Saturday, November 26, 2016

Stampin’ Up continues to thrive with unique comp plan

This MLM couldn’t have a more cutesy, wholesome story even if it were written by Disney.

Stampin’ Up! was founded by a team of two sisters, LaVonne Crosby and Shelli Gardner. Two women who loved to stamp, scrapbook, and craft, and wanted to build a home-business out of it back in 1988 in Riverton, Utah.

Typical mommy MLM, right? They’ve actually done quite well, and haven’t shown signs of slowing up anytime soon. Does this mean I’m involved?

This video explains everything:

Make sense? Either way, here’s the full review on Stampin’ Up. Enjoy.


Stampin’ Up! was founded by two sisters, LaVonne Crosby and Shelli Gardner, but the story is pretty interesting.

Gardner and her husband had been saving up money to buy their first home, but they decided to take a big risk and use that savings to invest in the sisters’ new rubber stamp business. They were filling order out of their living room, but it all turned out to be worth it.

By the late 90s they were fully established and bringing in some solid revenue. In 1997 they decided to take the next step and manufacture their own rubber stamps.

They’ve got two large (40,000 square foot and 300,000 square foot) facilities, of course, in Utah. They’ve also got some religious and charitable underpinnings – their founders announced last year that they’d be setting to serve on a full-time mission trip in Hawaii (with their paper craft supplies in tow). [1]

Crafting is all the rage, especially with websites like Pinterest blowing up the DIY trend. Shelli Gardner has her own craftspiration site herself and gives her distributors hundreds of ideas for fun projects they can teach to potential customers. [2]

Their distributors are called “Demonstrators” and instead of having to apply makeup to a group of 12 pre-teens, they get to hold crafting workshops where they teach potential customers how to make fun projects.

So, it’s a cute, popular idea, and the company is far from shady, but can you actually make any money selling rubber stamps?


Imagine your Aunt Kathy’s attic, the one who loves to scrapbook, brings homemade crafts to every family reunion, and always sends you handmade Christmas cards that look like they took her an entire year. Boxes and boxes of all kinds of craft supplies, knick knacks, ribbons…that’s the Stampin’ Up! catalog.

Their products are based around rubber stamps, obviously, but they have all kinds of paper craft materials and accessories, from holiday card kits to Halloween candy baskets to decorative paper ornaments. Some of their product categories include…

  • Accents and embellishments
  • Adhesives
  • Craft kits
  • Coloring tools
  • Ink
  • Decorative paper
  • Cutting devices
  • Punch boards
  • Stamps

Their products are trendy, and I could definitely see a lot of people getting into the projects in their catalog and the craft classes their Demonstrators teach, but in the end, it’s really no different from going to a local craft store and picking up your craft supplies.

Retail is usually more convenient and cheaper than buying through direct sales, so if you don’t have a typical MLM gimmick to set your product apart, it can be a struggle to maintain any decent sales numbers.


They’ve got a new compensation plan that just launched in October of last year, and it’s interesting for sure. [3]

You get a starter kit with several hundreds of dollars worth of product to begin, and you can also get your own personal website, but you do have to pay a monthly fee for that. Demonstrators also get a monthly magazine filled with training and tips as well as all kinds of project ideas.

Demonstrators make profit on personal sales through retail commission, which is 20%. Not great, but pretty standard. You also get a nice volume rebate on sales over $400 a month, and that rebate can reach up to 40% of your monthly personal sales.

Basically, with the rebate, commission on personal sales looks more like this:

  • $0-399.99 in sales gets you 20% commission
  • $400-699.99 in sales gets you 25%
  • $700-999.99 gets you 27%
  • $1,000-1,499.99 gets you 30%
  • $1,500-2499.99 gets you 34%
  • $2,500-3,499.99 gets you 36%
  • $3,500-4,999.99 gets you 38%
  • $5,000 and over in sales gets you 40%

So, basically, if you sell in the thousands on a monthly basis, you can actually get a really good commission rate. But who can sell thousands of dollars worth of craft paper and stamps every month?

Of course, they’ve got downline overrides, although their website doesn’t say what they are. In fact, all it says is “ask your demonstrator for more information.” But you do have to sell at least $300 a month in personal volume to qualify for downline overrides, which is a lot. Especially when you’re selling $8 stamps.


So, it’s a fun opportunity, especially if you’re big into crafting.

And you might be able to make a little bit of side money doing it, which is a nice perk if stamping and paper crafts are something you do with your spare time already.

The company has been around for a long time (almost 30 years now) and they’re definitely well established. They’ve got over 50,000 Demonstrators in the U.S. and Canada alone, and they also operate in Australia, New Zealand, France, the UK, and Deutschland.

Their annual sales are over $200 million. Clearly they’ve got some cash rolling in.

But it’s not really a way to bring in the big bucks as a Demonstrator. There are no big ticket items to make big retail profits from, and their compensation plan is iffy at best when it comes to profiting off your downline.

If you’re all about the products, probably wouldn’t hurt to give it a shot. Just don’t expect to get rich from it.

But it’s still MLM, and MLMs are known for getting hot and then falling off the grid a few years later.

If you like automated ways to build passive income, there are better ways.

(and you can trash those old MLM habits, too)


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