Copycats are a part of life for creative individuals, and this is especially true in the online T-Shirt market.
What is a copycat? Put simply it is anyone who steals your design and uses it without your permission – where no income from the sales would ever make its way to you. 🙁
The same technology and developments that have made it easy for individuals like myself to make money from T-Shirts online (Print-on-demand sites, easy to use graphic design software etc.) – have also made it easy for those who don’t know – or don’t care – about the concepts of Copyright or Intellectual Property.
I have been dealing with Copycats of my work for the past 3 years, across various sites (Etsy, Redbubble, Teepublic) – but the platform with the biggest copycat problem right now is Merch By Amazon.
This is no surprise, given the size and lucrative nature of Amazon and in particular Merch to generate sales. And Amazon is beginning to deal with this problem – making advances against the copycat scourge daily.
Having said that, it’s not a problem that is likely to go away anytime soon. And when copycats have a real-world impact on your sales and income, it’s hard to just ignore them.
Copycats on the internet may be a ‘fact of life’ – but it helps to have techniques and tactics with which we can mitigate their impact on our sales.