I know there’s been some talk of counterfeit Lamy Safaris, but I never paid too much attention. I tend to buy new pens from authorized or at least well-known retailers, so I didn’t have any reason to look deeper. I figured there couldn’t be a big market for counterfeits of a low-cost pen. (Low-cost knock-offs are another story, I’m talking about pens that claim to be Lamy.) Two unrelated events happened one-day last week which triggered a two hour time sink into (what must be) counterfeit Lamy’s on eBay.
The first was a review of my remaining accumulation to see if there were any other pens I can sell-off. I came across my two remaining Lamy Salaries, a Petrol along with a Dark Lilac. I made a mental note that one of them could go. It would probably be the Petrol, but there wasn’t any rush. An hour or two later, I came across a Reddit post of someone wanting to buy a Lamy Petrol. So, as usual, I started by looking for recent eBay sales. The Petrol was a 2017 Special Edition. While not limited by numbers, it had a limited manufacturing timespan and the authorized retailers sold out long ago. So I didn’t expect to find many recent sales.
I was utterly wrong.
Let me digress a bit and define my two Lamy pens. The “Lamy Safari Petrol, released in 2017, is a distinctive teal color. The “Lamy Safari Dark Lilac” was released in 2016 and is a purple color. All the authorized retailers I’ve seen have called the pens by their quoted names. Ok, back on track.
A search for “Lamy Safari Petrol” on eBay resulted in a mess. There were 55 listings, 54 of which were for new pens. Many of the listings were for multiple pens. There were all variations on the name, such as “Lamy Safari Petrol Blue,” “Lamy Safari Petrol Purple,” and even one “Lamy Safari Petrol Black.” Most (maybe all, I didn’t check every listing) sellers of the new models were in Vietnam, Hong Kong, and China. Many were priced at one-third the price that the pen cost from an authorized Lamy dealer back in 2017.
Recently completed sales did include a couple used pens that seemed legitimate and sold for twice the cost of recent “new” sales.
I did find a couple “safari petrol” listings that avoided all mention of Lamy and didn’t say Lamy on the pen barrel. So those sellers probably met the letter of the eBay law by not misrepresenting anything in the listing. They even used a lower case “s” for Safari. They were called limited editions, but that’s not a lie since there’s a finite number made at any one time. So I’d consider these knock-off trying to pass as Lamy. But, the rest all clearly claimed to be real Lamy pens. I’m not an expert on Lamy, so while it’s possible they were all legit (and a couple did seem legitimate), I find it impossible to believe that many were not counterfeit.
Like I said, I was wrong. There’s a significant market in counterfeit Lamy Safari pens. While I only looked at eBay, there are claims that Amazon has a similar problem.
Some people may be happy buying a look-alike pen at a lower price and may know what their gettings. Plus, I’m sure it harder to sell legitimate models, either used or new old stock at a reasonable (i.e., profitable) price. If I do decide to sell either of my Lamy Safari pens, I doubt I would list them on eBay.
My Experience With a Counterfeit Lamy Safari – The Desk of Lori
How to Spot a Knock-Off Lamy Safari – Goldspot Pens