This thread over on Fountain Pen Network concerns me a great deal.
The short version: someone bought a Montblanc Starwalker that is clearly a fake to the people who know about these things.
While this isn’t news in itself (the Starwalker is reportedly the most frequently faked pen in the Montblanc line up), the part that concerns me a great deal is that he purchased the pen from Costco.
A little investigation reveals that Costco is not an Authorized Montblanc Dealer. But they are a major retailer in the US. And the public should be able to trust them. I like shopping there, feel like I get good deals, and as someone in the thread pointed out – Costco has been carrying some high-end items lately. (In fact, it sounds like they even had some Montblanc Bohemes awhile back.)
There are two theories about how this could have happened…
1. A customer already in possession of a fake went to Costco, purchased a real pen, slipped the fake into the box, returned that item, and kept the real pen. The FPN person happened to be the unlucky person who ended up with the fake.
2. Costco bought a bunch of fakes.
I think this has me so bothered because how in the world is the average person on the street looking for a nice pen supposed to protect themselves from something like this?
– Buy only from Montblanc Boutiques
– Buy only from Authorized Dealers
– Research, research, research so that you may be better able to spot a fake
– Sounds too good to be true….
The good news is that Costco took the pen in question back (not surprising, my understanding is that they have a great return policy).
But now what happens? Will that pen be put back on the shelves and resold? Will someone take a closer look at the inventory.
It just concerns me.