Friday, April 26, 2013

A peculiar listing on etsy

Anyone remember when Selfish Seamstress Elaine did a post about idiots on the internet? Reader Irene just alerted me to the following listing on etsy, and I found myself in the same predicament:
 


Can you believe that?!! I wonder if this has happened to me before and I just didn't know about it. As you can see in the light green highlighted area, I have reported this seller to the Marketplace Integrity team, so hopefully they can get it taken down quickly. I've had nothing but good experiences from purchases I've made on etsy (mostly bows). Do these crooks really make money off unsuspecting people wanting custom dresses?

I particularly love the "85% refund if dress does not fit you" statement. It seems so authentic, right?  People taking advantage of unsuspecting individuals via the internet makes me so angry.

69 comments:

  1. Puts me off blogging, internet selling, the whole nine yards. I have blogsite but no entries. I'm just so afraid of the repercussions.

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    1. Well, I must say, this is the first time I've experienced this in the 5 years I've been blogging. The benefits of community far outweigh the detriments, in my opinion. Don't let a few weird people ruin in for you.

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  2. From what I know etsy is notoriously bad about stopping sellers that lack integrity. It seems the only thing people can really do is add a watermark to their photos so they can't be easily stolen and reused. Which really sucks when you are trying to show off the details of something you made.

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    1. Thanks for the information. Time will tell whether they pay attention to my comment or not.

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  3. That is terrible... I can see watermarks as a good solution, you are right. I solve it by not having a great camera. LOL.

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    1. Haha! That is definitely a silver cloud moment!

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  4. This is horrible! May I report it as "The item may not be handmade by the seller"?

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    1. Yes, that would be great! I have no dealings with the etsy integrity team, so don't know if it will be helpful or not. Thanks for the support!

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  5. That is just awful - would it help if we emailed etsy with reports that it is not "their" dress?

    I think you might have to start using a watermark or such on your pictures...

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    1. That would be great! Thanks for your support!

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  6. You might want to check the listing out again - it is still up and refers viewers to your blog. You are being given credit for the photos . . . .

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    1. The problem is, I didn't give my permission to use my pictures. It's misleading to claim you can make something and post an example of your work, when it's not your work at all.

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    2. I agree - I just wanted to let you know. I wonder if it is because you have reported the listing and the seller thinks this is what is required of her? What a nightmare for you :(

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    3. When you report on Etsy is it anonymous so the seller doesn't know who reported her.

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    4. Worth noting (in case someone else happens by this thread) that you're only anonymous if they choose to KEEP you anonymous. The reporter is known to Etsy. I even had a conversation once with the integrity team member who scoffed at my "report" when I ran across a listing that BLATANTLY featured major full frontal nudity in all of their thumbnail pics (supposedly against their policy). So it's not really anon, the team knows your identity and it's ultimately up to them to keep you anon.

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  7. I think Amanda is infringing on many copy rights on this block herself.
    I doubt she has permission to use pictures that she is using to promote her work.

    Don’t do to other what you do not want others do to you.
    And that includes using words like IDIOT, CROOK, THIEF.
    Those are VERY BIG and LOUD words to use.

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    1. You are obviously the person who stole my pictures and passed them off as your own. Unless you are referring to pattern pictures, I really have no idea what other pictures I am using on my blog that I don't have permission to. And never am I claiming that any garment in any picture is made by me unless it is indeed MADE BY ME!

      Make your own dress and list it on etsy. You do not have my permission to use my pictures. Take them down.

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    2. What's an internet block?

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    3. Pamela, please explain how Amanda doesn't have permission to use pictures that SHE TOOK HERSELF of things SHE MADE HERSELF. As for the pictures of patterns, Amanda is not claiming them as her own, nor is she making any profit from her blog, unlike the Etsy seller who has STOLEN her pictures. I'm sure stolen is one of your very big and loud words, but if it is ture, then they will be used! By using her pictures, the Etsy seller is implying they will make a dress as nicely as she does. If the seller is so lazy that they can't even make up a sample garment to photograph for their listing, then it is unlikely they will bother to take the time to make an incredibly well made garment (both inside and out!)like Amanda does. That alone is false advertising.

      Good luck Amanda! I hope they close down the seller's listing!

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  8. This is so terrible! What she now has in her listing is ridiculous. Etsy is notorious for having literally no one working on the weekends, so you probably won't be able to get help til Monday morning. You can e-mail support@etsy.com and here is there official. way to get it taken down.

    https://www.etsy.com/help/article/482

    You can also ask for help on the Etsy forums,but don't link to the sellers specifically, just ask in generic terms. The Etsy forums can be brutal if they think you're "calling out" a seller, not matter how slimy they are. Good luck!

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    1. Thanks for the link and information. I have a pretty busy weekend ahead of me so honestly wouldn't have time to fire off a bunch of emails anyway.

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  9. Wow. outrageous too. Her replies are getting vicious.

    I hope this doesn't get so emotional for you that you stop wearing your beautiful dress.

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    1. No way! I'll always love that dress!

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  10. wow. i am almost speechless. so sorry you are dealing with this Amanda.

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  11. So wrong. I hope Etsy takes proper action.

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  12. Wow. I mean, it's quite obvious the photos are yours (the zip that doesn't do all the way up on the dress on the dress form? Hello?!). And their argument is that because you use photos that aren't yours they can therefore steal yours?! Any self respecting seller would just apologize and take down the listing. They could even try asking nicely to use the photos, but it's gone a bit too far for that now. I'm guessing they got some of the fabric and do intend to make a custom dress, and are using your photo as the example, but who is going to buy it now when the listing is prefaced with a verbal attack at someone?! Crazy.

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    1. You are right, I don't know that I'm dealing with a full deck of cards here.

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  13. You may wish to take a look at this site - the legislation tells Etsy to take down the images expeditiously:

    http://www.sfwa.org/2013/03/the-dmca-takedown-notice-demystified/

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  14. Boo. I hope that Etsy makes them take down the photos. Watch out for that "deformation" suit, ha!

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  15. I got a lump in my throat when I clicked on the listing and saw the threat directed at you. Do they think they're going to get sales with that?? I recommend pic monkey to watermark your photos. I'm sorry this happened to you. I don't usually comment, but yours is my favorite sewing blog, and I look forward to your posts.

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  16. I just reported it and also mentioned that since the dress is made from a commercial pattern, that is a copyright law violation. So, we got her on two things. I hate dishonesty!!

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  17. Oh my goodness. I've just looked at the Etsy link and I can't believe what the seller has written at the start! Hardly a great way to do business if it's supposed to be genuine! As others have said she is using your photos without permission!


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  18. They can't sell something made from a Vogue pattern anyway... they are not for commerical use - just domestic use.....

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  19. You should inform the pattern company because they all state the patterns are for home use. Don't let this stop you blogging and creating Amanda. You have the creative ideas and these kinds of people obviously don't.

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  20. Oh my goodness. Pamela Kunitman should be ashamed of herself. Awful. I'd like to see a photo of a dress that she made to see if the standard of sewing is as high as on your garments - I seriously doubt that it would be!

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  21. Wow, she's real classy...

    I daresay that Vogue might have something to say about implicit commercial use of one of their patterns too.

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  22. What a situation. I hope it gets resolved quickly.

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  23. This is dreadfully bad luck. Don't let this silly person make you feel bad. They've only copied it because its so beautiful. And don't let it put you off putting your work up, to the rest of us it's really inspiring.
    Abaigael

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    1. You know, when this happens to other people and they stop blogging, I always feel like the blogger has let the internet trolls win. This is the first time in my 5 years of blogging that I've had to turn on comment moderation, so I guess that was a pretty good run. I'm still going to blog my sewing - community is important to me.

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    2. You need to have her specifically blocked from your blog. That way she can't steal anything. FWIW, I've been told by a couple of geeks that watermarks can be erased by the proficient.

      Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery?

      Delete
  24. Would you post a link back to your original design? I'm a bit confused by it all. You designed the pattern and posted these pictures, yes?

    Some claim that if you purchase a pattern, then you have the right to make things from that pattern and sell them. She certainly should have given you credit, but I'm not clear on what happened beyond that.

    It's such a complicated area of law. Too bad common sense and personal integrity can't rule the day. I have often asked for and received permission to make things from patterns or books to sell in support of various clubs I belong to.

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    1. Here is the original dress that I just blogged about:

      http://amandasadventuresinsewing.blogspot.com/2013/04/vogue-8615-light-green-floral-dress.html

      I used a commercial Vogue pattern, so it's not my original design. If she wants to use that exact fabric and a similar pattern of her own making and list it for sale, that is of course fine with me. The issue I had was originally she listed it as an example of her work. Chances are pretty slim she has that exact fabric, as Mood doesn't ship internationally, and her listing says the sewing takes place in Ukraine. That Oscar de la Renta silk mikado is specified by name. Unless she's here in the US and ships the fabric back to someone in Ukraine to sew, I don't see how she could have it. It seemed like a scam to me - like she would take the money from some unsuspecting person and send them nothing in return or a dress in a different fabric. People take advantage of other people on the internet all the time.

      Also, if she legitimately can sew, she should post a picture of something she's sewn and not pass my work off as her own. She might have given me credit, but it wasn't in the original posting, and I gave no permission to use my pictures nor make money off my garment.

      Also also, the pattern companies prohibit people from making garments from their patterns and selling the garment. If you want to sell on etsy, you are to make things from your original design.

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    2. Thanks for the clarification.

      This is a crummy situation. So discouraging. But please don't be discouraged. I love seeing your garments and reading about your sewing activities.

      Some of the indy pattern companies (e.g., Cutting Line Designs) grant permission to make and sell from their patterns. As long as credit is given, of course.

      I totally agree that there was an intent on the seller's part to convey this as an example of her work.

      So sorry this happened! But please keep your blog going. It's a good one!

      Delete
  25. Yikes. This is nuts!!! I am so sorry that this has happened!! I want ETSY to resolve this matter ASAP. Keep sewing--your blog is one of my favorites!!!

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  26. Amanda,
    I am so sorry this is happening to you. I want to let you know how much of a inspiration your site has been to me. I always get excited when you have a post. Your work is always impecable. I have been sewing for almost 40 years and have been known to sometimes cut corners - but you have inspired me to take that extra time to make it right. I hope they have an American Sewing Bee show and that you are its first contender. You deserve only praise.
    Linda

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    1. Amanda would totally rock an American Sewing Bee.

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  27. Hi Amanda, just wanted to drop in and show my support. I follow your blog because your sewing is absolutely exquisite. It would be a terrible shame if you let the actions of this one person taint your blogging experience in any way.
    The etsy seller is clearly in the wrong and she knows it. I am sure etsy will do the right thing.
    I'm also fairly sure that the pattern companies wouldn't have any complaints about your using pictures of their envelopes on your blog as your work is an excellent advertisement for them.
    Keep up the good work!

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    1. Thanks for the support! I have no plans to stop blogging because of some picture pirating. Also, my garments have been featured on various pattern Facebook sites. If they had a problem with me using their pattern pictures, I am sure they would have let me know by now. They are obviously aware of my blogspot.

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  28. Whoa, this is crazy! I'm so sorry you have to deal with it. I'm surprised at her defensive reaction - what she did is obviously wrong, period. With a nasty rant like that, though, at least she's unlikely to sell that dress!

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    1. That was my chief complaint - that someone actually might fork over $355 and not get what they'd paid for. She's also being extremely stubborn. She knows I want the pictures removed and come hell or high water she's not going to do it.

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  29. One of the other dresses she has listed is actually by Burberry!

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  30. WTF!! OMG!!! Please don't stop posting! Amazing Amanda helps me remember projects I forget I have the skill to do (lol). She had the nerve to post yuk about you on the site?! Well, I'd go straight to The McCall Pattern Co. for this one just to put a big fat cherry on the top of this huge Dirt Cake.

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  31. Oh, Amanda, as always the person committing the wrongs is the one angry, defensive and insulting when they should be apologetic and embarassed. You have kept your cool during such a PITA situation. I too love, love, love your blog, your generosity in detailing your creations and your impeccable skills. Here's hoping the rest of your weekend is far more enjoyable than this cr...

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  32. I cannot believe she is comparing her use of your photos on her etsy store, to your blog!!! First of all it's a picture of a garment made by someone else, and then it's also a garment made using a commercial pattern. I was completely speechless when I read this and her comments on the listing (seems that the listing is off now). Unbelievable!!
    Hopefully this is not going to discourage you from further postings...

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  33. The photos were on this morning and the listing is off this evening. Thank you for blogging and thank you for complaining to Etsy! I have admired your sewing and your blog. Thank you for continuing!

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  34. Oh my goodness that is a terrible thing! And I am glad it has been solved. It really looked like a scam to me, too.
    I recently took down my site because my content appeared on an adult website, and I don't mean grownups :)

    I am so glad you aren't discouraged by it and you will continue to blog. I always enjoy your posts so much!

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  35. Good on you for sticking up for yourself. Piracy sucks - as an indie author I know all about that!! I just wish it were easier to defend yourself in this web world. Glad to see the listing has gone :)

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  36. Unbelievable! Well, actually, these days it is quite believable! All the best getting this cleared up.

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  37. OOOOH THIS MAKES ME SO MAD!!! Image thieves are the worst - just disgusting! It looks like everything has been taken down (based on the comments here, anyway), hopefully you won't have to deal with this again. Blech!

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  38. It's completely mindblowing that this person doesn't see what she has done wrong! Sounds from the comments above that it has been resolved, but I wonder how many more scammers there are like that out there?

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  39. I've tuned in late to this horrible experience you've been through, Amanda. Perhaps you could write a post (with the help of others if needed) about how to protect yourself from piracy. Have you considered seeking legal advice?

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    1. Sarah,
      I don't feel like I know very much about how to protect oneself from piracy. There might be tons more of my pictures on the web that I don't have the time or energy to seek out. In this instance I think lots of my readers complained to etsy, and that is why the pictures were taken down. But I've also heard that etsy usually doesn't do much to police this issue. I would have pursued it more had they not resolved the issue. I am planning to ask my sister - who is an attorney - about it when next we get together. Blessings on your day!

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    2. This reminds me of a post a few years ago on RasaMalaysia (cooking site, awesome food and photos) where her pictures were also stolen and used by others by commercial gain. She offered some great advice regarding the issue.

      http://rasamalaysia.com/open-letter-to-those-who-steal/

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  40. Is this person just stealing money from folks? I don't see how she/he can produce the same dress. Its probably someone in Uzbekistan who doesn't know the first thing about sewing-- just there is steal money!! Does the person have actual legit feedback?

    Guess I'll be more careful with etsy. I buy a lot of fabric there, and have never been ripped off. I do think that 95% of the handmade stuff on etsy is absolute garbage, and I no longer buy that type of stuff there since I've been pretty disappointed in the quality.

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    1. I sell handmade hair accessories on Etsy and take exception to your comment. My products are of great quality, and I belong to a group of local Etsy sellers who are even more talented than myself. Perhaps you bought items that the seller claimed were handmade and were really Chinese imports.

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    2. Well, for the record, I've bought many handmade items from Etsy over the years and had nothing but good craftsmanship. You've got to have a discerning eye for quality and check the feedback carefully.

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