Welcome to Sticker Club…

Last Updated on

Welcome to Sticker Club

At the weekend, the 7yo received a letter. Very exciting, always nice to get something addressed to you in the mail. Even us adults get a bit excited, if it’s not a bill.

Welcome to the “Sticker Club”. Please send one pack of stickers to the person listed in the #1 spot. Next move my name to the #1 spot and put your name in the #2 spot.

If you can’t do this in 6 days, please let my parents know because it isn’t fair to all the other kids who have participated so far…

I’m sorry, but this is at best a chain letter, at worst encouraging our children to participate in a pyramid scheme! Am I alone in thinking this is a really bad idea? But then, do I want my child to be the one that ‘breaks the chain’?

And, isn’t it rather reminiscent of the ‘if you don’t send this letter to fifteen people by tomorrow, terrible things will happen’ nonsense of the chain letters of our youth?

Within two weeks, you should receive 36 packs of stickers…

Not a chance! Remember the knickers one in the nineties anyone?

Am I overreacting, should I just suck it up; send off some stickers, make my twelve copies of the letter and annoy six other mums?

At the moment I’m erring towards sending a pack of stickers to the child in the #1 spot and also the 7yo’s friend who sent him the bl*%*y letter in the first place (along with a note to her mother) and leaving it at that.

I may also take this as a learning opportunity for the 7yo and explain why various forms of pyramid schemes are illegal in many countries, including the UK and the US…

Am I just being a grouch?

I would be perfectly happy to take part in a Sticker Club where my son’s friends sent each other stickers. I have no issue with the time or effort involved in getting stickers and mailing them out to other kids. I just don’t like chain letters!

P.S. to the parents: please take the time to do this quick project. It is worth it to see the smile on your child’s face when they open their own mail…

I don’t like being made to feel guilty, and I also won’t like having to explain to my 7yo why he didn’t get lots of mail to open!

I would really appreciate your thoughts on this one, my six days are nearly up! What would you do?

[As an aside, hubby (who is a bit of a geek!) decided to work out how many people would have to be involved in the Sticker Club after 10 weeks to ensure that everyone ‘above’ them in the scheme is getting their stickers… 12 million! At a very conservative estimate of cost of stamps and stickers, this would amount to over $54m… And, in the US chain letters that ask for money or other items of value and promise a substantial return to the participants are illegal, and while Sticker Club may be just a bit of fun; I still don’t like chain letters :)]

Post Comment Love


NOMINATE ME BiB 2014 FRESH VOICE NOMINATE ME BiB 2014 WRITER BiB2014familyNom

Follow on Bloglovin

56 thoughts on “Welcome to Sticker Club…”

  1. I absolutely hate hate hate this kind of thing too and if I were you I’d probably do what you suggested – one pack to the two kids immediately affected by the broken chain. I think the younger you are the more difficult it is to say no sometimes but I’ve reached an age where I’m no longer afraid to be opinionated! And also who the heck needs 36 packs of stickers anyway! BTW if it had been up to me you would have been one of the MADS finalists! X

    1. I’m glad it’s not just me! I make the effort to join in with most things, I just draw the line at this kind of chain letter :)
      And, thank you for the lovely comment re the MADs xx

  2. I am going to be classed as a grouch with you my lovely. I would buy a sticker page for your own child and his friend them to go play with them and have fun! Then nicely explain to sender mom thanks but it’s not for you and hope for the best. I actually have received one of these for kitchen towels, same concept so that I would receive all these unique kitchen towels it never happened I send mine out this was years and years ago and never got ONE. Like you said it’s illegal and probably not teaching a valueable lesson so go with your gut my lovely. Thank you so much for linking up to Share With Me. I love reading your post. You are an amazing writer. #sharewithme

    1. Thanks Jenny, I’m definitely starting to feel better about my decision :)
      And, thank you for your very kind comment x

  3. I’m totally with you! I find the principle and language of any kind of chain letter really quite distasteful, however well intentioned. I recently got an email one from one of my best friends about sending inspirational quotes, and in the end I decided just to ignore it. I’m sure the ‘disappointed’ would-be recipients of my wisdom will live without it. To pile the guilt on with a scheme aimed at 7 year olds and their parents is just ridiculous! I really wouldn’t want to pass that guilt on to anyone else, and unless they’re really spectacular stickers I’d say it probably isn’t worth it… X

    1. That’s exactly it, I’m feeling guilty and irritated – why on earth would I want to inflict those emotions on six more mums?!

  4. I agree Sara! In fact (mum confession here) I ignore a lot of those kinds of things! As you say, it wouldn’t be so bad if it was just from one child, and you were aware of where it originated. But I wouldn’t want to associate myself with something of dubious origin either. I think your stance is a good one! E x. #sharewithme

    1. Thank you! I’m feeling better already :) That’s the thing isn’t it, associating yourself with something you feel really uncomfortable with!

  5. urgh- I can not be doing with stuff like that my love!! you are not on your own at all. If you’re not in to it, don’t do it.
    If you’re feeling guilty, by the littlie a sticker book but leave it there I think!
    #sharewithme

    Muma Leary. x

  6. Caroline (Becoming a SAHM)

    Oh god I HATE this kind of thing too! Talk about guilting you, do they own shares in the stickers or something?? So annoying as now you have your little one wanting you to do it, and like you say, it’s not the cost of the stickers, but the principle! I think reply to the parents saying you won’t take part and then buy him and a friend some stickers. There’s no way you’d get many, if any back as I’m sure other parents won’t join in either! Great post xx #sharewithme

  7. Leanne (@suggys.co.uk/Leanne)

    Im totally with you on this… Its a Pyramid ‘Scheme’ whichever way you wish to look at it.. that’s exactly what it is… Its been made Illegal for a reason. I wouldn’t participate in anything like that myself and no way would my kids. Its just wrong? Good for you putting a stop to it :) x

  8. Now, I’m all for sharing lovely post, especially stationery & stickers, but this is a chain letter & I hate them! I always delete chain texts, too, as I’m way to grouchy to get involved in those. Tough one, if your son was excited, though x

  9. Wicked World of Lucas

    I totally agree with you. I hated chain letters and they essentially cause a lot of stress for people and now they’re being directed at our kids???? I’m not normally serious but my Nana received a chain letter once and it really upset her. I love the idea of sticker club though, except when those blasted stickers end up in your carpet! Great post #sharewithme

  10. Ash the Dog says – Although I’m only a doggie I have to say that ANYTHING that may start upsetting our lil’ dudes is so not cool!! Lucas loves stickers butt hey always seem to get caught in my very swishy tail!! #sharewithme

  11. I think everyone has said it already. We’ve not had it in the mail, but eldest has a mobile phone now, and friends are forever sending similar kind of chain texts. “Send on to 20 people or its bad luck”. She ignores now, but it upset her at first. She’s learning!

    I’d either completly ignore or you could just randomly send a letter and stickers to 7 friends, not as a chain letter, but as a nice surprise. You never know what may happen!

  12. charlottebrown96236573

    Sorry but I don’t like this stuff either and would probably ignore it or send the two that you suggest. My eight year old said that he couldn’t delete a game on his iPod because people would start watching him!?! I told him to delete it and explained about chain letters and that nothing bad happens if you ‘break the chain’. This sounds more harmless but is still putting a guilt trip on people which I really don’t like. I agree with the comments about buying stickers for particular friends or maybe sending a select few through the post. I personally resent being ‘guilted’ into anything xx

    1. Thank you, I’ve been so glad of the support. I still feel a bit like the new kid on the block over here, so probably worry more than I would at home x

  13. I’d definitely be annoyed too! It’s rather a bit disturbing that our kids are being exposed at such an early age to scams like that one. I wouldn’t get involved. But that’s me. Your idea of sending stickers to the top one and the other kid sounds like a good idea too. #PoCoLo

    1. Thank you, I don’t want to get involved, but I can’t help feeling guilty about the kids directly affected… Which is one of the things that annoys me :)

  14. I have to say that I remember getting this type of thing when I was young and it NEVER worked. I hate the sense of guilt you feel too. Awful. If it happened to Grace then I would tell her my experience and advise her to forget it. Thank you for linking to PoCoLo lovely (btw, I don’t know if I’ve said but your blog is looking great x).

    1. Thank you Vicky, that’s my plan with the 7yo. I’d like him to understand why I’m not going to do it x And thank you for noticing the blog, still playing around with it :)

  15. I am thrilled to find, while cruising the #mummybloggers, a mum turned mom – even if you are far away from me here in Minneapolis. (I hooked up with mummy bloggers through #ArchiveDay, and now #PoCoLo, and am enjoying the memories it brings back of my own young children, even though I’ve never spent time in the UK.) Have to say that I have always hated such chain letters and I am particularly angry that someone would involve a child in them. It is not an example of American entrepreneurship I am at all proud of. I still remember having to call the Humane Society because my son kept sending them all his allowance money since (a) puppies and kitties would die if he didn’t and (b) otherwise they’d stop sending the stickers.

    1. Thank you, #PoCoLo is wonderful for finding interesting blogs, I will be over to check out yours later :) Using guilt to get anything from people is an awful thing; and charities can sometimes be the worst for it.

  16. Pingback: Welcome to Sticker Club…

  17. Okay, so I’ve missed the 6 day deadline in commenting but… in my opinion, this is just cheap, nasty and as you’ve pointed out, guilt-ridden. No, no and no. I would much rather our little bear did as I did when I was younger and had a good old-fashioned penpal who she writes to, shares her adventures with and vice versa… and swaps sticker if SHE wants to!

  18. It’s NOT a pyramid scheme! Everyone always says it’s some kind of pyramid or ponzi scheme. I don’t know what kind of math your husband did, but if you follow the traditional sticker club directions, you only receive stickers from the people 2 levels below you. Everyone, including the person who “starts” the chain stops receiving any benefit from it after maximum of 36 stickers.
    We thought it was a great way to show our son the global impact of a very small thing (sending a few letters). We traced ours around the world (with the help of a little technology that we put together).

    1. mumturnedmom

      Thank you very much for your comment, I’m actually really glad to have a comment from the ‘yes’ camp on this one, so thank you for taking the time to comment. The numbers were just a bit of fun to show the impact weeks down the line, and while you’re right that only 36 people are needed for each single person to get their stickers, you need to have 216 people involved for all 36 of those to get their stickers and 1,296 people for the 216 to get theirs and so on – the idea of the numbers was to show the ripple effect of a chain letter like this. My objection is to the chain letter element, and I would rather see a club or a project where a group simply exchange with each other and don’t solicit from several others at a time. I have taken part in school projects looking for postcards from around the world, or a travelling journal that is sent to individual friends in different parts of the world, to demonstrate geography and global reach. I’m not objecting to children getting involved in interesting projects, I just don’t want them to get involved in a chain letter.

    2. Andrew,

      To address the :’I don’t know what kind of math your husband did’ comment;

      Week 1: 6 letters.
      Week 2: each of those recruits 6 people; thats 36
      Week 3: each of those recruits 6, that 216
      etc.
      After 9 weeks, you’re at 10,077,696 People. Thats 10 MILLION people, just *that* week. There are kist over 2 Million from the previous weeks. 10 + 2 = 12.

      After 13 weeks, you’ve got the entire population of the globe. Everyone.

      Here’s a nice diagram showing the same figures: http://www.sec.gov/answers/pyramid.htm

      I figured 12 Million letters, at 50c for postage, plus a couple of dollars for the two sheets of stickers; $2.50*12 => $50M.

      As for whether its a pyramid scheme or not; the classic definition of a pyramid scheme is one where the reward stems from recruitment rather than work. This certainly fits that category. In the US, such schemes are considered illegal by the FTC, USPS, SEC and both Federal and State laws.

      regards,
      Hubby.

      http://www.ftc.gov/public-statements/1998/05/pyramid-schemes
      http://www.sec.gov/answers/pyramid.htm
      http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/1302

  19. I’m in Australia and my 7yo son received exactly the same letter from a dear friend. I used it as a learning opportunity for him about why chain letters aren’t good. I explained it wasn’t nice to make people feel bad or guilty. He was horrified that people sent such mail and said he wanted nothing to do with it. I was disappointed that my friend participated in the letter and more particularly that it was sent directly to my son without consultation. These things also have natty undertones of grooming. I was further

    1. Thanks for commenting, I also explained to my son why we weren’t taking part, and I was also disappointed to see the letter come directly to my son… Really dislike this kind of thing!

  20. I just got one of these letters in the mail. Since it was addressed to my son, I thought it was from family but it wasn’t. The letter was from another parent if never even met or knew. How did they know my son’s name??? I don’t know I was a little freaked out. I’m new to the area here and don’t know many people in my town yet alone 2 towns over. I feel bad breaking the chain but I think I’m going to just send the 2 people stickers and break the chain…. confused…

    1. For me, this is one of the reasons why I disliked it so much, I felt bad for breaking the chain but I shouldn’t have been put in that position. I think you’re doing the right thing x

  21. None of these thoughts had crossed my mind and I think the reason why is that all of the people involved have volunteered to do so. I am going to do it, since I signed up through a friend. We will see how it goes, and it will be interesting to see how many other people follow through with it.

    I guess I will have to keep you posted :)

  22. I can understand all of these points of view. My only thing is as Adults we can also act as adults and communicate appropriately to the sender of the letter. Remember it is voluntary, and a respectful thing to do is to let them know that you are not able to participate and they will need to find someone else to send the letter to. It will also be a lesson for your little one.

  23. Just received letters for a sticker club AND a book club. Total grouch here, too. My son is 4 years old, so can’t even go get the stickers / books himself, which means I would be the one buying them and then making the copies to pester our friends with requests. I too agree that I hate the guilt-trip associated with the “smile on the child’s face when opening mail” – I know how to make my son happy, and if I want him or he wants to have stickers and books, we can get them for him! No need to pester our friends to do so!!! So I just emailed one of the parents of the sticker club to tell them sorry but we won’t be able to do it… About to do the same with the book club!

  24. I missed this first time round – just clicked after reading your NY tag post. I wouldn’t have anything to do with this kind of scheme. I really dislike feeling pressured to do things. Oh dear, my kids are going to think I’m such a mean mummy

  25. I’m kind of blown away about how crazy people get over something so simple. My daughter is 7 and she recently received the sticker club letter. Was I annoyed? Yes. Did I sit down with her and do the letters anyway? Yes. It took 10 minutes. We went to Michael’s and together picked out the ONE pack she needed to send out. She loved it. Now she’s gotten a few packs in the mail. SHE ABSOLUTELY LOVES IT!!!!! No on was harmed. No one died. No one is now involved in some giant chain conspiracy. I got her a sticker book and she’s having a blast.
    Stop overreacting. It’s stickers. They’re kids. No need to freak out and make a huge deal about everything and take the fun out of everything. If you don’t want to participated don’t. Toss it. Writing a blog about it? Wow. Talk about sweating the small stuff.

    1. You know what, a year down the line, I’m inclined to agree with you to a certain extent, now that my initial irritation has worn off. I still really don’t like chain letters of any kind though… But, you’re right, in the great scheme of things, there are far worse things to deal with. Thank you for commenting.

  26. Thank you, you have confirmed my thoughts on this, and given me a way out. I (or rather my little girl) has just received two sticker letters. I’ve sent nice texts to the moms (they are my friends after all) but will also be sending stickers to the kids.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: