I don’t throw parties for pay, but my Facebook is plastered with invites for this kind of thing. So, I’m going deep into the bowels of the internet to find out – do people actually make money with this stuff? How hard do you have to work? Is it worth a busy lady’s time? Personally, I’m not a sales person, so if it requires any work at all I’m out. I’m also out if there’s a lot of behind-the-scenes stuff. I just don’t have time with all that I’m already doing. But, I know there are plenty of ladies (and gentlemen) who would like to give up some of the work they do and make money another way, so let’s take a look.
First of all, parties for pay are technically called “Multi-Level Marketing” companies, or MLMs. If you’re looking for one to start, that’s how I’d search for it. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, think of the Tupperware parties of yore, or Thirty-One bags today. They’re everywhere, right? Someone invites you to a party where they’re going to show you a bunch of products and then either try to push you into buying something until you feel guilty enough to do it, or feel too guilty to push their products and then lose a bunch of money. What a fun idea! We can probably blame this on Amway if we want, although technically the first MLM was a company called Wachter. Today there are over 1000 options, so something for everyone I guess.
The Bad News about Parties for Pay
One of the reasons I’m writing this is because a friend of mine started Mary Kay a while back and it cost her a TON of money. Yes, you read that correctly. It cost her money to make money. I get it; she’s technically buying a franchise, so of course it comes with a price tag. But it was a lot, and the rules were strict, and she wound up losing all of it. Then the other day I saw this article online. Parties for pay were causing women to lose money AND have psychological problems. Wow! That seems like a terrible business opportunity, doesn’t it? In fact, the FTC did a study of 11 companies and found 99% of MLM reps lose money. Reading that made me cringe and think parties for pay are terrible, terrible ideas.
When I started this research I admit I was only looking for physical parties for pay, like you see with Mary Kay or Thirty-One, but I went down the rabbit hole my friends. I mean, I went deep down a rabbit hole, and I’m not even interested in this for myself. It started to seem like such a scam I felt like I had to talk about all MLMs, including ones where you do all your work on Facebook and never see another person. A different friend of mine got into LuLaRoe and swears she is thriving, despite all the bad news coming out of that company. Now, she might be lying, but she is a hustler and she’s pretty open about her mistakes, so I feel like she probably is making money. Obviously some people have to, right, or this wouldn’t be a thing. So what’s their deal?
Who Actually Makes Money?
Oh come on now. We know who they are. They’ve got a bridge to sell you. They were the Girl Scout that somehow sold enough cookies to feed a small country. They can place three hundred cold calls and still feel upbeat. Oh, and it appears they all have their own websites. When you first start researching parties for pay, you’ll see a lot of hopeful articles and hear about how much money people made. I’m sure plenty of them are true. But, I would remember one thing when you’re looking at those articles. If the person writing it is involved in an MLM, they’re probably selling you something. It might just be trying to convince you to join up, but you can be sure they’re getting something for that.
Actually, they’re probably getting more for getting you to join than if they’d sold you something. That’s where the real money is – networking and signing people up under you. It’s not exactly a pyramid scheme, but here’s a good explanation of how MLMs work. People who make money blogging have to network a lot too, so don’t think that’s a bad word. It’s all about having a community, and if you are good with that, you’ll probably be more successful at your MLM. I’m going to talk about the numbers on this anti-Jamberry article in a second, but for now I’d like to direct your attention to the comment section. People are aggressively fighting both for and against the company. I especially like that the pro-Jamberry people try linking to their websites. See? They are constantly on it! No wonder they make money.
Should I Try Parties for Pay?
I don’t know you, but I’m going to go ahead and say no, don’t do it. Not unless you are willing to devote your life to it, lose money, or potentially to scam them instead of vice versa. Is that possible, you ask? I think so, yes. After my research, I’m pretty sure you could sign up for one of these companies, do a launch party (where people typically have the most success – after all, no one’s sick of you yet), and get out with a tiny little profit. But even that would require a lot of research, so don’t think you’re just going to have a fun party one time and make a little extra dough with no work involved. Honestly, you should never really expect that. No one’s going to hand you money for nothing.
If you’re going to do it anyway, I suggest you research and research A LOT. That Jamberry article I mentioned before calculates that their “$99” startup fee was actually more like $124 because you have to pay shipping, which they don’t mention. The average Stella&Dot rep makes between $0 and $100 a year if you include inactive reps, which many are because you have to sell $200 a month to be considered active. Is that even worth the effort? You’re going to need to do more than just generic internet research too. Check with your friends and family to see if they’re interested in whatever you’re selling, because they’re your first customers, and if it’s something you won’t put the time in for, likely your only customers.
I don’t know, friends. Parties for pay aren’t really scams, and they’re certainly not illegal, but they’re not for me, and they’re definitely not for people short on time trying to make real money. I’ll stick with not selling things to my friends at parties. Sometimes I’ll spend too much, like at my dinner parties, and sometimes I’ll make them so simple I don’t even decorate, but either way I won’t be making money. If anyone I know personally asks my opinion, I’ll probably tell them to skip it too. There are lots of other ways to make money from home if you want, and thinking you’ll casually make money at a gathering you’d throw anyway is probably unrealistic.
What do you think? Anyone had success with this type of money making scheme or plan on giving it a try? Let me know in the comments!