Mum-of-three Wendy won top Newcomer Agent this year and here shares why being a Park agent is such a rewarding and fun ‘side hustle’ for busy mums!
I am so honoured to host a fabulous interview with the very talented mum who has won the title of Winning Newcomer Agent with Park Christmas Savings, Wendy McSeveney.
“It’s been a blessing especially after the year we’ve had; we were still able to enjoy Christmas …” Wendy McSeveney
Marital status: Married (husband Jim)
Children: Son John, 13 and twins Emelia and Sienna, 7.
Occupation: Customer advisor for Tesla – working from home presently – Full-time
When did you sign up to be Park customer/agent?
I signed up to Park through a Facebook friend who is an agent for a year in 2019 and I really had a great experience. I realised that any customer can be an agent too which made a lot of sense to me as I’ve a great circle of pals and colleagues. It’s so easy. A total no-brainer for me as a way of paying for Christmas in advance and helping my friends do the same.
In January I already had orders in from my circle of customers ready for Christmas 2021 touching £30,000. January is always a miserable month and everyone was getting over Christmas too, but I knew already several friends want to sign up straight away as things were looking just a bit brighter, they’d had their January payday and started putting aside money early is always a win-win.
What do you like about being a customer/agent and how much do you put away with Park?
I call my Park money my ‘holding pot’ and I get a real kick out of building it up. I put £200 a month in it generally and some months maybe £300 or £400 depending on our income flow.
The idea for me is to have around £3000 paid off for Christmas but to also have a bit left over for some new year sales stuff too! As I’m agent, I used my commission rewards for 2020, which was 3.5% in Love2shop vouchers, to pay for a new dishwasher in the January sales after my machine conked out over Christmas.
I love the fact you can place an order at the start for all kinds of voucher and gift card options but you can always change your mind. There is no pressure. You don’t have to have a set amount each month either – you can change it when you like. I love the offers we get too and the camaraderie of being with Park. There’s a bit of fun, family feel to it as we are just trying to bring our families the best Christmas we can and that’s always a feel-good thing.
It has also been a blessing as last year no one could have predicted Covid and job losses and all the stress we’ve been under. I can’t tell you how relieved myself and my friends who plan with me were, knowing that Christmas was paid for last year.
When spending my vouchers my favourite stores are The Perfume Shop and Argos for gifts but I also love knowing I can do my big food shop too at any of the big supermarkets. With Love2shop Gift Cards, I can spend at up to 90 major name stores too and Jim my husband loves JD Sports, so all the family are sorted.
Why do you prefer budgeting with Park over say putting money away each week into a bank savings account?
I have to laugh when people ask this about my Park plan and say ‘just put it in a savings account’ because practically everyone I know has a savings account and first of all, they pay a rubbish interest rate!
A Park plan is not a savings account; it’s a budgeting tool for the likes of me and it stops me from impulse spending on pointless things.
My husband and I do have a savings account which we set up after we sold our house. But let’s be honest, it is too easy to dip in to and we do, all the time. I tell myself I will put it back and I don’t put it back.
There’s much more to being a Park customer than spreading the cost of Christmas as you get loads of great updates on festive shopping ideas, offers and tips too.
Do you feel your money is safe?
Yes I do. I know it is in a trust set-up and I’ve no worries about that all.
Did you need any special skills to do well as a Park Christmas Agent?
Well, I have the gob the size of a planet and being able to chat to people is really important in my role as an agent. I was a previous customer and could see how I could do things a bit different if it was me being the agent. I thought I’d give it a go and I smashed it!
Apart from the extra income, what was it about being an agent that appealed to you?
It actually wasn’t about the cash at all, to begin with. I just love to help others and I loved Park as a brand, so it was a no brainer for me. With Covid last year too, it was an extra cushion for me, not knowing how the year would pan out, I knew I had the security of knowing Christmas for my family was factored in and already being paid off as the year went along.
What does a normal week look like for you?
I work my day job 9am-6pm three out of four weeks and 11am-8pm the other week and my life is legit work – kids – house – exercise but I love to getaway in the caravan and see our families in Scotland. Thankfully, Park sells itself really, I don’t have to chase most people for their payments as we’ve all got the same exciting goal to get Christmas paid as much in advance as possible so we can all relax and enjoy the fun part – shopping for loved ones, decorating and planning some great meals and food… and drink!
It also makes it really simple that my customers can just set up automated standing orders to me. There are a couple who might need a little nudge but I chat to them all weekly to keep them engaged and I can do this all online so it’s really nice and Covid-secure, plus I can do it from anywhere in the world!
Details about Park commission rewards:
The commission rewards for 2021 is as follows:
Love2shop Gift Cards and Vouchers 3.5% –
(Includes Love2shop Gift Cards, Love2shop Vouchers, Love2shop Holiday Card and Online Card)
All other gift cards 1.5% – (including Virgin Experiences, Your Choice Cards, Love2shop Combis)
Minimum total order of £1,500 applies
So how does making money from being an agent work?
For thousands of UK families, Park Christmas Savings is their favourite and most convenient Christmas budgeting tool, with the added enjoyment of an online community, support and even the opportunity to earn commission rewards as a Park agent. On average, 1 in 10 customers are agents and there are 30,000 plus presently all over the UK.
Park agents are not only savvy enough to have their own Christmas paid for in advance, but experience the joy and rewards of helping friends, family and workmates plan for their next dream Christmas, too.
They also offer agents exclusive materials and resources, as well as an annual Top Agent Awards. What’s not to love? With 1 in 10 women revealing in a OnePoll for the Appreciate Group that they’d love a ‘side hustle’ in 2021, now is a great time to come on board as we are on a ‘Countdown to Christmas’.
Katherine Scott, Director of Marketing at Park Christmas Savings, told Thrifty Mum: “The summer may not initially seem like a time for thinking about Christmas but in fact it is a great time to start putting aside some money every week as it soon adds up.
“We welcome new agents all year round too, so if you are keen get started, simply get in touch and sign-up your friends and family. Ultimately, planning with Park is a great way of spreading some festive joy throughout the year and that’s why we have a hugely loyal customer and agent base, with many planning with us for decades.”
Find out more here: http://www.getpark.co.uk
Park Christmas Savings is a founder member of the Christmas Prepayment Association (CPA), the Christmas savings industry trade association. The CPA has developed a Code of Practice, which must be adhered to by its members, in order to provide customers with the best possible service and to improve the security of customers’ money. To view the full CPA Code of Practice, go to http://www.cpa-advice.co.uk
Disclosure – this is a sponsored post.