It lets readers submit reviews on specific products. Below is MY review for the question "Does Cricut Really Work?"
No - Don't buy into the hype!
Cricut has a big budget. This is evident with the magazine ads, the infomercials, the goodies that are given away to those who pay extra to belong to a “Circle” of friends, and the ability to sue anyone over any little thing, and keep it going until the dollars run out with the lil’ guy.
Now if Cricut would pour more money into DESIGNING better products that work without major problems, that would be a dream. They don’t. If you are in the market for something brand new from Cricut, WAIT awhile. Kinks have to be worked out by the “Beta-Testers” who buy the first generation of any of their products. Take a look at the Cricut message boards if you doubt this. Look at the complaints regarding updates that fail, products that fail right out of the box, etc.
There ARE other Electronic Die Cutting Machines out there, people. PLEASE educate yourself before choosing to go with Cricut. It’s an expensive hobby if you choose this company. There’s the initial cost of the machine, the cost of the mats to stick the paper, the cost of utensils to remove your creations, the cost of EACH and EVERY single cartridge you wish to use. A majority of their cartridges RETAIL for around $90.
Don’t buy into the hype that this is a quality product. It’s NOT anywhere NEAR quality. Look at the other cutters that do NOT use cartridges. THAT is the wave of the future for EDCM’s. (Electronic Die Cutting Machines.)Jannarama
April 18th, 2011
Scary how much I poured into my Cricut machine after I spent a LOT of money on it. I had TWO machines, as well. The Create, which is the smaller machine that handles 6x12" sticky mats. Then I purchased the larger machine, the Expression. Both were "bundles" from hsn.com. It was cheaper to go with the bundles instead of buying each item outright. Plus I was able to stretch my payments over months so it didn't hurt so much in the wallet.
I had about 30 cartridges I bought outright. Some cartridges came with the bundles, so I'm not including those in this estimate of the money I've spent on Cricut items.
MSRP for Cartridges: $90 x 30 = $2700;
$17 for the 24x12" duo;
$13 for the 12x12" duo;
$10 for the 6x12" duo= $40.
Create bundle: $250. (plus the protection plan of $40= $290);
Expression bundle: $450 + the $40 protection plan= $490);
Replacement blades $10;
Cricut cartridge storage binder: $10;
Cricut Stencil: $13.00
This is a total of $3553 MSRP.
With regards to the cartridges, I never, EVER paid the retail price. Averaging though, I probably spent about $45 on each, so that comes to $1350. That now equals $2203. Over TWENTY-TWO HUNDRED DOLLARS that was spent on Cricut items!!!
This is JUST money spent on the CRICUT items. It's not including the Cuttlebug machine and many folders and dies I purchased. I can't even even begin to estimate how much was spent on those items. My rough estimate is probably close to $300+.
With that flexible payment plan, which does NOT charge you any interest or extra fees for opting in for it, I was also able to afford to purchase the replacement for my Provocraft Cricut machines--the eCraft from Craftwell. It also came with a flexible payment plan. This is one of the main things I enjoy about shopping online with hsn.com. Prices are comparable, and sometimes even BETTER if you purchase a bundled product.
I did the research and when I purchased the Expression, it came with the Gypsy, hand-held machine which allowed one to design 'on the go.' It was MUCH more than that, though. I was able to "link" my cartridges with the hand-held machine, and design cuts that incorporate the images from the cartridges, AND it was flexible enough for me to place images from various cartridges on one sticky mat. I could manipulate the images by 'erasing' lines that I didn't want to be cut. That was a nice handy feature. It also allowed me to "weld" or join a combination of letters to be cut as one long word, opposed to cutting each individual letter to adhere to my projects. The cartridges didn't need to be retrieved from the storage box which was located on the other side of the house in an under-the-bed container. As long as I had the required cables, I was good to go.
The one caveat of having cartridges linked to my Gypsy was I could never "Un-link" them. So once it was done, I OWNED that cartridge and could never legally resell to someone who would want to link it to THEIR own Gypsy. That was frustrating to me. I'm an honest person--I follow the rules and understand the rules. So if I choose to sell my cartridge, I should choose to be able to unlink it from my Gypsy so the next owner can benefit from that feature. NOPE. That wasn't going to happen. I lived with the consequences, but I wasn't happy.
I was one of the luckier Cricut owners. I never really had any problems with my machines. I've read horror stories regarding those who received machines that just never worked right out of the box. So it was sent back, and they received another machine. THAT machine again, never worked right out of the box. Now a THIRD machine was on its way, and when it was received, guess what?! It was a USED machine. Not wrapped correctly, scuffmarks on the actually machine case. How frustrating can THAT be, to receive a 3rd machine and it's "USED." Not REFURBISHED, but USED! (That 3rd one isn't working as well, last I read.)
Oh, and this just in--Provo Craft recently had a lay-off, so if you want better customer service, think again--those who are still the representatives for the company that you call when you have a problem or complaint are probably working TWICE as hard now that a lot of their coworkers are gone. This is RIGHT before the launch of their latest machine, the "E2." The "E2" is the Expression 2 machine, which is supposed to eliminate the use of the 'overlay' that shows which graphics are available. I really have a lot of empathy for the CSR's of Provo-Craft this coming summer. They will be inundated with a LOT of phone calls, is MY prediction based on past new machine releases.
So, buyer beware when it comes to Provo Craft items, such as the Cricut machines. If you still are interested in getting one, please remember the opinions from those who say "NO, it does NOT work." If having to get a machine replaced multiple times is any indication, then stay far far away from this company.
Until Next Time--
Until Next Time--