I am known in my niche for having the knowledge to produce authentic widgets. I have lots of info on my site product pages about the things I make and others that I sell. I charge a good price for what I make, because for one thing the ingredients are not cheap, and for another, I consider that my time and knowledge are worth it. Most of my customers really like what I make and respect what I do and don't complain about the prices. No evil eye, in fact I cannot remember the last time I had a complaint about price or quality (except for a guy who bought a mandrake root and claimed it was evil, lol).
Now here comes this guy who has gone out of his way to imitate what I am doing. Other people have tried to imitate it (one guy simply took the names of a bunch of items I created but put different ingredients in them), but this guy is actually going in depth. He's made a study of what I am doing. I can tell. Thing is, he is charging prices that I know he cannot even be covering his expenses. For instance, a widget that I charge $25 for, and it costs me $11 to make, he is charging $10 for--and it's on Amazon, no less, so I know he is getting less than that. I don't believe he has found cheaper sources for raw ingredients than I have. I think he is dumping.
Are such people just clueless? Do they think they are going to build a customer base and then raise prices massively? Or is their goal just to attempt to discredit my pricing? IOW, are they not real competitors but simply would-be boat-sinkers? I don't know if I'm being paranoid or not.
What bothers me most is that like another couple of folks who started out buying from me and then went out of their way to undercut me on anything we mutually sold (one of the reasons why I determined to make more of my stuff), this guy started out buying ingredients from me. Should I quit selling these ingredients? They are generally uncommon things that folks can't get anywhere else and sell well for me. They fit well with the products I do make, which are unique.
No matter how much I tell myself not to worry about this guy, I feel threatened. Maybe because this is the best December I have ever had? It's not even over and already it is 40% more income than any previous December in 12 years. And I don't know why. Traffic is actually less.