Iroshizuku Price Increase + An Inky Poll


Actually, it is more accurate to say that Pilot is demanding retailers adhere to the company’s pricing structure of $35 retail. A 20% discount is being offered at some stores dropping the price to $28 but I don’t know how long that will continue.

The good news is that more companies are offering Iroshizuku so availability has greatly improved. In the past Jet Pens had the best deal at $22.50 with free U.S. shipping for orders over $25. Two bottles for $45 neat is as good as it gets stateside but that will end this month. So if price is a factor in your ink purchases, load up while you can.

Much as I like Iroshizuku, whether for its lovely colors or its other fine properties, there are many terrific inks on the market at a fraction of the cost. So don’t feel left out if  this high priced ink doesn’t fit your budget or your sense of value for money. I’ve been exploring Rohrer & Klingner recently and to a lesser extent De Atramentis*. So far I am very happy with R&K and count three colors amongst my new favorites. DeA is a huge line and I’ve only tried a few but have already found two that are great colors for my collection. Do read my remarks below before purchasing this brand.

No doubt you can find many suitable inks without forking over the price of a Lamy AL-Star fountain pen just for a single bottle. Or you can buy three bottles of an ink with less cachet and a more utilitarian shape for the retail price of a single bottle of Iroshizuku. Well, if you love ink, isn’t that the part that counts?

*There might be an issue with contamination of some De Atramentis inks as discussed at Fountain Pen Network today. I am not ready to condemn the line on the basis of one report extensively documented though it may be. I will post if/when I learn more.

However, based on that one report, I examined two samples of Stihlblau, a color I really love, and found one to be fine while the other has particles in it. Since they are samples and could have been contaminated by handling, this is not a condemnation. But it is a caveat emptor situation.


  1. Pilot is free to charge what they want for their ink. I am equally free to not buy it. I think I will pick up one or two other colors before the price goes up, but I wouldn’t pay more for it. It’s not that much better than the competition.


  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by mabeloos, Adrian Hall. Adrian Hall said: RT @inkophile: New at Inkophile: Iroshizuku Price Increase + An Inky Poll at http://wp.me/pfSKv-wb […]


  3. I just stocked up on Iroshizuku inks before I knew there would be a price increase. Some of the bottles I got were actually gifts. Glad I got the ones I wanted before the price increase. I will have to think about paying over $25 for a bottle in the future.


  4. Agreed that Pilot is welcome to charge what the market will bear. I can’t buy these inks as they are too expensive. I worry that the popularity of these inks will set a trend for higher ink prices in general. Then, I’m pretty simple when it comes to my inks. Pens are another matter!🙂


    • As long as J. Herbin, Rohrer & Klingner, Diamine and Noodler’s remain under $15, there will be plenty of color choices to keep most of us happy. I agree though. Pens are another matter.🙂


  5. As much as I like the Iroshizuku inks there are just too many other great inks out there for me to purchase any more at the new higher price. I will use what I have and then move on. Of course, that could be a while considering the 61 bottles of ink (of all brands) that I need to use up.


    • Bottles of ink are worse than potato chips!


  6. I have never purchased a fountain pen and converter before (though I own one fountain pen, I don’t think it’s a good candidate for a converter) and I’m curious how to get started? I have followed your lovely blog for awhile, and looked in your links at the side, but didn’t find a “getting started/ink for beginners” sort of guide for a first pen. Do you have any suggestions, or should I just take the plunge?


    • Thanks for dropping by Inkophile. Check out Bargains for Beginners or Best Bets Under $50 for information on getting started. One of my first inks was Waterman Blue-Black and I still use it in my vintage pens. It is a bit changeable but has a definite green-blue look to it. My current favorite black is J. Herbin Perle Noire. There are too many blue inks to mention but I’d recommend starting with an ink from Pelikan, Parker, Waterman, Sheaffer or J. Herbin. These are some of the most commonly available and well-behaved brands, perfect for a new inkophile.


  7. Oh good, because “Under $50” sounds about right. Thanks very much for taking the time to read and answer my comment!


  8. Inkophile,

    What is your source for the fact that Pilot will be enforcing Iroshizuku pricing? Am I missing a link in your post somewhere?


  9. Thanks for that link, Inkophile. Certainly straight from the horse’s mouth!


  10. Horizontal price fixing? Classy move from pilot there.


  11. […] I know  many of us were price out of the ink at $22.50, so $35 or even $28 is just way beyond the amount many of us are willing to pay.  Many […]


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