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The Shrinking Pen Community

10/02/2011

In the past few days, three pen retailers closed their doors. Many of you know that Pear Tree Pens closed its doors on September 30th. I learned tonight that Oscar Braun Pens run by Pam Braun and Swisher Pens run by Chuck Swisher also closed. I hope they will find a way to return but for now, the community is diminished by their absence.

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17 comments

  1. On the other hand, Goulet Pens is thriving and growing. They just recently moved to a bigger space. I wonder what separates the winners from the failures.

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    • Jet Pens, Art Brown, Nibs.com, Richard’s Pens, HisNibs.com, Goldspot Pens, Fountain Pen Hospital, Pendemonium, PenTime, ISellPens, SpeerBob, etc., are still open so plenty of sources remain. (Most of these pen purveyors are linked in the sidebar.) PTP and Braun closed for personal reasons. I do not know why Swisher closed but his is the only shop that I knew was struggling. Hopefully, he will have a presence at pen shows and continue to participate in the community.

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  2. I have had the pleasure of doing business with all three. They will be sorely missed, and wish them the very best.

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  3. I knew Pear Tree was closing and felt very sad. Now to hear that Oscar Braun and Swisher Pens are gone makes me feel devastated. I enjoy the Swisher monthly newsletter, but I must have missed the notice of closure, or was it very sudden.

    This is what I get for not keeping my nose in FPN and other sources.

    Thanks for posting, they will all be missed!

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  4. I think commercials like this don’t help: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VdjOTWByX2w

    …sorry, didn’t realize pen + paper = Neanderthal.

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  5. I knew that Pam was shutting down and I knew about Pear Tree – but Swisher? that is a shock!

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    • Julie, maybe Swisher will reinvent his business or maybe his website is malfunctioning. But he does appear to have closed his Internet doors. Pam was the bigger shock to me but her decision to close has to do with taking care of family. That’s a whole different matter and very admirable.

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  6. This is bad –I have done a lot of business with Swisher — always dependable

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  7. I’m sad to see them close, but I agree with you about those sellers who are closing for family or personal reasons vs. just the economy.

    @Catherine – Every time I see that commercial I get angry…

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  8. I got word of Pear Tree’s closing in time to get some ink, but I too am shocked to hear Swisher’s is gone. I’ve had wonderful customer service from both of them. They will be missed greatly – especially when I get my travel reimbursement checks.

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  9. Sorry to hear about Pam—she had amazing prices and unbelievably fast service. What a shame. That ebay commercial is quite stupid.

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  10. I knew Mr. Swisher was closing his shoppe because of low traffic. And I have finally found all my old pens and now have a car, so was hoping to drive to him for ink, etc. I don’t know how to do online stuff, part fear and being easily rattled. Finally found an old bottle of Shaeffers Ink, but can’t get it open. Any suggestions?

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    • My first ink order was to Pendemonium many years ago. You could call Frank and Sam rather than use the Internet if that would make you more comfortable. Just review what’s on the site first so you have an idea of what you want. They’ve forgotten more about ink then I will even know.

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  11. Too bad. I did business with them for years. Mostly online, but i visited their store twice. I actually have (had) a credit balance with the store!

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    • Swisher? Sad day when they closed up shop.

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  12. The first pen that caught our eye was Stipula Etruria with the gold oak leaves, but then they stopped selling here. So, I just made my pen purchases at auction or in Europe. A cartolerlia in Palermo near the Teatro Politeama-Garibaldi is especially well stocked, efficient and friendly. Joon was often less welcoming.

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    • What a handsome pen! There is no substitute for getting one’s hands on a pen prior to purchase, but for many of us auctions and online shopping are all that is available. At least we have that.

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