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Sellers, we’ve got a problem going on in our crafting world: Image theft is on the rise. I’ve heard from so many Cutting for Business readers (20+ just this week) about stolen product images lately. Honestly, this is way more than it used to be. I’ve talked in the past about the Do’s and Don’ts of Watermarking, but I know that not everyone likes to watermark their photos. Some people say it detracts from the product photos; while some marketplaces advise against watermarks (especially Amazon Handmade).
Instead of overlaying text or an image on top of your products, consider including a branded item in your product picture. This could be as simple as putting your business card near the shirt you are photographing or creating a customized background with your business name and logo to take product pictures in front of.
Examples of Photos without using Watermarks
My (fake) company Mugs with Love specializes in making customized coffee mugs. To prevent image theft, I could make a mug with my name, logo, and website on it and set it near my mug for sale. I always be sure to note in the product listing that my logo mug is not included in the sale.
For my (fake) company Signs by Mia, I could hang a permanent sign on the wall with my logo and website. When photographing products for sale, I hang them on the same wall.
For my (fake) company Decals for You, I specialize in making decals. I could place a branded bag (or other packaging) behind a sample product with one of my decals on them.
Lastly, for my (fake) company Hibiscus Crafts, I could place a framed picture with my logo into the product picture.
There you go, several ways to protect your product photo without using a watermark overlay.
How to Deter Cropping
The biggest thing to remember when using this technique is to place your “watermarked” product close to the product for sale so that it makes it difficult for someone to crop it out. Also, limit your product image sizes. This means to limit the size in pixels. For example, if you post a 500 pixel by 500 pixel image and someone crops it – what they are left with is too small for them to use to sell online.
Tomorrow, I’m sharing several graphics about stealing images so that we can get the word out that stealing (“borrowing”) another crafters photo is theft. The more people that we together can educate other crafters, the less it will happen.
In case you are wondering, many of the mockup examples shown above were made with a generator. Read more about it here.
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Since 2015, Christine Schinagl has been helping crafters start and run craft businesses through her blog, Cutting for Business. As a Silhouette and Cricut crafter herself, she has a unique take on what works and what doesn’t work in the craft business world. She also teaches a course on creating digital SVG designs, available at How to Design SVGs.