SEND OUT CARDS
Send Out Cards LLC
1825 West Research Way
Salt Lake City
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Extract from Sales Copy:
Since CEO Kody Bateman founded the company in 2003, SendOutCards has been
changing peoples lives one card at a time. We are an online greeting card
and gift company with over 43 million cards sent, making us the largest first-class
mailing company in the U.S. and one of the fastest growing network marketing companies
in the world. The prompting to reach out and touch someones life is something
every person experiences. SendOutCards is enabling people to act on these promptings
by providing a online service which helps you send personalized, printed greeting
cards and gifts as a way to make a difference in the lives of others.
Our two-fold mission is to help millions of people act on their promptings and
provide a vehicle for financial freedom.
What We Do
Our unique online greeting card system enables people to act quickly on their
promptings and we find joy in providing a tool that has proven to change countless
lives time and time again. In less than 60 seconds, you can choose your custom
card, add a personal photo, write your heartfelt, inspirational, or cheerful message
and click send. We print, stuff, stamp and mail your personalized greeting cards
to any postal address anywhere in the world, all for less than the average price
of a greeting card at the store. Our gift selection is icing on the cake to this
great service and allows you to go the extra mile to bring about another smile.
You can also make money with SendOutCards and build your way to financial
freedom. By becoming a SendOutCards Independent Distributor, you can start your
own business and make money every time people you bring into the company send
greeting cards or gifts with the SendOutCards system. With over 60,000 independent
distributors, SendOutCards wants to make it financially possible for people to
act on lifes biggest promptings as they come.
The Send Out Cards opportunity is a welcome change from the usual network marketing
companies selling nutritional supplements and beauty products.
Send Out Cards are very successful at what they do. Started by Kody Bateman
in 2003, the turnover of Send Out Cards is now over $60 million a year, with over
100 employees at their headquarters in Utah in the USA.
Send Out Cards operates a print-on-demand system, whereby customers can order
cards online and Send Out Cards will print them and send them out by post in accordance
with the customer's instructions.
Send Out Cards' prices are competitive with high street outlets, and for customers
there is the attraction of the convenience of being able to search for a card
online instead of having to go out shopping for one.
There's a similar operation to Send Out Cards in the UK called Moonpig, although
Send Out Cards is bigger since they have over 12,000 card designs, compared to
Moonpig's figure of "over 7,000".
Where Send Out Cards is very different to Moonpig is that Send Out Cards makes
its sales via a multi-level marketing opportunity. This means that
people can join Send Out Cards as a distributor and they can earn commission on
the cards they sell, and they can also earn commission on the card sales of other
people they recruit into the business as part of their own team.
But, with most cards only costing a few pounds or a few dollars
and with most people only buying about a dozen cards a year apart from Christmas,
how many customers would you need to have to earn a reasonable retail income with
the Send Out Cards opportunity?
And how easy is it to move up through the ranks of Send Out
Cards by building a team of recruits under you?
Send Out Cards seems to agree that the way to make money with their opportunity
is to recruit a team of people under you, rather than simply making sales. In
the Send Out Cards corporate video, in answer to his own question "How
can I make some money?", the presenter says: "Create a team".
The marketing plan for Send Out Cards is for distributors to approach their "warm
market" for sales i.e. friends, family and colleagues, to invite them to
try the products. In addition to making retail sales in this way, it's also the
best route to recruitment, because happy customers may well be interested in joining
If you think that you could ignore this advice and build up a team via the
Internet, then this would be difficult. Key the search terms 'Send Out Cards'
into your browser and you will see that there are already hundreds of distributor's
So, could you succeed with building up a team with Send Out Cards?
There is a certain type of person - let us call them "natural born team
leaders" - who could succeed at network marketing with just about any company
with a good product or service. These people - energetic, outgoing, and with a
certain confidence and charisma - spend much of their time meeting people and
giving presentations. They have the knack of attracting people to follow them
and, as a result, they are able to build a strong team.
Most of us, however, are not natural born team leaders. To succeed in building
an MLM team, we would require a product or service which - through our own personal
use - we had found to be not just good but exceptional. That way, it would be
second nature for us to recommend it to family, friends and neighbours as something
we had discovered which was really special.
Whilst you will not make much money from retailing the products to family and
friends, the important point is that you are sowing a warm seed bed of future
recruits into the business. Even if you think that you are no good at selling
or team-building, you would find that it was a natural progression to talk to
your happy retail customers about joining the business.
So, if you are interested in joining Send Out Cards and you don't consider
yourself to be a natural team leader, then what you need to do is buy a few of
their cards to see what you think of them. You should not, at this stage, allow
yourself to be pressurised into joining the Send Out Cards opportunity.
Do you find that the cards are so nice and of such good value and the service
is so convenient that you want to recommend them to your crusty aunt and your
sceptical neighbours? Is so, then you will have the basis for building a good
business with Send Out Cards. If not, then you should not proceed unless you are
a natural born team leader.
However, according to Send Out Cards' own figures for 2010,
very few people have managed to rise above the rank of distributor. The 2010 figures
show that 95.29% of total Send Out Cards distributors were in the bottom distributor
grade, with average gross earnings of $335.10 (around £210) for the year.
2.58% people rose to the next rank of Manager, with average gross earnings of
$914.49 (around £575) for the year. 1.96% rose to the next grade up, Senior
Manager, with average gross earnings of $5,058.50 (around £3,181) for the
year. So none of these people have achieved the promise of "earning a
living" which Send Out Cards makes in its corporate video.
Send Out Cards' own figures for 2010 show that only 0.17% of
distributors (that's less than 2 people per thousand) "earned a living"
with Send Out Cards in 2010.
The 0.14% at the rank of Executive had average gross earnings
of $33,552.26 (around £21,100) for the year. 0.01% (that's 1 person in 10,000)
was in the Senior Executive rank with average gross earnings of $111,912.45 (around
£70,385) for the year, and less than 0.01% were in the top Eagle rank, with
average gross earnings of $546,701.41 (around £343,837) for the year.
Send Out Cards started its multi-level marketing opportunity
in 2003, so it's worrying that, eight years later, most people have stayed on
the bottom rung.
I wrote to Send Out Cards with the following questions::
- The presenter on the Send Out Cards opportunity video says "What if
you could make a living through giving? What if you could reach out in kindness
every day to others and be able to make a living doing so? And what if that living
could provide you with a lifestyle of financial freedom for you and your family?"
However, according to the Income Disclosure Chart linked from the Opportunity
page of the Send Out Cards website, very few people joining Send Out Cards succeed
in doing this. T figures for 2010 show that only 0.17% of the people who joined
Send Out Cards had gross earnings of more than $5,085.50 (that's about £3,181)
in 2010, and 95.29% of recruits were Distributors with average gross earnings
for the year of only $335.10 (around £210).
Why do you think that this is?
And why do you raise people's hopes that they can earn a living with Send Out
Cards when hardly any of them do?
- With the more recent addition of gifts to the range of products sold by Send
Out Cards, do you think that this position will improve in future due to higher
commission from higher value sales?
- On the FAQ page of the Send Out Cards website, in answer to the question "In
what countries, other than the U.S., can you join as a distributor for SendOutCards?"
you give the answer: "Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Ireland, Canada
and the United Kingdom (England, Scotland Wales, Northern Ireland)".
However, when I went part way through the online procedure on your website to
join Send Out Cards, the selection of countries you could join from in the drop
down box on the join up form seemed to include most countries in the world, from
Afghanistan and Albania to Zambia and Zimbabwe.
- On the Ways To Get Started page on the Send Out Cards website, the charge
of $59 for an Entrepreneur Kit, which people need to purchase if they want to
join your multi-level scheme, is shown as a sub-choice of the first option which
is to buy a "Wholesale Premium Package!" for $398.
This gives the impression that you have to buy both the Wholesale Premium Package
and the Entrepreneur Kit, a total cost of $457 (that's about £287) to join
Send Out Cards. Is this right?
If that's not correct and if instead people who want to join Send Out Cards only
need to buy the Entrepreneur Kit for $59, then why isn't this shown as a separate
- As regards the UK, which is one of the few countries in which your website
says that Send Out Cards is "officially open", your lawyers presumably
advised you that the UK has its own laws governing multi-level marketing schemes.
These laws were introduced because some consumers were getting carried away with
dreams of how much money they could earn if they joined a scheme and they later
regretted the money they had spent on joining it. So the regulations impose the
requirement for the scheme to carry the following statutory warning:
"It is illegal for a promoter or participant in a trading scheme to persuade
anyone to make a payment by promising benefits from getting other people to join
a trading scheme. Do not be misled by claims that high earnings can be easily
For UK residents, I could not see this statutory warning on the Send Out Cards
website, and neither could I see any evidence of compliance with other consumer
protection requirements of the Trading Scheme Regulations, such as the 14-day
cooling off period and the fact that it is illegal for a company to charge recruits
more than £200 in the first seven days after they join the company.
Have I perhaps missed seeing a separate part of the Send Out Cards website for
joiners from the UK?
This is a rather important matter, because non-compliance with these regulations
is a criminal offence in the UK.
I look forward to your reply about this, and please let me have a copy of the
UK Distributors Agreement for Send Out Cards.
We didn't receive any reply from Send Out Cards.
Because Send Out Cards appears to be illegal in the UK, we have
to rate it at zero for the UK. However, for the US, we're rating it at two out
Rating for Send Out Cards in the UK:
Rating for Send Out Cards in the US:
BOW Notice: A critical review which raises hard-hitting questions means that
in our opinion the business model or the investment model has flaws and/or we
have found inadequate evidence to back up claims about earnings, sales, profits
etc. It doesn't mean this evidence does not exist and it doesn't mean that the
promoters are unprofessional or dishonest. Questions arising are normally contained
within the body of the review, and readers who are interested should contact the
company with these questions and/or questions of their own.
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