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Old 09-10-2017, 10:15 AM   #7
Splitcoast Dirty Dozen
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Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 835

As far as I know, a lot of the big companies (like MFT, Lawn Fawn, etc) are produced in the US - both stamps and dies, hence the cost. And due to laws (see here), they have to disclose where the product is manufactured if it's imported - so you'd know if it was made in China because it would say it on the packaging. It says "made in China" for some of the Sizzix dies I own, for example, so not all brand names are made in the US. But some manufacturing companies in China will literally just copy the uncolored stamp image the company uses to list their product (for example) or they'll copy the die design. Since the quality doesn't matter to them, they don't care about things like watermarks etc that normally detracts people from using listing images to produce content.

Even if the stamp company had their products manufactured in China, though, the manufacturer who uses the design to make an extra batch to resell for cheap is stealing. To me, it's the equivalent of going to the local pharmacy to get family holiday pictures printed, only to see those pictures on their next flyer. Just because I printed the images using the pharmacy's equipment doesn't mean they can use my images however they want - and same goes for manufactured products.

The big issue is that most of the companies who do the knockoffs are difficult to peg. They might make one or two batches of the knockoff, then close shop and reopen under a different name. Or they may be a government-sanctioned business who blames it on a "bad employee who did it on their day off and got fired". In a lot of ways, it feels like a losing battle to try to go after each new manufacturer who does this. It's even worse for small companies like the crafting companies because they don't have the time or the money to keep going after these manufacturers again and again. Having been on the receiving end of something similar to this both at work and personally (trying to sell art), I know how awful and disheartening it is to see your hard work go to waste because some random person decided to steal the end result, so I sympathize entirely with the name brand companies.

Unfortunately, the only way to really stop the whole thing from happening is to either release nothing new or to have every crafter boycott the site/practice and stop buying products from third party vendors. But both of those are no fun for the customer - especially someone who's new to crafting.

So, the best thing we can do is educate ourselves about the products we're buying and using - both from the companies themselves and from SCS (which is a true trove of knowledge, as we all know). Support the practices you want to see more of, and be creative when it comes to saving, spending and using all the crafty goodness.
Creative Cardsea

Last edited by CreativeCardsea; 09-10-2017 at 10:20 AM..
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