Iroshizuku Price Increase + An Inky Poll05/20/2010
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.