Etsy Sellers Using Prototype Photos to Sell Custom Dolls

I have noticed recently some sellers on Etsy using the prototype photos instead of their own work to sell custom order dolls. Some say to email them for examples of their own work and while they do say that the photos are examples, it seems to be a “small print” deceptive marketing practice. One had a website with her portfolio and the quality of work was nowhere near the prototype. The one I looked at took professional looking photos but the rooting job looked like a bad hair plug and the skin tones had a very flat lifeless look. Very inferior work compared to the photos of the prototype. Even the photos of her work were designed to cover the really awful rooting job.
Anyway, sorry about the rant. I was wondering if anyone else feels this is deceptive marketing? Is it a copyright violation to show these as examples if it implies their own work is comparable?

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they use other artists pictures too. I don’t shop etsy, but go thru once in a while, just to look for my toddler pics on other people’s listings :frowning: Yes, it is very deceptive to use other artists pics, and report them when I see them,but etsy is very slow to remove them. I found a seller on Reborn.comusing my pics, and the man that runs that (sorry don’t remember his name) quickly removed them and was very nice about it too

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That is 100% wrong and they should NOT be doing that!
That is deceptive- customers think that they will receive something like the photos they share and those are $2000 plus dollar dolls.
Funny too because most of the people who steal photos are selling their dolls with prototype photos for $200. Anyone with any respect wouldn’t use another artists photos in that way.
In my shop I have a spot for a custom landon, so I use all of the photos of my previous Landon’s in my ad photos.
F

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I think it is very deceptive. Some people will do just anything, I guess. Because when we see a picture like that, even if it DOES say it’s not their work, the mind seems to lock in on that picture. My son once ordered a Coke, but pointed to a picture of an alcoholic drink. Clearly saying COKE. But, the waitress brought the other drink. Of course they made it good, but he proved a point. I did tell him he should not have done that, that they might take the cost of that drink from the waitress. He was grown and did not listen to me.

I think there is a better way to promote a custom reborn to help eliminate any confusion on expectations. The artist should use their own pics of their works if they have reborned the one. However, there may be times that the kit needed customizing hasn’t been done or is in the artist’s stash sitting blank. If the kit has never been painted by the artist, then he/she should only suggest the name of the kit in their description and prompt the buyer to search images to see how the kit looks painted. Once a buyer has chosen a kit, then the artist should reach out to the buyer and communicate the details and possibly send additional pics of other works they have done. It is equally as important to remember, though, that a consumer has responsibility to research and educate themselves on what they are buying before purchasing. Also, it’s wise to note that customs generally aren’t covered by PayPal. If a buyer is newly investing in reborns, then the best thing is for them to stay away from a custom until they have purchased several dolls that are already reborned and become familiar with the different styles available. Arming themselves with a little knowledge will lessen the blow of disappointment. Plus, they will come to realize that they aren’t going to get a “prototype” quality doll for $300. That becomes common sense with time and knowledge.

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Whaaat? We should not trust reborns.com pictures either? So sad…:disappointed_relieved:

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Really makes it hard for true artists and buyers … :frowning:

But she had lots of photos of her own work on a separate website. So I do think it is wrong. I really feel that the only work shown when the customer is buying a doll should be the selling artists work . She has prices appropriate for the artists work she is showing. Her skill level is no where near. She isn’t being dishonest about the work being hers, but I still think it’s tacky.

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I only ever checked there the one time actually no, wet back a few times to double check, but the Admin took it off right away, after I wrote
Etsy and ebay just ignore you when you report your pics stolen :frowning:

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Thank you, good to know.

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I agree with what you are saying. Unfortunately, it’s not a crime to be tacky and nothing has been set in place to not have custom artists use prototype pics to help promote a custom paint sale. If buyers would do their part in researching before investing hundreds of dollars on an item, then their likelihood of getting disappointed would be widely lessened. That is a huge amount of money to throw out on a gamble. Don’t buy a custom unless you are familiar with the artist and her reputation. If the argument is that buyers don’t read or are uneducated in the craft, then, I guess, those people need to rally to stop artists from selling custom reborns.:thinking:

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It’s actually illegal. You can’t use someone else’s photos without express permission, ever. Photos are copyrighted and belong to the person who took them, the instant they’re taken. Unfortunately the practice of stealing and reposting pictures is rampant on the internet, to the extent that it’s not reinforced unless the owner takes action. But it’s an offense punishable by law-- usually hefty fines.

Speaking as an art professional with a degree in art and experience in marketing & freelance art :blush: Here’s some info from a lawyer if anyone is interested (probably just me…I find art law interesting…haha)

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Oops! Just saw your comment, I was replying to the original question. Didn’t mean to be rude :blush: I definitely agree that the buyer should do her/his research. I wouldn’t shell out that kind of money unless I had learned the ropes first.

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I’m beyond sick of it- it’s all over Etsy as well as eBay. There are also a lot of china dolls being advertised that way. The ones that make me upset most are the ones that say “Your doll could look like this”.

Those are the most deceptive of all!

It’s very important to always research, but what makes me sad is knowing there are people just getting into the hobby that won’t realize this and they’ll buy what they think is a good deal.

Not all of the false advertisements are for customs but many of them are. As scary as customs are for artists to make they are also scary for customers as well. It’s sad. I miss the days when the reborn world was a lot more honest.

It’s one thing to post examples of your work and then an example of a painted kit (to show what the sculpt for sale looks like). But to only post pics of completed babies that aren’t yours is wrong.

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I almost fell for this. An Etsy seller had beautiful prototype pics that had the artist’s watermark copped out. I looked at the reviews and so many were along the lines of, “The baby’s cute, but it doesn’t look like the photo in the listing.” That’s what prompted me to reverse image search all of their photos and none of them were original. I eventually purchased from a seller that specifically mentions the photos are of their own work, which is backed up by the customer review photos showing their dolls do in fact match the listing.

I think if new collectors realized how much the babies in those protoype photos actually go for, it would reset a lot of expectations.

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This is why I only offer customs of a doll I have previously done. I took one portrait doll order that turned out wonderfully, but she works with me and had seen enough of my other dolls to know she would be pleased with what she got.

I don’t shop Etsy but graze from time to time and see alot of this :frowning:
Some are nothing but prototype photos, with no mention of not their work or their work anywhere to be found