Project Life to Restrict Online Sales

Scrapbook Update has confirmed that many online retailers have begun receiving notices informing them that they will no longer be allowed to purchase Project Life products wholesale. The notice is effective immediately.

Project Life 2014According to a representative for Becky Higgins LLC, in the future only online retailers that also have a retail store presence will be allowed to purchase Project Life products for resale. In addition to those stores, Two Peas In A Bucket and Amazon will continue carrying the line along with the company’s own soon-to-launch online store. The line is also sold online via HSN’s website as part of their promotional partnership and that will not change.

The company is explaining the move by saying they wish to have better control of their distribution channels, and to improve customer experience of Project Life. Higgins personally assured Scrapbook Update that she is confident the change will improve the experience of customers purchasing her products online.

In response to the notice, many of the disenfranchised retailers have already put their Project Life stock on clearance.

If you are one of the retailers losing Project Life, watch Scrapbook Update for an upcoming article on alternatives to Project Life for online retailers who still wish to carry pocket scrapbooking products.

UPDATE: Scrapbook Update has confirmed with a representative from American Crafts that non-U.S. retailers are unaffected by this change.

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67 Responses to Project Life to Restrict Online Sales

  1. ss20ts January 13, 2014 at 1:53 am #

    as someone who doesn’t have a chain craft store nearby or a lss, i’d like to say this move stinks! i buy ALL of my PL kits online! i guess i will have to just stick with echo park, we r memory keepers, simple stories, and close to my heart for future purchases!

  2. biscuitsandbooks January 13, 2014 at 1:58 am #

    Frankly I don’t really care since I think Project Life is a bore but, seriously, hasn’t Becky Higgins scored enough money on her marketing angle to not treat retailers so poorly? Shameful.

    • KateScraps January 13, 2014 at 10:34 pm #

      Why are peoe so angry that BH’s business is making money for her? Isn’t that the goal of pretty much every business?

      • Nancy Nally January 13, 2014 at 11:14 pm #

        Unfortunately there is a perception by some people that since papercrafting is an art and a hobby industry that making money off of it is somehow selling out. There should be no shame in using your talents to make a living as long as you conduct your business legally and ethically.

        • Cheryl January 15, 2014 at 3:28 am #

          “Unfortunately there is a perception by some people that since papercrafting is an art and a hobby industry that making money off of it is somehow selling out”. Is this a joke? You’re telling me that NOBODY is in the scrapbook/papercrafting industry to make money? It wouldn’t be a multi-million dollar industry if nobody was hawking their products to frenzied “gotta have” scrapbookers because it would somehow be considered in poor taste.

          If there was no demand for the product, BH would not be making money…again, people are frenzied about this Project Life stuff. I say good for Becky for coming up with a product that people love. And, if she gets rich in the process then hooray for her…isn’t that the American Dream?

      • itsybel, January 14, 2014 at 10:43 am #

        Very well said Nancy, thanks

    • itsybel, January 14, 2014 at 10:51 am #

      biscuitsandbooks—you’re wrong, actually Becky Higgins treats her legitimate retailers very well. She’s one of the few designers/manufacturers who is trying to support the independent ‘mom’ brick/mortar shops as opposed to running them out of business. There has been so many bogus online stores pop up it’s ridiculous, they don’t care about their customers once they collect their money. Those are the ones who are shameful and gives the whole scrapbooking industry a negative view. Whether BH has enough money (in your opinion) or not, is no one’s business, she’s tending to her business as a legitimate business owner and treating the legitimate brick and mortar business owners the same.

  3. Faith Gaspar January 13, 2014 at 2:03 am #

    Nancy did say that they were going to have their own on-line store, and the Amazon and Two peas in a Bucket would still be carrying the line, along with those on-line stores that have a brick and mortar store also, will be able to carry the line…. please don’t throw the baby out with the bath water….

    • Debi January 13, 2014 at 7:33 am #

      I agree. We’ll still be able to buy her products. What’s the problem here?

    • Crazycroppingchick January 13, 2014 at 4:53 pm #

      Agree….she’s more less just dropping those who are buying from her and selling out of their home to eBay and etsy style places. Stores will still have her stuff and you can buy from her also.

  4. Faith Gaspar January 13, 2014 at 2:20 am #

    I’m not a Becky Higgins follower, but it just business management and whatever she plans for the future. She is not dragging the products out of the brick and mortar stores. Seems like she is just pulling in the reins on the on-line stores with the opening of hers.

    In this day and age, with everyone and their mother having an on-line store these days, it does get confusing who to do business with, who to complain to when something is damaged, not right, or doesn’t even ship. I rather order right from the company. I don’t agree that she has treated the retailers so poorly. She has announced what plans are ahead.

  5. ss20ts January 13, 2014 at 2:34 am #

    she’s been saying for months that she will be having her own online store. there still is not a go live date. seems premature to pull things from places that are already selling her product! will she be able to match the free shipping offers or discounts? doubtful.

    • Nancy Nally January 13, 2014 at 12:55 pm #

      I understand that the store is pretty close to going live now. Becky has great web people so I’m very interested to see what it looks like!

  6. bec January 13, 2014 at 4:01 am #

    And what about us in Australia that cannot purchase through AMazon!! We don’t have a Michaels either.
    Very poor move I think. If I can’t get it at my regular online store I will not be buying it to be shipped from the US to Australia at ridiculous postage prices.
    Therefore, Becky Higgins products will not be used in my albums.

    • Carmel Keane January 13, 2014 at 4:11 am #

      Any online retailer that also has a brick and mortar store will still be able to sell on-line – so NZ and Australian customers still have options.

    • Melissa Shanhun January 13, 2014 at 4:27 am #

      There’s also Spotlight in Australia 🙂 they do sell online too. You will still be able to buy it in Aus.

      I was so happy when there was a move away from Crafthouse NZ having the monopoly. It cost $50+ for me to buy one core kit in 2012!

      • Nancy Nally January 13, 2014 at 12:53 pm #

        Selling will continue as usual in Australia and New Zealand. I confirmed this AM with American Crafts that only U.S. Stores are affected.

        • Peta MacBeth January 13, 2014 at 3:31 pm #

          Thank you Nancy – this is what I had hoped to hear being an online Australian business 🙂

        • bec January 13, 2014 at 6:12 pm #

          Fantastic news!!! Best to get the products from people who know what they are talking about. (Scrapbooking stores and not stores who paper goods are a minimal part of their products.)

    • Susie January 13, 2014 at 5:48 am #

      You can still buy from crafthouse too, as they have a bricks and mortar store or a few of them in NZ. Plus any. Others in aus/nz that have store fronts.

      Tis is very common business practice from all the big manufacturers, im surprised she hasnt done this sooner

  7. ruthb123Ruth January 13, 2014 at 5:04 am #

    Im going to wait and see what this looks like in implementation before having a strong opinion either way. I think Becky’s kits have been an ever evolving product over the last few years, and until we know what rules wholesalers and retails will need to meet, it is hard to say what will be the outcome for the customer.

  8. Birgit Engelhardt January 13, 2014 at 5:12 am #

    That’s aweful for the european market as we hardly have any real shops over here, we just buy online… If those online shops can’t sell PL anymore, we’d have to order in American shops and pay really high shipping costs… or don’t order at all!

    • Nancy Nally January 13, 2014 at 12:52 pm #

      Only US stores are affected by the changes. Selling will continue as usual in Europe.

  9. Julie Griffin January 13, 2014 at 5:13 am #

    Yes, I think we’ll have to wait for the full details. However for those of us outside the US in countries where there aren’t very many retail stores (for instance, in the UK, the vast majority of craft stores are online only), this could lead us to embrace all the competitor similar products rather than PL. I was very frustrated when they pulled Amazon UK stocking of PL products because that was affordable and quick.

  10. Aline January 13, 2014 at 5:13 am #

    Not one physical store sell PL in France… So I guess it is our last year of PL…

    • Nancy Nally January 13, 2014 at 12:51 pm #

      I have confirmed with American Crafts that no European stores are affected by the new restrictions. Selling will continue there as usual.

  11. Rachel L January 13, 2014 at 6:31 am #

    We don’t know if this is even true, let alone if it applies to international retailers. Let’s just chill until we hear the full story 🙂

    • Nancy Nally January 13, 2014 at 11:23 am #

      Rachel everything in the article was confirmed to me directly by Becky herself.

      • Rachel L January 13, 2014 at 2:59 pm #

        Thanks Nancy. I’m just frustrated at the other Internationals here and elsewhere online who are making baseless assumptions and swearing off Project Life. Talk about an over-reaction!

        You have now confirmed what I expected: that the change only applies to US sellers. It seems that people are very quick to judge without thinking it through.

  12. Vicky January 13, 2014 at 6:36 am #

    Is it sold on QVC or HSN? Neither ship outside the US, even to Canada anyhow…..

    • Amanda Lou January 13, 2014 at 10:25 am #

      It’s currently on HSN. I just ordered last week. Don’t know if this was a mistake or if it will be changing.

  13. Susanne January 13, 2014 at 7:31 am #

    That’s an interesting move. It does seem a little unfair to smaller online retailers – but certainly within her rights. In the case of Amazon, I’m not aware of them having brick and mortar stores – but their site is a conduit for a lot of smaller retailers, will all those disappear? It doesn’t seem like a move NOT so much to control distribution as to control price. Or maybe she’s figured out that the market is oversaturated. Oh at least my personal market for pocket scrapbooking products is! LOL

    • Nancy Nally January 13, 2014 at 11:24 am #

      Third party sellers have been barred for some time from selling Project Life through Amazon. Only Amazon has been allowed to sell it there.

      • Vicky January 13, 2014 at 11:50 am #

        I put some third party PL stuff in my Amazon basket only 2 weeks ago that wasn’t available from Amazon itself. Couldn’t buy it though as it couldn’t be shipped to Canada.

        • Nancy Nally January 13, 2014 at 12:48 pm #

          Third party sellers are NOT allowed by Project Life to sell on Amazon. However, some sellers hide behind anonymous identities in the marketplace which makes it difficult for the company to identify who they are and cut off their supply of the product.

          • Vicky January 13, 2014 at 2:50 pm #

            The mini kits from Stuff4 are still in my Amazon basket….

    • itsybel, January 13, 2014 at 12:10 pm #

      It’s could also be a move to save the independent brick and mortar stores “mom” shops, who have seemed to have been overlooked with the chains flooding their local markets and locals think they’re supporting their local independents by shopping the chains. I hope more designers/manufacturers step up to support the independents more.

    • crafty mom of 5 January 14, 2014 at 12:03 pm #

      It IS a smart move to control price! I remember people were getting angry at Becky because some third party sellers on Amazon were selling hard-to-find Project Life stuff at ridiculously expensive prices. They accused her of being shady and raising prices on those items but it wasn’t even her doing but the doings of third party sellers that were taking advantage of Project Life customers! Just sayin’!

  14. Susanne January 13, 2014 at 7:32 am #

    Oops, I got a bit carried away with the double negative. I think it is about price and not distribution.

  15. orange gearle January 13, 2014 at 7:45 am #

    I think that it is probably a combination of reasons and not just one. I do know that people have had to send back some of the things they have ordered online because they were printed wrong or were sent the wrong thing. It could be that Becky is fed up with that and just wants to have a bit more control. I also think she wants to sell product, and not just to people in the US. So….hopefully she will hear those international customers’ pleas. 🙂

  16. Linda Fleur January 13, 2014 at 8:18 am #

    Close To My Heart is debuting Picture My Life pocket scrapbooking February 1st! CTMH has direct sellers in Australia too. It’s worth checking out.

  17. itsybel, January 13, 2014 at 12:12 pm #

    There are so many manufacturers and versions of the pocket page protectors anymore you can find them everywhere and anywhere at every price range imaginable. She has a reputation to maintain, which seems to get trashed when your product shows up everywhere but where it’s intended to show up.

  18. Melissa Schelin January 13, 2014 at 12:41 pm #

    QVC does not carry Project Life. It is actually HSN that is carrying the product.

    • Nancy Nally January 13, 2014 at 12:43 pm #

      And that is what happens when I try to write after a 12 hour day working the show. My bad. Correction made.

  19. valley girl January 13, 2014 at 3:13 pm #

    Gosh, I just bought my binder, pages and cards (expensive) from Michaels, I like the idea of touching and seeing. I was so excited to start my first ever scrapbook…
    Guess I should return and look into something else…ouch!!

    • itsybel, January 13, 2014 at 7:59 pm #

      I think it’s only the on-line stores that are affected by her decision, not physical retail stores that also have an on-line store. There’s been a flood of overnight websites opening just to get wholesale accounts which the manufacturers are starting to catch. But Michael’s has physical stores, so they will still be allowed to sell on-line too. At least that’s how I understand it, and I’ve not received any letter telling me I can no longer carry project life either in my physical store or e-store

  20. corinne mitchell January 13, 2014 at 4:04 pm #

    this is BAD news!! i was planning on starting one, guess not. i only have michaels near me and they are too expensive, do most of my shopping online

    • crafty mom of 5 January 14, 2014 at 11:56 am #

      i never shop at Michaels without a coupon. They also accept competitors coupons (limit one per customer per day, same as with their own coupons). You just need to shop smart! It’s an incredible deal and extremely affordable when you purchase with coupons!

  21. Deborah Breedlove January 13, 2014 at 4:36 pm #

    I ordered the Rain kit from walmart this morning, I will get it in a few days and they always have the core kits discounted with free shipping. I hope that it will not affect them, its so easy to get it delivered to your local store.

  22. Josie January 13, 2014 at 6:58 pm #

    Never shop Michaels without a coupon!

  23. Noell Hyman January 13, 2014 at 9:37 pm #

    I’m trying to understand why they’re allowing 2Peas to carry it but not Any idea?

    • Kara January 14, 2014 at 8:18 am #

      I think I read on 2Peas that has the exclusive to the We R Memory Keepers equivalent to PL. This could be the reason why.

      • Noell Hyman January 15, 2014 at 6:28 pm #

        Thanks, Kara. That would make sense.

        • Drex Davis January 15, 2014 at 6:37 pm #

          Hi Noell,
          See my complete response below … but summary is that we don’t have an exclusive for We R and we have no idea why PL made the decisions they did. We are also trying to get an explanation from them. Hope you are well!

          • Noell Hyman January 16, 2014 at 10:41 pm #

            Hi, Drex! I am very well and I hope you are, too! Can’t tell you how much I (and others, I’m sure) appreciate you popping in and sharing what you know. Thank you!

      • Drex Davis January 15, 2014 at 6:34 pm #

        Hi, this is Drex Davis, CEO of We do not have the exclusive to the We R Pocket Pages solution. We do not know why we were excluded from carrying PL but others were permitted (and not just the ones mentioned in the article, but there are various others). We were told that in an email sent right before the CHA shows that *all* online stores would be excluded from selling PL. The first we heard there were exceptions was here at Nancy’s website. We have since been informed there are other exceptions. No idea what the criteria is for those who are being accepted and those being excluded. I hope that helps clear up about We R, though. We don’t have any exclusives with We R.

        Take care,

        • Kara January 15, 2014 at 6:45 pm #

          Thank you for the clarification. Sorry, I responded with some incorrect information.

  24. Wendy Kerth January 13, 2014 at 9:40 pm #

    im confused. Does this mean Michaels and hobby lobby wont be carrying it anymore?

    • Nancy Nally January 13, 2014 at 9:42 pm #

      Michaels and Hobby Lobby will still have Project Life.

  25. Jacqui D January 14, 2014 at 11:30 am #

    It costs less for me in Canada to order from an online store in the US and get it shipped to Canada, than it does to order from the Canada approved distributor and pay their shipping 🙁

  26. scrapinkat January 15, 2014 at 7:18 pm #

    So what about the distributors that sell ….. D?.N?, PP? who controls that? As a former LSS I had a rep that I ordered from had to send a picture of my storefront , lic, tax id, pay rent and everything else— and then we all found the distributor- just have a tax id, bus lic , anyone one could buy and sell online, out of your garage, on facebook, WHY do think we have all closed our doors? there is no loyalty – just give me a coupon

    • akismet-e638164c4e3250320c0a04c2c2a92f3f January 16, 2014 at 4:26 pm #

      That was my thought too Scrapinkat. I have an online store as well as a B&M store, but my online store has never appeared on Becky’s site, even though I have asked repeatedly for them to list me. Unless they are going to tell the Distributors who they can and can not sell to, anyone will still be able to order the PL stuff from the distributors.

      I think she would be better off letting online stores sell her product and discontinue the Hobby Lobby and Michael’s stores selling them. No one buys PL at regular retail prices anymore. Walk into HL or M with a 40-50% off coupon. THAT is what is making her product “look” overpriced to regular customers. Why buy at full price when I can get it at 40$ off?

  27. Rossenol January 15, 2014 at 9:56 pm #

    My “American Dream” is kind people, challenged to do their best, and helped when they have less to offer – for a day or for a lifetime. But that’s just me.

  28. Gina Lindsey January 16, 2014 at 6:00 pm #

    BH you lost me!!!!
    Luckily there are more companies selling products to be able to keep my family memories!!!
    Bye, bye BH… no more of my $$$ for you…

  29. Cele January 24, 2014 at 3:32 pm #

    The bottom line is this is Becky Higgins business and she can choose which companies online,brick and mortar or in the clouds she wants to to sell her product.

  30. Silverchakra January 31, 2014 at 8:51 pm #

    First, I don’t understand why people who are obviously interested in a topic enough to comment don’t read before commenting! Nancy had to clarify about International and B&M stores a number of times, which she had already done in the article! I don’t use PL but I would imagine that since Becky is going to have her own online store she wants to cut down on the competition and drive more buyers to her store, which only makes good business sense. However, I do feel badly for the stores that have been selling it who now can’t especially considering there are exceptions to this. Again, that is up to Becky but doesn’t mean I can’t feel for those businesses.

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