Author Topic: What Doesn't Pilot Sell Their Parallel Pens In Chain Stores?  (Read 190 times)

Offline Calligriophile

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What Doesn't Pilot Sell Their Parallel Pens In Chain Stores?
« on: August 14, 2021, 06:55:56 PM »
I've tried Hobby Lobby (where I originally bought the set of four pens quite a few years ago), JoAnn Fabric, Michaels, Staples, Target, even Walmart, and not one of the stores carries these pens in-house. Is there some sort of exclusivity agreement that I am unaware of, or is this Pilot's plan to increase demand by making them available, same day anyhow, to no one? For every 25 things I walk right past in Hobby Lobby that I can't imagine being more popular than a Parallel, I may walk past 1 thing that is. Heck, they even started carrying those Speedball brand oblique holders, which I get may be appealing to someone just starting pointed-pen, but for the rest of us, they're more limiting than anything.

I forget, is there a cartridge that is compatible with the Parallel? I dont do much broad edge calligraphy, so pardon me for being a moron.

Offline TeresaS

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Re: What Doesn't Pilot Sell Their Parallel Pens In Chain Stores?
« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2021, 08:07:54 PM »
I did see one size of the Parallel Pens at our Meijer store earlier this summer.  They only had 2 or 3 of them hanging on a hook.  The other week I looked again for them, but they weren’t there.  Not sure if they moved them, or are no longer selling them.
Teresa

Offline Erica McPhee

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Re: What Doesn't Pilot Sell Their Parallel Pens In Chain Stores?
« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2021, 08:19:31 PM »
I used to be able to find them at Hobby Lobby, Michaels, and Staples but not anymore. It looks like Hobby Lobby is getting rid of brand names and only carrying their own brand. Ours got rid of all the art paper brands except their own. Pilot makes their own cartridges for refills. But I know you can also use the bladder filler to refill them with your own ink. Big bummer they aren't available locally.

Truly, Erica
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Offline Calligriophile

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Re: What Doesn't Pilot Sell Their Parallel Pens In Chain Stores?
« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2021, 10:53:43 PM »
Thank you, both of you, for sharing your experiences. I forgot to mention Meijers as being a place I searched, and I'm not sure why, seeing as how JoAnn, Hobby Lobby, Staples, and Walmart are all in the same little plaza here. I don't think I could throw a rock from one of their parking lots without hitting a car in one of the other parking lots.

I guess this isn't exactly the type of question that will have the Nobel committee knocking at my door for solving, but I wind up with a question like this bothering me until I find a solution to. I guess I will just contact Pilot, via email (assuming they have a contact us email address), and see what they say.

Offline jeanwilson

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Re: What Doesn't Pilot Sell Their Parallel Pens In Chain Stores?
« Reply #4 on: August 15, 2021, 10:20:46 AM »
I have some Parallel Pens -- and hardly ever use them. However, I have friends who use them all the time -- and they don't even bother with the cartridge. They just put the ink in the barrel and they swear that they do not have any problem with leaking. To me, it always sounded like a very dangerous hack. But, if you want to live dangerously -- give it a try. Maybe others have tried it and can weigh in.

Perhaps you can find more info on YouTube. It looks like there are quite a few videos.

After asking managers in the various chain stores about items that come and go - there have been some consistent answers.
They track which items sell, and when they do not sell enough of any given item, they stop carrying it.
They do not automatically carry the same items in each store.
Through tracking, if they find items that are wildly popular in one area - they might continue to stock those items in the stores where they sell and discontinue them in stores where they are not selling.
Not all stores within a chain are the same size. Larger stores will have more variety.

JetPens usually has a wide range of parallel pens and inks - plus free shipping if you spend $25.
It's not overnight, but it's pretty good.
You can pay extra for faster shipping.

John Neal has been my favorite calligraphy supply store for decades -- so, I would definitely put him at the top of my list - Supporting John's shop is like the good old days when customers were loyal to merchants with whom they could have a personal connection. I am not sure if John stocks everything that JetPens does - in the Parallel Pen category.
johnnealbooks.com

Offline K-2

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Re: What Doesn't Pilot Sell Their Parallel Pens In Chain Stores?
« Reply #5 on: August 15, 2021, 05:54:18 PM »
@Calligriophile - I love my Pilot Parallels, and heartily recommend ordering from small specialty businesses like John Neal or Paper & Ink Arts or JetPens.  Goulet Pens, Anderson Pens, and Atlas Pens also sell them (Anderson & Atlas, in their Chicago stores as well as online).  I have all the sizes plus the modded split-nibs.  I use them to make full-size drafts of projects for layout purposes - much quicker than dipping all the time.  But they're also just fun to play with, and using them to write people's names on bar coasters or bookmarks makes for a cool "party trick" (back before Covid when we used to go to bars and/or parties, alas).  Writing names "medieval style" on Harry Potter bookmarks was actually one of my all-time favorite bar/bat mitzvah gigs.

You can refill the spent Pilot cartridges by rinsing them out and the squirting fountain pen ink into them with a blunt-tip syringe.  Any fountain pen ink!  You can put walnut ink in there too; some people even fill them with thinned out watercolor, gouache, or high-flow acrylics.  But you have to clean them out very thoroughly once you're done using them for the day, so I do not really recommend it unless you're very committed to pen hygiene.

If the cartridges are just too small though, and like @jeanwilson and myself, you don't want to risk filling the barrel (although a smear of silicone grease on the threads helps prevent leaks) - and truly, the larger nibs are gigantic ink hogs - you can also swap out the whole nib unit and stick it into an Opus 88 fountain pen body; it fits perfectly.  The Opus 88 has an enormous dropper-fill ink reservoir with a shut-off valve so it never leaks in transit.  Mine's a demonstrator, so I can see what color ink is in there too.  Furthermore, you can switch out the nib units while there's still ink in the reservoir.  They are not cheap, but given how much I use these things, it was a great investment, and I'm kind of thinking about getting another one.

--yours, K