* This post is kind of long and mainly relevant to Stampin’ Up! Demonstrators, so to all my wonderful readers to whom this issue is not of great interest please be sure to check out my earlier post: Easter Project Tutorial Blitz: Day 6, which is posted below*
I just wanted to start by thanking all of you for your incredible support and encouragement. It has really warmed my heart to know how much you all care, and I want each and everyone one of you to know that I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
I thought today I’d write a final post on this ebay issue (and this will be my last one – promise!) so that I could address a couple of questions and comments, and so that we could achieve some closure.
A comment/question I had was:
There seems to be some confusion about what I was referring to by "Stamps in the Mail". At Stampin’ Up’s Leadership Convention in Houston, TX, during one of the sessions on Main Stage, a well-respected and well-know demonstrator who was presenting, mentioned that her "Stamps in the Mail" program has been a real boost to her business.
"Stamps in the Mail" are intended for long-distance customers or customers whose schedules do not allow them to attend an actual class. Some demonstrators call it "Classes-to-go". A Stamps in the Mail typcially includes an SU product bundle and pre-designed projects (in essence it’s not that different from a product-based class that a customer signed up and pre-paid to attend and then couldn’t, so you gave her your class kit). BUT, and I just spoke to SU about this, to be in compliance with Stampin’ Up! you can only advertise your stamps in the mail program on your blog or SU website, and in your customer newsletter. You cannot start advertising it on other forums on the internet (if it includes SU merchandise) without first consulting SU to see if it’s okay. When I was talking about the class being good for Stamps in the Mail, it was within those parameters. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine it would be misinterpreted – so I do take some blame for this – I probably should have been more clear about what I meant. Basically, as long as any demonstrator is offering a "Stamps in the Mail" program on their blog, on their SU website, or in their customer newsletter, according to Stampin’ Up! that is okay.
While it had sounded to me from the ebay ad that the demo in question might have been including parts of the main tutorial – I really don’t know for sure. I do know that it was not the WHOLE class planner. The bottom line and MY BIGGEST AND MOST IMPORTANT issue was that the demo was selling current SU products along with the projects on ebay. I was really upset that my class was being used in violation of SU’s policy ( that states we are not allowed to sell on internet auction sites). As Stampin’ Up! Demonstrators, many if not most of us have been impacted negatively in some way by demos knowingly selling current SU merchandise on ebay. I did not want to party to that, even if only indirectly.
Because the class design originated with me, I was also really concerned that other demos, in particular the demos who had purchased the class might think that I was the one doing it and undermining their businesses. I was also concerned that SU might point the finger at me as well and terminate my demonstratorship. Before you ask me why I would think that, I actually had someone email me and ask me if I was the one who had posted that class, which is how I became aware of it.
I don’t know if the demonstrator in question realized that she is not supposed to sell on ebay – I would really like to think that that was the case. As much as we think that it is "widely known" that we aren’t supposed to sell on ebay, etsy, or any other similar online "auction" or "store", if she is a new demo, she may not have been told by her upline and she may not have read the demo manual. Heavens knows, in the past, I have had a couple of demos on my own team who had no clue about what’s going on at SU because they rarely went on the site, never read the current updates and and didn’t touch the many incredible resources SU offers us. Rather, they relied on me to tell them everything. So, as far as we know, it could all have been an innocent mistake – a mis-interpretation of what Stamps in the Mail REALLY is and a poor understanding of SU’s policies.
SU contacted me today. They did discover who the demonstrator in question was – they did not reveal the name of course – and the impression I got was that it was not a deliberate or knowing violation of SU’s policy. However, SU did say that they would be (or were – I’m not quite sure which) in touch with her and would monitor the situation.
Another comment I wanted to address was regarding the use of my photos.
I wanted to reassure everyone that if you see photos of the projects that are part of my class planners on SU demo blogs or SU demo websites, or in their newsletters – as long as they purchased the class planner, they have my permission. By buying the class planners, they have in essence paid for the right to use them. I created them with the "Artwork © Stampin’ Up!" so that they could take them and use them on their blogs, on their SU website, in their customer newsletter and in their customer emails. The only time it becomes a problem is if they are being used in a way that violates SU policy.
Hopefully, to answer any more questions, my Class Planning Service for Stampin’ Up! demonstrators page describes what is included and how it is meant to be used.
I really, really don’t want this to get blown out of proportion, While ebay is a serious situation, I also don’t want this to turn into a "lets get that demonstrator possy" or any demonstrator that is advertising these classes (as long as it’s in accordance with SU policy) because that is what they are for. I also really hope that this doesn’t scare you guys off from ever buying another class!
Thank you again all of you for your wonderful encouragement. As I said at the beginning of the post I will not bring this issue up again. So on a lighter note – BE SURE TO CHECK OUT MY NEWEST TUTORIAL BELOW!
Stampin’ Hugs to you all,