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Mama Deb
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Mama Deb [userpic]
Pyramid scheme

That was the cookware party last night, and, honestly, I was not surprised. The saleswoman, a nice, religious, bewigged mother of eight (k"a), spent as much time trying to sell us on being, well, saleswomen, or at least hostesses, as she did trying to sell us the cookware. How we could make money in our spare time, even if we were busy housewives or worked full time or nearly retired, how we could win a pampering trip to someplace beautiful, how we get all these free deals.

She didn't do things she should have, such as detail what you get for the starter package that new salespeople have to buy. It's one thing to say you get $350 worth of stuff for $90, but that doesn't help if you don't know what the stuff is, and the catalog doesn't tell you. Nor was she a wonderful saleswoman for the product - the people who bought items tended to buy the inexpensive gadgets, not the expensive cookware. She didn't even spent much time about the stovetop line, just about the clay cookware. And dumping out rice that was slightly browned on the bottom is impressive, I'll admit, but the stovetop line looked flimsy to me.

So far as I know, I'm the only one who bought any of clay stuff, and I came in looking for a casserole dish, and what I bought she didn't even talk about or demonstrate. I've been wanting a clay roaster, and the prices for the two separate pieces that make one up weren't out of line. As I said, most of the people bought gadgets and measuring cups and a can opener.

It's just so weird - it's not like she or the catalog were even subtle about the real purpose of the party. And maybe others were just keeping quiet, like I was. I hope so. But. The hostesss is very bright, and she'd attended a party before, and the woman next to me is also very bright - I meet with them and a few others every Shabbat and we have a long and fascinating discussion revolving around the Torah portion of the week, and they aren't afraid to go places and say things that stretch or even break community norms. And the woman next to me had just hosted her own party. And. Why couldn't they see this? Again, these are not sheltered Boro Park matrons. They work fulltime, in demanding and public jobs, they display a normal amount of cynicism, they are a good ten years older than I am. And they were all excited about the products.

I'm just confused.

She didn't stop selling the program even when I bought my stuff, claiming I've already done a lot of selling that night (I knew what it meant to have a nicely seasoned piece of equipment...)

And. As I had to d/l a new lj client, I'm trying Semagic. So far, so good.


That sounds weird.

But at least they were up-front about the real purpose. A friend of mine (who's not very bright) once got sucked into a different scheme (knives), and at one point she asked me if she could practice her pitch on me before going and doing it for real. I said ok, and it turned out that she wasn't practicing; she was really trying to make the pitch, and got pretty offended when I didn't go along with it and buy a $1000 set or the like. It turns out that the company specifically advised people to try that "practice run" deception, and I wasn't the only person she did it to. Eventually she wised up and realized that she was alienating her friends.

I don't mean that she said, "I make my money by turning you into salespeople." She simply spent more time on that than on the actual cookware, or even the actual cooking (a fake struedel made with apples she cored and peeled with one of those screw type apple peelers and tofu cream cheese. I have no idea how it tasted because it was made with a lot of sugar and I can't eat sugar. It looked...gooey when it was cooked. I might actually take the idea and make a savory fake struedel with veggies, since it's made with commercial puff pastry.) We saw a gadget like adjustable measuring cups and spoons and then it would be tossed aside.


What your friend did sounds reprehenisble and I'm glad she stopped.

Ugh, my younger sister is into a thing like this, but with candles. We had Christmas Eve dinner with her a couple of years ago, and I felt like we'd only been invited for the candle spiel. She's backed off on it now, fortunately.

I hate these schemes that encourage you to use your friends and family as customers.

Was this a Pampered Chef party? I've always wanted to go to one. I don't have anything from PC, but everyone I know who does loves it.

Yup. It was indeed a Pampered Chef party. And I really don't have anything negative to say about the products themselves - they were on the costly side, but they looked perfectly good. So long as you resist the real sales pitch, or decide that it *is* something you want to do, recognizing what it really is, I can't see any problems. It *is* worth showing and buying.



I note your abbrev. k"a. Unless you're abbreviating "k-9 ahora", that doesn't work. It's really "kein ein hara", or ka"h. Where the expression k9ahora comes from, I have to wonder - some combination of several languages and/or metathesis. Kein - Yiddish; aina - Aramaic; hora - Hebrew. Or kein ayin hara (Yid + 2 Heb) with metathesis of the 'a' sound.