Either PROVO CRAFT has no idea what they’re doing, or they know EXACTLY what they’re doing. You be the judge.

As they tend to do with new products, Provo Craft got the hype going with their new “product,” the Cricut Circle, some time back.

I didn’t even bother trying to guess what in the hell it was, but you can bet the CRICUT MESSAGE BOARD was a-chirping with anticipation. I heard some DISCUSSION about it on the scrapbook message boards but, honestly, I think they’ve alienated so many customers with the CRICUT CAKE ISSUE, the SCAL/Design Studio issue, and others … that less people bother to get excited than before.

Another recent PC faux pas may have been the release of the CRICUT GYPSY, which is an awesome gadget (I talk about wanting one HERE) but the retail price … $300 … was a bit steep for most everyone I spoke to about it. With the economy what it is, I’m not sure it was the right time to release such a high ticket item. It will be interesting to see what the long-term success of the Gypsy is.

Anyway, you know and I know that everyone (okay, MOST everyone) is broke right now. We’re pickin’ quarters out of the couch cushions and rubbing them together with our 40% coupons from Michaels and Hobby Lobby to get some new scrap goodies once in a while. Now, into that climate, I introduce to you … the much-anticipated (erm… or not ….) CRICUT CIRCLE!!!!

This is the information that went out in an e-mail to prospective customers yesterday:
What Exactly is the Cricut Circle?

The CRICUT CIRCLE by Provo Craft is a select community of Cricut® enthusiasts. Cricut owners are the most creative, passionate, social, and fun-loving people on the planet. The Cricut Circle is our way to celebrate your enthusiasm (and ours!) for Cricut! The shape of the circle signifies inclusion, unity, kinship (think King Arthur and the round table). The goal of The Cricut Circle from Provo Craft is designed to bring this community of amazing people together to learn, share, and grow The Circle love!

What does life look like inside the Cricut Circle?

Four exclusive cartridges a year, one each quarter, (starting with French Manor) ONLY available to The Cricut Circle members.

Special buying privileges like rebates, monthly coupons, and opportunities to buy other exclusive products for your Cricut, from friends and partners of Provo Craft.

Extra reward points and special cricut.com discounts.

A members-only bracelet with an exclusive Cricut Circle charm (get ready to be the envy of your friends).

A special Cricut Circle Community will come together through an exclusive Cricut Circle forum on cricut.com.

Inspiration and education from exclusive Cricut Circle webinars, swarms, meet-ups, and events.

A fun Cricut Circle blog and a monthly project-inspired online magazine to fill your mind with ideas galore.

Charter members will have access to information and opportunities to become a part of the decision making process of future Cricut products by participating on research panels.

Officially, the Cricut Circle Charter Membership launches June 2010, and YOU have been chosen to become a charter member of The Circle. We are extending this offer to the top 3% of our Cricut fans on Cricut Rewards and those who have registered their Provo Craft products.

The invitation to become a Charter Member of The Circle expires June 30, 2010 and is non-transferable.

To solidify a premier Charter Member number and receive 800 Cricut Reward Points, take advantage of invitations to galas, swarms and events, JOIN NOW!

And what does all this Cricut craziness cost, you ask? A mere $275 a year or $80 per quarter, folks! You can afford that, right??? Your dresser drawers are lined with money just waitin’ to be spent, huh?!?!?!

{Interestingly, the price for the fantabulous deal wasn’t mentioned in the e-mail. You gotta go elsewhere to find it.}

So what I love most about the Peas is that they tell it like it is … and it don’t appear to be pretty at this point. HERE is a thread with some early reaction, and HERE is another (this thread is called “Who else got the ridiculous invite to the Cricut Circle?”). THIS ONE is called, “Who is excited about the Cricut Circle!!!!!” and as of press time, it had 2 responses, both of which weren’t “excited!”

The major problem appears to be the high price, first and foremost. Also, paying that high price and not knowing ahead of time which-all cartridges you’ll get. And the idea of cartridge exclusivity turns a lot of people off anyway.

I don’t have a dog in this fight because, while I have a Baby Bug, I’m not a rabid Cricut fan nor do I harbor the hatred for Provo Craft that many do these days. I’m just sharing what I’m hearing and letting you be the judge.

My conclusion is that Provo Craft is either extremely out of touch with what their customers and consumers in general want … or they know something we don’t know and they’re still making lots of bank off of products and “exclusive memberships” like the Cricut Circle. Either way, they seem to keep coming up with new products and they are always “in the press.” You gotta’ give ’em that …

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  1. avatar
    Karen ( KMG) says:

    Same opinion here AND there are a wide assortment of cartridges now everywhere on clearance for around 19.99 that I would rather purchase then the expense of the mystery 4. They are banking on the idea that we all want what someone else can’t have. Does nothing for me. In fact if you lived near by I would let you borrow some of mine!

  2. avatar

    I’d spend my money elsewhere, too…although I sold my Cricut back in October. Just wasn’t that into it.

  3. avatar

    They didn’t send me an invite. Guess I am not with the “in” crowd. teehee.
    I agree very pricey.

    I have seen a few cartridges here for 29.99 or 39.99 is the cheapest. But then again up here in Canada everything is way more. I guess they think we line our igloo’s with money. LOL.

    1. avatar
      Anne says:

      Tracy, Try OhMyCrafts.com or Amazon.com or just type in Cricut Cartridge and see what comes up. OhMyCrafts.com puts them on sale and then gives you a discount. I’m in NJ and for some reasons it takes a little longer to get my order but I have always been happy. I brought my Limited Edition Expression and got a good deal. Same with Amazon.com they have cartridges on sale (at a good price) I shop around until I find the best price. Seldom do I buy in the store, can’t use my coupon. Wal-Mart has good prices on them. I love my Cricut and am enjoying my Cartridges.


      1. avatar
        Courtney says:

        Oh I LOVE ohmycrafts.com. They have had to raise their prices now though :( But a lot of cartridges are still under 40 dollars. If you ship by USPS it really shouldn’t take more than a couple of days, but for things like ordering machines I think they have to send it by UPS which takes FOREVER.

  4. avatar
    Kendra says:

    Yep, I just about fell over when I went to that link. Then they had e-mailed me a survey about PC products too yesterday. Really………. in the same day! Not wise my friend, not wise at all.

  5. avatar

    Not impressed. The part that cracked me up was all the envy I am going to be creating in my scrap friends by wearing a cricut bracelet. Now that would have to be a FANTASTIC bracelet. I can see myself walking into a crop…they see the charm dangling from my wrist…everyone starts whispering…ABOUT HOW STUPID I WAS TO SPEND THAT MUCH MONEY! LOL

  6. avatar
    Hit Girl says:

    You know, I bought into the buzz as much as everyone else on the Cricut Circle and now that everything is out in the open I can honestly say, I’m less than impressed. Let me state up front, I love my Cricut and just a ordered a Yudu (yes, I know!). However, it seems to me that PC may be trying to bilk this thing for all they can, attempting to create a monopoly on what items you are and are not allowed to use with the PC products (SCAL, anyone?) and then creating this elitist environment with charter memberships and whatnot. (By the way, you are not that elite if you have buy your way into something – everything has its price.) I fear that the green eyed monster has taken over the powers that be at PC. And, yes, sending out a customer survey on the very day that you alienate so many of your supporters (I was invited to the Survey, but not the Circle – but that’s only because they value my opinion!), not the wisest decision! I will continue to adore my Cricut, but only if I can find a way around the PC BS. :D

  7. avatar
    Steph says:

    I was once a PC fanatic. I have since lost faith in the company. My Gypsy was defective and I have yet to receive a return label from the compant. It is going on 2 weeks and still no label. I have had so many promises in the past 2 weeks it isn’t funny. I too was invited to the cricut circle and the timing was way off because I am so mad about the Gypsy that I will not be joining any circle. PC has got to step it up before some comes out with something better. Customer service should be their priority and it isn’t.

  8. avatar
    Krista H says:

    As a very happy owner of a Silhouette I’m truly an outsider looking in on the whole circle thing. Although I have to say it is really surprising (I was going to say shocking, but with everything that has gone on with PC – nothing shocks me anymore) That a company would think that an “us” and “them” (circle & non circle) split in their customer base would be welcomed by Cricut owners.

  9. avatar

    That is so crazy!! I love my Cricut, but after paying $400 for that, plus supplies and SCAL and SVG files and…well, you get the idea! If I wanted to spend that much for just a membership, my husband would probably through my cricut into the pool…

  10. avatar
    Suzie says:

    I am rather offended that I was not invited to join the circle after purchasing three cricuts, a gypsy, and over 75 carts. Yes, I am registered. The price appears to cover the cost of the exclusive carts. Since I pay under $30 for all of mine, it does not compute. I purchased SCAL and a Wishblade instead. Now I don’t need the carts or to be a member of the Circle.

  11. avatar
    Colleen says:

    Boy am I glad I found this site. I voiced my concern over ProvoCraft and their antics (OK, I’ll admit it, maybe too zelously); anyway, I’m lucky to have escaped the MB with my eyeballs………… WOW, did things get vicious. People got really upset with me saying that ProvoCraft was not treating their loyal customers very nicely; first, you frequent the company, then in order to get the “special” cartridges, you need to fork over an additional $275. Not nice at all. It is a lot of money fo people to part with with the way things are right now. Everyone felt secure because the company sent out a survey first, well………….how many people would put down in the survey they wanted to pay $275/yr.? I don’t know why I got an invite right away? Maybe because I have some of my stuff registered on their site, they know how much I have invested with them already. I don’t know, I guess I am cynical of marketing ploys of companies, but it just seemed really extreme to me. Anyway, I am happy I still have all my parts……….

  12. avatar
    Sue from WI says:

    I find it ironic that the description of the Cricut Circle says “The shape of the circle signifies inclusion, unity, kinship…” when they are categorically EXCLUDING 97% of their customer base. If only 3% are invited to join, they are cutting out a shocking number of us! I agree that we shouldn’t be surprised knowing the antics of this company that so many of us have a love-hate relationship with. I will continue to love my Cricut & my Gypsy, but not the company that makes it. Provocraft is successful in spite of the poor business decisions they continue to make. Just think of how well they’d do if they took the high road on everything!

  13. avatar
    Colleen McLaughlin says:

    Can anyone give me more information on whether they like SCAL???? I have a general idea of what it is, but need to kow info from people who have it. Thanks.

  14. avatar

    All I can say is try Make The Cut software and say goodbye to using Carts!!!! Don’t need to be in no circle, thank you.

  15. avatar
    Colleen says:

    Thank you Cindy. I am going to go to their website and check it out. I have only heard of SCAL, so the Make The Cut software sounds interesting. Thanks again.

  16. avatar

    The much esclusive 4 carts that belong to the cricut circle… so far some of them are now available on cricut.com for rewards points>… which I am fine with becasue I really want french manor. I was intrigued by the cirle, the price made me not join. I love the cricut msg boards, the ladies are amazing, the swaps are fun and i really do enjoy it. Its enough i dont need the circle… not for the price tag… but I like provo a lot, i like there “toys” i own most of them….. so its ok for the ppl who want to spend the money to join the circle, i am just not one of them… at this moment anyways! lol

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