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FPR is cutting ties with TWSBI

Kevin Thiemann |

We regret to announce that FPR will no longer be carrying TWSBI products.  Read below for a further explanation.

In late 2019 FPR reached out to Philip Wang at TWSBI about carrying their line of pens.  At that time Philip sent us their two-point retailer agreement, which I will paste below directly from Philip’s email:

We have two policies. 1. No items are to be discounted or put on promotional sales. All items have to be sold at the suggested retail price or above. This is to protect all retailers from having pricing wars with each other. 

  1. the minimum order per order is $200. 

We agreed to these policies, placed our first order in Jan of 2020 and have been happy to carry the TWSBI line since that time.

On the January 10th of this year we submitted our first order of 2023.  Philip Wang replied with TWSBI’s new retailer agreement (know as MAP, “Minimum Advertised Price” agreement) and let us know that it would need to be signed before our new order could be fulfilled. I was surprised and disappointed to see that instead of the 2-point statement I had agreed to in 2019 it was now a 7-page, in my view, overly restrictive and verbose legal document.  The new retailer agreement can be found here for those who would like to read it for themselves.

After carefully pouring through the document I decided to sign it but also replied to Philip Wang communicating my disappointment with the document that felt too restrictive.  I suggested that TWSBI should consider a more humble stance towards its retailers.  

Within an hour I received a response from Philip Wang letting me know he considered my response to be “a bit rude” and that, in light of my response, I was no longer welcome to be a TWSBI retailer.  I was surprised by this response since I had agreed to sign and abide by the terms of the agreement. 

I decided to reply to Philip Wang apologizing for coming on too strong in communicating my frustration with the new document and reworded the email being careful to reiterate my willingness to abide by the terms of the agreement and also more diplomatically explaining my disappointment with its contents and hope that TWSBI would reconsider some of its policies in the future.

I was surprised that after a couple of days Philip Wang, who is normally very timely in his replies, still had not responded to my follow-up email.  I waited a few more days and then resent the email from the original email address and also from our business email in case it had perhaps fallen into spam or gotten lost.  After several more days there still was no response. I reached out to TWSBI headquarters in Taipei, Taiwan requesting their help in light of Philip Wang’s silence.  TWSBI headquarters in Taipei has also provided no response.

At this point, it seems we have no choice but to consider any contract between TWSBI and FPR to be revoked and it is FPR’s stance that we will no longer do business with TWSBI.

Some may also remember TWSBI’s decision last year to send a letter to all of its retailers attempting to strong arm us into not carrying two other pen lines upon threat of TWSBI retailer privileges being revoked.  This was due to a disagreement with those smaller manufacturers about similarities in parts and was an obvious attempt to strongarm those smaller manufacturers. 

FPR admittedly is a relatively small family-owned business and surely not one of TWSBI’s larger and more lucrative accounts.  At this point we can only conclude that TWSBI has grown too large to care about its smaller retailers. 

In light of the above FPR will no longer be carrying TWSBI products and will be liquidating all remaining TWSBI pens at 15% off.  We will be looking to pick up some other small-business friendly lines of pens that align more closely with FPR’s values and standards of customer care to replace TWSBI in the FPR lineup of products.

Click here to pick up one of our remaining TWSBI pens at 15% off.