Types of Catalog Parties

by Molly Thompson

Tupperware containers filled beads

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What started with Tupperware home parties decades ago has blossomed into an extensive business sector, offering a wide array of items for sale. Whether you host a party in your home, pass a catalog around among friends at work or post a catalog for an online party, you can earn free or discounted products, build an income-producing business for yourself or raise funds for a school group or sports team.

Tupperware

Tupperware was one of the earliest home catalog-party business, breaking onto the scene in 1948. Women gathered in one anothers' homes, enjoyed light refreshments and a short presentation on the wonders of this food-storage line, then placed orders on the spot for the products they wanted. Tupperware offered both the novelty of a home party and catalog sales as well as the opportunity for women to have their own business without being away from their homes and families except for short periods of time. Tupperware has since been joined by a wide range of cooking, kitchen and home-care-products catalog lines such as Pampered Chef and Melaleuca.

Personal Care Items

Avon brought the idea of ordering cosmetics, perfumes and other personal care products from a catalog while at home into the mainstream. Other companies such as Mary Kay and Arbonne have built on that idea to offer in-home parties at which a consultant does makeovers or facials for party guests, then gives them catalogs from which to order their preferred products. Some parties involve fun games as part of the presentation, designed to sell the guests on the products' benefits and give them a chance to win free items.

Candles and Home Decor

Home decor and fragrance items are prime territory for the home-catalog-party scene. Companies such as Scentsy and Partylite offer candles, scented oils and potpourri along with candleholders, while numerous others feature home decor. Some catalog parties feature tapestries, shelves, mirrors and lamps. If you can't attend the party but have your heart set on those wall sconces or a glazed pottery urn, you often can place your order with the consultant or hostess before the party, either online or in person.

Jewelry and More

Costume and high-end jewelry is featured at catalog parties from companies such as Premier Jewelry and Lia Sophia. Try the items on the spot and learn new ways of combining different pieces. Other catalog companies sell a range of purses, totes and storage bags, which often can be personalized. You can host lingerie parties in your home, where a consultant displays a variety of lace and satin goodies for the guests to try on; these parties may be tailored for a bridal shower or a couples shower.

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About the Author

As a national security analyst for the U.S. government, Molly Thompson wrote extensively for classified USG publications. Thompson established and runs a strategic analysis company, is a professional genealogist and participates in numerous community organizations.Thompson holds degrees from Wellesley and Georgetown in psychology, political science and international relations.