Sunday

Sell crazy somewhere else...GUEST BLOG



I have never done a guest blog on my page, but there is a first for everything.  I have a reader who sent me this brilliantly written, funny letter that was too good to pass up.  Though I am in no danger of this happening to me, because I have only been invited to 3 parties in 3 years, I know lots of people can relate to being inundated with book parties, purse parties, candle parties, cleaning parties..etc.  It starts to add up after a while.  I had to post this because it is funny and worth reading.  Friends should always encourage each other, but not take advantage of each other.  Just common sense if you ask me.  I happen to love getting invited to these because I get a few hours out of the house, but if I kept getting invited repeatedly each week by the same person, I'd probably blow a gasket, too.  I almost died at the last party I was invited to so if you need my take on these parties from a different perspective, by all means, please indulge here.

Am I the only one who has at least one friend who’s too expensive to keep? You know the kind- she’s got her own “host a party and buy stuff from me” business. Or she’s got kids in so many activities that she’s always in the middle of a fundraiser and needs you to buy a ticket to something. Candles, food items, kitchen gadgets, jewelry, magazines, sports team raffles, and let’s not forget the gawd-awful athletic team spaghetti dinners that charge $10-15 per person for a plate of mushy, overcooked spaghetti, brown-around-the-edges iceberg lettuce salad, and bread of some sort. Oh, and please make it extra garlicky bread because it really adds to the smell of the gymnasium where you’re holding the dinner. I’m happy to pay $50 for my family of 4 to attend. What? In addition I can purchase baked goods and drinks there, too? Excellent, I won’t need to bring extra money because it’ll be easy to tell my 6 year old that those cookies he’s looking at weren’t included in his dinner price, and the drinking fountain water will quench his thirst just fine. How about I just give you $30 to put me on your do-not-invite list?

Do you really think I need that 2nd set of measuring spoons or 3 sizes of metal whisks? Can’t we admit that we cook the same 10 meals on a rotating basis for our families, and if I use a whisk once in the course of a month I proudly feel like Betty Crocker? Even when I need one (i.e. - for a fancy reason like pancake batter), half the time I’m too rushed to go into the gadget drawer and I just grab the nearest fork to do the job. And even then- I’ve been known to use a spoon or a butter knife when the fork isn’t within arm’s reach. And you do realize that you can get the same- or often better- quality jewelry at any number of department store sales/online retailers, right? $40 for a fake silver necklace with low-quality beads on it isn’t a great deal, nor is it particularly fashionable. Sure- you got me distracted with your sex toy party- and I almost fell for it- but I’m quite familiar with the adult store nearby, thankyouverymuch. But I digress.
Inevitably you’ll sign up your friend to host a party for you. She might like the concept so much that she signs on to host parties for the same or a different company. Then- you knew it was coming- she’ll ask you to host a party for her, too. And of course you will because you owe her. Don’t you realize that you’re all just exchanging checks for a bunch of crap you wouldn’t have bought if you didn’t feel guilty because “she came to your party and bought (fill in the blank)”?? Go through your checkbook and you might find that you’ve spent hundreds of dollars or more attending these parties throughout the year. And don’t think I’m falling for that “You don’t have to buy a thing- just come and have fun! It’s a girl’s night out! We’ll have hors d'oeuvres and drinks!” crap. Yep- liquor me up enough and of course I’ll beer-goggle over your merchandise and come home with an order sheet a mile long. We both know me well enough, don’t we?
I like to think that these party ladies are just oblivious to the strain they’re putting on their friends and not consciously taking advantage of their friends’ kind hearts. Hopefully they are just distracted by their excitement over owning their own business. Here’s the tough-love lesson, my well-meaning friends: Friends don’t ask friends to subsidize their incomes. Now it seems there's a new trend happening on my Faceobook Timeline.  Friends that are 'tagging' me with their products they want me to buy - so now let me get this - I don't even get the night out - you want to publicly tag me and ask me to buy from you.  Seriously that's pushing it to a new limit of tacky.  At least give me a glass of boxed wine before you ask me to buy your crap!
Please let your friends support you in spirit, with kind and loving words/deeds, and NOT by writing you a check for your latest money-making endeavor. I know that these are legitimate businesses and I’m proud of you for being ambitious, but please cast a wider customer net that reaches outside your immediate group of friends. I want you to succeed, I really, really do. I love you and will be your cheerleader and I’ll be happy to listen to your worries/concerns/give advice- whatever you need. But please don’t ask me to be on your frequent-buyer plan. One email informing your friends of your business venture is sufficient- and even a reminder email is ok. But if we don’t reply or buy something after the 1st or 2nd invitation, it’s because we don’t have the funds to buy from you and/or we don’t like what you’re selling, but we don’t want to hurt your feelings.

Clearly there are exceptions to this, and I imagine there are many- ok- SOME- women who love being invited to these parties. They enjoy the social interaction and love buying whatever is being sold. That’s awesome and I’m happy for them. But please don’t assume we’re all like that. I think you can reasonably expect that at least one or two of the friends on your business invite list really don’t want to be on it. And if you keep holding your hand out to your friends asking them to buy something from you, one of these days your hand might get smacked in return (in the most loving, supportive manner, of course).


Cheers and Love,
~DG (and Guest Poster....)
 
 
 

18 comments:

  1. A-fucking-men! Thank for saying this. I don't get invited to much, but when I do, it's always the same person who hasn't spoken to me since the last Pampered Chef party she threw. Do you know how many spreaders and beaded necklaces I own and never use? We haven't even started the fundraising stuff yet, but I can't wait to get hit up for a $50 spaghetti dinner. WTF??

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh how true-and now with FB they are even harder to avoid when they message you! Accck!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I also love when they ask you to sell...without thinking that I would, basically, be selling to just about the same group of women.

    ReplyDelete
  4. You said it!!!, Makes me think I could be more persistent about getting friend's to read my blog, at least it's free!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I just say no, I can't afford it. The kids don't do school fundraisers because we don't know enough people to sell them to anyway. If you keep saying no, eventually they will stop asking.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I love DG and YOU. So good and so true.
    p.s I do this when fundraising. Time for me to smarten the "f" up.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I'd LOVE to post this as a comment to the "SCENT~Sational Scenty Party!" I was just invited to TODAY!! Oh, I don't know that makes about 252 invites thus far in 2012 alone for crap that I don't want or need. I will hold my tongue and opt for the stealth "Decline" however. I'm so sad that I have "other plans" and will miss the "FUN girl's night out with food, wine and of course awesome smelling scents!" Damn my stupid luck!! :))))) Oopps I meant ;'(

    ReplyDelete
  8. My husband calls all direct marketing ventures "Friend Repellent," and I think that's spot-on. I have some friends who do various businesses who are smart enough to lay off the marketing pitch every time I'm with them. But there is one other, since moved away, who I began to avoid because she literally Would. Not. Stop. I guess she thought she'd wear me down? It REALLY got old. I understand why she built her network to umpteen people and was raking in 3K a month in "commissions," but holy cats, woman, how many times do I have to squirm and explain I simply can't afford your stuff?

    My kids sold Girl Scout cookies and Cub Scout popcorn for years, but that was it, period. No school or athletic fundraisers. We have no family in the vicinity and when they were little I didn't work, and hubby is self-employed, so no office, and our results were never stellar. Now that they're older and I have an office I will do one or two a year, but I try not to badger people. I just leave the sheets out and see what sticks.

    (P.S. I have been known to attend parties and actually buy NOTHING - just eat the food, drink the alcohol and schmooze. It can be done. :-))

    ReplyDelete
  9. As a direct sales person, I must say that I like when people come to the parties, even if they do not intend to buy anything. I truly am there to facilitate a girls' night out. Don't want to buy what I'm offering? No problem. Seriously, please still come to the parties. 99% of the time, the consultant wants you to come to have fun and enjoy your friends' company, even if you don't want to drop money on a whisk, candle, or necklace.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, if that's true, Jess, then you are one of the ONLY ones who feels that way. I have been given very dirty looks at the parties I have dared to just attend and enjoy. Oh, and try buying something small and inexpensive and get the bum's rush and a sour face when you're paying because you didn't spend enough to please the "consultant." (ha!) Spare me!

      Delete
  10. Oh my .... this is spot on!!! I was once caught up in the party hype....no more sista .... but I do have that one friend that PUSHES her arbonne crap..... which is WAY too expensive for my taste ... somehow she makes you feel you are poisoning your body if you don't use arbonne....this as she's feeding her kiddos chix nuggets and pizza....bwaahhaaaa.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Yes! I have a friend that has a few a year. I would rather drop a hundy on groceries. If you are having a party because you can't afford all the crap you want. DON'T LOOK AT THE MAGAZINE. I don't even go, after a while you stop getting invites. You should have a party and name it a potluck cash drop, bring money and we will order food and drinks. No waiting six weeks for crap you don't need to come in, the only gift you get is the morning after beer shits...

    ReplyDelete
  12. "No thank you" are pretty easy words to say, no?

    ReplyDelete
  13. Ahhhhhh so true!! I have family members that do this crap and so I can't even post this article on FB because they'll know I'm talking about them, haha! And yes, you can go and just drink and eat. I HATE that stuff, it's so cheaply made yet so freaking expensive! And usually ugly. No thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Can we add health supplements to this list? If I hear from one more person how unhealthy I am because my multi-vitamin (which is a prescription BTW) is not enough because it isn't JuicePlus or my diet isn't healthy enough because I don't drink Shakeology (I don't because it doesn't agree with my Crohn's) I will scream. If I saw "no thank you" politely once that should be enough. If I explain my health issues and say that is why I can't add anything that hasn't be OK'd by my doctor that should really, really be enough.

    ReplyDelete
  15. It bothers me now how many people are doing online facebook parties. I admit I hosted a party once, but I hosted a PARTY once. I made apps, desserts, served drinks, etc. I have a few friends who invite me to their "online parties". As touched as I am to be on your list of 352 closest facebook friends, something just feels wrong there.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I hosted a party once because there was a watch that I really wanted. My husband said "why are you punishing your friends because you want a watch?" That is the most logical thing I've ever heard. And it was the last party I've ever hosted or attended! The kicker? I've since lost the watch who knows where!

    ReplyDelete

Support random acts of kindness and leave me a nice comment..it totally counts as a good deed.