What Ever Happened To Tupperware Parties?
Retail-themed get-togethers and how they've evolved.
Web2Carz Contributing Writer
Published: August 21st, 2012
hen we were kids, most of our mothers hosted or attended the ubiquitous Tupperware Party. Nowadays, though they still exist, they are far less popular. They've not entirely disappeared, though—and, interestingly enough, other industries have made the jump to home-hosted gatherings to sell their products.
The "party plan" is a method of selling, attributed mostly to Brownie Wise, who created the concept for Tupperware in the 1950s. It's a riff on multi-level-marketing (also known as a pyramid scheme, although these aren't nearly as shady), in that sellers are paid for their sales and leads, and they are encouraged to recruit their party attendees to also become sellers.
The "party plan" concept has been criticized by some people who say that it guilts party guests into buying things they otherwise wouldn't.
Other companies who exist almost solely on the "party plan" concept are Mary Kay and Avon cosmetics, but in recent years, other products have begun to take off. In the early 2000s, candle parties were all the rage, with companies such as PartyLite and Scentsy still enjoying success today. Now, even sex toys are sold at these parties, thanks to a company called Pure Romance.
The concept has been criticized, though, as some say it guilts or embarrasses party guests into buying things they otherwise wouldn't because they don't want to waste a friend's (the host's) time.
The thing with these parties, though, is that you have to sell A LOT of product in order to make money of your own. For example, with Scentsy, you have to sell $500 worth of candles in order to earn a paltry $75 of your own. Sell less, and you make a smaller percentage of commission—and that's not a new pay scale. They've always required high selling numbers for minimal payout.
While we see why these might be a convenient option for people who want to throw the parties just to get together with similar-demographic'ed people, it's hard to imagine anyone trying to sustain themselves on throwing house parties of this kind.