Plain and simple, The Hall of Shame indicates that a vendor cannot be trusted.
The vast majority of the times, the vendors listed here are stealing intellectual property from others, intentionally misleading customers, or even outright breaking the law. This is not to be confused with a company that you feel you had to wait too long to get your jacket, or whether you are not happy with the jacket for whatever reason. Most companies enter the Hall of Shame because they are utilizing questionable business practices and malicious behavior to get your money.
We are not telling you where to spend your money. You earned it, and it is up to you to spend it the way you see fit. But we will point out the warning signs so that you can make your own informed and intelligent decision about a particular vendor.
Each vendor in the Hall of Shame will not only be listed, but we will illustrated the offensive behavior using screen captures from their own site, and will list why we feel the behavior warrants the inclusion of the company in the Hall of Shame.
Examples can be humorous – like when a vendor inadvertently used an action figure to advertise their jacket. You cannot make this stuff up.
Screen capture taken from the Leather Hill website on December 09, 2011, 7:58:28 AM
But other times, vendors are using images they stole from other vendors to advertise jackets. We have many excellent examples of that here in the Hall of Shame. A new "vendor" sees a site that is doing well or has an idea that they want to use. So they right click some images and click "save as" and bam - they have a product.
Except that they really do not have a product. They have a stolen picture of someone elses' product.
Another popular tactic is to use uncredited images from the film to advertise their products. Imitation may be the finest form of flattery, but these vendors are not imitating. They are stealing intellectual property.
Why is this important?
Because you will put your hard earned money down paying for a product that does not yet exist or is grossly misrepresented. The vendor does not have a warehouse full of these jackets. They typically have nothing. Once you pay, they take your money and use it to have a jacket made.
You have just paid for their prototype and to be their guinea pig. Maybe it will be decent quality and highly detailed, but that is extremely unlikely. It is usually the replica jacket fodder you see on eBay that looks as if the jacket was manufactured by preschoolers in a dark room.
They use stolen images from reputable manufacturers because their own jackets only vaguely resemble the ones from the film. If you do see images of their own jackets on their sites, they are usually terrible and do not look much like the jacket they are advertising.
While we fully understand you have to start somewhere, using stolen descriptions, other vendors images and film stills to advertise a site is not a sound ethical business practice.
If you do business with a thief, do not be surprised when you are ripped off.
There are other vendors out there who have put in their blood, sweat and tears to make a terrific product. Their reputation will usually speak for itself.
So please, watch for these warning signs:
- stolen images
- stolen descriptions
- the use of studio images
- ignoring questions or poor response to questions
- poor spelling or bad grammar.
- the "site" consists solely of a store.