Sunday, 29 May 2011

When blatant copying is not flattery

So what you can see on the bottom is what made me spit my tea out all over my desk this afternoon!
I was doing a search (as you do) to see if my items had been syndicated by etsy, and to see where they came on a search. The peapod cufflinks are always a good one to check as there are almost no others around. You can imagine how shocked I was to see this site in China selling silver pea pod cufflinks, made in China, minimum order 30 pairs! MINE!!! If you look closely you can see that there is nothing that hasn't been copied, not a single thing left out, even... (this is the funny bit) my copywrite statement

On further checking, I could see many many many, (maybe all of them) other etsy seller cufflinks. I posted a post in the etsy forums and I have to say was blown away by the support and suggestions from the other sellers.
(etsy forum link)
I have linked the pictures to the relevant sites so you can check it out for yourself (and if you are a cufflink seller I suggest you do, you may well find your items there.)

So what is it? I have no idea, it seems that if you follow the links to twitter or facebook you start getting led a right song and dance and keep finding yourself on yet another site (same colours and logos, slightly different version of the name) always selling rip off items that they don't make. Is it a scam site just waiting for the money to come in? will they get on and make them up quickly if they get an order? Who knows. I wrote to the Huffington Post to see if they wanted to do the story and am waiting to hear back. I also (;-) wrote to the site and asked for a quote for 50 pairs, and am waiting to hear.
So, looks like I have been 'syndicated' after all, just not in the way I was hoping. I'm sure I will be adding to this story in due course, but this is as much info as I have at the moment. Would love to hear your comments.

This lovely person fineheart has written a much better worded post on her blog - do have a look

Since Saturday: They took down my description and just had the photos. Then a very badly written description went back up. Then when I checked today (Wednesday 1/6/11)the original description was back up minus my details. I'm so mad I could spit, it's like they are just sticking the finger up. I wrote on Saturday to htem, again on Sunday, then again on Monday and then my lovely Chinese friend gave me some further information, and I wrote giving them 3 days to take it down before I reported them to the Chinese Government department dealing with this sort of thing. And since that letter they have put back the original description, so they are obviously not going to do anything.
The worst thing in all of this is that I wrote to etsy administration asking for help, as did many of the other sellers affected. Did we hear anything? did we bollocks, not until tonight when they shut the thread down, because some daft tart mentionned another shop on etsy - suddenly we are 'calling out' and that's that. Not one single word of help, comment or advice from admin, I am so shocked. Etsy has been good to me in the past, I have sold many many items on there, but I have made the mistake of seeing it as a community, whereas it's obviously not, the other lovely lovely sellers are great, but when you need help?


Susan said...

Sue, Thought you might find solace in this similar story:

Kudos for getting right on top of it! Will be curious to see how it all turns out.

Somethingxtraspecial said...

Wow - thank you Susan, I am in awe of you. I am just not in a position to do that, and it's a bit different anyway, they aren't really copying my design so much as friggin nicking my listing ha ha, and every other cufflink seller on etsy. I'm sure they will close that site down soon and open up again as something else, they already have a trillion different sites. I imagine it's a fraud site, not so much a copy and sell, as they never cam back with my quote lol

Somethingxtraspecial said...

Oh Susan - sorry, I didn't read it right, I thought you were the blog writer, my mistake a thousand times. Majorly impressive though what she was able to do.

fineheart said...

I am so sorry that you're one of the shops being copied and I hope you get the justice you seek!

Somethingxtraspecial said...

fineheart - thank you, and thank you for your support and great blog post. I have put a link to it in the post.

Janie said...

It just really sucks that this is going on. So sorry you are having to endue this! But, it is good that you are getting the word out so this is exposed.

Somethingxtraspecial said...

Thanks Janie - though in the end I am so getting to the stage that we are just all a little apathetic to it all, I mean what can be done. I am still so mad and frustrated at the total lack of any interest from the people who could help. Oh well. Thanks for your support.