≡ Menu

A New Twist On Product Parties

Recently I got an invitation through Facebook to a launch party of my cousin’s (B’s) new at home business. However, when I clicked on the event I realized that it wasn’t a real party- it was a “Facebook” party.    She wants people to get on Facebook at a certain time, will post games for them to play, and then they can browse her products online. It’s perfect, no real personal interaction or hospitality is required for her to profit!

Here are the party instructions. I like how she makes it sound so reasonable and convenient.

Hello everyone! I am a brand new Jamberry Consultant, and this is my official Facebook Launch Party! Mostly we are going to play games, and along the way I am going to introduce you to Jamberry Nails! Over the next two weeks I’ll be posting information about Jamberry, what is is all about, the reason behind the craze, photos, videos, and much more! Please feel free to message me if you would like a sample!

This Facebook launch party is great because you can do everything from the comfort of your home!  Ordering is simple!
1.  Check out my site.
2.  Fill your cart with goodies!
3.  Choose “B’s Jamberry Launch Party” upon checkout.

It’s that simple!   If at anytime you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask!

At least at a real product party, I can say hi to folks, actually see/try the products, and usually there’s good snacks. This is just tacky. 0901-14

{ 112 comments }

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Green123 September 2, 2014, 3:49 am

    I don’t really see your problem with this. It’s not a party. You’re not obliged to go anywhere, or take a hostess gift, or do anything. Your host is not providing any snacks or drinks. She’s just asking you to go online, which you’re not obliged to do, and browse some stuff which you have no obligation to buy. I’d rather this than one of those awful parties where you turn up and you have tupperware / lingerie / bath products demonstrated to you as you nibble some crisps.

    • lakey September 2, 2014, 9:55 am

      I think her problem with it is that it is being billed as a “party”, which it isn’t.

      • Green123 September 3, 2014, 3:12 am

        I think OP is taking the word ‘party’ literally. The sender of the invite is using it in a more modern way to mean ‘marketing event on the internet’. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that – the rest of the text makes it perfectly clear that it’s not a party in the usual sense and that there’s none of the usual ‘party’ obligations, up to and including actually turning up.

  • Marozia September 2, 2014, 4:29 am

    Tacky indeed! If you want the products, go. If you don’t, don’t! Simple.
    Alas! It has come to this!

  • Bella September 2, 2014, 4:51 am

    I see these kinds of stories a lot here, and while I can understand that in comparison to more traditional ways, this will seem rude. But I also think people need to keep in mind that times are changing and not everything has to be done face to face. This type of online social gathering is happening all the time, in very meaningful ways, and giving access to people who might otherwise not be able to travel/meet. So if it’s not your cup of tea, then politely decline. But don’t expect the world is going to stop changing.

    • B September 2, 2014, 5:08 am

      What is ‘meaningful’ about someone expecting you to go on Facebook to make her some money?

      • Bella September 2, 2014, 5:00 pm

        you have the freedom to travel to places, congrats to you

        • B September 3, 2014, 2:52 am

          I think you missed the part about ‘to make her some money’, Bella.

    • Steve September 2, 2014, 8:27 am

      The technology is really irrelevant. It just gives you a faster way to do something that shouldn’t be done in the first place.

      The cousin is trying to exploit her family and social relationships, and turn them into business relationships. This was regarded as not nice before the Internet, in the days of Tupperware parties, and it is still regarded as not nice today.

      The only thing that Facebook does here is allow the customer to monetize her family without the need to set out a bowl of Chex mix. So now, she is still camouflaging her sales pitches as social calls, but her victims now get nothing out of the bargain.

      This doesn’t sound like a recipe for success to me.

      • Bella September 2, 2014, 4:59 pm

        6 billion in f-commerce (money spent through FB) says it does work. Nothing is camouflaged, she’s quite transparent. Your’e just behind on the times. If you find it rude, don’t like the Facebook page – simple! Much more comfortable than being asked over to your cousin’s place for her to sell some goods and feel obliged to buy something before you leave.

    • EllenS September 2, 2014, 8:55 am

      I understand that online classes, discussions, gaming, etc. can be meaningful. But do you really find an advertisement to shop online for nail glitter to be a meaningful interaction? Would it make you feel that the “hostess” values your friendship?

      • Whodunit September 2, 2014, 1:43 pm

        Well even tho you got some odd responses Bella, most posters here agree with you as do I!:)

      • Bella September 2, 2014, 4:57 pm

        I don’t need such validations of friendship. Shes promoting her good, I can check out the FB and join the group or not. Simple.

  • JO September 2, 2014, 4:57 am

    Oh. I just…oh. No. No, thank you. I can’t…just…no.

  • NostalgicGal September 2, 2014, 5:21 am

    A) no shoveling the house to be ‘skunked’ (ask my former Tupperware lady about my legendary bringing in several orders from friends that couldn’t make it, and not have one live body; even though I opted for and paid for the food for a ‘cooking demo’ or some such of the new microwave stuff)
    B) no having to sit there and feel sorry for the hostess when the cheapest thing is $48 and the one thing I might want to take home is $168; and no I’m not going to spend that much on a basket; so the hostess didn’t make one sale from 11 people trying to be polite about the stuff is too expensive
    C) going there in the first place.

    I can just blip there, take a look and delete the link and forget it. If friend/faux-hostess gets too upset, there is always an ignore setting….

    I agree, TACK-E-E but a lot easier for me in having to deal with it and polite spine it.

    • Yet Another Laura September 2, 2014, 12:43 pm

      Yes to all of this. I’ve been begged to attend these kinds of parties only to find out that the items being hawked are in the Nothing Here Applies to Me category.

    • Ladt Catford September 2, 2014, 2:32 pm

      NostalgicGal I totally agree with you.
      I have been ‘skunked’ several times, and unable to purchase anything as it was too much to spend. The times are changing and what was once is not now, but … Does it really matter?

      • NostalgicGal September 3, 2014, 9:14 am

        I really don’t like the ‘tack-ee dollar store decorator items’ that are very overpriced and no I don’t want any; and I don’t want an overpriced scented candle in a jar either. I’m not that kind of person. Inviting me to this and wanting me to spend $25 for something to put on the wall when it’s not my style and I can get similar for $1-3 at the dollarstore IF I wanted it… please, don’t invite me. I don’t want it, I won’t buy it, and I’m immune to doe-eyes with moist corners just because you want the hostess gift/free/cheap swag. (some of the parties offer a percentage back to the hostess in credit, so if her attendees buy enough she can get stuff for free)

        (I kid not, the previous owner of my house must have had every bit of craftee-crappe with dried flowers and ribbons stuck to the walls, I went around with pliers and pulled over a thousand small nails out of the walls, I had a major amount of weight in a pint jar. Literally every wall from waist height up was just a morass of little nails to stick stuff up there-even the laundry room!)

  • Sim September 2, 2014, 5:25 am

    I see enough junk on Facebook without people trying to sell me things I don’t need and can’t afford. I think I might seriously consider blocking this person’s posts or even unfriending them.

    • Daphne September 3, 2014, 1:45 pm

      I totally agree with you Sim.

  • DGS September 2, 2014, 6:22 am

    I see how this can be annoying, but I also think it’s much easier to avoid this kind of virtual shakedown than a Tupperware/lingerie, etc. party in real life. I have many an acquaintance on social media who is in direct sales for one or another pyramid scheme direct sale business (makeup, jewelry, kitchen gadgets, weight loss supplements, candles, etc.), and whenever I get approached, I remove myself from online groups, ignore, etc. If I am ever confronted about it, I always say that while I appreciate their effort to make an extra dollar, if I bought from them, I would have to buy from everyone else I know who does those, and I don’t want to exclude or offend anyone, so I avoid the whole thing altogether. Most people don’t continue to pester me about it, and those that do, get unfriended.

  • Yasuragi September 2, 2014, 6:40 am

    Wow, sounds like a lot of fun! There will be Liking, Browsing and Games galore!

    Maybe you can play such classic party games as Race To The Checkout, Order Confirmation Number Bingo and everyone’s favorite Sign Up A Friend For An Additional 5% Discount!

  • Maggie September 2, 2014, 7:02 am

    So basically, “Just go to the website and order by such-and-such date?” That’s not a party. Call it what it is – soliciting. Nothing wrong with it – just be honest about it.

  • Huh September 2, 2014, 7:26 am

    I was just invited to one of these too on Facebook! Either I know the same people as OP, or that’s how that particular company handles “parties” or it’s spreading…

    • Anonymouse September 2, 2014, 7:32 pm

      I’ve also gotten one of these, although it was some time ago. Same company too. That narrows it down to Options B or C, doesn’t it?

      Hopefully it’s Option B…. 🙁

  • keloe September 2, 2014, 7:45 am

    I rather like an idea of an online party (I do not sell any products nor do I intend to). I have friends in many different countries now and we don’t see each other often. A larger gathering is practically impossible due to financial constraints and logistics. It would be much easier for everyone to get online at the same time to chat and play some games.

    • Kimstu September 2, 2014, 3:32 pm

      I agree, there’s nothing at all wrong with the concept of an “online party” in and of itself, and it sounds like it could be fun.

      But calling an online sales session a “party” just because the participants get to play some games is no better than calling a physical sales session a “party” just because the participants get to eat some refreshments.

      A genuine party, whatever the theme or venue, exists for the purpose of people sharing conversation and activities for the sake of their own enjoyment. Not for the purpose of getting participants to make purchases that the so-called “hosts” will profit from financially.

      So yes, it is tacky for the OP’s cousin to promote this commercial solicitation as a “party” in her social circle where “mostly we will play games”. Just because it’s easy for the “invitees” to ignore it doesn’t mean that it wasn’t tacky to attempt it in the first place.

    • Ellex September 2, 2014, 5:57 pm

      Google hangouts is fantastic for this. I meet with some friends of mine every week for a coast-to-coast D&D game that way.

    • Vicki Cole September 2, 2014, 7:32 pm

      Problem is, the people in other countries probably wouldn’t be able to “attend” the online “party” anyhow, because of the time difference. And I doubt you’d have much time to chat, with the hostess trying to sell you products.

      • ree September 3, 2014, 8:50 am

        It’s not that hard to ‘hangout’ with overseas friends…I am in Australia and my best friends are in America (Illinois, Texas and Ohio), we chat each and every day (often for hours!) without fail – it’s day time for me and night time for them, but it works! 🙂

    • The Elf September 3, 2014, 8:06 am

      Online parties are a blast, and yes we’ve had them spanning time zones with no problem. The ones I’ve had are all in-game and over an internet voice system like Ventrilo or TeamSpeak. I think the idea – sans product pitching – is sound. Not as much fun as a real life party, but when that’s impossible…… You should look into your AV options, Keloe, and see if you can’t throw something together!

  • Shoegal September 2, 2014, 8:02 am

    This is more than easy to ignore so I really don’t see a problem with it. If you don’t want to log in at the designated time than don’t – if you are, in fact, interested then go online and check it out. You don’t need to RSVP or decline and I wouldn’t feel obligated to do anything with it. Your cousin is probably only hurting herself in this venture because she isn’t taking a more active interest or a personal approach. By making it ultra easy on herself, she didn’t need to collect RSVPS, provide snacks or open her home to guests, she also made it really easy for potential customers to dismiss altogether.

  • clairedelune September 2, 2014, 8:03 am

    I actually find this *less* tacky than a standard product “party.” Those attempt to give a social framework to a commercial enterprise; this removes at least one layer of pretense. This is basically just a person with a small home-based business running an online promotion. If a large company were to do something like this, no one would complain that they they weren’t offering customers the opportunity for awkward in-person socializing. We’re conditioned to expect these kind of sales pitches to go a certain way (in-home product party) but sales pitches are all they’ve ever really been–they’ve never really had anything to do with polite social life in the first place.

    • Filiagape September 2, 2014, 10:14 am

      No. The hostess is not approaching acquaintances she believes have an interest in her products; she is inviting “friends” who accepted or sent a friend request on FB. They did not fill out an interest card at some business counter. Whether in person or FB, these are tacky, because they rely not on the “customers” having a need and the “merchant” filling it, but their success depends on friends and acquaintances feeling too self conscious or guilty to not accept a “gracious invitation” and, once there, feeling ungracious to NOT purchase at least SOMETHING to support their friend and hostess. These only produce resentment and now it comes free of any interpersonal interaction in our increasingly isolated society.

  • JenAnn September 2, 2014, 8:04 am

    I don’t care if it’s a “real” party or an online one, both are completely obnoxious. I guess at least it’s easier to say no if it’s not face to face, but it’s still attempting to use friendships to make sales. Of course I ignore these types of things, but I also lose a little respect for someone doing this. And yeah, times are a-changing, but it doesn’t mean it’s in a good way. I have no issue with social media and do use it for actual *social* purposes, but as with anything, there always have to be those abuse a good thing because they see dollar signs.

  • just4kicks September 2, 2014, 8:13 am

    I used to work with a gal who supplemented her income with a home goods business. She pestered me for a year to sign up. When I said I didn’t have the start up cost, she said she would cover it. Um, no thanks. Every slight mention of what a crappy paycheck this week/kids need something etc. would prompt a “Come on!!! Sell this stuff!” NO! I don’t want to, don’t have time or anyone really to hit up for trinkets and other stuff no one needs! I quit that job and my daughter and I ran into her over the weekend at a restaurant. She asked where I was working. I said, thankfully, my husband is doing really well and right now I’m a homemaker. “Perfect! Now you have time to sign up with me and my company!” Good grief, Charlie Brown. I said we were running late, and I’d call her. I hope she isn’t sitting by her phone.

    • NostalgicGal September 2, 2014, 12:58 pm

      When my spouse was employed there was one MLM that took the place by storm; and everybody signed everybody else up. They’ve been around since 1959 (I won’t mention name), they do have good products, IF EXPENSIVE. DH was all wound up in this but. They had vastly outstripped the upline norms with this signup; DH’s upline needed training by his upline person; and in six weeks nobody was moving on this front. Hey, I thought it a good idea for a short bit and I wanted the TRAINING, NOW PLEASE so we could get out there and do. Well it would take three or four sessions of us inviting our potential recruits, and having the upline show the way to do this… and I suggested, since DH’s one up wasn’t trained, why couldn’t we do it together. Oh no, first upline then DH, in that order! Oh the motivational speaker things, pay good money to go to these things and get all fired up. They had one of these a week or so and they weren’t cheap. You paid THEM to go listen to THEIR speaker fire you up. Six weeks, we had laid out a good half a month’s salary for our membership, our dealer pack, five of these speaker things (and I had gone to the last one…). And got flatwalled about when we would get trained. Remember too, the saturation as this had swept through the place DH worked. Who were we going to find to even do the training? Everyone we knew pretty much had been recruited. Then the upline upline asked US to provide potential recruits to train the upline so we could get trained, as the upline had nobody to ask. We’d been around the city a decade less, we knew even less people. DH had me sign up for the next motivational thing, the next week, I had issued the check. I had ten minutes to have several of these revelations. I don’t tend to fall for motivational speakers; never have. I walked up to the lady who had been so NICE to me when I handed her that seriously hefty check, and asked for my check back. That look of venom, she still had my check in hand, and handed it back. I happily confettied it. We parted ways. Why? I had looked my DH in the eye and said ‘so when do *we* get to make money? We have spent $xxxx.xx in the last six weeks and I just handed over about a quarter of that total to that woman…. when do we get to start making anything?’ We used up our dealer/sample pack and considered it a major loss. Most of the enthusiasm went out of the workplace too, in the next few weeks as others realized that; the recruitment had outstripped things and oversaturated; then it came down to the bottom line. You would have to be VERY aggressive to keep the downline going to have an income stream… and instead of customers they wanted you to recruit more people to sell the stuff instead. So no customer base ever got built.

      Just4kicks, sounds like you have one of these bodies; but. A lot of those MLM and party things, if you want to make anything you have to be out there forever in others’ faces. You might need to chill this former friendship out…

      • just4kicks September 3, 2014, 4:43 am

        I agree, NostalgicGal. This lady is a lovely woman and mom, and when we just “talk” we have alot of fun. But, I think to her, I’m another sales lady to add to her flock. My husband is a wonderful salesman, and could sell ice to Eskimos….me? Not so much. I have told my friend repeatedly that we have four school age kids who are always pushing something for school fundraisers. I’m not going to bug these same people for little statues of birds/candles etc. With the world the way it is today, my husband and I handle most of the school fundraisers, it just not safe to send the kids door to door. I don’t like when salespeople show up on my doorstep, I’m not doing that to others.

        • NostalgicGal September 3, 2014, 9:29 am

          I have lots of neighbor kids and the season is upon us to be visited by those doing a fundraiser. Yes I’ve bought some stuff, some kids have whined I never buy anything…the counter is you didn’t get here first. If I answer door and refuse it means someone else was already here. Oh. (I have had some show up on way home from school and stop at my house before they go home, to sell me the stuff before anyone else gets there!)

          I also donate time and experience to some of these groups, so no, they don’t wave folders at me to buy triple priced popcorn or something… a few times I have shown at one of their meetings and just handed over a donation. Save the hassle and bother, rather than buy the gold plated popcorn, here’s some $. I like raffle tickets for something much better; I buy a ticket I consider it a donation as I don’t tend to win stuff.

          • just4kicks September 4, 2014, 2:46 am

            As much as I hate to say it, much of the stuff my kids have to sell is overpriced junk. Apparently, the fund raisers don’t seem to be working that well as we were sent a TWO page list of school supplies they needed to have the first day of school. Of course a pack of pencils or loose leaf paper isn’t that expensive, but that two page list added up real quick, times that by four kids, you get the idea….

          • NostalgicGal September 7, 2014, 12:07 am

            Our school district has a very small taxpayer base; there is a long list of supplies for each student, including some that are shared by the classroom (all kids supply a couple big boxes of kleenix for example). It’s not fair for some of that to come out of the teacher’s pocket either.

            I worked phones for a place known for their gift wrap, cards, etc; and they had a special teacher’s catalog for in-classroom stuff (teaching aid decorations plus stuff for rewarding kids like personalized pencils) and… they had the fundraiser. You went out and sold the stuff then called in the massive order. They automatically got a discount price for everything, and the difference they kept. I felt for some of the teachers begging us for ‘samples’ (our policy was no) and kids trying to sell that overpriced wrap (they had some beautiful proprietary designs but it was far too expensive) and such. Yep Just4kicks I so know both ends.

      • Yet Another Laura September 3, 2014, 9:57 am

        Ugh! What a scam. I’m with you on motivational speakers. They can all be distilled into “The reason you’re not succeeding is that you’re not trying hard enough.” Coming out of MLM, it sounds like a scam on top of a scam. Not to mention that most MLM products are twice the price.

        When I was a teenager, my entire neighborhood got MLM fever to the point where they were just selling each other things. My brother did his Kirby pitch in every house and all the homemakers got him to vacuum their houses for the cost of a spiel and a no, thank you.

        My friends and I did the math. You recruit me. I recruit two people and they recruit two people and they also recruit two people. Pretty soon you will run out of homo sapiens and have to bring your MLM to the Ferengi, but they’re better at it than we are.

        • NostalgicGal September 3, 2014, 11:06 pm

          Exactly. Like I said, this one has been around for a very long time; they do have some good products, and I will admit that; I just think they’re rather gold plated in price. Once you see how the payoff stuff works, you see how much of that ‘price’ changes hands to pay people up the pipeline… anyways. We had sunk a solid four digits into it in a matter of weeks; DH went to all these motivational speakers and you paid to go; and the one I finally went to. Then the really BIG speaker fest next week in a really major metro nearby and the cost was going to be pretty pricy (aka a quarter of what we’d already paid out, for the two of us to attend this one) and I had the revelation after I talked to upline’s upline (or 2nd person up from us) and asked if the upline (first person up) and the two of us could be trained at the same time, since we all needed training. No, had to be done IN order. Then an ask for us to supply four leads to train the upline person. And went and got the check back.

          There are a couple of big canister type vacuums that are sold, phone survey, quick and a few questions; (they ascertain if you have enough funds to send someone out) then offer to send out someone to demo this really fancy vacuum cleaner. (at the time I suffered this they were $2k, they are now $3k) And they hardsell you to the features of this tin can with a hose. They offer some premium (like a meal for two) if you listen to the spiel. About half to two thirds the way through, the rep figures out this is NOT going to be a sale and gets ticked… and won’t finish the demo, and won’t hand over the premium. Um, no, go right ahead, we agreed to sit through the whole spiel. You’re going to finish it and hand over the premium. Finally usually after several minutes the person hands over the certificate and leaves. Find out this place is a rather dive, wouldn’t want to eat there (we didn’t redeem it). Later they offer us a fall sale, $1250. Then a clearance of demo machines, $750. (after about six months). Then a ‘used a few times returns’, they have a few for $500.

          Later in paper, ad for commission work and they are offering $5k a week to demo stuff. I go and it’s an interview to sell these vacuums. $280-320 is the flat cost. The rest is the marketing. The rep gets like $700 for selling the $2000 vacuum. I politely tell them I’m used to selling ice to eskimos but I can’t get behind this product and sell it. I tell them about the guy we had out (there was a lot of bragoff of stuff he shouldn’t have, mid demo, then when he figured there was no way this sale was going to land; how UN professional he got) and tell them sorry, but I can’t sell this product, thank you for the interview.

          Buy one of the vacuums that starts with a D, I found it to be ten times the vacuum cleaner that big monster was.

  • lkb September 2, 2014, 8:37 am

    I agree with Green123 — the “hostess” is simply using Facebook to advertise her business. If one wants the products, visit the page and order. If not, don’t. It’s no different than any other kind of advertising. And, at least, an evening is not wasted by listening to a sales pitch.

    In pre-Facebook days, a colleague would bring in a Tupperware catalog and leave it in the breakroom for her “partyless Tupperware party”. We were free to ignore it if we chose.

  • Cat September 2, 2014, 8:37 am

    The world has changed a lot since I was a girl. What concerns me is the lack of social interaction. We spend our lives on our phones, computers, and most of us have never met our neighbors. Women used to gather in homes for teas, card games, and join garden clubs/the DAR/political groups of concerned women. There was always the group that met for coffee some mornings. Men belonged to the Masons, Elks, Eagles, Lions, etc. They golfed together, went fishing and hunting, and we had male-bonding that lasted a lifetime.
    We communicate a great deal, but it’s all electronic. I have friends I have never seen. Bridal showers and baby showers are becoming computer events. As we become more physically isolated from one another, I wonder what the long-term effects will be. For social beings, we have given up physical presence for an electronic connection. It brings to mind the quotation, “I am alone and afraid in a world I never made.”

    • Cami September 2, 2014, 12:31 pm

      Your post brought to mind a question I saw posed on an online message board recently. A woman asked if someone you saw only by happenstance every few months — in a store — and had a brief but meaningful conversation, could be your best friend? All but one person responded that sort of interaction fit their notion of being a best friend.

      I was a little shocked at that. It seems that our standards for being a BFF these days consist of random meetings in stores every few months. I find that sad.

    • NostalgicGal September 2, 2014, 1:07 pm

      Some of it came around before the internet and connected days; I watched women go from being mostly stay at homes, to having to be the second paycheck and kids go to latchkey (I think I was a latchkey before they called it that). Where I live now, a several decades old club folded because most women were not free in the afternoon anymore and gathering at someone’s house for coffee, dessert, and club meeting was becoming impossible. I was by far the youngest member; and my generation was a working woman generation (not that keeping a house, being a farmwife, isn’t a full time job!) and our time was governed by having to be there to work instead of having the time to gather with friends…. The generation and a half after me; doesn’t know what it’s like not to be hooked in… sigh.

    • Vicki September 2, 2014, 3:21 pm

      It depends how you use it, I guess. My closest friends at this point include a woman I met online (on Usenet, back when that was an active thing) and two people she introduced me to. One of the latter just spent a week at my home, and we are chatting in another window right now.

      My mother and I communicate mostly by phone and chat, because she moved thousands of miles to be with someone she fell in love with. That wasn’t abandoning in-person connection, it was deciding which one was most important to her.

      • NostalgicGal September 3, 2014, 9:30 am

        Wow. Usenet. 🙂 I’m not the only one to remember that, and Fidonet too. And used both.

    • Cat September 3, 2014, 8:41 am

      This thought came from the writings of Victor Frankel in his book, “Man’s Search for Meaning”. A concentration camp survivor, he believed that the reason he survived the camp was because the Nazis had burned the manuscript of the book he was ready to have published. He arrived at the conclusion that, if there is a why one wants to survive, one will find the how of survival.
      He felt that existential anxiety is caused by the increasing isolation of the individual that he saw happening in the 1920’s and 1930’s. He never dreamed of a world in which families no longer sit down to meals together or spend their evenings apart watching TV or using computers.
      The more I think of it, the more I tend to agree with him. It’s not an absolute. There are still families that spend time together and friends who see each other constantly. I do believe our society is becoming more isolated and less interwoven with close, personal relationships.

  • Denise September 2, 2014, 8:43 am

    Honestly, I prefer these to actual parties. I can browse and buy if it’s a product I am interested in. Otherwise I can decline to shop and not have the face to face pressure to buy or feel that my time is being wasted and that I was included solely for my wallet and a party with the sole purpose of selling me something.

    • NostalgicGal September 2, 2014, 1:16 pm

      Agreed. That one very expensive basket party I went to (circa 1990); though all our spouses worked at a tech firm and made some pretty good $; the products were well above what I wanted to lay out for. They were well made, but they were also hellaciously expensive; and they were decorative. I might have gone that much for a true wooden garden hod or the like, something practically useful as well; not for a dust catcher. That poor hostess invited 11 of us and did not make one sale. I looked afterwards, there were two items under $100… so. On top of it she had wanted the ‘hostess basket’ which she would have had to buy because of less than $1000 in sales; but she didn’t make the two sales minimum to qualify to buy the basket. In this case I would have much rather been invited to a virtual party; so as to not have had to be that polite and spined at the same time.

  • Cecilia September 2, 2014, 8:45 am

    I vote to just decline and let it go. This type of “party” is the new normal for many people. I don’t agree with it and I think it is tacky. B wants you to purchase items that will benefit her, but she can’t be bothered to even offer punch and crackers. I am far more likely to purchase items, especially the kind you get from “at home” businesses, if I am physically present. If it’s an online deal, I may be busy doing other things at the time and forget to “log on”.

  • Mike September 2, 2014, 8:49 am

    Oh, I would love to attend your Facebook party, but I’ve already committed to another Facebook party. Another time, perhaps.

    • Steve September 2, 2014, 10:44 am

      I love this.

  • EllenS September 2, 2014, 8:50 am

    I wonder why an MLM business would use this type of promotion, and whether it will work in the long run. The reason product parties work, is that by “hosting” the friends/customers (Friendstomers?) and drawing on social capital, the party triggers our basic social programming to reciprocate. At least with an in-person party, there is some pretense that you are having a social interaction with someone you know, they have invited you to their home, etc.

    If there is no party, no hospitality, how does a virtual event have any persuasive “oomph” at all? This is just another online advertisement. I’m confused why the word “party” is even attached.

    I would unfriend this person because I do not wish to have my facebook wall filled with spam.

    • Steve September 2, 2014, 10:43 am

      These promotions burn a lot of bridges. For example, some authors have lost a lot of Twitter followers because they are constantly hawking their latest release. People simply unfollow them.

    • SusanB September 2, 2014, 6:53 pm

      Because using the term party is supposed to give it festive, “fun” vibe and has a nicer ring to it than a “gimme session”. /s

      • NostalgicGal September 3, 2014, 9:33 am

        Exactly!

  • Rod September 2, 2014, 8:56 am

    I much rather would have this (and not attend) than a live product “party”.

  • Raven September 2, 2014, 9:09 am

    I was excited about Jamberry for about 5 minutes, until I read reviews about people getting nail fungus. Pass!

    Anyway, I find these kind of annoying, but thankfully I haven’t had anyone hound me too much about it. At least, as others have said, there isn’t the Eyeball Pressure (where the hostess is staring directly at you) to buy something you can’t afford. This removes one element of discomfort.

    I think home-businesses can be great. Companies like Avon can help families with extra income. That’s not a bad thing. Inviting people you know to have a look at products isn’t the worst thing ever. Hounding people to constantly like, browse, and BUY (and sell?) is terrible, whether in person or over the internet.

    • NostalgicGal September 3, 2014, 9:46 am

      Working in large office, the holiday that Belevedere came out… The stuffed Belevedere toy ran like $16. A promo was a cute little ornament; the Avon Rep was buying that and giving it WITH A PURCHASE. She was blue in the face telling everyone you had to *buy something* to get the Belvedere ornament. In simple plain language. The $1 ornament you could get ONLY IF YOU BOUGHT SOMETHING ELSE. (there was a 50c ‘harp’ soap, sold as a single item, the cheapest thing in the catalog. I bought several of those soaps over years to buy a promo; this was one time I bought a soap). Aka I ‘got the drift’. About twenty orders had ‘Belvedere’ written on them; and she did ask, they wanted the TOY, right? Yeah yeah yeah they wanted Belevedere. So she totaled up the orders. She HAD made it clear, very clear, the ornament was With a purchase. Oh the toy was SO popular. The orders came, and everyone handed her the toy back and said ‘oh, no, I just wanted the ORNAMENT’. Avon wouldn’t take the toys back. She was stuck for almost twenty of those toys. Downside of selling at the office… As much as I felt bad for her, I didn’t want the overpriced toy, and I really couldn’t afford to buy one off her.

  • Devin September 2, 2014, 9:30 am

    I much prefer this type of ‘party’ to the actual home parties many people host. Living in high rises make it difficult to host a party of more than a few people without it being uncomfortable. There is always a lot more pressure to purchase something because the host did provide snacks and drinks. This way you can shop, if you want, and feel no pressure to buy. I participated in one of these, for the product above, and the games were lame, but the hostess gave out free products to the people who played. It must have been successful, because now my friend hosts a different party on Facebook each week, and that is where it gets annoying/tacky for me, but it only takes one click to ‘uninvite’ myself.

  • Shannan September 2, 2014, 10:12 am

    When I see these types of things on Facebook the first thing that comes to mind is to wonder how much time and investment went into inviting me and extending hospitality to me. This is usually inversely proportionate to the amount of guilt I feel clicking DECLINE.

  • Annastasia_von_Beaverhausen September 2, 2014, 10:16 am

    This doesn’t bother me at all – if I’m interested in the product and like the friend, I’ll check it out. If not, I won’t. No pressure, no awkward silences when the presenter asks ‘Who wants to order first?’, no need to eat crackers and cheese and a mystery ‘dip’ that will leave me with an upset stomach.

    I’m actually invited to an in person ‘leggings’ party, which I’m dreading – I would not wear leggings if my life depended on it, but I really like the gal hosting and would like to support her, so what do I do? Go to the party and eat snacks and order no leggings because I don’t wear them? Go and order a pair which will sit in my closet for 3 years before I throw them out (or donate them to charity, likely). Just don’t go?

    I suspect that I will just call my friend and we will go out for lunch (we are today in fact), and that will be the end of it.

    The thing I don’t get though, is why people get so het up about these things. I’m not mad at my friend for hosting a leggings party – she really likes leggings. It’s not a product that I need, but I see no need to get grouchy with her. Same with this type of thing – I have a friend that sells some sort of makeup product via Facebook – I just don’t buy any because I’m not interested. We’re still friends. I’m not mad at her. I don’t write into etiquette boards about what a hag she is for offering her product on Facebook.

    I guess I just don’t understand the amount of ire raised by something that can be done with, with one simple click of the mouse.

    However, my day home lady sells a variety of things, and I will drop the catalogue in the break-room for people to look at. Perhaps I’m as guilty as Ms. Jamberry above.

    • JenAnn September 3, 2014, 10:43 am

      Why get annoyed (I wouldn’t go so far as to say angry/mad)? Because a “friend” is trying to use our relationship to get some money in her pocket, which requires removal of money from my pocket. I’ve never attempted to use a friend this way, and do resent having it attempted on me. The only time I ever attend these is when I am pressured to do so, and it’s always a particular neighbor who has helped us out a number of times, and we do reciprocate whenever possible. Nonetheless, it puts me in an awkward position in which I feel beholden, especially since my elderly mother is home all day alone and we never know if she might need to call on them in an emergency. Neighbor gets upset if no one is coming (we live out in the boonies), and then the pressure is laid on. Hate it. A FB party is definitely the lesser of 2 evils, but however you want to paint it, the bottom line is that someone is trying to use their friendships to make money. For me, the two are mutually exclusive categories, friendship and commerce should not mix.

  • Emily September 2, 2014, 10:29 am

    I do buy this product from a friend and I’ve been approached to host these parties, but I feel uncomfortable soliciting my friends and she thankfully does not pressure me to host. Just because I feel uncomfortable hosting, however, I MUCH prefer these to face-to-face events as there is far less pressure to buy something. Even just this weekend at a wine tasting, I felt extremely pressured to purchase an expensive bottle of wine because it was such a small event and social etiquette (whether correct or not) usually implies that you should purchase when in this position. The Facebook party set-up is much easier to ignore or say “I can’t afford it right now!” without feeling like you’ve taken advantage of the hostess’ hospitality.

  • kjr September 2, 2014, 10:30 am

    I agree with many people here – I don’t see a huge difference between selling your own product or pushing something like this online to earn a living. At least it isn’t inviting you over to their house for wine and appetizers, etc, where you feel obligated to buy. I have made it clear to everyone I know not to invite me to these, if you invite me over for a girls night, great! Count me in. Product party where you are only inviting me to come buy crap I don’t need so you get free crap and profit off it? No thank you.

  • Jones September 2, 2014, 10:47 am

    I’ve participated in a couple of these, Jamberry and Damsel in Defense. I like the versatility to play games when I feel like it, watch the videos showing only the products I’m interested in, and it’s so low pressure in regards to buying. Meanwhile I’ve sat out of others that I wasn’t interested in, and again, No Pressure. I love Facebook parties!

  • The Elf September 2, 2014, 11:04 am

    Well, at least it’ll be easy to refuse! (And I’d hide her news feed, since she all but threatened to post more information in the time leading up to the “party”.)

  • Library Diva September 2, 2014, 11:27 am

    Ugh! I have come to LOATHE that particular company mentioned in the OP. It seems to have spread through my social group like wildfire in the past month. Two people I know became “consultants” last week (and no, they do not know one another). I hate the fact that Facebook allows people to just add you to groups. I seem to find myself added to a new Jamberry Nails party group every time I log in. I refuse to buy the stuff just because I’m so sick of hearing about it.

    I’ve just been ignoring this stuff. I have mixed feelings as to whether this approach is preferable to the old-fashioned, face-to-face shakedowns. These sure are easier to ignore, but it does also seem as if the “hostess” is stripping this of the sole bit of enjoyment these things ever had (except for sex toy parties — those are great fun).

    I wish that everyone would wise up, and that these types of “businesses” would die out. Some of the “consultants” don’t even seem like people anymore, like the woman Just4Kicks was talking about. They develop this bizarre, Jamberry Nails-centric view of the universe, as if everyone around them simply exists to either become a customer or join a downline. And I can’t help but notice that most of the “consultants” I’ve known have not managed to do well enough to quit their day jobs and hawk this crap full-time, nor have they upgraded to fancier homes, nicer cars, better vacations, etc.

    Recently, a girl I knew slightly from high school sent me a friend request. I accepted it, and was promptly added to her “Summer Slimdown Cleanse” group. Her entire feed is about this “cleanse juice” she sells. She even got her parents and her 12-year old daughter in on this. Now she’s apparently become so desperate that she’s going through her old yearbook. I unfriended her. I’m not interested in being her marketing opportunity.

    • Devin September 3, 2014, 1:24 pm

      Adjust your privacy settings and people wont be able to add you to groups without you accepting. I think Jamberry is todays fad, it’ll be back to Avon or ‘Master Cleanse’ or whatever the new thing is next month.

  • JD September 2, 2014, 11:32 am

    I would actually find it easier to ignore this “invitation” than I would the traditional home party invitation, but to me the point is she’s calling it a party when it’s simply marketing her goods. There is no party when no one is host or hostess. These are not her guests, they are her potential customers. It’s the glossing it over as a “party” that I don’t like. As someone already mentioned, she should just be honest about it; she’s selling and wants to know who will buy.
    For a brief period, it seemed as if everyone I knew was into home sales — Amway, Partylight, Premier, Tupperware, Princess House, Jafra, Beauty Control, Home Interiors, Avon, Mary Kay, Longaberger, you name it. I had to turn down so many invitations and turn away so many offers, I was starting to cringe at the sight of people. Now, none of them are selling it — it all fizzled in this area after a while. Maybe this Facebook party thing will fizzle as well.

  • Stacey Frith-Smith September 2, 2014, 11:33 am

    I wonder if guests will soon use social media to request the delivery of refreshments, music, decorations, and wines to their respective domiciles for these virtual parties? After all, a good host provides well for his honored guests and with the ease of Paypal and quick delivery, it would take but minimal planning and no clean up!

  • monkey's mommy September 2, 2014, 11:57 am

    I have a friend who does these exact parties on Facebook, along with Plexus. Its kind of annoying but at least in not dodging real party invites.

  • Calli Arcale September 2, 2014, 12:00 pm

    Honestly, I have to wonder how successful this could even be. It’s like somebody’s trying to reinvent the chat room on a platform ill-suited to it.

  • Jays September 2, 2014, 12:20 pm

    I have a FB friend whose constant Jamberry! Jamberry! posts are coming very close to getting her defriended. (Or, at least, hidden.) I find the party notion a bit tacky, but certainly easy enough to avoid if I wish. The overall push, however, is really getting to me. The company’s pretty much assuring I will never, ever even consider their products.

  • Cathy September 2, 2014, 12:34 pm

    It doesn’t bother me if they want to be honest about it and call it what it is – soliciting business through FB. To dress it up and call it a “party” is a little dishonest IMO. I have participated in one of these and it wasn’t much of a party. I wanted some items that were being sold and I bought them. I don’t like product parties in person and don’t generally attend them. This was easier for me. But I think it’s better to be honest about what it is.

  • PatGreen September 2, 2014, 12:35 pm

    At least she’s not hiding what it is. It’s not like you believe that you’re going to a housewarming party or wedding shower and being surprised with products. I don’t mind people trying to sell things to me if they’re honest about what they’re doing.

  • Library Diva September 2, 2014, 12:45 pm

    In addition to my earlier comment! Ending every sentence with an exclamation point makes you sound like a 13-year-old who’s had wayyy too much espresso! It’s not a good marketing tactic! It won’t get people excited about your product! It just smacks of desperation and immaturity!

  • Anonymous September 2, 2014, 1:00 pm

    I agree that this is rude and tacky, but that’s why Facebook has a “Hide This Post” option.

  • MissJagger September 2, 2014, 1:25 pm

    I have to say, I am starting to prefer the Facebook “parties” over the real deal. I have attended/ been conned into a few of these gatherings over the last few years and that “gimmie” attitude does not end once you enter the actual home of the salesperson. I offer the following as evidence:

    Tupperware Party: The salesperson stood up in front of the room and said “Look, I’m a teacher and I don’t make as much as I want to make. I don’t really use any of this stuff so I can’t really tell you about it. Buy as much as you can.” The food served was spagghetti in cups which we had to eat sitting on the floor while the host’s dog jumped all over us. No one bought anything. We don’t make that much money either. As a bonus, one guest brought her rather smelly boyfriend who fell asleep in a corner behind a curtain.

    Pure Romance: I wasn’t interested in any of the junk being sold but felt obligated to buy something (silly young me). So, when my turn came for my one on one time with the salesperson I opted to purchase one bottle of body lotion. The woman who during the demo had been cheery and upbeat became very aggressive and clearly disgusted with me. She demanded that I add more items because 1)the sale wasn’t worth her time 2) she just KNEW I had more to spend. Yes, we social workers are known for rolling in excess spending money. Yuck, again I left with nothing.

    Overpriced Skincare Brand: I was invted to a “spa party” at the home of a new friend. She made it sound like an old fashioned sleepover style party with manicures, facemasks, all that fun stuff. I walked in to find that I was the only guest to show up having been invited at the last minute because so many declined before me. The salesperson actually cried when I said I did not come prepared to buy anything. It was just me, the host, and the salesgirl. The host was angry and would not let me have any of the half empty bottle of wine that was set out as party refreshments.

    All in all, online is easier to ignore. Just because someone wants money does not mean you have to buy this junk. Unfriend and move on.

    • Library Diva September 3, 2014, 10:51 am

      Too bad you had such a terrible Pure Romance consultant. That was the company that sold the sex toys party I went to, and our consultant was great. She knew how to make it enough of a raunchy good time without making anyone feel embarrassed or uncomfortable, and she had respect for every sale she made. She did the sales in a side room so that no one knew whether you purchased some body wash or the biggest, gnarliest vibrator they had.

      I think that the attitude a salesperson has going in makes a big difference. The Pure Romance consultant was doing this because she thought it was a fun way to make a little extra money. When you get someone who’s either super-desperate and their pitch consists of “Please, guys, I’m going to lose my house if you don’t buy” or you get the super-aggressive Kool-Aid drinker who’s convinced they’re on the path to owning a yacht and a vacation home in the Bahamas, that’s when they’re miserable gimme experiences.

  • Kat September 2, 2014, 1:25 pm

    I’m actually of the opinion that none of this is rude, as long as the “party” host is upfront about the fact that it’s a business venture. The rudeness comes in when you bring people to your party on the pretense that it’s just a social event and then try to sell them things. If you say upfront “oh hey, I sell Product X now and on Saturday you’re invited to come over for drinks and to see the catalog…” Why is that rude? My friends are allowed to go into business and they’re allowed to invite me to buy the products they sell, as long as they don’t pressure me about it.

    As for moving the “party” online…well, there will always be people who are put off by the idea that socializing online is a thing. An online forum seems like a weird place to complain about that, though 🙂

    • JenAnn September 3, 2014, 11:13 am

      When everyone invited to the party (sales pitch) is a friend, clearly there is some expectation that your friends will come through for you by making purchases. Yuck. Rude.

  • Angel September 2, 2014, 2:10 pm

    I have a friend who does this every once in a while through FB. She has been a 31 consultant for a while and in order to keep up her business, she has to sell a certain amount every few months. So if she doesn’t have enough sales she will offer an online “party” and invite friends to purchase a few things if they want to. I don’t have a problem with it and it’s not as though she is pestering any of us. She also does Origami Owl and I had a party a few months ago. It wasn’t too bad because most of my friends don’t have Origami Owl stuff so it was an untapped market. I got quite a bit of free stuff too. She sells it to make a small amount of extra money for household expenses such as gas, activities for her kid, etc., and not really to make a living off of it. I guess I don’t see what the big deal is as long as nobody is getting pressured. And what is more low pressure than a FB party? You can always hit delete!

  • SJ September 2, 2014, 2:37 pm

    There’s two issues, here, as I see it.

    One is pressuring turn friends into customers. That is not exclusive to “internet parties,” I don’t think. It’s something I dislike and find rude, but not everyone agrees with me.

    Second, is inviting someone to a party that is clearly not. Not even in the sense that it’s an excuse to sell, but it’s just NOT a party. Weird.

    As a rule, I don’t attend product parties. I find that I never need/want the product, and I usually find it too expensive. I suppose if I’m in the market for what it is, I would turn to my seller-friend first, but beyond that, I just avoid it.

  • hakayama September 2, 2014, 3:35 pm

    WANTED
    spelling of onomatopoeic sounds produced by gagging/retching/vomiting applicable towards either “live” or online product parties.
    In my view, either form is an absolute abomination, so when I become the empress of the world, I will issue a decree forbidding such forms of entrepreneurship. 😉
    After a while, the friendly neighborhood Avon Lady turned into an extortionist. 🙁

  • lalalaliz September 2, 2014, 4:18 pm

    I have been invited to THREE of these in the last month. Some of them I’ve beenadded to as groups and so I have to go to that group and unjoin to keep it from cluttering up my feed.

    I don’t love, but I don’t hate product parties. I’ve never hosted one, and probably never will, but I’ve attended a number of them. If it is something I am interested in, I will go and buy something. Otherwise, I will politely decline. I like eating appetizers and socializing with my friends. That part is fun.

    However online parties will always always go on ignore for me. If I want to order online, I will without going through your facebook event. And honestly I can get that stuff cheaper elsewhere.

  • Becca September 2, 2014, 4:41 pm

    Having attended a Facebook Jamberry party myself, I didn’t find it tacky at all. The consultant running things (who is a casual acquaintance) really did what she could to interact with everyone and make things fun. I didn’t feel awkward about the fact that I wasn’t necessarily going to order product, and as a shy person, I felt much more able to ask questions about the product without going into panic. What’s tacky to some people is not tacky to all people. If you don’t like it, don’t “go”. If you do, have fun!

    Having said this, I will say that it’s likely not all consultants would be as friendly, personable, and NOT money-grubbing, as mine was. There was never any real pressure to order anything. Because of that, I actually did end up order a sheet of nail stickers without feeling guilted into it. But I’m sure some women are in it only for the cash, and that’s just too bad.

  • Lisa September 2, 2014, 5:28 pm

    I’ve seen these before. At least I can simply ignore it.

    I went to a friend’s tuppaware party when I was heavily pregnant with my first son. I knew what I already wanted but I sat back and watched the demonstrations of all sorts of products before placing orders. The host (not my friend) was trying to bully me into having a tuppaware party at my house. She didn’t want to take no for an answer. Even though I said many times I was about to have a baby last thing I wanted to do was have a tuppaware party. She was clearly really annoyed that nobody wanted to book a party. Apparently that’s where they make most of their money.

    • NostalgicGal September 7, 2014, 12:27 am

      We had the T parties go through the dorms. I pretty much lived to do homework and go to class (one night a week I didn’t get to sleep, two I got a full 8, and the rest were 3-4 hours of sleep). Friend down hall tossed a party, I did go because she was friend and it was around supper (before I had to buckle down for hours of homework) and. They had a lovely hostess gift IF she could book two parties off hers. She was crying seriously because she wanted the (white with blue decoration) bakeware set so bad and I was the last one to beg to and I had NO time to do this. I felt bad for her too, but. She should have been able to get the set some other way as she did get ONE booked… and the rep that came to hostess was torturing her literally by comments and handing her some of the pieces. I finally just had to walk out of there. And make amends to friend later.

  • AnaMaria September 2, 2014, 5:53 pm

    I sell products through a well-known company, and we have been strictly forbidden by our upline from a) inviting others to product-parties without explicitly stating that they are product-parties and b) approaching anyone over facebook or social media to recruit them for downline or to cold-sell them a product. If someone messages us wanting information, or posts a status saying, “I need a product to help me with….” then it’s fair game, but relying soley on the internet defeats the purpose of network marketing.

    As the OP stated, the whole point of parties is to have fun and try out the products for free. It also means that you’re getting personal, face-to-face customer service from the owner of the business, who is likely either a friend or a friend-of-a-friend.

    Other than the annoyance of the facebook invites, though, business-owners who use this approach just shoot themselves in the foot. Products sold through networking companies are *usually* of far superior quality to similar products at Walmart, but people getting bombarded with advertisements on social media won’t see any difference between a jamberry nails invite and an add for cheap nail polish. If this new consultant described in the OP would invest a few hours and dollars in a real party and let a few people play with some samples, she would probably make a lot more sales and gain some loyal customers.

  • Susan September 2, 2014, 6:32 pm

    A former close friend is now a director with a very well known home-based cosmetics company. She is very good at her job and has worked very hard to get to her position. Unfortunately every time we converse, it includes a pitch to buy product, refer potential reps from my area (I live in the South, she lives in the Midwest) or my favorite, buy cosmetics and the company will provide a nominal donation to the latest disaster. Mascara for hurricane relief! It has gotten to the point that I dread her phone calls and solicitations go straight to my email trash. Recently, her assistant called to wish me a happy birthday on behalf of her boss and to remind me to use my discount before the end of the month. I’m sad that I morphed from a friend to a marketing opportunity.

    • Angel September 3, 2014, 1:38 pm

      Susan that is really sad! The fact that her assistant called to wish you a happy birthday is just awful. I would probably just let all calls go to voice mail too.