Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Why You Should Not Buy Stitch Guides on eBay

The selling of copied stitch guides on eBay is going strong.  This is illegal and not ethical to boot.  This week Cynthia Thomas succeeded in having a sale of one of her stitch guides removed from eBay because the sale was of a copy that this seller has sold over and over again.

Also this week I've seen an eBay seller take photos from a hand painted canvas designer's blog, watermark the designer's photos with the eBay seller name, and use those photographs to sell several canvases. In this person's world, I guess if you put your name on it, it is yours.  This is not ethical either.  This is becoming such a problem that Ruth Schmuff has devoted an entire blog column to it.

Tony Minieri's stitch guides are being sold from his new website as PDF files to help avoid copying as one buys the PDF file with the express understanding that it cannot be printed out and resold.

Ever wonder why some shops won't sell a stitch guide unless you buy the canvas and/or threads at the same time?  The  rampant copying, sharing and sale of their guides has forced them to adopt this policy, as Amy Bunger explains in this interview.

I would think long and hard about buying a stitch guide on eBay or Etsy.  Clues that the sale aren't legit--the seller isn't one of the shops with an eBay presence like Fireside, Bloomin' Stitches, Beth's Needlepoint or Nimble Needle.  Another red flag--the seller is fairly new with less than 100 sales.  Another clue--the seller's photographs are watermarked with the seller name and/or use photos that you've seen elsewhere to promote the sale.  A third clue--the guide is being sold by itself without the canvas.  (Usually if the canvas and guide are sold together, it's a legit sale.)

Of course there are certainly lots of eBay sellers with these clues that are legit.  I apologize to them right now but the thieves are giving you a bad name.  As a stitch guide writer myself, I am very worried that the sales of stolen guides will mean fewer guides are written.  Why go to all that work for naught?

If you stumble across a sale with more than one of these red flags however, be very careful.  If you buy a guide and when it arrives it is an obvious copy, please alert eBay and let the stitch guide author know the eBay seller name.

Actually, I'd like to see a boycott of stitch guide sales on eBay.  I know that's not realistic but the only way to stop the wholesale theft of stitch guides is to not buy them.  A thief won't steal what they can't resell.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright July 30, 2015 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.


NCPat said...

Very informative Jane! This is a horrid shame! I do sell some guides when I list and I will now make sure to note that they are definitely originals. I tell my clients that I will not sell copies and have destroyed any that have been sent for sale. I think most of the sellers are honest, but a few bad apples spoil a lot for honest people!

The Chilly Hollow Needlepoint Adventure said...

Thanks, Pat. It is a crying shame, isn't it? I know as you sell on eBay for folks destashing, that you are very careful. But the bad apples do indeed spoil it for everyone.

Unknown said...

I'd like to add that even if the canvas and stitch guide are listed together that doesn't mean that the guide is the original. I would question if the threads are also a part of the sale - it they aren't that would be a HUGE red flag to me. Who in the world has just the canvas and guide (okay, me. I do)?

Also, some people make up elaborate stories about destashing their own or their "aunt's" (fill in anything here) stash. Uh...okay...maybe but probably not. Another red flag. And look at the rest of the listings. If history shows they didn't sell the first time and then the description changes for the next posting, then I see another red flag.

Thanks, Jane, for writing about this. And for highlighting Ruth's blog and Cindy's dogged determination to protect her own intellectual property and the rights of Melissa Shirley.

The Chilly Hollow Needlepoint Adventure said...

The morale is it is hard to tell if someone on eBay is legit. The person who is selling stolen items there always has excellent seller ratings, too! Buyer Beware is the best policy, isn't it? Thanks for all you do to help keep sellers there legit, Joey!