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View Full Version : Finfolk knock-off alert August 2020



Finnesota_Mermaid
08-27-2020, 12:33 AM
Shello everyone! I wanted to make a thread here for everyone to see in hopes of stopping another over seas art theft from happening. I live in the Wichita KS area, and there is a mermaid store here called "The mermaid boutique", and they are not only using knock off tails in store with their professional mermaids, also not just for childrens photo shoots, but they are also selling them straight up in their store, as well as that they can "custom order" you a tail and then sew lace on the tails and glitter bomb the things. A couple other mers sat down with me the other day and we were able to find the matching silicone tails for each knock off, except for one, and then we think the art theft just messed with the colors and pattern a bit with another one as it looks almost exactly like the other yellow tail. I went to confront the Boutique as well via a Facebook post of theirs they had put up recently, but within minutes of replying twice to my questions, they deleted the messages. :(

If you, or someone you know lives in KS, or the Wichita KS area, and/or you have been following this small business on social media, please make sure you let people know not to buy or rent the tails. I do still think supporting the store is fine, just not the tails or anything else that may potentially be stolen artwork.

Sites;
https://www.mermaidict.com/

https://www.facebook.com/TheEnchantedMermaidICT

https://www.instagram.com/theenchantedmermaidict/


The tails;
https://prnt.sc/u6kzak & https://prnt.sc/u6kzw7 <- Thinking they messed with the colors on this one

https://prnt.sc/u6kzgj

https://prnt.sc/u6kzn8

https://prnt.sc/u6l4ji <- Couldn't find the tail for this one

https://prnt.sc/u6l087

https://prnt.sc/u6l0ek

https://prnt.sc/u6l0jg

https://prnt.sc/u6l14o <- pardon the gross screen, this is my work tablet

https://prnt.sc/u6l0pk <- Pardon the blurriness of this and the next picture

https://prnt.sc/u6l0tp

https://prnt.sc/u6l0y5 <- Again, pardon my gross work tablet, I work outside (The reason this was on my work tablet was because the messages got deleted and I thought my phone borked, so I logged in on the tablet, only to find the messages gone)

I apologize if this is the incorrect place for this, I barely use the forums and I'm more than happy to move this to the correct place with some guidance :)

Mermaid Jaffa
08-27-2020, 01:40 AM
Yep, knock off tails from Finfolk.

And, I wrote on their fb page. Lets see what they have to say.

Finnesota_Mermaid
08-27-2020, 12:13 PM
They took down your message sometime this morning.

Anyone who posts on their social media, please screenshot your messages and post them here, they also took down my google review, and kept only the pictures they deemed good for their image

Mermaid Jaffa
08-27-2020, 01:03 PM
Oh snap! I didn't think to screenshot my message. You could try sending the fb and website links to Finfolk. They used their actual photos without permission.

Finnesota_Mermaid
08-27-2020, 01:24 PM
Oh snap! I didn't think to screenshot my message. You could try sending the fb and website links to Finfolk. They used their actual photos without permission.



I was the one who put the finfolk pictures up on the review page, and they now also deleted the older message directly on their FB page after I said something about it in the google review. They are being straight up shady and it's really bothering me :(

Finnesota_Mermaid
08-27-2020, 02:25 PM
Alright

Anyone who posts on their social media, please please please screenshot it and put it here, and anyone who has had experiences with this shop please also post that here. I am going to start compiling as much as I can about what they're doing, and I'm going to post it all on social media (with y'alls permission of course, and I will be blurring out names and keeping information in pictures private so no one is harassed or anything over all of this)

K Swim
08-27-2020, 07:29 PM
Wow. I knew that counterfeit computer parts were out there...I bought an HP brand USB flash drive for really cheap once. When it was delivered, I quickly noticed the quality was far less than what HP normally makes their products. Obvious fake.

Usually these shady types would make counterfeits of items that are more in demand....like USB flash drives. I mean, I knew that cheap quality mermaid tails were out there on sites like Aliexpress, but did not know that some were being passed off as another brand name.

Anyway, good luck in your battle against those shady sellers. I hope you at least put some unwanted pressure on them if you can't get them to shut down their operation.

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Finnesota_Mermaid
08-31-2020, 12:36 PM
Just an update, I went ahead and emailed Finfolk the same day I started this thread, and I am really hoping that they're able to do something. I haven't heard back from them and I doubt I will, but I really hope to continue to put pressure on the boutique so that they can see that the mermaid community shouldn't be messed with, especially when children and unaware parents are the main target in all of this.

If you message the boutique in any way, please remember to screen shot it and save it, and if you're comfortable doing so to post it here. They will 100% delete your message on their social media, or not message you back, but the more we message and question them, the more chances people will see it!

Finnesota_Mermaid
08-31-2020, 02:26 PM
Posting this here, one of the ex-workers at the boutique has commented on the FB post I made with information about the store and the owners. Turns out pretty much all of the artwork there is stolen, and they don't have insurance for their professional mers/princesses.

https://prnt.sc/u943yn

K Swim
08-31-2020, 06:18 PM
Just wondering, have you reported them to Facebook as well? I've seen many reviews and videos about Facebook being a scammer's paradise. Since there are so many user and group accounts, there is no way that they can all be weeded out unless people start reporting them.

Finnesota_Mermaid
08-31-2020, 06:28 PM
I don't know if Facebook will do anything is the problem, but I'll look into it and see what they do with business accounts and how I could go about reporting it

K Swim
08-31-2020, 08:20 PM
I think there is a link on their page to report it. One or two reports might not cut it, but their hand will be forced if multiple people report the same thing against them.

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Finnesota_Mermaid
09-01-2020, 12:14 AM
Update, they have just contacted me after leaving a review on their FB page

https://prnt.sc/u9bycc

If anyone has sent them messages directly to them via their website, please let me know, and if they did actually reply or not

K Swim
09-01-2020, 12:24 AM
Good job. You are at least getting their attention. After seeing your attachment, I am left wondering how they can try to justify why the models for that store are wearing tails not sold in that store....unless they are confessing to a counterfeiting operation while pretending that they are a legitimate operation.

So is their reply public on their page, or sent only to you? If it was a private message to you, you should post that screenshot on their page.

Finnesota_Mermaid
09-01-2020, 12:44 AM
Good job. You are at least getting their attention. After seeing your attachment, I am left wondering how they can try to justify why the models for that store are wearing tails not sold in that store....unless they are confessing to a counterfeiting operation while pretending that they are a legitimate operation.

So is their reply public on their page, or sent only to you? If it was a private message to you, you should post that screenshot on their page.


It was a private message, and I replied back and haven't gotten a return since

https://prnt.sc/u9cac8

I don't think I'm going to post it to their page, I want to make sure as best as I can that I don't get blocked. If I can have eyes on their page, then I have an advantage in the situation, otherwise I'll have to rely on my partner to be my eyes on their page

Mermaid Jaffa
09-01-2020, 12:45 AM
It would only take one of them to get the request, to swim with the kids, before everything goes bad for the rest of us. Do they not realise the importance of it all?

And, I just reported her page for intellectual property. Shame you can't choose more options to make the report.

Finnesota_Mermaid
09-01-2020, 12:58 AM
It would only take one of them to get the request, to swim with the kids, before everything goes bad for the rest of us. Do they not realise the importance of it all?

And, I just reported her page for intellectual property. Shame you can't choose more options to make the report.


Right? I'm going to make a message on my instagram story requesting more people do the same and report them on FB. The more the better, just like K swim said

K Swim
09-01-2020, 06:25 PM
It was a private message, and I replied back and haven't gotten a return since

https://prnt.sc/u9cac8

I don't think I'm going to post it to their page, I want to make sure as best as I can that I don't get blocked. If I can have eyes on their page, then I have an advantage in the situation, otherwise I'll have to rely on my partner to be my eyes on their page
With a reply such as that, I will be interested to know what it is they could possibly reply back with....assuming they haven't blocked you already.

midwesternmermaid
09-09-2020, 07:12 PM
What do you mean "get the request"? I'm not tracking.
It would only take one of them to get the request, to swim with the kids, before everything goes bad for the rest of us. Do they not realise the importance of it all?

And, I just reported her page for intellectual property. Shame you can't choose more options to make the report.

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midwesternmermaid
09-09-2020, 07:21 PM
At first i was really excited to see there was a mermaid boutique in the middle of kansas. It's fairly obvious they just want to ride the mermaid wave and not really do any of the work. I reported them on both my and my husband's profile.
And a fins-up, as a henna artist, I'm exposed to so many designs i can't keep track but more often than not, they're picking a design from my book which has the artist's info, or asking me to do a design from their phone. But it's fair to say I'm inspired by numerous artists. Their henna artist needs more practice and she sure as heck better not be using "black" henna which is poison and another rant. Face paint and glitter is yet *another* rant.

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MerNetworkMod
09-09-2020, 10:51 PM
Thanks for doing this. I spoke with Iona briefly about me tackling updating the tail maker review page, the list of tail makers, and the blacklist. I think an update that includes info about knock off tails will really help too. It's going to be a bit of an undertaking, but I think it's important to be done!

Slim
09-10-2020, 12:02 AM
It's very much needed. There are two scammer beware groups on Facebook that you might find some resources in to obtain more information. Just keep in mind one of those groups within the comment thread, knock off tends to a hot drama topic. Many sees it a stolen artwork and not safe however a few sees it an affordable way to buy a tail that one may not had been able to afford. The debate eventually lead from only one group to two groups within Facebook. As long as you keep things fact based without opinions, you should be fine. It's better to be safe than sorry.


Thanks for doing this. I spoke with Iona briefly about me tackling updating the tail maker review page, the list of tail makers, and the blacklist. I think an update that includes info about knock off tails will really help too. It's going to be a bit of an undertaking, but I think it's important to be done!

Finnesota_Mermaid
09-10-2020, 02:21 PM
I am so glad that this is helping change things and make the network better, and that we have multiple places to share and warn other merfolk. I have been struggling with the store still at this time, they are still very much using stolen artwork and are ripping off oblivious artists, using those tails, and their attempt at gas lighting didn't work and they have not replied back to me nor do I think they will. Reporting the FB page seems to have done nothing as well. Heck, I even tried to get a hold of our local news papers, and they completely blew me off. At this point, I'm waiting to hear back from Finfolk to see if they got my email to them about all of this, before I continue to apply pressure to the boutique.

If anyone has any tips/tricks that can help with this, please let me know, everything that can make this easier is very much appreciated

K Swim
09-10-2020, 08:48 PM
Some general research I was doing led me to something. Are these counterfeiters operating in the USA? If they are, then maybe the original maker can go after them. Outside the country is a lot harder. If they are operating in Europe, it's difficult, but usually can be done. Other countries will make it near impossible if they even do anything. Alternatively, you might be able to reach out to popular YouTubers and explain the situation to them. If they agree to act on it, we might get funny videos of the confrontation...sometimes resulting in these counterfeiters changing their phone numbers if they don't completely shut down.

Finnesota_Mermaid
09-10-2020, 11:37 PM
Some general research I was doing led me to something. Are these counterfeiters operating in the USA? If they are, then maybe the original maker can go after them. Outside the country is a lot harder. If they are operating in Europe, it's difficult, but usually can be done. Other countries will make it near impossible if they even do anything. Alternatively, you might be able to reach out to popular YouTubers and explain the situation to them. If they agree to act on it, we might get funny videos of the confrontation...sometimes resulting in these counterfeiters changing their phone numbers if they don't completely shut down.

The Boutique is operating in the U.S. but the manufacturers of the tails are out of the country, and sounds to be over in Asia somewhere. They also seem to be the same ones that plague Finfolk on a constant with their knock offs. I'm thinking I'll be doing that next, messaging in the FB group since I know Raina is in there, and then maybe asking Merman Maui and the other ambassadors of Finfolk if they would be able to help out as well. First though, I want to make sure I get the email back from Finfolk

K Swim
09-10-2020, 11:47 PM
So if I had to guess, they are possibly ordering them in mass from Chinese sellers. Although there are a lot of reputable brands in China, there are also a lot of knockoff sellers (no brand name at all) that produce and sell a mass amount of parts and products for extremely cheap cost and extremely cheap quality. My guess would be that they are ordering in bulk from the knockoff sellers, then individually in their little store for a little profit. Sadly though, its an increased cost but still the cheap quality.

Finnesota_Mermaid
09-11-2020, 12:29 AM
So if I had to guess, they are possibly ordering them in mass from Chinese sellers. Although there are a lot of reputable brands in China, there are also a lot of knockoff sellers (no brand name at all) that produce and sell a mass amount of parts and products for extremely cheap cost and extremely cheap quality. My guess would be that they are ordering in bulk from the knockoff sellers, then individually in their little store for a little profit. Sadly though, its an increased cost but still the cheap quality.


That, my friend, is exactly what they are doing. The boutique is also trying their absolute best to try and keep that silent as well, since they know just how much trouble they'll be in. It sounds like the manufactures may have a name though, and that, along with the exact part of the country they work from, are the only two things I don't have. And I know for a fact I won't get that information from the boutique, and the more I try to press them for it, the quicker I'll be banned and won't have any way to see what they're doing :(

K Swim
09-11-2020, 08:08 AM
Well it's legal for them to sell them, but it is illegal if they are trying to pass them off as the original. In that case, the only one who could really start a legal battle is the original manufacturer. About the most you could do is testify as a witness but only if they asked you to.

Alternatively, there are popular YouTubers who record videos of them confronting these types. The culprits get shamed while the rest of us get a video to laugh at. Most of their videos focus on recorded calls with scam telemarketers, but I'm sure one of them might be willing to go after counterfeiters.

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Finnesota_Mermaid
09-11-2020, 11:34 AM
Well it's legal for them to sell them, but it is illegal if they are trying to pass them off as the original. In that case, the only one who could really start a legal battle is the original manufacturer. About the most you could do is testify as a witness but only if they asked you to.

Alternatively, there are popular YouTubers who record videos of them confronting these types. The culprits get shamed while the rest of us get a video to laugh at. Most of their videos focus on recorded calls with scam telemarketers, but I'm sure one of them might be willing to go after counterfeiters.

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It's illegal in my state to sell counterfeit items and stolen art, so the boutique can very well be brought down by FinFolk if FFP really wants to do so to them. The manufacturer, since they are over in Asia somewhere, cannot be brought to court, since they are in a Country with different laws than the U.S., all that can be done there, is let Finfolk know, and make posts and videos warning about the fraud tail makers being at it again, and hoping they aren't supplying any other U.S. stores/businesses

Mermaid Jaffa
09-11-2020, 09:47 PM
I've seen a few videos on youtube where people have gotten these tails for their kids. The "monofin" is a vinyl sheet with a pair of flippers glued to it.

Finnesota_Mermaid
09-11-2020, 10:38 PM
I've seen a few videos on youtube where people have gotten these tails for their kids. The "monofin" is a vinyl sheet with a pair of flippers glued to it.

Yup, and the boutique probably is using those in the tails they have, and if anyone has actually bought any of the tails, will probably be getting those death traps with the skins.... I sent a message to the Better Business Bureau today, and our local news channel's investigators are also now looking into it. I'm still hoping to hear from Finfolk though.

K Swim
09-11-2020, 11:27 PM
I've seen a few videos on youtube where people have gotten these tails for their kids. The "monofin" is a vinyl sheet with a pair of flippers glued to it.
I've seen those on Aliexpress. When I was younger, my grandfather had a lot of building materials from the houses he built. Among that was plexi-glass that looked probably stronger than what you described....but the weak muscles in my arms were able break it with a little bit of effort.


, will probably be getting those death traps with the skins....
Death traps.....sounds a bit extreme, but probably true.

Finnesota_Mermaid
09-12-2020, 10:31 AM
I've seen those on Aliexpress. When I was younger, my grandfather had a lot of building materials from the houses he built. Among that was plexi-glass that looked probably stronger than what you described....but the weak muscles in my arms were able break it with a little bit of effort.


Death traps.....sounds a bit extreme, but probably true.

Those "monofins" are very dangerous, they are not water worthy, are not made with safety in mind, and from youtube videos I have seen, they have no propulsion and are difficult to get out of. They are imo not to be taken lightly, safety matters and swimmers lives matter

Iris has a video that really drives it home, she shows how dangerous they are;
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p2n3GA6TXCo

Can I also say how sad it is to see the striking amount of people with videos unboxing bootleg tails? Some of them even say in the caption that they're bootlegs :eek: The number seems to be slowly growing and it concerns me...

K Swim
09-12-2020, 11:21 AM
I don't mean to sound cruel by saying this (because it is really cruel) but sometimes no one will listen to logic until something goes horribly wrong. In this case, it might be AFTER a lot of people get hurt before attention is brought to the matter. I totally agree that tails cost a lot and some people want to live their dreams, but are struggling with finances so they buy the cheapest they can find. Because of that, these counterfeiters capitalize on that and are probably already prepared to run away and set up shop somewhere else if they ever get found out. Best we can do is keep them on the run until they can't afford to run anymore.

In my IT job, I tell people all the time to avoid buying cheap parts...sometimes as simple as toner cartridges for printers. I know those are expensive, but not as expensive as buying a new printer when the cheap quality ink from the cheap cartridges dries too quickly and ruins the printing heads....or don't dry quick enough and make a mess all over the rollers everywhere else inside the printers