Shop A and Shop B are operated by people of different nationality. Shop A sells Japanese and Thai products, and when some of these products become more popular, shop B will follow and sell the same products.

Given that situation, are there any words that can describe what shop B is doing?

Is it called "sales copy" or "business plagiarism" in English language?

  • 4
    "sales copy" is entirely a different term. "Business Plagiarism" seems fine to me. Simply call it "plagiarism in business" or "plagiarism." Sales copy is a text that you use to persuade your readers to take a specific action.
    – Usernew
    Commented Oct 21, 2015 at 9:29
  • 1
    There is another word called "Copyright infringement" which is the use of works protected by copyright law without permission. This will rather be a harsh term to use regarding your context as it is only applicable where there is infringement of copying copyrighted material.
    – Usernew
    Commented Oct 21, 2015 at 9:35
  • 5
    It is called "competition". "B" is second to market. We can call B a "copycat" (informally) but it's not "plagiarism" except figuratively.
    – TimR
    Commented Oct 21, 2015 at 12:10
  • 1
    A probably word could be Counterfeiting. A counterfeit is an imitation, usually one that is made with the intent of fraudulently passing it off as genuine. Counterfeit products are often produced with the intent to take advantage of the established worth of the imitated product. From here Though in your case, intention of Shop B may not be to cheat, just imitate.
    – Mamta D
    Commented Oct 21, 2015 at 12:12
  • 4
    Ah, also found "rip off" so you could say Shop B is ripping off from Shop A. Rip off
    – Mamta D
    Commented Oct 21, 2015 at 12:16

3 Answers 3


Although I can figure out what you mean, neither of your options sound like terms I would use.

If both companies are selling genuine products, then Shop B is doing nothing wrong, they are simply competing with Shop A. They noticed, through research, that a particular product is making money and started selling themselves. This is sometimes called jumping on the bandwagon, especially when lot of people start doing the same thing. This is especially true of "fad" products.

If Shop B has copied the design1 of Shop A's product and is manufacturing it themselves, usually to sell at a lower price, they are counterfeiting that product.

If Shop B is selling a genuine product, but at a lower price, they are undercutting Shop A.

If Shop B is selling a genuine product, made by Supplier 1, but they bought it from Supplier 2, then they are reselling the product.

1. Or recipe, or algorithm, or any other intellectual property.


You could say Shop B is ripping off Shop A.

Rip Off

Stealing ideas and/or products to create something of lesser value. To take credit for something that is not their own. To slightly alter an existing idea and product for personal benefit. Disregard the origin of the true creation in attempt to cmake a quick buck and turn a few heads.


  • 2
    isn't "rip-off" more informal?
    – Usernew
    Commented Oct 21, 2015 at 13:08
  • 3
    In terms of business, neither counterfeiting nor *rip-off" is suitable for what Shop B is doing. Do check this link
    – Usernew
    Commented Oct 21, 2015 at 13:12

I saw two aspects to the question; partly about business strategy but perhaps also about cultural origins of the respective owners. The term that leapt to mind for the business strategy aspect was "copycat marketing". It doesn't have the same negative and perhaps illegal connotations as "counterfeit".

If Shop B is run by persons of a different ethnic background or heritage than the identifiably Thai or Japanese products they sell, then perhaps a charge of "cultural appropriation" could be directed at them. In the US this has no implication of illegality unless the copying is covered under Trademark Law. In the US I see many catalogs carrying products that appear to be based on Native American designs, but it's unclear that they are being produced or sold by "true" Native Americans.

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