News: Pelikan Raises U.S. Prices

Pelikan M800 EF NibIn January of this year, I reported that Pelikan pens equipped with an EF nib and sold in the European Union were to experience a price increase of 10-12%.  We have since seen this in full effect across all of the releases out of Hanover this year.  What this translates into is that an EF furnished M800 cost €44 (~$50.79) more, an M600 cost €32 (~$36.94) more, and an M205 cost €10.40 (~$12.01) more than the same model equipped with an F, M, or B nib.  To add insult to injury, it’s not as if the premium price is buying anything new or improved.  So why did Pelikan single out the EF nib?  The official explanation offered was that EF nibs are popular, make up a decent portion of sales and, due to their extra fine width, take more time to produce due to the extra grinding and polishing that needs to occur for a smooth writing experience.  If that justification sounds weak, consider the alternative explanation put forth by several sources citing that the unofficial reason for this price increase was to discourage EU vendors from selling their wares to Asia.  The implication then is that the price increase represented Pelikan’s attempt to further control the market.  To date, the United States has been spared from this practice.  Perhaps that is due to the fact that U.S. customers already pay a significant premium when purchasing domestically.  Well, it appears the other shoe has finally dropped and, to the excitement of no one, Pelikan has decided to extend the EF premium across the pond with the release of the M600 Vibrant Orange.

Yes, you read that correctly.  Those of us in the United States shopping domestically are once again to be subject to an additional premium when purchasing an EF nib.  Taking that one step further, our beleaguered domestic vendors who are trying hard to compete in a global market have now been levied with yet another disadvantage.  The MSRP for the M600 Vibrant Orange in the USA will be $595 for pens equipped with an EF nib and $550 for those with an F, M, or B nib.  That $45 difference in MSRP equates to an additional $36 added to the standard retail price ($476 vs $440).  Most buyers now, regardless of your location or place of purchase, will face this gratuitous surcharge.  I presume mid-November is when this is slated to take effect as I have not seen a similar premium placed on the M800 Stone Garden due out in a couple of weeks.  It’s doubtful that the proposed increase is a one off and likely represents the direction of future pricing though only time will tell.  As I had previously suggested, you may be well advised to avoid buying stock EF nibs and instead investing in a custom grind thereby allowing you to get your desired width from a well tuned nib.  Deincentivizing cross-region sales may still be the company’s goal but I think the end result will be to further temper and cool the enthusiasm for what is clearly a luxury product.  Whether this strategy comes back to haunt the company in the future is anyone’s guess.

Pelikan M600 Vibrant Orange US Pricing

U.S. pricing for the upcoming M600 Vibrant Orange. The price increase for an EF equipped model is highlighted in yellow.

 

Will this change impact your decision to purchase a new Pelikan pen and, if so, how?  For me, I haven’t purchased an EF nib all year due to this policy and it now looks like I’ll just have to be content with the EF nibs that I already own.  I refuse to pay a premium that offers no discernible benefit or improvement to a product.  Please feel free to share your thoughts below.

37 responses

  1. I don’t currently have a Pelikan EF nib and I probably wouldn’t use one much anyway given history with other EF nibs from other brands. (Parker, Esterbrook) Though I had one on a 120 M & K until 2015 when it went walkabout….

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes, it does make me think twice. Just a few years ago I was able to get m600s for $200 less. I only buy EF nibs and the new price for a new release is at least $100 too much now. There are other brands that I like and can get for less so it will make me pick and choose which new Pelikans to buy. As far as fine nibs go, Aurora makes them better in any case.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks for sharing. It seems every year the prices get harder to swallow. That is why I buy almost exclusively from overseas and forego domestic warranty support. I can save $200+ for some of the more expensive models. That’s easy math.

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    • Indeed but I always question if there is some bleed over effect. As Pelikan raises prices on their current offerings, does that then drive up vintage demand and thereby result in a price increase on that front?

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      • You may be right. Although I think the increasing popularity of the fountain pen hobby in general and of Pelikans in particular has caused prices to increase.

        Also, vintage pens are by nature a diminishing resource, and as long as the brand is sought-after, prices will rise. If only I’d started collecting Pelikans 20, 30 years ago!

        Liked by 2 people

  3. My last EF purchase was on the M205 Olivine from a well known UK supplier. They were charging the same price for all nib options, maybe spreading the premium?

    I may have been spoiled by my Japanese nibs but this Pelikan EF writes more like a Medium!

    Pelikan’s pricing strategy has probably saved me money because I am now strictly concentrating on my main interest of the M2xx range and resisting the occasional M6xx or M8xx that takes my fancy.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I’ll have to think long and hard before buying a Pelikan ever again. I prefer an EF in Pelikans and Montblancs and F to MF in Japanese pens. Looks like Japan will be getting most of my money from now on.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I have one or two EF nibs in each size, acquired over the past few years. I will not purchase another under this kind of pricing.

    I feel badly for the US vendors though. 6 months ago I purchased a Turquoise EF from a UK vendor for $336 while most US sellers were $100 or more higher … what possible reason could I have for purchasing the new one for $595?

    Liked by 2 people

    • As I pointed out, I don’t understand how they can remain competitive. It’s as if Pelikan completely discounts the global nature of today’s world economy. I know a lack of domestic warranty support is certainly not worth the hundreds in dollars of savings otherwise.

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  6. Lamy do this as well, it may happen across the board. This is in Britain. They said the same thing about the EF taking more work to craft.

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  7. I hate when companies nickel and dime you which is what I find this is. It gives me a sour taste toward the company itslelf. My favorite pen is my Pelican M400 white tortoise and I would love another Pelikan but this may have dissuaded me from buying more of their pens. It’s the principal of the matter. Their pens are expensive enough. Do they really need to add a few extra dollars for a different nib. Stupid, IMO.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I can understand where you are coming from and it’s easy to get angry at the company. I wish they would be more transparent about their motivations. It also feels unfair to levy an increase like this in one of their largest markets that also is one of the highest priced and most poorly supported as far as the distributor goes. It’s not right to be charged $440 for an M600 in the USA only to be able to buy it for $301 in Germany.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I don’t know that this will hurt me too much, at this point. Right now, I’m all in with Pelikan in regards to collection of pens(inks are another matter). However, I’m only planning on getting a certain number and paying a certain amount. Once my cases are full, that’s it. At their prices, I’m not planning on buying another pen case. I’m dropping in pen sizes and expanding my collection of sizes to cut costs. I’m using nibmeisters as well, as I would rather pay more and get a pen that writes well and more pleasurably for my taste, while also exploring various nibs. So, yes the cost in general will keep me from buying “too many”, but the nickel and dime stuff isn’t deterring me as of yet, other than changing my strategy of collection. They are souring the romance a bit; however, no divorce is on the horizon that I can tell. Still, the collecting will one day cease, but hopefully I’ll be able to enjoy what I’ve got for a while afterwards.

    Nevertheless, I’m not above making some rash decision one day, and devoting my last pen case to another brand. Today isn’t that day though.

    Pelikan might consider offering some reward system, showing more love to their faithful buyers. Show some love Pelikan; don’t abuse our love!

    Like

    • Sounds like you’ve got a specific direction for your collection which I appreciate. Not sure that I could be as disciplined as you though. I think Pelikan does show some love a la the Hubs event, giving away almost 5000 bottles of ink and notepads. Still their pen pricing stratagem really needs to be reconsidered.

      Liked by 1 person

      • That’s good to know about the Hubs giveaways. That’s a lot of ink and paper. I don’t know how much of it is discipline and how much is greed and fear. Thanks for the great posts.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Just ordered a M400 White Tortoise (B) from The Writing Desk this weekend. Nearly $180 less than at a US dealer (nibs.com). That is including international shipping from TWD. I had come into a little bit of money unexpectedly this past week and took part of that and put it towards the pen. Only reason I was able to stretch that much. Far and away my most expensive pen. Next is my 140 I got from Rick Propas just over a year ago.

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    • That’s a great pen. I think that you’ll be very happy. Congrats. Sounds like you got a great deal as well. If I might make a suggestion, consider inking it with Rohrer & Klingner’s Alt-Goldgrun.

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      • I was thinking either Olivine or maybe KWZI 150 Confederation Brown which was the ink from the 2017 Scriptus (Toronto) Pen Show. Interesting color. Sometimes brown, sometimes murky green. I also have a bottle of KWZI El Dorado – a beautiful gold color.

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  10. Pelikan’s extra charge for their EF nibs makes me glad that I enjoy broader nibs and don’t really have a need for an EF nib. Pelikan runs the risk of alienating their customer base with this type of seemingly arbitrary price increase. If I ever decide I do want an EF nib, I will go the route of having one custom ground by a nibmeister.

    It also really irritates me that we have to pay so much more for Pelikans in the U.S. I don’t understand where this type of pricing strategy comes from. It’s galling enough that I have to seriously consider whether I really “need” that next pen.

    Liked by 1 person

    • While it seems unfair, Pelikan is not the only one to employ this type of strategy. Companies look at regions and price things according to income and a slew of other variables. Those that can afford more are often charged more. That may have been reasonable back in the day but today is such a connected global economy that, to me at least, it doesn’t make sense. That’s why I purchase almost exclusively from overseas. Even when shipping is factored in, I save on average $100 to $200 per pen. It’s a no brainer and no threat of lack of warranty from Chartpak is gonna make that a bad deal.

      Liked by 1 person

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