Caveat Emptor – Let the Buyer Beware
October 15, 2020
Today’s post is a bit of a cautionary tale, and a bit of a plea really. In this wonderful quilting world of ours, there’s so much fabric, and so very many notions and fun new gadgets, and sometimes we just need to take a pause, and think about what we’re buying and from whom.
One thing I absolutely love about quilting and our industry, is that the people are fantastic – so generous and helpful, and generally wonderful, and I have never before said anything negative about any other quilting business, as I do honestly believe that the way we support one another is what makes our quilting world go around. That being said, I do have a story to share…
I received an email last week (and yes, I’m going to name names), from an online quilting tools company called Love-Sew. Imagine my surprise when this email was touting their new Sasher Collection, and carrying on about how they “take our time to design the highest quality products possible…”, when I know for a fact that they did not design these tools at all.
The original Sasher tools were designed and created by Australian Pauline Rogers from Pauline’s Quilters World in 2014, and she has created some wonderful videos and techniques for how to use them. Not only that, but she won the Australian Craft Industry’s Innovation Award in 2015 with them! I have known Pauline now for more than 10 years, and I know just how hard she has worked to bring these great tools to quilters around the world.
What upsets me about this is the fact that Pauline has put so much of her time and expertise into creating this range of tools, and she has Trademarked them as well as demonstrated how to use them at various shows around the world, and some other company has just stepped in and stolen her design. The Love-Sew copies are a very similar shape, with a slightly different curve on the top, and they are even a similar green colour, (I expect to make customers think they are buying the real thing, rather than a cheap knock off).
I contacted Pauline about this email, and she said they have been having trouble with this – as soon as their lawyer gets in touch with the company with the copies, the company just shuts down and re-opens under a different name. This unfortunately is easy for them to do, with extreme difficulty for the original designer to have it stopped.
This is where the Caveat Emptor part comes in. It’s not just Pauline’s Sasher tools that I’m concerned about. Do beware, and do take some care with what you decide to purchase, especially online. These rip off products do not do the same job nearly as well, and please do spare a thought for the original creator or designer, and how this affects them and their livelihoods.
My rant is over, but when you’re buying anything online, just remember the few basic rules. Have a good look through the website – check out the About Us page to see if real people are involved, not just some generic blurb. Try a google search for the product you are after, and do some research first. Are there any contact details? How would you get in touch if you have a query, or faulty product, or if you need a refund?
That said, please do keep shopping online – most websites are honest, and run by wonderful quilty people!