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Old 09-17-2004, 07:00 AM   #1
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Default RANT - I'm About to Lose My Best Customer...

and I can't say that I blame her!

My neighbor has been helping me with some swaps lately and has become very enthused about Stampin' Up! She has a friend who has a flower shop and her friend saw some of the work she and I have done (on scrapbooks) and asked her to make some cards to sell in the fower shop. When I explained to her that SU!'s Angel Policy wouldn't allow her to sell in a permanent location, her reaction was, "Well, then... why should I buy from them? I'll just buy my stamps elsewhere and do what I want with them."

She plans to continue buying paper and accessories, but is seriously rethinking the stamps. We all know SU! has the best stuff, but if the customer is restricted from using it after they have paid for it, what's the point?

Am I wrong or did SU! formerly allow customers to selll things made with their images? I seem to remember being told that only demonstrators had restrictions.

Also, I thought that I bought the Handmade and Handmade with Love sets so that I could use them on things to be sold and SU! got copyright credit. What's the point of those sets?

I think SU! makes enough money off the sale of the stamps that they should not restrict their use after they are sold. What are we paying for if not the right to use the image?
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Old 09-17-2004, 07:04 AM   #2
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I sell my cards at craft sales. SU says you cannot sell items at permanent locations, like a flower store would be. Even if you have the Handmade with Love stamped on the item. You must have that if you are selling regardless of where. I would call demonstrator support and make sure you get the correct info on customers selling items.
It's best that she is correctly informed, and doesn't get in trouble later.
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Old 09-17-2004, 07:08 AM   #3
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SU's angel policy doesn't just apply to demonstrators. Anyone using SU's products can sell their work at any time as long as it's not in a permanent retail location which is sadly what it sounds like your customer wants to do. I've also been told that they catch people doing it and it's not pretty.
I sympathize with your friend's plight. I am a demo and have paid so much money out and like to sell my cards at craft fairs. It would be nice to be able to sell them at the cute shops in my town as well.
As for the handmade by stamps, you need to put those on the back of your work whenever you sell it, even at a craft fair.

Hope this helps,
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Old 09-17-2004, 07:12 AM   #4
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If she does go to another brand of stamps, be sure she VERY CAREFULLY read their angel policy. Many are as restrictive, if not more so, that Stampin' Up's! The best way around it is for her to design her own images and have them made into stamps...
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Old 09-17-2004, 07:12 AM   #5
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you might want to recheck the policy, I think the policy states we as demos cannot sell in perm retail locations, and they wish the customer doesn't sell but as long as they are stamped with an Angel Policy stamp really cant enforce that.

Chapter 6A: Policies and Programs (US) » Promoting Your Demonstratorship

I read through it and it is all of rules that pertain to us, maybe call demo support, but I think it is we cant sell them but as long as they are stamped with an angel policy stamp SU cannot stop a consumer from doing it. PLease let me know, I am in the same boat as you and I havent figured out what the rule is either.
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Old 09-17-2004, 07:12 AM   #6
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I called DS yesterday to verify that it applies to customers, as well.

When I told her that, her reply was, "Nowhere on any of my documentation does it say my usage is restricted."

And she is correct. The Angel Policy is in the Demonstrator's Manual. But it is not set out in the catalog or on any receipts, etc., that the customer receives. I know I was not told about the Angel Policy until after I became a demonstrator. In fact, what I was told was that the Angel Policy applied only to demonstrators... not to customers.

I think SU! will lose a lot of business if customers find out they are breaking our rules...
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Old 09-17-2004, 07:15 AM   #7
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OK let me ask this....as a customer once I buy the stamp set it is mine - YES the images are Stamping Up and should be noted in some way (i.e. the specfic handstamp ones)

However what would stop your customer from selling cards to the florist and then the florist selling them as a product in her store?

Thereby....said seller is not selling them in a permanent location but rather to one individual who then chooses to do what she sees fit with those cards as they now become a part of her business supply - I am sure the florist stocks other cards to go with flowers so it would not be an exclusive card supply of only SU cards....
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Old 09-17-2004, 07:19 AM   #8
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Jen, I think that would be considered "wholesale" and the policy specifically forbids that.
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Old 09-17-2004, 07:23 AM   #9
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Actually, in the catalog there is a blurb about using SU images to make and sell...it's the first thing on page 255. It directs customers to the SU website.

Most companies have, as someone mentioned, as strict or stricter policies, people just don't know about them. The Angel Company is one that doesn't, but if I were her demo, I don't think I'd mention that part. Bottom line, you aren't the stamping police. You've told her and there ends your responsibility in the matter.

As for nothing being in her paperwork about that...I bet she doesn't carry around all the laws we abide by in this country either...but she is still obligated to abide by them.
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Old 09-17-2004, 07:24 AM   #10
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Hate to be the bearer of bad news, but if you look on the back of a customer order form, there is a mention of the angel policy and the rules for use of the sets. Sorry!

I understand your frustration. I would love to sell my cards around town, but there are too many demos around and I would be afraid one would tell on me.
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Old 09-17-2004, 07:36 AM   #11
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There is also a blurb about it on page 190 of the catalog - it's the page with the Handmade by Love stamps. It indicates that the policy is there for *everyone* using SU! stamps.
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Old 09-17-2004, 07:40 AM   #12
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For anyone who wants the entire Angel Policy:
http://www.stampinup.com/web2001/AngelPolicy.asp

There's a also a .pdf file in the demo dection under Business Tools: Business Aids: Copyright/Legal Information: Angel Policy
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Old 09-17-2004, 07:41 AM   #13
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I went to su.com as a customer and found this:

Are Stampin’ Up! customers or demonstrators allowed to sell their hand-stamped items?

Yes. Stampin’ Up!’s angel policy allows both demonstrators and customers to sell cards and other projects made with Stampin’ Up! images. Projects must be individually hand stamped and must be marked with a stamp from one of the Stampin’ Up! Limited License sets, Handmade with Love, Handmade with Love II or our new personalized Tag It, On a Whim, or Decorative Design stamps (contact your demonstrator for ordering information). Please see our complete angel policy for further details.


Then I went to the angel policy:

"4. You may sell your craftworks at community fundraisers, seasonal boutiques or bazaars, or other temporary craft events. However, the Stampin’ Up! name, trademarks, or logos cannot be used at any location where personal hand-stamped items are sold, nor may they be used in any manner to solicit sales of such items. Hand-stamped items cannot be sold in any permanent retail location (any location that conducts business in a store, consignment shop, kiosk, mall, or Internet site), nor may they be sold to other vendors for resale purposes, nor may they be sold at Stampin’ Up!–demonstrator-sponsored events such as workshops, stamp camps, open houses, etc."

I did not realize that this applied to our customers as well.
This info should be more visible to people buying the stamps as a customer!!!
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Old 09-17-2004, 07:49 AM   #14
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Nan, this is exactly why I was so confused... they seem to be encouraging sales by customers and demonstrators and then so severely restrict those sales as to make them virtually impossible.

I used to work as a secretary to Patent and Trademark attorneys... man, I sure wish I still had that connection! lol I definitely think the Angel Policy may be infringing on customers' rights. And I don't mean just SU!... I mean in general.
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Old 09-17-2004, 08:16 AM   #15
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Quote:

Originally Posted by ReindeerTrout
I definitely think the Angel Policy may be infringing on customers' rights. And I don't mean just SU!... I mean in general.
I did a little bit of research into copyrights a few years back. Since SU owns the copyrights on the images on the stamps, they can control whether or not they're resold. Up until a few years ago, no one was allowed to sell ANY cards or projects with SU images.

Here's another way to look at it:
If you were to buy cards, just 1 per week (think family birthdays, holidays, anniversaries, weddings, etc...I'm sure most families do more than that) at $3 per card, the cost for the year would be $156. That's a lot of stamps and supplies...and you get to keep the stamps.

As we all know, it's not just about the cards. It's about having a creativity outlet, letting off steam, and generally having fun...and saving the last shread of sanity.

ps Close to my Heart has a similar policy:
http://www.closetomyheart.com/angelpolicy.aspx
I doubt that both companies could have such similar policies if they were illegal in any way.

Edited to add:
Hero Arts doesn't allow you to sell ANY card made with their stamps!
http://www.heroarts.com/about.cfm?file=copyright
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Old 09-17-2004, 08:18 AM   #16
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When I became a demo, one of the things my "mother" suggested was to hand a copy of the angel policy to each guest - along with the catalog and order form. More information is better than too little.
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Old 09-17-2004, 08:19 AM   #17
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I found this blurb in the angel policy:

8. Stampin’ Up! is a Utah corporation. The laws of the State of Utah govern the policy. The state and federal courts for Salt Lake County, Utah, will have exclusive jurisdiction over any proceeding arising from this policy. Any failure by Stampin’ Up! to enforce any of its rights will not constitute a waiver of such rights.


Does that mean that SU may not enforce this policy???

Just wondering.
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Old 09-17-2004, 08:24 AM   #18
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Quote:

Originally Posted by iwasborn2stamp
I found this blurb in the angel policy:

8. Stampin’ Up! is a Utah corporation. The laws of the State of Utah govern the policy. The state and federal courts for Salt Lake County, Utah, will have exclusive jurisdiction over any proceeding arising from this policy. Any failure by Stampin’ Up! to enforce any of its rights will not constitute a waiver of such rights.


Does that mean that SU may not enforce this policy???

Just wondering.
I would guess that it mean if one person gets away with selling something, it doesn't mean that they're giving up their right to enforce the rule with other people.

For example, some people sell stamped cards on eBay. They're not supposed to per the policy, but as we all know, it is done. They list the auction on Friday after SU closes and end the auction before they open on Monday. SU doesn't get a chance to pull the auction. It doesn't mean that they won't pull another auction.

It's the equivilent to saying to the kids, "Just this once." and meaning it.
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Old 09-17-2004, 08:42 AM   #19
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I really hesitated before responding with my 2 cents.....no flames please! I get so tired of being told what to do with what I own. I understand about having rules for society = don't get me wrong....I think people need to be clothed, shoes, follow laws, etc. What I'm talking about is using the stamps I have paid for, with paper I have paid for, ink, embellishments, etc....and then being told where I can sell them!!

No way - if they want to take my demo-ship - so be it....are the stamp police going to come get me??? LET THEM COME....at this point in my life 3 hots and cot sound pretty good (meaning jail time!) This is a ridiculous and non-enforceable rule!!! What will they do??? = Take away my stamps????---I paid for them!!! COME AND GET ME!!
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Old 09-17-2004, 09:03 AM   #20
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Say I took a picture of you and you happened to have a bit pimple on your face and *I* decided to sell your photo to a company that designs advertising for another company that sells pimple medication; according to your sense of fair play, since *I* paid for the camera and the film and for developing it, YOU would have no right to make ANY money off of your image and NO right to stop me from doing so.

You see where this would be wrong? This is your image, as much as the images on the stamps are the artist's. They have EVERY right to restrict what happens to them after they are put on rubber. Even though they grant the right to SU! to reproduce the images in rubber and sell them as stamps, that does not give you the right to use them as you please just by purchasing the rubber stamp.

But go ahead and do as you please. Just don't come up here to wail if you lose your demonstratorship over it.
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Old 09-17-2004, 09:13 AM   #21
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Very well said JanTink!

This debate gets old. It is what it is and it's better than it was just a few years ago. If you want to see it changed, then you need to contact SU with your ideas on how to make it work for you. Maybe one day they will change the policy, but I wouldn't hold your breath. They want to sell stamps so people can make their own cards. If you could go down to the same local store anytime you needed a SU card, why would you go to your friends workshop and buy the stamps and cardstock to make it yourself?
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Old 09-17-2004, 09:14 AM   #22
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I make copies of the Angel Policy pdf & put one in each guest packet. I also mention it or go over it at the beginning of all WS'. I don't want any of my customers getting in trouble & it's my responsibility to inform them of the Angel Policy as a demo.
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Old 09-17-2004, 09:16 AM   #23
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I understand both sides of what people are saying, but it seems to me that it is beneficial to SU for people to buy cards stamped with their images (no matter the location). If I make cards using SU images and use the stamp that marks them as SU's images, doesn't this potentially bring them more business? I buy more stamps, paper, ink, embellishments because I'm making money and enjoying my creative outlet, and others see my cards and say "Oh, I'd like to try that, I bet that's fun" so they start buying.
Another 2 cents...
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Old 09-17-2004, 09:19 AM   #24
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Quote:

Originally Posted by srogers5
Most companies have, as someone mentioned, as strict or stricter policies, people just don't know about them. The Angel Company is one that doesn't, but if I were her demo, I don't think I'd mention that part. Bottom line, you aren't the stamping police. You've told her and there ends your responsibility in the matter.
.
I totally agree srodger5. It comes down to a "don't ask, don't tell" policy. None of the stamp makers want their images mass produced or resold. They place variations on the rules. The reality is they can't police the stamping public at large! I know companies have folks that scan e-bay and the like for internet sales of their images and pursue those they find. I can't even imagine all the small stores out there that carry hand-stamped cards in their neighborhoods. Consumers don't really know or understand the policy.

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Old 09-17-2004, 09:20 AM   #25
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Jan, that would be very true if I were paying for everything EXCEPT the stamps... If you paid me to pose for you (equivalent in this scenario to paying for the stamps), then yes, you would have the right to use my image in whatever way you wished. That's exactly what models do, sell the right to their images... and it seems to me that when we pay SU for the stamps, we pay for the images and it should include the right to use them as we see fit. Especially if we give them copyright credit. Copyright does not give the owner the complete right to determine how something is used, once they sell that product.
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Old 09-17-2004, 09:30 AM   #26
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Yes, it does give them that right particularly if they spell the policy out on the order forms and in the catalog. Even if they didn't, the image is copyrighted as soon as the artist produces it. They grant the copyright to SU! to be sold as rubberstamps, but that doesn't grant you the right to use it as you please.

As far as the photography goes, I would only have a right to your image ONLY if you signed a release granting it to me. If you check SU!'s policy on submitting your scrapbook pages for contests, you will find that you MUST obtain a photographic release form from every person pictured on your pages that is not in your immediate family. Simply paying for the film and the development would not make me the owner of your photographic image.

You are NOT paying for the image, you are paying for the rubber, the wood and the sticker on top. Image copyright is a complicated thing. When you buy a magazine, for instance, you don't buy the images in it; you couldn't cut out a picture of a model, put it in your own ad and use it to sell your product; you would be sued over copyright. Just as when you buy a CD you are not supposed to go out and duplicate it and then turn around and sell that to someone else; it's called piracy.

However, SU! does allow you to sell your cards, they are just very specific about where and how. Because vicnvin is right, they are trying to protect their demonstrators. There would be no need to learn to make cards if those same cards are available down at the local Hallmark shop. For instance, every single rubber stamp company does not allow mechanical reproduction of their images. If you were able to make artwork out of an SU! image, take it to a printer and mass produce cards to sell at shops, why would anyone want to pay for that rubber stamp and make their own when they could buy your cheaply produced ones for much less than it would cost to make their own?
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Old 09-17-2004, 09:30 AM   #27
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Quote:

Originally Posted by ReindeerTrout
Jan, that would be very true if I were paying for everything EXCEPT the stamps... If you paid me to pose for you (equivalent in this scenario to paying for the stamps), then yes, you would have the right to use my image in whatever way you wished. That's exactly what models do, sell the right to their images... and it seems to me that when we pay SU for the stamps, we pay for the images and it should include the right to use them as we see fit. Especially if we give them copyright credit. Copyright does not give the owner the complete right to determine how something is used, once they sell that product.
I have to step in here, being familiar with the modeling industry. No, that is not exactly what models do. Models sign a contract stating the specifics of what can and cannot be done with their images. A lot of contracts allow for any use of the photos but many do not! For example, I can sign giving a photographer the right to use my photos for a specific use only and stipulate that they cannot be resold. It's my image, and I can limit the use however I want, provided a photographer would agree to those terms. I would probably make less money than if I gave him "carte blanche" use (unless I was Cindy Crawford!! lol) but still..

You may not like it, but SU! does have the right. Just as Microsoft has the right to disallow the reselling of their software and to say you can only use a program on one computer! (Don't get me started with my annoyance at that one!)
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Old 09-17-2004, 09:44 AM   #28
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Quote:

Originally Posted by vicnvin
Very well said JanTink!

This debate gets old. It is what it is and it's better than it was just a few years ago. If you want to see it changed, then you need to contact SU with your ideas on how to make it work for you. Maybe one day they will change the policy, but I wouldn't hold your breath. They want to sell stamps so people can make their own cards. If you could go down to the same local store anytime you needed a SU card, why would you go to your friends workshop and buy the stamps and cardstock to make it yourself?
i agree. what ever happened to stamping just for the pleasure of stamping. don't get me wrong i have a bazaar in Nov. and i fully intend to sell my cards. But i intend to abide by the laws and regulations.. What would we do with our kids if they bought something wrong or harmful to them. we would take it away. So there is my two cents worth if it was even worth that
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Old 09-17-2004, 10:14 AM   #29
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Just as an aside - I've never sold any cards at a shop or bazaar or whatever...to me it's just the principle of it. I stamp for the pure joy of the creation and art....it's relaxing....I love it!!! I love to teach it!! I love to share it!! I love the people in it!!! Somedays, though, it feels that there are so many "rules" governing it..(angel policy - who would have thought when they bought stamps??) etc that it does get old.

I agree to disagree....I don't REALLY want to lose my demo-ship (is that even a word??) but I'd like to be able to make a little "pin money" now and then to finance more supplies, etc.

Thanks to all for your very informative input - and for not flaming!!!
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Old 09-17-2004, 10:14 AM   #30
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I got my masters in Library Science a few years ago. One of the things we studied a lot was copyright and copyright infringement. The way I understand it: SU! created the designs used in the stamps. Therefore, they OWN the designs, have copyrighted them, and can dictate how and when they can be used. I believe that one of the basics about SU! that make it so wonderful is that its products are sold in homes where creativity can flow. I can really understand why SU would not want their stamps or stamped products sold anywhere else. It just wouldn't be SU! if that happened.

All that being said, I will say that I hate I can't sell SU designed cards in permanent retail stores. I had an offer from a shop owner, based on SU stamps, and when she picked out what she wanted, I had to go out and buy some other stamps that looked similar to SU's. There went my profit, but I'm hoping for a re-order. Well, I probably violated some other company's copyright by doing that. Maybe we just can't win?

Whoever said we should just design our own was probably on the right track.

Sorry, I didn't mean to get on a soap box..........
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Old 09-17-2004, 11:11 AM   #31
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The Hero Arts Angel Policy is actually on this page: http://www.heroarts.com/about.cfm?file=angel

The link given before was for the Copyright Information, which is different.
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Old 09-17-2004, 11:47 AM   #32
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I love the creativity involved with stamping, but I would like to have a little more lee-way when it comes to selling cards, because I make more cards than I could ever send to friends and family.
I really don't think that SU!s restrictive policy insures that they'll sell more stamps. Just because people like hand-stamped cards, it doesn't mean that they would ever want to buy stamps themselves! Most people just don't have the time or desire. I, however, would buy much more from SU! if I could justify the expense by being able to sell them at some permanent venues.
I do have a steady little business selling cards to my co-workers, but it doesn't begin to make a dent in the cost of stamps and supplies! What would the penalties be for getting caught, I wonder? Again, policies like these just keep honest people honest.
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Old 09-17-2004, 11:50 AM   #33
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Thanks for the input about Hero Arts, I didn't know that. I sell my cards at my garage sale every summer. Just a few here and there but it's enough to help me know that my cards are appreciated! I also thought the angel stamps were enough. I sold some cards in an antique store that took consignments but she has since stopped. Now that I know this, I will stop looking for another permanent outlet!
Thanks everyone!
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Old 09-17-2004, 11:51 AM   #34
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I think what disturbes me more than anything is the fact that I was never told as a customer that I wouldn't be able to sell my cards via certain venues and I was never told before I signed up to be a demo that I couldn't sell via certain venues.

I really believe that this information needs to be more forthcoming, and not just a blurb on the back of a wordy contract.
In a way, it feels like it's being kept a dirty little secret.

That's my complaint.
I don't disagree with what anyone has stated previously.

Peace!
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Old 09-17-2004, 11:57 AM   #35
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My 2 Canadian cents...

If you as a demo inform you customer of the Angel Policy and she still decides to sell her cards, at least you informed her. If she chooses not to buy SU stamps, let her buy some other companies and find out they have the same rules. You just did your job by getting her the info.

As a demo, I think that if people sold cards made with SU stamps and supplies at every little gift store, cafe, tourist stop, etc. no one would buy SU stamps. Why, when they can get the ready made card without having to buy the whole set of stamps? That would hurt all demos sales. SU would be the next Hallmark in my opinion!

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Old 09-17-2004, 12:53 PM   #36
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This topic is one that you either agree or disagree with.
One thing people need to realize is that SU has copyrights to protect their "Images" not peoples creativity of what they do with their images.
I use SU because of its quality. It by far beats anything else I have seen on the market.
In my book, if people knew they could go to their local gift shop to purchase a handmade card, I think it would encourage them to go back to the gift shop to get another card rather than find a SU demonstrator to order supplies and make their own.
As some one else said "SU would become the next Hallmark" and if that were the case, SU would just make their own cards to put in shops and not even sell their images any more.... where's the fun in that?
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Old 09-17-2004, 12:58 PM   #37
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I am going to post my 2cents. The whole point of a copyright is so the owner will have control over their image (writing, or whatever). To take this into another realm, think about books. Even if you purchase a book, you are not able to just copy things out of the book and sell them without permission. This is the same thing. The nice part is that SU has given us limited permission. I say, be happy with that and move on with life, but that's just me.
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Old 09-17-2004, 01:19 PM   #38
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I'd like to share an interesting story a customer told me several years ago before we had an angel policy. I was doing a demo and explained how they could not sell any of their stamped cards or projects. They were all quite surprised. I told them that most of the stamps they would buy at Michael's either don't have an angel policy or were very restrictive and how to find out another company's policy. Anyway....my customer then told her story about an art show she entered. She had gotten a pattern for one of those wooden yard decorations out of a book and painted and decorated it and it won a prize in this contest. Without her knowlege, it was photographed and a blurb about it and photo were put in a craft magazine. Well, several months later she got a very angry letter from the man who designed the original pattern that she had traced and won the contest with over copywrite infringement because it was photographed and published. Luckily, she was able to explain her way out of it and nothing came of it. I think a lot of the disappointment from people stems from the fact that they just had no idea such a policy exists.
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Old 09-17-2004, 02:42 PM   #39
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If I were to take 4 -5 Christmas designs (1 card each) to my mothers dental office and say, "Hey if you like these, I'll make handmade Christmas cards for you for a small fee." would that be infringing this whole idea? Is it just that they are in a place of business? Or is it that you are trying to sell them for money?
And also, you can not sell things that you have stamped and made at demos, camps, etc. Does this mean that I can not sell them at all if the situation is not temporary? What if I sold them from my home? (Think of all the temporary "craft fairs" one could have one's home if one's home was actually CLEAN! )

Just why I ask... I love to stamp, I get enjoyment out of stamping, it relaxes me... blah, blah, blah. EVEN more so however, I love love love the feeling I get when someone says, "This is a beautiful card." It is the design element that I love when I stamp, which is why I rarely, rarely ever exactly CASE a card.... because, I don't believe that it is CASEing if you are changing any part of it to make it yours (i.e. the colors, adding something, etc.). A card that I stamp is going to be different than something someone else stamps... it's like signing your name.
Therefore, I would love to make things for others that they could enjoy sending out to family and friends. Is this wrong?
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Old 09-17-2004, 03:30 PM   #40
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As long as your mother's dental office is not a permanent RETAIL location and as long as you have stamped an angel policy stamp on the back, yes you can sell your cards there.

Frankly, I am not tempted to sell on consignment in boutiques. It's a pain in the patoot from all I've read. You have to deal with shoplifting (for which the boutique owner is not responsible unless you spell it out in your contract), poor record keeping on the part of the shop owner, outright cheating you out of product or the money received for that, as well as items getting shopworn so that NO ONE will buy them. You have so little control that it is hardly worth it. The books I have read about making money from crafts all specify "Sell wholesale if at all possible, that way you don't have to worry about any of the above!" I've read horror stories of artists who arrive at the door of the gallery or boutique where they consigned their items, only to find the boutique gone; all the inventory gone and no compensation for the consigned merchandise. I've also read of people arriving at the gallery, only to find their product consigned to one dusty shelf in a back room with half their inventory missing and no record of sales kept. BELIEVE me, you are better off selling your cards yourself at a craft show that going the consignment route!

I have done almost every craft under the sun in the last 30 years (I've been crafting since I was an infant, obviously ) and I started selling my work in the fifth grade. I've read a lot about selling crafts and have done craft fairs as well as working on commission. It's very hard to make a lot of money at crafts, particularly these days when you can go to Joanne's ETC and find all kinds of already made items that look much like the things you find in a craft show, but much cheaper. They've all been made overseas and you can't compete with the prices. I've heard a lot of crafters are getting out of the business for that very reason.
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