Stampin' UP
Comments 10

A Few Words on Stampin’ UP!

What is happening with STAMPIN’ UP! ??   Here are a few highlights of the new Independant Demo Agreement, and my reactions to them.

I feel that these new restrictions will have the largest impact on what Stampin’ UP! refers to as it’s HOBBY DEMOS, or hobbyists.  In fact, SU! mentions that they understand that hobbyists will have the most difficult time changing their online presence to fit within these new parameters.

Most of you probably have no idea that I am a hobby demo.  That’s because I do not use my personal site as a business forum.  This site is primarily for sharing my crafts, knowledge of crafting in general, and for enjoying participating in an online community that shares all available information pertaining to these crafts.

Stampin’ UP! says  that they understand that we “simply love to create and want to use everything that there is out there to do that.” but the restrictions still apply.  Which means if  hobbyists want to stay with SU!, then they will have to say goodbye to being on many design teams, drop many links off their blogs, even links to friend’s sites that may link to or talk about other products, and refrain from even mentioning the names of many brands that they enjoy using that are not Stampin’ Up! products.

I am certain I will not be the only one to leave Stampin’ UP! over this new independent demonstrator agreement.

“…When you sign the new IDA, you agree to refrain from using any electronic communications to promote, market, or sell the products of any other companies (direct selling or retail) that offer similar products, including decorative stamps in any form, stamp art accessories, scrapbooking products, digital art solutions, and vinyl wall art.”

“… the restriction does not completely prohibit you from using competitive products and posting images on your personal web site. You could, for example, post a project you made for your child’s birthday party using non-Stampin’ Up! accessories, but you would need to refrain from providing specific sales information (price, retailer, etc.) that would be considered marketing of those products.”   Personally I like to talk about ALL the products that I use on my personal site, including SU! products, but also many others.

“… The changes restrict you from providing purchasing information, referrals to catalogs or publications, links to blogs or other web sites, or other similar material meant to promote, market, or sell competitive products.

For instance, if you created a project that used a wooden block, you could show the project on your blog and mention that you used a wooden block. You could even mention that you purchased the wooden block at a craft store or big box retail store, but you should refrain from giving the name and location of the store, or any other purchasing information.”

I have  been what SU! refers to as a  HOBBY DEMO (whom they say they love and support), and as such I have never tried to “build my business” on my personal site,  and have enjoyed using and talking about other supplies and suppliers (not usually available from Stampin’ Up! , although they may have had something similar) If I am using another company’s products, I like to give credit where credit is due, and in so doing, I feel it is beneficial to other crafters to have a link to these products as well, so they may be able to recreate the same project that those products were used for.

(I could say go to Stampin’ Up! because they have similar products, but face it, as crafters some of us want the “exact same”  product that we saw,  right?)

“Q: On my personal blog, I have links to my friends’ personal blogs and web sites. Some of them sell competing product. Do I need to remove these links?  A: Yes. In evaluating the links on your web site, you will need to remove any links to blogs, web sites, or the like that promote, market, or sell competitive products.”  This restriction is what really made my decision for me.  I cannot in good conscience do this, and therefore cannot click that “I ACCEPT” (to the new agreement) button!  Which means that I am forced to terminate being  a HOBBY DEMO.  It saddens me really.  I have so enjoyed being a hobby demo, and have had a great respect for everything Stampin’ Up! has done as a business up to this point.

“… Participating in forums and posting your projects for your fellow crafters can be an important method of inspiration and recognition. It’s important to note that the new IDA does not prohibit this kind of activity.”

“…However, there are some guidelines now associated with activity using any electronic media.”

“…you should refrain from linking to the site in your other personal electronic communications, regardless of your personal activity on that forum or web site. We understand that this may be difficult for some, but hope you understand the impact on your customers when you direct them to a location where their attention is diverted from you and the products you have to offer. We are currently exploring ways to provide more of an open community and sharing environment to our demonstrators, and will keep you updated on any new developments.”  

I always felt that there was an open community and sharing environment….Splitcoaststampers (online forum) was the venue that got me to share and grow in this craft and yes, eventually become a hobby demo so that I would have easier access to SU!’s wonderful products.  Now, I feel that instead of embracing  the larger online community, Stampin’ Up!  has just put up a very high fence  around their own backyard!

They most definitely have clearly defined their playing field. It saddens me to say that with this many restrictions, I will no longer be able to play with them.

EDITED TO ADD: SEPT 3

Stampin’ Up! has made an amendment to the IDA already, after what I am sure was a huge negative response from their demos!! The changes, although slightly more realistic in terms of having links to friends blogs and participating in forums, is still not enough of an amendment to allow me to reconsider my decision.

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Thanks for visiting! I have always needed to express my creativity, and I am the happiest when I do so. My blog is a way to challenge myself creatively, keep me motivated and inspired, to explore new ideas, and to share them with others! I feel the need to express myself in new ways...I hope you'll join me!

10 Comments

  1. I am a hobbyist…only signed up couple months ago. I have a Facebook page as my only “electronic media” excluding the SU business site of course…I use FB pretty much like everyone else, “went to soccer game”, “rough day at work”. But creating is part of my life. I was just recently invited to be a design team member for my local scrapbook store. No way am I not going to say “hey, I just got invited to be on the design team at XXX store!” Technically, even without posting a single project, I’ve just violated the agreement. So, here’s the reality, I signed the agreement coz I (and my mom) like the product. Got a couple of friends that like to make cards a few times a year and we pitch in to buy the supplies from SU. I pay for my Business website, and that’s fine, only SU products, etc go there.
    But frankly, I’m not changing the way I update my Facebook page…and if I want to post a project that I made with some products at the store, then I’m going to do it and I may or may not say, I got these at XXX store. But by golly, they WILL NOT tell me how to communicate with friends and family. I understand their reference to having spent money, time, etc developing resources for us demos and I’ll respect that as it relates to those resources. But hey, guess what, they didn’t pay for Facebook and they dang sure didn’t set up my FB page for me.
    Good luck tracking down every single internet presence of all your demos SU! Let’s stick together as a community and not “tattle” on hobbyists who tell you that you can buy the wooden block at Target!

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  2. I’m not a demonstrator but have been a big customer of Stampin Up for the past five years. I will no longer purchase a single thing from this company. Whenever I use their product, I always give them the proper credit. This is ridiculous.

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  3. 4815162342 ( Christina) says

    Oh Deena I’m sorry you will have to leave SU but I totally understand why, they are being very unreasonable, Do you remember that film called Miracle on 34th street where the santa at a large department store would tell the mothers where they could buy a certain toy if this store had run out and management was horrified “send that santa to me at the end of the day” but then noticed more and more people in the queue to see this santa as he was really trying to be very helpful to the customers and the penny dropped that it was a good marketing idea in the end, maybe SU should sit down and watch that film. I came here to see how to make those lovely purses you made and happened to see this and got a little hot under the collar sorry if I got carried away, but I will certainly keep coming to see your amazing cards and know that you will beable to help us by pointing us in the right direction as to where you bought something, Thanks for being you, Hugs from Christina.

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  4. Selma says

    I agree with you totally Deena. I have been a SU demonstrator for almost 10 years. Practically every card I make uses SU products but I do enjoy using other products as well on my blog. I am also going to have to resign.

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  5. Hi Deena,

    I will be leaving Stampin Up as well. Like you, I’m a hobby demo. I’ve enjoyed SU and will still use their products, however, I can’t agree with their position.

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  6. debzi333 says

    Deena.

    I am sad that you are leaving SU because I think you did beautiful work with your SU stamps and their products. However, I greatly respect your thoughtfulness and good conscience in deciding to end your relationship with Stamping Up. I would do the same.

    I agree with the other posters that SU is shooting themselves in the foot. It’s my hope that they may soften their stance if they continue to have demo’s leave as you are doing. I’m proud of you Deena, for standing up for what you believe in.

    You are a very talented stamper – and I know you will keep on creating and I hope – get on a designer team for another company.

    Stampin UP has to realize that they are not the only game in town. I am very sorry that it has come to this for you – as I know you love Stampin Up Products . Stampin Up is losing someone wonderful.

    God Bless and My best wishes to you Deena!

    hugs!

    Deborah

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  7. Brat Cards says

    That’s really too bad that they are shooting themselves in the foot so to speak. I definitely understand your decision. I’ll bet they will lose a lot of Demos this way.

    You would think they would understand that you cannot do that to artists and friends.

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  8. Hi Denna,

    I have finally been able to read your comments on the new SU happening and I have to say WELL SAID!! How sad – I think that in a time when economically SU is feeling it is much as everyone else, they may have just ‘cut their own throat!’ or so to speak. SU is such a great product, but it is not the only one out there that is good, there are many others. In today’s society the ‘One Man Band’ is well and truly over, companies are producing such fabulous product that no-one need be exclusive or threatened!! I am sorry for you Deena, that you have had to stand down…I could not have signed such a agreement either…continue to enjoy EVERYTHING you have and keep inspiring us with your creations from ‘across the board!’ Thanks for sharing as you did, it certainly summed it up well! God bless you Deena!!

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  9. I think the biggest impact will be to Stampin’ Up, as most likely, its “hobbyist” demonstrators are also some of its biggest customers.

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