Hostesses With The Mostest > Entertaining and Hospitality

Home shopping parties, UGH!

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ProperLady:
ProperLady is sad.  I receive tons of invitations to "parties" where I will be expected to buy something...candles, cookware, makeup, jewelry, scrapping or stamping supplies, you all know what I'm referring to.  I actually cannot remember the last time I received an invitation to a true social event, where one person, out of the kindness of their heart, decided to provide food and/or entertainment simply for the sake of getting people together.  Yet I receive this other kind of invite all of the time. 

I realize these parties are how some people make their living, and I don't mean to bash on that, but I feel some very rude things are being done.  It seems like everyone in my state has something to sell and these are the only social events that go on. They say "no one has to buy anything" but the whole thing is about guilt or showing off.  Plus, what a waste of time, to go somewhere for several hours to eat crackers and watch other women "shop"? Crazy! 

Most are sent via Evite, so you look at the guest list and see 50, 75 or even 100 people on the list, which means the hostess is just inviting, literally, everyone she knows.  I have one co-worker who is sort of a friend, or so I thought. She invited me to two different "buy things" parties at her house.  Then, I heard through the grapevine she had a baby shower and I wasn't invited. Not that I care, because it was a gift-grabbing, uh, I mean SECOND baby shower, but I definitely noticed that she is willing to invite me over when I have money to spend but not to something personal. My rule is that you should not invite someone to a shopping party unless you would invite them to a truly personal event. But the ladies who sell the stuff encourage it by telling the hostess to invite everyone she knows. 

So, what do you all think? What do you think of these businesses in general, about the etiquette around them (or lack thereof)?  I want to have a party because my hubby recently finished grad school. It will be NO GIFTS of course, just a good time.  However, I am toying with not inviting some long time friends simply because they never invite us over, and if they do invite me, it's because they have something to sell.  Thoughts on these parties in general or my situation? Thanks!

edenparadox:
I find these parties sort of tacky but I don't think that the hosts are in any way limited by how close they are to the guests. It's a business. You can't run a business just by selling to your best friends.

You should just ignore them though. No sense in letting them aggravate you.

The real issue is the party you want to throw. I don't think you should cut out people just because they don't throw personal gatherings. If they do these parties as a business, I can see how they would have little urge left to throw more parties or gatherings for anything else. Cut people out if they are bad friends to you, if they never socialize with you, if they only call you when they need something. If you have friends who you only see at shopping parties, you need to reconsider calling them friends. Prune the guest list based on how close you are, regardless of where you see them. Good luck.

jimithing:
I NEVER go to these anymore.  Fortunately, I don't have any close friends who sell things, so I don't really feel all that pressured.  It seems like there's a home shopping party now for everything!  Makeup, Tupperware, jewelry, handbags, baby onsies, etc.  This list goes on and on. 

The last one of these I went to was a scrapbooking party and it was when I was in college.  My good friend had moved to a new apartment and was trying to meet people in the new church she belonged to.  The church had a lot of young couples in it and it was very cliquey.  She was approached by a girl that she barely knew to host one of these, so my friends and I went to support her.  My friend is very gracious and told us that we didn't need to go and buy anything, that it was just a fun evening.  This obviously was not the intent of the girl selling the scrapbook materials.  She was VERY pushy.  We were all in college and had no money.  Plus, I hate to scrapbook.  It was quite uncomfortable.  I talked to my friend a couple weeks later and she said that she was completely ostracized at church.  She never made friends after that.  That really left a bad taste in my mouth.

ProperLady:
Thanks for the replies, and to clarify...the people who invite me are not the salespeople, they are the hostess. So, at any of these parties, there is a "hostess". This means the person uses her home and provides some food.  She also gets the "hostess credit" and gets free things for throwing the party. The other person is the demonstrator.  This is the person who runs the business, and asks other people to throw the parties. Both women benefit.  In my case, I have a friend who sells Product A.  She then knows someone else who sells product B.  So, my friend hosts a party for Product B, and then the other person reciprocates.  In that sense, when I'm invited to something, my friend is the hostess and someone else she knows is the demonstrator/salesperson.  My friends aren't selling directly to me, they are just constantly inviting me as part of the rotation they all have going on.  Also, jimi, that's really sad about your friend at church.  How awful for that to happen in a place supposedly for worship and fellowship. 

Just Lori:
Speaking only for myself, I usually feel obligated to make at least a small purchase.  I have found only one at-home company whose products appealed to me, and they're no longer in business.  So I wind up with a lot of stuff I didn't really want in the first place.

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