikans Perch blog has done extensive research on this topic and published a very good article on it. Http://thepelikansperch.com


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    Brad "Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind" - Rudyard Kipling

    "None of us can have as many virtues as the fountain-pen, or half its cussedness; but we can try." - Mark Twain

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    Default Re: How do American retailers stay in business?!

    Quote Originally Posted by Runnin_Ute View Post
    The Pelikan distributor in the US, Chartpak is the one who puts a very large markup in place, which forces the US based retailer (who must buy from Chartpak) to adjust their pricing upwards to make a reasonable profit. And like someone mentioned, they can't discount to heavily with repercussions. The dealers can't buy directly from Pelikan.

    Joshua of The Pelikans Perch blog has done extensive research on this topic and published a very good article on it. Http://thepelikansperch.com
    Another good reason to purchase from Cult Pens where an M1000 can be had for $405.00 with free shipping to the US. Save about 3-400 dollars for a trip across the pond. That puts the Pelikan flagship pen at a less expensive price than a used M1000 bought in the US.

    At that price, it may be in my future.

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    Default Re: How do American retailers stay in business?!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Szanto View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by NobleSixSeven View Post
    People donít become millionaires by not caring what they spend.
    Some people are born into it, some marry into it. Most of those people likely don't give a flying fuck about how much they spend.
    I've heard and even used worse language, but I think there's something sordid about the presence of that sort of profanity on a forum that's not primarily a hangout for say, punk rockers or people with Tourette's Syndrome.
    Quid rides? Mutato nomine de te fabula narratur. ó Horace
    (What are you laughing at? Just change the name and the jokeís on you.)

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    Default Re: How do American retailers stay in business?!

    Quote Originally Posted by calamus View Post
    I've heard and even used worse language, but I think there's something sordid about the presence of that sort of profanity on a forum that's not primarily a hangout for say, punk rockers or people with Tourette's Syndrome.
    As the largest portion of my musical career has been a 44-year stint in a major symphony orchestra, including performances in Carnegie Hall, I completely fail at being your image of a punk rocker, though I did sit in with Pearl Jam one night. Then again, I don't really care: I've written at length and with careful crafting in manners that are far more genteel and refined than you are willing to give me credit for. If the use of one word is so offensive to you, after decades and decades of this kind of puritanical nonsense being slapped down for what it is (i.e. puritanical nonsense), I can't help you. Language, like any of the communicative arts, can embrace a very wide continuum of expressive tools. To restrict descriptors to bland, mundane and inoffensive examples of locution is a fate worse than death for anyone who loves the combination of language and passionate expression.

    As of today, over 81,000 people have perished in our nation from a pandemic, and someone on the internet is worried about a 4-letter word that has been utilized for over four centuries. I remain amazed by the human species.
    "When Men differ in Opinion, both Sides ought equally to have the Advantage of being heard by the Publick;
    and that when Truth and Error have fair Play, the former is always an overmatch for the latter."

    ~ Benjamin Franklin

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    Default Re: How do American retailers stay in business?!

    Also, punk rockers and people with Tourette's can't use fountain pens now?

    Fuck that.
    Vintage. Cursive italic. Iron gall.

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    Default Re: How do American retailers stay in business?!

    Quote Originally Posted by guyy View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by NobleSixSeven View Post

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Szanto View Post

    Some people are born into it, some marry into it. Most of those people likely don't give a flying fuck about how much they spend.
    I'd wager that those people are a small minority in the millionaire category, even smaller minority of them being fountain pen owners. But then again, if you read what is said ("become" millionaires), it would exclude those born into it.
    Then again, most wealthy people were born into it. Frugality has very little to do with class mobility. Iím all for saving a few bucks on a fountain but itís not going to make me rich.
    Quote Originally Posted by Runnin_Ute View Post
    The Pelikan distributor in the US, Chartpak is the one who puts a very large markup in place, which forces the US based retailer (who must buy from Chartpak) to adjust their pricing upwards to make a reasonable profit. And like someone mentioned, they can't discount to heavily with repercussions. The dealers can't buy directly from Pelikan.

    Joshua of The Pelikans Perch blog has done extensive research on this topic and published a very good article on it. Http://thepelikansperch.com


    Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
    So arent we just lining the wallets of middlemen (ChartPak) when they provide no meaningful service? Seems like if everyone purchased overseas, the business here would suffer and Chartpak would have to reduce its markup to stay competitive.


    Quote Originally Posted by sgphoto View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Runnin_Ute View Post
    The Pelikan distributor in the US, Chartpak is the one who puts a very large markup in place, which forces the US based retailer (who must buy from Chartpak) to adjust their pricing upwards to make a reasonable profit. And like someone mentioned, they can't discount to heavily with repercussions. The dealers can't buy directly from Pelikan.

    Joshua of The Pelikans Perch blog has done extensive research on this topic and published a very good article on it. Http://thepelikansperch.com



    Another good reason to purchase from Cult Pens where an M1000 can be had for $405.00 with free shipping to the US. Save about 3-400 dollars for a trip across the pond. That puts the Pelikan flagship pen at a less expensive price than a used M1000 bought in the US.

    At that price, it may be in my future.
    +1.

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    Default Re: How do American retailers stay in business?!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Szanto View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by calamus View Post
    I've heard and even used worse language, but I think there's something sordid about the presence of that sort of profanity on a forum that's not primarily a hangout for say, punk rockers or people with Tourette's Syndrome.
    As the largest portion of my musical career has been a 44-year stint in a major symphony orchestra, including performances in Carnegie Hall, I completely fail at being your image of a punk rocker, though I did sit in with Pearl Jam one night. Then again, I don't really care: I've written at length and with careful crafting in manners that are far more genteel and refined than you are willing to give me credit for. If the use of one word is so offensive to you, after decades and decades of this kind of puritanical nonsense being slapped down for what it is (i.e. puritanical nonsense), I can't help you. Language, like any of the communicative arts, can embrace a very wide continuum of expressive tools. To restrict descriptors to bland, mundane and inoffensive examples of locution is a fate worse than death for anyone who loves the combination of language and passionate expression.

    As of today, over 81,000 people have perished in our nation from a pandemic, and someone on the internet is worried about a 4-letter word that has been utilized for over four centuries. I remain amazed by the human species.
    I studied Indo-European linguistics in college and the word you mention has been around for millennia, and persists in most IE languages. As my teacher quite memorably said, "In Indo-European you can say fuck and shit, but god forbid you should mention a bear." (In Old Church Slavic, Old High German, and Gothic, bears are referred to by euphemisms because of the speak-of-the-devil phenomenon.).

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    Default Re: How do American retailers stay in business?!

    Quote Originally Posted by calamus View Post

    I've heard and even used worse language, but I think there's something sordid about the presence of that sort of profanity on a forum that's not primarily a hangout for say, punk rockers or people with Tourette's Syndrome.
    Dude, a Tourette's reference in an aspersion?

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    Default Re: How do American retailers stay in business?!

    Well that escalated.

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    Default Re: How do American retailers stay in business?!

    Quote Originally Posted by guyy View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by NobleSixSeven View Post

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Szanto View Post

    Some people are born into it, some marry into it. Most of those people likely don't give a flying fuck about how much they spend.
    I'd wager that those people are a small minority in the millionaire category, even smaller minority of them being fountain pen owners. But then again, if you read what is said ("become" millionaires), it would exclude those born into it.
    Then again, most wealthy people were born into it. Frugality has very little to do with class mobility. Iím all for saving a few bucks on a fountain but itís not going to make me rich.
    Quote Originally Posted by Runnin_Ute View Post
    The Pelikan distributor in the US, Chartpak is the one who puts a very large markup in place, which forces the US based retailer (who must buy from Chartpak) to adjust their pricing upwards to make a reasonable profit. And like someone mentioned, they can't discount to heavily with repercussions. The dealers can't buy directly from Pelikan.

    Joshua of The Pelikans Perch blog has done extensive research on this topic and published a very good article on it. Http://thepelikansperch.com


    Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
    Quote Originally Posted by KBeezie View Post
    Well that escalated.
    Gotta love a train being derailed.

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    Default Re: How do American retailers stay in business?!

    Quote Originally Posted by NobleSixSeven View Post


    Gotta love a train being derailed.
    The little engine that could(n't).



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    Default Re: How do American retailers stay in business?!

    I know actually wonder how much pen shops make from actual pen sales vs. stationary and related paraphernalia.

    For example: a bar makes almost no money selling high end liquor. They make money selling well liquor because the mark up percentage is immense by comparison. Same goes for beer, the profit from a bud light is going to be higher as a percentage, even though that fancy IPA costs the consumer more.

    By comparison, I reckon that inks, paper, journals, and up-to-$40-pens are the real bread and butter of a pen shop and the expensive pens are just for the prestige.

    Not that they don't make money in other ways, but I was in TŁbingen, Germany last year and stopped in at the Fritz-Schimpf stationary store (highly recommend) and had the goal of getting the Pelikan M700 as a trip souvenir (I also lived there for years and had very few mementos from that time). Their pen section had some nice pens out, but they were mostly the standard lineup. When I asked if they had more, they pulled out the real fancy pens, including the M700 and M900. Did they make money on that purchase? Sure. Do they make much more on all the other stuff? You bet.

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    Default Re: How do American retailers stay in business?!

    Bud Lite isn't beer!!!LOL!!!!!

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    Default Re: How do American retailers stay in business?!

    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Naill View Post
    Bud Lite isn't beer!!!LOL!!!!!
    By all definitions is certainly is. Most brewers have a great deal of respect for the Bud/Miller/Coors facilities. The ability to make billions of gallons of the same product every year is nothing to smirk at. Besides, I would reach for a cold fizzy Coors over a White Claw each and every time.

    All that is besides the point: the cheap swill on draft is often what makes a bar its money, be it Coors or Carlsberg.

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