I only have a little wander onto AliExpress now and then because of the vast number of fakes sold there. I don’t buy much, but after spying some chair covers and waiting about two weeks, they arrived. Covers are ok. From a sustainable source, so all very decent and above board. However, in the packaging was another little jiffy, a freebie, a soupçon. But something I hadn’t expected in the form of a craft stamp.
Now in the grand scheme of things, it’s only a craft stamp. But let me get this straight, I don’t deal in fakes. They will generally be of inferior quality or have the ability to burn your house down. So all in all, not a great purchase. The manufacturers will have skipped all testing required to conform to British Standards to get the cash rolling in. This fake on the outset looks almost identical to the original. The original in this case, a beautiful stamp set from the Essentials by Ellen called “So Matcha.” It’s a glorious set of stamps. Perfect for the many Japanese themed cards that I produce and one of my go-to sets. I already have this set in my collection. So seeing this reproduced was a bit of a shock since it’s only available from Ellen’s site. Ellen won’t license it for sale anywhere else.
Quality Original vs Quantity Fakes
But it’s only a stamp; I hear you say. But it’s not. It’s someone’s reputation. Someone somewhere always pays the price. It might not be you with your inexpensive stamp, but think about how these things get made. They use the cheapest silicone compared to higher quality photopolymer. There could be a vast array of harmful chemicals in their ingredients. They are also stealing someone else’s intellectual property. Someone who had spent time and effort in creating something unique and eye-catching. Selling it for pennies, cashing in on someone else’s creativity.
Then you have the quality of the stamp print itself. Have you seen some of these? Half the time in the adverts sellers post on their listings are taken from craft websites. Crafters have used the original stamp and produced some beautiful work, only for them to be blatantly copied across, featured in these bogus stamp ads. The consumer then believes what they see.
Bad Quality, No Integrity
Take a look at the difference in both the fake, compared to the original stamp. On the outset it doesn’t look like there’s much of a variation, does it?
But look how it loads the ink. It’s quite a different story. The ink sits there on the fake. Leave it too long, and the ink disappears from the top and runs down the side. Have to be quick to print that even with pigment ink.
And here we have the result. It’s appalling. Catastrophic.
Can you see how horrific the fake looks compared to the original? Both have inked with the same, top quality pigment ink. The colour bleeding? The fact that the ink hasn’t even clung to the stamp correctly as the material is repellant. What the heck! The original has beautiful, clean lines, full-bodied colouring on the hair. The original print wouldn’t need correcting to make it acceptable because the quality of the materials used is flawless.
So, even though the price (generally all under £2) might be tempting, you aren’t doing yourself any favours funding these bogus “art” suppliers. You are selling your integrity should you then go on to sell an item featuring these images. Pay a little extra (official stamps like this are around £10-£15) and support the artists’ creativity. Your creations don’t deserve to suffer. Buy official, buy real, buy certified.