From holiday parties to baby showers, there always seems to be an excuse to gather for just about any occasion or event.
Parties in any capacity promise fun gatherings that allow like-minded people to connect and celebrate or come together for a common cause.
In addition to celebrations, there are now parties planned to sell products and merchandise such as purses.
Much like the Mary Kay or Tupperware parties of the past, purse parties have become popular in suburban America and all over the country, usually offering designer bags at discounted prices.
What Is a Purse Party?
Purse parties are events typically held at someone’s home at which a purse salesperson presents a purse demonstration, describing their offerings, purse features, and other intriguing characteristics of the purses they’re trying to sell.
The purse salesperson travels from place to place, asking for volunteers to host their next “purse party.”
Friends and family of the host then gather to watch the demonstration and possibly purchase a purse.
Sometimes, the salesperson hosts the purse party themselves.
How Does a Purse Party Work?
Purse parties are set up much like Tupperware, makeup, or jewelry parties.
A salesperson who acquires their goods from a third party or company which they represent and asks a friend or family member to host a purse party for them.
The location of the purse party usually changes depending on who’s hosting.
Purse parties are typically held at private residences but can also be held in public places like parks, coffee shops, church basements, and other rentable places (with permission).
However, due to the legality of the sales, public spaces may not always be the best option.
The purse salesperson then arrives early at the agreed-upon location, sets up their purses for display, and prepares other party decorations.
The host usually provides appetizers, snacks, and drinks for their party guests.
The host usually is offered a discount on a purse in exchange for hosting the party.
After guests arrive and settle in, the demonstration will begin.
The salesperson talks about each of the purses they’re selling, which brands they are, and the quality of the purse.
Most purse parties deal in designer purses, which they sell at much more affordable prices than buying directly from designer stores.
Discounted prices provide an incentive for the partygoers to purchase purses on the spot.
They’re usually persuaded by other people at the party and the knowledge that they won’t get another offer as good as this one.
Purse parties are also held online now and work in much the same way.
A host will send out e-vites to party guests, creating the “party,” where a salesperson talks about the purses they’re selling and for how much.
The salesperson will then usually accept payment via money transfer apps and ship the purse to the customer within an agreed-upon time frame.
What Are Some Purse Party Ideas?
Many purse parties have themes or are set up in a unique way to make the party fun and exciting—and hopefully, more lucrative.
Some common purse party themes are fashion shows, where different models display purses based on different looks.
Also, games related to purses are popular at purse parties, such as purse bingo, trivia, or game show setups.
This keeps the attention on the purses yet brings in lightness and laughter.
Guests are there to see the purses, but they also want to have fun and be entertained.
Giving guests little party favors is also a cute offering, and if the purse party company logo is on the favor, it will keep the company name at the forefront of their minds.
How Do You Become a Purse Party Salesperson?
It can be a bit tricky to become a purse party salesperson.
For most people, it works much like a pyramid scheme, where a company tells their consultants they move up in the business, get paid higher, and receive more benefits, the more people they get to sign up to be consultants.
Some pyramid schemes have turned out to be all talk, never giving their consultants the rewards and payments they were promised.
Having said that, many purse party consultants or salespeople are still brought in by other consultants.
These are direct sales companies that hire consultants to sell the purses they supply, giving the consultant a commission on the sales.
The incentive to work for an already established business is being able to use their party leads and be supplied the purses by them.
This makes it so you have very little initial investment in your work, and you don’t need to spend extra time and energy searching for your own merchandise to sell.
Can You Start Your Own Purse Party Business?
Another option is to start your own purse party business by finding a wholesale purse supplier yourself.
This is a little tricky but can be done with proper internet research.
Another option is to attend purse conventions that happen around the country.
These events offer you a chance to make connections with purse wholesalers on the spot.
When you start your own purse party company, there are a lot of upfront costs and investments that go into it.
Plus, you’ll need to find your own leads and do your own marketing.
Most people cannot afford the upfront investment or do not want to make that commitment.
You usually need to make a minimum order and make a minimum number of sales in a certain amount of time to work directly from wholesale suppliers yourself.
According to Love To Know, “Many… suppliers require a financial statement of proof of sales.
For example, some companies may require your business to have a specific dollar amount of sales per month before you can place an order.”
Another option is to use a wholesale dropship company, which allows you to conduct sales and accept orders yourself and transfer the order to the wholesale dropship company which then ships it to the customer.
This way, you don’t need to keep stock on hand, taking up space in your home or office, eliminating the large upfront costs.
The downside is a dropship company will take a cut of the sales, so you won’t see as much profit.
You also won’t have as much control over your orders and shipping as you would otherwise.
When you start your company, you get to choose what kind of purses you want to sell, such as generic or designer.
Designer bags will cost more wholesale and you run the risk of them being counterfeit.
However, most purse partygoers attend for the designer bags, so you’ll likely sell more merchandise if they’re designer, especially if you trust your source.
How Do You Become a Purse Party Host?
Becoming a purse party host is simple.
They’re usually recruited by the consultant or by word of mouth.
The incentive to host a purse party is the discount or rewards you receive from the consultant.
This may be negotiable between the consultant and the host but should be agreed on before the party.
Hosts are then tasked with gathering their friends, family, and colleagues by sending out either an e-vite or an actual invitation with the date, time, and place of the party.
Most hosts supply the food, beverages, and environment, as they may decorate beforehand.
Typically, the host knows all of the people at their party, so there’s no room for strangers or unwanted situations to arise.
The host can decide how many people they want in their home, but they usually promise the consultant a minimum number of party guests, ensuring they make it worth their while.
In some cases, the purse party host is the same as the salesperson.
This is often the case with those who run their own purse party business.
When the host and salesperson are the same, some of the back-and-forth details are streamlined, and the party is easier to conduct.
However, it places a lot of pressure on one person to host and sell their purses at the same time.
They can expect to make more money, though, since they won’t need to discount their bags to the host.
What Are Some Advantages of Purse Parties?
There are many advantages to both giving and attending purse parties.
If you are a consultant, purse parties offer a great way to make extra cash.
Many people turn purse parties into a full-time business, and many purse party salespeople are their own bosses as well.
Running your own company has many benefits, such as more control over your hours and schedule as well as not having to deal with people you don’t want to.
Even purse party consultants who work under the umbrellas of bigger purse party companies find greater freedom and independence in their lives.
The biggest advantage for purse party salespeople or consultants is being able to do what they love.
Purse parties attract those who love fashion and purses, giving those people the opportunity to be passionate about their work.
Hosting a purse party has several advantages as well.
As stated, you’ll likely receive discounts on purses by the salesperson or consultant, or other reward incentives.
Plus, you’ll have an excuse to gather your favorite people, friends, and family.
Purse parties are fun events and perfect for those who love to entertain.
The salesperson or consultant is usually not a complete stranger, so you are also most likely helping out a friend, while also having the opportunity to purchase affordable purses and handbags.
What Are Some Disadvantages of a Purse Party?
As lucrative and fun as purse parties can be, there are some things to look out for and research before hosting.
The biggest problem with purse parties is the legitimacy of the purses, as some of them come from questionable sources.
It’s best to inquire about the origins of the purse or bag from the consultant.
If they trust their wholesale source, you should be safe, but buying designer purses from a third party is always a risky undertaking.
You certainly run the risk of accidentally purchasing a knockoff.
As a consultant or salesperson, you can find yourself in legal trouble for selling counterfeit products, so it’s certainly helpful to do your research on both ends.
When you are hosting a party, it’s beneficial to check with your HOA, if you have one, as it’s illegal to sell commercial goods from your home under many HOA contracts.
If you want to run your own purse party business, you’ll need to apply for the right business licenses and acquire a federal ID number (EIN).
You’ll want to ensure you are documented with the US government to ensure you’re not breaking any laws and working within the proper parameters.
Each state, and sometimes city, will have a different sales tax also, so knowing how much sales tax to add to your merchandise will save you from having to pay your wholesaler the full amount of sales tax out of your pocket.