Pelikan Pricing

Over at the Pelikan’s Perch, Dr Danley had an interesting post recently, where he points out that Pelikan prices are unexpectedly falling in the US. You’ve probably seen the post, along with some of the discussion it’s prompted, but I’d recommend having a read if you haven’t already. And if you’re not already subscribed to his blog, you should rectify that while you’re there! Then come back here, as his post has got me thinking. 

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The Economics of Limited Editions (Part 1)

It seems like limited edition offerings are popping up more and more these days, in both pens (at every price point) and inks. Lately, there has also been some discussion online about whether limited edition products are worth the premium prices that they seem to command. So I thought it would be interesting to explore the economics of limited edition products: this week, we’ll look at the demand side of the market and, next week, we’ll look at supply. 

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Brand Analysis: Staedtler

Some readers might recall a post that I published early on in the blog's history, where I categorised all of the fountain pen brands according to how competitive they were. At the time, Staedtler had recently entered the market and I wasn’t terribly impressed by their pens or their business. Six months on, they are more established in the market and today, I thought it was time to take a fresh look at their strategy, their chances of success, and what other entrants could learn from them.

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Status Symbols

In the last couple of weeks, there has been an interesting post on reddit and a couple of comments on this blog discussing why people are willing to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on a single fountain pen. This is a topic people often ask about, particularly those who have recently moved into the hobby and are (understandably) a bit staggered at the prices that are sometimes paid. A lot of people respond to these discussions by saying that expensive pens aren’t any better quality than mid-range pens, and concluding that they are being bought primarily as status symbols. The premiss of this claim seems completely wrong to me, and so the conclusion doesn’t follow. In today’s post, we’ll have a look at why I feel this way. 

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Fountain Pen Aesthetics (Part 1)

This week, I’ve decided to do something a little different. Today’s post will be the first in a five-part series that has been in the works for quite a while, and will delve into the philosophy of aesthetics and how it relates to the fountain pen world. This won’t be for everyone: there won’t be any economics, but there will be plenty of art, history, linguistics, and philosophy. As the full length of this essay will be substantial — around 7000 words — I’ve decided to serialise it, with a post each day for the next week. On Saturday, I’ll merge everything together as one contiguous post and re-open the comments

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