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Guest Stompy

Advice Needed

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This is a pretty serious subject, and I'm sorry if it's not appropriate but I've thought about it and I think its okay for me to ask this here. I know there are alot of very mature people here in the forums who could really positively influence my decision on this. I saw this infomercial from SMC (Specialty Merchandise Coporation), and it seemed very interesting to me. I've gotten lots of junk emails about home businesses, and I always threw them away. When I saw this one, it really seemed legit and seemed simple enough to do. Here's the website:http://www.smcorp.com/Basically, I wanted to ask you guys what you think of it and what your opinions are on whether or not I should give it a shot. If I were to go for this, is would me 90% website-based, with maybe a flea market shop type of thing or maybe even one of those mall mini-shops (actually I just thought of that... if I could rent one from the local mall, order lots of products if I had enough money coming in, and sell them at the mall)I know this is really strange and unusual for a post like this, but I really would like some serious advice and thoughts on this before I dive into this. In case you might like some info about me to get an idea of who I am... I'm a 20 year old single male living in Fresno, Ca. with no job. I am deaf so its not so easy for me to do most of the things that other people can do. Such as, if I were to get into this, I would really want to have a phone number available to contact me but I cant hear... so I might have to ask someone to take calls for me or something, I dont know. I am very friendly, very generous, and always willing to give up my time to help a person out, so the service part would be taken care of. The realy question is whether or not I could really make a decent profit out of this. Thanks in advance for anyone who takes the time to reply.

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Hi ToddI had a quick look at the website of SMC and whilst they may well be genuine, take great care with this kind of organisation. They only show you a small subset of the products you`d be trying to sell and they are pretty cheap. The prices you (as the retailer) would be paying for them means they can`t be of quality.Generally, it seems with a lot of companies like this one that they try and get individuals to sell their products because they know that they are hard to sell. 100 individuals each selling one item is good for the wholesaler but a dead loss for each of the individuals, who will have spent more on phone bills than they make in profit..If there is any kind of Membership Fee then walk away. Anything that has you carrying risk (i.e. investing in a "fee") is dubious.How many emails do you get each week offering the "perfect way to work from home" - it's a favourite line to attract interest.Sorry to sound negative, but there are lots of cases of people feeling very hard-done-by when trying out these kind of marketing opportunities.In terms of trying to analyse whether its worth doing, I would do the following:1) Look for any feedback on the the company - on the web.2) Look for some sites offering the SMCorp Ecommerce option (if there are any).3) have a think about the products - would you or anyone you know actually buy them?4) look for some satisfied sellers/customers.Lastly, I notice you have the option to become a "Sub-wholesaler". That sounds a lot like pyramid selling, which if not illegal already, really should be. Take great care, but if there is absolutely no outlay for you up front, maybe you could give it a go.Regards - and let me know your thoughts..Rottenlungs

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I did some more research... they have HUGE fees... some examples are a $25 sign up fee, $350-$400 membership fee, $800 website/domain fee, and several hundred in other fee's. AND, the satisfaction rate was very low. They are definitely not worth the risk! Thanks for your input though.

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No problem, ToddI nearly got talked into a job selling vacuum cleaners door-door back when I was 19 and unmployed - the trouble was you had to buy your stock up front for 1000 pounds per unit ($1400). I soon walked away from that place. Most places promising to get rich quick are pretty dodgy.Good luck on the job hunt - you must know a bit about computers to end up on an FS specific forum - maybe you can find some work in the IT vein instead.RegardsRottenlungs

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I tried SMC back in the mid 70's for flea market stuff. Then a firend tried them 6-7 years ago. #1 They do exactly as they advertise.#2 Which means: You'll go broke buying catalogs and other materials, of products which are worth what you are charged, but not what people will buy for. Lesson: Any outfit will sell you wholesale with a minimum order (often only $50) and in some cases an inexpensive "tax form" from your State. (look under "wholesale" in Google)

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Hi ToddInteresting to see another person here with a disabled hearing. While I'm "only" suffering from an impaired hearing (natural), I too have a lot of difficulties - especially when it comes to speech :-roll

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I have propblems with speech sometimes... especially when I dont wear my hearing aids. I tend to stumble sometimes when I don't wear them... but mostly its just not being able to understand words, even though I can hear them.

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I would really want to have a phone number available to contact me but I cant hear... so I might have to ask someone to take calls for me or something, I dont know.I'm not hearing impaired, and am pretty ignorant about the topic, but I do know that in the US there's something called TTY or TDD. I've never made calls like that, but I have received them, and basically it's like working thru an interpreter over the phone. On the other end, I'm pretty sure everything I say comes out as text on a little display box. It might be worth checking out, if you didn't know about it already (sorry if you did), and it might even be free, or a tax writeoff, or something...

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Todd:My girlfriend has built a successful drop shipping business using E-Bay and associated sites that facilitate the financial transactions. It's not necessarilly easy and there are a lot of people doing it, but she has built a business that is paying her bills while she develops products of her own to sell. And any money you spend you are investing in yourself, not someone else. Drop shipping means that the manufacturer ships the product for you - you act as a middleman in the transaction. There are lists of drop shippers out there. If you decide to go this way and would like advice on legitimate lists, shoot me what you are considering and I will run it by my girlfriend. You can do some research simply by paging through E-Bay and looking at all the new products for sale (vs. used) as well as sites like Anedale and Paypal. I would recommend finding something you really enjoy and know about if you want to do something like this. The benefits are that little up front capital is required, everything you need to create a commercial website is available on line, either for free (basic) or for fee and you can work from home. It's fascinating in many ways because E-Bay is a wonderful micocosm of the market place. Someone sees someone making money, and they rush in with a similar product to try to hone in on the profits - just like big business. So if you enjoy looking for creative ways to communicate with people, compete against them and sell things you know and enjoy, it can be quite rewarding and entertaining while paying you some money as well. The downside is you have to look like a legitimate business to many companies that drop ship (some take a dim view of E-Bay - others are quite happy to get the sale, period) which will take work (business liscenses, blurbs about your company etc.),you may need to create a website and associated store, you have to work with the general public though by e-mail, not phone, and the competition is pretty stiff.But if you apply just a few direct marketing strategies, and look at auctions as the way to build a mailing list of people interested in what you are selling that you then approach off and on with other products, it can work. Just a thought...Colincwr737@comcast.net

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Mutt Here, SMC is a good company, I belonged to SMC about 20 years ago. at that time it was 200.00 to join them. After you bought 500.00in merchandise, you could get that 200.00 back in either cash or merchandise. I don't know how much it is today, or if they work the same way or not. SMC stands for Specalty Merchandise Corp. They have the financual backing to do import export of products that most folks don't have. After joining SMC, you have the option of buying whosale and selling retail, selling sub wholesale, buying their products in quanity and selling to retailers at a slightly higer markup. you make your money in volume that way, hard to get going. Rack merchandising.which is buying your products and some racks. going to retail stores and placing the racks to sell you products and giving them a percentage of your take. Mailorder, placing and handing out catalogs,taking orders and the company will drop ship the order for you to thecustomer. dropshiping works in wholesaling also. They will send books on how to do all this. You can also buy and sell at flea markets. SMCwas my education into wholesaling and retailing. I am a disabled Viet nam vet. I spent most of my life working flea markets across the US. because I wasn't stable I never kept up with smc. but what I learned from them kept me going till the VA gave me disability 10 years ago.hope this helps. But remember, it is like investing in any business,and will take a bit of money to get started. There are a lot of companies though that don't charge fees to buy wholesale. they are hard to find though. it's hard to get the buying power that K-mart or walmart has. Selling retail is hard, starting a store, overhead andif needed paying employees can cost thousands per month. Working flea markets is good. but you have to get good quality merchandise at bargen prices. then your space rent come out. a bad day can cost youMerchandise with no proffit. I lost 5000.00 in mail order in 30 days. so unless you have a few hundred thousand to spend, I'd stay away from mail order. there are many liquidation outfits on the net where you can buy close outs and job lots. but marketing them is tough.I sold costume jewelry for 5 years, some days were 200.00 to 300,00but those days were spread far apart. I developed a theroy, if you invest 5,000 int a business, expect to work hard 1 to 5 years before you can pay yourself back 5000,00 with a proffit. Most ads are get rich quick. never happen unless you win the lottory, starting with SMC ore any other business will cost between 5000,00 to 50,000 to get started. and don't expect a return for at least 1 to 5 years. I hope my experience will help you decide. SMC is a wholesale co. they are pretty good. but it will cost money. Mutt

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