Shop-at-home parties can be alot of fun but can easily lead us into buying items we don’t need. Here’s a few tips on how to survive the party plan silly season.

The pre-Christmas shop-at-home parties are in full swing in our town; I’ve been to three in the past five days (Tupperware, Enjo and Body Shop), including one I hosted myself! While there’s no denying shop-at-home parties have their many pluses (especially in our remote town hundreds of kilometers away from a decent shopping centre), it’s worth noting the financial and environmental implications of such events.

A little while back when I mentioned to my in-laws that I was hosting a Tupperware party, my father in law (a money-savvy Italian migrant), let me clearly know his thoughts on party plans. To keep it short, it was something along the line of how rude to invite your friends to your home to pressure them to buy things. While I thought his reaction was a little over the top at the time, I can actually see where he’s coming from……

Shop-at-home parties are convenient for time poor mums. We get to catch up with our friends, shop, support the host and demonstrator, and watch our kids at the same time!

However, it’s the relaxed atmosphere, enticing rewards and the subconscious obligation to show support to the host/demonstrator that can get many of us into a little trouble (not to mention it’s a sales tactic used by companies to increase sales). We all have friends who own the entire Tupperware catalogue or whose bathroom cabinets are full of expired body products that now need to be thrown out….. or perhaps that’s even you (and I’m not judging here as I’ve purchased my fair share of stuff at these parties too).

Thankfully with a little forward planning and control, it’s still possible to attend these parties without blowing your budget. Here’s some tips to help keep your spending (and environmental impact) in check:

  • Ask to see the catalogue and prepare your shopping list in advance of the party.
  • If you can’t see the catalogue beforehand, commit to a party budget and take this amount in cash to the party (leave your credit card at home).
  • Only buy items you need. Don’t make a purchase simply so your friend can get a heap of freebies. A simple “thank you but I don’t actually need anything right now” is perfectly fine to say.
  • Likewise, don’t feel pressured to host a party. If you genuinely need products, go for it, but try not to be persuaded if you simply don’t want to host one.

If you really can’t control your spending at shop-at-home parties, perhaps you may need to think about turning down invitations and arranging to catch up with your friends for a walk or coffee instead. Good friends will understand!

Are you a fan of party plan parties? Or do you give them a miss? Share your thoughts and experiences below!