Author Topic: Question about "sales parties"  (Read 2707 times)

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MrsCrazyPete

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Question about "sales parties"
« on: October 13, 2012, 01:27:41 PM »
Normally, I really dislike sales parties. Thirty-one, Party Lite, jewelry, etc. The only kind I really like is Tastefully Simple (quick-prep party foods), and I think I like it because it's a consumable, and I'd rather purchase these than a knickknack that I have no use for. I NEVER throw these sorts of parties, and don't often attend them. I almost never purchase anything unless I genuinely like it, not because I feel obligated to.

I know these parties are generally frowned on, because the host is not actually hosting because she wants the pleasure of your company, but because she benefits from your purchase, right?

Ok, now on to my actual question. If someone already frequently hosts several parties a year, is it ok to host a sales party? I'm asking because I found out about a new kind of sales party this week, and I think a lot of my friends would enjoy it! It's a well-known chocolate company, and they sell items that aren't available in stores. I actually am not interested in the hostess gifts, I just really think that people would enjoy the products available.

Thoughts, opinions?
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JeanFromBNA

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Re: Question about "sales parties"
« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2012, 01:44:28 PM »
I think that if you're up front about what the party entails, and are willing to graciously accept guests declining, that's fine. 

Just don't confuse a business opportunity, however amusing, with entertaining for purely social purposes. 

(All statements general)

SleepyKitty

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Re: Question about "sales parties"
« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2012, 01:46:01 PM »
In my opinion, it's not inherently rude to host sales parties. The parties themselves, as far as I know, are not frowned upon in general. It's when the host behaves rudely in the process of throwing a sales party that people start to hate them, and unfortunately I think the nature of sales encourages people to behave rudely. So, if this is a product you have genuine interest in, and you extend invitations to people making it clear that 1. this is a sales party, not a true social get-together and 2. that they are under no obligation to come, and if they do come, they are under no obligation to purchase anything - you are in no way being rude, and you should feel free to host away.

I personally like sales parties that include a social aspect; having everyone get-together an hour or so before the sales person gets there, for example, which allows everyone to have a real "party" but head home after the party and before the sales if they're not interested. Or plan a sales party that ends at 7pm on the dot and have a nice dinner party afterward (bonus points for having some of that chocolate for dessert!).

Eden

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Re: Question about "sales parties"
« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2012, 01:46:31 PM »
While there are few brands of sales party merchandise I like, I'm not categorically against sales parties. I resent when I'm invited to ones by people who do not also invite me to other social events because it comes off as greedy. If I were to host one, I would only invite those with whom I would invite to any social event and who know me well enough to know that they should not feel obligated to buy anything because I don't care. I would probably reiterate that fact when I invite them too.

I think the best approach to a sales party is to treat it like any old party with beverages and snacks and there happens to be something for sale should anyone be interested.

sparksals

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Re: Question about "sales parties"
« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2012, 01:51:21 PM »
Of course it is ok!  Explain to friends you really like the stuff and think they will too. 

I really like some of the Tastefully Simple products.   Garlic Garlic is amazing and pomegranate chipotle sauce is fab on pork. 

If you like TS you will like Epicure.  It is from Canada but will be coming to the US in the next couple years.   Epicureselections.ca

Most home parties get a bad rap because of high pressure consultants.  I sell Scentsy and Grace Adele.   I don't do many parties, instead I get repeat business from individual orders.  If someone wants a party, I will do it but I don't actively seek them out.  I do ask everyone at a party if they want to have one, but only once and I take no for anl answer. 



Harriet Jones

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Re: Question about "sales parties"
« Reply #5 on: October 13, 2012, 01:52:33 PM »
 I don't mind sales parties, as long as there's no pressure to attend or purchase things.

MrsCrazyPete

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Re: Question about "sales parties"
« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2012, 02:11:41 PM »
I resent when I'm invited to ones by people who do not also invite me to other social events because it comes off as greedy. If I were to host one, I would only invite those with whom I would invite to any social event and who know me well enough to know that they should not feel obligated to buy anything because I don't care.

Thank you, Eden, this is exactly what I was trying to say!
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siamesecat2965

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Re: Question about "sales parties"
« Reply #7 on: October 13, 2012, 04:05:43 PM »
I don't think its rude to have sales parties.  I really don't care for them at all, but will go to some, depending on who is having them, and the products being offered.  that being said, most of the hostesses I'm friends with don't care if I or anyone else doesn't purchase.  They are up front about it, and simply want me to come, and if I buy, great, but there is never any pressure.  I will say I probably decline more invites than I accept, but if one of my friends had a chocoalte party, I'd be there with bells on!

CarolinaEmerald

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Re: Question about "sales parties"
« Reply #8 on: October 13, 2012, 05:49:15 PM »
When I was young, Tupperware parties were everywhere.  It was not uncommon for my mother to host one, then a sister-in-law would host one, then a cousin would host one - it went the rounds through the family.

They were part social occasion and part chance to buy really useful (and sometimes fun) stuff.  They are pleasant memories for me. 

I see nothing wrong with hosting a sales party as long as everyone knows up front exactly what it is.
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guihong

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Re: Question about "sales parties"
« Reply #9 on: October 13, 2012, 06:19:23 PM »
I don't think it's rude in itself to throw a sales party, except if the only time you've invited someone to your home is for the sales!  In other words, if your guests have been already entertained at your home, then extending an invitation isn't rude. 

Some companies (and salespeople) are pushier than others.  One way I've heard to make it not so forward is to have the items displayed and a brief talk, then have the salesperson and the forms in another room for those who wish to order. 

I think it also depends on what you're selling.  Chocolates sound great (except for my waistline).  One of those "personal" parties for intimate times?  You really have to know your guests as to whether they'd be OK or appalled.



The Wild One, Forever

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Re: Question about "sales parties"
« Reply #10 on: October 13, 2012, 07:28:45 PM »
You're fine.

I actually hosted a couple sales parties years ago, and we all had a ball!  I provided lots of munchies, soft drinks, wine, and beer.  The more wine we drank, the more fun it was.   :)  I made sure all my invitees understood that it was just more or less an opportunity for a girls' night, and I didn't care what or how much or if anyone ordered.  (To my amazement, they liked the products and ordered mass quantities, which meant that I received some very nice hostess gifts, but that was both unexpected and not my purpose.) 

As a member of ehell, you know how to go about this politely, and it sounds like a fun product!  Have your party and have fun.
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pearls n purls

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Re: Question about "sales parties"
« Reply #11 on: October 13, 2012, 10:38:05 PM »
I've been to quite a few sales parties- they're usually fun and kind of a girls night out.  Whether or not a sales party is "rude" or not will depend on the behavior of both the host and the sales rep.  I've been to a couple of parties where not only there was high pressure to buy something, but the rep was heavy-handed in trying to get guest to either host a party or become a sales rep themselves.

Bluenomi

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Re: Question about "sales parties"
« Reply #12 on: October 15, 2012, 08:25:29 PM »
Sales parties are fine as long as you don't expect people to buy things, agree to host their own parties just so you get more free stuff and as long as the party planner isn't massively pushy.
So if you invite people and are happy for them to not come or come and not buy them you are fine  :D Though if it is chocolate I suspect you'll make some sales!

proudmama

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Re: Question about "sales parties"
« Reply #13 on: October 15, 2012, 08:56:23 PM »
Sales parties are fine as long as you don't expect people to buy things, agree to host their own parties just so you get more free stuff and as long as the party planner isn't massively pushy.
So if you invite people and are happy for them to not come or come and not buy them you are fine  :D Though if it is chocolate I suspect you'll make some sales!

Bold and Italicized mine.  I so agree with this.

Slartibartfast

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Re: Question about "sales parties"
« Reply #14 on: October 15, 2012, 09:01:09 PM »
There's a right way and a wrong way to do these.  If you're thinking about hostessing first and getting free stuff second, that's the right way  :P  I'd also suggest being in touch with the consultant ahead of time - both to find out whether she's a pushy type, and so you know what she expects the itinerary of the party to be like.  Sales reps come up with all sorts of annoying, non-etiquette-approved "games" for these kinds of parties, and it's up to the hostess to nip these "games" in the bud early (as in, before the party starts if possible!).  Make sure your friends know what the party's going to be, make sure the sales rep knows you're doing this for fun first and sales second, and be ready to step in and take charge if the party starts to veer into uncomfortable territory.