Creative home arts club, scam?????

Gladwin, MI(Zone 5a)

You know how you get things in the mail, buy a book, craft this, yarn that. Well today I got a new one. It is called the creative home arts club. Inside was a couple little free items, and a letter saying how they need people to test craft items.

Ok, I really believe they are going to send me a sewing machine for free to test and keep. HA. (this was one of the items example to be sent, along with bottle of paint, things like that)

For $1 a month, and after filling out a survey, they will send you stuff to rate and test. Also this "nice" craft magazine.
Money back guarentee etc. No mention of paying postage and handling on items sent.

So here is my question. How are they making money? Every business is in it for making money, that just is good sence. What is the catch? Are the questions invasive? Are they going to put you on every list, mailing and phone?

Has anyone joined this "club"? and what do you think of the idea? I am trying to be frugal with my money, but this intrigues me. It sounds kind of fun, even if they just send you really cheap items. Gotta be worth the 12 bucks, for 12 issues of a magazine and 12 craft items....or not?

Dowagiac, MI

If this is similar to National Home Gardening Club, it is legit. I belong to that, and yes, you do get to test items and keep them for free. However, the items you test, at the beginning are inexpensive ones. I have tested gardening tools, an auxiliary shovel handle and some citronella insense that are supposed to keep bugs away.
Check and see if this club is affiliated to NHG. If so, I would not hesitate to join if you think it's something you'd be interested in.
I think the ones that get to test the high end merchandise are members who have been in the club a very long time.
I'm sure companies pay NHG for their endorsement and advertisements, and I am also sure the companies provide these items at no charge to be distributed to the testers.

Gladwin, MI(Zone 5a)

Well, it did say that you get your money back if not satisfied. So I have nothing to loose. (I hope)

Thanks for the quick reply. Makes me feel better. (I am soooo skeptical)

I would expect just inexpensive items, but it would be kind of fun I think.

I glad someone here knew about this club. Nice to have DG as a place to share our doubts and experiences.
Thanks again

Emerald Hills, CA(Zone 9b)

Please check out the (mostly negative) reviews about National Gardening Club on DG:

Eatonton, GA(Zone 8b)

Yep, I'm a NHGC Life member too. ( after paying mega bucks) I really enjoyed it years ago when you could have penpals and such but not any longer, all questions are forum type but I chose not to be involved any longer! It got to be a very argumentative site and I wasnt happy with all the junk mail I kept getting from being on the site!
I "tested" gardening "JUNK" too! for over 3 years and never tested anything worth the effort. I entered contest religiously and never won( oh well I never win anything, anyway).
I did however meet some great people and still have many friends from the site. Many are now here on DG! A much better site and easier to download photos on!
Try it out! But believe me other than Testing out stuff youll never use, DG gives you more !

Gladwin, MI(Zone 5a)

Wow, I am glad I posted this. You may have saved me a big headache.
Thanks for all the advice and reading!

Gilmer, TX

I'm a member of Home Gardening and have won several contest, one a prize worth over $450.00. I've also tested alot of great products. Right now I'm in on a long term rose test. So far I have received nine rose bushes and will be receiving more in the spring. The magazine also has some good info. I've never been on any of the forms, I like DG for that.

Gladwin, MI(Zone 5a)

Sounds like you are in the minority though. I am glad it is working out for you.
Those roses sound great.

Eatonton, GA(Zone 8b)

I agree , Catlady you are one of the lucky ones! Congrats on winning such great products!

Dowagiac, MI

I'm with you, Catlady. I like their garden magazine as much as any of the other magazines I receive. Yes, you have to pay to become a life member, but all the magazines are free. I spend quite a bit on the other 3 subscriptions I have. I received some very nice gifts as a life member, the last being a gardening tool kit with all sorts of VERY NICE tools in it.
I am not disappointed at all.

Eatonton, GA(Zone 8b)

this is so funny! I just recieved a letter in the mail today from them, they want me to be a tester again ! This time I am testing a product worth ........39cents! Its a food grade product , Hmmmmm, no gardening relation at all, a meat seasoning packet! Well we will see if it is good or not!

I wish I were as lucky at winning contests as you all have been! I cant seem to even get in on the really good test items! Awwwwwwww!

Gladwin, MI(Zone 5a)

I have a feeling, (from reading the link and experiences from others) that this place just sells things to you. The market testing part is a come on scam.
I think they sell you a magazine and then send you cheap items to keep you happy, then sell your name to many mailing lists according to your likes and hobbies.
I think if you start buying books or sign up for longer that they will start sending you better things, but you have already paid for them (from over pricing on books etc)
Anyone who has ever been in a really good dollar store can see some really nice items that can be sold for a buck. With proper buying, they can send out quite a variety of items at very little cost to them.
This is just what I think. I of course could be incorrect. But I think I will pass on their offer.

Dowagiac, MI

Then you probably should pass on their offer. I've always been of the belief that no one can make you buy, or do, anything you don't want.

Gladwin, MI(Zone 5a)

Thanks to everyone for posting. I sure learned alot.

Halifax, MA(Zone 6a)

That craft club is part of the NHGC family. I'm an NHGC Lifer. I also am a tester for them. I have tested small things(planting strips- $3.69) to large items(a electric hedge trimmer- $150). What you are testing, partially depends on what you put in your pre-testing survey. If you put in the survey that you have a shed, they won't send you a shed to test. I have never had any problems with them selling my info. So i have never gotten any spam or unwanted items in my mailbox.

This message was edited Sep 6, 2007 9:49 AM

Olympia, WA

Just another beauty of the Internet is the fact that we have a way to check in with other folks who may have tried this or that. Remember when you had no way of knowing?

It isn't a "one size fits all world" and how nice that makes it!!!

Enjoy - whichever way your garden gate swings!

Gladwin, MI(Zone 5a)

This is so true.
This club is very strange though. Some people have hated it, it has ruined their credit scores from money not owed, Been billed for service and items not wanted, etc. Then some others love it and get great things. Strange.
Seems the happy people are in the minority though.

Dublin, CA(Zone 9a)

From the looks of the comments, a lot of the people who are the most unhappy are the ones who tried to leave the club...the people who are still there seem happier, but I guess they better watch out if they ever decide to quit!

Gladwin, MI(Zone 5a)


Grantsboro, NC(Zone 8b)

I also am a lifer with NHGC been there for years. Got a pair of glove to test but never received anything else. It has good and bad sides. The message board is not easy to navigate for me since I am computer dumb but here its so easy.
I have a lot of friends there who every once in a while check to see how I am.

I couldn't get them together for a round up but mentioned it here and had 10 show up.

You never know.

Wish I could test a Kobuta tractor


Gladwin, MI(Zone 5a)

I guess it is all about expectations. If you don't expect too much and get more, than you are happy.
I was concerned about the lack of comunication with the payment issues. This grief is something I do not want to have to deal with.
I had problems once cancelling the phone company when we moved. It took 6 months to straighten out. They billed us for a service we did not have, and they even had record of cancellation. After a while, when I had a credit, they would not send me a check. They said it was a "credit on paper". I laughed out loud at that one. 6 more months and I had my 34 dollars. I do not wish to invite more trouble with companies that love to bill, and don't care about what happens later.

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