Is Stampin’ Up a Scam? [Or Can You Earn Money with This Crafting MLM?]

Have you been looking into the opportunity with Stampin’ Up and wondering if it’s legit? Maybe you are even asking yourself, “Is Stampin’ Up a scam?” because you’ve run across someone who’s mentioned that it is.

Well, I’m going to help you answer that question in this post.

I’ll also tell you how much it costs to join, what the compensation plan is like, if there are any complaints against them and if it’s worth it to join.

Let’s dive right in!

What is Stampin’ Up?

Stampin' Up homepage.

Stampin’ Up is a multi-level marketing (MLM) company in Utah that was started in 1988 by sisters LaVonne Crosby and Shelli Gardner. Stampin’ Up sells a variety of products for crafting, including:

  • Decorative rubber stamps
  • Adhesives
  • Coloring tools such as blender pens and markers
  • Ink
  • Paper
  • Tools

Stampin' Up stamps.

Stampin’ Up currently has locations all over North America, Australia, Europe, New Zealand and Japan.

How Much Does it Cost to Join Stampin’ Up?

You’ll need to purchase a starter kit in order to become a distributor with Stampin’ Up. Starter kits are $99 and are customizeable. You’ll get:

  • $125 worth of products that you choose
  • Business supply pack
  • Web hosting for your personalized site for two months ($12.95 per month after)

Create your own Stampin' Up starter kit for $99

Also, keep in mind additional business expenses you may need to buy down the line such as:

  • Business cards
  • Brochures
  • Food / drinks for parties that you host
  • Gas for traveling to events and parties
  • Travel expenses for trainings and events

To sum it up, you will pay:

  • $99 for the starter kit
  • $12.95 per month (after the first 2 months) if you’d like your own personalized website
  • Additional expenses as your business grows

There are also sales requirements if you choose to build a team. You will need to have 300 CSV (commissionable sales volume) per 3 months to stay active and qualified for team commissions. (This qualification will move to 300 CSV every month as you move up in rank.) This can be from products that you sell, or by personal purchases that you make.

Where a lot of distributors get into trouble is that if they don’t hit their sales goal, they end up buying products themselves in order to stay active. This leaves them with a lot less money and too many products they can’t sell.

Stampin’ Up Compensation Plan

There are 8 ranks in the Stampin’ Up Compensation Plan. (Here’s the complete plan I found posted at Here are their names, plus what 12-month rolling CSV qualifications you need to hit each rank:

  1. Bronze – No qualifications
  2. Bronze Elite – 1800 CSV
  3. Silver – 3600 CSV + 1st level count of 1
  4. Silver Elite – 7200 CSV + 1st level count of 5 + 1 Silver leader
  5. Gold – 10,800 CSV + 1st level count of 10 + 1 Silver Elite leader
  6. Gold Elite – 14,400 CSV + 1st level count of 15 + 2 Silver Elite leaders
  7. Platinum – 18,000 CSV + 1st level count of 20 + 4 Silver Elite leaders
  8. Platinum Elite – 18,000 CSV + 1st level count of 30 + 6 Silver Elite leaders

The Team Commissions that you can earn range from (depending on your monthly CSV):

  • Level 1 = 3% – 6.5%
  • Level 2 = 0% – 5.5%
  • Level 3 – 0% – 5.5%

Stampin' Up Team Commissions

Instant Income + Volume Rebates can be earned based on the amount of CSV you bring in in a month. The amounts range from 20% – 38%

Instant Income and Volume Rebates

You can also earn bonuses at different levels, so check the compensation plan if you want to see more details on those.

Stampin’ Up Income Disclosure

Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be a Stampin’ Up income disclosure available online. That’s fine because I know from looking at income disclosures from other MLMs like Jeunesse, Color Street, and It Works! that they pretty much all paint the same picture.

98-99% of people make little to no money at all. In fact, this report posted on the FTC’s website shows that 99% of people in MLMs actually lose money.

Here’s a Stampin’ Up distributor who posted her income and expenses, and I think she gives us a really realistic view of what it’s like being a distributor:

If you watch the video, she starts with $3400 in income for the month, which is nothing to sneeze at. But with all her expenses, she ended up with a total of $1326.

Being an independent distributor requires a lot of work. A lot.

Is it worth it?

I’ll leave you with this Redditor’s comment:

Redditor's comment about Stampin' Up.

Positive Reviews and Complaints

Stampin’ Up has an A+ rating with the BBB:

Stampin' Up's A+ rating with the BBB

They just have one complaint there and that person had a customer service complaint, which is pretty typical to see for most businesses. Nobody’s perfect!

I didn’t really find any other Stampin’ Up complaints or positive reviews. I don’t think their customer base is the type to post YouTube videos or angry rants on Reddit.

Related Articles:

Is Stampin’ Up a Scam or a Pyramid Scheme?

Is Stampin’ Up a scam? No, it’s not a scam, and it’s also not a pyramid scheme since they do have a lot of focus on retail sales. Once recruiting people into the business becomes more of a focus than retail sales, that’s when we start getting into pyramid scheme territory. I don’t see that with Stampin’ Up.


  • Fairly inexpensive to get started
  • More focus on retail sales vs recruiting
  • They’ve been in business for a long time


  • Not the best way to earn an income
  • Lots of work with not much reward
  • Less expensive versions of the products can be found at Amazon and elsewhere, which makes it harder to sell
  • You don’t actually own your own business (if Stampin’ Up shut down, your income would be gone)
  • You are very likely to lose money

If you like Stampin’ Up because you like stamps and crafting, great. If you’re looking to create a significant income, then let me tell you about an alternative.

An Alternative to Stampin’ Up

I recommend affiliate marketing as an alternative to Stampin’ Up or any MLM. (Read my post MLM vs Affiliate Marketing to see all the ways in which affiliate marketing is a much better option when it comes to earning an income.)

With affiliate marketing, you create a website and create content around a topic that you enjoy. Then, you sign up for affiliate programs (these are free to join).

In your content you promote products that you recommend and when people purchase the product through your site, you earn a commission.

For instance, Amazon has an affiliate program. So you could sign up for their program and promote anything that’s on their site. They give you a special affiliate link that you use in your content.

Let me give you more details about how affiliate marketing works.

Here’s a woman who was in Stampin’ Up and decided to step down because she wanted to switch to affiliate marketing and promote different products and programs (which is against Stampin’ Up’s policies).



Is Stampin’ Up a scam? No. In fact, it’s probably the least intense MLM I’ve come across so far because the distributors in Stampin’ Up aren’t flooding people’s inboxes and messaging systems looking to gain quick riches by growing a team. Rather, they’re crafters who just like to craft and share that with others.

With that said, if you’re looking to earn an income, Stampin’ Up (or any MLM for that matter) is not the best way to do it. You’ll have a lot of work, a lot of expenses and not much to show for it – if any – at the end of the month.

If you’d like to earn an income on your own schedule, working from home, then I suggest looking into affiliate marketing instead. You can promote anything you like and earn commissions just by providing helpful information to others. This is the platform I most recommend to get step-by-step affiliate marketing training. You get 10 free lessons and no credit card required.

2 thoughts on “Is Stampin’ Up a Scam? [Or Can You Earn Money with This Crafting MLM?]”

  1. I really liked reading this. I was an SU demonstrator and found my expenses to hosts classes outweighed what I was selling. I do have one “fix” on your post. In order to stay an SU demo, you need to sell or buy $300 every 3 months. It’s only when you start moving up that it’s $300 a month to make commission off your downlines.

    • Thank you for the fix, I’ll make sure to update my post. I appreciate you coming by and sharing your experience with Stampin’ Up!


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