Moleskines Made In China

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SFWriter

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Aug 1, 2006, 1:53:36 PM8/1/06
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I noticed a significant decrease in the quality of the last Moleskine
notebook I purchased. I looked at the tag and it said "Bound and
Printed In China" "Designed and Packaged in Italy."

I was kind of shocked to see that Modo is now manufacturing over there.
I sent two email inquiries to them, but got no response. I also called
Moleskine US and they did not have any information.

I'd like to know, is this a permanent change? If so I need to start
stashing away the older ones. I think it's really abysmal to let the
quality of such a good product slip, and also for them to trade on the
"European" tradition for something that is now being commoditzed and
for all we know, made in some sweatshop.

Has anyone else had this experience?
Does anyone else have any info they can share?

Thanks

Keiko Yoshimi

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Aug 1, 2006, 1:59:25 PM8/1/06
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WHAT??
is this for real?? nothing against chinese produced goods, but that's
just wrong.
So, I know that Modo e Modo was up for sale, but never found out who
bought it.
Do you guys think that the company who bought Modo decided to
manufacture Moleskine notebooks in China?
If this is true, then the whole meaning of the M's may change...

I don't understand, I think we need facts.
As far as I know, my M's didn't say that it was made in China
though... :S

SFWriter

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Aug 1, 2006, 2:04:02 PM8/1/06
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Yes, sadly this is for real. Next time you're at Borders or Barnes and
Noble, flip over to the back and read the fine print.
All the new 2007 diaries are made in China too.
I'm crushed... not to mention I'll go broke stashing up the old ones!

Michael G. Ellis CPA

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Aug 1, 2006, 2:59:12 PM8/1/06
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I have been stashing them to what might be called a bizarre extent (no known reason), now I found one! They have always had limitations on many FP inks, but the Cahier are nice and I have two file boxes full of all types reporter, notebook, etc. They are cult like and my kids and several clients have played into it and become fans, this is not the greatest news. The price of the books and the recent increased distribution channels led me to not think this type of a change was in the works, I was thinking more innovative on Modo and Modo's part.
 
I don't believe the French will compromise Rhodia and Clairefontaine, although, Waterman was sold along the way (I think) and Parker (UK) has had it's changes.
 
Best Regards
Mike
 

SFWriter

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Aug 1, 2006, 4:22:45 PM8/1/06
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I sent a letter (hard copy/snail mail) to Modo today. Let's see if they
answer that. Though it's August now, vacation month in Europe... I'll
keep you all posted.

Evan Edwards

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Aug 1, 2006, 5:14:38 PM8/1/06
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Could you post the address? I have a feeling that we're a letter writing
crowd.


--
Evan "JabberWokky" Edwards
http://www.cheshirehall.org/

molesk...@gmail.com

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Aug 1, 2006, 5:21:33 PM8/1/06
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Their postal address is:
MODO & MODO S.p.a.
V.le Porta Vercellina, 10
20123 MILANO (Italy)

Their email address is:
in...@modoemodo.com

The press office:
silvia...@modoemodo.com

Message has been deleted

SFWriter

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Aug 1, 2006, 5:49:36 PM8/1/06
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The more people who write to express concern the better! Thank you in
advance for any and all support. :-)

Keiko Yoshimi

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Aug 1, 2006, 6:42:23 PM8/1/06
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if individual letters don't work, then a petition?

Jim-L

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Aug 1, 2006, 10:57:29 PM8/1/06
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If it's a help, the paper strip label for those printed and bound in
China have the usual orange color on the front, but then changes to red
as it wraps around the left binding and the back.

But I've never yet discovered what the sometimes green strip label
means, sometimes on both the moleskine and the Cahiers (softer cover).

Daly de Gagne

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Aug 1, 2006, 11:46:28 PM8/1/06
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I support any effort to urge Moleskine's makers to put quality first, and have sent the following post to Modoemodo:

I love my Moleskine Notebooks. I use the pocket reporter notebooks, and the large, lined note books, as well as various sizes of the Cahiers. Also, I have stopped using Franklin or TimeDesign products, and use the pocket and larger 18-month journal.

With the reporter notebooks and a couple of the larger, lined notebooks, I have had problems because the bindings come apart. I have had two reporter notebooks that I had to stop using when they were only about one third full because of the bindings coming apart.

Also, there's seems to be no consistency as to show-through with fountain pen ink. The same ink, ie. the same brand, colour and bottle, shows through in some Moleskines, but not others.

Given the reputation that Moleskine has, plus an ever-growing cult-following on the Internet which, in my own small way I have contributed to, it is imperative that Modoemodo strive to maintain and improve the quality of each and every Moleskine notebook.

While I appreciate that your market has grown substantially, and perhaps somewhat unexpectedly, I ask of you to please do all possible to keep quality high.

Thank you very much.

Daly de Gagne

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On 8/1/06, SFWriter <janine...@astound.net> wrote:

The more people who write to express concern the better! Thank you in
advance for any and all support. :-)







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Daly de Gagne

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Aug 1, 2006, 11:49:33 PM8/1/06
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I have sent the following post to Modoemodo, emphasizing the need to enhance and to maintain quality. I urge all Moleskine users with similar concerns to write to Modoemodo. Here's the post I sent:


I love my Moleskine Notebooks. I use the pocket reporter notebooks, and the large, lined note books, as well as various sizes of the Cahiers. Also, I have stopped using Franklin or TimeDesign products, and use the pocket and larger 18-month journal.

With the reporter notebooks and a couple of the larger, lined notebooks, I have had problems because the bindings come apart. I have had two reporter notebooks that I had to stop using when they were only about one third full because of the bindings coming apart.

Also, there's seems to be no consistency as to show-through with fountain pen ink. The same ink, ie. the same brand, colour and bottle, shows through in some Moleskines, but not others.

Given the reputation that Moleskine has, plus an ever-growing cult-following on the Internet which, in my own small way I have contributed to, it is imperative that Modoemodo strive to maintain and improve the quality of each and every Moleskine notebook.

While I appreciate that your market has grown substantially, and perhaps somewhat unexpectedly, I ask of you to please do all possible to keep quality high.

Thank you very much.

Daly de Gagne

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On 8/1/06, SFWriter <janine...@astound.net> wrote:

Jim-L

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Aug 2, 2006, 3:55:02 AM8/2/06
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re the reporters' notebooks: I know the online sketches of them show
the cover being completely bent back behind. But that simply doesn't
work. If you do so, you will break the binding.

But I still prefer the reporters, because, with the lid/cover lifted, I
have the use of a full flat page, and not a curved page as in the books
with the binding on the left side.

marcus...@dhl.com

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Aug 2, 2006, 5:46:04 AM8/2/06
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Thank you very much. I have sent an email to them now as well.

The first attempt to "ii...@modoemodo.com" came back and
"in...@modoemodo.com" seems to work.

I have recently bought the new 18 months calendar and as Fountain Pen
user I was disappointed as the ink bleeds through much worse than with
all other notebooks I am using. And some pages are worse than others.
Ok, the pages are thinner but still. I have tried the Pilot G2 which shows
through as well so I will stick to my Fountain Pen. I had ordered a fine
nib yesterday in the hope that this will help.

Not sure about where it was produced though. I had not checked at the
time when I bought it.



Best regards,
Marcus

molesk...@gmail.com
Sent by: Molesk...@googlegroups.com

01/08/2006 22:23
Please respond to Moleskinerie

       
        To:        "Moleskinerie" <Molesk...@googlegroups.com>
        cc:        
        Subject:        Re: Moleskines Made In China-not surprised



That should be:
ii...@modoemodo.com

My apologies.




arm...@gmail.com

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Aug 2, 2006, 8:55:44 AM8/2/06
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I thought I was crazy when I bought my most recent squared large
notebook. The cover is, well *different*. It is thinner feeling and
the finish is much more dull and less *oiled* feeling. It feels dry
and cheap, if that makes an sense. Not to mention that I had to return
it immediately because the covers were misaligned and crooked about 1/4
inch (i.e., not flush with the paper inside). I promptly returned it
and got another one. I didn't notice until a few written pages later
that it too had a flaw on the cover, what looks to be where a wheel of
sorts that would move the cover along the assembly line got stuck and
slightly *spun out* on the edge.

I got hooked on Moleskines early this year and loved them, but if this
what to expect from now on I'll never buy another.

Aaron

Daly de Gagne

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Aug 2, 2006, 9:30:40 AM8/2/06
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Folks, please let modoemodo know what is happening.

To a large extent the Internet made their business -- and we can also make their business slump, leaving them with thousands of unsold books.

We love our Moleskines so let's rally to the cause (not to be over melodramatic or anything!)!

My Moleskines are too important for shoddy craftsmanship.

Daly

SFWriter

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Aug 2, 2006, 9:38:58 AM8/2/06
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I echo Daly's sentiments! This is the time to let Modo know. I sent
them the following letter yesterday:

August 1, 2006

Ms. Silvia Trenta
Marketing Department
MODO&MODO S.p.A.
Viale di Porta Vercellina, 10
20123 Milano - Italy

Dear Ms. Trenta,

I recently emailed Modo e Modo about the lower quality of your
Moleskine notebooks made in China and did not receive a response. I am
following up now via regular mail, as I'm a dedicated user of your
products and would like to know about their future.

The fact that Modo is now manufacturing Moleskines in China is
distressing on many levels. First, and also most important, is the
noticeably lower quality of the product. I recently opened a large
squared notebook, not knowing where it was made, and it had a terrible
smell, something like diesel fuel. The cover material was also
different, and after holding the book for more than a few seconds, my
hands got all sweaty. After less than a page of writing, my pen was so
clogged up with debris I couldn't use it. On my way to toss the book
out, I finally checked the packaging and saw "Printed and Bound in
China," which explained everything.

Secondly, I do not think it is ethical to continue marketing these
products as artifacts of the "European Intellectual Tradition" if
they are now being mass-produced in Asia. It's like a slap in the
face to your customers, who are obviously intelligent, and willing to
spend a significant amount for what they perceive as a better product
or something that has a certain cachet. To try to pass these off as
"original" Moleskine notebooks, the same as Hemingway and Chatwin
used, is just plain insulting to the buyer's intelligence.

Lastly, I fail to see how a company like Modo, that would seem to care
about things like human rights and the environment, can justify having
their products even partially made in China. Paper manufacturing and
printing is a notoriously toxic process, and the only reason the
Chinese can do it so cheaply is their total disregard for polluting the
environment.

It's also common knowledge they treat most of their factory workers
like indentured servants, and the working conditions in most Chinese
manufacturing plants is inhumane at best. Even though Modo must be
saving significantly on costs by moving some or all production to
China, I did not notice the retail price of your products coming down.
Nor would I want see that. I'd gladly pay even more for "il
originale," if it's still available. I'm sure I am not alone in
my sentiments.

I hope that you will consider these concerns and reply promptly. I
appreciate your attention to the matter.

Juan Pablo Tapia

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Aug 2, 2006, 9:44:38 AM8/2/06
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From a Moleskine User from Chile, I support this letter. Don`t we have to make a group lettter, signed for all of us??

regards
--
Juan Pablo Tapia
(56 8) 239 2141
www.juanpablotapia.cl

Evan Edwards

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Aug 2, 2006, 9:58:43 AM8/2/06
to Molesk...@googlegroups.com

Every type of notebook has a different color. Orange is lined. Green is
plain. Pale blue is music staff lined. Yellow is squared (graph paper).
Magenta is storyboard layout.

There are a few others, but basically, you can glance at the size and
color and know what's inside. I like small and green... i.e., pocket plain.

Evan Edwards

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Aug 2, 2006, 10:02:16 AM8/2/06
to Molesk...@googlegroups.com
On Wednesday 02 August 2006 9:44, Juan Pablo Tapia wrote:
> Don`t we have to
> make a group lettter, signed for all of us??

I'd imagine that would have much less of an impact that everybody sending
individual letters.

SFWriter

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Aug 2, 2006, 11:12:10 AM8/2/06
to Moleskinerie
I think it would be better to send your own letter.

broo...@gmail.com

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Aug 5, 2006, 4:53:18 PM8/5/06
to Moleskinerie
I've read through all these comments. It makes me wonder - I purchased
my first in Austin in March 2005. It's a lined pocket notebook,
carried in briefcase and back pocket. The pocket in the back has split
and the cover has seperated from the spine in the back as well. It's
never struck me that it's matched the reputation i've read about. So,
I'm now suspecting that I have a Chinese edition. It would be well
that either the current owners of Moleskine's shape up, or find an
alternative, at least for me. I've been quite pleased, thus far, with
some notebooks from a Canadian Hardware/Woodworkers/Garderners company,
Lee Valley Tools. I have their logbook X2 and another notebook. They
don't get quite the abuse of the Moleskine, but they aren't
pocket-sized either.

J

Daly de Gagne

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Aug 5, 2006, 6:30:54 PM8/5/06
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The Lee Valley log book is great. I actually carry my large Moleskine
notebook and my large 18 month planner around in the green leather cover
Lee Valley sells for the log book and/or the Harvard Planner it also sells.

I have had the same kind of problem with my pocket notebooks since the
second reporter's notebook I used.

It pisses me off that no one from the company seems to have replied to
any of us who has written. Perhaps they have been too busy arranging for
the sale too the French.

The French may again meet their Waterloo or, for Canadian content, their
Plains of Abraham, if they do not bring the Moleskines up to snuff.. I
will not have my name and recommendations attached to a second rate
product, and just as I have done all I can to promote Moleskines, the
new owners may be assured that I, and I suspect others, will do all we
can to find and recommend other products if the shoddy quality persists.

An advertising executive friend of mine spent some time analyzing the
Moleskine phenomenon on the web, and concluded that the value of word of
mouth on various groups came at least to the high six figures in US
dollars. I would hate to have that kind of advertising power turning
people away from my products.

Daly

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DigiPicker

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Aug 7, 2006, 10:21:48 PM8/7/06
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Well, now I'm pissed off. I recently ordered four pocket ruled
notebooks and a large sketchbook. Turns out that all the pocket
notebooks are made in China. I never even thought to look. After all,
who would have ever suspected that Modo y Modo would pull such a stunt?
Certainly not me. I got these from Moleskine USA and I'm rather upset
with them, too - so much so that I will never purchase anything from
them again.

I certainly hope the French buyers will stop this nonsense immediately,
and return Moleskine to its former quality. If not, well I guess I'll
have to find something to replace Moleskines. I really don't look
forward to that process.

Now that I've ranted about this major annoyance, does anyone know where
I might be able to purchase a small stock of older NON-Chinese pocket
ruled notebooks and pocket sketchbooks - mint in the original
packaging, of course?

Thank you !!!

Keiko Yoshimi

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Aug 7, 2006, 10:44:35 PM8/7/06
to Molesk...@googlegroups.com
soon after i discovered the M's being made in China, i went to a
nearby borders and bought some that are not made in china to stock up.
even in the same stack of one type of moleskine on the shelf, most of
them were that of made in china already.
i don't know what's happening, or what will happen with the purchase
of modo e modo by the french company, but if they decide to continue
producing the notebooks in china, then i believe that a number of
things may/will/should happen:
- price of the notebooks should go down due to lower labor costs
- moleskine may lose its very meaning to a large number of current
users as well as the notebook itself
- if the quality of the paper doesn't improve, many may defect to
another brand(s). as for me, i buy and use cahier for writing with
certain ball point pens of mine, and i use ruled pocket notebooks to
write/sketch with my fountain pens because they feel right to me for
different pens i use.

but the thing that'd not be cool for me is that i haven't come across
any other notebooks that are as durable and simple as Moleskine...so
it'd be very hard for me to go to another brand :S

but, in retrospect, i did notice an increased availability of
Moleskine notebooks at local bookstores recently, which may coincide
with the time they started to make them in china? i wonder...

best,

Jim-L

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Aug 8, 2006, 12:18:36 AM8/8/06
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Next to try: Clairefontaine. Heavier paper, pure white, lined,
stitched bindings, stiff cover but not quite as stiff a M. More pages
per book. Frequently on sale.

Also, Barnes and Noble, generic brand bound books, actual hardbound
books. Maybe not for carrying, but sure a deal for a desk ledger.

Cinemafia

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Aug 8, 2006, 10:59:41 AM8/8/06
to Moleskinerie
This is extremely distressing...though it could be a symptom of why the
brand has now been sold to Société générale. Let's all hope that
the new management will discontinue this as soon as possible...

Michael G. Ellis CPA

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Aug 8, 2006, 11:05:04 AM8/8/06
to Molesk...@googlegroups.com
Where do you find Clairefontaine on sale? I buy that and Rhodia and the only place it's on sale for me is when a client goes to France and buys some for me. Thanks.
----- Original Message -----
From: Jim-L
Sent: Tuesday, August 08, 2006 12:18 AM
Subject: Re: Moleskines Made In China


Armand

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Aug 8, 2006, 11:07:32 AM8/8/06
to Moleskinerie
May I invite you to start a discussion on Clairefontaine and other
alternatives at Notebookism?

The link is here:
http://groups.google.com/group/notebookism

Thank you.

GM

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Aug 10, 2006, 9:48:48 AM8/10/06
to Moleskinerie
I've horded about 12 large lined books over the last year, and that
should last me a couple years. But I've noticed a slight variation in
quality. When I read this post I hauled them down from the shelf to
check and can't see any printing/binding/packaging info on them. They
just say Kikkerland Design on the back. Where would the China info be,
were it there?

Moleskine isn't the only high end product out there. They'll definitely
lose my loyalty if they choose to continue this route. My 18 month
dayplanner is falling apart. If one of my writing books starts to go,
I'll abandon the product line completely.

G

SFWriter wrote:
> I noticed a significant decrease in the quality of the last Moleskine
> notebook I purchased. I looked at the tag and it said "Bound and
> Printed In China" "Designed and Packaged in Italy."
>
> I was kind of shocked to see that Modo is now manufacturing over there.
> I sent two email inquiries to them, but got no response. I also called
> Moleskine US and they did not have any information.
>
> I'd like to know, is this a permanent change? If so I need to start
> stashing away the older ones. I think it's really abysmal to let the
> quality of such a good product slip, and also for them to trade on the
> "European" tradition for something that is now being commoditzed and
> for all we know, made in some sweatshop.
>
> Has anyone else had this experience?
> Does anyone else have any info they can share?
>
> Thanks

Matthew Johnson

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Aug 10, 2006, 9:55:01 AM8/10/06
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Mine, too.  The pocket in the back has come off the cover.

C

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Aug 10, 2006, 10:22:06 AM8/10/06
to Moleskinerie
I wrote to them with my two cents. Seems letter-writing worthy to me.
C

> ------=_Part_7618_30404182.1154525440788
> Content-Type: text/html; charset=ISO-8859-1
> X-Google-AttachSize: 1875
>
> Folks, please let modoemodo know what is happening.<br><br>To a large extent the Internet made their business -- and we can also make their business slump, leaving them with thousands of unsold books.<br><br>We love our Moleskines so let's rally to the cause (not to be over melodramatic or anything!)!
> <br><br>My Moleskines are too important for shoddy craftsmanship.<br><br>Daly<br><br><div><span class="gmail_quote">On 8/2/06, <b class="gmail_sendername"><a href="mailto:arm...@gmail.com">arm...@gmail.com</a></b> &lt;<a href="mailto:arm...@gmail.com">
> arm...@gmail.com</a>&gt; wrote:</span><blockquote class="gmail_quote" style="border-left: 1px solid rgb(204, 204, 204); margin: 0pt 0pt 0pt 0.8ex; padding-left: 1ex;"><br>I thought I was crazy when I bought my most recent squared large
> <br>notebook.&nbsp;&nbsp;The cover is, well *different*.&nbsp;&nbsp;It is thinner feeling and<br>the finish is much more dull and less *oiled* feeling.&nbsp;&nbsp;It feels dry<br>and cheap, if that makes an sense.&nbsp;&nbsp;Not to mention that I had to return<br>
> it immediately because the covers were misaligned and crooked about 1/4<br>inch (i.e., not flush with the paper inside).&nbsp;&nbsp;I promptly returned it<br>and got another one.&nbsp;&nbsp;I didn't notice until a few written pages later<br>
> that it too had a flaw on the cover, what looks to be where a wheel of<br>sorts that would move the cover along the assembly line got stuck and<br>slightly *spun out* on the edge.<br><br>I got hooked on Moleskines early this year and loved them, but if this
> <br>what to expect from now on I'll never buy another.<br><br>Aaron<br><br><br><br><br></blockquote></div><br><br clear="all"><br>-- <br>Discuss and learn about David Allen's Getting Things Done: <br><a href="http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Getting_Things_Done/">http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Getting_Things_Done/
> </a>
>
> ------=_Part_7618_30404182.1154525440788--

shirley...@gmail.com

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Aug 10, 2006, 10:24:36 AM8/10/06
to Moleskinerie
I've gone back and looked at my unopened Moleskines and sure enough,
for the ones I got at Barnes and Noble, on the paper band around the
middle, it says they were printed in china. The ones I purchased at a
stationery store do not have any info on where they were printed or
assembled. These are the original ones

No one has mentioned it yet, but the "original" ones had stickers that
said "W R I T I N G" on them. The new chinese-manufactured moleskines
do not have these. It's another way to tell.

I recently purchased a large sketchbook from Barnes and Noble and the
elastic band was broken and frayed. I didn't notice until I got home
and I needed to use it that night, so I just repaired it myself.

Also, if you look at the covers under a bright light, you can clearly
see the difference in textures between the old and new materials used
for the covers.

Much as we hate the loss of quality, chinese manufacture and labor are
probably so much less expensive for Modo e Modo that they aren't going
to yank it back to Europe.

So what can we do??? Just write letters?? Any other ideas, anyone?

Daly de Gagne

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Aug 10, 2006, 11:28:20 AM8/10/06
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Is there are snail mail/email address for the new owners?

I think it is worthwhile to make sure they are aware of the concerns.

Daly

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molesk...@gmail.com

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Aug 10, 2006, 11:32:31 AM8/10/06
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We're trying to find out. Will post it here as soon as we have it.

GM

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Aug 10, 2006, 11:47:22 AM8/10/06
to Moleskinerie
Well, none of the ones I have say anything about China on them, but I
do have some from the WRI/TIN/G.. days when cards and stickers came in
the back (I always found that a bit trite, to tell you the truth, and
was relieved when it stopped) and some that don't. So I cracked into my
stash of non-WRI/TIN/G.. ones to see if there was a difference. I'm
releived to say, not much. So I don't think any of my ones are from the
Chinese production zone. I'll be keeping an eye out like the rest of
you to snap up the remaining non-China books. After that, unless things
revert back to quality over quantity, I'll be switching brands. The
danger we all face as afficionados of a product is becoming the blind
sheep the product makers rely on as their evangelical base. I've been
giving Molies as gifts to other writers and artists for years. If
Moleskines sticks it to people like us, those who built them one
convert at a time, they have only themselves to blame if/when things
tank. I'd hate to see them in the stationary section next to Hilroy,
but if that's where they're headed, they can count me and my friends
out.

C

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Aug 10, 2006, 2:24:20 PM8/10/06