When you're looking for a t-shirt for yourself, a mug for your friend's birthday present, or a poster for your office, it's easy and comfortable to go to places like Amazon or Zazzle to do your shopping. I know, because I've done it many times, and used to be a seller/designer on Zazzle myself. There are a few things to be aware of, however.
First, if buying from Amazon, please know that there are hundreds of thousands (maybe more) of product listings that use stolen artwork to create the products. It's happened to me and to many artists I'm acquainted with. Certainly there are legitimate companies and independent artists that sell on Amazon, but as a customer, you have to know exactly what you're looking at, and who's selling it (pretty challenging, actually), to be sure that you're actually supporting an artist and not a counterfeiter.
Here is a screenshot of a popular pillow design of mine, that was stolen from Zazzle and sold by counterfeiters on Amazon. Unfortunately, the time it takes to hunt down and report counterfeit listings is wasted because in most cases, the counterfeiters just put up an identical listing the next day!
If buying from Zazzle, chances are good that your purchase is actually supporting the person who created the photo or design that caught your eye. Having sold my artwork on Zazzle for many years, I would never want to discourage a customer from going that route. I only wish to point out that in many cases, the artist is getting a rather small compensation for their work. For example, Zazzle designers have no control over when products go on sale, so their most popular design might go out the door with the artist getting literally pennies for their efforts and talent.
In addition, Zazzle does very little (you could even say nothing) to prevent professional thieves from 'scraping' thousands and thousands of image files from Zazzle product listings -- this is a huge source of stolen image files that I mentioned above! As such, I no longer operate my Zazzle stores and instead make available shirts, mugs, tote bags, etc., here in this store.
So, while it may feel a little 'different' to shop from a store like this one, as opposed to a different online store that you might be more accustomed to, it's actually a wonderful way to support artists. My online store uses Shopify as its eCommerce platform, so you can be sure that your credit card processing is just as secure as any other online store.
Thank you for visiting my store. Do let me know if you have any questions, comments or requests!
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