Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Urban THIEVES Outfitters

Urban Outfiiters is in the news as of late for stealing a jewelry designer's ideas: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/05/26/urban-outfitters-continue_n_867604.html#postComment.

What does this have to do with bicycles you ask? Well, here is my story.

As some of you may know, I started a second company called Bates Crates. I have been building high end wooden crates for the front of bikes for 3 years now. Here is a link to the first one I built- notice the date in the link... http://1lesscarnews.blogspot.com/2008/12/porter-box.html.

That was the first crate I built, but a few months later I designed what we called the Classic Crate, and within a few months we were contracted by Trek to design a crate for them (The Model T): http://1lesscarnews.blogspot.com/2009/08/biggest-news-in-one-less-car-history.html.

Now that you know the background, a few months ago I was alerted to company *cough*SUNLITE*cough* making a REALLY cheap knock of of my crate (along with another person or two on blogger).

About a month ago, Urban Outfitters emailed asking about selling my crates. I told them my wholesale price and below was there response:

Hi Cole,
Thank you for getting back to me so quickly. We have a similar basket right now that retails for $40 and I really can’t work with a wholesale cost of $90 since we have such high margins. Thank you so much though.

So I decided to take a look on their site and this what I found: http://www.urbanoutfitters.com/urban/catalog/productdetail.jsp?id=20758819&CAWELAID=857891016.

Not only is a direct rip-off of my design, but they stole the name too!

It sucks for multiple reasons. First, I spent a lot of time making these, then sales slowed down, and now I have a decent idea of why.

I don’t have enough cash to hire a lawyer, and we all know Urban Outfitters has deeper pockets than me, so it looks like they're just going to get away with it... but I hope not.

Any ideas or suggestions would be appreciated!




Greg said...

That is a bummer, Cole! There are always rip-off artists out there. Just keep doing what you do well. There are people who appreciate it and are willing to pay what it costs for quality and for the pleasure of buying from a person rather than a corporation.