Rebranding cheap pens and reselling.
Fountain pen sales on mass selling channels such as eBay and Amazon meant it was only a matter of time before someone hit on this idea.
It involves acquiring a source of very cheap but visually attractive new pens, adding a brand name and reselling them at many times their real value. One particular company 'invents' a factory employing 'craftsmen' with vast experience in fountain pens to design and produce a 'luxury pen' which it sells, very successfully on the platforms mentioned.
One such 'luxury writing implement' is offered at a 'sale price' of £39.99, it actually costs £3.45 from China, it has never seen a U.K. factory, let alone a 'craftsman', it has merely been put in a box bearing the name of the seller. The images used to sell the pen are the same ones as those used by the supplier in China.
I'll update this article when the legal implications of naming the companies involved have been fully explored.
Update: It appears that it is not wise to 'name and shame' these pen 'companies' on this platform. The number of these sham pen companies has, however, increased significantly of late and there is evidence that they are enjoying some success in their ventures.
If you are tempted by an attractive new brand of fountain pen appearing on the market I suggest subjecting the image of the pen to a reverse image search to find the origin of the photograph. Perhaps a check on aliexpress.com may also be worthwhile.