For ages now, I have been eyeing up stationery on the Amazon.co.jp site. The prices are insane. For example, the Hobonichi plain A5 notebooks I mentioned in a previous post can be had for 1,320 yen. About £7.50, as compared with £20 if bought in the uk. Even after shipping they are an amazing price, especially if bought in bulk.
A Pilot Capless (Vanishing Point) is 14,500 yen. Around £80. They are nearly £200 in the UK.
Well, I already have a Capless, so I went for a Custom 74.
At £150-£200 in the UK, I'd always been hesitant. Especially as the only ones available seem to be the translucent colours. Mine from Japan is opaque, and a dark red / burgundy colour. It came in at just under £60. With shipping, more like £80.
It has a very fine 14k gold nib, writes beautifully, and arrived within a week! All in all, the experience couldn't be faulted.
Caveat emptor of course. I'm sure that the returns process would leave a little to be desired. Also, I got away without paying any taxes or customs fees. How often one would get away with that I don't know. But I'll certainly be trying again.