I got myself in a predicament this week.
As most of you know that would be reading this blog, I design and sell beaded banner patterns and supplies and also completed beaded banners. I am always on the lookout for new patterns and sometimes kits (if the price is right). Because of that I have a search set up on Ebay for “beaded banners” and I get an email on a daily basis of any new beaded banner items listed on Ebay.
I am always wanting to add to my collection of patterns which at this time is up to 120 that I have designed and over 100 that I have obtained from kits or patterns purchases from other places. When I find a kit cheap on Ebay I buy it and also there are some kits I have purchased just because I love the pattern and want it bad enough that I will buy a whole kit even though I have thousands of beads at home and all the supplies to make banners without needing a kit. In addition, I have made purchases from a couple places online when they have offered 10 or 20 pattern assortments and even kit assortments.
Because of purchasing assortments of patterns as well as assortments of kits a few times and also because I have purchased duplicates of kits several times if the price is right and kit is cheaper than what the supplies would be, I have extra patterns that I have not designed that I have sold. I don’t need more than one of a pattern so I have sold the extra patterns a couple times just to get rid of the duplicate.
I have noticed that other people have also done this on Ebay occasionally. So when my Ebay search the other day showed up a bunch of patterns for sale that I didn’t have, I jumped on it and bought them. So this is where my predicament started. The next day I wanted to update my list/spreadsheet of the patterns that I have and I went back and looked closer at the pictures and I realized that a few of them had markings on them indicating every row number. MY HEART SANK…………I FELT THIS AWFUL PIT DEEP DOWN………you know that UH-OH feeling you get when you know you screwed up? I knew that the only place I have seen patterns like that was at Beadshak, so I proceeded to log on to their site and see if they were their patterns. They were. My heart sank more.
Why you ask? Beadshak is owned by a gal that designs patterns like myself. I purchased patterns from her in the past when I first started making banners. Beadshak is actually the reason I started designing my own patterns. Because of their policy, I was unable to sell banners made from the patterns I purchased from them so I decided to invest in software and start designing my own patterns so that I could sell the completed banners. Soon I had people who wanted to buy my patterns and thus the start of Beaded Banners by Bonnie. However, I respect Beadshak and their designs and have never sold banners made from their patterns per their policy. In fact when Beadshak requested that I take some completed items I had made from their patterns off the previous site that I was selling my products on I obliged.
I used to check out Beadshak’s site regularly just to see what the competition was doing and also to make sure that I wasn’t designing anything that was too close to what she was designing. However, I have been so busy lately with processing orders for patterns and supplies and also making banners for orders that I haven’t checked out their site for quite some time. Because of this I did not recognize that some of the patterns I had purchased were from Beadshak or I never would have purchased them. I figured they were extra patterns someone had from duplicate kits or assortment pattern purchases.
I contemplated what I should do to make this right between Beaded Banners by Bonnie and Beadshak and I decided to wait for the patterns to arrive to see if I could determine if they were duplicates or extras before I contacted Beadshak to tell them what had happened. I felt bad that it happened, but if there was a way I could determine that they had purchased the patterns from Beadshak and used them and then decided to get rid of it because they weren’t going to use it again then I wouldn’t feel quite as bad and would just let Beadshak know it happened. However, when yesterday’s Ebay search for “beaded banners” came my heart sank again………..only lower this time. All of the patterns were reposted for sale on Ebay which meant that copies were being made and sold. I knew that for sure I needed to let Beadshak know what happened and what a huge mistake I had made, although it was not intentional.
I emailed Beadshak this morning to let them know what happened and that there was nothing I could do because I had already made the purchase and the patterns were being shipped. However, I assured them that I would only use the patterns for personal use and I assured them that I will not make any banners to sell from the patterns that I purchased since that is their policy.
I share this with all of you for a couple reasons. First, I wanted to make a public apology to Beadshak and let them and anyone else that may see or hear that I purchased the patterns on Ebay know that had I known these were not extra patterns from kits that I would NOT have even considered purchasing them. Secondly, I am writing this to ask all beaders out there to respect the designers such as Beadshak, Beaded Banners by Bonnie, and others and not make copies of the patterns you purchase. If someone else wants a pattern, refer them to the source and let them purchase the patterns direct from the designers. It’s not like any of us ask that much for our patterns. Thirdly, I am asking that the seller of these patterns stop making copies of patterns and selling them at their own profit. It’s not fair. Think about what it would feel like if YOU designed patterns, sold them, and then saw someone making copies of them and selling them on Ebay. If you have a pattern left from a kit you no longer want that is one thing, but to make copies and sell them is unfair to the designer.
Do my patterns that I sell get copied and shared? I would be stupid if I thought they weren’t. I’m sure that Jane Doe purchases one for herself and then her friend wants a copy and yeah, she probably makes her one. Is this right? No. I don’t have a policy as such specified on my website. However each pattern goes out with the note “Pattern designed by and property of Beaded Banners by Bonnie” and also with “Pattern not to be copied or sold” on it. But to think that Jane doesn’t make a copy for her friend Mary would be ignorant on my part. Hopefully most people are honest enough to not even share it with a friend, but I’m sure it happens. But for someone to make copies of patterns designed by others and blatantly sell them to anyone, let alone on Ebay, is so totally wrong.
I’ve said enough. You get the point. People have policies. Follow them please. And if you want to share an occasional pattern of mine with a friend that can’t afford to purchase their own from me at the reasonable price I charge, that’s your choice. But don’t make copies of my patterns or Beadshak’s or anyone elses for that matter because we WILL find out.