Wednesday, June 4, 2008

The Postman always Rings Twice (a day)....

A recent scientific survey was performed on our incoming mail. It was found that roughly 3 times a week, my wife had received some sort of invitation to a "friends" party. You know what these are...the parties where nobody really wants to go buy anything, but feels obligated to do so. Still confused?? I'll make a short list of all the party postcards that I seem to remember:
Stampin Up
Creative Memories
Pampered Chef
Ideal Gifts
Party Lite
Some Jewelry deal
Various Cosmetic companies
67 Candle parties
14 different Home interior parties
Layered clothing parties
But we're still waiting on Amway.

Don't get me wrong...I understand why these parties take place. It's a good idea to get a bunch of friends together away from their husbands and kids. I'm not opposed to this at all. But why on this green earth did every Mom suddenly think that they need to get in on the "selling gig?"
Well--there is one answer that comes to mind. Generally, when you host a party, the more items you sell to your friends, the more free crap you get from the company.
In my opinion, this is a lose-lose.
First for the buyers: Let's say there is actually something worth purchasing at one of these parties. A 90 second Google search will find the product for 67% cheaper. Plus, it's most likely that the woman didn't need/want the item before they showed up to the party. Then peer pressure sets in...everyone is buying something...what to do....BAM--86 dollars later, and you're coming home with a wicker bunny, and an elderberry/mint candle.
Next for the sellers: It's understandable that you'd want to sell more to get free stuff. Who doesn't like free stuff? But here's the catch. Have you ever been to Chuck E Cheese? Half of the "restaurant" is set up with salmonella-ridden video games. The other half are ticket-bearing games of chance. For each quarter you pump in...a varied amount of tickets come out. You're supposed to save these up and cash them in at the front desk for a prize. Little do you know, that you thought you did well to only spend 14 dollars on ticket games, and walked away with a cool 324 tickets....that you end up with a mini-slinky, 3 pencil top erasers shaped like Chucky, and 6 tootsie rolls. HUH?! All that work for THIS?
This is the same concept with hosting a party. You work your tail off, make food, plan activities, and end up with a mini-slinky. Completely not worth it. In addition, you invite people you don't really know or like in order to get 2 mini-slinkys.

I have come up with a much better solution.
Send out a postcard that says the following:

We are holding a friends party. We probably going shopping and out to dinner. Plan on bringing 50-100 dollars and we'll have a really good time!!

The net result for the husband is the same--he watches the kids and is out 75 bucks.
The net result for the wife is much better--a night out with friends she knows and likes, and may come home with something purchased that she'll enjoy much better. No peer pressure. No awkwardly looking through the catalogue for the cheapest items. Not having to turn down the company rep who wants you to host another party.

Enough for now...I'm off to check out our new collapsible serving bowl.


Major Undeclared said...

Stealing your topics huh? If by that you mean my foresight into the future, then I sincerely apologize...

MeatWad said...

I know someone that made over $1000 a month on collapsible bowl sales alone. I haven't seen the check, but it is a great way to get some extra income. Plus, they are frickin' bowls...that collapse. Awesome.

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