One of the things new FP users seem to learn pretty quickly is that buying online from a foreign retailer is not so different to buying from a local online retailer, and once that door has been opened, it enables them to scour pen shops from around the world in search of the best deal. For the last few years, lots of US enthusiasts found that the Pilot Falcon – a common grail pen for beginners – was available for less than US$100 from discount Japanese exporters like Engeika, compared to a list price of $160 at home. This was an irresistible deal – as demonstrated by the many proud posts on reddit and Instagram – and it created a culture of importation and arbitrage. From 2015, however, the import price on the Falcon has jumped up to $150, eliminating the appeal of importation, and leaving some people scratching their heads about why Pilot would want to do this

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