Indian Copy of my Designs

By February 22, 2011 March 2nd, 2011 furniture

So today I went to Bungalow to browse and found this piece for sale. I recognized it immediately. Hey, that is MY ELLIS DESIGN. Hmm, India was my 5th largest web visitor and it’s no wonder why. They are copying my designs. And what a poor copy it was. Weighed about half as much as mine. It looked cheap and the wood was beat to hell. Casters looked bad and well, it looked like somebody crapped this copy out of their butt (to put it nicely). I was infuriated at first, wanted to punch the store owner, then the poorly paid 12 year old kid in India who lost a finger making it. But then I thought it over. The piece looks like cheap shit which is perfect for somebody who likes to buy cheap shit. Oh by the way, it was $800 more then my piece ($2195). And my customers don’t buy cheap shit so I guess it’s all good.

Unfortunately India is sending me catalogs via email with pieces they didn’t even make. I should know, I’ve seen these actual antique pieces for sale in New York. Cut and paste to your catalog, and now you built and carry it. So I watermark my pictures. I am sure some of my pictures are in these catalogs. Oh well, karma is a… Buy from overseas, fill their country’s pockets, weaken our economy, and your customer has something that falls apart soon and doesn’t look very nice. I guess I am still a little angry here, arrrrgggghhhhhh, breathhhhhhh………

Anyways, see if you can spot the copy below:

(Added 3/2/11)
Well the owner of Bungalow called me and we had a nice talk. She said she has no knowledge of that piece being a copy of my design and purchased it as a one-off from an Indian manufacturer. So they won’t be buying anymore of them since there aren’t any. Also since it was a one-off, the price was much higher than a production piece. Which makes sense to me. Now I will just take her word for this. But do I believe all of this, no comment. Only time will tell.

So I know the India manufacturers are copying me. And trademarking my work is too expensive at the moment, not to mention the cost and time of enforcing it.

So I guess the larger picture is just the US buying knockoff and super-cheap products from Asia. Maybe it’s impossible for a store owner to buy original products made in America and stay in business, I don’t know? I do my best to buy American materials when building my designs, but it’s just about impossible to stay 100% American. Am I a hypocrite? This is something I am going to have to ponder over the next few weeks. But I thank all of my fans/friends for the support over this ordeal.

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Join the discussion 3 Comments

  • Rebecca says:

    Greg, i know exactly how you feel. Am sickened when i see ads for kitchens for $2,000 dollars…OMG! not even the kid that lost his finger in China (this time) can make cabinets for that cost. So having a showroom, paying for overheads and although our prices a super reasonable, the anger is there ….how dare they…So, I feel your pain and you can be sure that when I can afford one of your pieces, i will buy the original and i will buy it from you. (&(*&*(&*(&&*(&(
    my thoughts exactly!
    R
    ps or when people who i design for and give them an amazing layout, take them to see options spend a huge amount of hours with them, and guess what? they ask why is it only a few dollars difference from home depot! &*(&(*)(*)(*)(_)_)&^%^^%^%%$…..usually with a smile on my face i say, well comparing hd to what i do and the cabinets i supply is an insult!

  • Greg says:

    Thanks for the comment and support. I imagine you’re not a big fan of Ikea either lol. When your in any business, you usually see things differently in that area. I’m just trying to do what I love and feel good inside about the way I do business.

  • Greg says:

    My wife just reminded me that we went to Bungalow about a year ago and dropped off a picture of my Ellis console to see if they had any interest. After seeing this obvious COPY, I guess they kind of did.