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


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

  • Lillian Berlin

    We had smc and I’ll never do it again . we did everything they said. After about a month or two we had a major order. But when we went to place the order .oh they where sold out and wasn’t telling us when they would be in stock. So we lost the account we had . we kept getting the run a round. Never again

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    I have never lost money. But my method was probably different. There are many way to do it. Mine is to find store’s to sale on consignment. If you find the right place for certain selected items and you make great sales then before you know it them owners or managers are wanting to look at your books and there making orders based on there knowledge of customers and buying stuff directly from you. Website works good and also convenient add it to Your Facebook. In short I’ve never lost money with any order and it’s not a yes yes business. Your gonna hear no or maybe, comeback later. It’s a job not a given but get it going and it’ll make you smile

  • I’ve had huge success with smc, always got my orders on time and if I had a issue with any merchandise I received they refunded me in a timely matter and also credited me for additional items. Great job smc

  • Jaime Springman

    I used it a long time ago, I had no luck with it but I believe that it had to do with my area. I would sell items form here to there and never had an issue. I did it a little different though and bought items and then sold them, I never ordered for someone unless it was family. I am not surprised some people had a hard time with it but I never did.

  • Denise Richards

    I sold items from a catalog from SMC over 20 years ago and it went fine. I didn’t get cheated out of money or anything. I stopped because a customer “borrowed” my catalog and never returned it. Financially I took a dive so I just gave up.

  • Ms. Charlie Linnear

    Is it still in existence?

  • Billy

    I sold SMC merchandise at flea markets. I bought mostly collectibles and gift items. Unfortunately, SMC changed their business model and kicked all the distributors they had at the time, to the curb. SMC left us ( dealers) looking for new sources of merchandise to keep our businesses alive. By the way, it was the daughter of the original owner that changed things for the worst.

  • Pamela Morris

    I sold SMC over 20 years ago. And yes I started for $25. I didn’t have any problems with the company, the merchandise, placing & receiving orders, getting refunded or reordering. My husband & son helped too. We looked over the kits, decided what we wanted to start with, & when my order came in SMC had tripled my order. When I called them to tell them they had sent too much. They asked if I thought I could sale it? I said yes I could. I didn’t have to pay for the other kits they sent me. We set up at a Fourth of July celebration & sold a lot. Since it was a home town event people could see what I was selling & also see the catalogs I had.
    Later SMC alone with everything else was going to internet sailing. I didn’t know enough about the computer to feel comfortable with it. I had a web site but I didn’t feel like I was learning it enough to use it. In that part I did loose money,but that was my fault. Not SMC’s. The company SMC was then was Great for me, I made more friends and had fun sailing.

  • Alejandro

    I justu be a member I nead a nomber so I can’t contact them and some up againg

  • Michelle

    I had an account in 2006 and renewed it in 2010. I did not have much luck….made a few dollars…wasn’t really serious about it then ….older and wiser now…want to know how do I start my membership back

  • Not Tom Bosley

    SMC no longer exists – they were renamed Smart Living in 2012, and then went out of business at the end of 2019. Their intellectual property (name, trademarks, etc.) were sold and rebranded as SIGMA ( at the end of 2019. SIGMA did not get any of their debt or obligations. They just bought the name.

    According to their website, they are not accepting new distributor signups at the moment (though apparently former Smart Living members can place orders), so not sure they’re really going to be a going concern in the future.

  • I was with SMC and had nothing but good luck everything was Great

  • Vicki L. Hargis

    I was with SMC for a good while. Had a good business and got a lot of nice things for family, friends and myself. I had a pretty good business with them and was never disappointed. Sold quite a bit. I knew they changed to Smart Living but didn’t know they have since gone out of business. I really enjoyed being a part of SMC. Was always excited to see the new stuff come out. Too bad there isn’t still a company like this. They had some great stuff you couldn’t get anywhere else.

  • I remember this company from when I was a kid it had that old fart on it that played in the first episode of Mork & Mindy I remember thinking about self God he’s getting a lot of money for getting people to buy crap out and dig out a bottom of a garbage can for free

  • Julie Miller

    I joined SMC as a Lifetime Member over 20 years ago and paid somewhere around $400. I had a booth in a second hand store where I sold SMC products as well as my own handmade crafts. I did fine and made money, but I didn’t put a lot of effort into it either, so I could have done a lot better if I had. Jump forward some years and SMC started sending me yearly membership “fees”. Remembering that I had bought the lifetime membership, I called SMC, I can’t remember what was said from 20+ years ago but I did have to start paying what was then a $19.99 per year “membership” fee. Skip forward a few more years and that yearly membership fee went up to $29.99, skip forward several years more years and more year membership fee increase, the last yearly membership fee I received was $49.99!! It was just to expensive to keep paying these yearly membership fees because I was no longer really working this business but I did like a lot of their products and liked being able to order for my own personal use, just not as $49.99 year. Okay, jump forward several more years and SMC sold their business to SLC. I contacted them and told them I had a lifetime membership with SMC. SLC informed me they had a yearly membership fee, I can’t remember how much it was but is was around $30-$35 I believe, so I joined back up with them. They pretty much offered the same exact products as SMC. Again, I never worked this business, I just wanted to have my membership for personal use and also for the simple reason that I had already paid around $400 for what was suppose to be a “Lifetime Membership”. Anyway, now I find out that SLC is no more and that bought SLC out. Sigma Distributors Inc as of right now does not charge a membership and they are not currently taking new members, however, If you have your SLC Member ID they will allow you to register your SLC membership account with them to become a member of Sigma Distributors, you just need to have your SLC account number, fill out and submit Sigma’s registration form via their website and then wait for them to email you, which is what I am currently waiting on now (maybe, if you have your very old out dated SMC membership # they will honor it as well, but idk). Sigma’s website will allow you to view their products w/out logging in but they will not show you the prices for their items. Sigma has a lot of items like SMC and SLC had but they also have a lot of other items the two previous business did not offer and Sigma’s products look to be of good quality (as far as only being able to view them on their website goes). I am eagerly awaiting my “approval” registration email from Sigma so that I can then finally create my account to find out what their membership prices are on their products. Hopefully this information will help some of you past SMC & SLC members who are interested in starting back up but for those of you who have shown interest in joining new, as of right now at least, Sigma is not accepting new memberships, sorry and good luck to all of you.

  • Several yrs ago I fell for this crap. Never got the starter kit til I quit them one month later, as I was not getting sales and earning any money. SCAM, SCAM, SCAM….Steer clear of them!

  • Leticia Bankston

    I did the SMC buy and sell and had no problem with the company.
    It was actually fun and I always got nice service.

  • Umust B-Gullible

    If you couldn’t see that SMC was a blatant scam then I have oceanfront property in Arizona to sell you on the cheap! I will even throw in a 100 foot Donzi for you to cruise the ocean in front of your new home !

    You can sell those awesome SMC generic trinkets out of china right on the beach in front of your new home and dance in the moonlight on the beach at night! I will also be your business manager for an additional fee

  • Man, I wanted to start a business back in 2006, and had seen Tom Bosley on TV about this company, so I did a little research and thought I’d give it a shot, wow, to my surprise they were really awesome, started at flea markets, then started wholesaling and landed some huge Accra, I was making easily 10 grand a month, did this for over three years, before health issues put a end to it. Actually reason I found this site here, am looking to maybe doing it again. But I’m pretty old and tired. Maybe the flea market thing would be fun again. Yea I remember one time, this glass figurine thing came shipped broken, I called, no need to even send them the broken back, in 4 days the new one was there. Talked to them on the phone a lot. Really nice people.But I see someone other company bought them so I don’t know.

  • SMC is a scam company who take advantage of people needing money by over charging them for service that should cost nothing.. we lost almost a thousand dollars to them.. they try to tell people they can make so much money but really you are paying them to work for them and sell their products at inflated prices .. they charged us several thousand dollar for a webpage that was more generic than a myspace page.. the company is nothing but a ripoff artist and i think the law should hold celebrities responsible for representing scam companies such as this.

  • Warren Oner

    I had a start up kit to start up,how can I find out if I can still do this,

  • Warren Oner

    How can get this back up and running,is this company still around so I can get it back up and running

  • My wife and I started this business in the 1980’s. It started out slow, 1 item here, 1item there, we tried to spend as much time doing it as possible We hadn’t sold anything for a month and a half. So, we decided to close up shop at the end of the month. It was 16 day’s. On day 14 with only 2 days left we got a call from a larger hotel/motel
    business with locations in 32 states. They ordered 25 pieces of merchandise. This was for there hotels in our City. SMC Delivered the items and everything they said they would do they did. We had no trouble with them or the order. We never had problems with the previous orders either. 2 weeks later we received another order for 55 units. Then 75 , 90 , 250 etc.. Then they ordered other items. This account made our business. Along with new customers we received. This is still an active account today. They order things in Bulk. I own a beautiful home, 2 cars a boat . And every thing a person would want. I am not very business smart. SMC made it easy. They opened the door to my success.
    My co-workers are still doing the same job I did 43 years ago. With no advancements. I would still be doing that.
    Thanks SMC

  • S Campbell

    I was a member in 1975 … 1977. I sold mostly at flea markets and had great success. The company, at that time, was a very reputable company to deal with. My husband became very ill and I had to get a job that offered health insurance. My husband recently passed away and I am desperately in need of income to suppliment my Social Security. I was looking forward to working again with SMC. However, after extensive reading and investigation, I found that they are definitely NOT the company that I once dealt with. The
    business ethics, reputability, customer care, business morals, honesty are all gone! So sad this has happened. They definitely have become a company to beware of.

  • I first starting buying to resell from SMC in the early 2000s. Back then, prices were low enough that I could afford to buy 50, 60, 70 items at a time, and know that the margins were good enough that I could easily flip everything, and put a respectable 50-100% + markup on each. Now I go and look at the things I used to flip, and prices have tripled. I know for certain, I can’t do this anymore. Prices are pretty much at what I would retail them for out of my house, or at a flea market. What a shame, I made pretty good money from this for a while back then. I just came back to see about starting up again. That’s a no from me now. Not worth the investment

  • Harold Stotler

    Back when Tom Bosley was doing the infomercials for SMC, I purchased the Lifetime membership with them. I consistently bought items from them and turned around and sold them for a profit. Now they are apparently defunct. I would love to know where they’re at now and what happened to my lifetime membership. If I had the choice, I would still be doing business with them.

  • Anthony Dunn

    I was with them back in the 1990 s and I made a lot of money and they had good product , I wish I could get back with them

  • It was legitimate. Made so much profit til September 11 hit. Everything drop even stocks crashed. I got burned buy paying taxes on merchandise I had on stock. I would like to begin selling but unfortunately I’m a truck driver now. If you felt it wasn’t for you, why did you keep the service? I don’t have any negative thoughts about this good old company. Yet alone, neighbors and across south cities have me crazy selling. I miss it.

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