It can be very difficult to shop for ink online, because there are so many things that might impact how a type of ink looks and feels.
I have never paid for a bottle of ink myself that I did not like. But I have received a few for review at my former stationery site that I didn’t like.
Not getting into this here.
I usually start with ink brands, and I try to read reviews of them and to figure out the general feel and properties of the brand as a whole.
What I look for in a ink is great colors and a well lubricated ink that flows well. Like my favourite Pilot Iroshizuku.
I usually start by reading at least 5 different reviews from different sites. If I’m still interested at this point I move into colors.
I usually just go to where I buy most of my ink, look at their stock and try to find something I like.
When I find something I think looks interesting I start to check out ink reviews of that color. I usually focus on how it looks at this stage.
I try to find reviews on different paper, ideally with something like what I use. Different pens, ideally the kind of pen / nib combinations I use. To get a feeling for how it will look.
Some inks will look very different depending on the nib and wetness of the pen.
This is a place I just keep looking until I feel like I have a strong impression of how it will look.
I try very hard to not pay for inks I’ll hate. But there are times I just wing it and hope for the best. But if you happen to get a ink you really don’t like you’ll probably find someone to trade it with.