Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Try Before You Buy? Ink Samples Now Available!

I can’t tell you how many times that I have bought a bottle of fountain pen ink after reviewing a seller's online color chart, only to end up disappointed when the ink finally arrived. Imperfections in computer monitor calibration or the inability to assess the shading or flow characteristics of whatever ink I’m considering are among the major problems with buying fountain pen ink over the internet. I've often thought how nice it would be if I could only get my hands on a small sample of the ink to try for myself before committing to a purchase.

With the introduction of The Pear Tree Pen Company's new new ink sample program, now you can. The program is really very simple: You can choose up to 4 different inks in any of the nearly 400 shades in stock. The approximately 1cc samples are packaged in a small vial, which are then vacuum sealed to prevent leaks. When they arrive in the mail, you should have more than enough ink to be able to decide whether you like the ink.

To help defray the costs of postage and packaging materials, there is a nominal fee of $2.95, which can be paid with PayPal for your convenience. I also accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express, so you can pay with your credit card if you want. There is absolutely no obligation to buy anything.

To help keep costs down and to prevent abuse, each person is limited to 4 samples of ink per month. If, however, you buy any bottled ink before that time is up, I'll reset the clock, so to speak, so you can request another 4 samples.

The Pear Tree Pen Company attempts to stock the complete line of all inks it carries. Currently, we carry bottled inks from Aurora, Diamine, J. Herbin, Lamy, Noodler's, Pelikan, Private Reserve, Sailor, Waterman, Visconti. We also carry the new line of Caran D'Ache "Colors of the Earth" series of bottled fountain pen ink, which comes packaged in a beautiful glass inkwell.

This pilot program will be run on a trial basis for a month or two. If response is good and I don’t lose my shirt (or my mind!), I’ll keep it going. If I’m mistaken and the feedback I get suggests the pen community does not think this is a valuable program, I’ll discontinue it.

I apologize to my many international customers, but during the trial period, I can only ship samples to the continental United States. I will, however, evaluate the pros and cons of shipping ink samples internationally and make a decision in the near future.

To see the complete selection of inks that are currently in stock, visit this link to the "Ink & Refills" section of the Pear Tree Pen Company's website.

Thanks for stopping by!

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