Thursday, April 12, 2007

Online Retailers

I’m rather unsure about all of this. On the one hand I don’t want to commercialise my blog and I’ve made sure not to previously mention any retailers, I don’t have any ads on my blog, etc. On the other hand, quite a few people ask me about retailers, and there are a few retailers I would like to mention – for better and for worse.

I’ve dealt with a lot of online retailers, and most are satisfactory, average, OK, all those sort of words. But a few are different, so here goes.

The Good Ones
I’ve dealt with these folk more than once. I’d recommend them anytime. No comment about their pricing, product range, etc but if you are looking for customer service people that respond to questions, people that won’t rip you off, people that will fix up their mistake in the unlikely event they make one, then:-

The Bad Ones
I’ve had the misfortune to deal with these folk more than once too. Maybe I’m a sucker for punishment, but I guess anyone can make a mistake, everyone deserves a second chance. Well these folk had theirs, maybe even a third chance.

“The foul bitter aftertaste of poor service lingers long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten.”

  • I did have a retailer listed here. However, a couple of years have now passed since I last dealt with them, and they might have improved, so I don't think it's fair to continue to list them without a current evaluation of their performance.

Helpful Folk
Well actually I haven’t bought anything from these people, but they’re helpful communicative types so I’m pretty sure one day they’ll end up on ‘The Good Ones’ list.

Disclaimer: Just for the record, these opinions are my own, from my own personal experience. No one paid me for anyone to appear on this page, but in the past I have had some inexpensive freebies or discounts from two of them, but only as part of an on-going relationship between a retailer and a (good?) customer.

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Henrik said...

Hi Dave,
My experiences with this kind of shopping is somewhat mixed - a list of reliable online retailers can only be a good thing.
Might I suggest "Pendemonium" ( for the vintage department? They carry some odd vintage leads as well - and their service is excellent.

Anonymous said...

Do you know where to get a Bic criterium 2mm 2603/2613 leadholder NO ONE SELLS IT outside of france
odd since it's France's NATION mechanical pencil

Spilt_milk said... for erasers and the ohto super promecha these are the only 2 on the net that sellem cept maybe ebay

Anonymous said...

Buying in Europe (former is a good and reliable place to buy from if you're in Europe. I've bought my Lamy 2000 MP + BP, a Lamy Accent, and a Caran'd'Ache Ecridor from them and been happy with the prices and service. (In case you don't speak German just do a search for 'bleistift')

Max said...

Adding to my previous post mentioning in Germany, I've also bought from Cult Pens in the UK since. Both shops have excellent delivery times and good service. I can recommend both.
I think mypens are better for luxury pens whereas Cult Pens are better for more down to earth, everyday, workhorse pencils. Cult Pens is a must visit (click) for Pentel fans based in Europe. Mypens is a good place to order replacement erasers if you've lost it.

Patrick said...

Just bought a couple of relatively inexpensive (Lamy Safari) from Goldspot. After placing the order I decided to change the nib size. All it took was an email and the sales rep was very helpful. The pens arrived pretty quickly, exactly as I wanted.

Food, she thought. said...

Hi Dave!

I am about to make the conversion from pen to mechanical pencil, starting sometime before January 1. I was inspired primarily by my 2009 organizer and a desire to have it stay looking nice, henceforth needing to write with something erasable.

I am hoping for pen advice. I like to use flowing ink, in a medium point. So I am wondering what size lead I would enjoy using. I typically like a slightly harder lead with a thinner point, like a freshly sharpened point.

Any thoughts?

kiwi-d said...

Hello Food...your blog looks quite tasty. From your description I would say 0.5mm, maybe 0.7mm will suit you. You should be able to try some out at a large sationery store. Eventually you will need to experiment and decide upon a lead brand and hardness as well. If you you like smooth flowing ink then maybe B or 2B lead will suit. Contact me on my email address up in the blog header if you want.

Anonymous said...

Hey Dave, I'm looking for a relatively inexpensive mechanical pencil called the Otho series. You have it on your site I believe. I live in Germany and was able to find it on a website called manufactum, but they are sold out and I can't find it anywhere else for sale. I also looked at the recommended sites you suggested and still nothing. I really would like to purchase this pencil. Any other ideas? Thanks for the help.

kiwi-d said...

Sorry, no idea. Cultpens have some Ohto but presumably not the one you want as you say you've looked.

Jay said...


Great blog! Wondering if any of you might be able to help me. I lived in Taiwan for a couple of years and fell in love with the Pentel S475 - great weight and size. Problem is that I cant seem to find it online or in any store in New York. Have any ideas?