Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Please, Come and Give Me Your Money

So, this party. It was a good time, actually, with a lot of nice decorations, some very tasty food, ten women, and lots of wine. Sounds promising, right?

The fly in the ointment was, it was an Epicure tasting party.

Here's the thing. They have great products, and I use them a lot and, therefore, believe in them. However, it bothers me that the society we live in is rife with people trying to make money off their friends. Am I the only person who is seriously embarrassed about hosting for profit? "Hey, friends: come to my house! We'll have food, and drinks, and a really fun time! Oh...and bring your wallets."

What's even worse are the suggestions They provide to achieve "maximum party attendance". They tell us that "anyone can be a customer. Parents from your child's sports teams! Church groups! School contacts! Neighbours! Family members! Random strangers you see on the street! People you used to know in high school, but haven't spoken to in fifteen years! Everyone's a customer!" What I want to ask these people is, how much do they like being proselytized by every salesman/woman out to make a dollar? How much do they like being warmed up by a friendly smile and an outstretched hand, only to find that the outstretched hand is holding a catalogue and an order form?

I don't know where the line is between making a living and taking advantage. I've been thinking about this a lot lately because I am having some financial tension, and have been considering everything from direct-sales, to weekend-retail, to Google-ads-on-my-low-traffic-blog. For some reason, I am agonizing over this last one, wondering how readers feel about the presence of Google ads and, further, whether anyone ever clicks them. Because if they don't, there's not really much point. And, if they do, does that make me mercenary? Or, worse, would people visit HalfSoledBoots, see the Google ads, and think with a contemptuous curl of their lip, "Sellout" while vowing ne'er to return?

11 comments:

Jo said...

I don't care for the selling parties, either. Where I live and work, Partylite Candle parties are all the rage. I made the joyous mistake of snickering at them once and never got invited to one again. I was so happy when Tupperware started selling stuff online so I could avoid Tupperware parties as well. As for the Google Ads, I can't say I have looked at them twice on anyone's blog. I hope the financial tension is alleviated soon.

Kris said...

I don't really like the selling parties either. I go to some, but let the hostess know that I most likely won't be purchasing anything upfront.

As for Google ads, I have them on my low traffic blog, but until you reach $100 worth of credit with them, they don't pay out. I figure that it is worth it if I get something, but the odds are pretty low.

I feel your pain for the financial woes, we are in the same shape ourselves.

Kate said...

The party was lovely, and hey it was really good food!
Hmmm, I suggest we discuss off-line the other topics, as I too have faced the situation and have lots of ideas! Also other members of our group could be valuable for ideas...

Gwen said...

Am not into selling parties, as I think they foster bitterness and resentment towards your friends. ie/Who the hell does she think I am, Croesus? or (from the opposite angle),What the hell kind of tightwad is she, anyway? A better method might be to just chill out with a bottle of wine, some tasty food and a catalogue tossed on the coffee table, with a breezy, "Hey, this is where I got some of this stuff."

Sandy said...

My Anna was perhaps the most honest of us all when she insisted on calling the guests for my Epicure party "our customers" and wondering if she could help "sell" things. And I thought I was being so subtle. Sigh. And now I have guilt, too. But the beany bean-dip was great.

clumsy ox said...

Selling parties are fine, if you're honest with everyone involved.

I thought we hit a new low when my wife was invited to an "adult novelty" party at someone's house.

I'd click your google ads, if they're apropos. And I never really notice them if they're not. I mean, presence of ads doesn't really affect my consideration of a site, unless they take forever to load and I get fed up and leave.

Ames said...

I surely don't mind going to a party or two now and then, but I just cannot get into the mind frame of seeing everyone as a potential source of income. Many people seem to really believe they are "helping" their friends and family by providing a superior product that will make their life better than their wildest dreams. I say, if you are really that concerned about everyone's welfare, why aren't you giving it away?

Get an ad or two, I'll still frequent your site.

Surely, there must be some way you could earn some cashola with your amazing skills with various needles.

Ames said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Susan said...

We have SO many selling parties, from containers (Tupperware)to clothes (Postie, Undrcover Wear)to Multi Level Marketing companies (Amway being the oldest but by no means the least). I have had a few in my time, and have been invited to many. I usually buy as I feel guilty not to, but it puts a huge strain on the purse. I have joined a few MLM's too, but was never successful as I'm not "pushy" enough.
I know what you mean about financial tension. I've not been getting many shifts since before Christmas, so I hope that picks up very soon.
(qwarkus.typepad.com)

Lizbon said...

While I can't say I'm a big fan of the home-party sales concept, it's also not wildly worse than Girl Scout Cookies, which nobody seems to mind. (Is that because it's kids selling them or because they're cookies? And are Epicure products any worse because they're sold for and by adults?)

But I wouldn't think less of any blogger who put Google ads up, and if I knew they needed money I'd click on 'em just to help out.

Everybody's got to make a living somehow...

Jo said...

Couldn't find an email address for you - email me at jochibi at yahoo dot com and I'll tell you the story of my daughter's name.