We Were Having a Discussion and I'd Love to Hear Your Thoughts

Updated on September 10, 2013
E.B. asks from Littleton, CO
25 answers

My friend and I were discussing those home party businesses, where a consultant sells a product - cookware, makeup, candles, bags, you name it - at your house and you invite your friends to attend the show. The consultant demonstrates the products, distributes wish lists and catalogs and order forms, and sometimes there are games or giveaways.

Here are our questions: are these types of home parties becoming obsolete? Can you be a successful consultant if you only schedule home parties? Do you think that these types of parties are moving from the home to social media (like an online Facebook "party" instead of the traditional home gathering? Think back to the Tupperware parties of decades ago. Those don't happen anymore. Creative Memories has gone bankrupt. Other companies are floundering.

What are your opinions on the changing face of the home sales party?

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R.M.

answers from San Francisco on

I can't speak to the changing face of home sales, or not, but I've always had fun at the parties I've attended, and with enough wine in me, I always buy a bunch of stuff I don't need.

1 mom found this helpful
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E.E.

answers from Denver on

I really don't mind home parties - I don't HAVE to go. But I have only tried hosting one (for a friend who had just retired) and almost no one came.

I do think they are becoming obsolete because so many people hate them, and because the same people can make decent money in more specialized, less-stilted areas than this now (from anything like etsy to starting a home-based consulting business in a technical area of expertise).

Wine, fruit, cheese, and conversation are (back) in for girls night.

p.s. I'd love some Tupperware though. My Mom till has the Tupperware she bought 30+ years ago. : )

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K.M.

answers from Kansas City on

I don't think home parties are becoming obsolete. However, people are starting to do FB parties and such--it's just another marketing tool:)

More Answers

T.F.

answers from Dallas on

I hate home sales parties. Those invitations are simply an invoice to me. I prefer to just write you a check for a donation vs sitting through the sales pitches and then have the " consultant" make pressured sales to me. Blah. If you're that desperate for a few extra bucks, just solicit donations.

The parties don't occur in my neighborhood to my knowledge anymore because no one needs to go to multiple pampered chef, baskets, etc . They had a few parties way back and then everyone caught on to the MLM and direct sales scams so when someone is selling something now, we all run for cover to avoid them.

I hope the parties stay away from here!!

7 moms found this helpful

K.M.

answers from Chicago on

Not a fan of them for the most part I find that I know more about the product than the person selling, esp. if it is cosmetics.

I also do not like the pressure of the buy now OR now it's your turn to have a party at your house and I will give you free stuff in return.

6 moms found this helpful
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A.S.

answers from Boca Raton on

I detest "home sales" parties and will NOT attend, and I don't care if Michelle Obama invites me. Nope, not going.

I would detest the virtual version of it too. I dislike anything where people are encouraged to use friendships for sales leads. It's one thing if your friend sells something you actually want (a good or a service) and you go to her. It's another thing when they are pushed to come after you.

Dislike dislike dislike.

5 moms found this helpful

T.S.

answers from San Francisco on

I think the only time those kinds of businesses do well is in a booming economy, when people (seem to) have money to burn.
I don't forsee another booming economy any time soon.
The only time I go to those parties is if I am friends with the person throwing it AND if I am actually interested in the product.
Even then I don't buy much.

4 moms found this helpful

C.O.

answers from Washington DC on

Interesting question....

I for one LOVE Pampered Chef parties. I love the recipes and seeing how the new products work, etc.

I would LOVE to have a Tupperware party - Seriously. NOT kidding here.

Make up parties? Would NOT be interested. I know that's how Mary Kay works - but no thanks.

Candles? Too many people sensitive to smell - so no thanks!

Bags/purses? Nope.

Are these types of parties on the decline? Maybe. Depends upon where you are and what your disposable income is. If Invited would I attend? Most likely.

I loved Creative Memories - attended several of the memories parties - still have the stuff...and put books together...

Now why do I think companies like this are floundering or collapsing? Let's take Creative Memories...they started out great - prices were actually pretty reasonable....then they got popular....and prices went through the roof....and the market got OVER saturated with not only the product but consultants and people were overwhelmed and then lost interest when it became a "race".

Another factor is that people's lives are just too busy. And some - don't know how to communicate anymore without the use of social media or cell phones.

Look around when you go out to a restaurant...the number of people using ipads, nooks, cell phones...many people in society have forgotten how to communicate with people face-to-face....at least that's my take~!

4 moms found this helpful
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K.F.

answers from Salinas on

I know of no one who has them or attends with any regularity.

To me a party is a "gift" you give your friends or relatives. Trying to get friends to buy stuff from you at your home or anywhere else is not a party, it's a sales transaction.

3 moms found this helpful
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G.L.

answers from Salt Lake City on

I used to be a "consultant" (read: salesperson) for Usborne Books. I stopped 4 years ago, and by then, my online sales already dwarfed my in-person ones.

I did parties only occasionally. I think they were already becoming less popular. Although the company prefers the home party model (or did at that time) I got qualified for the school market and did school book fairs 3-4 times a year. Instead of selling stock on hand, I took orders or directed people to my website. My website sales outnumbered my in-person sales by about 4 to 1. People liked to browse my samples in person, then order online.

I did not get rich, or even make a living at it. But that was not my goal to begin with, and I worked on a very limited part-time basis. I loved the books, and took all my payment in books for my children. I quit when I had filled our shelves.

3 moms found this helpful

S.T.

answers from Washington DC on

i think they're becoming obsolete, and it's SUCH a relief.
:) khairete
S.

3 moms found this helpful
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M.R.

answers from St. Louis on

I work in Inside Sales and that alone is tough enough right now! And I have hundreds of clients that I have known and dealt with for years! I think these ome party businesses are for the birds. people just aren't interested and don't want to spend time doing this. Also...we have just come out of a recession and all is still not well. People cannot spend extra money on frivoless goods and will think twice about spending their money and their time at these party events. I also think all the big-box stores like Target, Wal-Mart, Home Goods, TJ Maxx and Marshall's put these parties to shame. Hell, ou can go in there and buy groceries, a candle, Tupperware, jewelry and a fake Louis Vuitton bag if you want! Why go sit through a show and tell when you can be in and out for less money and one- stop shopping? There's also the Internet sales draw to think of too. More and more people are never leaving the comfort of their own homes but will press their keyboard keys all day long on Amazon.com and eBay. We are becoming more and more of an automated and convenience based society. Sales reflects that....I work in it and around it everyday. I think the gathering experience and atmosphere of the sales parties can make for a very good time if the hostess is a good one. Otherwise, I don't see anone making tons of money in this area of business anymore. Hell, I wonder ow Abon survives until I saw three Avon stores pop up in my town. Yup...no more door to door or Avon calling! Sales has changed and so has the mechanism by which we purchase things we need or want. Spoken like a true sales professional that I am! My bosses would be proud!

2 moms found this helpful
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J.C.

answers from Philadelphia on

I didn't know they were declining... I am going to a jewelry one next week😊

2 moms found this helpful

J.S.

answers from Hartford on

They're not obsolete. They ARE fun, but the key is choosing the type of party that will appeal to your guests. You also have to be conscious of your guests' budgets and therefore, considerate about who you invite.

It's all about the hostess choosing the right audience but also not caring if no one buys a single thing.

2 moms found this helpful
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R.K.

answers from Appleton on

I have a friend who is a Tupperware Lady. For a small fee Tupperware sets up a website for each Lady. You can do parties and showers completely online through a certain Tupperware Lady. She checks the orders, and payment, and arranges the delivery to the hostess' home. The Tupperware Lady still gets her commision though she may never meet the participants.

I personally do not like the almost forced atmosphere of the parties. I attended one a months ago to benefit my grandson's pre-school. This one was a jewelry party. I found the consultant obnoxious and pushy. I only wear real stones, most of her merchandise was glass beads. To me it was cheaply made and overpriced.

The reason these parties were so popular in the '60's and '70's was because so many women were stay at home Mom's and to add a bit of fun into their lives they hosted parties -- it relieved bordom. These parties also gave women a chance to get together and become friends in the suburbs. So often families moved to these new neighborhoods and knew no one. it gave the women a chance to become freinds and share stories of joy and woe.

2 moms found this helpful

L.A.

answers from Austin on

I have a friend that seems to always have some type of in house sale, but now they are online.

Before children.. and owning her own business, She used to have the Tupperware, Mary Kay, Silpada and Avon parties at her home.. I really did not purchase much but we always had such a fun time with all of her crazy friends and coworkers.. They were more. like Happy Hours.

Cocktails good food. Usually we did not even have to listen to a sales pitch. The rep would be there to answer our questions and show us the stuff, we were there for the gathering, more than the merchandise. But because we all seemed to purchase something it added up.

But now it seems she is so busy, we get info online.
So we do not have to go to a party instead we go to the website, look through the catalog and purchase. she gets credit.. I miss seeing all of the crazy friends, I guess once we all retire, we will have time again.

My home is way to small to host anything. And in reality, I really do not need anything.. So it will be interesting to see how these companies will do, "in home type sales."

1 mom found this helpful
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A.H.

answers from Omaha on

I think they are still thriving, but don't let the facade fool you-it is what you make it to be. If you want to earn a little extra cash, then you don't have to put in as many hours. However, if you want the career level opportunity, then it is lots of hard work and a full time job just like any other. I know several people that make good money, earn trips, trinkets, cars and set their own hours working from home, but it is still sales. You have to be ready for that "no", but always hungry for that "yes" to reach success.
I have dabbled in a couple different home-based businesses and even looked into another one because I thought I could run it all through a website and market it through Facebook traffic and other social media, but this particular company expects their consultants to host trunk shows in order to earn all of their commissions, so they still find a lot of value in face to face gatherings. A lot of these companies are niche markets so they do become obsolete after awhile if they can't find a way to tweak their product or reinvent themselves with the latest trends.
A.

1 mom found this helpful
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C.S.

answers from Las Vegas on

I rarely buy anything from these parties and when I do it is because I look through a catalogue on my lunch hour and buy it. I almost never attend and when I do, I don't participate in the games because I think they are setting me up to be the next party host.

When I need something, I send out an email and ask who sells this product and I usually find someone. A lot of my friends do small shows and set up an exhibit to sell Cookie Lee jewelry or Avon. They use a conference room in a dealership or the YMCA on a weekend.

I believe the one that is still running is the candle stuff. You know the ones that plug in and don't have a flame.

So my opinion, I only buy what I want to no matter how they sell it.

1 mom found this helpful
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K.H.

answers from Boston on

I still get plenty of invitations in my area - Lia Sophia, Pampered Chef, Premier Jewelry, Miche Bags and Damsel in Defense (latest thing I've heard of). I do think the online parties are becoming more prevalent, but people are still hosting parties in house. I think the key is to find something that isn't over saturated in your area. For awhile I was being invited to multiple pampered chef parties to the point that it was ridiculous. Now I don't know nearly as many consultants so I like going to the parties when I get the invitation.

1 mom found this helpful

S.G.

answers from Grand Forks on

These parties are alive and well where I live. I love attending these types of parties and have even hosted a few. I will not buy the products unless I attend the party. The parties are fun. You get together with friends, have good food, some wine and a fun evening, then buy a little something. My favourite parties are Victorian Epicure, Pampered Chef and Passion Parties.

1 mom found this helpful

S.A.

answers from Chicago on

There is an abundance of these in my area. There are a handful of ladies at our school who sell Pampered Chef and Tastefully Simple. For awhile Lia Sophia was big too. I can't tell you how many of these invitations I receive. I receive email invites as well as Facebook invites. I don't think social media is going to overtake the home party just yet. A lot of women still like to turn up for the samples and social time. They see it as a chance to get out of the house.

1 mom found this helpful
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J.D.

answers from Cincinnati on

I don't think they are obsolete but just kind of jump around. LIke right now its the jewelry but was the 31 bags and before that pampered chef and before that the pure romance type. Maybe they are more popular to a certain age group. I think they'll still be in homes more than internet and stuff.
These days for me, I ask myself before I buy something is whether or not I will still want it several months from now.

E.A.

answers from Erie on

The only ones I hear about/get invited to are jewelry parties (which actually have nice items with real semi-precious stones and are local artists) and the sex toy parties. The sex toys are WAY over priced. The jewelry, not so much.

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K.C.

answers from San Francisco on

They are most certainly not becoming obsolete. I know a ton of people doing all different companies. I am a Discovery Toys consultant, so I'm in the business (though no longer actively working). I think that home parties are usually more profitable than Facebook parties (though those are becoming increasingly common) or by doing vendor shows, fairs, etc. People need to see the product to really want it, and they need to be there specifically for that purpose, rather than passing by as in a fair.

However, in order to be profitable, you have to work HARD. The biggest obstacle for me was that I preferred to communicate by email, but phone calls are MUCH more beneficial. You really need to get on the phone and make a lot of calls. You have to follow up. When you do get someone to agree to hosting a party, you have to coach them a lot for their party to be successful. You have to make sure they got on the phone and call their friends, as opposed to sending an evite.

So, while the face of the parties are definitely changing in the online/digital age, it's those that stick to the more traditional methods that end up being most successful.

O.H.

answers from Phoenix on

I don't think they have "changed" at all. I used to sell Tupperware back in the day. I had to drag around a TON of the products because I sold more if they actually could SEE it. But how much Tupperware do you need to buy? Same thing for the jewelry, purses, cookware, make up do you need to buy? These consultants have to KEEP having parties and getting NEW clients because the turn around on their product isn't consistent.

I just recently started selling Jamberry Nail wraps. They are non-toxic vinyl wraps for your nails in more than 300 colors and fun designs. You apply them with a blow dryer. They last up to 2 weeks on your nails and 6 on your toes. The ones sold in stores don't hold up to the quality of Jamberry. All I need to take to parties is the samples, nail files and my heater. That's it. I don't have to drag a huge bin of cookware or purses or candles, etc. And the best part? They freaking sell themselves because I wear them. Everywhere I go I get, "I LOVE your nails!", really, here's my card. They go online and order...done. I post pics on my facebook page and my friends order them. And because there are so many designs, they KEEP buying them...So you see the difference? It's all in the product, I believe. I'm not even "in it" for the money, although my first commission was $150 and I just had some church friends over. I wanted to get them for my step daughter who's mom doesn't like us to use polish on her nails because she's special needs so I got them for her. They were so fun and people asked about them so I thought it was kind of stupid NOT to sell them.

So don't discount something that is not going anywhere. You will ALWAYS have people that will want to deal with REAL people and buy products from THEM and not at the store or online.

And people will either go to a party or not, no big deal. If it's not your thing, then don't go. But don't bad mouth a business or someone who is trying to make some extra money (ESPECIALLY SAHM's) when other's are supporting them and their business. JMO.

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