Monday, September 16th, 2013

Ink Samples: Yes or No?



Since few brick and mortar stores carry a wide variety of fountain pen inks, many people rely on online reviews written by fellow enthusiasts to help determine which colors might be right for them. If you are interested in several different shades of a single color or multiple colors overall, it can get pricey to order everything you want without really knowing if you will like them once you see them in person. One great way to try a lot of inks for a small amount of money would be to order ink samples from a retailer or arrange for a swap from the kind folks on the forums over at The Fountain Pen Network.

Have you found any inks you *love* by first purchasing or swapping samples?

Image courtesy of lancepinto on Instagram

8 thoughts on “Ink Samples: Yes or No?

  1. I’ve fallen for almost *all* of my current ink supply based on samples. I’ve purchased at least 80 samples from Goulet Pens. I can’t understand anyone NOT using samples given the prices for bottles and the inaccuracy of even the most calibrated scans…

    Plus, they are just fun to play with.

  2. Count me as another who doesn’t buy samples.

    Whenever you buy something from Goulet Pens, the invoice includes a thank you signed with a fountain pen and identifying the ink. Thank you notes in Bay State Blue, Diamine Apple Glory, and in Yama Budo led me to buy those inks.

  3. I personally have never bought an ink sample, but I can see why people would. Oftentimes ink and pens interact with each other in different ways – some nibs might show great shading in a particular ink while some may be to dry for a particular pen. it’s a good idea to try something to see if it works for you first.

  4. I love the idea of ink samples and am so happy that more on-line retailers are now offering them. I like to use a variety of different colored inks so the samples are a perfect solution for me. I don’t use a huge amount of ink and buying 2-3 vials of one color will last me a while. I do have a few bottles of ink but more often than not I look to my samples.

  5. I fell in love with the Iroshizuku inks from based on samples purchased from one of the better known ink retailers on the ‘net. I never would have spent $28 a bottle on ink prior to trying them, but after I did, I was hooked. Most of the time, though, I just buy it. So far, I only have two inks that I’ve purchased that I just couldn’t stand.

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