Sunday, 15 April 2012

Review: The Hard Sell - How Not To Buy Stampin' Up Products - Part 1

Apologies in advance that this has the potential to turn into a rant . . . .

Sooooooo, a few weeks ago I saw a project in Crafts Beautiful ( that I really liked and though I would have a go at.  It used a really lovely stamp of a silhouette of a girl carrying a basket of eggs.  The stamp was sold by Stampin' Up, so I thought I would have a look on their website and see if I could order one.  I'd also seen a few adverts for Stampin' Up parties, which I thought I could be interested in.

So, when that rare event of having an evening with nothing to do came along, I googled 'Stampin' Up' and up popped their website. I was a bit disappointed to find that you couldn't order through the website, or browse the products, but had to go through a Stampin' Up rep.  So, I filled in my details to get a call/email back from a representative, but I had to choose which one!  The site gave me a list of all the reps near me and I had to select, which one I would like to call me back.  I'd never come across something like this before, so I found it a little strange.  Anyway, I selected the nearest one and waited for my call or email.

It wasn't until the next week that I finally received an email from the rep.  To be honest, all I really wanted to do was order the stamp and find out a bit more about the Stampin' Up parties, which I explained in my reply email.  I'd expected a reply along the lines of 'I'll get that ordered for you and here's some info on the parties'.  Nope!

The rep requesting to meet up with me one lunchtime, which again I thought strange, but went along with it anyway as I thought maybe she would have the stamp with her and I could get it there and then.  Nope!

I feel that the rep basically wanted to meet me so she could implement the 'hard sell' easier.  She had clearly facebooked me and knew that I was engaged (MUST check my privacy settings there) as she's brought along some wedding stamps with her as 'she knew I was getting married soon' and thought I might me interested in them for my invitations.  At least I managed to fob her off on that one that my invitations were sorted (they're not, but she didn't need to know that).  What she had not brought with her was the stamp that I wanted.  I explained again which I wanted and she gave me a catalogue to look through so I could email her my order later.  It turned out I could only get the stamp as part of a set, which was £20 and the rep told me that it had to be ordered as soon as possible as it was being discontinued.  I said I would think about it and let her know as I wasn't particularly bothered about the other stamps in the set and £20 is a bit steep for one stamp really.

I was then going to leave it at that, but thought I would quickly ask about holding a workshop, as I have a few crafty friends who might be interested in something like that and my manager at the pub (my Saturday job) and I had already discussed the idea of holding a craft workshop.  Needless to say, I didn't get the information I wanted, but instead the rep once again went into the hardsell.  This time, trying to get me to become a demonstrator.  My reluctance clearly didn't show enough, despite me telling her that I simply do not have the time (already working two jobs and trying to plan a wedding), that I had dome something similar previously, and didn't particularly enjoy it and knew how hard it was to make decent money from it, and also that I just did not have the capital required (£200) to pay for the starter kit, as all my spare money was going towards the wedding.  In the end, I took the info on it, just so I could get back to work on time, still none the wiser about holding the workshop.

Anyway, I left with a product catalogue (which I had originally been hoping to find on the website) and info on becoming a demonstrator.  On looking through the catalogue, there are some really nice stamp designs, but they are certainly not cheap.  I decided that I still wanted the one I had originally seen, as I'd not seen anything else like it, and I would be able to find a use for the other stamps.  So, I emailed the rep requesting to order these.  This was on the Monday, and I hoped that I would have the stamp by the weekend so I could get crafting on my Sunday off.  The rep acknowledged my order and said she would get it ordered.  I got another email on the Thursday to say that she had ordered it but it would take a few days to arrive as they came from Germany.  I was a little disappointed at this, but figured that there wasn't much I could do about it.  I finally got the stamps the following Friday - two weeks after I'd ordered them, and about a month since I went on the Stampin' Up website to order them.

To be continued . . . .

Happy Crafting!


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