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Indie Packaging Influence

Posted in Fountain Pens

I received an interesting question a few weeks ago: who does the best packaging for their pens, and do you think that factors into whether you go back to them as a pen seller?

The question was geared toward indie-made pens, so that’s what I’ll be focusing on today. However, I’m going to ignore the first part of the question as “best” is highly subjective.

Ultimately, I think packaging — when it comes to indie pens — has little impact on repurchasing decisions. And, unless someone is buying a pen after a friend has done so, I don’t think packaging factors into initial purchasing decisions at all.

Allow me to elaborate. Many pen enthusiasts do not keep packaging. Therefore, it is likely a minor consideration in their purchase, or not something they think of at all.

For first-time purchasers, it is highly unlikely that they have any idea what the packaging is like. And, if that’s the case, it certainly isn’t part of their decision to purchase from that seller/maker. Very few makers share images of their packaging, or — for those that do so — extra goodies sent with pens. This isn’t a bad thing. The focus is, of course, the pen itself.

But, I do think packaging can make a difference in repurchasing decisions. Notice I said can, not will. Before you’re tempted to disagree with me, let’s consider some examples.

A well-packaged pen shows that the maker cares about their product. They are committed to ensuring your pen gets to you safely. And if they are careful with small details like that, then they likely are with small details of pen making as well.

In contrast, a poorly packaged pen is likely to leave me wondering what other corners may have been cut. Will my pen crack? Or leak?

I want to be clear that good packaging doesn’t mean expensive. I mean neat and well-protected. Stanford Pen Studio has previously sent pens in PVC pip with a sticker label. The PVC offers brilliant protection as a pen travels across the world; the sticker shows thought and care.

But, imagine instead a maker who loosely wraps a pen in tissue paper and plops it in a too-big box. That shows little effort and even less care. I would not purchase from that hypothetical maker again.

I suppose the best way to word it is: I don’t think packaging makes me more likely to buy from a maker, but it can make me less likely to do so.

Thanks for reading to the end, I hope you enjoyed my post. Do you agree with me? Does packaging affect your indie purchasing decisions? If it does, in what way? Let me know in the comments! I’d love to hear from you.

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One Comment

  1. Caroline

    Agree – there are many ways to show carefulness in packaging, and while some of the makers do really have a great packaging game going on, the packaging ends up in the attic so I think, “wow X really has beautiful packaging,” and then it goes in the bag in the attic anyway…

    November 18, 2022

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