When I was growing up the Fuller Brush man would go door to door, selling, well, brushes, I suppose, but my mom swore by his combs. We always had several white Fuller Brush combs in the bathroom, on our dressers, in my mom’s purse.
Tupperware parties were the first parties in your home I was aware of. You know, where a sales person, disguised as one of your friends, would come to your house, and present to all your other friends how great the products were, and then you’d buy some. We also always had Tupperware in our house, but in those days there wasn’t really an alternative to that sort of thing, not like today.
And today of course there are house parties for almost every conceivable product! Gourmet foods, cooking gear, jewelry, bags, books, scrapbooking supplies, lingerie, and more! I’ve been to almost all those types of parties, and probably more I’m forgetting!
Last night I went to the first home party I’ve been to in awhile. It was for the company Thirty One, which to my mind is a bit of a Vera Bradley knock-off. They sell bags and organizing items made in various pretty designs. I did buy some things, mostly because I felt like it was expected. If I’d been browsing in a store with those same products I would have walked out, having enjoyed the looking, but not feeling a desire to purchase. As a matter of fact, that’s how I’ve felt about virtually all the items I’ve purchased from someone’s home party.
There was pressure to book your very own party at the end of the event, which I successfully dodged. I enjoy the social aspect – after all, it did get me out of the house – but I don’t like feeling like I should buy something, and especially not that I need to subject (more) friends to this!
What about you? Do you always buy something at home parties? Is it because you actually like the merchandise, or do you feel obligated because it’s at a friend’s house (or your own)? If you don’t always buy, do you feel guilty, or figure it’s your prerogative as a consumer to buy or not? Have you ever hosted your own, and did you feel pressure, or was it a company you were really excited about?