Everyone likes to be invited to a party. I love parties! I don’t even mind if the hostess asks me to bring a dish. If I’m being welcomed to her home to enjoy the festivities, it’s the least I can do. And if it’s a shower, I love to bring baby or bridal gifts for people I love.
Unfortunately, the invitations I usually receive aren’t for parties. They’re for sales ambushes from trusted friends. “Come to my candle party!” is really code for, “Come to my house, eat some appetizers, and buy some overpriced crap out of my catalog so I can get free stuff or money.”
Maybe I’m being a curmudgeon here. It certainly wouldn’t be the first time. The thing is, I don’t want to feel pressured to buy stuff I don’t need, especially when it’s typically so overpriced. Not to mention, it sort of makes me feel bad to know that I’m not being invited to a party simply because the hostess enjoys the pleasure of my company, but because I’m another person who may buy stuff from her.
When I choose to buy something, it’s because I need and/or want it, and I can afford it. I don’t want to feel guilted into buying things because my friend has provided appetizers or drinks, or because I feel responsible for supplementing her income. That’s not how business works. Good business is based on the exchange of money for worthwhile goods or services — not guilt because your friend is trying to start her “home business” if only her 20 closest friends would spend $200 each on the junk she’s selling.
I don’t like when sales people ambush me. I don’t like when they call me, I don’t like when they approach me in the mall, and I don’t like when they knock on my door. The last thing I want is to be solicited by a friend at a party.
If you want to build a business selling products, I don’t begrudge you that. By all means, let your friends know that you have those products available, and the ones who are interested in buying can come to you. But please don’t solicit sales from me under the guise of a get together. I’m too cheap to buy any of your overpriced stuff anyway.