Okay, so today I’m a little bit mad. Make that a lot mad!
My last two posts here on my blog mentioned that I was working on replacing my Black Widow Spider stocks. This morning I Googled “faux black widow spider halloween prop” so I could see where my spiders were placing in Google’s SEOs. They came up really well in both the link results and the images.
But wait, one of the site’s list “The American Store” as the seller. Huh? My shop Old Raven on Etsy is the ONLY authorized seller of my handmade and Vintage listings – period.
I follow the link. As it turns out The American Store has a graphic featuring a grocery cart waving an American flag with a red, white & blue credit card in the cart with the logo “The American Store, one stop shop”. STOP RIGHT THERE !!!!!!
This is the time to read the “About” page on this “American” store:
“At American Store, we know how important customers’ trust is for an ecommerce business to succeed. From timely shipments to high-quality product deliveries, a lot of things go into the making a great customer experience. Our team at American Store has vast experience has with this platform.
Our category features keep you updated on the latest trends and fresh products are constantly added to our diverse inventory. You can filter through categories like clothing, pets, home accessories, sports collections and these products are shipped directly. Our simplified shipping model streamlines product sourcing for the emerging market of millions of online entrepreneurs who are looking to start or grow their retail business as well as major suppliers.
Our primary goal is to make sure our customers experience is 100% FIVE STAR. We commit to delivering you high-quality products, and never always ensure your satisfaction. We utilize the best of technology to achieve this goal, along with our U.S. based staff and do so, one order at a time!”
This was a copy and paste…exactly as they have it on their site.
The only thing American about this site is the US dollars these folks are funneling out us and the theft of an American’s virtual property when they hijacked my listing from my Etsy shop.
Their implication that they are helping “starting entrepreneurs” is blatantly false. Without my permission they used my photos, my description and imply they are working in conjunction with me as they are selling my product on their online site.
This “store” has stolen my shop photos and my shop description on MY handmade spiders and they have done so with the implication that they are “helping” my business. My thoughts on this – grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!!!!!!
They did change one part on the copy of my Etsy shop listing…they made my price of $17 for this set a whopping $25.00 and that’s marked down from $35.00 !!!
Now, I have no idea how these pirate sites work and I wonder, if you purchased a set of these spiders – how long would it actually take for the buyer to receive their order? Or would they EVER receive their order. But by using my exact listing and branding, I know that now my shop could be painted with their very dirty brush.
“Our primary goal is to make sure our customers experience is 100% FIVE STAR. We commit to delivering you high-quality products, and never always ensure your satisfaction.”
I think that last bit…”and never always ensure your satisfaction”…was a very telling little slip of the tongue. In fact, that whole ‘About’ page is riddle with slip ups of spelling, punctuation, word replication, etc. These are all red flags people!
As more and more of us are shopping online these days I think this could be used as a fine example for learning the importance of reading the fine print.
It’s still up to each and every one of us to be responsible for our own consumer protection. I can personally vouch for the fact that “The American Store” is a total rip off. But this is only one online store out there!
PLEASE – ONLY PURCHASE FROM ONLINE STORES THAT YOU CAN VERIFY ARE WORTHY OF YOUR TRUST
As the online sales are increasing so is the amount of online ‘retailers’ offering goods and services to a world of online buyers, both of which are growing exponentially, daily. These pirate stores swim the online waters like starving sharks and will happily rip out a chunk of your wallet using my pictures, descriptions and product.
I fully intend to fight back by filing an infringement suit against this store, but YOU can help ALL the legitimate online sellers by becoming more careful and aware buyers.
Please, take a moment to read a shops Policies, to read a stores About page, to make sure you know if you’re purchasing from a legit seller or not. If you have any doubts…don’t buy!
Another thing to always check is if the seller sells nationally or internationally? Due to the pandemic, US mail travel can be a bit delayed but international mail travel can be weeks, even months, delayed. And, unfortunately, many of these popup store fronts hacking legitimate seller listings are all too often set up outside the US – just as “The American Store” is.
I would like to close this cautionary post with my own personal take on this whole situation. Finding my own handmade items on one of these rip off sites has been a wild ride on the negative emotional roller coaster. Mad, violated and outraged to name a few. I’ve spent years building my Etsy shop and perfecting my handmade items. I’ve sold hundreds, maybe over a thousand of these spiders by now and all handmade by me and me alone.
I gotta say…this hurts.
For everyone that’s seen something they liked here on my blog and followed it over to my Etsy shop to buy…thank you. I really needed that.
For everyone that’s followed a post to learn a new craft technique or just enjoy the process…thank you, too. I love sharing my art.
The world is changing in a big way, even as I type this. Now’s the time to be safe, physically and financially. I wish us all well. – Kriss