I can remember, many moons ago, my Mom taking me along to a tupperware party hosted by one of her coworkers. Tupperware of every shape and possible use seemed to cover every flat surface in the woman’s kitchen and living room. The only place without tupperware was a small coffee table laden with homemade squares and a giant punch bowl. My Mom browsed around while I raided the snack table and wondered why anyone would need a tupperware container specifically for baby carrots. The host flittered between guests, extolling the virtues of tupperware. Eventually, my Mom bought an orange tupperware container and we left. As we got into the car, I distinctly remember my Mom muttering that she ‘hated those type of parties’ and tossing the orange tupperware container into the backseat.
That was my first voyage into the world of home business parties. Now that I’m getting invited to these parties, I understand why Mom hated them. In the past six months I have
been invited to six home business parties for tea, jewelry, candles, tupperware, makeup and skincare products. Every invite I get to one of these parties makes me cringe, no matter what type of party it is. I would rather wrestle a flatulent hippo than go to one of these parties.
I hate these types of parties for a couple reasons. First, I hate the feeling of being guilted into buying something or the expectation that I should buy something. Often, I feel as soon as you walk into the host’s house, the guilt and expectation starts. They’ve invited you into their home, they’re feeding you, they’ve made an effort and you should recognize that effort by buying something. There’s a peer-pressure aspect to it as well. If all the other ladies are buying, it’s easy to get caught up in it or worry that the others will think you’re cheap.
The fact that these ‘businesses’ target women exclusively bugs the heck out of me too. They tend to use phrases like ‘Be your own boss’, ‘Make your dreams a reality’, ‘Unlimited income’, and their websites are plastered with pictures of women laughing and looking like they found a pot of gold coins. Seriously, try and find a picture of a man on any home-business website, bet’cha you won’t find one. I can’t shake the feeling that these businesses target women by promising easy money and instant success, but how much money can you really earn selling candles? Just because you have something to sell doesn’t mean people will buy it; being a successful salesperson requires a lot more than just opening your starter-kit and hosting a party. I feel like these businesses prey on women by making it look easy to make a pile of money with minimal effort, when that is likely far from the truth.
Another reason I hate these parties is that the product is either some I don’t want or need, or it’s ridiculously overpriced. I understand the host is trying to make money, but please don’t invite me over to your house if you’re going to try and take a gouge out of my wallet. This probably bugs me so much because I am cheap and I hate being pressured into buying anything. Just because you give me some food it doesn’t mean I have to buy your over-priced scented wax diffuser plugin-thing. If I think something is expensive, it doesn’t matter who’s selling it, I’m not going to buy it.
It seems there are more and more types of at home, party-based businesses around and targeting the ladies (I blame the inter-web). I’m not sure whether or not it’s the lure of easy money that encourages women to sign up as ‘independent consultants’, but lots of women seem to be buying into it. Maybe it’s the bad economy, maybe they’re bored and want a challenge. Whatever the reason is, I am sick of these parties and the expectations that go along with them.
How do you feel about at home, party-based businesses?