I wrote this post to share in various stamping and card making Facebook groups I’m in. I wanted to share it here as well to get the word out even more! Since then, some of the smaller stamp companies have put together a website with more information, which you can find here.
I know a lot of people order stamps and dies from Ali, Wish, and other discount websites. I wanted to share a little information, just in case anyone was unaware. (Sorry it’s such a long post, but this is something I believe in a great deal!)
Most of the stamp and die designs on these discount sites (and often the super cheap ones on Amazon, even) are stolen from designers in the industry. Above is a screenshot of a post by Lara of Ink Road Stamps (shared with her permission) of a plea by small designers to support them, not the companies stealing from them.
I’m not trying to shame anyone who purchases from these sites. But I believe knowledge is important when making decisions. I completely understand the lack of funds and desire to have all the fun and exciting things! I’m not even asking you to stop using these sites, but to think about the impact it has and make you own decision.
Why Buy Direct from Designers and Their Retailers
- You are allowing the designers to be compensated for their work and continue doing what they’re doing. The more we support companies stealing their designs, the more likely people are to go out of business and be forced to stop creating the designs we love so much.
- Many of the designers have rewards program when you but direct from their website. Buy from them and earn discounts on future purchases!
- Better quality! The legitimate products tend to be made with noticeably better materials and are quality checked, while the cheap copies tend to be made with lower quality materials and are not as good.
- Example: When I first started die cutting, I bought a ton of cheap dies from Amazon. As I started using them, I realized most of them were not cutting through the paper properly or even completely. I ended up trying every single one in a long sitting and discovered that around 80% of them were so poorly made they were completely useless. On top of that, as I learned more about die cutting and discovered designers, I learned that many I had ordered were direct copies. I then purchased the ones I definitely wanted from the designers and the quality difference was considerable!
- When buying direct, we’re making a choice to spend more money. This gives us the opportunity to be more thoughtful in what we buy and forces us to find the inspiration to use them to their full extent. This can lead to supporting many of the YouTubers and helping ensure they can keep making the videos we love as well!
Why This Matters
It’s pretty straight forward… We love this industry! We love stamping and die cutting and using those things to create. If we want to continue to see the variety of beautiful, fun, inspiring, silly, ridiculous, sassy, and unique designs from small designers, we HAVE to support them. It’s literally the only way the industry will continue.
Will buying a set of stamps and dies off Ali or Wish every so often kill the industry? No! But if we keep it as the primary method of building our stash, it could lead to the end of the small designer. I’m talking about the ones who fill certain niches that the big stamp and die companies won’t bother with. Pop culture designs, extra sassy sentiments, etc.
If you made it this far, I want to thank you for taking the time to consider my words. I hope you have a wonderful day of crafting ahead of you and that all your card making and paper crafting dreams come true!
How Can Designs be Stolen?
- The stealing company can see a high quality image of the product online and steal the design directly from that (this is how you often end up with copies in different sizes than the originals).
- They can be the actual contracted manufacturer or subsidiary and, once they’re done making the official order to the quality specifications of the designer, they keep the design and continue making it with lower quality materials to save money and sell through the above mentioned sites for almost nothing at all.