Wednesday, September 19, 2018

TAKE A STAND

I have had a rude awakening, yet I knew this was happening, and have ignored it, until now. 

I received an email earlier this morning about just how bad it is getting with the piracy by foreign companies of designs by USA and Canadian designers and manufacturers of craft dies/stamps, then selling them on websites for mere pennies as compared to USA and Canadian sites. 
This saddens me, as this will affect each and every person who loves this craft. Eventually these companies will stop designing and manufacturing, as it will not be worth their while any longer.

Some will say, well, they should lower their price, they charge too much. I am struck at how uninformed this statement is. That same person will be the one saying "I/we should be paid for our job" and "I/we" deserve benefits where we work. They are "owed" a decent living. So are the designers and manufacturers of these products that we all love. AND, most important, these products are manufactured for the most part in the USA. So, when you buy from these Chinese sites, you are taking jobs from workers in your community and instead, supporting the people who steel these designs. You need to think about this before you support these companies.

As a card maker, I was aghast when I saw cards of mine on these sites promoting their products. It is an onerous task to have them removed. It is also of the utmost importance, if you are a card maker, you watermark your cards on the card front. You can easily make a watermark using a program such as Lunapic. This will make it much more difficult for these companies to use your cards to support their products. 

Before you buy from these companies, I hope you will think about this post and instead chose to support your own community.

5 comments :

Lynne said...

Well done Kia. I have been buying USA for quite some time now and try to avoid Chinese made products. There are some very well known companies that have all their products made in China so sometimes it is hard to avoid. Just because it is made in China does not always mean it is less expensive but most of the time it does. MADE IN USA needs all our support.

nancy littrell said...

Thank you Kia for your very supportive...made in USA/Canada message! I agree...Hugs..

Frantic Stamper said...

Thanks for writing this up, Kia.

It's important to note that some very reputable companies have their products made in China. Sizzix for example, or Karen Burniston, or Elizabeth Craft, and many others. These companies all use factories that are certified and tested for quality and safety.

However, the copyright lifters (the "pirates") that steal designs and have them made for cheap, super cheap, are to be watched. They are not certified, not tested... and let's face it, if they don't care about stealing designs, they certainly don't care about your health and what goes into the products they make.

The main tip-off to "is this a pirated product" is if there is a recognizable brand attached to it. The pirates steal the designs, card samples and images from the name brands, but they remove any brand markings.
For example, if you see a Tim Holtz die for $3 on a site like wish, and it doesn't say "Sizzix Tim Holtz", yet the image selling the die is the exact image Sizzix uses, it's pirated. PERIOD. Any seller selling legitimate products WILL state the brand, and won't try to hide.

Another thing to remember is that designers and companies can only continue to create new products if they make money of their last creations. It takes thousands upon thousands of dollars to create, test, manufacture, advertise, and make available a new release of products. When these items are immediately pirated and sold illegally, the company who put out all these funds to have that release produced is not making their investment back.... and at that point, it's hard to invest in the next release.

The point here is: please support the brands you love, the brands that encourage your creativity, the brands that employ people in your communities, your local stores, your favorite US/Canada/UK based online sellers. Buy from the places where you can TALK to someone. Don't support thieves who steal our hard work, and possibly are harming you with who-knows-what is in their products.

Thank you for listening.
-Fran, owner and founder of Frantic Stamper Inc.

Susan said...

Good for you, Kia. I have bought a few cheap craft products from Ali Express so I am one of the guilty ones but you have really got me thinking about it more. You made some really good points - such as when people say why don't the North American companies charge less, and you remind people that our workers need to be paid a living wage with benefits.

I refuse to buy any food products from China - especially since the baby formula and dog food scandals. And I won't buy any fresh produce from China since one of the UBC Botanical Gardens botanists went on a plant-hunting trip to China and saw them using sprays that have been banned in Europe and North America for 30 years and there were the Chinese farm workers using them with no protective gear. They clearly don't care about their workers' health.

So I am going to stop buying their pirated craft products.

Kia Gibson-Clapper said...

@Susan Yay, if I can change only a few from buying, it is so worth my efforts. Thank you Susan.

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