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Old 02-01-2008, 10:16 AM   #41
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Originally Posted by ShortWizardView Post
Thanks for the info. I have one more question (I'm just full of them!) - can I order additional stamps, etc. at the same time I sign up and get the 20% discount or do I need to wait till all of the paperwork is finalized?
You have to wait until you get your demo number and create a payment profile (you have to connect a bank account to Stampin' Up to accept direct deposits). You can sign up online if your demonstrator has a demonstrator business website. It's a cool new feature!

Your first "workshop" order (any order totaling $150 or more) gives you a 30% discount if placed within 45 days of your signup date.

Whoops! Lisa's faster than I am!!!
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Old 02-01-2008, 10:20 AM   #42
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Here's a list of what's in the Starter Kit. Anything that is not "grayed" out can be switched for a similar product of the same or less value.
http://www.stampinup.com/us/document...t_kit_0707.pdf
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Old 02-01-2008, 11:39 AM   #43
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I just gave up my demoship. People in my area are really cutting back because of the state of the economy. Not sure what your area is like but if you are wanting to do this as a business, you might find it especially challenging right now.

I also found that summer months were really hard to get people interested in coming to events. People were always crazy busy June through august with end of school, beginning of school, and trying to squeeze in a summer vacay.

Not trying to rain on your parade, just sharing my personal experience with you.
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Old 02-01-2008, 04:52 PM   #44
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Thanks to those who answered the question about finding an up-line. I really like my demo and I found her just by typing in my zip code on the SU website. She lives not 5 minutes from me and has parties and make and takes and all kinds of things where before my hobby demo just waited for me to call her.

I would like to consider it - I don't know why because I have no time working full-time and being a new Mom. I know others here are in the same boat, maybe it's just because I'm still getting used to the role of Mommy. Heck I could probably meet minimums just with my purchases, being the addict I am. I like the idea of having a monthly stamp club, that sounds like fun but I just wonder how to get customers. I really don't have other friends in town who like to stamp that much. There are a couple I could invite but I don't see them being regular customers. I guess I will talk to my Demo about it sometime and get her thoughts.

Awesome thread!
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Old 02-01-2008, 05:24 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by GreenDragonLadyView Post
I'm not offended sitting here in my pile of crap!

Definitely go for it! As the others have said, you really have nothing to lose. And signing up during Sale-a-bration (2/1/08 through 3/17/08 ) is a really really good idea!

And just think of the cute little things you can send home with your students for different holidays, and their mommies will ask WHERE did you get that adorable thing? And the kids will tell you their mommies want to learn how to make it! Instant customers!
I saw another thread talking about this. Why is it good to sign up during saleabration? Do you get to count your kit toward the free sets? I'm always on the fence too...
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Old 02-01-2008, 06:01 PM   #46
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I saw another thread talking about this. Why is it good to sign up during saleabration? Do you get to count your kit toward the free sets? I'm always on the fence too...
During SAB, you get to choose an additional stamp set up to $47.95 in value! AND this SAB, you can ALSO get an additional 20% off your kit price!
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Old 02-01-2008, 06:43 PM   #47
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Between the discounted kit and the free set, if you choose a big ticket stamp set you are getting over $80!
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Old 02-01-2008, 06:43 PM   #48
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Can you choose from the new mini catalog for your stamps you choose when you join?
Thanks!
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Old 02-01-2008, 08:22 PM   #49
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Can you choose from the new mini catalog for your stamps you choose when you join?
Thanks!
I believe you can choose sets of equal or lesser value from the new occasions mini as either your free sets or sets you want to substitute for other sets in the starter kit, but not until March 1 when it goes "live" for customers. However, I would caution anyone who is thiking about signing up for the business that most of the sets in the mini retire when the mini expires.

Since in terms of the business it makes sense to demo sets that are current, you will probably get more "mileage" out of sets from the main catalog, especially any stamp set that just came out this spring.
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Old 02-01-2008, 08:34 PM   #50
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So, someone said that if you don't meet your quarterly minimums, you get dropped as an active demo. So what happens then? What if you meet the minimum the next quarter? Do you have to pay a 'reactivation' fee or something?
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Old 02-02-2008, 12:50 AM   #51
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You have your first full quarter to meet your minimums, so right now that would be the April-June quarter. If you do not meet it then and in the future, you will be dropped. If you want to re-sign, you must purchase the starter kit again. And, if you do not sign up under the same upline, you must wait 6 months. (There's no wait if you sign under the same upline.)
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Old 02-02-2008, 02:05 AM   #52
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There are definitely advantages and disadvantages to signing up. I am a former demo and have been on the fence about rejoining. I ultimately decided not to (at least as of today!!).

I'm using US numbers here.

If you aren't interested in making this a business, I think of signing up as simply spending money to buy at a discount and committing to at least purchase about 100 a month out of pocket until you decide to quit (including tax and shipping).

The starter kit is full of business supplies that you may want or not, but for 159 it is an excellent value even if all you do is get the starter kit and the free set and never buy another thing again. If you already are spending about 100 a month on SU yourself and are paying full price, then signing up now is the obvious sensible choice. Why pay full price when, for the cost of the starter kit, you can get a permanent discount?

Your upline earns something for having you sign up even if you then just walk away (I think) so there is something in it for both of you and that is why many uplines offer incentives over and above SU's.

Once you are a demo it is easy to order. Very easy. There are always incentives to sell (or buy for yourself) in order to earn something. Either a bigger discount or points towards free product, etc. So, if you are not wealthy, realize this a head of time and don't get too sucked into the incentives if your sales are coming out of your own pocket.

If you are looking to make this a profitable business, then it is a completely different analysis. I wouldn't be too swayed by incentives to join from a potential upline. Select an upline carefully and make sure that she is knowledgeable about the parts of SU that you think you will need help (business vs. stamping...). Find out how many customers she has and work out ahead of time whether there are any of her current customers that might become yours. This issue comes up a lot and it makes it so much easier of you sort it out ahead of time. For example, if you and your best friend have been attending workshops with your upline, who will your best friend be buying from in the future? You or your upline? Discuss it with your potential upline before you sign up so that there are no hard feelings or misunderstandings. It is perfectly legitimate to say "I want you to know that I've discussed joining with Betty, and Betty plans on ordering from me from now on." It is also legitimate for your upline to say. "I'm uncomfortable with that. I expect that you will have to find new customers and not sell to any of my current customers." Your upline can't enforce that, it is really just a set of expectations being aired, KWIM? Better to have that conversation in advance!

Your target market probably needs to be customers who don't spend 100 a month. SU has made it so easy to become a demo that customers are usually folks who are not spending that much money (not always, but often).

It isn't that easy for many demos to find customers -- there are many demos, some offer a discount almost all the time, and it takes work to find customers and build a business. Decide ahead of time how to deal with family and friends who ask for your discount. It is a personal decision but be prepared for the question! It takes time to enter orders, collect money, deal with problems, distribute product, etc. so think about that.

Selling requires a certain personality. Some folks naturally attract customers just the way they attract friends. Other folks find inviting folks to a workshop etc. difficult. I did not like mixing business with friendships so I never had the nerve to invite any friends to a workshop. I remember when a couple of coworkers suddenly stopped buying from me. I saw their cards and knew they were buying from someone else or maybe had signed up under someone else. I was so upset! Then I realized it I am way too emotional to mix business with pleasure. But, still, I noticed that they never talked to me about stamping anymore! Ugh.

Ask your potential upline for a copy of SU's compensation plan and any changes planned. I understand from a demo friend that some minor changes may have been announced at Leadership. Remember that SU can change the compensation plan at any time. The contract you sign does not bind SU to the plan. SU is a for profit company. It's goal is to earn money for itself -- just like every other for profit company. It has to keep demos or it loses its ability to make a profit, so there is an interesting dynamic between SU and its demos. It is essential that you read and understand the compensation plan.

Are you prepared to keep good records and report at tax time? If you ONLY buy for yourself, this won't be necessary, but once you start selling to others it is essential. A home demonstrator is running a business.

Be prepared to deal with the occasional problem. A wrong order, customer changes her mind and wants to return something, UPS sends it to the wrong address, etc. I found SU demo support is usually very helpful, but inevitably you will have a customer who isn't satisfied and you have to deal with that.

I'm sure there are other pros and cons as well, but these are the ones that I thought of when weighing my decision.
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Old 02-02-2008, 02:14 AM   #53
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Joan BView Post
There are definitely advantages and disadvantages to signing up. I am a former demo and have been on the fence about rejoining. I ultimately decided not to (at least as of today!!).

Joan-

was it mainly not wanting to do it as a business that swayed you away? (it sounded like not wanting to be a "sales" person was your biggest drawback) Or something different? (if you don't mind sharing) I'm having a heck of a time deciding -- I was only a hobby demo with a class or workshop maybe 2 times a year.... worst thing is missing the demo side of SCS!!!

mary alice, former SU demo
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Old 02-02-2008, 02:14 AM   #54
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Originally Posted by Joan BView Post
There are definitely advantages and disadvantages to signing up. I am a former demo and have been on the fence about rejoining. I ultimately decided not to (at least as of today!!).

Joan-

was it mainly not wanting to do it as a business that swayed you away? (it sounded like not wanting to be a "sales" person was your biggest drawback) Or something different? (if you don't mind sharing) I'm having a heck of a time deciding -- I was only a hobby demo with a class or workshop maybe 2 times a year.... worst thing is missing the demo side of SCS!!!

mary alice, former SU demo
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Old 02-02-2008, 04:29 AM   #55
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Yes, I definitely do not want to do it as a business and those reasons have to do with lack of time, keeping track of taxes, my personality, etc.

Hobby demo? Not now. I'm trying to pare down my stash, not add to it!!
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Old 02-02-2008, 07:08 AM   #56
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As always, Joan gave an excellent synopsis of the pros and cons of signing up as a demo. And Joan, we want you back on the demo side, so quit teasing us already and sign up!

As demonstrator who loves the business side of being a demo as much as, if not more than, the creative side, I just wanted to add my $0.02 on a couple of points.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Joan BView Post
Your upline earns something for having you sign up even if you then just walk away (I think) so there is something in it for both of you and that is why many uplines offer incentives over and above SU's.
During Sale-A-Bration, an upline earns a free any-price set from the catalog for every person she recruits. So this time of year it's really a win-win situation for both the upline and the recruit.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Joan BView Post
If you are looking to make this a profitable business, then it is a completely different analysis. I wouldn't be too swayed by incentives to join from a potential upline. Select an upline carefully and make sure that she is knowledgeable about the parts of SU that you think you will need help (business vs. stamping...).
Joan is 100% on the money with her comments. There are way too many people who sign up with an upline that is wrong for them and are very disappointed because they aer not getting the support they thought they would be provided, or there are bad feelings about customers, or whatever. If you are thinking of Stampin' Up! in terms of the business opportunity, you should do your research and have a conversation with your upline up front where you ask her the tough questions.

Keep in mind that there are many demonstrators out there who are not really interested in the business and don't really want to support downlines. Don't assume your upline will provide you with any support. Make sure you ask not only if she will provide support, but also for examples of the kind of support she will provide. Ask what would happen if she moved or needed to quit her Stampin' Up! business. Does she have an upline that would take you under her wing? Is there a network of demonstrators that she is a part of that can help you if she's not available?

Get together with your demo and ask her questions about the business plan, about the incentive programs and about suggestiosn she has for you to grow your business. If your potential upline looks like she's not familiar with the business side or if she tells you that you can just get all those answers on the demo side to SCS, you may want to move on to find another upline. (The answers, by the way, are all on the demo side of SCS, but if your upline is trying to shift her responsibility to the demo side of SCS right from the beginning, that's a sign that she's not going to provide much support later on.)

If all of the demonstrators in your local area are hobbyists, consier a long-distance upline that has a business focus. Alsmost all questions can be answered via e-mail or in a phone call, making it less important to have your upline live next door. Besides, people often move, so just because your upline lives next door now does not mean she will in a couple of months. Don't let the location of your upline be the deciding factor in your decision. If all other things are equal, then having an upline nearby is fabulous. But if the other stuff is not there, then location is irrelevant.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Joan BView Post
Your target market probably needs to be customers who don't spend 100 a month. SU has made it so easy to become a demo that customers are usually folks who are not spending that much money (not always, but often).
I have to disagree with Joan a little here, because I think your target market should be everyone you know and everyone you don't know. Since becoming a demo I have learned to throw all assumptions about people out the window. Friends who I thought for sure woud love stamping and be my best customers didn't even want to try it while people I was sure would never do anything "crafty" in their lives turned out to be my best customers. Some of my customers are well able to afford becoming a demonstrator (some, like Joan, have even been demosntrators in the past) but they prefer to just stay customers and have me take care of all the business details like ordering, etc. So I would say don't exclude anyone. I promise if you work the business diligently without a specific target market in mind you will be very surprised at the demographics of your customer base.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Joan BView Post
It isn't that easy for many demos to find customers -- there are many demos, some offer a discount almost all the time, and it takes work to find customers and build a business. Decide ahead of time how to deal with family and friends who ask for your discount. It is a personal decision but be prepared for the question! It takes time to enter orders, collect money, deal with problems, distribute product, etc. so think about that.

Selling requires a certain personality. Some folks naturally attract customers just the way they attract friends. Other folks find inviting folks to a workshop etc. difficult. I did not like mixing business with friendships so I never had the nerve to invite any friends to a workshop. I remember when a couple of coworkers suddenly stopped buying from me. I saw their cards and knew they were buying from someone else or maybe had signed up under someone else. I was so upset! Then I realized it I am way too emotional to mix business with pleasure. But, still, I noticed that they never talked to me about stamping anymore! Ugh.
Joan is right! Customers do not grow on trees and there is a lot of competition out there. But the truth is that the success of your business depends much more on your willingness to put in the work and get the word out about your busienss than on any competitive forces. You do not have to base your business around your family and friends and, in fact, you shouldn't.
I'm not saying your friends and family can't help you in the beginning by introducing you to people they know. But after that introduction you have to take the ball and run with it, and grow your network. For example, 95% of my customers are people I met after I became a demonstrator.

If you're uncomfortable telling people what you do or talking to people in general, then this is going to be the hardest part of the business for you. But if you push through your insecurities and do it, you will find yourself with some serious personal growth and you will be so proud of yorself! And that sense of accomplishment will be enough, I bet, to help you do more of the same. And if you discover that you are not able to convince yourself to talk to people about the business then the worse thing that will happen is you will have a starter kit full of fabulous products purchased at a bargain price for your personal use. I'd say that's a pretty good worst case scenario!

Quote:

Originally Posted by Joan BView Post
Ask your potential upline for a copy of SU's compensation plan and any changes planned. I understand from a demo friend that some minor changes may have been announced at Leadership. Remember that SU can change the compensation plan at any time. The contract you sign does not bind SU to the plan. SU is a for profit company. It's goal is to earn money for itself -- just like every other for profit company. It has to keep demos or it loses its ability to make a profit, so there is an interesting dynamic between SU and its demos. It is essential that you read and understand the compensation plan.
The changes to the compensation plan announced at Leadership were truly minor and did not impact any demo negatively. There hasn't been a major change to the compensation plan since I joined, but the last time there was a major change there was plenty of notice provided to the demonstrators (I think it was something like 6 months' notice). Keep in mind that as an SU demo you are not required to carry any inventory and can quit the business at any time for any reason, so if at any time you are unhappy with any changes at Stampin' Up! you simply write a resignation letter and send it to Stampin' Up! Stampin' Up! does not force anyone to demo for them and they do a whole lot to keep their demos happy.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Joan BView Post
Are you prepared to keep good records and report at tax time? If you ONLY buy for yourself, this won't be necessary, but once you start selling to others it is essential. A home demonstrator is running a business.
This is very important. If you are running a business you do need to keep good business records for tax purposes. I would recommend speaking with a tax professional as yuo're starting your business to find out what is the best way to keep your records. If you start off with good record keeping practices, you won't have any problems down the road and tax time will be easy.

Good luck to everyone who is going to join our demo family this Sale-A-bration. We're looking forward to seeing you on the demo side of SCS!
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Old 02-02-2008, 07:55 AM   #57
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Ladies...I contacted my demo (who I would love to be my upline) and am waiting to here from her...I'm glad that I have some questions prepared for her now, too...keep sending the great advice my way!
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Old 02-02-2008, 10:21 AM   #58
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I think that both Joan and Diane have given everyone good/solid, non-baised advice. As both have pointed out, you need to consider what you would like to get out of the poortunity and what you are willing to do/give in order to get what you want.

If you want to make this a business opportunity, you truly need to work this like a business- you need to work through the difficult times, put in regular business hours, be willing to try new things, spend money, wisely, to make money, etc. If you treat this a hobby, then hobby income is what you will get back.
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Old 02-03-2008, 09:22 AM   #59
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Can you be a demo and also be on a design team?
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Old 02-03-2008, 09:54 AM   #60
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Yes, I believe several SU demos have posted in the past that you can do both and I know of at least 2 who do.
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Old 02-04-2008, 05:34 PM   #61
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Thanks ladies...I'm official...a SU! demo! Thanks for all the great information you shared the past few days with me!
Also..does anyone know if/how I can take this thread off the forums now that I'm finished with it...or do they just sit on SCS forever???....thanks!
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Old 02-04-2008, 05:40 PM   #62
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Congratulations!

As far as I know, the thread will remain here. There may be some info a future demo might want to read to decide if she wants to sign up!
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Old 02-14-2008, 01:54 PM   #63
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Ok I have a question. How much of a discount do demos get on products? I've been thinking about becoming a demo.
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Old 02-14-2008, 02:04 PM   #64
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SU demos get a 20% discount. (Except your first workshop order within 45 days is 30% off!) You can also get a volume rebate if your sales are $400 or higher in a month. There are other great benefits as well!
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Old 02-14-2008, 02:15 PM   #65
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I want to be a SU Demo so badly. My husband disagrees . I can see his points but it doesn't make my desire any less. I have a great Demo I purchase through. We live in a very small town, so I wouldn't want to step on any toes. I homeschool 4 children and we just had a baby who is now 8 1/2 months old. Hearing all of your praises sure makes it very tempting though.
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Old 02-14-2008, 02:30 PM   #66
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Now, I am thinking of signing up. I have to agree though, it is very difficult to be in a direct sales position in a small town in Idaho. I have been trying to work a business (non su) here for just over 2 years and it is not easy to find people or time unless you are willing to go to the "big city".

BUT, all things are possible if you are called to do this. You just have to approach this as a business if that is what you want. When you start with that mindset rather than "this is fun, and maybe I will make some $ at it too" I think you will do much better in the long run. IMHO.

I am thinking about the hobby thing though, that is a really good deal!
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Old 02-14-2008, 02:59 PM   #67
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I live in a very small town too (about 1400 people) out in the woods!

Since you have small children maybe you could concentrate more on the mothers of young children and have a workshop specifically for them once a month or every other month.
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Old 02-14-2008, 03:24 PM   #68
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Wow you do live in a small town. We have 3,000 people I believe. I was thinking about it mostly as hobby. I don't need an income. However I would need to make the 3oo dollar min. If you dont make the min one quarter and your dropped is there a way of getting back in? Oh and what about online whats the limits of selling online? I was thinking that you could sell the retired sets on ebay? That would help. I was thinking about what I wish my Demo had more of. I wish we had classes and just nights of scrapping. Maybe I could work my needs into it. As a Demo can you put adds in the new papers? Maybe for a scrapin night. Just brain storming .
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Old 02-14-2008, 03:27 PM   #69
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Yes, you can advertise. There is a section in the demonstrator manual that has the specifics on what you can say and how you can use the SU logo.

If you don't make your minimum in a certain quarter, you have one month to make up the difference plus $100. Then if you don't meet it you are dropped. You can sign up again within 6 months under the same upline (person you signed up under) or sign up under a different one after 6 months (or if your upline is no longer a demonstrator.) But you do have to purchase the starter kit again, so it is in your best interests to try to make the minimums. But one workshop or open house per quarter should do it!
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