I realized as I was writing this that I’d probably hit a few nerves. Before you think, “OMG, is that about ME?”….the answer is mostly ‘no’. I do support anyone who is motivated enough to run their own business. But for each of my friends that has offered me their wares, there are about 10 others following suit. And, I’m a gal with a history of trouble with the words, “No thanks…”
I walked into my office building recently only to find myself almost immediately cornered by a lady selling jewelry. Out of Ziplocs. Of course, this was after I’d walked by a handful of strategically placed Mary Kay catalogs and past a sign advertising the upcoming Book Mobile.
Never too early to get into the Christmas spirit.
It’s not that I don’t appreciate someone trying to make a few extra bucks. It’s just that the trend is growing yet again (thanks economy) ~ people with pretend stores.
See if any of these ring a bell:
Stella & Dot
I’ve bought items from at least half these imaginary stores – always with a twinge of guilt that grew from either letting down a friend or from letting down my wallet.
It’s all 100% guaranteed. You can return anything, anytime. It’s made from the best stuff ever created on God’s green earth. All your friends are doing it. It’ll make you feel good. We’ll talk about you after you’ve left if you don’t buy something.
And the impact of the electronic age on the pseudo-stores? Every time I turn around, I’ve got another post, tweet or email suggesting I buy this or that – before it runs out. Which will be soon, apparently. Because this or that is the most popular item ever.
Here’s a news flash:
For years, I’ve been buying food storage containers at The Dollar Store. Did Mr. Tupperware just roll in his grave?
I own a pizza stone – bought from Walmart – which I generally forget to use. Yet I’m still able to destroy the roof of my mouth on the first three bites. Take that Pampered Chef.
I don’t even know where my candles are from. But they smell awful nice.
The place it drives me most crazy (this minute) is in the actual office. Here I’m faced with supporting the local school districts. When I was a kid, our schools weren’t running fundraisers every marking period. At least I don’t think they were. Or maybe my parents were just shielding me from a life of pre-teen selling.
In today’s world, it’s wrapping paper one week, popcorn the next week, coupon books the week after – and if I buy from one, I pretty much have to buy from all. And if I don’t – I fear I’ll be held accountable should the kids not get to play with a real globe this school year.
In all honesty, I’d like a waiver card that I can whip out indicating that, as I have no children, I am excused from supporting the fundraising efforts of the local schools, boy scouts, swim teams, etc..
Or would it be easier if I just gave the kids a jarful of cash? Oh wait, I did that on Halloween.
Believe me – I get it. I would love to have a second income as much as the next guy. (I would also like that second income to be in the form of an actual guy.)
What I don’t love is the string of invites promising that I can ‘just come eat and drink’ and ‘won’t have to buy anything…’. Until I walk through the door only to find a delicious cocktail in my hand clouding the judgement I promised to control.
Before I know it I’m full of mini-quiches, martinis and scribbling through an order form as quickly as possible so I don’t miss the chance to spend fifty bucks on something I could buy at the mall for ten.
And am I really going to turn around and return these overpriced-overhyped items? Have you ever tried that? You may as well call your party host ugly.
The guarantee, of course, is that you won’t like the item as much as you did when you ordered it (see: Martini) and upon it’s arrival will wonder what the heck you were thinking.
That’s if you haven’t already noticed the gully that’s formed in your checkbook. Do they never have sales?
I have learned this, though ~ whenever anyone asks such questions as, “Do you like silver jewelry?” or “What are you doing Sunday afternoon” or “Do you use candles?” or “Are you busy Tuesday night” the answers are always this:
Sometimes I’m not sure Sometimes I’m not sure
No matter how well you know the person asking – and especially if you don’t know them well at all. For part of the pseudo store training is capturing vulnerable women when they aren’t paying attention – thus tricking them into attendance.
Stand firm. Or enjoy your thirty dollar plastic measuring spoon. I’m sure the martinis make it worth it.
Pass this along! It's probably great advice! Or just average.
I was thrown headfirst into the world of mom-ming as a very unqualified (step)mom in 2013. Shortly after, I thought it might make sense to start documenting my story in order to provide written documentation for my (step)children's therapists.
Today? I'm mostly having mid-range success at navigating the world around me. I'd even go so far as to say my family thrives on a typical day. I find most things funny and often laugh when it's completely inappropriate...I'm not sure if that served me well or is a sign of my ongoing need for professional help.
View all posts by Jyl Barlow