Hey, sucker, have I got a pen for you!05/29/2009
Buying online does have risks and sometimes I think of a smiling huckster in an alley opening his trench coat to reveal dozens of dazzling fountain pens, every one a fake but oh so shiny. Ha!
Certainly the majority of online sellers are honest and legitimate. Unless you’re looking to score a Mont Blanc for $1.95, most new pens are safe to purchase. It’s the used and vintage pens that bring out the cheaters. It also is fertile ground for careless sellers who may or may not be know they are selling damaged goods. Case in point.
Here’s a nib image posted by a seller a few months ago.
The pen took two weeks to arrive and to my dismay the nib had problems along with other undisclosed issues. So I returned it at my expense of course. Recently the pen turned up for sale again but with a new nib photo plus a neat little warning to “enlarge the pics to see the condition of this pen.”
This time the pen sold for 60% less than what I paid for it. At least the seller did the right thing the second time around.
So caveat emptor, pen friends. There are fair deals out there but a few unfair ones, too. Look closely, very closely, and ask questions. I’ve scored a few sweet vintage pens online and you can, too. But be prepared to land a few failures. It just seems to go with the territory. Return the bad ones if you can. If you can’t, toss the loser in the pen box. One day you might discover it’s turned into buried treasure and become just the thing to satisfy your newest pen craving.