Or: if it looks too good to be true, it probably is.
clearly showing a HUGE PS of Sweden logo that had been quite obviously photoshopped out of the version on the saddlesworld.com site. Stealing someone’s photo for advertising use on your website is one level of shady… photoshopping said photo to remove another brand’s logo is a whole extra level. I emailed them and tagged them in a facebook post about the photo, and within half an hour they had taken the quarter sheet’s page down, offering an apology and a coupon.
No really… you shouldn’t have.
Because if you take a quick jog around their site, it’s absolutely chock full of stolen photos. This is clearly not an accident or a one off situation. You can recognize photos from SmartPak, Dover, Fairfax, Mattes, Sabre, Zaldi, Bates, Weaver, etc etc etc. Some photoshopped to remove branding, some that didn’t require alterations. All of it at super low, fairly unbelievable prices, of course.
And if you, the consumer, do a cursory look around the internet to see if the site seems legit, you would find that it claims to be based in Massachusetts, even sporting a Massachusetts phone number, and their facebook page has over 13k likes. Yet a closer look at some of the endless find print reveals that it’s clearly based overseas, most likely in India. My email was answered by someone supposedly named “Sam Seth”.
Bottom line, who knows what you’d actually get if you ordered something. Maybe they do their best to very cheaply knockoff whatever item is in the photo. Maybe they just give you the total runaround. Either way – YIKES. Come on, Saddles World, if you want to sell a bunch of uber cheap knockoffs, at least have the decency to take photos of your own products and only use THOSE for advertising, instead of stealing and photoshopping photos from other people and companies.
Sites like these are becoming more and more common, it seems. While most aren’t this blatant about stolen photos, there is definitely a huge influx of cheap knockoff products, often of extremely questionable quality. For some things, like saddle pads, it doesn’t matter much. But do you really want to be riding around in a bridle, girth, saddle (or other crucial piece of a equipment) that has been cobbled together by one of these sellers? Best case scenario – it’s hideous and uncomfortable. Worst case scenario – it breaks while you’re using it and you’re screwed.
Before ordering from one of these super cheap discount places, definitely do your homework. If there’s one thing the horse world teaches us, it’s that if something looks amazing in photos but the price is next to nothing, there’s probably a catch.