Tom Bosley - Specialty Merchandise Corporation (SMC)
Page last updated January 16, 2007
Images added January 16, 2007
All links verified January 16, 2007
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It's been a while from the time I first saw this infomercial and when I saw it and started paying attention to review it. As it was, it was a VERY welcome relief from seeing Don Lapre, the Health Man, ITC and Cable Shopping Network (State Quarters, Special Nickels) infomercials all the time! Hey! It was SOMETHING NEW!
I haven't watched this infomercial for some time. They have a chubby warehouse guy (I didn't get his name... Next time... Tom Bosley was the original host and makes a couple of appearances) who tells you all the advantages of joining SMC. A number of products are shown, and the SMC and suggestion retail prices are shown, explaining how you can basically charge three times the amount an item costs you, pocketing 2/3 of the paid price as profit.
The infomercial continually touts how you can get started for only $25.00. See The Product section, below, for "getting started" and being a "member" are two completely different things.
From the Original OFP Infomercial Info page
It sounds REALLY good, especially since they say you can get information for free, and actually start for (just) under $25. HOWEVER, from everything I've read in checking this out on the internet, that $25 is a "down payment" and actual costs to "start" are around $300 or more. THEN, if you are trying to find something to do from home on the internet, it doesn't work because of the market saturation and huge markups required to make any money. This besides the fact that they "design/develop" websites for you (for a cost), apparently at a number of "levels", depending on what you want to sell. Of course they have drop-shipping, so you don't HAVE to have inventory, but you have to understand the shipping costs.
It sounds like it might be a good deal (btw: they don't require exclusivity as others might), if you have the money and space for inventory, and you do flea-markets or have a spot for impulse sales. By the same token, many of the products I saw on the commercial appear to be the type you can get from Harriet Carter, Dr. Leonard, and other mail-order catalogs, though they may be a little higher quality.
Don't forget that they are the importers, therefore, they are the "middle man", and are making a profit, not only on your membership dues and marketing purchases, but on the products themselves.
The infomercial states (as do many of this type) that all you have to do is purchase their system and "the products sell themselves", implying you don't have to do a thing, but set it up. Sorry folks. Business doesn't work that way. (See My Father's Story.)
The product is actually a set of product catalogs and a couple of "how-to" guides. It sounds amazingly like Amway, in that regard, but it's not an MLM (you don't try to get people to join under you) as near as I can tell.
The problems I see with the infomercial are that they say you can join for only $24.95. What they DO NOT state in the infomercial is that the $24.95 is only the start. They will then bill your credit card for $39.95 a month for the next 11 months (total $464.40), and THEN you must renew your membership each year for $44.95. This is no where near as inexpensive as it sounds.
NOTE, The level advertised in the infomercial is what they call the "Silver" level. The Gold Level (available only on the internet, apparently) will cost $299.95, for which you will ALSO receive a coupon for $100 in FREE SMC merchandise. Again, yearly membership renewal is $44.95.
Shipping and handling (either level) costs an additional $15 and is always "rush shipping", to arrive 4-6 days after you place your order.
The membership package includes:
- SMC’s "powerful" Business Start-Up Kit
- big, beautiful catalogs; and
- over 10 Marketing Programs, including Internet, Mail Order, Home Parties, Flea Markets, Fund-Raising and more
- Complete, easy-to-read "Money-Making Programs" manual
- Comprehensive "Money-Making Programs" DVD
- Special savings on a merchant account so you can accept credit cards from your customers
- Full access to thousands of fast-selling products at BELOW WHOLESALE PRICES!
- SMC’s 600,000 sq. ft, 28-acre warehouse - They store and ship for you - you carry no inventory! [That is, if you don't wish not to.] From there they do fast, automated shipping of your orders within 1-2 business days.
- A FREE professional Business Coach for your first 60 days, to put you on the fast-track to success. [Implying after 60 days, it will cost you to use the coach!]
- Unlimited Business Advisory service throughout your membership [Since the coach is free for 60 days, "unlimited" here must mean e- and snail-mail newsletters, etc.
- And more!
There is a 30-day money-back guarantee. If you cancel and return your kit within that time (they say), you are ELIGIBLE for a full refund, minus shipping & handling. After 30 days, even if you return your kit, you are responsible for any remaining membership fees until they are paid in full.
The latter is what appears to "catch" most people. Even with rush shipping, there's no guarantee that you will receive the kit in the first 30 days. Even if you do, with so many people being procrastinators, they put off sending the material back until it won't make it by the 30-day deadline, making you responsible for the rest of the membership fees. It also appears that if you do send it back after that 30 days, you WILL NOT receive it back.
So, if you join, and have missed the deadline, keep the kit, order from the catalogs for your own home or for gifts, TRY to sell items as described, and save the membership money that way. (Sounds harsh, but if you sign a contract that you will perform according to the rules and the rules state deadlines, what can you really do?)
Following are links to what appear to be "main" sites for the product.
- Start With SMC!
- SMC - Appears that most links on this site go to the above site.
- www.smcandyou.com (Google "site: shows only a Join Page. Apparently, aliased to the Start With SMC page.)
- www.smc4me.com/ (A single-page site to sign up to request information)
- www.thesmcway.com/ (Google "site:" shows NO pages. Apparently aliased to www.smc4me.com.
- and MANY others
It appears SMC bought up a bunch of websites with "SMC" in them, created a couple of sites (full site, different home pages, and sign-up for free info), then made all other domain names use those pages. This is "domain aliasing" as I understand it.
Following are a few more SMC websites:
- SMC eCommerce Websites Endorsed by SMC Specialty Merchandise Corporation
eMerchantClub - Websites That Mean Business
- SMC eCommerce Websites Endorsed by SMC Specialty Merchandise Corporation (different internet address than that above... I didn't check if either was an alias)
This section lists the sites where I found "negative" comments about the people and company, and/or the product. Some of the terms "sham", "scam", "scams", "flim-flam", "complain", "complaints", "rip", "rip-off", "fraud", "warning", similar words, and maybe just "review" were used in searching for negative comments.
WARNING: Be aware that some of the following sites may be attempting to sell their own or lead you into buying another product. If you consider their (or others') offers, at least do as much research on them as you would in looking for a new house, car or doctor before buying anything. Also, be sure to read and understand any company's Privacy Policies and Terms/Conditions, too. A "$$" indicates these sites.
- OnlyReviews.com - Review Of Specialty Merchandise Corporation ($$)
Rip-off Report.com - badbusinessbureau.com - SMC (142
Entries for "smc" - NOTE: I did not review all of them. Not
all of them may be for THIS smc.)
- Some samples, giving a lot of info on SMC:
Rip-off Report.com - badbusinessbureau.com - specialty
merchandise corporation (69 entries for "specialty
merchandise corporation" - NOTE: Some of these will be
duplicates of those for "smc", if the reporter used both
- AuctionHintsForum - Specialty Merchandise Corporation (discussion)
- MyMommyBiz Message Boards -Have you heard of SMC Drop Shipping? (discussion)
- Scam.com - Is SMC a scam? (thread)
- Scam.com - Anyone Have Info About SMC? (thread)
- ProgramCritique.com - A Critical Review of SMC from the Business Opportunities List ($$)
- Mazu Publishing - SMC ($$)
- Better Internet Bureau - Public Forum: SMC (Specialty Merchandise Corporation)
- ProgramReview.com - Review Of Specialty Merchandise Corporation ($$)
- Business Startups - A look at Specialty Merchandise Corporation (SMC) ($$)
- Press Release - June 29, 2005 - SMC WINS $5.5 MILLION AGAINST SELLSMC.COM [Note: This is a WORD document]
- None found
by Bill Sanders © 2007 - email:
Be sure to see my related pages:
- Shams/Infomercial Info Division Home
- Shams/Infomercial Info - Business Opportunities
- Shams/Infomercial Info - Specialty Merchandise Corporation (SMC) Responses