A house party or in home party has several definitions. We may think of such parties as long weekend parties where guests stay several nights at a home. Another definition of house party is when typically college-aged young adults hold a large party at someone’s home, and this is differentiated from holding a party in a dorm. These definitions have little to do with the house party in business and particularly in direct sales. Instead, in business the in home party is a means of introducing invited guests to products they may wish to purchase.
There are several ways a house party can be organized. A person hosting the party may be the seller of merchandise and be a representative of a specific direct sales company. This person invites friends and acquaintances to the house party to try out or explore the different merchandise offered, usually from one company. In direct sales, the seller may have purchased the merchandise at cost and gets to sell it at profit, though this is not always the case. These parties are often marketed toward women, with a host of products available. These can include cosmetics like Avon®, or Mary Kay®, home products like Tupperware®, and a variety of other things like foods, kitchen supplies, home and garden decorative items, clothing, and toys for kids.
Sometimes the person hosting the house party isn’t the sales representative. Instead a representative may convince a friend to host the in home party. There may be some advantage in this scenario for a few reasons. Someone who doesn’t sell the products appears to endorse them by hosting a party. The person hosting may also have a larger acquaintance than the salesperson, which increases potential clientele of the representative. Another advantage is that the sales representative can focus on presenting merchandise and doesn’t have to use her time organizing a party.
House parties are frequently fun social events, where women expect to hear a sales presentation or view products they may find useful. If you’ve been invited to such a party, it may be wise to bring your checkbook. It’s also okay to not attend these parties, as they are sales events where someone will be attempting to sell you something. Being invited to a house party focused on selling merchandise is not the same as being invited to someone’s home. You aren’t expected to reciprocate socially, though if you do go, expect the sales representative to ask you to become a representative and/or host a party for her.