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Old 08-04-2009, 06:33 PM   #1
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Default Is there any real money in becoming a SU demo?

Hi Ladies:

I just recently became a SAHM to my 4 mo old little girl. While that is fine and dandy, we are missing the money I used to bring home. I was looking into things/employment opportunities that are flexible to SAHMs. I saw that becoming a SU demo was an option. I told my husband about this and his question was, "is there any real money to be made as a SU demo or does it all go back to supplies?" At first I was offended but then couldn't help but wonder the same thing. So I thought I'd post here and get some feedback. Thanks in advance for your help!
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Old 08-04-2009, 06:37 PM   #2
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Diana,

I'm not a demo, but have done other independent business work before. I think the biggest thing everyone will say is - you get out of it what you put into it. There is always going to be a timeframe that is put into building your business or any sort, but with time and dedication I'm sure it could be a great chance to earn a good income.
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Old 08-04-2009, 06:43 PM   #3
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You can definitely make money if you look at it as a business venture. You can certainly do workshops with what you get in the regular kit. Some people tend to give too much away as gifts and door prizes and that's where it starts to eat into your profit.
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Old 08-04-2009, 06:56 PM   #4
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It just depends on how much time you are going to actually put into it as a business. It is hard to get caught up in the hobby part of it. If you watch your spending and think of it like a real business, you can earn some REAL money.
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Old 08-04-2009, 07:33 PM   #5
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I think it depends on what you consider "real" money. Can you make a few extra hundred dollars a month by putting in some hours and effort? Yes. Can you make $60K a year in this business? Yes, if you put in years of hard work and time (you'll be working as much as you would at a regular job if not more). The ones that earn the latter amount are few and far between. However, if you want something for you and a means to earn some extra money, then you can absolutely achieve that with a Stampin' Up! business. You just have to be careful to treat it as a business and not buy everything. It is hard to make money at this business, especially starting out, but you can do it.
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Old 08-04-2009, 09:02 PM   #6
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In addition to what others have said, it takes having a downline. When you have a certain amount of people under you, you get a percentage of their sales, along with yours. I think that most of the people that make big money have a significant downline, who they support and encourage.
I suspect that for the first few years, the most you can expect is pocket money.
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Old 08-04-2009, 10:43 PM   #7
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It really depends on how hard your work at it. Like with anything else the more you work at it the more you will make. There are lots of ways to get the ball rolling. I think if you give yourself time you can see how it goes. It does take some time to build up your business and build customers and you have some time to get the ball rolling I would say you have nothing to loose. I think it is a perfect opportunity to make some money while enjoying being at home with your precious little one. I will say the first couple months the money will all go back into building your business but there will be a time when you start bringing in money..
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Old 08-05-2009, 01:18 AM   #8
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I'm not a SU demo... But I am a consultant for a certain company that sounds close to hampered Jeff. I was hesitant about trying ANYTHING like it or SU. I have found that in order to make money one it, you have to make a real budget for what you can spend on your business and stick to it. I got carried away with "Oh, IF ONLY I HAD _____". I convinced myself that I had to have everything. Even if I really had no use other than showing it at a show. I agree with the others who stated you have to treat it like a business. And I do believe that you can make money if you work your business. And ditto on the down line. I know plenty of people who never really thought they were making very good money until they started recruiting. Good luck in your decision making!
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Old 08-05-2009, 02:11 AM   #9
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I can't answer your question as I'm not an SU demo but as somebody who works freelance I would say you should probably ask yourself some questions as you're deciding what to do. To me, the one that stands out is "Do I like to sell stuff? Do I have the skills that would make me good at that?". Stamping is probably your hobby and relaxation time at the moment. You will be changing your relationship with stamping if you become a demo and that might feel absolutely fine for you but it's worth giving it some thought in advance.

You might also want to give some thought to how much competition there is in your area and how much access you have to potential customers. If you live in an area with a great pool of customers but it's already saturated with demos then you'll probably struggle to establish a wide enough customer base. Equally, if there are plenty of potential customers around but you don't have ways to get at them then your business is unlikely to fly. Not meaning to be a downer on the idea, just throwing some thoughts out for you!

Good luck, whatever you decide to do.
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Old 08-05-2009, 05:03 AM   #10
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From my observation, successful demos spend way less time on art and lots of time on promoting the business. About 5 years ago, I asked a well known, successful demo, how much she makes. She made $40,000 in income that year (not sales, but income). She worked between 40 - 60 hours a week, but a lot of it was when her kids were in school, and then nights and weekends. She had strong sales, but a stronger downline. She has a very simple stamping style and does almost nothing original. As she put it, the more time she spends trying to create something, the less time she has to build her business. SU provides PLENTY of ideas for workshops.

Another way to find out the answer to your question is to interview several potential uplines and ask them for information on their sales for the past two years and the amount of income that they are reporting on their taxes. The latter is the true test of whether or not someone is making money (or being honest with the IRS!!). Also ask how long it took before they were making that income.

Angelnorth makes an excellent point. Selling SU isn't really all about stamping -- it is about selling.

My BIL is a natural born salesman. Despite the economy his sales in insurance are up. He is genuinely friendly and knowledgeable about his product. He works hard. He never misses an opportunity to reach out and be friendly, even when he is not in his sales region. He told me it is all about training yourself to be a people person -- that you never know when someone you meet will lead to a sales even a year away.

His wife tried to sell insurance with him and in 6 months she sold ZERO. She went back to her day job as an accountant!! She's friendly and outgoing and smart but was uncomfortable asking people to buy anything.

So I guess it is a combination of hard work, discipline, personality, a product you love, the quality and price point of the product, its competition, your location, and the economy. Don't let anyone tell you that the product sells itself. IMHO nothing sells itself or I'd be rich!
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Old 08-05-2009, 05:18 AM   #11
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Great information, Joan!
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Old 08-05-2009, 07:22 AM   #12
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I am a former SU! demo. As others have said, it IS possible. However, were I you I would research to find a company that sells a product you enjoy, and that has a high return on investment. For example, with SU! there is a great deal of preparation for a workshop, so time investment, along with financial investment in the supplies needed for the workshop. What I found was that the time and financial commitment greatly outweighed the return on investment. In other words, by the time I spent the time and money to prepare a workshop, I wasn't making anything.

However, I now rep for another company that is NOT s stamping company. There was an initial amount of prep work to put together my "show" kit, but now that it is together, I have to prepare very little for each show. The initial kit was only $99 and came with everything I needed to do 5+ shows, and the product that the guests make cost me very little and I can buy in bulk. Additionally, the kit came with credit towards buying product for me! I also get a higher percentage of my sales and do not have to buy a ton for myself to demo to sell to others.

So, in the long run, I do not need to necessarily have downline to get a reasonable return on investment. Not to mention, the market here is literally flooded with SU! demos. The company I am with now has fewer reps and the market here is relatively wide open. I feel like I make more than the time and money I put into it.

Good luck!
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Old 08-05-2009, 07:56 AM   #13
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I'm not a demo, but I do attend the stamp camps every month with the SU demo in my area - I asked her how's she doing on the stamp, etc. sales, and she said that she wouldn't leave her day job - that said, I make some serious money at craft shows - only drawback is that it's seasonal - I have found a marketplace which has accepted my work, but sales are very slow at the moment - since I'm widowed, I still need my day job - maybe look into shows/marketplace near you - I tried ebay and esty, but thumbs down on them (for me) - others do well - go figure ???
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Old 08-05-2009, 08:02 AM   #14
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I've been a demo for 3 direct sales companies, including Stampin' Up. IMHO, the average person can't really make a lot of money with any direct sales company. Unless you can devote hours upon hours to your business (and with a 4-month-old baby, I'm guessing that your "free time" is at a minimum), you will be struggling just to make your monthly quotas. Good luck with your decision.
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Old 08-05-2009, 09:00 AM   #15
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I make way more money on selling cards than I do on selling SU...I just make the minimums most of the time...maybe a little more these days...I am a hobby demo now. I used to be actively building and working my business but it didnt last long with an upline who stole most of my best customers....so now I am happy where I am at. Love SU but make more money on selling my cards.
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Old 08-05-2009, 10:50 AM   #16
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Please do your research. I think you would do better to try to figure out what expenses you will not have since you no longer work and consider that income! My husband jokes that it cost him money for me to go to work. Granted, I only made $15 an hour but I spent a huge amount of it on "eating out" because I was too tired to cook and keeping my car going. Now we eat at home and I no longer need a car, so no annual registration,monthly insurance, oil changes, gas....or whatever. I have heard that Mom's pay huge amounts for daycare so that could be a factor too. Now get all these savings together and present them to dear hubby and show him how much he is saving by your staying home. Personally I believe that a "hobby turned job" will actually cost you money.
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Old 08-05-2009, 11:46 AM   #17
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Do your research. Search threads here about this question - it gets asked over and over again and it's amazing the amount of information available on this site. I thought I had asked all the right questions and had done my homework before signing up, but there is so much that potential uplines don't freely share with you unless you ask them the exact, very detailed questions because they have a stake in whether or not you sign up under them.

Make sure you get the latest and greatest info on what you'd have to sell in order to earn anything from your downline. Just because you end up having a big downline doesn't mean that you'll earn anything off their sales. SU (IMO) has a convoluted way of determining what you get from your downline, if anything. My upline said that the last time SU changed their compensation plan, she's never been able to even come close to having the title she had before and earning what she did before eventhough her sales are overall better and she still recruits (and has downline who recruit).

Overall, there's a lot more involved than first meets the eye. Like others have said, how do you feel about selling? Being a demonstrator is more about selling ability than it is about artistic creativity. You also have to take a good look at how you feel about dealing with amazingly fussy and needy customers. You may luck out and find some good customers, but my experience is that so many people want everything for nothing, and it seems worse in this economy. Are you willing to day in, day out constantly deal with fussy people who want to make card, etc. at workshops but never buy anything?

Those that I know who make any money at all at SU spend a ton of time doing it - way more than they ever spent at their "real jobs". After all the hours they put in, miles driving to and from events, etc. their "income" per hour wasn't much of anything - much less than minimum wage someplace. Sure, you are your own boss, but the amount of time and effort you have to put in to make any real money can be HUGE! Are you willing to do that with a young child? Is your family willing to take over certain duties while you spend time on your new business? If you do a bunch of workshops, do you have free baby-sitting available to you, because if you don't, any paying of the sitter, etc. takes away from any income you might be getting from the workshop.
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Old 08-06-2009, 04:29 PM   #18
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WOW!!! Thank you ladies for all our your responses! Honestly, I guess I hadn't really thought it through and thought being a SU demo was the answer to easy, fast money. No, I'm not the 'seller' personality...I have so much more to think about now! I did try etsy and ebay, and like dancincz said thumbs down. I will research some local craft shows. Thank you again to all who responded! I love SCS!
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Old 08-06-2009, 05:06 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JustBecause View Post
WOW!!! Thank you ladies for all our your responses! Honestly, I guess I hadn't really thought it through and thought being a SU demo was the answer to easy, fast money. No, I'm not the 'seller' personality...I have so much more to think about now! I did try etsy and ebay, and like dancincz said thumbs down. I will research some local craft shows. Thank you again to all who responded! I love SCS!
*chuckle*

No matter from which angle you approach this particular industry, it's a lot of hard work--fun, but, hard, too--and many long hours.

But, if you ever find easy, fast money, let us know! I totally want in on that.
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