Wednesday, May 13, 2009

eBay Image and Photo Theft - What to Do?

I received this email from Sherri:

"People who are unethical will sell stuff they steal as well as stuff not as described, and steal your pictures when you have your name right through the middle of them. I wanted to know, if you have any help in the picture department. I have so many people stealing my pictures and they stole my friends also. She had her name in large type across the photo and they just cropped it out. She had her name across an item and they cropped half of the item out of the picture and still used it. Is there any suggestion that you have that might help with picture theft?


Unfortunately, we cannot control what others do, only what we do. Dishonest people will be dishonest. That is a sad fact of life.

There are a few steps you can take to make it harder for people to copy your listings.

1) If you are using Seller Sourcebook, go into the Preferences tab and choose to right-click disable your listing. This will prevent anyone from doing a right-click and copying your text or photo. If they try to right-click anything on the page, they will see the error message shown above.

2) If you are not using an image hosting service that offers a right-click disable, click here to use Marsha Collier's Cool eBay Tools script to prevent right-clicking.

3) There will always be back-door ways around everything on the internet. Sophisticated computer people who can read code will steal if they want to steal. Also, there is no way to prevent using the print screen trick to copy the image.

4) Remember this: If someone is too lazy to take and upload their photos on eBay, they aren't much of a competitor. They will also be too lazy to keep up with their eBay store, accommodate customers, or be much of a business person at all. I have seen this many times in my 6+ years on eBay - someone comes along and copies my listings word for word, copies my pictures, copies my pricing...and in 3 months they are gone due to too many negative feedbacks about poor service or slow shipping. You can laugh last - let them have their false sense of security and their moment in the sun but realize that no one can last very long on eBay without a true work ethic. Just focus your efforts on your eBay business and let the losers fall to the wayside. Give them enough rope and they will hang themselves.

Happy Selling!


barterbetty said...

but there IS something you can do if someone is stealing your material. Your text & pics are your copyright material. I had several listings of one product that I was selling and someone came along and use MY photo for her listing. I emailed her but she didn't take it down. I had alot of buyers for this item and I didn't want them thinking it was my listing by mistake. So I reported it to Ebay.
Go to the bottom of their listing:
Click on "Report this listing"
In the drop down menu where it says "Reason for Report" choose "copying your listing" then continue from there. They will remove their listing.
Hope that helps!

SandyK said...

Auctiva also has a right click disable mode for pictures INSIDE the listing template ... the problem still is the repeated image at the bottom, which is OUTSIDE of Auctiva's template and on the eBay listing page. Often times by contacting the Seller and tsk tsk-ing them, they just didn't know better and make the change right away. unless, of course, it's a full moon ;)

Chris the Yardsale Queen said...

Another thing that wasn't mentioned is that you can report the picture theft to ebay.

If you report it in time, ebay will close down the offender's auction.

Paula said...

Both two previous commenters bring up good points, but I HAVE reported other listings only to have Ebay do nothing about it. I talked to Ebay about it and they said there was just too much volume to end all of the listings that get reported. They mainly concentrate on the listings that are "fakes".

Techman said...

The best and time tested way to prevent theft of images by using a visible watermark.I use a tool called Mass Watermark to do the same.