Apr 13, 2021

 Do you have a friend that is starting to copy a lot of your Etsy products? You are looking on their store, whether it's on Etsy or their own website, or even on Facebook Marketplace, and you're looking at their items and you're thinking, "That looks familiar”, if the answer is yes then keep reading!  

Hello everyone and welcome back to my blog. So, today we're talking about a fun topic and it is actually something that I am getting asked more and more. The more shops there are that are coming on Etsy, the more people want to make a bit of extra money on the side then the more this question is being asked and that question is this, "My friend has started copying my products” “My friend has really started to make things that are exact same things as what I make” “My friend is just blatantly taking my ideas and undercutting me on cost. How do I deal with this  What do I say to them? And how do I stop it?"

Well, these are all things that we're going to be covering today but before I get into that I want to start by saying that if you are not subscribed to my Youtube channel and you have a handmade business that you are serious about, then you definitely, definitely want to head over there and hit the little bell icon to subscribe! My videos are full of helpful Etsy tips and tricks and you want to be getting in on that, believe me. 

Okay, let's go…..Copycat friends. 

 Copycat friends are friends that basically copy your products. Now, these could be friends that have shown signs of copying you in the past. Copy your haircut, copy the makeup you buy. Copy the way you walk. Yes, this is a real thing, but when it comes to copying your products within your business that you have come up with yourself, then this is something that starts to cross a line and personally, it is something that I have had to deal with in the past. Now they weren't friends per se, we're not friends anymore just going to put that out there, but they were people that were acquaintances that I helped out and it kind of came back to bite me in the bum. So, I'm going to explain to you how I dealt with it and give you some tips and tricks.

So you've discovered that your friend is copying your items, the very first thing you want to be doing is to just stop telling them what you're doing. Just make a point of not to mention your business at all. Just not to mention it, don't even go there because you want to cut off the source of their information. Now I know that you were saying to me, "Steph, they are literally going onto my social channels and they're literally going onto my Etsy shop and copying it from there." We're going to address that in a second, but you just want to cut off any source of insider information that you are giving them. So, immediately stop talking about your business to them. Just completely just say no.

If they ask you about it, you just either politely change the conversation, say "Yes, my business is going fine, thank you." And move on or you could just say, "Look, I am having some downtime. I'd rather not talk about my business if that's okay. So, how are things with you, Mandy?" Do you know what I mean? You just want to completely change the conversation.

The next thing you want to do is block them. Block them, block them, block them. You do not want them going onto your socials, going on to your Etsy shop and yeah I have a video on my channel showing you how to block someone and make sure you block that person on Etsy. It can be done. You can do it on Instagram, Facebook, everything like that. You want to block this person from seeing any of your posts. You literally want to cut them off at the root of their source of information. Okay? So, that is why I'm saying, don't tell them what you are doing and block them and cut them off.

It may seem a bit harsh and I understand that. You are angry. You are upset. You're probably just really just sad as to why you know that your good friend or an acquaintance or a friend, whatever they are, is coming to you and copying your items. And you're thinking, "Well, if they had just asked me, I would have been okay with it, but they're not. They're just stealing it and d it doesn't feel good. If it was me, I would just completely block them  if they ask you, "Why have you blocked me?" Then that's when you start to have the conversation which we will be going over later on.

So, the conversation. This is something that is a big step. And I know that a lot of us don't like confrontation. Me personally, I freaking love confrontation. I don't know why. I'm just that person that loves it. You want to be having a word with them and here's how I would structure it.

So, first of all, I would ask them how their business is. Say, "Hey," let me let's call her Mandy, "Hey Mandy, how are you? How's your business going?" And then just let them talk. Just sit back, listen, let them talk. And then you want to say, "How are you coming up with your own ideas then?" And you want to directly ask the question and if they stumble, if they go, "Oh, well, I just kind of think of it myself." Or they give you some lame excuse, then you know that they are literally just going onto your Etsy shop and having a look.

If they say to you, "Well, I go onto this shop and I have a look at what they're doing and I just basically put my own spin on it." Then you want to take a step back and have a look at that shop and see if maybe they are copying them apart from you before you go full force. I would say get your facts before you go full on, let's eat Mandy's face, before you go into it and launch into a whole big thing, okay? and by the way, I just want to say, don't eat Mandy's face. Stay calm. But you want to ask them how they come up with their product ideas.

The very next thing is you want to be saying ... And it does depend on the language that you use. Something that I have been taught is that you want to be using ... So, let's say for example that you're going to Mandy and you're saying, "You're copying my ideas." Well, that's the thing, you're stating that as an absolute fact. It may be an absolute fact, but you don't want to go into the conversation being like, "This is a fact and you're wrong." Because that's just going to get people's backs up and it's just going to cause a massive rift.

So, what I do is that I say, "I feel like ... " Or, "The story I'm telling myself ... " Or, "In my opinion ... " So, you could do the conversation like, "Okay, Mandy. Well, personally, I feel like your product ideas are pretty much identical to mine which personally I find a little bit upsetting, unnerving. It annoys me." Whatever, you want to be diplomatic throughout this entire process,  then you want to say, you want to compliment them which sounds bizarre but you want to compliment them. You want to say, "I just want you to know, Mandy, that I really feel as if you're such a creative person, I feel as if you can make your own product ideas, you don't need to copy mine or copy this shop or that shop. You are so creative, you can do it yourself, Mandy. Come on, let's do this together," well rather let's not do this together, but "Let's both be creative in our own individual ways. And let's rock this Etsy game, okay? Don't copy other people because you're so creative you can do it yourself."

And that's kind of how I would word that portion then I would end it by saying, "Look, I don't want to ruin our friendship or put a downer on things but my business is something that I'm really passionate about and I'm learning about, and I really want this to succeed and I don't want this little tiny issue," and you want to downplay it, "little tiny issue to ruin our friendship or really put a downer on things, etc. etc."

So, that is the conversation portion of this, okay? The very next thing I would do is I would just at this point, let it go. You have stopped talking about your business. You have blocked them. You've had the conversation with them. Now, 9 times out of 10, this is going to stop it, okay? This is going to nip it in the bud. If it doesn't nip it in the bud, then you really want to start to question your friendship with this person and also you really just want to just stay in your own lane at this point. You can get lawyers involved. You can send a cease and desist which will again seriously nip it in the bud but once you do this, it is going to put a dampener on the relationship. Make no mistake about that. So, you have to weigh it up, okay?

But here's my thing about general copycats. Copycats copy you because they don't have any creative ideas of their own. So, in reality, I've had this happen to me a lot of times, and I get mad about it. I get angry about it. I even have people that copy my YouTube content, but you know what? My YouTube content and my expertise come from my head, my brain, my creativity, my experiences, my thoughts, and my feelings. It's the same as your products. Your products come from your own thoughts and feelings, your experiences, and who you are as a person, and your personality.

That is not going to happen for them because they haven't got any of those experiences, thoughts, feelings, personalities to filter those ideas through and to create those ideas. So, the reality is, is that personally, if it was me, you've done what you did can. You can go down the lawyer route but that is going to be quite a stressful experience for you and it's whether or not you want to put the energy into doing that. If it was me, I would just continue down my own path and I'm going to promise you this, that if they are copying your ideas all the freaking time, that is going to burn out for them. They will not be in business for more than a year, but you will because you're learning what works. You're learning. You're educating yourself in handmade businesses, business in general, handmade products, how to be creative, you're watching this channel and you are really, really taking the bull by the horns and investing in your own financial future.

They're not doing any of that. They're riding your coattails. So, I'm just going to say that copycats never stay in business for very long because they run out of steam. They run out of ideas, their audience is like, "Hang on a minute, you're copying that person." And yeah, that is 9 times out of 10 how you find that as a business later on down the line that people are copying you because your target market will come to you and say, "Hey, I just want to let you know that this shop is doing X, Y, Z. You might want to get on that."

So, guys, it is something that is a pain in the butt and I get that. Copycats are bad enough but copycat friends are even worse and I do get that but when someone is copying you on Etsy, it's not pretty, it's not amazing. It's not an amazingly great experience but you can nip it in the bud and you can do what you can to stop it.

Before you go I wanted to tell you that I have a brand new 60-minute master class! My three-step system to skyrocket your Etsy conversion rate. If you are serious about your handmade business and you are serious about making some money from your Etsy shop, then you definitely want to join today

So, guys, I do hope that you enjoyed that video. It was a little bit of a rambly one but I hope that helped you. Give this video a big, big thumbs up if you enjoyed it. Subscribe if you haven't already to see my future stuff but for now, guys, I shall catch you in the next video.

Bye everyone๐Ÿ˜ƒ

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