Can CM please stop handpicking copycat products!

Lots has been said about the current curation and quality of the handpicked section but there is 1 thing that is driving me nuts. Every day CM promotes products that are blatant copies of other popular products. They are not stolen fonts or DMCA issues, they are just taking popular products and slightly altering them to try and copy that success. How many times do we have to see a rip off of Nicky Laatz’s Glamour Absolute get handpicked and promoted? Nearly every day! There could be a whole section of CM dedicated to Glamour Absolute rip offs. How can the handpicker not notice that these are just stolen ideas? There are so many good original products that don’t get handpicked so this is frustrating for everyone. Anyone who has a first page product is going to get copied by people who think if they can replicate a product and replicate the success. To be honest, they can if CM keeps promoting them. It would take just take a minute for the handpicker to scan through the top products and see this. We need to promote new ideas not worse versions of existing ideas. Surly you agree @drew.coffman ?

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@NewTropical Hmmm… Agree with you.

Unfortunately I don’t think Creative Market can control something like that. Every product that gets popular gets copied, from the look of the product itself, all the way to the title and screenshots. And the way the copycat does it is clever too. They make it just enough different so that you can’t really take any action that would result in the removal of the product.

And the only way for CM to find out that it is infact a copycat of another product, would be too time consuming for them. They would have to check the titles to see if there’s any repeats of it, then they would have to compare the preview images and the product.

I appreciate that some are quite obvious like the one that you mentioned but you can’t assume that the person who handpicks products can spot copycats easily. It’s not as easy as it looks, especially with so many products looking alike as they often do here on CM.

It’s painful to see your product being copied and then handpicked and to top it off even further, doing well on the marketplace but I don’t see any solution. People will keep doing what they always did. There are those that will continue to be original and a breath of fresh air to the marketplace and then there are those that will copy them and ride that boat while they can.

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I agree that I often see similar products being handpicked for the features. Perhaps it’s because the curators have a certain taste and what they feature reflects that - which is unfortunate because there are lots of unique creators out there getting lost in the shuffle.

As a somewhat newbie here, I have a hard time figuring out what it takes to get featured. Of course, I realize a well designed, unique product (with equally good presentation images) is key - and yet I don’ t always see that being reflected in the choices.

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So frustrating, of course as @dianahlevnjak mentions, CM has no power to control what products are listed, but they do have a choice on which ones to promote. And if they keep promoting copycats then they will keep copying. And it’s not a case of tiny elements being taken here and there (great artists steal right!?) but just a lazy, flat-out (but less good) copy.

I could honestly see this being a reason why CM is losing popularity. They have popular products, which, due to their algorithm never changes (a discussion point for another post), but if customers keep seeing the exact same types of products in Handpicked then they really will start to question whats the point in visiting each day/week.

Also @drew.coffman whats happening with the Handpicked posting schedule? What time does it happen, which days? I feel like since Monday (or even Sunday?) there’s been no new products. I honestly feels there needs to be transparency on when it’s updated to help both customers and sellers.

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@dianahlevnjak , I disagree. I’m on Creative Market for about 10 mins every day. Check my sales, see whats handpicked, see whats popular. I can clearly see copycats, they are blatantly obvious. Now the Cm curators are getting paid to curate. They should be constantly on the platform and should have an in depth knowledge of popular products and trends. Sure they are not going to spot every copycat but they have to do better. If i had a criteria for handpicked it would be:

  1. Are the product and previews a high quality of design
  2. Is the product useful to a wide variety of consumers
  3. Is the concept bringing something new and exciting to the table

That would solve the problem

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Don’t get me wrong @NewTropical I would love that I’m mistaken about this and that there is a way to put an end to it. Honestly, In my many years of working in this industry I have yet to find a marketplace that isn’t plagued with copycats.

That tells me that either the marketplace doesn’t have the resources or the will to deal with it. There is a possibility that they promote such products deliberately. Money is the bottom line here so having many products that resemble a best selling product could lead to more sales. I don’t know if that’s the case but it’s a fact that it keeps happening and if it’s not by accident then there’s have to be a reason behind it.

I believe that what @drew.coffman will tell you is that if you see some product that is infringing on your copyright you should contact the support and they will look into it. It’s basically their answer to anything. It will also tell you that you need to be the owner of the product in question.

So, in this case, only the owner of the popular product that’s being blatantly copied can take any action to put an end to it. And this is where the whole thing falls apart. Nobody wants to spend their precious time to sit in front of computer and send dmca notices all day long. It’s energy draining and most artists decide to spend their time differently. Most of them will tell you that they like to focus on their art and work instead of focusing on thieves.

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Thank you very much for bringing this issue up @NewTropical . We’ve been keeping this up for months and after seeing this topic in the discussion, i think i’d like to speak up my thoughts too.

Recently, I always scroll through the handpicked section seeing what’s trendy and what’s the taste of the handpicker. Waiting for our product to be handpicked after posting a new one is like waiting for a love letter from a crush, wondering how she/he’ll respond.

These past months, my products have been rarely handpicked. I thought it’s just me thinking that handpicked items from the creative market are downgraded. The quality of the handpicked products is not as wonderful as before. I’ve just realized that so many similar fonts appear on the handpick section that copy popular authors like new tropical design, and nicky laatz. As a designer, even though their price is lower and seemingly has similar typeface design, we don’t trust those copycat font designers. We can see clearly the difference of the curve smoothness, kerning etc. We also have an experience buying a font from a new shop thinking that we’d like to support them but end up having difficulty in using the fonts as the kernings go here and there.

Shop owners are representative of creativemarket. If some customers feel they are being cheated, they directly think that the creative market as a whole is a cheater, while not all shops are like that. The worst thing is the customers can spread the word to anyone.

Creative markets should intervene in these new shops and the copycat designers by

  1. Explaining the do’s and don’ts including copyright issues and stealing ideas.
  2. Guideline for file management to make the customer easier to use the file
  3. Empowerment to the shop in responding to negative reviews by assisting, not ignoring it.

We are now in another marketplace trial section and see how they empower and inspire the designers to learn and avoid any infringement.

The new shops keep adding without paying attention to the core value of the creative market.
To be honest, we are one of the sellers on the creative market that has a number of products on popular pages. Seeing the handpicked products have lower quality standards is disheartening us. We appreciate how the creative market shares the promotion quota for other designers, but we don’t want them to lower the standard of creativemarket handpick section.

Honestly there won’t be a fair choice for everyone as creativemarket can’t please every seller. But seeing a decline in creativemarket quality check and image can also impact us as a designer. Handpicker is a really strategist and important position. We spent our 50% of sales being cut for an improvement that is stuck to nowhere even worse.

As a shop owner that has spent years here, we really want the creative market to take action on this before it’s too late. We really love this marketplace and still think that this is the best marketplace around. That’s why we are waiting for creativemarket improvement to keep existing @drew.coffman @Beth_R

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@eviory :+1:

Even CM can set criteria for handpick like some past review and how much shop owner is supportive,their customer service etc. So customer don’t need to face any problem and we can stop that wrong interpretation for CM is not good etc.

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When I first opened my shop, I used to go to the the add-ons section (especially Procreate) of handpicked items to see what was being featured (giving me an idea of how I can improve my own work) but not so much anymore. This is mainly because too often I saw the same shops getting featured over and over again. Sometimes the products met the criteria of quality, uniqueness, etc that C.M. outlines but other times not so much. Yet, I saw them still getting featured over products from other sellers that did fit that criteria - which confused me.

Now I’ve just resolved to the idea that the curators have their favorite shops and are sticking by them. There can’t be any other explanation. On my end, I’ll just continue doing my best work (which I’m always trying to improve) and do what I can to promote my shop on my own. However, it doesn’t make sense that a marketplace would stick to promoting a few shops when they’ve got so many others they could choose from…making more sales in the process.

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@Sofydoll_Designs Agree with you…even CM can make update or new product launch page so at there everyone products seen first and when new added then that page automatically update with new collection so every sec if there is a launch a new product all are in those page. So buyer also checking for it if someone didn’t follow that shop still they can see new launch on that page.

That can improve handpicked as well because easy to recognise which is more popular (like power in audience hand so)

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@Khushbugohil good idea! Hopefully CM will take note :slight_smile:

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@Sofydoll_Designs Finger crossed

I feel you are missing the point of @NewTropical 's post.

Copy cat products will always exists and be launched on a marketplace, that much is a given.
However, actively picking products which are almost 1:1 copies of well-selling, original products (supposedly picked by a human and not an algorithm) is exactly the kind of behaviour that promotes brazen copying, which results in a marketplace flooded with low quality products and noise.

If people want to make copycat products, that’s all well and good.
But if you then use the marketing budget that comes out of our commission to promote low effort products, then there is very little incentive for those that create original products to launch them here.

That combined with the rampant piracy, it’s beginning to feel like there is no protection or incentive to launch an original product here anymore. And the constant radio silence from the core team speaks volumes. Is it not strange that we only have one point of contact for answers on these matters and nobody else at CM has stepped forward to at least acknowledge our concerns?

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I’m not missing any points here, I am perfectly clear on all your concerns, they would be mine also, if I haven’t been there a 100 times before.

All I’m saying is that you can’t control what Creative Market does with their business, or who they promote, or by that matter, how often they choose to promote their sellers and their products. I often see that sellers tend to attach them self to a certain marketplace and treat it like their own website, unlike your own website, you can’t control anything here. All you can do is click a publish button. It’s delusional to think otherwise.

Build your business elsewhere, this is just another way to promote your work. You won’t and you can’t be on the top forever, it doesn’t work that way. Marketplaces move too fast, they grow too fast and change too fast for you to keep pace with them, it will eventually out grow you. It is the nature of the business. And yes, their silence does speak volume.

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Okay, I agree about building your business elsewhere, and yes nobody is going to ‘remain on top forever’, although I am not entirely certain as to why you felt it was necessary to mention that…

In my specific case, I sell via multiple marketplaces plus my own websites because from my experience it is not wise in any business venture to depend upon a single source of income, outlet or platform for stability. But I’ve been doing this for quite a while now and there will still be others who may not as far down that path as I am, or who rely on that income, whatever their reasons may be.

So to tell them “It is what it is, tough, do something else.” approach is completely disingenuous.
They are delivering their end of the bargain, delivering original and quality products, yet getting little to no promotion in addition to a further 10% cut. I believe in any and all circumstances, it would be fair to point that fact out.

Bear in mind not all creators are willing to compromise their vision to deliver only products that look like what is trending, and neither should they otherwise how do trends move forward? Even if an artist has similar style, there should still be some originality involved, even down to the demo images otherwise how different is it really from just promoting the same product?

Yes, it goes without saying marketplaces and trends change. But the operant word here is change, not completely abandon the principles that made it as regarded as it is.

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I mention that nobody stays on top because to me it seems that the popular products are being copied, which means that they are receiving less exposure, or even loose sales, since some customers will in fact opt to buy a similar but a lower priced product. I believe that they handpick these products because they saw some positive result in doing so. I am not saying that it’s ethical decision, it clearly isn’t but they must have some data on this otherwise they wouldn’t do it.

I didn’t advise that creators should go do something else. I advised that they should build their business elsewhere. Two completely different things. What I meant by that, is that they can collect email subscribers of their own, be present on social media, have their own websites, work with clients etc.

There is no bargain going on in any marketplace. No-one is making a bargain here. You signed up on a web platform that gives you an opportunity to sell your products without the hassle of doing the actual selling. That is it.

Non of the creators should ever copy their colleagues, to me that is a given. And I found this to be a much bigger problem, it’s a shame that this is caused by artists themselves. As if we don’t have enough problems with theft and pirate sites, we should respect one another, but no, instead why not try to be the copycat instead.

And for your last statement that marketplaces change but not completely abandon their principles… Well, it is a nice notion to believe in, not really true, not for many.

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Hi @dianahlevnjak - I agree with part of what you are saying. I have my products up on a few marketplaces, in addition to my own website, so I’m just happy to have a shop on Creative Market as well. I constantly do my part to promote my work and direct customers to my site, C.M. and the other marketplaces I sell on. I don’t rely on anyone to promote my products but myself.

However, C.M. is looked at as a higher tier marketplace in terms of design assets. Many come here to find something really well-done and unique. They can certainly find it here but they have to really look for it because often what’s being featured/handpicked is either a copy or from the same shop - even when the product is not necessarily meeting the criteria of C.M.s guidelines. Unfortunately not all customers have time to sort through pages and pages of products to find what they want so the handpicked section may be important to them.

I don’t think C.M. is purposely trying to ruin sales for anyone and I like that they sometimes feature smaller/newer shops. Let’s face it, it can’t be an easy task to please every consumer’s taste, while showcasing every seller - but I don’t think it would be too hard to have one person go through and curate products that are well-designed, unique and presented attractively based on C.M.s own standards (assuming they’re still following that).

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I will again agree that it would be awesome if the handpicked section could be more inspiring, unique and original. But I have to say, I don’t agree that we are now blaming CM curators for the lack of the same.

We all made CM the way it is today. With abnormal bundles that cost close to nothing. With $2 whole shop sales and discounts promoted every 5 min, copying products that find them selves on the promise land that is the front page is just another drop in the ocean of poorly made choices. And now we kind of expect from CM to sort this mess out.

Frankly, Im still not convinced that CM curator does this deliberately. Honestly, I have no idea what’s on the front page these days so I don’t know which products are being copied but I sure know they all look alike to me and I am sure that they must look that way to a curator as well.

How will he decide what is copied from whom on the first glance, Im telling you it’s not an easy task and we don’t know if this person spends his days looking through popular products or not. It very well could be just a side gig for this person. So don’t blame them, it’s all on the wonderful community of creators, us. And we didn’t do a very good job in keeping high quality feel that this place once had.

When I say we, please don’t be offended, of course I don’t mean you, I am sure you know that already. I said we because we are a part of a much larger community here. And we cannot be isolated from it. So naturally, whatever community does will affect you as well. And we as a community messed up big time.

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I disagree and this really isn’t that hard.

As shop owners we shouldn’t police what other designers are creating. You can’t do that on any marketplace. We can make suggestions in the forums, but that’s about it. It’s on CM to do that.

This isn’t Etsy. CM has an approval process for when someone applies to open a shop. I respect that and was even denied the first time I applied. As a premier design asset marketplace, I trusted their decision and spent the next several months working to improve my skills. The next time I applied, I was approved.

CM has staff to curate and I doubt it’s a side gig (if so, that’s not good). And while I’m sure whoever’s curating has other jobs to do, 10-15 minutes a day to going through new products wouldn’t take that much time. Spend enough time here (as I’m sure CM staff does) and you can gather pretty quickly on copycat items, etc.

I personally love CM and have bought lots of products from the marketplace. To me, it’s not about blaming anyone but rather encouraging them to stay the top tier site they always have been. They don’t have to listen but it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t speak up.

Btw, I checked out your shop and your work is gorgeous!

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