Not Crying Over Spilled Ink Thanks to eBay

Two bottles of Sheaffer Emerald Green

Two bottles of Sheaffer Emerald Green

As I mentioned earlier in the week, I flushed out my Platinum Plaisir and needed another fountain pen with green ink. I decided to return my new(ish) (to me) Jade Green Sheaffer Balance II to the rotation. It did so well with Sheaffer Emerald Green as it’s first ink I wanted to use the same ink. I wrote about the pen and ink here.

I only have a small 12ml bottle of the ink so I filled the converter with a syring since the nib is too big to fit in the bottle. Well, as bad luck and clumsiness would have it, the syringe caught the edge of the bottle and I nocked it over.

Spilled Sheaffer Emerald Green

The good new is all the ink was on my ink towel, a little soaked through to the desk but it was quickly wiped up. The bad news is I lost over half my remaining supply.

After satisfying myself that the ink was as nice as I remember I headed to eBay. I managed to find a couple bottles, caliming to be mint and unopened, at a reasonable price. So naturally I place the order.

The ink arrived Thursday and the bottles certainly appeared unopened and the ink inside seems fines, although I won’t open the bottles until I need the ink. Based on the packaging and my research the ink seems to be from the 1980s which makes it the oldest ink I have. Previously the Sheaffer red label bottles were my oldest inks.

As the ink I like goes out of production I’ve begun to use eBay for ink more and more. I picked up a bottle of Montblanc Bordeaux not too long ago. eBay is always a risk when buying things so I’ve developed my own rules for eBay ink purchases. I should point out I’ve only bought older, no longer manufactered inks.

  1. I have a maximum price of $25/bottle which includes the shipping to my door. This doesn’t mean I’ll spend $25 no matter what, but anything above $25 eliminates it from consideration. I set this price because even a seller with the best intentions can sell a bad bottle of ink, especially if it looks good but is unopened. If I had opened this ink and it was bad I would not have returned it. Externally the ink seemed fine and as described. If the seller had opened it to check the ink I would not have bought it (see rule #2). So I’m prepared to eat the cost if the ink happened to be bad. Plus I don’t actually open the bottle until I’m ready to use it.
  2. The bottle must be unopened. In the case of Emerald Green most listings were for opened bottles.
  3. Good pictures. While it’s impossible to tell the ink quality from a photo if the ink is sealed it just makes me feel better about the listing. Plus, it does confirm it is the correct ink. I see a lot of current Montblanc Reds that are listed as Montblanc Bordeaux.
  4. Plus the usual eBay considerations such as a good rating for the seller.

This particular seller still has a couple 2-bottle sets still available. I’m hoping they go soon so I don’t buy them. I do feel compelled to say that while I’m happy with my experience this is the only transaction I’ve had with the seller so you’re on your own if there’s an issue.

Do you buy ink on eBay? If so, what’s your experience been?

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2 thoughts on “Not Crying Over Spilled Ink Thanks to eBay

  1. I’ve bought a good bit of Sheaffer ink on eBay. I got my first fountain pen in the era of the red-label bottles, so decided I wanted a full set of those. It took a while, but I finally got ’em. The green was definitely a favorite for me back in high school, with my Sheaffer school pen. I also recommend Lavender, Burgundy, and King’s Gold. The latter is possibly the most functional, legible yellow ink I’ve ever used.

    • Hi Swanjun0,

      A complete set of the re-label bottles is impressive, at least to me. I’ve managed to avoid getting obsessed with the older Sheaffer inks even though I did buy a bunch when the price was right. I’ve never seen the King’s Gold other than in pictures and haven’t really looked for it since I’d never seen a legible yellow. Now you got me interested. I’ve yet to use the lavender but I did like the swab.

      Thanks for reading,
      Ray

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