Idea

newuser-968ec2b7-2b2f-458c-8a02-1771408fdd46 avatar image

Is restricted Tee submissions such a bad thing?

I've been re-opened to 2 submissions a day... and I'm wondering whether restricted submissions is such a bad thing? Okay... 2 on itself is a bit low, and I like to think that if I keep tiering up I might be able to post 5 a day, 10 a day... maybe even 20? But some level of restricted posting could be a win-win for most parties. Firstly it would reduce the impact of those that submit Tees on an industrial level (100s a day). Not all such people have a negative effect... but I can't help but feel that a lot of such 'mass submitter' people can only submit this volume of Tees by copying (with hopefully, at least, mild alterations) existing designs. It's a quick simple and profitable technique which also immediately dilutes the profits of 'original' designs... plus leaves the Amazon product searcher with pages of almost the same design to sieve through in the hope of finding something 'different'. MBA designers who have been restricted to 'X' designs are probably more likely to put more effort into ensuring each design has a level of quality and/or originality to it (so as to ensure a chance of it earning). With more discernment from those that post Tees, there will probably be less 'pages' of very similar tees for the purchaser to sort through. So... I'm beginning to think that restricted tee submissions might not be a bad thing... but I only have my own limited perspective to view this... what do others think? What would be a good number of daily submissions per each tier?

merch by amazon
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ScottFromWyoming avatar image
ScottFromWyoming commented

I think you're entirely correct, with the one exception that you and so many others seem to accept "mild alterations" as being okay.

Please note: The remainder of this rant is directed at all MBA designers, not "newuser..." specifically (or at all, since I have no idea whether or not they're working this way).

Someone else here straight-up said their strategy is to see what the best-selling shirts are, and then take that idea and "try" to do it better. And they got a lot of people shouting Hooray! Great idea! No! Stealing ideas is not ethical. If you're basing your decision on whether or not it's legal, then you're what's wrong with America. Only sort of kidding. Okay, not kidding at all. Some of us have varying degrees of originality, creativity, inspiration, etc., but all of those faults fall far short of deliberately stealing ideas and tweaking them. Not only does it cheat the original, it cheats all of us for the same reasons that this post brings up: the good ideas at MBA are swamped under a thousand shirts which have no reason for being, but that clog up search results.

/rant

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T-Shirt Design Fan: Yours was the post I was referring to and your actual workflow vs. how it sounded really is fine. Thanks for the clarification!

ChrisL: see my note re: What's wrong with America. None of those famous quotes you posted are actually a defense of plagiarism. They are a defense of the inevitability of art building on what has gone before. They are deliberately being shocking in order to drive the point home: No great art is created in a vacuum. They are definitely not saying that all that it takes to be a great artist is to steal stuff, or that stealing is a shortcut to great art. This is all academic, however: None of us is the Picasso or Stravinsky of contemporary graphic design. We may be artists, and some of us (well, some of you) might have your work collected and hung in galleries. But we are tasked with creating professional work with some originality. If my stuff looks like some other popular things, that's because I am susceptible to popular culture as much as the next person. But I just couldn't call myself a professional designer if I sat down and stole half a dozen or 100 ideas of other working designers, and said, "welp, job well done, time for lunch!"

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I completely agree here and I think you may have been referring to my post.

85% of my best selling designs are original creations by me with no inspiration from other designs. But in some niches I have used designs that sell as inspiration.

I think there's a difference between stealing a design and tweaking one word or color and using a design as inspiration and make something completely your own.

For example, let's say there is a dog playing a flute that's selling really well.

I'll draw (emphasis on the word DRAW... not copy or steal) another animal like a cat playing a different instrument. I think that's just called using inspiration rather than just drawing a dog that's painted a different color playing a flute. That indeed does clog up the space and I completely agree with you. There are so many duplicate designs that are so similar that junk up Merch.

There's a big difference between using designs as inspiration and making something completely different versus just changing a word or color around. Even though it may be allowed to do if the phrase is not copyrighted (I love my mom/dad, etc.) I don't EVER do that and I agree. It clogs up the space. I should have explained myself better.

And I actually also am in favor of the daily limit. It's forced me to really think twice and try to put my best work out there. I've been working on one design for 3 days whereas in the old days I would have put up the first draft. I am just looking forward to tiering up so I can have more slots. I don't mind the daily limit at all.

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Isn't that the entire premise of MerchInformer though? And how many people use that tool? They literally say save the designs that are making the most money and give them to your graphic designer so they can tweak and re-upload. I've never been about jumping on the trend-wagon with Merch, I don't see what's selling then try to copy/tweak/upload. I just make designs I think are cool, that appeal to a niche, make sure I have good SEO, and upload. I don't think copying others is the way to long-term success.

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Scott! Take a look around you.. almost nothing is original these days.

Almost everything in this world is copied, tweaked and sold.

Its just a matter of knowing who to copy.

“Immature artists imitate. Mature artists steal.”—Lionel Trilling

“A good composer does not imitate; he steals.”-Igor Stravinsky

The immature poet imitates; the mature poet plagiarizes.T. S. Eliot

“bad artists copy, great artists steal.”-Pablo Picasso

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There is a saying : you can't have your cake and eat it (too)

And it is true

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M avatar image
M commented

A particular level of restriction isn't necessarily a bad thing, BUT:

1) People need to have access to enough uploads per day, in line with their particular 'Tier', to allow for a seller to upload for instance a new "collection" of designs that they want to make available and promote together. So if you have say 25-designs in a new themed collection you'd want to be able to get them uploaded and promote the new listings all at one time rather than having to spend days and days getting them uploaded.

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2) Edits to existing listings need to be entirely excluded from that limit so that important corrections or things like price promotions can be done at any volume and at any time

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3) It needs to be given to or taken from all sellers at the same time - currently some accounts only at Tier-25 have several uploads a day but other accounts at 100/500/2000 etc Tiers still cannot upload any designs at all, and some people at 8000-Tier can upload either far more or unrestricted amounts. IF a daily limit is to be used then ALL sellers at a particular Tier level should have access to the same number of uploads per day, or none should have access. Yes it's Amazon's business and they can do what they want, but currently it seems entirely haphazard and certainly not in line with say rewarding sellers that have sold higher amounts of shirts, it's just all over the map.

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If the upload limit were based on the 'last 7 days' then collections would be easier to upload in one go - and people that might prefer to expend one day a week or Amazon Merch could do so more easily. So instead of say ... 4 uploads a day.... 25 over the last 7 days would allow people to work in 'chunks'.

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M avatar image M newuser-968ec2b7-2b2f-458c-8a02-1771408fdd46 ·

Yeah that would probably work well - although given their coding issues I'm not sure I'd be too optimistic about the site counting your limit properly over a length of time, lol :)

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Designerjon avatar image
Designerjon commented

I think that having restriction each day is not a bad thing but tier ups need to be looked at. Not a lot of point having a submission allowance each day if you are stuck with not enough slots. I am on the tier 25 with over two thirds of my slots filled with shirts that have sold. Great idea but lets have some more slots please. . . ;-)

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I hear ya and agree, but I noticed there are still capacity problems even today during a slow month. Many shirts are saying "some sizes and colors are available for Prime." So if they are still having so many processing and capacity issues I would think tiering up will continue to be scarce and very selective.

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mimhe commented

I think that's not a bad idea. Maybe, 2 is too low, but 10-50 :thumbs_up:

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