SMC Specialty Merchandise Corporation: Start a Business for $25?

SMC Specialty Merchandise Corporation: Start a Business for $25? Really?

(UnhappyFranchisee.Com) Have you had any experience with the heavily hyped and infomercialed SMC Specialty Merchandise Corporation business opportunity?  The infomercial stars pitchman huckster Tom Bosley, who was the father on Happy Days.  They boast that you can start a business for only $25 and make thousands your first week or even day.

What do you think?  Leave a comment below.

Here’re a few comments from unhappy SMC investors:

I also fell prey. To this very well orginized scam! This is what they pulled on Me. First SMC withheld the starter kit. Till My electronic check cleared, The transaction was complete and posted in My bank. The follwoing day. I received My kit 27 days later. Called to let them know and schedule thier appointment. Three days later they called. Two days after the scheduled date. Then the following day. Smc took another $39.95 out of My account. So I called them they said, ‘Don’t worry we didn’t set Your start date yet’. I was lied to again right then, They did start it The day they cashed the check!. So even when I did cancel My membership. They called My house to inform Me. I still owe them $400.00. I don’t think so. They aren not getting another penny from Me. Stay away from this scam company!!!!!!.  John  Round Lake Beach, IL

The 30-day trial is a scam. They start the trial on the date that the ship the membership kit. By the time you get the kit, and finally get your ‘business coach’ on the phone, you already lost 15 days of your trial time. Then if you want to cancel before the trial is up, they make it a TOTAL NIGHTMARE. You even have to send back the promotional literature, and the catalog. They tell you that your free ‘gift card redemption’ site will be automatically cancelled but thats not true either. You have to call up eMerchantClub and cancel it manually because they will contiue to charge you $29.95 a month for the stupid, free cookie-cutter site they give you when you sign up.
SMC’s entire deal is about selling you a $1,500.00 website that only sells to people who either buy gift card from you, or register on the site and receive a ‘free’ $10.00 gift card, that of course you have to buy in advance. Either way, you pay. The kicker is that they refuse to give permission for you to build your own website and host it yourself, because they want to charge you $29.95 a month to host the useless $1,500.00 website.
SMC’s product line is some of the worst junk I’ve seen in any mail order catalog. Its all stuff no one wants. If anyone wanted this crap, SMC wouldn’t have warehouses full of it.
The testimonials on their website are obviously fake. They actually have different people with the exact, same word-for-word testimonials, bragging about the exact same amount of money they supposedly made over the exact, same period of time. Its like they take the same testimonial, paste it all over the page, and just change the picture.
Our coach was annoying and rude. As soon as she realized we weren’t stupid enough to go for the $1,500.00 website, she shut up and wouldn’t go any further with us, even after we told her we wanted to do other, non-internet programs that they offer. She actually tried to have us set up another appointment to talk to her a week later, so that our trial period would expire, and we’d be locked into paying the membership for a year. We began the cancellation process immediately.
If you want to make some money drop shipping on the internet, there are lots of drop-ship suplliers out there. All you have to do is some research, and stay away from the ones that offer you a website.  Eb,  New York, New York


47 thoughts on “SMC Specialty Merchandise Corporation: Start a Business for $25?

  • May 24, 2014 at 7:36 pm

    yes i was in roll with them buying items from them to resale i was seting up from home and flea markets in lafayette la the items are nice but the price we have to paid for them is carze and then try to resale it it not ease to sale and then the biggings thing about it all they telling ever one not to said were these items comming from but yet they all over the tv trying to get ever one to buy this items from them to open a business so i feel it a rip off as well i was thanking about going thow them agin even knowing how there are to start up my business so im not sure yet if i well

  • December 23, 2014 at 2:40 am

    When I started with SMC, there was no annual fee and they didn’t have Internet. I became a lifelong member. Where are they now? I’d really like to know.

  • December 23, 2014 at 2:45 am

    Sorry! I messed up with my name. I ordered and received products through them. Everything seemed fine then. Anyone have any more information on whether this comp[any still. It seems that people are still getting their catalog. Heck, I’ll bring a class action lawsuit against them for my money back. lol

  • June 26, 2015 at 10:10 pm

    I joined smc, got my catalogues n paperwork.I ordered the items I wanted to resell n instantly sold them and mad money. I have had no problems at all with people or service or products. I would suggest smc to anyone that wants to make extra money.

  • August 3, 2015 at 12:20 am

    Well…..I signed up with SMC long before any internet program. The internet was in its infancy so really it was just a membership to join a wholesale warehouse to buy supposedly at wholesale prices. Too bad that their catalog’s retail prices are actually higher than real retail. There were/are other company’s catalogs that have similar items way cheaper. All come from china of course. Believe it or not after 5 years I actually DID sell $5000.00 worth of merchandise taking it to craft shows and setting up a monthly rental booth in a couple of craft stores. When this happens they refund your then $300 membership fee. I was an idiot tho and took the refund in merchandise, LOL. Now after several years am still trying to sell the items on Ebay which is hella hard when the whole country is full of other SMC members or former members like me selling the same items. Can’t really take the nice figurines and decorative items to a swap meet as in SoCal the mexicans have taken those over and nice things like merlins, dragons, American Indian figures, Classic Wildlife and the like don’t sell there. Nothing worse than sitting in a hot swap meet at a local drive in with mexican banda music blaring not selling anything, heh.

  • August 11, 2015 at 9:38 pm

    Phil, you’re an idiot. That’s the first thing that popped into my head when I read your post. I can’t believe they let you post that bigoted garbage on here. What does SMC and your lack of making money with them have to do with Mexican people? If it bothers you that much, stay home and avoid the “mexican banda music”. Jackass.

  • August 21, 2015 at 3:15 am

    would like information to start a business or businesses with you and a catalog of your products sent to me at darnell jones [redacted] please

  • August 21, 2015 at 1:52 pm

    My husband and I almost 18 yrs ago joined Specialty Merchandise Comoany. We paid the fees and paid off our membership in the time alloted. We always had great service, we always got books. I even did the school fund raiser program. It turned out amazing. Everything came as orderd. I even sold my stuff at the local flea markets and whenever I had a yard sale. The prices were very reasonable and I pretty much got what the asking price was. I myself even bought the fairy, hummingbirds and dragon deco items for my own home. Once I recieved a damaged item. O call, talked to a rep on the phone. They sent me a new one right away.

  • August 25, 2015 at 7:23 pm

    What is the start up cost?

  • September 11, 2015 at 1:39 pm

    I found this company one night while up late trying to figure out how to make extra money. To my surprise, they were fair in every way to my knowledge. I haven’t seen any commercials lately nor have i been affiliated with them lately but when i was selling there items i did well.

  • September 27, 2015 at 11:28 pm

    i would like to know how to reach SMC sold for them many years ago but moved and quit butI loved it and would like to start again

  • March 16, 2016 at 8:21 pm

    i would like to no how i can get hold of smc to start a bussness

  • April 21, 2016 at 5:32 pm

    I joined SMC over 30 years ago I have no complaints. Have never had a problem with Them.

  • May 7, 2016 at 11:19 am


  • May 7, 2016 at 11:23 am


  • July 8, 2016 at 11:42 am

    I did this a few years ago and really liked it I am trying to find out how to get back into it can somebody send me some info please I’m not sure how to restart my business

  • July 10, 2016 at 1:52 pm

    I joined in 08-08-2001..#07075065-60….can you tell me if I am still a member, it was supposed to be a lifelong membership, and if so how can I get a catalog for products? Thank you.

  • July 17, 2016 at 1:50 pm

    I design jewelry hats and bags to promote my designs I need other things to add to my stuff I am on a fixed income I need to increase my income can u please help

  • July 31, 2016 at 1:17 pm

    i want to tell everyone is good to know all the feedback but someof you can tell us the real website dof SMC that you are talking crab . i will like to call them or ask them how to get start . i will like to start with them. so please who ever is nice . can give me the information from them so i can contact them . thank you
    my email is [redacted]

  • September 22, 2016 at 11:15 pm

    I used to have a business license with SMC and I actually loved working with the company. I never had any bad experiences that everyone boasts about on here. It was back in 2003 when I started and I did actually really good considering the area I lived in and how small it was. What made me stop was lack of funds to keep it going but I would love to get it started again and will be looking into doing just that. Good luck to those who look into starting with them too. they are a good company to work with.

  • November 10, 2016 at 8:22 pm

    i would love more info i used to sell i love the crystal glass i want to join

  • December 25, 2016 at 12:29 pm

    I started doing smc off and on for the last 20 years… I actually made good money with the program. the products are awesome. You just have to find a customer base. Once you have a loyal customer, they will tell others, and keep buying as well. I often tried to refund my customers their money so I could keep the item, and they would not allow it.just put in the effort, it pays for it’s self.

  • January 15, 2017 at 3:34 pm

    I want to know why a class action suit has not been filed yet for this company. They lie, deceive, and trick you as much as possible for their own profits. Their products are mostly junk not worth the price you pay, never mind what they say you should charge. I filed a claim with the attorney general and they didn’t take it very seriously. Tons of people filed claims, some have been reimbursed, yet the AG office claims they will pursue it if more claims come in. They must be in cahoots because nothing was ever done. I had all sorts of proof of claims for fraud and deceptive practices.

  • January 18, 2017 at 2:16 pm

    I just want to say hello and that I’ve been with SMC since 2003 and I’ve never had any problem except competition on eBay amongst other members. Their new name is “Smart Living Company.”

    If anyone is interest. I’m here to help you. I can provide services such as shopping from my e-catalog, hosting an Open House / House Party or Fundraiser for your organization or yourself. It’s fast money. I don’t charge any cost to start. Do it at your own past. Hassel free.

    I will be Notified of new posts by email thought Unhappy Franchisee. Thanks for reading : )

  • February 24, 2017 at 7:29 pm

    I got in the program in 2001. there was no websites offered at that time. So I started a website with another company that actually the hosts ended up disappearing and so there was a class action law suite and was paid $2,500. By that time SMC started offering several types of sites through e-commerce. I didn’t get a chance to really make any money yet as I had to go away after 5 yrs, for 6 yrs. I loved their products. They did not come all from China. They came from India, and other places of the world. I wanted my own import store. When u see how much the merchandise is selling for, It’s very costly. I was licensed as “Eve’s World of Products” & Specialty products. If I would of had help though, I know I would of done better due to my disabilities. I Have absolutely nothing against the program.

  • March 10, 2017 at 1:51 pm

    I did SMC starting in 2000 – 2005, I was a preferred member…. I did not like all the products…but there were quite a few that i sold regularly…and yes some times they were out stock but i made money…
    Sorry it is not a scam… if did not make money it was because you were selling the wrong thing for the market. you were in…

    I sold face to face at festivals and craft shows, markets, and i also had other things as well…

    Example, they had patchwork animals that sold very well, incense holders, oil burners, elephants, ivory looking products, lamps, candle holders…..these are some of things i sold, I did not have a monthly fee because i purchased several hundred dollars a month worth of merchandise…

    Last comment: i still wish i got paid in class action

  • March 14, 2017 at 2:39 pm

    Sonya can you message me plz. Im interested. ive sold for them once before.

  • April 5, 2017 at 2:58 pm

    First time I joined was in 2000 with the idea of just doing the mail order catalog sales was averaging 2 hits at of 500 catalog sent sold some door to door and even had a client at a hotel that purchased to redecorate the lobby. The second time wasn’t 2006 decided do flea markets my mistake was not doing research to what would sell in the area I purchased the starter kit which did not sell in this area so I bought$1,500 worth of other merchandise it filled the shelves my booth but was only making maybe $75 – $100 a weekend problem was one not doing any research two after we did the indoor booth we started noticing other vendors started bringing in the same products. Don’t get me wrong they have nice products same thing can be bought in the store smc’s products are just smaller at the same price of a larger product I would recommend SMC if you do your research but at the same time research your local area for auctions to be able to get your products first

  • April 27, 2017 at 4:42 pm

    I became a “lifetime” member in 1977!!! Back then, SMC was a great company. Around the 1990’s they started going downhill FAST! I miss the “Good ‘Ol Days when they were in Chatsworth, CA….. They charged me a bunch of money and then said that when I sold $5,000 that I would get it back. They eventually honored that, but not without a fight. The employees started becoming rude and not helpful, whether I went into the showroom or called them. I had a lifetime membership that they started charging me for several years later. First it was around $15 a year and then it went up from there. I was not suppose to have to pay after the initial “throw down”… however, if I wanted to “keep” my membership, they said that I now had to pay a yearly fee. Last time I bought from them, they had moved to Fontana, California. It was around 2005, maybe? Last envelope I saw was in 2007 and they said that I would be terminated if I didn’t send them $44.95!!! WOW! It sure was different when I joined in 1977…… They were nice, helpful and they sold me a membership (without a yearly fee) that I was proud to own. I am really disgusted at what it has become today. Coach? Never had one! I called a few times and spoke with someone who had an attitude and didn’t seem to care if I got the help I needed or not. I even called back to complain about her and her boss said that she was just “fine” and apparently it was my imagination that she was rude and incompetent! Over the years, I’ve had my share of problems with SMC and their “changes”, and I stuck by them, however, I am able to get everything that I want and need through the internet on my own, without the hassle or yearly fees (that I was NOT suppose to have to pay from the beginning). I still have one of the “original” catalogs that I received from them. It was thick and in black and white print. The cover was orange and black. I have a lot of fond memories from those days (in the beginning), but became totally disgusted with the changes and poor treatment of their staff over the years. I still remember going into the showroom in Chatsworth and talking “Stu’s” ear off about all the “stuff” for sale….. Too bad things aren’t like they use to be. You would think that they would surely be a little nicer to the people who were with them in the beginning. My son was about 6 months old when I got my membership. He just turned 40 this year!

  • June 19, 2017 at 3:03 pm

    I would like to sell smc specialty merchandise and how to i get starter and to i get a free catalog or do i have to buy a catalog please let me no and thank you

  • July 15, 2017 at 3:31 pm

    I became a member of smc in 1976. wish I become a member again.

  • September 18, 2017 at 12:54 am

    So as of 2017 is this any good anymore or anyone able to make any suggestions on what and where would be a good idea to start looking? I promise would really appreciate the support and suggestions and help!

  • October 23, 2017 at 3:19 am

    Well I have not been associated with SMC, for quite some years now. But I never sold products at retail suggest price. An I plan to re-instate my membership.?
    Point of information, all the Membership fees, are suppose to be refunded, when your purchases, reach $10,000.

  • November 13, 2017 at 11:22 am

    Hi I would like to sell smc and how can I get starter or how can I get the catalog buy it please thank you

  • November 14, 2017 at 4:53 pm

    Yes I too started SMC more than 30 years ago. I had absolutely no problems with them, and I recall a couple of times when my goods got lost by UPS, SMC gave me a full refund. I don’t know how they operate now, but at that time they offered training in 23 ways to sell an item, and the membership was for life. The cost was $27.00!!!!

  • December 9, 2017 at 8:15 pm

    SMC back stole my money over $500 to build website with the emerchants and when I checked on my website to start making money the removed my site this was back in 2008. Prior to building my website I was always purchasing items coming in boxes at my address including the magazines I managed to resell at retail prices but my online site I never got to use so this made me stop purchasing from them altogether! I even had a full membership with them as well!

  • February 22, 2018 at 9:24 am

    I was a member of SMC I made money and would like to re-start my mbrship

  • April 16, 2018 at 5:47 pm

    MY name Clinton Williams back in 1996 I was a member of SMC and would love to see about getting back into it.

  • May 9, 2018 at 11:13 pm

    I have an online store currently selling their product line. Anyone that needs information on start-up please reply to this post and I’ll send you some information. They have integrations with Amazon, eBay and shopify now that allows you to automatically set it up. They even have tools to sell on Facebook and instagram from your webstore.

  • May 29, 2018 at 2:13 pm


  • July 9, 2018 at 9:44 am

    i would like infor on this I use to sell it years ago would like to know if it is still around and still operating
    [email redacted]

  • July 16, 2018 at 6:59 pm

    Could you send me the information on how to join/get started and how to get a catolog

  • July 18, 2018 at 12:37 pm

    Hi, I too sold on the web (GlobalDiscountProducts) using SMC drop-ship products. I cannot find their website or phone number, or even their snail-mail mailing address. Where have they disappeared? Are they out of business? I’d appreciate any help anyone can give me. Thank you so much! Chris

  • September 25, 2018 at 7:27 am

    My husband and I bought into the whole mess years and years ago. Then we hit the cities that sold this stuff in their stores. Our prices were rediculously higher than the vendors they already had. There is no real money to be made with SMC except by SMC.
    We have since learned of other FREE companies to use for our business. And we no longer pay high pric s for dropshipping or membership fees.

  • December 5, 2018 at 4:42 pm

    I started up with SMC in 2001 (17 years ago). I yearned for a side business back then and SMC seemed to fit my need. I also joined another person in the automotive line and it took off so well I neglected to work SMC. As a result, I have unopened cartons of products which I paid $800 for 17 years ago. My other business is still flourishing and I have decided to let my SMC items go at the 2001 prices I paid. My loss is your gain. I don’t know if any of these products are still available but I doubt it so these will be all new items for the public to see. They come from Spring 2001 World of Products, Fall 2001 World of Products, 2002 Spring Gift Collection, Welcome to My Garden Delights, Fall 2001 Bayberry Lane, and Spring 2001 Bayberry Lane. I will include these catalogs and also Confidential Price Lists from 2001, Feb 2002, Sep 2003 for Winter catalogs. Call me for info at [redacted].

  • January 21, 2019 at 1:22 pm

    I would love to start my own business but would prefer ordering online an having merchandise sent directly to me to see, other wise how can u brag to your customers about an item if you haven’t seen it . I would join if that’s the way it worked

  • January 21, 2019 at 8:46 pm

    Well they took my phone number off my posting. :( Anyway, the way you described your own business is exactly how SMC worked. That’s how I happen to have my inventory which I never attempted to sell. I have my own (other) business which is healthy for about 12 years now. My inventory would give you a good start with some inventory as you decide other vendors to order from. It would be a great gift shop business also. Good luck in Norman, OK.

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