• Report: #250712
Complaint Review:

SMC - Specialty Merchandise Corporation

  • Submitted: Sun, May 27, 2007
  • Updated: Thu, June 07, 2007

  • Reported By:Beersheba Sprgs Tennessee
SMC - Specialty Merchandise Corporation
996 Flower Glen St Nationwide U.S.A.

SMC Aka Specialty Merchandise Corporation SMC - Specialty Merchandise Corporation Scam Simi Valley California

*Consumer Suggestion: SMC works........but not for everyone!

*Author of original report: More Information Than The Company Provided

*Consumer Suggestion: I am a new member of SMC

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SMC aka Specialty Merchandise Corporation states on their membership application that you will be charged $99.95 (Plan 1, one time fee) or $124.95 (Plan 2, $24.95 up front and $25 for the next four months) for a one-year trial membership. It states that you will be entitled to full privileges during your one-year membership. However, they don't tell you what full privileges are.

SMC called me on the phone and I signed up and they promised me my own website for $479.40 a year.

In their literature they state you can have your own website. However, if you want your own website, they charge $479.40. If that isn't bad enough, when you talk to your "personal Business Coach" you are told you have to sell five $20 gift cards in order to get your own website. I thought that was what the $479.40 per year was for. It ends up costing you $39.95 per month for a year. What do you end up getting for your $479.40 - a catalog. Pretty expensive catalog, don't you think.

I have now been turned over to OSI Collection Services, PO Box 983, Brookfield IL 53008-0983. The first statement said I owed SMC $359.55. I wrote a note and told them this was a very expensive catalog. I offered to send the catalog back. Now SMC is willing to settle for $287.64. Guess I'll send in a copy of the application I was sent and write them a letter about the website I was suppose to get.

I have paid SMC $119.85. That is more than the one year trial offer cost.

Beersheba Sprgs, Tennessee

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 05/27/2007 01:26 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/smc-specialty-merchandise-corporation/nationwide/smc-aka-specialty-merchandise-corporation-smc-specialty-merchandise-corporation-scam-sim-250712. 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 Consumer Suggestion

SMC works........but not for everyone!

AUTHOR: Steven - (U.S.A.)

I have actually had a run-in with SMC a little over a year ago and this report actually caught my attention. I noticed the commercial and at that particular time I was ready to invest in a buisness. I noticed in the commercial it advertised that you can get $100 worth of free merchandise to start you off and that if you are not satisfied you can get a full refund. I honestly thought this can work for me.
I called for general information and I really should have noticed something unusual when the sales person on the phone was more intrested in signing me up rather than answering any of my questions. By the 5th unasnwered question that resulted in a response from the saleman saying "Your buisness coach will provide that information"...........I hung up. All I wanted at the time was information on what kind of products they had. However even then my wife and I agreed that we were still going to do this.
I called back and unfortunantly got on the phone with the same guy---manage that. I asked about the $100 worth of free merchandise and he stated clearly that it comes with the gold package. I responded by asking if there was any purchase nessessary to get the $100 worth of free merchandise and he said no. I also let him know that we were intrested in Funraisers. We love to set up fun raisers and he explained that we will have a packet that will contain 50 merchandise plans of fundraisers.

We received our package less than a week later and realised that it was all a sales pitch. We received a coupon but.....we had to $500 worth of merchandise to get the free products. Barely even 10 fundraiser plans that included trying to get schools to sell very lame and over-priced picture frames. I did research on the products once I received the catalog and for us this couldn't work. We wanted to sell online and we found that there were of course hundreds of thousands of web-sites (that of course look exactly alike) that carry the same products. I'm not really in to selling dust collectors and if I purchased this stuff my best luck is to hold a competition to see who can have the best yardsale.

But seriously for others I think some people can make it work. But take it from us.........................never start a buisness relationship that starts with deception.
My wife and I did it the long way and the best way for that matter. Starting our own web-site with the start-up fees we paid $600. That also includes the special software design program we used to customize our own templates.
As far as merchandise goes if anyone thinks that they have to go through China or anywhere overseas just to get the right products is not really looking at the bigger picture. Manufacturers do require hefty orders.......however wholesalers do not. Minimum orders for some just start at $150 worth of pure competitive merchandise.

Through God, hard work, and tedious patience the end result was very good for us. We just realised that deception and chessy products that are bound for yardsales just don't cut it.
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#2 Author of original report

More Information Than The Company Provided

AUTHOR: Margie - (U.S.A.)

You have given me more information than the company provided when I signed up. My "personal Business Trainer" didn't tell me all the information you have provided.

Obviously your website isn't free if you pay $29.95 hosting fee. I still feel that they have false advertising when they tell you that it cost $99. I have a copy of the application in my possession.
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#3 Consumer Suggestion

I am a new member of SMC

AUTHOR: Al - (U.S.A.)

Below I have listed my costs as of date:

1. membership: $314.95 (paid in full) with $300 credit to use towards purchasing products. Renewal: 44.95/yr

Too me, this is a relatively small fee to pay. It is difficult and quite expensive to purchase direct from korea and other manufacturers around the globe. Not to forget, you would need to buy in bulk.

2. Website: Free with a 29.95/mo hosting fee. check out what it offered at smcecommerce.com/index.html

Let's face it, websites aren't cheap. With any website hosting company you are looking at spending from $1,200 to $3,500 or more just to develop the site, and pay hosting fees from $50-$250 or more a month in hosting fees. The bigger your website is, the more you are going to pay for hosting it. SMC, along with ecommerce, is offering websites at a minimal cost and no matter the size, you are still paying the same hosting fee of $29.95. Much of this information is located at the site listed above.

The same is true for additional tools for marketing. You are going to pay extra. Google adwords can cost you a fortune, and although it works (eventually), it is too expensive for just starting out in the business. There are affordable SEO & website optimization programs which you can purchase and utilize yourself to do your online marketing. A webhosting company will charge up to $500/yr or more to do this while you can purchase the software license yourself for a one time fee of roughly $249.95 and pay a license renewal of $99/yr to receive updates to the product. The difference is price and the fact that you will have to do all the work. You must way the difference. Do you want to take the time to do your own marketing, or let someoe else worry about it. At $500/yr that is a pretty good price when you think of all the hours you will have to put in to do your own marketing.

Another bonus, with regards to the website, is that you don't have to pay for domain registration. Most registrars charge anywhere from 14.95 to 34.99 per year for the registration and renewal of your domain name. With SMC/eCommerce this fee is waived as long as your membership is in good standing and your membership is paid up.

I haven't dealt with any gift cards as of yet but if this is the case, perhaps buying the gift cards yourself and offfering them to your customers would be a good marketing strategy.

3. Paypal can now be used with your eCommerce website. Some previous posts suggested using PayPal and it looks like SMC worked it in. This shows me that SMC is working towards improving its members options. In addition, previous posts complained about shipping costs. From my research, the websites now offer taxing and shipping software/tools in order to pass this cost to customers shopping our sites. However,this may cost extra to implement. I will check on a few of the major carriers to see if i can pickup the software to implement into the website.

4. Marketing: Search engine rankings will make all the difference when it comes to being successful online. Google "SEO" and begin your quest into the world of website optimization and marketing. Good Luck!

In conclusion, $44.95/yr along with hosting fees of approxmately $359.40/yr is a small price to run your own business. You'd pay 10 to 50 times that amount each month if you had to lease a building and pay other related expenses.

I'm an experienced website manager and manage several sites for the law firm I
work for, AKA, my day job. And as a fun fact, we spend, on average, $650/mo in adwords campaigns alone and over $20,000/mo to run the company, not including salaries/wages. I find SMC to be a great chance for anyone who is ambitious enough to dive in. From experience, it may take up to two years in order to get the results you are looking for with search engines, however, if done correctly, you will be very satisfied. There's no such thing as a market being saturated. You just have to know what you are doing or hire someone who does.

Since start up costs are extremely low, i've decided to give SMC a try. I believe that I can do it.
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