Buyer's Guide

Can I pre-order an item that's out of stock?

Sorry, we don’t accept preorders for out-of-stock items, for many reasons. There's nothing worse than thinking you've got a product reserved for you, only to find out it was oversold and you won't actually get it. Sometimes the orders that we place with our manufacturers get shorted, and we don't receive as much as we initially were promised. If this happens when we've already sold all of our allotment, then we would have over-committed to you if we'd taken a preorder. And that just stinks.

Delays also happen all the time, across all brands. There are some products that we carry that have been delayed, literally, by more than a year before their release. But it's not just limited to new products; we have regularly available products that are backordered to us for months at a time. Taking a pre-order in that situation means that you'd be waiting for us all that time, and that is just not ideal for anyone.

Damage in shipping is also a risk for orders coming from our manufacturers. It's rare, but sometimes we're anticipating a big order of a new product and we receive it to find that 1/4 of it is crunched, wet, or defective in some manner. Then what? If we already sold it all, then we have some explaining to do to a group of disappointed (and likely angry) customers. Nope, we like to get things in hand, inspect them for quality, make sure we know exactly how many we have, then sell them.

What it all boils down to is that we just can't logistically manage preorders while maintaining the level of customer service that we're known for. Many retailers do preorders, and it is tempting for us because it seemingly provides a better service for the eager buyer. But because of the many exceptions that we see happen every day with our suppliers, it's actually in all our customers' best interest for us to withhold from taking any preorders and only commit to selling what we know we have, once we physically have it.

How do I redeem a gift card?

Yippee for you! Time to go shopping. Place items in your cart, and at checkout you'll have an opportunity to enter in your gift code at the payment screen. If you've misplaced it, send us an email at and we'll help you out.

How do I purchase a gift card?

Gift certificates are perfect presents for fountain pen enthusiasts. You can purchase gift certificates directly from our site by clicking the "Gift Card" link in our footer, or by hovering over the "Specials" button in our top navigation bar and clicking "Gift Cards".

How do I find a product?

With almost four thousand products on our site, it’s still easy to find the product you’re looking for with our internal search engine. Just type your keywords in the search box in the upper left corner.

We’ve also created custom comparison tools to help you find your perfect pen, paper and ink:
The Swab Shop has color-corrected ink swatches that you can sort by brand or color.
The Nib Nook compares nib width by viewing writing samples.
The Pen Plaza allows you to view and compare the size and shape of all of our pens.

If you still have any trouble locating a product, feel free to contact us for assistance.

Do you sell ink samples?

Yes, we sure do! We offer them individually at this time. If you like the element of surprise, we also offer a "Surprise Me!" random ink sample, sold individually or as part of a discounted package set.