Author Topic: Received a $535 pen as a gift  (Read 11955 times)

Brian5000

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Received a $535 pen as a gift
« on: June 01, 2015, 10:36:22 AM »
Pardon me, I mean "writing instrument".

I met my girlfriend's parents for the first time a week ago. They are foreigners and were visiting the USA for the first time. Generously, they provided me with a surprise gift! It was a Mont Blanc fine liner writing instrument.

I tried it out immediately and expressed genuine gratitude for the gift. Having never heard of it before, 'Mont Blanc' sounded pretty fancy so I estimated that the pen probably cost ~$100...which would of course be ridiculously expensive. I would never spend more than a dollar on a pen, typically less.

I then went home and looked it up on their website and found it cost a whopping $535! (before tax):
http://www.montblanc.com/en-us/collection/writing-instruments/starwalker/111288-StarWalker-Extreme-Fineliner.html

INSANE!!!!

Unfortunately they did not include the receipt, because I would have immediately gone and returned it to buy something more practical...like an entire vacation for the two of us.

I was just really taken aback by the huge price tag. Now I'm almost afraid to use it or take it anywhere for fear of damaging or losing it. Now that I'm more mustachian, the wastefulness of this purchase boggles my mind.

Has anyone else received a gift that was so impractically luxurious and expensive? What did you do with it?

dudde_devaru

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Re: Received a $535 pen as a gift
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2015, 10:43:25 AM »
I haven't received such a thing yet.
If I were you, I may really look into selling it and buying a Fleabay or Alibaba - look alike for 1/10th the cost just in case the in-laws come and talk about it in future ;)

klystomane

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Re: Received a $535 pen as a gift
« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2015, 10:44:32 AM »
Marry her immediately.

lifejoy

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Re: Received a $535 pen as a gift
« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2015, 11:59:07 AM »
Wow.

Re-gift it to a revered and spendy-pants boss, right before you FIRE?

Sell it?

Insanity. So thoughtful of them though (I guess)

phantom

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Re: Received a $535 pen as a gift
« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2015, 12:05:21 PM »
I kinda received such a gift over the weekend.  My mother-in-law gave a gift to my newborn daughter on behalf of her husband's mother.  So, it was a gift to my daughter from her step-great-grandmother.  It was a Lladro figurine.  (I had to Google Lladro the first time I heard this woman brag about her collection.)  After experiencing a minor earthquake that chipped some of her Lladro, this woman has decided it was time to start gifting the collection away.

Now, my mother-in-law claimed that the piece was worth $500-1000 and was purchased new when it was first released in the 1960s.  Some Lladro is very pretty, but I didn't particular care for this piece, so I was going to have a hard time not selling it and saving the money for my daughter.  But, a quick search revealed about 6 of these on eBay, ranging in price from $50-200.  Further research revealed that the piece produced between 1971 and 1990, and judging from the mark on the bottom, it was made in the late 70s.

I'd still love to sell it, even if only for $20, just to have it out of my house.  But, I don't think I can do that without my mother-in-law finding out and being upset.  It's nice enough that I would display it if I had a safe space, but it doesn't fit on any of the shelves in my house.  So, I guess it's going in a box till my daughter is old enough to make the decision to sell it.

CabinetGuy

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Re: Received a $535 pen as a gift
« Reply #5 on: June 01, 2015, 12:07:33 PM »
Marry her immediately.

Hahahahahahaha! Exactly.

stevedoug

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Re: Received a $535 pen as a gift
« Reply #6 on: June 01, 2015, 12:59:27 PM »
foreigners, eh?
Are they from China? There is a lot of cultural stuff at play here but I won't get into it.

And pardon me for saying this... are you sure it isn't fake?
Fake mont blancs are all over other countries especially China, and are really really good fakes.

I had an uncle "gift me" a mont blanc after a business trip to China, he quickly admitted it was a fake and was $20, but looks and writes as good as the real one

jda1984

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Re: Received a $535 pen as a gift
« Reply #7 on: June 01, 2015, 01:10:31 PM »
That's kind of funny as I once received a Mont Blanc in the same collection.  It was regifted to me (I like fountain pens, but don't own any crazy expensive ones, I think the most I've paid is ~$35).  I had one of my fountain pens with me at church and friend asked to borrow it.  When he returned it he asked if I like pens and if I had any Mont Blanc pens.  I said that I do, but I don't have any expensive pens.  He told me an alumnus of his medical school gives all the graduates a Mont Blanc ballpoint pen and I was welcome to the one he received if I would like.  Mine is like this: http://www.montblanc.com/en-us/collection/writing-instruments/starwalker/8486-StarWalker-Platinum-Resin-Ballpoint-Pen.html

That's pretty antimustachian--buying all future graduates of your alma mater Mont Blanc pens for graduation!

Reynold

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Re: Received a $535 pen as a gift
« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2015, 01:16:24 PM »
I met my girlfriend's parents for the first time a week ago. They are foreigners and were visiting the USA for the first time. Generously, they provided me with a surprise gift! It was a Mont Blanc fine liner writing instrument.

The "foreigners" background may explain some of this.  In many cultures outside the U.S., valuable gifts are much more common for a variety of reasons. 

One is that it shows the recipient that the giver is financially solvent.  In many countries, particularly more third world ones, there are no credit reports you can easily run on anybody, so your "proof" of net worth is what you can afford to show off with.  Since in many of those places written business contracts are rare, and often unenforceable, you have to prove you are credit-worthy that way before people will do business with you, or let you marry their daughter, which may be a more "business" transaction than we are used to in the U.S.. 

A second reason is that in many of those countries property and investment rights we are used to don't exist, or are recent enough that habits haven't changed.  A good deal of family wealth in Asia, for example, may be in gold, because they never knew when money would be devalued, or bank accounts seized, or banks fail.  Even in Australia I met a tour guide whose mother was broke because she had her savings in a bank that went out of business.  No deposit insurance there at the time.  My father-in-law's family lost their savings in German hyper-inflation in the early 1900s, and such things are not solely the province of ancient history, as the recent 47% haircut bank depositors took in Cyprus shows. 

So while we, here, worry about putting our money to work generating more money, there are many other places in the world where you hope to still have at the end of the day what you started the day with.  Tangible, ideally portable, assets have a place in that investment strategy. :)

If you do marry her, you may want to do a bit of looking into expectations she and/or your in-laws have, they may be less impressed by a large bank account and early retirement than a big diamond ring and a Mercedes.  On the bright side, they may be quite pragmatic about finances, and have a very good understanding of sacrifices for a goal. 

Brian5000

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Re: Received a $535 pen as a gift
« Reply #9 on: June 01, 2015, 01:26:46 PM »
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Are they from China? There is a lot of cultural stuff at play here but I won't get into it.
They're from Taiwan.
The 'Mont Blanc' pen was housed in a Mont Blanc case, which was in a Mont Blanc box, which was in a Mont Blanc shopping bag. I'm thinking it was legit because he tends to throw around money quite liberally and spoils his daughters thoroughly. This would have to be an uncharacteristic instance of cheapness on his part.


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If you do marry her, you may want to do a bit of looking into expectations she and/or your in-laws have, they may be less impressed by a large bank account and early retirement than a big diamond ring and a Mercedes.  On the bright side, they may be quite pragmatic about finances, and have a very good understanding of sacrifices for a goal. 
Interesting info in your reply. But we've been together for only 9 months so let's not get ahead of ourselves.


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If I were you, I may really look into selling it and buying a Fleabay or Alibaba - look alike for 1/10th the cost just in case the in-laws come and talk about it in future ;)
I actually like this idea and will look into it.


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Marry her immediately.
This made me laugh. :-)

Beaker

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Re: Received a $535 pen as a gift
« Reply #10 on: June 01, 2015, 01:53:29 PM »
Unfortunately they did not include the receipt, because I would have immediately gone and returned it to buy something more practical...like an entire vacation for the two of us.

Are you sure that you can't return it without a receipt? Some retailers let you do that.

My wife's aunt (my aunt-in-law?) gifted us a $500 top-of-the-line GoPro video camera. Neither of us is into action sports, or really has any interest in video editing. We joked about posting videos of us biking to and from work, since it's probably the most video-worthy thing we do - at least more exciting than playing board games. We ended up returning it (it was from REI, they have a great return policy) and got a nice backpack, some shoes, some other stuff, and still have money left over. Waaaaay happier to have that stuff than a useless-to-us video camera.

LalsConstant

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Re: Received a $535 pen as a gift
« Reply #11 on: June 01, 2015, 02:06:46 PM »
IF it was a precision fountain pen I might try to defend this or chide you for being a pen Philistine but this is indeed a tragedy.  It's nice but not $500 nice.

SpicyMcHaggus

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Re: Received a $535 pen as a gift
« Reply #12 on: June 01, 2015, 03:10:53 PM »
You seem surprised. This leads me to believe that you may not know them very well. Time to start reading up on their culture if you want to make it a long term thing.  $500 pen isn't MMM for sure. But you might want to just sit on it and put it in your suit coat when the inlaws visit, as returning a gift as such would be insulting.  I would suggest you inform yourself on the customs they may be living by and either have a talk with them about how YOU plan on living, or just graciously accept and keep quiet.

If you have the talk with them and they keep dropping the expensive gifts, then they have been warned and you would be free to return or resell.

nereo

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Re: Received a $535 pen as a gift
« Reply #13 on: June 01, 2015, 03:23:17 PM »
serious question here - can anyone tell me what a $500 pen does that my favorite $4 uni-ball doesn't?  I mean, it doesn't look like it's coated in jewels, or shoots poisoned darts, or stores data digitally...
I really, honestly don't get how it's superior to my preferred pen.  That said, I've never used one...

Beaker

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Re: Received a $535 pen as a gift
« Reply #14 on: June 01, 2015, 03:50:11 PM »
serious question here - can anyone tell me what a $500 pen does that my favorite $4 uni-ball doesn't?  I mean, it doesn't look like it's coated in jewels, or shoots poisoned darts, or stores data digitally...
I really, honestly don't get how it's superior to my preferred pen.  That said, I've never used one...

Well yours probably isn't made of "black precious resin." Seriously, that's what it's made out of, direct quote from the site. I think that's just marketing speak for "black plastic", which is probably what that uni-ball is made out of too except for it being less precious.

So yeah, I don't get it either.

Elderwood17

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Re: Received a $535 pen as a gift
« Reply #15 on: June 01, 2015, 05:17:39 PM »
Just curious, was there a cultural expectation of a return gift of comparable value?

Brian5000

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Re: Received a $535 pen as a gift
« Reply #16 on: June 01, 2015, 05:40:57 PM »
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Are you sure that you can't return it without a receipt? Some retailers let you do that.
I doubt it but for $535 it's worth a call. I'll find out.


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IF it was a precision fountain pen I might try to defend this or chide you for being a pen Philistine but this is indeed a tragedy.  It's nice but not $500 nice.
I admit I am very much an unsophisticated philistine when it comes to pens.


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You seem surprised. This leads me to believe that you may not know them very well. Time to start reading up on their culture if you want to make it a long term thing.  $500 pen isn't MMM for sure. But you might want to just sit on it and put it in your suit coat when the inlaws visit, as returning a gift as such would be insulting.  I would suggest you inform yourself on the customs they may be living by and either have a talk with them about how YOU plan on living, or just graciously accept and keep quiet.

If you have the talk with them and they keep dropping the expensive gifts, then they have been warned and you would be free to return or resell.
Yes, I don't know them well as this was my first time meeting them. I may not see them again for years...if ever. So I don't care to dig much into the intricacies of their gift-giving culture because I am not trying to impress them.


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serious question here - can anyone tell me what a $500 pen does that my favorite $4 uni-ball doesn't?  I mean, it doesn't look like it's coated in jewels, or shoots poisoned darts, or stores data digitally...
I really, honestly don't get how it's superior to my preferred pen.  That said, I've never used one...
This was pretty much my impetus for creating this post. I could tell you that every stroke is like writing on a cloud using a lightsaber while getting a hand-massage...but I only got the Extreme Fineliner, not the much more luxurious Ultimate Carbon Fineliner, so that would be exaggerating. It's more like using a very thin marker than a pen, and it is a smooth delivery...but $500+? No way. If you think of it more like jewelry than a writing utensil, maybe you can wrap your head around it.


Quote
Just curious, was there a cultural expectation of a return gift of comparable value?
No, it was a surprise to me and my girlfriend told me I didn't need to get them anything. Had I needed to, I would have gotten them something that would be both practical and from the heart: http://www.amazon.com/Big-Mouth-Toys-Funny-Toilet/dp/B003EN9S58


RootofGood

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Re: Received a $535 pen as a gift
« Reply #17 on: June 01, 2015, 06:23:59 PM »
foreigners, eh?
Are they from China? There is a lot of cultural stuff at play here but I won't get into it.

And pardon me for saying this... are you sure it isn't fake?
Fake mont blancs are all over other countries especially China, and are really really good fakes.

I had an uncle "gift me" a mont blanc after a business trip to China, he quickly admitted it was a fake and was $20, but looks and writes as good as the real one

+1 as to the cultural thing

And +100 to the it might be a fake comment.  I know sooo many folks from the Far East that love them some designer names and brands and not always caring whether it's legit or fake especially if it's $20 vs. $500 for something identical.  They love bling but they also love bargains. 

Knock off luxury is the confluence of bling and bargain. 

As for the pen, I'd ebay that puppy.  Though they are only worth about half of retail on ebay.  Maybe they bought it at a steep discount (not that a $200 or $300 pen is any more sensible than a $500 pen - who uses pens these days anyway?). 
« Last Edit: June 01, 2015, 06:32:14 PM by RootofGood »

Misstachian

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Re: Received a $535 pen as a gift
« Reply #18 on: June 01, 2015, 08:53:36 PM »
As a reward for going above & beyond for someone I was working with, I got a nice shawl looking thing. Seemed about the same as the ones sold on the street for $15 to my untrained eye, though it was quite soft and a lovely color, from a brand I'd heard of. I had some sense that it was probably expensive since the novel Devil Wears Prada made such a big deal about scarves from this company, so I decided to look it up in case I might want to exchange it.

http://usa.hermes.com/la-maison-des-carres/eto-plu-unie-bleu-lac-71137.html (not sure that's the exact one but if not it's close)

I had to scrape my jaw off the floor. I still can't believe how expensive those prices are - and how little I like most of what's on offer. No receipt so I couldn't return it (plus only store credit!!), & resale was low without proof, though I had the fancy box. I kept it & wore it at my wedding, where it was equal in price to my rather unMMM wedding dress. People pay that kind of money, I can hardly believe it.

Really nice gift! Totally impractical for my life, I almost never want the stress of wearing it (and maybe staining or losing or ripping it)! Would have much preferred half the cash value! A lovely thought from a nice person is how I try to think about it, and I should probably just wear it as often as I can if I'm going to keep it, because why not.

margarita

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Re: Received a $535 pen as a gift
« Reply #19 on: June 01, 2015, 10:32:19 PM »
This Christmas my husband came home with a box from Hermes a client gave him; he didn't open it.  I opened it and inside was a piece of orange leather rolled like a cigar with snaps on each corner.  I put the snapped together - what the fuck is it??  No idea.

After bouncing around the Hermes website I finally found it (I had been snapping opposite corners of the leather together instead of snapping the snaps beside each other, although in hindsight it would still not have helped).  Oh look darling, it is a $575 leather change holder for your dresser.

How in the hell can of a flat piece leather smaller than a sheet of paper cost $575??
Dumbest gift ever!

http://canada-en.hermes.com/house/art-of-living/change-trays/leather/change-tray-with-snap-closure.html

The best part is when we tried to return it without a bill.  No can do.  Okay how about an exchange?  At least he can wear the ties (2 ties we could get).  No, didn't want to do that either.  My husband puts on his charm and tells the lovely sales associate that he absolutely loves it but unfortunately, he has one exactly like it already.

That did the trick!! haha   Okay now he has 2 expensive ties from Hermes but he does wear them.

I thought the $350 bottle of Patron Silver Platinum lying in a the black coffin like box was the dumbest gift he received but apparently it was not.

ETA:  Hey Misstachian - maybe you and my husband know the same person who shops at Hermes LOL




« Last Edit: June 01, 2015, 10:40:11 PM by margarita »

Misstachian

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Re: Received a $535 pen as a gift
« Reply #20 on: June 02, 2015, 05:55:27 AM »
Margarita, maybe we do! I did the same thing trying to find other choices, as I'd thought it might be nice to return it and buy a few smaller things to give as gifts to folks more likely to appreciate a fancy name. But no can do. That many hundreds of dollars for an incredibly ugly bracelet? I gave up. :)

The stole is very pretty. Just not $900 pretty. I guess just about nothing that I can't live in/drive is!

pbkmaine

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Re: Received a $535 pen as a gift
« Reply #21 on: June 02, 2015, 10:32:42 AM »
I used to work near Wall Street, and one day out of curiosity I went into the Hermes ("airmez") store to look around. I saw a cute little Filofax notebook (this was before everything went digital) in orange pebbled leather. I glanced at the tag and thought it was marked $32.00. Nope. The dot was a random mark on the tag. The 4"x6" notebook was $3200. I must have looked very nice that day, because the salesperson actually thought I was going to buy it. Sorry, no.

eljefe-speaks

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Re: Received a $535 pen as a gift
« Reply #22 on: June 02, 2015, 10:55:30 AM »
http://usa.hermes.com/la-maison-des-carres/eto-plu-unie-bleu-lac-71137.html (not sure that's the exact one but if not it's close)

Holy schnikes. Game over. I now know how deep the rabbit hole goes. I cannot unsee this. At least a pen has some mechanical function and might have taken more than $15 to manufacture!

I will go ahead and show off and boast that I had not heard of Hermes before this day.

Personally I find it immoral to waste money to such an extreme degree.

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Received a $535 pen as a gift
« Reply #23 on: June 02, 2015, 11:24:22 AM »
The important question is - what was your girlfriend's commentary on the gift?

I've always wondered how much the salespeople in those stores make. It's a retail job, so I can't imagine it's a lot, but then again you'd think you'd want to pay the people well so they aren't motivated to just steal the stuff, since it's all crap anyways.

Dollar Slice

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Re: Received a $535 pen as a gift
« Reply #24 on: June 02, 2015, 11:45:24 AM »
The dot was a random mark on the tag. The 4"x6" notebook was $3200. I must have looked very nice that day, because the salesperson actually thought I was going to buy it. Sorry, no.
Ha. We had the opposite experience. My brother and SIL and I got my mom an Hermes scarf for her big ending-in-zero birthday one time (it was something she'd wanted for a long time and we wanted to "go big"). We selected, ordered and paid for it in advance, planning to pick it up and have it giftwrapped on the day of her birthday. When my brother and I went to get it, it started bucketing down rain while we were walking to the store. So we showed up in our totally non-fancy clothes, soaking wet. Like dripping on the floors of the fancy store kind of wet. You should have SEEN the looks those people gave us! We had to both show ID before they would let us have the scarf we'd already paid for.

SpicyMcHaggus

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Re: Received a $535 pen as a gift
« Reply #25 on: June 02, 2015, 01:16:49 PM »

I would have cancelled the purchase, shit on their floor, and thrown everything on the sidewalk.
Who thinks that rain is avoidable? Some people...

sol

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Re: Received a $535 pen as a gift
« Reply #26 on: June 02, 2015, 01:27:37 PM »
serious question here - can anyone tell me what a $500 pen does that my favorite $4 uni-ball doesn't? 

Cost $500?

The nature of luxury goods is that the value is in the price tag, not the item itself.  You buy things like that as a signal to other people about how loose you are with money, not because you actually need a pen.

nereo

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Re: Received a $535 pen as a gift
« Reply #27 on: June 02, 2015, 01:48:57 PM »
serious question here - can anyone tell me what a $500 pen does that my favorite $4 uni-ball doesn't? 

Cost $500?

The nature of luxury goods is that the value is in the price tag, not the item itself.  You buy things like that as a signal to other people about how loose you are with money, not because you actually need a pen.
ok, i thought maybe i was missing something.  I mean, I know that a $90k Porsche has a more powerful engine than my car, I know a Leica Summicron lens will be sharper than the $100 kit zoom -  I understand why people would covet such items.   I was just wondering if i was missing something... like the $500 pen came with a life-time supply of ink or came with a hooker.  I've never even noticed the pen someone was writing with.  Can't even imagine a conversation where someone said "hey, did you get a look at his pen?!" without it having a completely different and sexual meaning.
dunno... luxury goods which offer no sort of quantifiable advantage over their pedestrian counterparts are just beyond my comprehension I guess.

Capsu78

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Re: Received a $535 pen as a gift
« Reply #28 on: June 02, 2015, 01:52:31 PM »
I worked on a high intensity project with a consultant who used his Mont Blanc as an extension of his finger everytime he wanted to make his point.  After a 10 hour day, on a Saturday no less, we were heading back to our hotel when he flips out in the cab because his pen went missing.  Spent the next hour trying to get security to let us back up to the office, calling someone to come back with the keys, which they did.  (...good thing I wasn't in charge of keys as no way would I have come back).  He "tosses" our meeting room like a DEA agent and still doesn't find his pen.

After we finally get some dinner, and a couple drinks in me, I lean into him and say "Hey, about your Mont Blanc pen?.."  and I reach behind his ear like I am going to do the coolest magic trick ever, and I snap my fingers...Show him they are empty and say "Damn, I never could master that trick!"   His expression on his face goes from wide eyed 5 year old on Christmas morning to "You bastard!" in just short of a couple seconds.   I had a good HaHa and gave him my corporate pen I used as a trade show giveaway.

Its a good thing I had to approve his hours or I think he would have punched me :-)


Dollar Slice

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Re: Received a $535 pen as a gift
« Reply #29 on: June 02, 2015, 02:35:16 PM »
I would have cancelled the purchase, shit on their floor, and thrown everything on the sidewalk.
Who thinks that rain is avoidable? Some people...

I wonder how long it would take to develop the skill to shit on demand.

Genuine fancy rich people wouldn't have walked to the store in the rain, of course. They would have a car and driver take them door to door, or perhaps just send some flunky to do their errands for them while they stayed home eating caviar and drinking champagne. ;-)

lisahi

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Re: Received a $535 pen as a gift
« Reply #30 on: June 02, 2015, 04:11:21 PM »
serious question here - can anyone tell me what a $500 pen does that my favorite $4 uni-ball doesn't? 

Cost $500?

The nature of luxury goods is that the value is in the price tag, not the item itself.  You buy things like that as a signal to other people about how loose you are with money, not because you actually need a pen.

Technically it performs better. But most people don't think about the performance of their pens outside of whether the ink is coming out onto the paper. But they write smoother, can be more comfortable to use, and allow for more "elegant" handwriting (if you can achieve elegant handwriting in the first place, that is). The price tag also includes non-utilitarian elements as well, however. People buy Mont Blanc as a type of art piece. They marvel at its design. Of course the materials are generally higher quality and you are also paying for the name.

I don't see "writing instrument" collectors much different than collectors of other items, such as watches. Serious watch collectors don't buy all their watches believing they'll wear them every day. They are bought for craftsmanship, materials, artful design, and name. To them, it is art.

If you think of a pen as just something to write with to sign checks, having a Mont Blanc makes no sense at all. But that's not why people buy them.

Note: I'm not saying it's mustachian to by a Mont Blanc (or any luxury good, for that matter). Nor am I saying that the particular pen in question was worth the $500. I am also aware that some people buy a Mont Blanc to be seen writing with a Mont Blanc, but in some professions that has some utility, too.

Taran Wanderer

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Re: Received a $535 pen as a gift
« Reply #31 on: June 03, 2015, 12:00:08 AM »
I received a Mont Blanc pen from a friend at his wedding as a best man's gift.  I used it and found it to be a pretty nice pen.  My dad always had a Cross gold pen and pencil set, so I assumed it was like those.  Then, as my newlywed wife and I were backpacking around Europe (with my Mont Blanc pen), we were window shopping and saw the same pen for sale for several hundred Euros.  Surprise!  Now the pen stays at home and on my desk.  I use it everyday and love it, and my family knows that it never leaves my desk.

Enjoy the pen.  Having nice things is wonderful, and knowing that they are nice, I am inclined to take care of them.  Plus, it's fulfilling to use up the ink and drop in a refill.  It feels so much more frugal that throwing away crap pens every time they gum up.  (Okay, it probably doesn't count as frugal, but it feels like it to me...)

seattlecyclone

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Re: Received a $535 pen as a gift
« Reply #32 on: June 05, 2015, 11:00:45 AM »
serious question here - can anyone tell me what a $500 pen does that my favorite $4 uni-ball doesn't?  I mean, it doesn't look like it's coated in jewels, or shoots poisoned darts, or stores data digitally...
I really, honestly don't get how it's superior to my preferred pen.  That said, I've never used one...

I have a pretty fancy $25 Pilot fountain pen. I like how it writes, much smoother and less pressure required than a ballpoint. It's also fun to refill the thing out of a legit ink well when it gets empty. I've never tried a Mont Blanc, but I imagine the experience of writing with it is no more than marginally better than the Pilot.

stlbrah

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Re: Received a $535 pen as a gift
« Reply #33 on: June 05, 2015, 11:48:34 AM »
If they are Asian I would see it more as the thought behind it. My gf is from a 3rd world country and extremely frugal and even rewashes plastic silverware, but her family once bought about $50k of purses to celebrate their success.

BlueHouse

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Re: Received a $535 pen as a gift
« Reply #34 on: June 05, 2015, 02:24:55 PM »
So we showed up in our totally non-fancy clothes, soaking wet. Like dripping on the floors of the fancy store kind of wet. You should have SEEN the looks those people gave us! We had to both show ID before they would let us have the scarf we'd already paid for.
I think you're looking for hate where there is none.  Of course they made you show ID.  They didn't know you and you were picking up a pre-paid item.  How pissed would you have been if you got there and they said they just gave it to someone else? 

Also, it is generally considered polite to not walk into a home or even a store dripping wet.  Get an umbrella or take off your outerwear in the hallway.  Who do you think has to clean up the wet mess?   

Not trying to put you down...just sometimes we attribute a reaction to the way we look when in reality it might be to the way we act.  Try seeing it from their perspective.

Dollar Slice

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Re: Received a $535 pen as a gift
« Reply #35 on: June 05, 2015, 02:47:23 PM »
Also, it is generally considered polite to not walk into a home or even a store dripping wet.  Get an umbrella or take off your outerwear in the hallway.  Who do you think has to clean up the wet mess? 
It was summer, a heavy thunderstorm blew up out of nowhere and we were caught in it during the short (10-15min) walk to the store. Call me crazy, but when the sun is shining and I expect to be out for less than 30 minutes, I generally don't carry an umbrella and raincoat on my person.

If you own a public store or restaurant, people tracking in a bit of water or snow in bad weather is just part of the business. You deal with it and hopefully treat your customers like human beings.

Re: the IDs, I would accept showing an ID to prove I was the person who ordered it. But why did they need to also check my brother's ID? That was just weird.

Anyway, this is all getting pretty OT...

BlueHouse

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Re: Received a $535 pen as a gift
« Reply #36 on: June 07, 2015, 07:41:57 AM »

Re: the IDs, I would accept showing an ID to prove I was the person who ordered it. But why did they need to also check my brother's ID? That was just weird.
Agreed. Weird. No idea why. 

As for the pen thing, when I graduated college a million years ago, having a fancy pen was a sign of success. I was given a Mont Blanc and I dutifully carried it to every meeting and took notes with it. The pen was too large and too heavy for my hand, so my writing always looked like crap when I used it. I used a bic or papermate in the privacy of my office or cubicle.  I remember once forgetting about it and showing up to a meeting with a cheap pen and actually being embarrassed about it.
I don't know if times were different or if the industry was different or what, but I cannot imagine being embarrassed about something like that in today's world. I have found my perfect pen and it is a bic medium point with black ink. I don't go anywhere without one.

Where is that fancy pen today you ask?  Well, about 4 months into its life, I found a man's day-timer with all of his money and work IDs for Martin Marietta. I met him at a public parking lot to return these to him, refused a reward, and only afterward realized that my pen got mixed up in his belongings in my car.  Ere was no way to find him to get it back and I didn't even give him my name so he couldn't track me down.  Glad it happened otherwise I'd probably still be writing with that stupid pen and I'd still be pretentious.

scrubbyfish

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Re: Received a $535 pen as a gift
« Reply #37 on: June 07, 2015, 08:24:22 AM »
Really nice gift! Totally impractical for my life, I almost never want the stress of wearing it (and maybe staining or losing or ripping it)!

Anything like this -valuable, box/relative proof of value- I would donate to a charity auction. That way, I never have to worry about wrecking it, etc, someone who really wants such a thing gets it, and a non-profit that I really care about gets a nice injection of cash. One could deduct the auctioned price from one's annual charitable giving budget line in YNAB (and perhaps even get a donation receipt for that amount against taxes). Lots of wins for lots of people there :)

I'm a red panda

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Re: Received a $535 pen as a gift
« Reply #38 on: June 07, 2015, 01:39:01 PM »
The dot was a random mark on the tag. The 4"x6" notebook was $3200. I must have looked very nice that day, because the salesperson actually thought I was going to buy it. Sorry, no.
Ha. We had the opposite experience. My brother and SIL and I got my mom an Hermes scarf for her big ending-in-zero birthday one time (it was something she'd wanted for a long time and we wanted to "go big"). We selected, ordered and paid for it in advance, planning to pick it up and have it giftwrapped on the day of her birthday. When my brother and I went to get it, it started bucketing down rain while we were walking to the store. So we showed up in our totally non-fancy clothes, soaking wet. Like dripping on the floors of the fancy store kind of wet. You should have SEEN the looks those people gave us! We had to both show ID before they would let us have the scarf we'd already paid for.

Having to both show ID is weird; but dirty looks is not weird at all.  How incredibly rude to be dripping wet in a store. Did you offer to mop up? Because the people  giving you dirty looks were the ones who would have to do that.

Heckler

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Re: Received a $535 pen as a gift
« Reply #39 on: June 07, 2015, 02:42:39 PM »
I would talk to your GF about it before doing anything...


Keep it as a heirloom and then gift it to someone important 10 years from now. How baller would that be?!

Heckler

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Re: Received a $535 pen as a gift
« Reply #40 on: June 07, 2015, 02:43:39 PM »
They'll be selling for $1000 then.

lemanfan

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Re: Received a $535 pen as a gift
« Reply #41 on: June 07, 2015, 02:51:41 PM »
My handle in this forum comes from a $500 pen, a "Caran d'Achhe Leman Bicolor" that friends and colleagues gave me for my 40th birthday.



For a short while, I was a pen collector.  I still enjoy a good pen, but this pen in particular has a special place in my heart since it was a gift. It never leaves the home.

I selected the pen as the base of my nickname here to sort of make fun of the MMM philosophy.  :)

Reynold

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Re: Received a $535 pen as a gift
« Reply #42 on: June 09, 2015, 12:37:52 PM »

I don't see "writing instrument" collectors much different than collectors of other items, such as watches. Serious watch collectors don't buy all their watches believing they'll wear them every day. They are bought for craftsmanship, materials, artful design, and name. To them, it is art.


Interesting take on it; one could ask the same thing about other art, for example, why buy a painting by DaVinci?   Why not just leave the wall blank, or maybe put up a nice black-light poster over the scuff mark?  Because it is art.  I suspect a lot of female Mustachians own some jewelry, which usually has some kind of aesthetic design, men tend to have fewer options along those lines, a pen and a watch are about it unless you are dressed up enough for a tie and tie-tack. 

I saw an article one time where they tracked and interviewed down one of the women who actually buys the bizarre designer outfits you see at high end fashion shows.  She and her husband had high enough incomes that she could buy them without any difficulty as "wearable art".  She didn't even wear some of them, she just liked the designs.  Given the odd items people collect, I suppose there are worse things. 

nedwin

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Re: Received a $535 pen as a gift
« Reply #43 on: June 09, 2015, 04:38:06 PM »
A friend gifted me an Ebel watch after I had taken care of some properties for him while he was overseas.  I was surprised when I googled the watch and found that it retailed for $1,800, primarily because he was usually a cheapskate.  He was living in Singapore at the time, and had bought it in China, so I had some doubts as to its authenticity.  Like your Mont Blanc, it came in all the right packaging and even had a tag from a jeweler in Tennessee.  Maybe it was surplus?  It did have a dead battery when I received it, and a local jeweler would not touch it when I asked him to replace the battery.  I had to take it to a Ebel dealer in Denver for a new battery, which cost $90.

I decided not to look this gift horse in the mouth to much.  I wear it everyday and it is a very nice watch, authentic or not.  I would never spend that much money for it, but I also won't sell it just because I could make a few bucks on it.  My advice is to hold onto the pen until you break up with your gf.  I know nothing of Taiwanese culture, but I have a feeling they may be deeply insulted if they find out you sold it.

Brian5000

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Re: Received a $535 pen as a gift
« Reply #44 on: June 10, 2015, 10:15:15 AM »
Quote
My advice is to hold onto the pen until you break up with your gf.  I know nothing of Taiwanese culture, but I have a feeling they may be deeply insulted if they find out you sold it.

This is what I will likely be doing. I don't care about adhering to Taiwanese culture but I live my life in a "treat others how you want to be treated" fashion. If I were to give someone an expensive gift it would probably piss me off if they turned around and sold it to make a quick buck. I think it would come off as cheap. I'm not in any kind of desperate financial condition so I'll hold on to it and only sell if we break up. Thanks for all the suggestions.

SpicyMcHaggus

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Re: Received a $535 pen as a gift
« Reply #45 on: June 10, 2015, 02:20:36 PM »
My fiance and I would like to know if she has a sister. We appreciate all free stuff :)