It only took me weeks but I’ve finally made a decision about this scrapbook consultant thing. I’m going to sign up with Memory-Works (I think). As fate would have it, I learned about Memory-Works from a comment on my blog (thanks Leslie!). I have been checking out their website and rolling everything around in my mind (as Sharon Stone says, “It’s a dangerous place like a dark alley. You wouldn’t want to go in there alone”). I had it narrowed down to Memory-Works and Creative Memories pretty quickly. They both have so many pros and a few cons each, that it was REALLY hard to decide. So I called my sis-in-law who’s been a CM consultant for 4 years in another town. She gave me a lot of good information that you can’t find out by looking at their website. After looking into each company, here are the ups and downs of each (sorry, my mom always told me to make a comparison list when I couldn’t decide something :)
Creative Memories positives: Excellent quality, long-lasting products. I ADORE the Power Sort Boxes and could use my 30% off consultant discount to stack them in my house, floor to ceiling. The “Empowering Women” magazine made me feel so…empowered. Lots of support and direction from the home office and fellow consultants, including some Yahoo CM Consultant groups (no Yahoo group for MW?). Incentives to sell, sell, sell! (all well and good if you sell, make you feel like an idiot if you don’t).
Creative Memories negatives: High minimums: When you sign up, you must sell right off the bat and there are incentives to reach the higher goal in 30,60 and 90 days. From there, your 3 months starts and you have to sell $500 retail within 3 months. Once you reach $500, the 3 months starts again. Exclusivity: If you’re a CM consultant, you cannot be a consultant for any other scrapbook-related company. Not my style: They have come a long way but the papers, stickers, journaling boxes, etc. are not really my style. I’m the kind of gal who wears her thoughts all over her face and cannot tell a lie. I like the more trendy stuff. I do love their organizational items, tools, software and albums but is that enough to make me a good rep for them?
Memory-Works positives: Trendy stuff!: They have all my favorite brands of paper, stickers, rub-ons and embellishments. I’m talkin’ Basic Grey, KI Memories, Chatterbox, and Autumn Leaves. No minimum: Well, there is one but it’s $75 retail per year so, like, no minimum. Prices are listed on the website for customers (I’ve always hated that you never know the prices of CM!). They have sales. They have a monthly club kit. They are cheaper to join and who has extra money? Not me!
Memory-Works negatives: They’re not a one-stop shop like Creative Memories. But I think I can find a way to offer every basic my customers will need. And I wish they had direct ship like CM – the consultant just gets an e-mail stating someone made an order & how much – kewl.
These are just some of the issues I’m considering. As much as I respect the company, I think CM is just too big a commitment at this time in my life. I live in a rural area and it’s hard to get people to come “all the way out to my house”. The thought of HAVING to lug all my stuff to home parties every month (gotta’ meet that minimum!) pains me. I’m also not crazy about the shipping costs. My SIL says it costs her $18 for each shipment, no matter the size/weight (unless it’s for some God-awful huge order). So, like she said, if a neighbor pops by and places a $50 order, the consultant gets $15 (aka 30%) and it costs her $18 to ship it. I guess you can make the customer pay shipping but I’ve heard from other consultants that people will cancel or reduce their order when they hear they have to pay shipping – they can just go to Sue CM Consultant down the street who has it in stock – so that most just pay shipping themselves. It seems the way to be a successful CM consultant is this: when the deadline is coming and you haven’t met your minimum, buy stuff to have it in stock and pray it’s the stuff people will buy. Have an understanding DH who won’t mind you taking over 2 closets to store your merch. Keep your stuff packed up and your evenings clear – you gotta’ party or class to give! Unfortunately, this situation does not match my life. With Memory-Works, there is less income potential but less stress. And I could use less stress. I have until Feb. 7 to get a great deal on becoming a Memory-Works consultant. Will let you know when I take the plunge! Can’t wait to get started…