So, here are my top internet sites (in no particular order). If you know of others that are worth a look, let me know.
Discussion boards are great sources for what’s happening with pens and great deals on pens from honest and knowledgeable sellers.
I cut my teeth on Pentrace, both the discussion board and the penmarket. However, after a while, the discussion board aka “The Yellow Board”, seemed to be filled with constant bickering and vitriole so I stopped reading it. They know have registration which has likely helped – even though I have registered, I have still not read the yellow board. Instead, I always check the green board to see what the folks are selling. This is a great place for pens or even if you want to research prices. And virtually all of the people are top-notch.
After being disillusioned with the Pentrace yellow board, I found and joined the Fountain Pen Network. What a breath of fresh air. Friendly and knowledgeable people. I just wish I had more time to check out all the Forums. When pressed for time, I check out the Chatter Forum or use my assistant to skim what has been posted since I was last there. If you love fountain pens, you simply must join. And don’t forget to donate once a year or so to keep it going.
Yes, Ebay can be a bit like the wild west but there is a good market for pens and “stuff” – look in the Collectibles category under Pens & Writing Instruments. If you want to filter out all the junk, like the cheap pens and refills, you need to create an Advanced Search that is customized to your interests (while filtering out the junk).
Remember that it is caveat emptor; however, if you are very careful and only buy from reputable sellers with a healthy dose of feedback (and read the feedback!!), you should be okay.
The Writing Desk has one of the most complete selection of fountain pen inks that I know of, anywhere, period, full stop. Best of all, they have two cool tools to help you choose. You have your choice – you can view up to 3 colours side by side in their Ink Colour Comparison Page or you can display their bottled ink by colour in their Colorama Page. If you have a bit of time on your hands, you can view something in excess of 240 colours.
Remember, I am not saying these are the “best” – there are a lot of other good sites out there that I visit regularly – but these ones provide me with what I am looking for when I am in a hurry.