POD Weekly #56
Defending Your Intellectual Property on POD Platforms
Defending your IP on POD Platforms
Your ideas are your business. For anyone that relies on POD income, the question of the benefits and drawbacks to spending time defending Intellectual Property is an important one. If you are a member of the various Facebook POD groups, or similar communities, you’ve likely seen this debate play out numerous times.
Time is the most important asset that we have in life, and certainly that applies to your POD business as well. Time spent chasing and reporting copycats is time not spent doing research, designing, listing, finding Virtual Assistants, or learning. Is the time spent defending your Intellectual Property (IP) worthwhile?
The tipping point
It seems likely that if you make a majority of your income from a small handful of designs, that it will be worthwhile to vigorously defend the related IP – but as you add designs to your portfolio, you will eventually come to a point where you will either need to outsource the work, or cut back on time spent investigating and reporting infringement.
It’s a very unfortunate aspect of today’s POD platforms. Heated competition drives unscrupulous sellers to use IP as a weapon against competitors. This can take the form of retaliation on your brand as a result of reporting others’ copies of your work. Even more unfortunately, some sellers have been known to issue first-strike illegitimate takedowns of other works in their favorite niches.
What’s your strategy
I’ve spoken to sellers who vigorously, repeatedly defend their IP, spending time daily protecting their portfolio. Other successful sellers have stated that they never bother defending their IP, rather spending that time keeping the ball moving forward, finding new niches to move into and endeavoring to constantly create new designs. Both strategies have salient points, your particular strategy will depend on your business model. If you’re a solo designer, it may make sense to ignore the copycats and keep moving forward onto new things. On the other hand, if you have just a handful of sellers pumping up your sales numbers, it surely makes sense to at least keep an eye out for pixel-for-pixel (p4p) copies of your bestsellers.
For MBA Sellers
An important hint regarding Merch By Amazon’s IP infringement notification form: Once you submit your first infringement report, you will shortly receive an email from MBA asking for more information. A lot of this info will simply be repeating what you submitted in the original form. It’s critical to reply, providing all of the info that you can, and most importantly to provide the code they give you – this will help them to process all of your information together. You only need to perform this confirmation step once (provided you are successful) – your subsequent infringement reports via the web form will not necessitate the second step via email. Typically, MBA will respond and remove legitimate copies in one or two days.
If reporting to MBA, it’s important that the works you are reporting are legitimately copies of your work in MBA’s eyes. By rule, this means a pixel for pixel copy of your copyrighted (but not trademarked) works. If you invented a phrase but haven’t trademarked it, you do not own that phrase. You only own your exact design. If you own a trademark, MBA will of course want to know, and this gives you much more latitude in defending your work.
Making The Decision
Every individual will have to make a calculated decision whether to ignore copyright infringers, or to defend their intellectual property. Keep in mind though, that if you aren’t posting your designs on a given platform, there is a good chance someone else is – and benefiting off of your work.
“You don’t need to be an SEO expert to optimise your site for organic discovery, you just need to know…”
The key thing to remember is that the overall goal of a search engine is to offer the best search experience for their users. That’s it. If they aren’t doing that then they aren’t doing their job properly and, like any business, they won’t hit their targets, they’ll lose profit, and ultimately fail.
So it is super important to search engines that they show users the most helpful results. To do this they need to correctly interpret search intent to understand exactly what people are searching for, and then deliver the most comprehensive, accurate result to meet that intent. Here’s an example:1
“a few truths have emerged that should help you take maximum advantage of this low overhead business model.”
PODTips No. 4 – Smart Tactics You Have to Try for Your POD Store
Elina Jurkane Printify
Once you figure out what the people are buying make sure you place those items in a prominent position on your website and festoon them with “Best Seller” or “Hot” labels. Then take down the duds and replace them with new offerings you just invented in Photoshop.2
“Happy New Year! Glen and Yong are finally back with their very first episode of 2019”
Merch Minds Podcast – Episode 111: First Episode of 2019
Merch Minds Podcast with Glen and Yong
Q4 is officially over. A lot of people made good money over the holidays. It’s now time to focus on the new year and the boys discuss their strategy.3
“While upselling and cross-selling are broadly similar, there are some subtle differences.”
One of the beauties of print-on-demand merchandise is that, regardless of what you’re selling, apparel and gifts are always a great cross-sell. Buying headphones? Get a t-shirt with our logo on it! Buying a camera? Grab yourself a hoodie to wrap up against the elements while you’re taking shots!
The possibilities are endless, and – as always with print-on-demand – you don’t need to worry about holding stock, or sourcing products. The whole logistical side of the operation is taken care of for you.4
“PopSockets stopped selling on Amazon after a dispute. Due to strong brand recognition and sales diversity, PopSockets has continued to prosper.”
How PopSockets Prospered after Leaving Amazon
Phil Masiello Practical Ecommerce
Utilize every tool on Amazon’s marketplace to highlight your brand. Lifestyle photos and brand persona should be consistent across all products. Optimize product pages, enhanced brand content, and your brand store. Good content helps consumers connect with your brand. And they aren’t naive. Consumers know how to use the internet. They will find your site if they like your brand.
“The good news is that there are a few very actionable items that you can do to improve your product visibility immediately”
Amazon SEO: Understanding the Algorithm so That Your Products Rank Higher on Amazon Search
Marquis Matson Word-of-Mouth and Referral Marketing Blog
If you understand the A9 algorithm, then you can significantly increase your product visibility. The more optimized your product listing is according to the algorithm, the more likely it will be listed at the top of the results page.While there are a lot of moving parts that contribute to your product ranking, it’s not all that difficult to optimize a listing. You only need to understand what Amazon pushes to the top of their results pages.6