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Old 10-17-2004, 12:33 PM   #1
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Default 2 B or not 2 B(a demo)...would love 2 hear from former demos

I have read many opinions in the past few weeks about being a Stampin' Up! demo. If I remember correctly, I think all of them were positive!
I was just wondering if I could hear your thoughts on both a positive and a negative (if there are any) side. I'm not concerned about spending $200 for the start-up kit. I think that is a deal in itself. I am concerned about what I should know after becoming a demo. Please be honest...If you hated it, tell me why! And vice-versa! I have given this a lot of thought and still can't come up with a concrete answer. So I am turning to you guys for help. I know that I WOULD NOT spend the $300 quarterly just by myself. I couldn't afford too. So I wouldn't be a hobby demo. Therefore I would rely mostly on workshops and maybe stamp camps and clubs. And I'm not sure just how many people I could get to host workshops and participate in Stamp Camps/Clubs.
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Old 10-17-2004, 12:42 PM   #2
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Default to be or not to be a demo?

I know it was a question for me when I started five years ago, but mostly because the starter kit was more expensive than it is now. I've been happy with just being a hobby demo and sharing stamp classes with customers monthly. I don't like to be pushy and that has kept me from really getting massive customer listings and making lots of money. For me, money isn't everything anymore. I just like getting the discount for the stamps and things I want badly and having a good time with friends and family. I love to share my artwork with others, it's not just a hobby, it's a passion. Since I don't have any recruits under me I cannot answer your last part of your questons. I hope this can help out....I like the fact that any of us demos can work at this as much or as little as we want to. That's the fun of having a home based business.
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Old 10-17-2004, 12:46 PM   #3
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Well I joined as a hobby demo in April of this year so I could go to convention with my friend!! But I figured as far as making the minimum, if I found myself at least 1 or 2 customers that were willing to spend around $100 a quarter that it would work out for me. And so far that is how it has worked. I am still my best customer but I have one customer that orders every 4-6 weeks, I get an occasional order from my dear SIL and now I may have another customer I came across by accident this past friday. If that works out then I will be able to spend less of my own money and my customers will help me out making my minimums. That's my gig. I love this company and I have tried to do another home sales business before but I am not much of a sales person but SU! sells itself. Well enough rambling! Bottom line if you have a couple of customers you should be able to make the minimum and have a great time doing it!! I can't answer the last part either since I don't have a downline either.
Good luck with your decision!!

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Old 10-17-2004, 01:44 PM   #4
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When my good friend was considering whether to sign up with SU!, she asked me what I thought. I told her there were only a couple of things to consider:

1. Would the initial expense - cost of starter kit - be burdensome for her family?

2. Was her family depending on her to make a living RIGHT NOW on the success of an SU! demonstratorship?

If she could answer no to both questions, and she wanted to try it out, then there was not really any reason not to do it!!

Lo and behold, I found myself considering the same things a couple of months later, and I am now a demo, too! I am sort of floating along. I seem to get enough orders to not have to order the ENTIRE $300 by myself, and that's without even trying! I'm sure I would not have to pay a thing to remain a demo if I really went for it.

So I say, go for it. If it doesn't work for you, you've lost nothing!

And good luck!
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Old 10-17-2004, 01:45 PM   #5
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Okay.... You asked about the negatives about being a demo, so I will be brave and answer that question for myself

For me, the biggest negative side of being a demonstrator is I am so totally hooked with Stampin' Up! that I do not buy much elsewhere. Even if a local craft store may be offering 40% off, for example, I usually buy things through SU! because it counts towards my sales, etc. I have been a demo for a little over a year now and I spend so much less money anywhere else now. This is good and bad - good because I spend less money but bad because I am not catching up on what's the newest in the market (twinkling H2O, for example).

If you have one hostess club, you can make your minimum, and that is real easy to do. I only had 3 people show up to my first open house but have been able to stay active without a problem, so you really do not need to know tons of people at first.

I do find it challenging to please everyone sometimes, though. It is especially difficult for me to sell to my friends because I feel like I should give them a good deal (discounts, free gifts, etc.)

If someone signs up under you, they buy the kit directly from the company, so it does not count towards your sales or will you get the commission on their kit. If you sell more than $250 a month, then you will get 2-4% of that person's sales. But if someone signs up within 3 months of you signing up, then you get 2 free stamp sets of your choice, so that is something to think about too!

I hope this did not confuse you. I think you are doing a great job by researching both the good and the bad before making the big decision. I am sure you will have a blast being a demo. Just be ready to become TOTALLy addicted to SU! and this site, though

Happy stamipin'
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Old 10-17-2004, 01:46 PM   #6
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I have been a demonstrator for 6 years and have loved almost every moment! I am a shy person, but being a demo has helped me make new friends and have lots of fun, besides reaping the benefits of personal growth (and free stamps!). I am now a supervisor and am working on becoming manager because it is more fun when you can share with new friends. My best recommendation to start out easy is to have a monthly gathering at your home at a regular time. Do a couple of make and take projects and take orders. If enough people are willing to commit to a monthly order, you can form a stampers club and they can take turns being the hostess and getting the benefits. Include yourself too - you can get benefits! If you have a regular order going in once a month, you have your quota made with no problem! As for recruits, you don't get a percentage of their kit (since it is already 40% off). But you do get a percentage of their sales (2-4% depending on your sales for the month). You also get 2 free stamp sets if you recruit within 90 days of signing up. Demonstrators also give various incentives of their own for new recruits. It's nice to have someone close by so you can get together, but it's also possible to have a great long distance relationship. I hope you decide to join our SU family!
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Old 10-17-2004, 01:58 PM   #7
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The person that brought up the two questions (burden on family for starter kit and are they depending on your success) are great questions to consider.

I would actually turn the tables and say, "What are you worried about,specifically?" It's easier to answer based on where you are coming from.

As for the downline, nope, you will make nothing from her purchase of a starter kit. You will only make money off her if your sales are at least $250 per month. The percentage you make off her depends on your sales. For example, if you sell $250 in product during the month, you will earn 2% of what she sold in that month. The price of the starter kit doesn't figure in anywhere.

To answer one of your other concerns...there are all sorts of supports for demos. There is a discussion forum for demos at the SU site (not to mention the great demos on this site that can help you), there's a monthly magazine that is called Stampin' Success that shows you techniques and/or ideas, gives business tips, etc.

Some people really complain about not having an upline that gives them any support in their business. But, truth be told, you only have yourself to credit/blame with your success/failure. There are just too many resources out there. Your upline should be available to you and should support you, but I don't believe it to be critical. There are always others who can take her place. There are lots of resources on the web for you to learn just about anything.

So, go ahead and do it. Since you already think the STarter Kit is a great deal, you have nothing to lose...and maybe lots more stampin' money to gain!
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Old 10-17-2004, 02:36 PM   #8
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A lot depends on where you live too. Here in Wisconsin, it's over-saturated in my opinion, but that doesn't stop me from making the minimums. Granted, I've only been a demo since May, but ask me again during the summer months, when no one wants to be inside, because there are a ton of festivals and stuff going on, and there are no special promotions going on, and I might have a different answer for you. Right now, it's fun. Lots of SU! sponsored promotions and the holidays coming up and Sellabration right around the corner. It's in the lean months that I'm worried about. Other then that, I have had NO regrets!!! I'm basically a hobby demo, but find my small group of stampers growing. You get discounted products that come right to your door. You get to know specials in advance and the ability to buy sets in advance. Which, when you come to think about it, aren't really such a big thing, but it all is exciting. SU! gives great support to it's demos. I've got them researching right now if the heat embossing gun has Teflon in it, because I've got a Blue & Gold Macaw, and ANY Teflon heated will kill him instantly. After just one day, they replied back and said they didn't know for sure, but they are now going to the manufacturer to find out. In the mean time, my gun is going to come tomorrow and I don't dare use it. Some places won't even respond to a question like that. But I love the fact that they don't know, and are taking it to the next level to find out. They also listen to their demos. For example, (correct me if I'm wrong), but it was a demo that suggested they put channels in the alphabet boxes so the blocks don't fall all over the place!! How many places have you worked at listen to a suggestion and implement it? Anyways, as I ramble on, good luck in your decision. I'm sure, if you are at the point of asking about it on here, you are ready and just need a little reassurance. Go for it!! Good luck!! ~Pam
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Old 10-17-2004, 03:05 PM   #9
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The item that pushed me over the edge to become a demo is that after getting the Starter kit (A good deal on supplies that I didn't have), the Stampin Success magazine, the SU! website and the demo forum here, there is no real penalty if I never have any sales. The very worst thing that can happen is that you enjoy your discount as you build up supplies of items that you want and when you do not wish to continue, you go into Inactive status. You can reactivate by purchasing another starter kit. That's it!

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Old 10-17-2004, 03:30 PM   #10
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Default Thank you...but keep 'em coming!

I wanted to thank you guys for sharing your thoughts with me! They have all been helpful and I hope to hear from many more of you! I have read and re-read the demonstrator booklet and I do believe this company does want their demos to be a success...and will do what it takes to help them with that. And this website is unbelievable...what a resource to have, especially for newbies like me! Ever since attending my first workshop at a friends, I have been obsessed with Stampin' Up...everything about it! I think that's why I have such a strong urge to just go for it! (like someone else once posted...maybe I am just looking for a reason to not do it!!)
So with the starter kit...If I sign up under a demo offering it for 20% off the $200, I only pay $160 for the starter kit. Does she have to kick in the other 20% since we buy the kit directly from the company? That's another thing that worries me...my would-be upline will have to pay for that 20% discount she offers me, and then I'm not a successful demo and she's out the $40 she had to apply towards my starter kit. Does this make sense? Or do demos get their specials approved by Stampin' Up and then the starter kit price just becomes $160 for that demos potential downline....rather than the $200, therefore the demo wouldn't have to cover the difference and I only pay $160. Do I have you all totally confused now? I realize it would be easier to just ask her, but because she is a friend she might not tell me that she has to pay money out of her pocket to cover the 20% off special, knowing that I wouldn't want her to do that because I would feel bad.
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Old 10-17-2004, 03:52 PM   #11
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It is my understanding that YOU pay for the entire starter kit. There is no discounts because it is already discounted basically. So you have to come up with the $199 for the kit.
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Old 10-17-2004, 04:05 PM   #12
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Default discount

How is it then that many demos offer the starter kit for 20% off. When I did a internet search for Stampin' Up, some of the web page results I got were the websites of Stampin' Up demos. When I went into them, many of them had 20% off the starter kit as their personal special. Some also had 10% and 30%.
I don't want to get off track with that question..the main reason for my post was to find out what demos and former demos had to say about being a demo.
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Old 10-17-2004, 04:07 PM   #13
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There is no special for demos as an incentive to offer potential recruits a discount on the starter kit. She is doing that on her own. You need to ask her HOW specifically is she doing this? Is she going to give you $40 in cash towards your kit? As your upline, it is her JOB to answer any and all of your questions, and be a support system to you. It is in her best interest to keep you active and answer all your questions. My upline is great - she holds downline get-togethers to learn new techniques. She is always available to answer any questions, and give support and encouragement where needed. She knows my Dad is having health problems right now, and ALWAYS asks about my Dad before we get down to stamping fun!!! She cares, and that's important IMHO - to me. She has been a demo for over 6 years, and with all the people she knows, she is great and gives individual attention if needed. I thought I was driving her crazy with all the emails and phone calls to her before I became a demo. She answered each and every one of my questions without complaint. I couldn't have asked for a better upline!! But you need to find out SPECIFICALLY, how your uplline is going to give you a discount on the starter kit. Ask her. I bet she is just as excited as you are!!! ~Pam
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Old 10-17-2004, 04:09 PM   #14
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Those demos that offer discounts on the starter kit are paying the difference out of their pocket.

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Old 10-17-2004, 04:13 PM   #15
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Default I'll just ask

OK...I think the best thing to do about the discount is just ask the person that would be my upline. Thank you to all that helped with that question. Now we can just focus on what I really need to know...the pros and cons of being a demo. Are there any former demos out there? If so, can you tell me why you are no longer a demo? I really do appreciate the kindness of all of you taking time to post a message to help me out. It really is exciting to think about and I plan to make a decision by the end of the month, so my clock is ticking away.
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Old 10-17-2004, 04:29 PM   #16
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I've heard stories of demos buying themselves crazy trying to keep up with the minimum. I don't know of any personally, but the stories are out there. Also, you may or may not encounter the Crazy Hostess. Someone who tries to dictate what you shall and shall not do at the party. Which is understandable - some people don't realize that glitter on your clothes/hair/face/in your carpets is a fashion accessory and highly sought after by fellow stampers. And you may encounter people trying to take advantage of you because you are a demo. I've had that happen - the neighbor across the street thinking I'm a library and can check out any stamps she wants whenever she wants. I put an end to that one last weekend. You will hear all kinds of negative stuff, and positive stuff too. Just keep in mind this is YOUR BUSINESS and run it the best way you know how. SCS and SU! is here for you!!! ~Pam
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Old 10-17-2004, 04:55 PM   #17
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My time with SU! ends the end of this month -- and I just signed up the end of July! I love the products, so that is not the issue. My problem is, is that I need something that gets me out of the house. I am a SAHM that homeschools so I need to be able to get out by myself sometimes. In just these short few months I realized that I am not able to encourage others that I do not know that they really need to try something new. Now, I had considered doing this just as a hobby and get a job outside of the home. The reason that I chose not to do this is b/c I chose to go back to my old job which is at a scrapbook store and this would be a conflict of interest.

HTH,
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Old 10-17-2004, 05:29 PM   #18
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I signed up August. I worked out how much I spent in the year before signing up and it shocked me. I was spending enough to make my minimums by myself. I planned it so my first quarter would start in Oct. and the last day for my 30% discount would be Oct. 1st. I held an Open House and invited everyone. I ended up having 14(too many) people show up and sold my catties at a bit of a discount just to get them out to people. I did over $850 and got all the stuff I wanted free! I divided up the hostess benefits and did a mystery hostess draw. I got one booking from that night and possibly another, just from word of mouth. The products almost sell themselves.
I was worried about making my minimums but I also have some great friends that love stamping. I offer them a discount and they have promised to help keep me active.
Now all I am worried about is where I am going to store all my stamps.
I also have a great upline, although she is moving soon.
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Old 10-17-2004, 06:32 PM   #19
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If I may add a question~What about taxes? Does it matter if you are a Hobby Demo or a demo that has parties and workshops etc.? What do you have to do come tax time if you are a hobby demo?

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Old 10-17-2004, 06:43 PM   #20
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I've been a Stampin Up fan for two years (addict is more like it). I have given serious consideration to becoming a demo. I envy those who get previews of new stamps, conventions and regionals, Stampin' Success and On Stage (I am one who bids frequently on these at eBay), not to mention the discounts. But the thing that stops me cold is all the paper work and tax time. I did a jewelry business side line (loved the stuff), but come tax time I hated gathering all the write offs, receipts, and extra forms. Not to mention filling quota (which at this rate I could do myself). Also I'm not sure I would enjoy stampin so much if I had to "work" at it (all work and no play...). I love stamping with friends and have even given my Stampin' Up demo new customers! Any comments, suggestions or imputs???
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Old 10-18-2004, 04:06 AM   #21
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Teresa, I belive your taxes depend on your state. Here in Texas, Stampin Up! collects taxes on all of my orders including my own. I have a business lisence (although I do not need to be a demo) and the tax guys told me that if I order something from SU! and resells them in different forms (cards, stamped items, etc), then I should get the tax back on the "materials". Of course that is too much work for me so I just pay tax on everything including my own purchases.

There are some states SU! does not collect tax for you and in those states, I believe you only pay tax if you are selling to others. In other words, if you are just a hobby demo, buying for yourself, you do not pay tax on your purchases. If you do sell to others, however, you keep a record and pay the tax yourself to the state.

Someone correct me if I am wrong on this.....
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Old 10-18-2004, 05:28 AM   #22
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Becki2
The reason that I chose not to do this is b/c I chose to go back to my old job which is at a scrapbook store and this would be a conflict of interest.
Becki, you can be a demo AND work at a scrapbook store. If you read the demo manual, what you can't do is *represent* another company that sells the same products. Working in a craft or scrapbook store is not considered representation, just employment.
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Old 10-18-2004, 05:41 AM   #23
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Default Signing Up as Demo

Thank you Krazee for asking the question. .....and thank you all for your information. I am going to sign up in January so the the purchase of my demo will go towards my quarter earnings. I want to thank you al again for the great information. I am new to NC and think this will help me meet people.

Shirley
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Old 10-18-2004, 05:50 AM   #24
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Hi Madew,

I am sure you are gonna get gads of replies but you need to know that the purchase of your starter kit does not go toward your quarterly minimum.

In my opinion, you would be better off signing now, because you would get a jump start with some potential Christmas sales and then Sellabration.

You wouldn't need to worry about fulfilling your minimum till the end of March, because SU doesn't count partial quarters, so the end of October, November, and December don't count.
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Old 10-18-2004, 06:03 AM   #25
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Default THANK YOU SO MUCH

Thank you so much for your information. I am calling my demo tonight. I really appreciate your input.

Also, I have almost all of the sets and I have all the pads. Can I substitute for paper, accessories, etc.?

Shirley
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Old 10-18-2004, 08:19 AM   #26
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JanTink, thanks for the heads up. I read through it quickly but obviously I did not comprehend what I read. I called DS and I have now been reinstated since I just submitted the paper work at the end of the week! So I guess I can say: I'm back!

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Old 10-18-2004, 11:43 AM   #27
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To be or not to be . . .TO BE!!!! I just signed on in June, and the starter kit is new and improved since then for the same price I paid AND you get to purchase a Business Booster Kit at a great price within your first year. The products in the catalogs sell themselves. I started off as my best customer, but that is fine with me because everything I have bought I got for 20% off, and then hostess benefits and free merchandise with that! I have been going to a stamp store a few towns away for four years, and I just popped by there Friday because I needed some vellum in a hurry and SU is still working on backordered shipping. But, when I got to looking at the stamps, how they were mounted and the price for each stamp it was obvious that SU is a bargain without that lovely discount I get. The last thing I want to do is rip someone off so I can profit. But, as a former stamp store addict I can sing the praise of SU and believe in my heart the song I sing! I also got my hands on a Close to My Heart catalog. The things are cute, but nothing in there came close to what SU carries. I compared prices on stamps, supplies, embellishments, and the hostess plan and SU still reigns above the competition! Long Live Stampin' Up! Join us as soon as you can!
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Old 10-18-2004, 12:13 PM   #28
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I signed up in August this year and I thought it would be so fun and all. Well it is fun but it is also a lot of work. Luckilly, I am able to have a room all to myself to put my desk and supplies. But with two kids (7&9 yr old DD's), I just don't have the time. I'm sure I will be on pending status after the first of the year. My first (and only) workshop, I invited 70 people. 7 people showed. I made enough supplies for 25 people. Do you know how much that was and how much I had left over? I was so totally upset about this because it took so much time away from my family and I felt like it wasn't worth it. I think I just took on to much right now. With a part time job out of the house already, I am an active member of my PTO, my girls are into EVERYTHING and I found that if I wasn't busy reading all the material that they first send you, I was putting something together. I wasn't even able to do any stamping for myself and all of my extra money went toward the business. I really was stressed out the entire week before my first workshop and my husband really noticed it. He even agreed that it wasn't worth it. For me. Now having said all of that, please don't be completely discouraged. Scrapbooking is my passion and I really love to stamp, It's just not my time right now. Right now, my kids need me more than I need this and in my spare time, I can work on my own scrapbooks. Plus, I make scrapbooks for other people as well.
Right business, wrong time for me, thats all. Good luck in all you do.
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Old 10-18-2004, 06:02 PM   #29
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I really appreciate all that have answered my question! Thank you! I was just wondering if there were any former demo's out there?! And if there is, could you tell me why (either post here or PM me). Just wondering if there is something I might have missed, something I might not think of right off hand.
Thank you again! This site is awesome!
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