I cannot believe we are a week away from Thanksgiving here in the US. I feel like I was at the Baltimore Pen Show just a few weeks ago and, at the same time, I feel like 2020 has gone on for years. This means it’s the start of Gift Guide season in the blogosphere. Next Wednesday, the annual Pen Addict podcast will once again allow me to grace the digital airwaves with opinions about what should and should not be under the tree, in stockings or however one chooses to recognize the end of 2020 and the holidays that accompany that.
I’m going to pause for a second to bring your attention to two seemingly unrelated postal posts, hence the title. One is from Fountain Pen Love about receiving packages from various online pen shops and the ways they are packaged and at what point a purchase qualifies for free shipping. The second post is from the USPS news releases about the latest bump in Priority Mail shipping prices. I just want to remind people that when shops give customers free shipping, the shipping is not really free. The shop is still paying the shipping fee to the tune of a 3% mark-up higher than before plus the latest surcharge due to increased volume caused by the holidays and the pandemic. So, sure if you’re ordering a $1000+ pen, Priority Mail shipping is probably a small discount but on $35 or $50 purchase, that $8-$14 really adds up. Remember that many of these online pen shops are small, family-run businesses. And shipping is not just the postage but the cost of boxes, bubble wrap, packing material, mailing labels, and the time it takes to do all that work. Amazon and Etsy have set an unreasonable precedent with free shipping that diminishes the small profits that small businesses earn. Most of those profits get reinvested in buying or making more products to sell. Okay, I’ve said my peace. I’m hopping off my postal soap box.
For those who participated in the survey on Monday about the possibility of The Desk hosting an occasional video, YouTube won by a landslide.
(FYI: two of the votes for “I don’t want to see your face” were me and I’m sure at least one of them was a certain rabblerouser named Tony. The other 13 of you…thanks!)
And.. this video is amazing. I still feel like this so when we do start our videos, remember we are all weird on the inside.
- 2020 Holiday Pen Gift Guide: Top 5 Affordable Fountain Pens (via Pen Chalet)
- Review: Higgins Black Magic Fiber Tip Marker (via Comfortable Shoes Studio)
- Sailor Pro Gear Slim British Racing Green Nice Chonky Nib Fountain Pen (via Gourmet Pens)
- The Pelikan M800: A Modern Day Titan (via The Pelikan’s Perch)
- rOtring Initial (via dapprman)
- Sailor Compass 1911 Fountain Pen Review (via The Pen Addict)
- Robert Oster Blood Rose (via Mountain of Ink)
- Taccia Ukiyo-e artist inks – Hokusai and Syaraku (via Nick Stewart FOUNTAIN PEN INK ART)
- Kala Nostalgia Gemstone Tourmaline (via Fountain Pen Pharmacist)
- Craving the simple again: another ink purge (via UK fountain pens)
- Pencil Grades and Zines. (via PENCIL REVOLUTION!)
- Can You Write With a Leadholder? I do! (via The Gentleman Stationer)
Notebooks & Paper:
- How writing can help with mental wellbeing (via The Pen Company Blog)
- Midori MD Notebooks: A Comprehensive Guide (via JetPens)
- Show Your Work: Bizness of Zines (via Comfortable Shoes Studio)
- Magazine on paper and writing culture (via Bleistift)
- The Time-Block Planner by Cal Newport (via The Cramped)
- The LOCHBY Field Journal (via Tools and Toys)
- The Scale of Paper Absorption (via Left Hook Pens)
- How I Journal: A Sample (via Writing at Large)
- How to make your own DIY Discbound Bullet Journal, Notebook or Planner (via All About Planners)
- The Stationer Work Book Review. (via The Finer Point)
Art & Creativity:
- A Sketchy Birthday (via Fueled by Clouds & Coffee)
- How is your sketchbook practice? (via Liz Steel)
- 10 Lessons from 10 Years of Learning How to Paint (via My Giant Strawberry)
- Armchair Travels – the Holiday Season in NYC (via Veronica Lawlor)
- A New Book Awash With the Glories of Watercolor (via Hyperallergic)
- Comparing Fountain Pen Shop Shipping (via Fountain Pen Love)
- U.S. Postal Service Announces New Domestic
CompetitivePrices for 2021 (via USPS Newsroom)
- Are Stamps Art: The Design Process (via National Postal Museum)
- Airmail, Through the Lens of Charles Townley Chapman (via National Postal Museum)
Other Interesting Things:
- The Chicago Public Library Eliminated Late Fees With Inspiring Results (via My Modern Met)
- Smell Like A Million Books With Powell’s Books New Fragrance ‘Eau de Bookstore’ (via Colossal)
- London Church Holds a Cat Memorial For Its Beloved Feline (via My Modern Met)
- Artist Lydia Leith creates ‘non-event’ posters and ‘sick bags’ in response to a year of cancellations (via Creative Boom)
- Virtual Sets Are Replacing Green Screens (via Kottke.org)
- Izzy Wheels in ‘dream’ collaboration with Japanese favourite Hello Kitty (via Creative Boom)
- Typewriters and the Dark Academia aesthetic (via The Typewriter Revolution blog)
We need each other. Please support our sponsors and affiliates. They help keep this blog going. Your patronage of their shops, services and products will let them know you appreciate their support of the pen community. Without them, and without you, we could not continue to do what we do. Thank you!
2 comments / Add your comment below
Thanks for the link love. 🙂
That video is great. Thanks so much for sharing.
You are so right about “free shipping” thank you for reminding people!