Writing Samples

Someone in FPB raised the subject of writing samples.  Not many sellers do them, it seems.  There could be a couple of reasons for that: if your writing is a chicken-scratch you might be reluctant to expose it, though I would have thought a cross-hatch illustration of line width might still help.  Also, if your customer base is collectors rather than writers it might be a bit pointless.

Admittedly we all write differently and this can affect how the pen performs.  Different inks and papers can make a big difference.  My own view is that with all its shortcomings, a writing sample still gives an idea of the line a nib would produce under normal writing circumstances.  I think it’s better to provide a writing sample and from the feedback I get from my customers, many find it helpful.

What do you think?

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About goodwriterspens
I restore fountain pens, and used to trade as redripple52 in eBay. I also have my own fountain pen sales website, www.goodwriterssales.com

10 Responses to Writing Samples

  1. Mehdi says:

    Hello Deb,
    I do find your writing samples useful. As you correctly pointed out they are important to those who will write with the pen they acquire. When I get a new pen I try to hold the pen in such a way that it writes smoothly. Previous users leave their mark on the nib and sometimes that means I may have to hold the pen in a slightly different grip to get the best performance. But that adds to the character of the pen.
    I have noticed some websites saying they do not provide writing samples, perhaps for all those reasons you mentioned. But that is not very helpful for me. Indeed I have some pens which are beautiful but unfortunately don’t write. By writing with the pen themselves, the seller knows that they are selling something which would be satisfying to the buyer because it does what it is meant to do.
    So please carry on with your practice if you can. It certainly helps me because I know that it has been tested and when you say it writes well, you know that it does.
    Kind regards.

  2. Claire says:

    Sure is helpful.

  3. Rui says:

    Absolutely right.

    Even though I mainly buy pens for collection I always use them when they reach me until I buy another one and I would be annoyed if they did not write properly.

  4. The addition of a writing sample to an online description of a pen adds enormously to the meaning of that description. Reading the description often provides a great deal of information about the condition of the pen, but a writing sample confirms that the pen, whether purchased for purposes of use or collection, or perhaps both, in fact can perform its basic function as a writing instrument and how that pen does it. I salute you for providing the writing samples!

  5. Stuart says:

    I find the writing sample extremely helpful though most medium nibs are unsurprisingy alike. There are those other nibs that produce a line noticeably unique for one reason or another. It makes a significant difference in my buy or not decision.

  6. CC Barton says:

    I buy pens to use and prefer a lot of flex, so I always find them useful, even if it’s just a series of Xs to gauge the line width potential.

  7. Writing samples are very helpful. Good photos and a video demo, if available, are also a benefit.

  8. Caleb J. says:

    I find it very helpful to have a sample, even with all of its possible shortcomings. A sample at least gives an idea of width, flex, &c. Thank you for providing them!

  9. Philip Akin says:

    The thing about a writing sample is that it shows that the pen does indeed write. If there is an issue with the tipping that will also come out. I wonder if those who don’t want to provide samples are trying to up their buyer beware quotient.

    • Few, if any, of the older pen sales sites do writing samples. Perhaps no-one thought of it when they were setting up their sites and no space has been allocated to add samples. Too big a job to change it now. Or perhaps they’re working on their buyer beware quotient.

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