Lately I just want to scream, as I watch my competitors and friends continue to prosper, selling products for kids that aren’t properly tested/documented (under the new CPSIA laws), or items with someone else’s trademarked or copy-written images and logos, while my business continues to suffer as I fight to do things legally.
I don’t know whether these people are oblivious to the laws, or just breaking them on purpose… part of me wants to yell at them "what you’re doing is NOT legal", another part of me is envious that they can ignore these laws with a clean conscience, and still another part of me is happy to let them live in their ignorance, just glad to see they aren’t suffering yet from this nightmare that is the CPSIA.
I shut down my business because I couldn’t see a way to meet the ridiculous CPSIA testing laws (even though all of my products were safe). I’ve since re-opened, but I’m unable to list my most profitable products (which also happen to be the best ones, and one is the item the entire business was named after) — because I can’t afford the insane testing fees. The customers that have come back are annoyed to find the products they want unavailable, and are more than happy to go to competitors — who are still selling similar items, either oblivious to, or in defiance of the new laws.
The copyright/trademark infringement issue is a new one on me. I used to have no problem pointing out trademark infringements, most people I ever saw doing this were strangers, online. These laws have been in place longer than I’ve been alive, and everyone should know about them!
Lately, however, I’ve had the opportunity to converse with more local crafters, and trademark infringement is apparently running rampant around here! It’s much harder to confront a law-breaker in person, especially when you’re trying to make new friends, and you’re not entirely sure they KNOW they’re breaking the law. It’s also hard to confront a shop owner who may be considering placing your items, with the fact that their store is carrying illegal items from other vendors…
Paint me frustrated.