AGAWAM, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- As the Christmas season begins, many businesses are getting creative and creating products that embrace the new normal of 2020.
However, as one local shop owner in Agawam explained the efforts from scam artists are worse than ever.
Old World Christmas has been handcrafting creative and one-of-a-kind Christmas ornaments for years, often selling them through small locally-owned gift shops for the holiday season.
As it became clear that 2020 would be the year of the COVID Christmas, they decided to take the nuances of the pandemic and turn them into beautiful ornaments.
“It’s a year like no other and this is an ornament to remember the year, whether you want to remember it or not,” said Kate Gourde, owner of Cooper’s Gifts in Agawam.
They include a glittery toilet paper roll, hand sanitizer, nursing scrubs, and a masked Santa, knowing out of all people, the big man in red is following guidelines.
“They make a beautiful products and you have to be carefully selected, to be chosen to carry their ornaments. It’s not something you can just order,” Gourde explained.
One of the small shops that is selling these is Cooper’s Gifts in Agawam and Gourde said they're already seeing record sales.
“It was crazy. I felt like I was calling them every week just to keep up with the demand…The bottle of hand sanitizer is long gone. Old World Christmas is completely without it,” Gourde added.
Gourde told Western Mass News that seeing the success they were having with these ornaments, scam artists decided they could make a knock-off version and sell them for a fraction of the price.
“They’re nowhere near the same and we’ve heard nightmares from customers who have ordered them…It’s a shame because such a beautiful company is making a hand-blown glass hand-painted, hand-glitter, beautiful, collectible, heirloom ornament and these other companies are knocking them off,” Gourde added.
A main space where these knock-offs are being sold is Amazon.
“Unfortunately, they are using the Old World Christmas pictures, so people are really getting duped,” Gourde noted.
Luckily, Old World Christmas does have copyrights on their products and Amazon has been helping them crackdown on this problem, already removing 400 vendors.
“But it seems like every time they take one down, another one pops up,” Gourde said.
That’s why her main message is to shop small and support local.
“You have to trust your instinct and if you can shop from a local store that you know is selling the real McCoy, instead of saving a few bucks buying something on Amazon…You’re helping the shop small movement,” Gourde said.