• Report: #670088

Complaint Review: Starscapes

  • Submitted: Fri, December 10, 2010
  • Updated: Sat, December 11, 2010

  • Reported By: Stephen — Boulder Colorado United States of America
Starscapes
Mesa, Arizona United States of America

Starscapes Delievered $10 product for $5000 Mesa, Arizona

*General Comment: I partly agree, and partly disagree. Here's the deal...

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Starscapes charged several thousand dollars for something that was basically worth a few hundred dollars, at most.

Their instructions on how to do the starscapes were actually pretty good, but you can get instructional manuals for things that are equally complex from the bookstore for $20; you can get instructional videos for under $100. As far as their marketing and sales help, for you to start your own business - it's junk. If you took Junior Achievement as a high school student, you already know more than Starscapes teaches you, and if you didn't take JA, you could go to your local library, check out a couple of books on how to start your own business and how to market yourself and still come out ahead.

BTW, I did some more investigation after feeling cheated by Starscapes, and I found another site on the web for a company that sells something very similar. The company is Stars So Bright, their website is stars-so-bright.com, and they sell a planetarium kit as an educational product. They actually will give you all the how-to stuff and equipment that Starscapes does for about $100 instead of several thousand. I went ahead and bought it to do a compare and contrast, and while their video isn't as detailed or as glitzy as Starscapes - it's $100.

Their paint is better, too. The Starscapes paint is nowhere near as bright as theirs. They also send you some educational stuff like a star chart and software that you can give to your kids or charity if you don't want it. They do NOT provide you with any marketing blah blah.

But, like I said, if you are a half-way intelligent person, you can get all the marketing stuff from the library. The stuff that you can't get anywhere else, the instructions on how to create the starscapes or murals or planetariums or whatever you want to call them - you can either spend several thousand dollars or spend a little over $100. Even if you decide to go with Starscapes for the instructions, I'd still get my paint from stars-so-bright. It's better and it's actually cheaper for the high quality stuff than any other site I was able to find on the web.

Also - regarding the money back guarantee - Starscapes won't give your money back if you open his product. So, basically, you get to return it, sight unseen. If you open it and even look at it to figure out what the product is - you don't get your money back. Trust me, I tried.

Stars-so-bright, on the other hand, will give you your money back even if you use up all their paint as long as you do it within 30 days. So, all you are out of is the cost of shipping. Frankly, even if you don't successfully get a business started, the stars-so-bright kit, for $100, provides you with a good value because, like I said, you can give the educational stuff to your kids and at least get your own bedrooms painted. It really IS a cool effect, so just to do that it's worth the $100.

I just don't see any reason to get ripped off by Starscapes when there are other options out there. I mean, yeah, if Starscapes sold for $300 I might see buying it instead of stars-so-bright because the video is better, but it's just not $5000 better. And the stars-so-bright paint is definitely a better value.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 12/10/2010 07:46 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Starscapes/Mesa-Arizona-/Starscapes-Delievered-10-product-for-5000-Mesa-Arizona-670088. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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#1 General Comment

I partly agree, and partly disagree. Here's the deal...

AUTHOR: livingmydream - (USA)

As a competitor of Starscapes (my business name is not important because I am not here to advertise) I think that I can shed a perspective about this business, and starscapes that others may not have or see.

First, I must agree that their material is not the best, BUT, if a person were to follow what they do teach they can make money. Now, from what I have seen and observed, most of the people who buy into starscapes never really do anything with it. Is it starscapes fault? Well, maybe partially. They do leave a lot to the imagination in their instructions (I've been shown them by other unhappy "painters of dreams" of theirs. In fact, I have had probably 50 or 60 starscapes painters who have contacted me over the years in hopes that I would help them paint better murals. I asked them why they didn't call Joe... and they said that they had, but that his advice didn't help much. In the beginning (this is years ago) I would offer suggestions to these frustrated painters and they would get back to me with total excitement. They told me that what I had taught them had made all of the difference and they wondered why those suggestions weren't in the starscapes manual. I told them that I didn't know, but to please not share any of the suggestions with them. I mean, come on, they are a competitor.

The tools that Joe sends don't add up to a lot of money. But, what you are really paying for are his methods and techniques. Forget about the marketing crap that he teaches (though they do work), what you are paying for is the how-to of the murals.

Now, having said that, I should say that I have painted over many starscapes murals because they are so basic. But, I have also seen some that were actually pretty nice. BUt, they were done by painters who were actually painters (or muralists) before they got involved with Joe, so they had a clue about art. Most of Joe's customers are people who are looking for a magic business and I'm not sure they really understand that they need to work this like a real business because it is. Shoot, I've even trained a few people who just couldn't sell anything. I even tried talking them out of purchasing my instructions, but they just had to have them. Then, when they would complain that they couldn't get the murals to look good, I'd ask them how many "practice" murals they'd done? Most had never done more than one or two. To do a mural half way decently you need to paint at least 10 murals. Most people won't do that... and then they complain. 

Is Joe's product over priced? I would say yes, but, a person can make good money even if they pay the high price if they will just stick with it and improve on what they are taught. THey need to look at their murals and think about what they can do to improve on them. Listen to customers comments and make changes. But, let me also say this... I know of a company that is in different hands now but used to be a good company. They used to charge $25,000 to $30,000 for similar training to what Joe teaches. I say similar because it was the same type of star murals. The difference is that they would teach a person to paint a nice mural and they would train their people to market the product correctly. So, while Joe's product may be overpriced, I'd have to say that when this other company was with the original owner... the $30,000 was a good deal and a person would probably make their investment back quicker then a person who bought into starscapes. But, again I have to say that a person who listens to their customers and makes corrections can actually learn to paint nice murals if they stick with it.

As for making $1500 a day> Well, it really is possible and that is actually a little under my average size job, but (and this is very important to understand), it won't happen every day. My average size job is between $1800 and $2500. I do a lot of $300 and $400 murals, but I also do a lot of $3000 to $6000 murals too. But, I have also worked on two things that are very important. They are, first, creating the best, most realistic murals possible and two, creating a company that is respected in the marketplace. To do that you need to take care of customers and always be honest with them. I never sell on hype. I try to educate my customers and then at times I tell them that I don;t think my murals would be the best thing for them. So, you really can make good money, but don't count on it every day. I probably paint ore murals in this industry than anyone else, and I charge more too, but I also have a lot of days between jobs. Here's an example of what can happen in this business. I had two jobs set up yesterday and set out in the morning to paint two small $200 mini-murals. By midnight I had painted 5 of them, with one of them being slightly larger. One customer had her single-mother daughter living downstairs with her little girl. When the daughter saw what I'd done for her mom... she just had to have one for herself. So, I painted it. Then, she asked me if I could also do one for her daughter. Sure... and I painted it. Then, I went to my second customers house and painted. His customer was there when I finished and was about to show him his new mural. So, the neighbor came in to see too. Actually, the neighbor thought that this customer was crazy for having stars painted on his ceiling. Well, 10 minutes after showing the mural to them, I was at the neighbors house setting up to paint there too. So, all in all it was a good day. Again, they were all small $200 murals (except one which was $300) so not bad.

It was mentioned that what Joe teaches can be found on the Internet. Trust me, even as bad as Joe's stuff is... what it found on the Internet is not even close. And, I have seen the $100, $300 and $500 trainings. They are not even close. They are people who have seen what Joe is doing with his concept (that Joe really didn't invent but is a great marketer of it) and they thought that they could come up with some techniques that they would tell people are similar to Starscapes but, in reality, are not. I have to laugh when I see some of the marketing that is on the Internet. Joe is full of so much hype that he shoots himself in the foot when people find out that they have to work this business. And, there are others out there offering their "solution to starscapes" that are just as full of it. I have seen what they all offer and none of them, to be honest, have a clue as to how to paint a realistic star mural that will have people in awe when they see it. But, Joe does have a decent product and so does the other company that I mentioned (even though they are in new hands now and not running the business very well).

I don't know if this has helped anyone, but I wanted to answer some of the remarks made by the poster here. So, do your homework and due diligence and find the good companies out there. If you search hard enough... you may find my business and I will tell it like it is. I will be honest with you and tell you that this can be a difficult business to be in, but it can also be a very good one too. 

Here is some advice. Stay away from the $99 offers, the $200 offers and the other ones that promise that they can teach you the same thing that starscapes can. Overlook the cheap poster that starscapes sends... and just paint it. You will see that this can be a pretty cool product. Again, do your due diligence and find out all you can (who knows, you may even come across me) and then make an intelligent decision. 

Oh, and here's a clue for you guys. If you wait long enough.. Joe usually drops his price quite a bit from where he starts. Just stay on his mailing list. Don't go for the payment plan that he offers. Just get him to come down on his price and pay him cash. Or, find me and I will train you right the first time (for under $3000). Oh, stop screaming about me charging $3000! I have checks that prove that you can make good money in this business. And, I am really only charging a little more than my average job size anyway. So, it's a great deal. Just get some of these other guys to show you checks that they've made from painting. Ask for proof. After all, that should be part of your due diligence. 

Good luck. I hope this has helped and not confused anyone. Oh, and if I have a ton of misspelled words, sorry, I hate to proofread and besides, it's 3:30 AM and I need to get to sleep. :-)


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