. . . by Bree Clarkson.
Designers work as hard on their freebies as they do on the kits they put up in their stores for sale. Just because a kit is free doesn’t mean that the designer only took a few minutes to make it. Designers put freebies out there for several different reasons . . . advertising, because they want to, as a thank-you to their customers. And here are a few reasons why sharing one of those freebies could be harmful to designers:
1- For the most part, freebies are a good way for designers to get people to come to their store and look around. If customers like what they see at the site, they are more likely to come back. This not only increases the chances of sales, but also allows visitors to see what a designer has to offer, such as a gallery or forums where they can be inspired. If the freebies are being hot-linked or shared off-site, the designers have lost the site traffic, and the benefits that come along with it.
2- Many designers have the ability to find out how many times a freebie (or pay kit) has been downloaded from their site. This helps them know what is popular, what people like or dislike, and helps them make future decisions when designing. If people are being directed away from the site the original freebie is hosted on, a designer’s information and records aren’t truly correct.
3- I have seen this happen time and time again . . . daily downloads. Download the pieces one by one and by the end of the week or month, you have a full kit. So, what’s wrong with sharing the pieces? Well, designers reserve the right to remove their freebies from their site and do with it what they want. With the daily downloads, I’ve seen designers either remove it completely from the site, or put it up in the store for sale. Having the freebies passed around after their completed time frame undermines that right. Think about it…if you knew you could go to XYZ group and get the kit that designer A is now selling after offering it as a freebie and you missed it . . . would you go buy it? Likely not. And that’s why it shouldn’t be shared at all . . . the designer offered it for a limited time only, and they have the right to keep it that way.
So while it might not seem like such a big deal if you share a freebie or two . . . think about how much work went into that little freebie. It’s a marketing tool, it’s a thank-you to customers, and it’s a gift.
What do you do if someone asks you about a certain freebie you’ve downloaded and used? Direct them to the site where you got it of course! There’s nothing wrong with that! It’s easy to say “hey . . . check out this site . . . they’ve got some great freebies.” But it’s not OK to find a pirating ring, join, then illegally upload to a hosting site to share with others. Any kits/elements you download should be downloaded ONLY from the original designer or a site she is affiliated with – if not, it is pirated!!!
In my experience (which is a lot, lol…I’ve been digi scrapping with everyone else’s creations for well over a year), designers are some of THE nicest people around. Don’t forget to send them an email when you download a freebie that you really like, and say thanks! Then spread the word, and direct people to the site where they can find those freebies.
Now, let’s get back to scrapping, and using up some of those digi supplies! Thanks for reading this article, and I hope that it’s helped you understand why we shouldn’t be sharing freebies!