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1  SEWING IN GENERAL / Machine Embroidery: Discussion and Questions / Suggest me an embroidery machine. on: August 16, 2007 10:28:33 AM
I looked through a few topics on this already to try and get a feel for recomendations, however most people seem to ask for advice on machines that are less expensive, which isn't really an issue for me.  Sorry in advance if you've seen my topic 3498304 times Smiley

I already have a regular sewing machine, but now I would like to get one that embroiders (I know I spell that wrong every time).

I want to be able to sew thicker fabrics like canvas and vinyl, but probably wont be going thicker than that.  I would like one with its own card and the capability to do designs that I have designed.

While Im not going to go cheap on this, I would like to find a machine for under a grand, to give you an idea of what Im looking for.
2  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Crafty Business Discussion / Re: Do Not Use VISTA PRINT on: May 03, 2007 07:59:04 AM
*sigh*

I wasn't going to weigh in, but in the interests of full disclosure of information and to help clear it up, I figured I would jump in.

The charges *are* authorized. Anytime you provide your checkcard to a merchant and they engage in "affiliate sharing", it is an authorized charge. You do not have to do business with any merchant, but once you do, THEY hold the right to determine how that business is done, as long as they publish it in their Terms and Conditions. Bottom line. That's how credit and checkcards work. I know. I work for electronic claims for a bank. You have the option to not take the survey at the end. If you choose to take it, you must assume, doing business online, that they have a reason for offering this discount. It is money. Most business online make more money from cross promotion than they do from their own products and services. I hate that they do business this way, and people have the right to speak with their wallets. Almost every major business, brick and mortar or ebusiness, has been reported to Ripoff.com. Just because it makes someone angry does not mean that it is illegal. I know I probably sound a bit militant, but I have to try to (very politely) tell this to people every day of life. The issue of them calling their customers' customers is appalling, as is a refusal to honour the opt out. Both are in violation of federal laws that govern telemarketing and THAT should be reported. The rest is sneaky, but not illegal, and technically, not even really unethical.

Lest I be pinged for going off topic, I wanted to offer some insight on this topic and ask folks to remember that this issue is not one of quality, but of business practice, and that really only if you don't know what to look for and read the fine print. I have never used their services; the name Vista Print makes me want to chew glass because of my job. But I *would* recommend sticking to the quality of work and service, and simply offer a warning for folks to be aware of their responsibility to read the fine print, business-wise.

This is by far the best reply I've gotten so far.  As I said before, I know I was being hostile a little and I was upset when I posted this topic.  I should have waited a little bit before posting it.  I made sure to say that I liked the business cards - there was never any problems with those.  It's like going to a drive thru and getting treated badly by the people who serve you.  Yea.. the food is fine, but the business practices aren't.  Sorry if I came across like Im trying to trash talk - Im really trying to not.  It's hard when you have had a bad experience.

I still swear that I did not take that survey.  In my line of work I sign up people for business cards, domains, etc all the time and there are often tons of 'sneaks' in there so Im used to seeing and avoiding them.  While I do admit there might be a 1% chance that I did, I really dont think I did considering you have to put your email in there and I know all that does is get you spam which I hate.  But anyways, this will be my last time posting about this.  I dont need to beat a dead horse.
3  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Crafty Business Discussion / Re: Do Not Use VISTA PRINT on: April 30, 2007 07:29:30 PM
I know lots of people who have used Vistaprint with no problems.

Maybe the extra charges and phone calls are coming from some other company.  You should check it out.

No, it was them, as I called them, it came up as VPRewards - Vista Print Rewards - which IS a program that they have.  I spoke with them today about it.  Supposedly I am getting a refund, we will see.  Either way I got a credit from my CC company.  Also, the people who called me "Website Pros" directly asked me how I liked my Vista Print order.  I wouldn't post something like this if there was a doubt in my mind that it could possibly be something else.

It is truly up to you if you want to continue to use them.  I know I'm coming off a little hostile and it seems I am trying to pursuade, but Im really not.  If you have been great, that is awesome and Im glad.  It really is a shame because I liked the cards, the turn around time, and the price.  I just do not like being taken advantage of and I hate companies that try to trick their customers into forking over more money and charge them for things they never even signed up for.  I've let it go in the past but Im just not going to stand for it anymore.  It seems like everyday there are people coming at you from all angles trying to scam you.  Why would I let that go and not atleast warn people about it?  I dont care if people continue to use them, but atleast I said something about it.

Its not as if I cant prove everything that has happened.  I can take screenshots of all the times I've been called by the same number every day.  I can show the CC statement.  I can provide the number I've called which is their "opt" out number. 

The thing that bothers me the most isn't even the CC charge, its that they called the person on the business card.  They had no right to, and it could possibly cost me business. 
4  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Crafty Business Discussion / Re: Do Not Use VISTA PRINT on: April 30, 2007 10:01:47 AM
I didn't get charged for Passport to Fun though, I got a charge for their 'Rewards' program.  I remember the popup for the survey, I never take things like that.  (Besides, would you want to do business with someone who is going to trick you into authorizing a charge by simply entering your email into something?  Is that even ethical?)  And I always double check to make sure I have everything ticked off on the sign up so I dont accidently sign up for some program.

Vista Print will also give your phone number away to other companies.  I have been called continuously by Web Pros.  I have asked them to stop constantly and even called their special number to opt out of being called, yet they still call.  I have started recording the messages and will take them to small claims court if they dont stop because it's harrassment.

Also the business card order I did was for a client of mine (I am a graphic desisgner) and they have called the person on the business card and wont stop calling them either.  I will probably lose this client now. 
5  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Crafty Business Discussion / Do Not Use VISTA PRINT on: April 30, 2007 05:24:03 AM
As recommended by someone on this forum, I used Vista Print to get some business cards done.  Do NOT use this company. 

While they do make great business cards (it's really a shame) they will sell your CC info to other companies and you will get charged for things you never bought.  Look them up on RipOffReport.com and you'll see what I mean.

I urge everyone who has an account with them now to cancel and stop using their services.

I got charged $14.95 for something I never ever authorized.
6  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Crafty Business Discussion / Re: Question for people who know how to build or update their sites on: March 07, 2007 01:00:48 PM
Remember to have both keywords and a description.  If you dont put in a description a search engine will either come up with its own description of your site, or pull the first line of text from your site.  Both are annoying ways for your site to come up and hard to change once it does (personal experience).
7  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Crafty Business Discussion / Re: Can someone please clarify the wealth of infomation concerning buisness licenses on: March 07, 2007 12:55:58 PM
I would go extra safe and get the business license.  This way no one can ever say you weren't abiding the law.  They're usually pretty inexpensive since you're just selling out of your home at the moment.  I have a business license as a sole proprietor.  Incorporating your business or becoming an LLC tends to become important when/if your business gets bigger.  When your business becomes a corporation it becomes a "person" that is liable for everything.  This means they can't come after you personally for your house/car/personal investments, etc.  Again, really only important for bigger businesses. 

As for doing shows, most likely you will need a vendor license for each state that you sell in.  I currently have one for New York State.  Once you get this license you will have to file sales taxes in that state.  NY requires that you do it quarterly.  Since I only sell there maybe once or twice a year, I usually just have to fill in a bunch of zero's, not a whole lot of work.  Its important to PAY taxes though.  Its no use getting down the road and owing thousands.  Vendor licenses I dont think cost anything.  I dont remember if I paid anything for my NY one.

My advice is do everything the correct and legal way, even if it seems like a heck of a lot of work.  Keep receipts and keep track of everything you sell.
8  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Crafty Business Discussion / Re: How did you come up with your brand name? on: December 24, 2006 07:36:25 PM
I wanted something short and cute, but not cutesy.  I also wanted it to be somewhat "personal" even if only I understand it.  My brand name is Carta Etc.  Carta is paper in Italian, and I love Italy and Italian culture (I visit the country, been studying the culture and history for years).  I also make mainly paper products on my website, but wanted to leave it open because I love to make all different kinds of things, hence the etc part.
9  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: General / Gold Embossed Cards (EXT image heavy) on: December 18, 2006 02:54:52 PM
I love making these cards.  Im running out of stamp combinations though!

http://www.cartaetc.com/preview/burgandycongrats.jpg
http://www.cartaetc.com/preview/creamkoi01.jpg
http://www.cartaetc.com/preview/greenbranch.jpg
http://www.cartaetc.com/preview/greenhappybday.jpg
http://www.cartaetc.com/preview/greenkoi.jpg
10  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Tips for Participating in Craft Fairs / Re: credit cards at craft fairs? on: December 10, 2006 11:45:53 AM
Yesterday I did the Bust Craftacular and took credit cards for the first time.  Taking credit cards gave me an extra $100 in sales, as all 4 people spent over $20 using it (one girl bought a bag that was $65).  One of the women was using her debit card.

Right now I have Paypal virtual terminal, but I think Im going to go with propay.  It just doesn't make sense, I think, to use VT unless you have sales like this every month, and a lot of them, to cover that $20 monthly fee.

I didn't get any checks though. 

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