Greetings and I welcome you to my Stampin’ Up review! Making your own greeting cards has such a wonderfully nostalgic sound to it, doesn’t it? Remember when we used to do that, maybe sitting at the kitchen or card table and cutting out construction paper to make shapes, adding our own special touches with felt pens, stamps, and stickers? Well, there is a company that sells the supplies for you to create personalized cards and more, and they tell us there is a business opportunity component in it. It is a fun idea, but can this craft MLM make you money?
I am not a Demonstrator for Stampin Up, nor have I ever been. My goal is to investigate these so-called business opportunities, of which there are thousands, online, and dig deeper to see if they are for real or just another way for us to lose the funds that we have worked so hard for all our lives. In this review, we will be looking at what is involved with becoming a Demonstrator for Stampin Up.
Let’s see what this one is all about, shall we?
What is Stampin’ Up?
“Stampin’ Up! ” is a multi-level marketing company that sells kits and supplies to create handmade cards, paper crafting projects, home décor, and memory keeping items.
Products are sold by a network of independent salespeople called ‘Demonstrators’, and which can be found in many locations including the USA, Canada, Puerto Rico, Austria, Japan, France, Germany, United Kingdom, The Netherlands, Australia, and New Zealand.
Who is Stampin’ Up For?
Anyone who is interested in crafting could be a potential Demonstrator for this company. Crafting is very popular with a limited audience and I think many people in our age group could be attracted to this business. It does have that old-fashioned, personal feel to it, don’t you think? Those with a creative flair and who enjoy doing things with their hands could also like this. Perhaps a young stay-at-home mom looking to supplement the family income.
Brief Details and Price
owners/founders: Shelli Gardner and LaVonne Crosby
price to join and what’s included: $99 for the starter kit. It is customizable so you choose the crafting items that you think you can sell (up to $125 worth)
- online training
- business supply pack
- Facebook group
guarantee: there is no income guarantee
CRIO rating (out of 10): 4
My Review of Stampin’ Up
Stampin Up was founded in 1988 by Shelli Gardner and her sister LaVonne Crosby with corporate headquarters in Salt Lake City, Utah. Shelli and her sister were young, stay-at-home mothers looking for a way to make some extra income and had tried selling Tupperware. The sisters wanted to find a company that made rubber stamps that they could sell and when they couldn’t find one, they created their own company, implementing the multi-level marketing business model that they were already familiar with.
The company has over 450 employees, 40,000 demonstrators, and has sold more than $200 million worth of products including rubber stamp sets, ribbons, papers, and metal embellishments. Since 2014, Shelli’s daughter Sara Douglass has taken up the mantel as CEO of Stampin’ Up.
Stampin Up has a wide range of products and tools that help you create personalized cards and unique gifts for family and friends. They have items such as:
- project kits
- coloring tools
- accents and embellishments
- seasonal and special occasion items
There are a plethora of items in their catalogs and lots of it is very attractive. I have to say, I would be pleased to receive a hand-crafted gift card like the ones they show. But, we are looking at their business opportunity today to see if you could make any kind of realistic income by selling the products.
An important term to know to understand the complicated compensation plan is:
CSV=Commisionable Sales Volume – this is a measurement unit used to track commissionable sales to you
There are two ways to earn commission as a Distributor.
- Core compensation – the following are forms of cash that you receive in your bank account:
- instant and deferred income – these are based on your gross retail sales minus tax and shipping
- volume rebate – this is paid monthly and is awarded to Distributors for selling a significant amount with a percentage of their sales for that month (from 4-13%)
- team commissions – this commission is a percentage of sales from your team (or downline)
- performance bonus – Demonstrators are awarded this bonus for achieving a certain sales milestone, beginning at 100,000 CSV
- Rewards Programs – these programs are designed to help you offset the cost of doing business and they are not cash:
- stampin’ rewards – these are rewarded to encourage hosting events and placing large orders. When the order reaches $300, every dollar spent above this will accrue points which can be put towards a starter kit or other products
- flex account earnings – the Demonstrator earns flex points for selling, leading, recruiting, and tenure. These points can be used towards products, catalogs (yes, you have to pay for a product catalog), and an incentive trip
Once you have signed up through another Distributor, who is now your upline, you purchase your starter kit. At entry-level, you will earn a 20% commission on your sales (25% if you get to the level of Bronze Elite). How much this means to you, of course, depends upon how much you sell. With the MLM business model, to make any kind of significant income, you will have to recruit a team.
To stay active as a Distributor, there is a quarterly minimum which is $300 (before tax and shipping). You are highly encouraged to hold a party or event, and what this means is you will have to invite family, friends and your inner circle (this is termed your ‘warm market’) to come to your party and the idea is that they try these things out (and recruit your downline). So, in order to sell the Stampin’ Up products, you have to purchase materials for people to sit down and create some cards themselves. You may need to rent a venue if your home isn’t big enough to host. Plus you will have to invest in beverages and snacks to give it that party atmosphere. You can see how this could get expensive very quickly.
You may find that your friends will come the first time you host a party, but realistically, there is going to be a limit as to how much they are willing to buy and use. Although this is a fun idea, it is not a huge audience that has the time to create specialty cards.
I could find no income disclosure document that displayed the statistics for what the Demonstrators are making at Stampin’ Up. The company is not required to make it available online, but to me, it demonstrates transparency and integrity.
What I can tell you is that it is only the top 1-2% that is making the big bucks with at least 70% of those on the lower levels not even making enough to stay ‘active’. I did view several YouTube videos with former Demonstrators siting the low income compared to all the hard work involved ratio.
The complaints leveled at Stampin Up are mainly about how expensive the products are and how much of them you need to purchase to be able to demonstrate and thus sell, the items. There is also difficulty in meeting that quarterly requirement of $300 for many people.
The other issue Distributors have is that they do not realize the restrictions placed upon them when joining a multi-level marketing company, which once again highlights to me that this type of business model is very limiting. I cannot stress enough how important it is to investigate any online business thoroughly and don’t be afraid to ask questions, before joining.
This is what I mean:
Here is the response from Stampin Up:
Beware! This is the way it is. You get locked into an MLM and you cannot sell products from any other competitor. Always read the fine print and the contract very carefully, PLEASE!
But don’t just take my word for how flawed the MLM business model is, you can read this article from the Consumer Awareness Institute.
Pros and Cons
- authentic products
- nostalgic appeal
- expensive products
- high failure rate of the MLM business model
- have to harass family and friends to join your team
Final Thoughts On Stampin’ Up
Is Stampin Up a scam? Absolutely not! They have been in business since 1988 and they have a vast selection of products. I like the idea of the personalized cards and other items you can create, but the business opportunity is just not there.
I believe that if you really enjoy crafting, you might enjoy joining Stampin Up as a customer to get their discount and just be a hobbyist. That way, you won’t be locked in as a Distributor, unable to sell or recommend products from other companies.
Success as a multi-level marketer requires a certain mindset which is not for everyone. I know that I could not personally badger my family and friends to come to my parties, or even reach out to them on Facebook. Being told what I can and cannot sell doesn’t work for me either, nor do I wish to recruit people then harass them to meet the monthly/quarterly sales quotas. In fact, I have created a checklist for you to show you what it takes to do this kind of aggressive selling because make no mistake, you will have to be a super salesperson to succeed with the MLM business model.
Can this craft MLM make you money? I say no.
Perhaps you have had great success with Stampin’ Up yourself? Maybe not? Perhaps you could share it with us in the comments section below. You could be helping others by sharing your story.
If you absolutely love crafting and want to sell it online with minimum hassle, here is an idea…
My Recommendation For A Better Alternative
What if I told you that you can build your own website as a crafter and sell products from anyone you wanted to, without restrictions? What if you could truly be your own boss without being dictated to by a corporate office? You can do this if you do what Philip and I do, which is called Affiliate Marketing.
This is a whole different universe from MLM. Yes, it still takes time to develop your website, but if you have a passion for crafting, or anything else, you have the freedom as an affiliate to recommend the products you use and enjoy, and not be hindered by the rules of a multi-level marketing model.
No business has a get-rich-quick solution, whether it be an MLM or affiliate marketing. You have to put the work in to make it happen, but how much better to genuinely work for yourself and not a bunch of people in an upline?
There is no magic get rich quick format in any kind of business, but wouldn’t you prefer to genuinely have your very own online business with your very own website that reflects what you love and not some replicated website that was created by a corporate entity that limits you to selling what they want you to sell?
We did it, and so can you. If you have a passion for crafting or for anything else for that matter, you owe it to yourself to at least come in and take a look at Wealthy Affiliate. Best of all, you can come on in and check this out for FREE, without obligation.
This friendly Canadian company has been around since 2005. Here you will find everything you need to become an online entrepreneur including:
- training, tools, and resources that will teach you how to become an affiliate marketer
- a place to host your very own website that features your brand
- how to earn commissions from things you sell/promote on your without sharing anything with someone in your upline
- a 24/7 support team always ready to help you with questions you may have
- a friendly, knowledgeable and supportive global community of like-minded people
If you decide to come in and take a look, you will see us waiting there to greet you. This is a genuine, authentic place or we wouldn’t be here.
Whatever your dreams may be, I wish you every success.
The greatest years of your life are still ahead!