How one Harrogate shop almost sold a £1,200 Hemingway pen for just £1

A Harrogate woman thought she had found a bargain David Dickinson would have been proud of after buying an Ernest Hemingway style pen for just £1.

Thursday, 26th January 2017, 1:15 pm
Updated Thursday, 26th January 2017, 1:22 pm

Courtney Addison was browsing a Harrogate stationer’s website for a new work pen when she stumbled upon the limited edition Ernest Hemingway ‘The Writer’ Montegrappa pen.

Despite being just one of 100 made for worldwide sale and boasting an 18kt solid gold nib, the pen was available for just £1 - the same price as a pack of HB pencils.

Without realising the true value of the gem, Ms Addison added the pen to her basket, agreed to the £2.95 delivery fee and clicked purchase.

Courtney Addison

However, after receiving her confirmation email from Jespers, the 32-year-old said she was “shocked” when she opened up a second email informing her that the pen actually cost £1,200.

Jespers informed Ms Addison that the product was currently out of stock and if she wished to reorder it, if there was any remaining stock, she would have to pay the full sum for the pleasure.

Courtney said: “I wanted a pen for work so I thought I would have a look at Jespers because I like things a bit different. I had no idea the pen was so valuable and I got a hell of a shock when I saw the actual price.

“I can’t even imagine their reaction when they realised. Afterwards I reread the description and realised they had made a huge mistake.”

Courtney Addison

The product is described on the website as a “tribute to Ernest Hemingway’s talent as a novelist, storyteller and journalist” and the “perfect commemoration” to his years of literature awards.

An apologetic Peter Jesper, owner of the business, said that the company immediately refunded Ms Addison’s purchase and said he was “mortified” with the mistake.

He said: “I’m very concerned at this incident but it’s obviously an error in the system, human or otherwise.

“In order to relieve the upset, if the customer contacts me directly, I will give her a personal run through of our range and organise a special deal with proper Jespers’ service.

"As a specialist pen retailer, we stock a wide variety of fountain, ballpoint and rollerball pens which range in price from under 50p to around £1,900.

"About five years ago, we even had a diamond-encrusted pen in stock worth £22,000. And if we don't have what a customer is looking for, our expertise and contacts within the specialist pen sector mean we can source specific items for them."