How Aliexpress, Amazon, Walmart and even Etsy started selling copycats of my clock
First, please allow me to sum it up in a nutshell. Back in 2017 I made this clock and for me, it was just another take on a wall clock design. Now it is 2023, and I keep finding my clock being sold all over the internet. And no, it is not that someone just copied my design (there are many who did, but that's a different story), but they also use my own photos to sell it.
The Glory Story
2017 - the "Mixor" was made. As every maker, I always have some random parts and details hanging around the workshop. Lets call it creative chaos if you like, we are more familiar with that :D. And in such an environment there are sometimes benefits, one of which is this - ideas are in front of you, and you only need to see them. As you may notice, many of our products are just a different combination of what we already have. See what I mean?
It was only a matter of putting together two unfinished clocks, and that's that. I'm not saying I found some genius and never seen before clock. I never think of that actually, I make what I think of and very rarely I go and check if the Internet already has it. :D
You can see it looked like this. But it was a start, I took some photos and uploaded it on Etsy. Nothing special at first, until it reached a point when it started selling like --- and we reached over 1000 sold units worldwide in 2020. Each one made by my team and I. I was thrilled! We bought new bandsaw, sanders, many clamps and equipment, so we could be more efficient and precise in our making.
The name "Mixor" came because it was a mix of two clocks and I simply couldn't name it "Mixer" :D
Then of course continued to make subtle changes to it, as to all of our products. Here are some photos of different iterations of the clock.
Then Chinese factories started making it
It is 2023 now and if you Google "xylophone wall clock" you should see a lot of copycats. Funny thing is I never used this a keyword or tag, maybe Chinese guys know better, haha. Anyway, I have been coming upon so many website and seller selling my original work even using my photos (of course they edit the logo and remove it).
Mock up photos and cheap plastic, a brilliant idea indeed. And I managed to find some actual photos from reviews on Aliexpress. Made of MDF and plywood, which is not that bad, actually. Buyers are not thrilled with it. :D
Nobody can save your idea from spreading if it is a good one. I used to get so angry with people who copy my work. It has happened more than twice. I would be mad and desperately try to protect my work, but owning a copyright is a very long and expensive journey, so I just go on with my life and tell to myself I must be always a step further from anyone who goes in my way. This is what I do. I make improvements, I develop my craft and products.