Please note, the site primelinegear com serves as an educational example here, the points mentioned below should work for any subject and web shop you will stumble upon.
If it appears anywhere else than on a Wallpaper site, it is most likely not authorized. And if people sell it, they do it at their own risk.
To make your Christmas shopping a bit more safe, here are some ways to spot a fraudulent site or offers if you are unsure.
Is the artist mentioned?
Red Flag #1 Set!
Does the site use suspicious tricks to create a sense of urgency?
Also the counter sets itself back after the time went down. There is no way I could trust this site and that is a bad reputation for the whole business.
Is the offer real? Part 1
Red Flag #3 Set!
Is the offer real? Part 2
Get real feedback | what others say
Either my DCMA report has worked and they just keep the offer on their site to tease people or it is THE scam it seems to be.
What does a "whois" lookup tell me?
"This status code tells your domain's registry to reject requests to renew your domain. It is an uncommon status that is usually enacted during legal disputes or when your domain is subject to deletion."
But that isn't suspicious AT ALL.
Red Flag #8 Set!
Proof for a CaseBtw. since comments might be deleted, I will keep snapshots from facebook comments as they appear for documentation. But to save privacy, I refrain from posting them here, let me know if you want them for a case, lawsuit, etc.
Personally I refrain from getting a lawyer involved, as these kinda businesses seem hard to catch, chances are very cloudy and time spent - in no relation to a return.
With this blog post I can use their bad for something good.
Final Words TL:DR
If your desire and budget is high there is hope that this article might find you before you blow money out of the open window.
Real artists are here to stay.
If you still want that AT-AT piece......unfortunately there are only a few options from here:
- You can request a download in exchange for a protective charge by using the contact form here
- You can keep an eye on my shop where it is available in very limited quantities from time to time (sorry not before x-mas)
- You can go to the Clubhouse Collective and get it as a unique print on a wooden board
- You can also stop by on a booth at a Comic Con in Germany (check my fb-page to be notified where)
- You can go to my deviantArt page and download the Wallpaper, its essentially the same file Prime Line Gear uses, so the quality might be the same when you go to your local printer.
Edit Dec. 2016:Apparently, the method is not just limited to one site only, as the site Teepeat .com uses the exact same image and site to boot: https://teepeat.com/products/at-at
Only a less original logo on the upper left suggests that this is a different page.
And they use the exact same post on facebook to promote the product via it's a dark side thing:
Edit January 2017
One loyal person who ordered via PayPal got back to me with some hopefully helpful information, regarding a refund:
"I contacted paypal the other day and they said if articles are not genuine you have grounds to dispute a payment. I disputed it on these grounds and within a day prime line issued me a refund. It currently shows on my paypal account. I'll have to wait and see if it actually makes it through to my account, but its good to know that if anyone has bought any of this stuff via paypal they are entitled to dispute it, and it seems prime line wont even put up a fight. I just said that it was poor quality, and also believed to be counterfeit as it breached copyright laws."