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Old 06-23-2004, 04:59 PM   #1
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Default If you're a demo, do you have to use ONLY SU products?

I'm not a demo, but I am curious... I read the thread about the brand of trimmer everyone uses and a couple of you said you can't use the Carl one for demo'ing. So does that mean that you have to use the exact Fiskars that SU carries?? I have a 12" grey Fiskars and a newer 12" blue one (I was a SB'er first). So technically you're not supposed to use that at a workshop?

I can see why you wouldn't want to demo Hero Arts stamps (which I love, btw!) or Colorbox inks, but there are some things that we all have that aren't SU (MM eyelets, heat gun, etc, etc). What do you think? I am *thinking* about becoming a hobby demo at some point. At both workshops I've been to, the demos have recommended buying the crimper (or heat tool or trimmer) at M or J's with a coupon! I live in an area where there are lots of craft stores, but I imagine if you're in a rural area without those stores, then it would make sense for customers to buy those staples of rubber stamping from their SU demo.

I get the impression that SU is less "exclusive" then Creative Memories, but maybe I'm just going by the individual demo/consultants that I know??

Thanks in advance for your opinions!

Susan
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Old 06-23-2004, 05:03 PM   #2
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I'm not a demo, either, but since the purpose of the workshops is to get customers to buy the SU! products they see, it doesn't make sense for a demo to use non-SU! products. It's like working in a clothing store in the mall -- your employers expect you to wear the store's merchandise when you're working.
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Old 06-23-2004, 05:52 PM   #3
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We are indeed supposed to demo with SU products. That being said, the heat gun and paper trimmer are the only things in the catalog I will tell customers to get elsewhere because I think they are too expensive. I know that I would feel gypped if I paid that much for something and then found out I could get it for half the price (and no shipping!) elsewhere...

I don't come out and announce this during a workshop, but if a customer tells me they are thinking about it, I let them know.

I have been softly chastised for this policy by other demos, but I was a customer not that long ago. Besides, my customers know that I am looking out for them and have that much more loyalty to them. besides- they have that much more money to spend at my workshop!
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Old 06-23-2004, 05:53 PM   #4
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As a former CM consultant, and a soon to be SU demo (waiting for kit as we speak), I feel that invoking a love of scrapping or stamping should be a demo's first priority. One reason I quit CM is because CM was very exclusive and didn't want any other products being used - EVER. This was silly since we all know what the craft stores are selling. I believed in my product, but also believed that my customers should never be made to feel guilty for venturing out and buying other stuff. Especially if that inspired them to do more scrapping!

My demo (soon to be upline) has always told us of good deals to be had in craft stores, or where to find stuff that SU doesn't sell. It hasn't hurt her sales at all. In fact, I am more likely to buy from her because I trust her! SU has so many advantages over craft stores with coordinating colors in every product (including embellishments) and with the two step stamping. It is so easy to buy a set of stamps and use them together, rather than trying to put together a bunch of random stamps from a craft store.

Just my two cents in my first post!!

Berry
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Old 06-23-2004, 06:14 PM   #5
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I am VERY upfront with my customers about SU products and what they can get at the craft store. I ALWAYS tell them to buy the crimper, heat gun, etc. at a craft store and use their money on the awesome paper, inks, and stamp sets that are head and shoulders above any other. My customers love my honesty, and if I tell them SU's is better, they know I mean it (like embossing powders and even eyelets that are wonderful quality-better than Making mMemories in my opinion, and I've used both)

The light table is also something that I steer my customers towards getting at the carft store-you don't need a big one, and can get a small one for a great deal with a coupon.

Yes, I am an SU demo, but many of my customers are now my friends, and since I would look out for a friend, I look out for them!
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Old 06-23-2004, 06:17 PM   #6
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OMG... the heat gun? Are you serious? I've had the "other" brands and gone through like three of them! I finally got the SU! gun and it is worth every penny!! You get what you pay for..... The SU! gun is AWESOME! My customers LOVE them and I've yet to have one problem.

As far as the cutter..... I don't have a problem with mine. Although I know they are cheaper other places. Maybe if I tried the others, but I am looking into a bigger one to cut more card stock all at once.

If you are a demo you are better off to buy your own products, you not only get a discount, but also higher sales. SU! is awesome to their demos and give us all kinds of opportunity throughout the year to earn free stamp sets and other goodies through the great rewards program.

Stampin' Up! is amazing in my opinion. There products are of superior quality and they have awesome customer support to boot! I came to that conclusion when I was just a customer.

OMG... the heat gun? I have to say... I think you are stearing your customers wrong on that way. JMHO. But, you are right, they derserve honesty and they appreciate it when you can get them a deal. I'm telling ya, when the cheapy gun stops working, invest in a SU! gun..... you'll be showing your customers the difference.

Happy Stampin!
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Old 06-23-2004, 06:32 PM   #7
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Just to echo what everyone else has said. I do tell my customers that they can by their paper trimmer, heat gun and even brayer at local stores and that it's cheaper IF they use a coupon. Some of them can't be bothered with coupon hunting and just order from me anyway. However, the majority do take me up on my advice. I think that it helps to build that relationship with them and they trust me. When I tell them that our glossy is the best hands down and not to waste money anyplace else, they listen because they know that if I could find it elsewhere cheaper, I would tell them. I still have those customers who didn't believe me about our inks and papers being the best, and truthfully I don't really push the issue. The proof is in the product and they all eventually come to me and confess that they tried another brand of ink or paper and it was no where near as good as ours. It only makes them more loyal to me and SU!

Dawn
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Old 06-23-2004, 06:44 PM   #8
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That's the 1st I have ever heard about the SU heat gun being so much better than any other. I have had my cheapy one for 2 years, and use it almost nightly with no problem. My stampers aren't all the time embossers, and have had no problem with their guns.

When it stops working I will probably invest in the SU one, but I would not tell my customers it is a must have. Just mho.
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Old 06-23-2004, 07:05 PM   #9
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I too am a SU demo. I tell my customers that they won't find better stamps anywhere, we have a great deal for the $$ they spend. I do tell them that accessories are available everywhere (they of course already know this) and that I expect them to be savvy shoppers. If they save money somewhere else on something they like, they should use the $$ they save to buy more stamps - from me!!

I agree that to sell products you have to demo them and I try to do just that most of the time. But I also agree that customers appreciate your honesty and you will be rewarded for it in the long run. I personally love to hang out in our local craft and scrapbook stores and check out all the cool stuff that is available - some of which SU doesn't sell. I'm all for getting people inspired to scrap and stamp - however they go about it!
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Old 06-23-2004, 07:45 PM   #10
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When I started, I didn't have the SU! heat gun or the Powder Pals or any of that. I had a PSX heat gun that was by the same manufacturer as ours, so I would simply say "This is the same heat gun, just a different name on it. I have had it for 6 years and it's still going strong." And I left it at that.

I had asked my upline about using the stuff I already had and she said that when it came to ink, stamps, and paper, that I should only use SU!'s, but most people understood if you used something you owned before you became a demonstrator. She also said that I could always acquire the SU! tools later when I had the money.

When they came out with the new model of the heat gun, I bought it. It helps to have an extra, and I can point out that ours has the covered tip, which makes it safer. I've also heard of the cheaper embossing guns burning out and I am glad to have SU!'s gun, which is made by Milwaukee Heat Tool and is an excellent heat gun.

As far as the Powder Pals go, I had a Tidy Tray that was similar, but not with a plug and not with another larger tray that came with it. Until I bought ours, I just used my Tidy Tray and pointed out the differences between that one and the ones we sell. Since I bought the Powder Pals, I have sold many of them. I still use the old one I have as an extra and can point out the differences when people can compare the two.

What I have found is that by having SU!'s products and demonstrating with them, I can sell them. Sure people can get our cutter at Michael's with their coupon, frankly I did, but I do point out to those people who bring it up, that Michael's will not show them how to use the tools they buy from them without them paying their cash down for a class. I show anybody how to use everything I sell absolutely for free. I tell them if they really feel that they want to save money on the cutter or the brayer or anything else, feel free to buy from Michael's, but to bring the money they saved to the next workshop and to buy the stamps which they can only get from Stampin' Up! from me.

I also make a joke of Michael's, only saying it when I have my hand over my mouth so that I mumble the word. It gets a laugh and lets them know that I know about Micheal's too.
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Old 06-23-2004, 08:15 PM   #11
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Before I became a demo, my MIL bought the blue heat gun from Joann's with her 50%off coupon. Once I got my SU! gun I noticed a huge difference. Her's heats up so hot that it makes the EP bubble most of the time. It has even scorched the paper a little bit. When she attended my workshops, she used to tell people-"just get it at joann's with the coupon"(which would drive me crazy), but now she knows the difference-and uses mine all of the time!

Canda in MD
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Old 06-24-2004, 05:01 AM   #12
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I've never actually used my trimmer at a workshop (cut all my paper ahead of time) but in those situations, I explain to my customers that I started scrapping MANY years before finding SU. Thus, I have lots of tools that SU doesn't sell (or a different brand name). I'm certainly not going to re-purchase the product simply to use SU's brand (unless it breaks and I need a new one). I wouldn't worry about items like your cutter, heat gun, eyelet tools, etc. Use what you already have and save that money for stamps!!
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Old 06-24-2004, 05:17 AM   #13
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Default SU Products

I used to tell people that they could buy the paper cutter cheaper than we could see it until I was at a big meeting one day and heard another demo say that yes the M store had it cheaper, but they won't show you how to use it. I've never sent anyone there since. It made a lot of sense what she said and I don't ever leave my customer out to dry. There is a lot of things you can teach about it so customers feel like they are getting for what they pay for. Besides I have a Customer Appreciation Card that they are working on as well to earn their next 15% off coupon.

I sell a lot of crimpers because everyone loves them. I try not to send my customers to other craft stores because they start thinking there are lots of things there they could just buy. I always remind people to compare apples to apples and the amount of eyelets they are getting there compared to what we have, etc.

I always try to use our products. For instance instead of using ziplock bags for gel cards, I use our bags that we sell. I show my customers how to make metal tags instead of buying them. I show them how to use crystal effects to make the awesome buttons that cost a fortune in the craft stores. I show them how versatile our punches are ......

I certainly don't think I'm being dishonest with any of my customers because if someone asked, I'd certainly tell them the truth. I recently had a customer that wanted our paper cutter and bought it at Michaels instead. It was during sellabration and because she bought it there she barely missed getting another free stamp set and finishing out her card with me and she regretted it and I was able to tease her about it.

Now I'm just hoping that we'll be getting a better paper cutter because I do not like ours at all. Mine cuts horribly and I have two of them. I'm waiting to see the new caddy and then ordering a personal carl cutter.
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Old 06-24-2004, 10:19 AM   #14
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I feel like it is good customer service to let ppl know that they can get the same product for a better price whether it is from us or someone else. I bought my heat gun from ebay b/c it was the same brand SU sold and I got a much better deal. I could not justify paying that much money if I could get the same cheaper. I spent the money I saved on stamps and inks and paper. I do feel that we have the best stamps and inks and papers. But I do feel that my customers are best served by my being honest. You will have some who will take advantage of that advice and others that will simply order from you since it may be easier. When I was in OR, it was easy to go to a LSS and find items. Of course now I am in AK and SU so far has been a much better value all the way around.

I have worked in stores that refused to let customers know that they could get a product somewhere else. I have also worked in stores where we did tell the customer that they could get the item someplace else for a better price. The customers ALWAYS came back to the store that was willing to send them elsewhere b/c they knew that they were getting a good deal or we would tell them where they could go for that deal.
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Old 06-24-2004, 10:51 AM   #15
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I had another Heat Tool before my Stampin Up one. I got it at Michaels' w/a coupon, and used it often. But my paper curled too much at times. After I became a demo, I knew I needed a SU one. I LOVED it. I traded my other one for a Level III hostess set with another gal and was very happy with the trade! The "Rule" for using Stampin Up items is: If Stampin Up sells it, use theirs. For instance, the last catalog did NOT have fibers in it. We were free to buy and use fibers. The current one has fibers, so we have to use theirs.
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Old 06-24-2004, 10:59 AM   #16
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I purchased my cutter and heat gun at Michael's. I don't bring it up unless someone asks me and then I'm honest. What I tell them is that I purchased these before I knew about SU and instead of buying SU ones right now, I would rather spend my money on SU stamps, inks and papers! To me it doesn't make sense to buy a duplicate of what I already have, especially since I have the Fiskar's cutter that looks almost identical to the one in the catalog! I don't even like the cutter, why would I buy 2?

As others have said...honesty about things everyone already knows goes along way. If my demo prior to me being a demo told me that the fiskars cutter in the catalog was better than Michael's fiskar's cutter, I wouldn't have stayed with her...I know better!

I don't advertise Michael's to my customers, but I know what really stands out with SU and that's what I really promote! Who can beat our prices on stamp sets and the wonderful matching inks, paper, etc! You can't find that anywhere else!

It's a reality that most people who stamp/scrapbook are not going to be 100% loyal to one company, so promote the unique aspects of SU and you've got their attention!

JMHO
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Old 06-24-2004, 11:05 AM   #17
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I purchased my cutter and heat gun at Michael's. I don't bring it up unless someone asks me and then I'm honest. What I tell them is that I purchased these before I knew about SU and instead of buying SU ones right now, I would rather spend my money on SU stamps, inks and papers! To me it doesn't make sense to buy a duplicate of what I already have, especially since I have the Fiskar's cutter that looks almost identical to the one in the catalog! I don't even like the cutter, why would I buy 2?

As others have said...honesty about things everyone already knows goes along way. If my demo prior to me being a demo told me that the fiskars cutter in the catalog was better than Michael's fiskar's cutter, I wouldn't have stayed with her...I know better!

I don't advertise Michael's to my customers, but I know what really stands out with SU and that's what I really promote! Who can beat our prices on stamp sets and the wonderful matching inks, paper, etc! You can't find that anywhere else!

It's a reality that most people who stamp/scrapbook are not going to be 100% loyal to one company, so promote the unique aspects of SU and you've got their attention!

JMHO
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Old 06-24-2004, 11:07 AM   #18
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Default Demos and ONLY SU! Products

I'm not a demonstrator, just a good customer of SU! products
The demonstrator I order from most often is awesome! She always lets her customers know if they can get a similar product cheaper at a local craft store, but will also let us know if the SU! version is better. She has such a low-key approach to selling that is very refreshing. Her customers appreciate her honesty and we have all come to trust her absolutely on this. This practice has not hurt her business at all--in fact, she is one of the top SU! demos in the country and has been honored at previous conventions. I see her first as a real teacher/mentor for my stamping skills, and a SU! demo second.

Just my 2 cents.

Amy J. in Wisconsin
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Old 06-24-2004, 11:25 AM   #19
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Default Heat Guns

Quote ~ OMG... the heat gun? I have to say... I think you are stearing your customers wrong on that way. JMHO. But, you are right, they derserve honesty and they appreciate it when you can get them a deal. I'm telling ya, when the cheapy gun stops working, invest in a SU! gun..... you'll be showing your customers the difference.

My heat gun wasn't cheap. It was the same price as SU's gun, same manufacturer, only I saved 40% with a coupon ~ or rather my SIL did when she bought it. I got it for a pizza. She had no money, wanted pizza, I paid, I got the gun! I won!! I have had no problems with it. It doesn't curl the paper, it doesn't scorch the paper, the EP melts just great. However, the SU gun I recently used at a stamp camp first burned my paper and then melted another gals paper. It rattled and was very unreliable as far as I'm concerned.

I'm a single mom, so I have to watch my pennies more than I have to concern myself with where I bought my heat gun or crimper. You cannot tell my crimper from that which is in the catalog. However, I got mine for 70% off our price.

As for the cutter ~ I dislike the SU cutter like there's no tomorrow. It doesn't work worth a darn when I've used other peoples. I have a large table model Fiskars and I love it. I cut paper before hand, so no one sees what I use. And the scoring blade ~ well, don't even get me started.

As for Michaels, I guess it depends on where your is. Mine always has someone out front displaying something and if you ask them how something works, they will show you. When I lost the nut from my cutter and asked if I could buy a replacement, the gal took the nut off the display she was using and gave it to me.

Personally, it's like swaps. If I make a shaker card, I'll use transparency film instead of our window film because it's the same thing and I can get transparency film for free. BUT I would never use any other ink, card stock, pens, or accessories. I don't like the MM eyelets, ours our much better anyway. As for scissors. I do what they do on the tape, I bring my craft and rubber scissors and let people test them. They fall in love and buy them. But scissors for paper are just too hard of a sell, so I don't push. But that's just me! I'm doing as well as I can having been in this area for only 5 months. At least I met quarterly quota without having to buy everything myself.
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Old 06-24-2004, 01:18 PM   #20
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I, too, will point my customers to the better price as a general rule, BUT this does not include my heat tool!!! I do not know which manufacturer SU! uses now, but when I bought mine three years ago, SU! was selling a Milwaukee Heat Tool (aka "paint stripper"). I do not know who out there knows anything about tools, but Milwaukee is top of the line. I can't imagine choosing a plastic craft gun over this fine tool!

hugs & cardstock,
Lori
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Old 06-24-2004, 01:35 PM   #21
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Lori G
I, too, will point my customers to the better price as a general rule, BUT this does not include my heat tool!!! I do not know which manufacturer SU! uses now, but when I bought mine three years ago, SU! was selling a Milwaukee Heat Tool (aka "paint stripper"). I do not know who out there knows anything about tools, but Milwaukee is top of the line. I can't imagine choosing a plastic craft gun over this fine tool!

hugs & cardstock,
Lori
Amen sister! Thank you darling! lol
Okay ya'll..... Now if you don't know me, you may have taken my post wrong, but for those of you who do know me, know that I'm a total goofball! And... I am never very serious in any of my posts.

Really, I was just shocked to see other SU! demos turning customers away from our fine heat tool! Okay, so here in my corner of the world, we don't have a Michaels, only a JoAnn's and we use to have a Craft World. So, the only kind available to us was cheapy guns (that totally sucked). I'm just saying... when I get mine out, I sell them! My customers feak out over em. They heat more even and are just worth every penny. I do have the new one because they came out with it shortly after I signed up and I was discount happy. I don't regret buying it one bit and would have paid full price!

Hey, if you have a coupon go for it! I'm all for sending my customers to a deal and being honest. I think that is why all my cutomers end up being friends instead of customers. I have never been able to be pushy about selling anything in my life. One reason I love SU! You don't have to push anything.... just sit down and pull your products out.

I'm sooo glad to hear I'm not the only one in love with the SU! gun though! Shhhhh, don't let my husband hear ya say Milwakee. I'll never find my gun again!

Happy Stampin everyone! Or should I say embossing?
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Old 06-24-2004, 01:46 PM   #22
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Kymbers_Stampin
But scissors for paper are just too hard of a sell, so I don't push.
I didn't think I could find buyers for the paper snips either, so when I got a pair, I kept them for myself to use and put the more expensive Fiskars detail and the Cutterbee scissors out for my students.

Then one day I decided no one would ever buy our snips if they didn't try them. So I took one of the other pair of scissors for myself and put our paper snips in the basket for my students to use.

I've since sold 2 or 3 pairs. Everyone who tries them absolutely loves them. I have found consistently since I became a demonstrator last year that if you don't own something and let your customers try it, it is 400% harder to sell it. Gotta have it and let them use it so they will find out how great it is. Actually, the stamp sell themselves, since people will buy the images that appeal to them. Sometimes getting them to stamp with a set will convince some people to buy it. But the accessories are really what you need to work at selling. Owning one yourself puts you at a definite advantage. Why would anyone want to buy something they haven't tried?
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Old 06-24-2004, 01:55 PM   #23
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Default SU! Demos only using SU! products

I am a demo and I have used only SU! products in my classes and demonstrations but used others products for my personal use. I changed over to only using SU! products for almost all my stamping and scrapbooking since I found out CM albums were destroyed in a small flood. The SU! albums were just fine. I know that I am a little bias about it all, but that's why I am a demo....I love the products and quality. I still buy from the local craft stores for my personal use, especially the new goodies on the market that SU! doesn't have yet. Can't wait until the new Catalog comes out, it's like my birthday all over again.
Just my 2 pennies.....happy stamping from MN.
LeAne Finlay
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Old 06-24-2004, 01:59 PM   #24
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Do I dare say it?

OMG I LOVE the SU! scissors!

You just had to go and bring that up didn't ya JanTink?
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Old 06-24-2004, 04:27 PM   #25
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I am not a demo, but have a demo who is always upfront and honest about the things that can be bought elsewhere for less money. I have really appreciated that and encourage you all who do that to continue. I bought my Stamp-a-ma-jig from my demo before I realized I could have gotten it for less at Michaels. That really bummed me out after the fact because I could have bought more stamps instead! There is so much that Stampin' Up has that just sells itself. You can't beat the coordinating stamp sets and the cardstock with matching inks and embellishments-it doesn't get better than that! And apparently there's the heat tool-I don't have it but after reading your emails I'm considering it...
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Old 06-24-2004, 04:43 PM   #26
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Default Re: SU Products

Quote:

Originally Posted by Beverly Moeller
I used to tell people that they could buy the paper cutter cheaper than we could see it until I was at a big meeting one day and heard another demo say that yes the M store had it cheaper, but they won't show you how to use it. I've never sent anyone there since.
You have just changed my life. Thank you.
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"I am a girl of many moods...all of which require chocolate."

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Old 06-24-2004, 04:49 PM   #27
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I'm going to throw in my two cents. I am also not a demo but like Tracy, and others have said, my favorite demo was really honest with me about products. Clearly, most of what Stampin up has is the best but there are some products that can be purchased at a local craft store that are either very similar or identical to what comes in the catalog.

My demo's honesty has been most helpful because I have gone to her several times and said, okay, which is better? and I know she'll give me an honest answer but the fact is, that it never affects my order for her, I go into each workshop with a certain amount of money to spend (otherwise. . . . I won't even go there) so I'm still spending the same amount of money. And her honesty has actually helped her sales if anything because she's built great trust with her clients! She is good to us and so we are good to her.
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