You know that moment when every MLM ever made is shouting about how you can make money at your own pace (total lies) and then one comes along that’s legit, but it fades into the hubbub of dishonesty?
That’s kind of how Creative Memories feels. But they have done a lot of things right along the way.
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This video explains:
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All good? Let’s continue…
Why honest? You pay a small fee every year, and apparently that’s the only compulsory payment you make. No rolling quotas, no minimum orders, no sponsor amounts you have to meet each month.
You’re also selling something other than rainbow pills filled with the hopes and dreams of broken scientists who fell into the MLM void. Scrapbooking materials aren’t 100% unique to Creative Memories as far as MLMs go, but it’s not darn bad so long as you market to the right audience.
In some ways, having a super niche audience for MLM products is a bonus. You’re not shooting in the dark if you know your prospective buyers are all middle aged women looking to immortalise their family memories in a handmade-y sort of way so they can show all their friends their effort superiority.
“You bought your photo album from the store? Ha! Peasant.”
But then you’ve got to hope everyone within your selling radius is that kind of a girl. If it’s just one of your grandmothers who only needs a peacock blue card top-up every few months, you’re going to have trouble shifting the merchandise and making any kind of money.
Exposition time. Creative Memories was founded in 1987 by housewife Rhonda Anderson and businesswoman Cherly Lightle, kickstarted by their shock at seeing fellow housewives shove their printed photos into drawers to collect dust and rot.
The company now works in over eight countries, such as Canada, Australia and Taiwan, and has a workforce of over 40,000 distributors, or “advisors” as the Creative Memory types call them. They’re part of the Better Business Bureau and the Direct Selling Association.
Whether you’re an old-school photo developer or a resurgent Polaroid pumper, there’s arts n’ crafts going for you at this brand. You’ve probably got a creative younger relative who gets artsy stuff every year for birthdays and Christmas’s and has a box of crinkly scissors, ink for stamps and coloured card. If you buy prolifically from Creative Memories, you’re going to have a basket like that too.
The photo albums are acid free and ensure pictures are fade-resistant, and all products come with lifetime guarantees, with assurance they’ll replace dodgy merchandise.
Their most expensive products are “bundles” – batches of products catered around a theme. Their Baby Boy bundle, for instance, retails at $75.50 and contains a 12×12 bookcloth album with dinosaurs and characteristic blue tones with 16 pages and embellishments. Seems crazily priced for a scrapbook, but people will buy pretty much anything when it comes to kids.
Your sign up fee is $49.00, to then be paid annually, which is hardly a dent in most MLM starting payments. You can get $25.00 account credit with early annual renewal, and your fee covers production and maintenance of sales tools. As previously mentioned, there’s no other mandatory payment with Celebrating Home.
You get a personal account and link to then share with customers over email, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or whatever social media channel you like to use. You also get a $10.00 signup account credit to use within 30 days of joining for your first order.
Creative Memories makes a pretty big deal about transparency and goodwill for their distributors. You can access a full Word document about compensation policies off the general site without having to buy anything, which is pretty awesome. (1)
A skim read of the document also doesn’t drag up any ugly, hidden stipulations, like a non-compete or inability to leave, ever.
Income can be earned through retail profits, group commissions, and account credits. Account credits are awarded on a basis of $100.00 for each $2000.00 retail sales through your account per calendar month, and $100.00 account credit for each $2000.00 in group sales per calendar month.
Your retail profit rate and group commission rate are based on your personal volume. Simply signing up others won’t get you any commission – your downline have got to sell stuff too before any dollars make their way to you.
That all seems pretty legitimate, and with no heavy weighting on either retail sales or downline acquisition. If anything, you’re more likely to get profit on retail because downline commission can’t be passive. Your sponsored distributors need training and motivation or you get nothing.
You can earn on selling products and recruiting – but there’s no promises of becoming a passive millionaire. Nor will you become one with a maximum commission rate of 8%. This is pocket money, not yacht money.
The age of the brand is a good sign that they’re pretty rock-solid. The niche, once learned and targeted, could be lucrative (or just break even territory) and they seem pretty set on not forcing their advisors to sell their souls and wallets to keep business ticking over.
Sure, there’s emphasis on training your downline and a kick up the backside to make sure they actually sell, but that eliminates the slimy few who never sell anything, recruit a bunch of people and then sit on their hands and do nothing.
Creative Memories is far from the sleaziest MLM out there. It’s wholesome in its own way which puts them on an almost heavenly level in comparison to the seething mass of pretend money and vicious recruitment drives that normally make up an MLM. It’s nice to see that a professional space like this can exist without requiring you to stab your co-workers in the back and make sure they earn, but don’t get too good.
Still, selling bits of coloured paper for crazy prices isn’t exactly a long term financial game. It’s not really a financial game at all. There’s a better way of earning income online, and this isn’t it.
Not a Creative Memories hater, by any means. But when it comes to passive income streams, there are better opportunities.
In other words, you might like our training because it teaches the “good life” without selling products to your family and friends.