Friday, January 23, 2009

I'm Going to Yet Another "Party"

Have your friends and neighbors started supplementing their income by selling cosmetics or jewelry? I’m noticing that I’m getting more invitations to attend jewelry parties, cookware parties, cosmetic parties lately. (Thank heavens I haven’t been invited to a Botox party yet. The first person to invite me will get plumper lips, compliments of my fist.)

Anyhow, I’m going to attend yet another jewelry party this weekend.

My rule of thumb with these things are: 1.) I will attend once very 6 months per person extending the invitation and 2.) I will usually purchase something moderately priced (i.e., $25-$50), unless I absolutely hate the offered merchandise. (Note: If the fundraising is for my friends or co-worker’s children’s school or education, I’ll usually purchase more frequently.)

I will admit that my motives are not completely altruistic – I attend these things for networking opportunities. But I also do this partly out of fear that my friends will be upset with me unless I purchase something.

Sure, they all say, “Please don’t feel obligated to buy anything.” But do they really mean it? On the flip side, am I entitled to feel resentful for being put in an awkward position of having to buy something I don’t necessarily need or want?

How do you deal with these types of invitations?


DogAteMyFinances said...

I'm busy, but that's actually true with a wedding coming up and the small business.

You made me snort my tea with that lip plumping joke!

Sharon Rose said...

Hi there-I haven't been in the situation of being invited to these parties, maybe I would buy something small if I was! Have a lovely weekend my dear!

MoneyMateKate said...

Ah, one of the joys of having almost no friends - no crap like this! The one female friend I do have is constantly getting invited to Pampered Chef, candle, lingerie, etc. parties but never the one product that she wants: Mary Kay. Go figure.

Money Funk said...

Yes, I am much like you in buying something moderately priced. Of course, they will make you feel guilty if you don't buy! lol!

My last was a Mary Kay party.

My friend has a home & garden party this weekend. She really doesn't want to go, but her sister is demanding her! lol!

I think you are just going to have to be blunt and say, "you're busy washing your hair". :-)

Anyone throwing a candle party? I need to restock my house.

Miss M said...

Hilarious! I guess there are advantages to being a hermit. None of my friends are into that stuff except for a roomate in college who sold mary kay. I think you are too kind, those $25 purchases must start to add up. If it is something you really want then of course, but you shouldn't feel obligated.

Donna Freedman said...

You could always pay for it out of the "discretionary/entertainment" section of your budget. Which begs the question: Do you really want to spend a chunk of your month's fun money on a candle or a radish slicer?
The other question: Who really BELIEVES the "Oh, you don't have to buy anything" part?
I did buy two pieces of Tupperware from a co-worker, but it was very low-key: She put the catalog by the office coffee pot and if you wanted to leaf through it, fine. I also bought some Avon stuff from my after-school care provider -- they were Christmas gifts for my daughter, my niece and my mom.
I'm lucky in that I have only been invited to one "home party" in my life. What wasn't so lucky is how it turned out: the hostess, a receptionist at my workplace, kept putting us off with excuses as to why the items hadn't yet arrived. Then she quit, and we never heard from her again. Naturally, she'd cashed our checks long since.
Here's my take on it: If a friend is selling something you'd buy anyway -- like those long-ago Christmas gifts from Avon -- then why not help her out? But I also think that no one should be strong-armed into attending these things. I much prefer the catalog-by-the-coffeepot approach.

Ms. MoneyChat said...

oh gosh, is that madness starting up again. i must admit, i was once one of those friends inviting folks to my party. yeah, that's how i got BACK into debt once!

jpkittie said...

love your way of plumper lips ;) that would so be me! lol

I hate being invited to those parties! But what is nice, the people that invite me ~ they know, unless it is a pampered chef party, I am not buying anything! lol I don't wear jewelry (unless it is my neckless from dd or cross from my dad - my wedding band, sometimes my engagement ring - it always scratches dd... lol I don't wear makeup - mascara & lip gloss please! lol)

Good for you to make standards about how much you will spend. That is important when going into the situation. Good luck - just hope you don't find something that you have to have!!!

Anonymous said...

I just got invited to my first one of these events the other day. Luckily my excuse is that I've already got plans.
I guess it feels odd because you basically know your friend is hoping to make money off of you (since they usually get a cut of the sales).
People are very good at guilting me into doing things like that..I got a "free" lunch (I know, there's no such thing as a free lunch) from Ameritrade or some other company that does financial planning. I felt guilted into going to the "complementary" planning session. I managed to avoid getting suckered into actually signing up (and just used her advice!)
I think I need to get better at avoiding things without feeling guilty.
I say, only go if you actually need/want the items (i.e. you need new makeup, you're looking for a piece of jewelry to go with an outfit, your Tupperware collection has mysteriously disappeared, etc.)

Shtinkykat said...

DogAteMyFin.: Ha! That excuse usually won't work with me because my weekends are usually lazy, do-nothing days, and my friends know it.

$haronRose: Hope you had a great weekend too.

MMK: Your friend wants to be invited to a MK party? That's interesting!

Christine: I think I'll keep that excuse in my back pocket. No candle parties in the horizon. I wonder if there is such a thing?

MissM: I'm a hermit, so thankfully, I don't get invited to things that often.

Donna F: Yep. I am paying for the product out of my "misc" fund. Thanks for the precautionary tale! I was planning to write a check to the woman but decided to put it on my credit card for the protection, just in case.

Ms. MoneyChat: I was wondering what you meant when you said you got into debt by hosting these parties. I discovered at the party that all of the samples were purchased by the seller herself. There must have been $3000 worth of products there. I suddenly felt bad for the seller. :-(

jpkittie: Like all good intentions, I have a budget but I never seem to keep it. :-P

graduatedlearning: I do think it's interesting that the business model of these things is to prey on people's social politeness to buy stuff. I guess the lesson here is to keep my weekends busy to avoid having to go to these parties!

Bouncing Back said...

Ah yes, tupperware, candles, kitchen goods and jewlery parties. Even with the free food and drink offered, I tend to find the products overpriced and depending on the product, the quality varies. When I do go,I go with a specific goal in mind and it is far less than what you spent. $25 is my limit, occassionaly I've gone to $30.

Are you really networking at these parties? Or just having a really good time out? Plus you have to get over the fear that your friends won't like you or be upset if you don't purchase something. It's your money!

I adopt a similar philosphy that you do, I accept very few invitations to these parties. In fact, (thankfully) these invitations have dramatically decreased these past few years and I usually only go as a guest of a guest.

You can always say you have other plans that evening or that you are 'candled out' or something to that effect.

444 said...

Hi there - I just added you to my blogroll. I commented on this topic but I put it on the budgetsaresexy guy's page where you mentioned it.

Great, entertaining blog you have here! Feel free to read and add mine! (hint, hint) I just got it started a week or so ago so I guess I'm a little overenthusiastic.