Well, I seem to have gotten myself in a bit of a pickle…I filled an
order a few days ago for one of the Egyptian amulets I make. The
woman who bought it also asked for a wholesale list, which I sent
after checking out her online stores. Then I got an e-mail from her
in which she said how much she liked the piece she had bought and
told me that she had added a couple of the items on the wholesale
list to her site. Wondering how she could have done this when she
hadn’t actually bought those items, I went to her site and found that
she had lifted my photos and item descriptions and placed them on her
I wrote her immediately and asked that she at least add my name to
the descriptions, which she did - although it is misspelled (and
therefore does not turn up my page in a Google search). She explained
that she lacked the space to keep items in inventory, so she would
order them when orders were placed for them, and hence the
image-lifting, as she couldn’t sell things without a picture and she
couldn’t photograph things she didn’t have.
I’ve been mulling this over for a few days. I really hate to make
enemies, and I might be able to benefit from increased sales of
these items through her website, but I am also annoyed that she has
not actually placed a wholesale order and that she never asked for
permission to use the material from my site, which was just plain
cheeky, although I don’t sense any particular deviousness from my
communications with her. I really wish I’d gone with my first
impulse and told her to take a running jump (and get my stuff the
heck off her site), but I was trying to find a diplomatic solution
to the issue.
Image-stealing issues aside, this boils down to two questions:
Is it acceptable/standard for resellers to advertise items they
haven’t purchased, and to order them from a wholesaler only when
they receive orders?
Is it logical to sell to a web reseller when you will end up
competing with your own website?
Thanks for your experience and arbitration,