Becoming a Stamp Rep

Becoming a home party stamp rep or Advice to those thinking about it . . . important things to consider besides the discount.
by Jean Laverdiere
Ok — who hasn’t thought of this idea?  “I will become a rep of my favorite home stamp company so I can get the discount on all the stamps and supplies I want!  WOO HOO!”
So you get a few things and then next thing you know, you are spending your whole paycheck to support your sick psycho stamping addiction, which there is no known cure.
You say to yourself repeatedly, “Oh, this is much cheaper than buying those expensive pricey cards at the Mall, I can make my own and as many as I want!”
Yeah, right!
What you need to think about, is how much do you value your time and what else is going on in your life that may impede your sales.
Time is money, money is time — what do you want to spend and how much effort are you willing to pitch in to make it all happen?
How long will you be committed to this endeavor, short term or long term?  A business needs time to establish it self for success, 2-5 years so you need to have a bsiness plan, a financial plan and start up money.
Before investing, remember, you are becoming a rep and that means sales!
Sales that will also help support your stamp habit, so you think right now.
You just can’t have YOU as the sole buyer.
You need to go out there and promote yourself and your product you represent so that you can earn MORE of the bonuses.  You need to work at doing this.
Sales or selling is a difficult field.  You need to put your face out there and work!
Catalogs change products, there may be some you love now but a few catalogs later, you don’t like what they have to offer.
So here is some sound advice to think about before you pay big bucks for that demo kit.
1. When picking stamp sets, pick ones that are versatile and you can mix and match with other stamp set elements.  All of your stamps will go farther and you could sell more by mixing and matching current and available sets.
You don’t want to be spending too much money on demo stamps when you need money to operate other parts of your business.  You need to keep some profit for that rainy day.  If you don’t ever use any stamp that you bought, you have wasted your money.
2. Invest in equipment, cardstock and embellishments which can really add and change an image drastically. Customers love to see versatility of stamps or product.  This is what could sell a stamp set and the embellishment.
3. If you love a set, think about how you will use it, how often you will use it, and does it go with other stamps you have.  Sometimes a good set when used to demo will sell well if it is the right theme for your demo group, it all comes down to personal taste of the customer so it is best to go broad and generic.
4. About all those great buys on discontinued sets . . . again, how will you use it and how often? If you wish to buy it for personal use, great! but remember, if you use a retired stamp while demonstrating, someone may want to buy it and will be disappointed if they cannot order one. Immediate satisfaction and impluse buying by customers are part of your sales.
5. Need ideas? Check out the catalog samples, past and present, for ideas or come up with your own.  Join swaps to get ideas how to use a set and have samples.  Save any design ideas from magazines or the net, use those (give credit) but never copy and upload anyone else’s work onto your business site.
6. Once you have ideas, stamps, and supplies, plan workshops/parties and invite or advertise to get people to come (call and make appointments).  You can do this for free in your social section of your newspaper a couple of weeks in advance.
Meeting places can vary, a house? a hall?
Ideas can be just cards (make 2-4, depends on the time frame) or make a card and then another project.  Maybe you just want to have a workshop for scrapbookers also and create a few pages.
7.  Seek and research advice from other people who have been there and done that.  Find out why they are staying or why they quit to get a realistic take on the idea.
8.   If you are serious about making a career (many years) of this endeavor, seek free advice from small business groups on how to set up and improve business.
9. If you are going to do a job you love and want to have fun sharing — go for it!
10. Once you are organized with a plan, best of luck to you!