Pen Boutique is a one-stop online source that offers various kinds of writing instruments, stationery and gifts. The following are categories of products that you can find at Pen Boutique:
Pen Boutique also offers numerous collectors' items, calligraphy essentials, corporate gifts and school stationery.
Pen Boutique, a company that specializes in fine writing instruments and gifts is based in Columbia, Maryland. It was founded by Leena Shrestha, and the company prides itself in the high quality of their service as well as various achievements and awards that they have received. The boutique has been operating for more than a decade, with brick-and-mortar stores located in Columbia and Montgomery, Maryland. They are an authorized dealer for the fine pens, fountain pens, writing accessories and leather executive gifts that they carry.
Customer reviews of Pen Boutique can be found at websites such as Yelp.com (2.5-/5 star rating) and InsiderPages.com (4.5/5-star rating). The company has received its share of both positive and negative reviews from their customers. The following are snippets of some of the reviews:
"The selection there seemed to be pretty good. In addition to the pens, they carried a lot of inks (they have a good selection of J Herbin, Noodler's, Private Reserve, among other brands) and papers (Rhodia in particular). I ended up walking out with a Lamy Al-Star with a fine nib and a bottle of ink. Good times. I'll definitely come back whenever I need to pick up some new inks or pens!" - Dan A.
"I recently visited the store after reading great reviews on the internet. I must say this place is beautiful and the best, the associates are equally wonderful. They helped me finding the perfect pen for my husband and it was one of the best gifts given." - Anonymous
"Pen Boutique does not accept personal cheques, which I find annoying. Neither is there a discount on anything. Because of these latter problems, I normally opt out to shop elsewhere." - S D.
"I placed an order on Jan 16th. I got an email on Jan 17th asking for some further verification on the order. On the 18th I submitted the further information. I had no response or confirmation so about 4 days later I made an email query into the status of my order. No reply. I called the company a week later, TWICE, and was told I'd get a call back. Never heard from them again." - I K.
Pen Boutique recently became a BBB accredited business, starting August 2012. They are rated A+ by the BBB, as shown on their BBB page as well as the company's website. There are only 3 complaints closed with BBB in the last 3 years and one of the factors that helped to raise their BBB rating is their response and resolution to these complaints.
The company is also awarded with an Excellent rating by Stella Service in October 2011. Among the outstanding areas that influence this rating are great email support, easy returns and friendly staff.
In addition to that, Pen Boutique is also an Inc. 500|5000 award recipient which includes them in the list of America's fastest growing companies. Howard County Chamber of Commerce awarded this company with the "Emerging Success Award" for the year 2008. Their customer service has also been awarded Best of the Columbia by US Retailers Assocation for 2 consecutive years, 2007 and 2008.
According to Alexa.com, the company's website has a three-month global traffic rank of 408,615 and US traffic rank of 137,137. They have quite a fair reputation, with 141 sites linking in. Based on their traffic stats, the daily traffic to the website has increased by 30% in the last month. The site demographics shows that the website appeals more to users who are educated and with a high income.
Compete recorded a number of 10,822 unique visitors to the website in October, 2012 which gives them a rank of 137,033. In terms of competitiveness, the company is at the top spot in the list of 4 companies that offer pens and writing instruments.
The Pen Boutique website has a Google PageRank of 4/10.
Since they joined Facebook in 2010, the company has received over 500 likes for their Facebook page. The company is quite active on Facebook and frequently posts updates on facts and information about their products, special promotions and current events. Pen Boutique also has quite a huge following on Twitter, with over 300 followers and more than 600 tweets so far. Their Twitter page is also regularly updated.
In addition, they also have a blog at Penboutique.blogspot.com that was started in 2009. Many of their blog posts contain valuable information about the different writing instruments.
Pen Boutique's website is awarded with the Norton Secured seal. They have a valid SSL Certificate, which means that information exhcanged is encrypted with SSL before transmission. Their website identity is also verified and they have passed the malware scan (latest scan was on November 30, 2012).
Google Safe Browsing diagnostic page also does not list the website as suspicious. No malicious software and content has been hosted on the website over the past 90 days.
The following are the price ranges for some of the product categories offered by Pen Boutique:
- Fountain Pens: $3.25 - $105,000.00
- Gel Refills: $2.46 - $8.00
- Portfolios: $33.00 - $280.00
- Desk Pen Holders: $24.00 - $796.00
- Business & Laptop Cases: $27.00 - $575.00
The prices offered are generally similar to other top stores selling writing instruments, however there are also other smaller retail stores that sell the products for much cheaper prices, especially for pens.
Pen Boutique offers free US Standard Ground Shipping (via USPS or FedEx) for purchases over $50 by customers in the Continental United States. Delivery times vary based on location and size of the product. US ground shipping usually takes 3-7 business days.
Expedited shipping options include overnight, 2nd day shipping, and Express Saver (3-day) that are available for an additional charge (below FedEx/USPS rates). Saturday delivery is available upon request (customers should call the company to arrange for this accordingly). Shipping methods that are available also differ by location.
Pen Boutique also ships internationally. Countries that they ship to can be seen in the drop down menu provided on the Checkout page. There are some countries that the company does not ship to.
Pen Boutique accepts payments made with major credit cards such as Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Discover.
In addition to that, the company also accepts personal checks, money order and corporate checks. However, for personal check, they do not accept orders online. Instead, you should download and print the order form and send it by post with the check included.
Online payment methods such as PayPal, Google Checkout, EbillMe and others are not accepted, which can be rather inconvenient for some people since online payments are quite popular nowadays.
Pen Boutique has a 15-day return policy. To make a return, you have to enclose a copy of your invoice and include all the original packaging and literature to be eligible for a credit, exchange or refund (less shipping charges). Free shipping items are subject to the respective shipping fee. If you receive a defective item, the company will reimburse your return shipping charge of US Ground. Customers should contact the company to make the US Return label.
Returns on the following are not accepted:
- Special Orders
- Engraved items
- Corporate orders
- Limited Editions where a factory seal on the packaging has been broken
- New products with damage caused by the customer
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