Monthly Archives: September 2013

Black ink refills and customs

Well, the fine and medium tip refills with black German ink are in country! Currently they are being held in Customs until I can fill out some paperwork to authorize their release.  Once they get to North Carolina, I’ll spend some time writing with them to be sure that they are up to our standards.  Shortly thereafter they will be for sale on my website and eBay.  It takes a little longer to get them ready for Amazon.  I need to register their unique UPC and have Amazon generate their unique catalog number.

Australia, Israel, Norway

In the last week or so, I’ve gotten confirmation from customers that their smooth-writing refills have arrived! As I mentioned in a previous post, when I ship internationally, I use USPS First Class Package International. Some countries provide the USPS with tracking information, others do not. When there is no tracking to the destination, I have to rely on the customer to let me know that everything arrived safely. (or to tell me that their package has not arrived yet)

I still currently have outstanding shipments to Argentina and another to Norway.


Customer feedback

I love getting feedback from my customers!  especially because it is so uniformly uplifting! Who wouldn’t be happy swapping a poorly writing refill with one that writes smoothly?

Some people will not be able to tell the difference between our smooth German ink and the original Livescribe refills…  but, they are probably happy with the original refills…

I will always stand behind my 100% satisfaction guarantee.  If you are not happy writing with our refills, send them back and we’ll refund the purchase price.  I might write to ask you why you aren’t satisfied, that will help me to help other customers better, so I hope you’ll respond.

I’ve put up a couple of new pages today so that you can see the feedback our Generic Refills have gotten on eBay and on  I hope you can spend a minute and take a look if you haven’t had a chance to write with our Generic Refills yet!

Smooth-writing black German ink refills are on their way!

My manufacturer let me know that my order of black ink refills is on it’s way to Carrboro, North Carolina!  I will test one refill out of each bundle of two hundred in my Sky WiFi pen to see just how smoothly they write.  I’ve already written with some sample refills and expect the actual production run to be just as smooth.  I was really pleasantly surprised at the uniformly superior ink flow of the blue German ink refills that I have been selling.


Pilot B2P Bottle to Pen Gel Ink Pen – 0.7 mm – Blue Ink

My first re-blog. I have a Pilot-Namiki vanishing point fountain pen that I truly love so I’ve got a soft spot for Pilot pens. This is a blog post about a very green Pilot pen.

No Pen Intended

I’ve had this pen for a while, resting first in a general all-purpose “To Review” drawer, and then, around when I moved, I promoted it to the smaller, elite “Cool-Looking Pens to Review” drawer. And there it sat in all my laziness until an inquisitive nudge made me realize I still hadn’t reviewed this pen.

I like the look of it. The nigh-gimmicky plastic-bottle-reproduction body works for me, right down to the bottle label. It’s cute, it’s clever. I appreciate the feel-goodery of a product containing 89% recycled content. This is an all-around improvement over the standard G2.

But I find the hard plastic body uncomfortable to write with for any significant stretch. If you write like a normal human being, with a tripod grip, it’s likely this won’t be such a problem for you. But if you write like me, with the ungainly grip of a ridge-browed troglodyte, you…

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International Shipping

I just wanted people to know that when Amazon or eBay ships product to you with their International or Global shipping programs, all of the shipping charges goes to those companies.  The fees are generally in the $20-$25 dollar range, partly because they use shipping methods that are insured and / or have tracking.

I can offer international shipping but this exposes both me the seller and you the buyer with additional risks.  I try to use USPS First Class Package International because it offers tracking (to many but not all countries).  This is slower than the Priority Shipping methods that Amazon or eBay uses but about half the price.  I’ve found that $10 covers the expense of the shipping and more importantly, the time it takes to fill out customs forms and go to the Post Office.

So what are the risks? If your package is not delivered, there is generally not any insurance.  We will both be out some money since I’ll re-send your refills but I’ll need you to pay for the shipping again.  The delivery time is longer and no one likes to wait a month for a delivery.  This service allows international buyers to have access to Generic Refills with smooth-writing German ink, but at the risk of lost shipments and aggravation if packages are lost.  I’m currently providing the service and evaluating how reliable the delivery service is to each country.

If you can afford to use shipping with Tracking and Insurance the delivery cost will be higher but I can offer a discounted rate for larger purchases that can offset the shipping cost.  Just send me a message and we’ll find something that works for both of us!  email:

Why Generic Refills?

I’m a fellow Livescriber. I guess I’m an early adopter since my first Livescribe pen is a Pulse.  I’ve recently gotten a Sky Wifi as well.  The automatic sync with Evernote was the reason I went with Sky.

I don’t have to tell you how miserable the actual writing experience can be with ink refills from Livescribe. Scratchy, having to press down hard, skipping… hard to believe, but some people don’t even notice!

I found posts on the internet giving instructions on DIY refills for Livescribe. Pretty simple to find a refill with the correct diameter and then use a jeweler’s saw and jig to cut them to the correct length.  Remove any burrs with a fine tooth file and you’re writing with nice ink! You have to be careful, you can damage the pressure sensor in the Livescribe and then it won’t detect any refills.  I used to use refills from Monteverde, very nice ink and a nice selection of colors but more than $2 each from my local pen & paper store.

Went exploring for other options.  Asked manufacturers to send me samples of their refills.  I was interested in how easy they were to customize and how smoothly they wrote.  There is some variation between manufacturers! the metal used for the tube, the type and color of ink, the tip size, etc.  Some were easy to cut but not nice to write with, some were really hard to cut but wrote like a dream and then ran out of ink after five pages 😦

Most all of these were “generic” ball point pen refills.  I suspect that every major brand of refill has a generic equivalent.  I found a refill that I was willing to customize and ordered some, customized them to fit Livescribe and went to eBay to see what kind of response we would have.  Well, it was obvious after a month that I wasn’t the only one looking for nicer ink!

So I took the plunge and plunked down a chunk of change to have a custom run of pen refills manufactured to fit Livescribe pens and filled them with the premium German ink that everyone is so pleased with! I started with blue ink because I used to work in a bank and back in the day, a fast and reliable way to tell the difference between an originally signed document and a photocopy was the color of the signature! no color copying back then!  Don’t worry, black ink is coming!

Well, now I’ve got more smooth-writing Generic Refills in Fine and Medium tips with premium blue German ink than I can possibly use! That’s how I became Generic Refills!