Finding official streamer merch can be a pain as many of the results you will find on Google are not the official merch stores.
This is not only bad for the streamer that you love and want to support (because they lose revenue) it’s also bad for you for reasons I will reveal in this article.
Here’s a quick navigation menu that allows you to skip to your desired part in this article:
- Why fake streamer merch is a problem
- Why fake merch is bad
- How to spot fake merch
If a streamer does not have their merch linked in their Twitch description, they most likely do not sell any merch.
Fake streamer merch is a big problem
When I first found out about fake streamer merch, I assumed this issue was limited to fans uploading fan-art to websites such as Redbubble for a very small profit.
But as it turns out, the problem is WAY bigger than that.
Some creators have their merch completely ripped off and sold on hundreds of websites.
Oftentimes, these websites even OUTRANK the official merch of a Twitch streamer.
In a video on his YouTube channel, streamer Eddy Burback revealed that this had happened to him and how much of an impact it had.
In the video, he reveals that counterfeit versions of his “Yikes” design were ripped off and sold on countless websites.
The problem was so big, that these established sites were outranking Eddy’s official merch, pushing his store to the second page of Google.
As if that wasn’t crazy enough, Google started posting advertisements of FAKE merch ABOVE his YouTube channel.
This could potentially have misled hundreds of fans looking for Eddy Burback’s merch and made them believe they would be supporting him.
Why fake merch is bad…
Fake merch comes with a lot of obvious issues.
#1 Fake streamer merch is low quality
Many Twitch streamers have put a lot of effort into their merch. They hire professional designers to create prints and often even go through multiple providers to simply have the highest fabric quality available.
The problem with fake merch is that they don’t have the original design files. These ripped-off designs are substantially lower quality.
On top of that, many of the users uploading designs to sites like RedBubble have ZERO design experience, leading to them uploading low-quality files.
Additionally, such sites use cheap fabrics and only care about quantity over quality.
#2 The streamer gets nothing!
Those selling counterfeit streamer merch, are robbing the creator. Simple as that.
#3 You are putting yourself at risk
Some of the websites that fake streamer merch can be found on are sketchy, to say the least.
You don’t want them to hold your sensitive personal data…
How to spot fake Twitch merch
You’d expect that if you looked up the query “xQc Merch” that it would only return the official store but this would be false.
That exact query will output the following two links in the top positions. The first link is xQc’s official merch store, the second link is a Redbubble link.
And you’ll find that exact Redbubble link for every single Twitch streamer you google.
Even if they do not sell any merch!
For example, Summit1G doesn’t sell any merch. But when you look up “Summit1G merch” on Google, you’ll find the following result:
Both are Redbubble links and the second one even has “Official” in the title!
But this is not official merch.
Redbubble is a marketplace where EVERYONE (including you and me) can upload designs to T-shirts and other products.
Redbubble will then market those products and the original designer will receive a small commission on every sale.
While this is the top result for ‘Official Summit1G merch’ this is actually FAKE merch.
Summit1G does not receive any money from this!
A Twitch streamer will NEVER use Redbubble to sell their merch. Redbubble has SUPER LOW commissions and is only used by fans and imposters.
Instead, streamers will go with dedicated stores on platforms such as:
- Stream Elements
Or in the cases of big streamers (e.g. Ninja) they will have a dedicated store.
What can you, as a streamer, do to protect your merch?
#1 Link your merch in your Twitch profile
You’d be surprised how many Twitch streamers sell merch without listing the site on their Twitch profile.
This is not only a great way to make your fans aware of the fact that you sell merch, but it also shows them where they can find your official merch.
A Twitch profile is where most fans will look for merch FIRST before resorting to Google.
#2 Make your fans aware of this issue
If you have websites selling counterfeit versions of your merch, tell your fans about it.
Not every fan you have is tech-savvy or will know the difference between real and fake merch.
Thanks to his video, which received over 1 million views, Eddy Burback was able to make his fans aware of the issue and it resulted in his store finally being ranked as the first result on Google.
#3 Establish a Trademark
One of the fastest ways to get fake merch taking down is by trademarking your brand. For example, if you have a trademark on your logo, you’ll quickly get that logo taken down from sites such as RedBubble.
#4 Takedown fake merch
If fake merch is a really big problem for you, and you feel like you are losing a lot of money, you could hire a company such as Snapdragon.
Their proprietary software will locate and takedown counterfeit merch for you.
Hopefully, this article has taught you a thing or two about fake streamer merch and how big of a problem this is to creators!
Most of the time, a streamer will have their merch store linked in their description.
- Twitch streamers don’t sell merch on RedBubble
- Advertisements found on Google are never the official store
Buying fake streamer merch is bad for you and bad for the creator that you want to support, so don’t do it!