Category Archives: Shopping

Goulet Pen Company

At the bottom of most of my product reviews, you see an affiliate link to Amazon.com. In general, however, this is not where I originally purchased the item I am reviewing. It’s there simply as a quick link to the product for people who may want to order it like, RIGHT NOW.

As I’ve noted in other blog entries, I support shopping locally. Fairbanks, Alaska, where I live, has a great store in If Only…, where I will often grab pens, inks and paper. It is my favorite local store.

But sometimes I want something that they may not have in stock. In those cases I tend to order from the Goulet Pen Company. I swear, if they had an affiliate program, I’d replace that Amazon link in an instant! I absolutely love this company.

Located in Ashland, Virginia (a few miles north of Richmond), the company is primarily an online retailer. I’m not even sure if you can shop at the Ashland location. Their inventory includes pens from many manufacturers, as well as paper, inks and other writing accessories. Overall, they have a great and varied selection.

Customer service and shipping are top notch. I’ve placed three orders from the company so far and each has arrived meticulously packed (you can see some photos below). A personal note is written on each packing slip using one of the inks they have for sale, which they identify. Only rarely have I seen this level of detail and care from a company. Each package also contains a bookmark with the company information, a small card and, for the sweet tooth, a Tootsie pop. What more could you ask for!

So, while I do encourage people to shop locally first, if you can’t find something you are looking for, or if you are interested in a more varied selection, check out Goulet Pen Company.

Goulet Pens Package

A typical package, well padded!

Goulet Pens Wrapped Package

Oooooh, bubblewrap. My inner child is soooo tempted.

Goulet Pens Wrapped Package

Final layer of this onion. A tight plastic wrap prevents things from moving around.

 

 

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Filed under General Ideas, Shopping

A Word About Shopping Local

You will notice that at the end of every product review, I have a link to the item on Amazon. This is an affiliate link. I use these for two reasons. First, it makes me giddy to think that a small blog dedicated to a hobby I share with lots of people has the prospect, however unlikely, of earning some cash. Second, I think it is handy to provide people with a simple way to purchase whatever has been written about.

But before you click those links, take a moment to consider purchasing the item locally. I cannot think of a town that does not have at least one stationary shop. Even if you have to go to a big box store, the employees could be your friends and neighbors and your purchase helps provide their paychecks.

I know “think globally, act locally” is generally a slogan for conservation, but it works well for economics, too.

In Fairbanks, Alaska, where I live, we have a number of excellent resources for all items related to writing. Aside from the big box stores, like Fred Meyer and Office Max, we have a really amazing store called If Only. Many, if not most, of the pens and inks I review will have been purchased there.

Aside from the local economy aspect, there are a number of different bonuses to shopping local.

  1. Hands On: You get a chance to see and feel the item. Is this pen heavy or light? Will the texture of this paper work for a given project? Nothing beats the opportunity to closely examine an item you are thinking of purchasing.
  2. Personal: The knowledge a shopkeeper has can be invaluable. They can suggest alternatives and make suggestions based on your needs.
  3. Community: When out shopping, you are bound to run into others who share your interests. Get to know them. Maybe there are writer’s groups, or clubs in your area that might prove interesting.

So take a weekend and learn where these places are in your town. Bust out the phone book, or just go for a drive. Get out and have fun and if you can, shop local!

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Filed under General Ideas, Shopping