Link Love: The One Where I Go POSTAL

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.

Video survey results

(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.

Gift Guides:

Pens:

Ink:

Pencils:

Notebooks & Paper:

Art & Creativity:

Postal:

Other Interesting Things:

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