Stampin' Up! Generally
Stampin' Up! is a card making and scrapbooking company that sells their products through party plan using independent demonstrators. Stampin' Up! independent demonstrators often provide in home demonstrations, workshops and make and takes in the comfort of your home. You can invite a few friends around and have fun learning a new technique or completing a certain project, all with the help of your independent demonstrator.
Buying Stampin' Up! ~ Current products
Do you know that legally a current independent demonstrator cannot sell current product on auction sites such as eBay. Some demos still try to hide the fact that they are demos and make up grand schemes to list current product on eBay and the person who often suffers the most is the customer. If you don't know where to buy current Stampin Up catalogue content view the Stampin Up website: http://www3.stampinup.com/au/ena/default.asp . On the website you can check out the latest catalogue and see the current price of products!!, see any current specials and find a demonstrator in your area. Note: not all demonstrators are listed in the demonstrator locator.
As any demo will tell you, 99% of the time it is cheaper to buy current products directly from the demonstrator. Search completed auctions and you will often see unsuspecting people paying up to 50% more for current product in the heat of an auction and because they just didn't know the true value. The more you pay over and above the current retail price, the less you have to pay on your hobby, so why would you waste your time and money. Also if you get a demonstrator that lives near you, they can probably pop around to your house and let you actually play with the products you are interested in before you actually buy them.
Some people purchase things and do change their minds, don't I know that! So look out for legitimate sellers who are just trying to recoup some of their losses to reinvest in their hobby and you may just get a bargain. Just watch out for the sharks!
Buying Stampin' Up! ~ Retired products
Current independent demonstrators are permitted to sell retired products after set times. Often you might have agonised over a particular stamp set and then all of a sudden its on the retired list and then its gone. Look out for demonstrators listing their old demo products. It's often a way to pick up retired items cheaply because they just want to recoup some of their money and invest in the next years product.
Also look out for sellers who have invested big into their hobby and who have then realised the hobby isn't for them. Hey we all do it at some stage, but take advantage of their change of heart to pick up some good priced bargains. The important thing is to have the knowledge of what products recommended retail price is and that's where the current catalogue being full text and in pdf on the web comes in handy.
Stampin' Up! ~ Country variations
Did you know that each country often has their own catalogue with slightly different products. Stampin Up research each market thoroughly and like to obviously make available products that are going to sell better in one market than another. Often stamps may be tested first in the Stampin Up home market in the US to see their popularity. Therefore you may see in your internet travels that certain people are saying a certain stamp set is retired and therefore may be trying to get a premium price for it, when in fact it might be a current product in your country. So again, be aware of what products are in the current catalogue before buying from another country that is telling you its retired product. The set you just have to have, might actually be cheaper direct from your own country.
Stampin' Up! ~ gallery of suggestions for stamp sets
Ok, so you have purchased that stamp set that you just had to have...I've been there....now what do you do with it? If you are ever lost for ideas, take a look at the gallery on website: http://www.splitcoaststampers.com/gallery/su. Basically people from all over the world post cards and projects that they have made under the stamp set they have used. So if you have purchased for instance the Baroque Motifs set and you want ideas, navigate to the B's and then choose the thread for Baroque Motifs and you will see almost 6000 photo ideas! You'll never be stuck again!