Saturday, 12 May 2012

Pick-a-Pen Series: Jet Pens

Carrie Bailey writes about her favorite pen store. Carrie is an editor and writer on hiatus, a coffee addict and conversationalist from Oregon, finishing a Master's of Information Studies.

JET PENS by Carrie Bailey

As a writer, I’ve spent half my life with a pen in one hand and a coffee in the other. Lately, I’ve been drawing cartoons for The Handbook of the Writer Secret Society, an anthology published by the Peevish Penman Press. I have to confess I don’t put enough thought into which pen I use when I start working on an idea. This is thoughtless, because our society firmly adheres to the belief that the pen is mightier than the sword. I’ve been rectifying my oversight by sifting through the Palimpsest archives. Even though the reviews for products on Palimpsest are compelling and I know my taste in pens can be juvenile and thoroughly un-sophisticated, I realize I’ve made it easy for myself by being loyal to one vendor I trust and enjoy buying from: Jet Pens.

Jet Pens is my candy store. I must admit, I cannot resist the colors and style of Japanese pens. Whether I want a Pilot Capless Ballpoint Pen, more Zebra Mildliner Soft Color double--sided Highlighters, or another shade of 122KCal Roll Pencil Cases (yes, I have two), I hardly need an excuse to browse the Jet Pens’ website. Their simple design interface and all the color thrill me. Jet Pens is the only non-domestic retailer for some of the Japanese products they sell, but they even ship to New Zealand where I live currently. When I used to live in the U.S. and South America, I was also impressed with the Jet Pens service: no slow-loading pages, prompt delivery, and timely response to my questions about other vendor’s products.

I’ve been doing too much traveling, but I still believe that an online vendor needs to compete with the experience of being in an actual store, where I am able to test the product and where a sales person is ready and waiting behind the counter. I get that feeling when I buy from Jet Pens.

Loyalty is a hard thing to earn for an online business, but every time I’ve contacted the company, the person at the other end of the communication channel is someone who truly appreciates my writing experience. I can buy pens from JetPens and feel confident I will get quality. It doesn’t matter what I reach for when I draw or write, because I buy from my favorite pen store and I never bought a pen from them that I didn’t like. Also, I think the little green Jet Pen logo is cute.


  1. Thanks, Carrie and Palimpsest, for another look at Jet Pens. It's been a good outfit for me, and I'm not particularly comfortable with online purchasing. Good luck with your writing. Jack/USA

  2. Hi Jack, glad you liked it. It's actually one of less than five places I've ever purchased online from. I understand.

  3. This makes me want to see some of their pens. Another reason is to make their little mascot fly around on his pen.

  4. Carrie, I've made maybe twenty or thirty online purchases of writing gear the past three years from about a dozen retailers, all without incident. My anxiety's probably a little misplaced, but online purchasing still feels awkward to me. (Awkward as in: "Why do I have to place a USD $25 order for a mechanical pencil and 4B leads from a retailer 2500 miles from me?").

    Off-topic a bit, Carrie, my hat's off to Palimpsest and some of her links for some of the more extraordinary reading I've done the past year. Erudite; meditative; and, in my opinion, gutsy. I don't think I've heard the name of Giorgio de Chirico, e. g., or that earl with the bawdy verse (Rochester?) uttered informally outside an academic setting. Also, my knowledge of London and the UK is books 'n' television quality only, but some of the posts are so detailed or strongly persuasive, I have the feeling of being "right there". Credit where it's due.

    Again, Carrie, good luck with your writing. Jack/USA

  5. Jack, thank you for your kind words about Palimpsest, and for being such a loyal reader. I'm glad that you share some of Palimpsest's interests and been enjoying the posts. Looking forward to your contributions...

  6. Maybe you're right about the misplacement of concern, Jack, but I have had a few bad experiences buying online. On the other hand, I know you're right about Palimpsest. I find content here I've been looking for everywhere.

  7. Thanks, Carrie. I've done well with online purchasing of writing gear. Elsewhere, I've made blunders. Haste, unwillingness to consider substitutes, unfamiliarity with product or retailer, etc., have contributed to my purchasing at times overpriced junk. Online customer and FPN reviews have been a help with writing gear.

    Thanks, also, for seconding my thoughts about Palimpsest and its links. There's a lot of intellectual/literary brio--at least in my opinion--outside academe and traditional writing outlets. Jack/USA