General Question

laureth's avatar

What's the most graceful, facesaving way to reject invitations to product "parties"?

Asked by laureth (27174points) March 22nd, 2010

You know those people at work who always want you to come to their candle, gadget, kitchenware, body care product, sex toy or [insert useless product here] parties—what’s the best way to say “no” and still maintain a friendly work relationship? I don’t want to ruffle feathers or look unsupportive, but I also don’t use those products and wouldn’t buy them.

(Apologies in advance if this question’s already been asked – I’m at work and don’t have time to go on a wild Fluther chase.)

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29 Answers

dpworkin's avatar

“Gee, I’d love to come, but unfortunately I have a subsequent engagement.”

MacBean's avatar

“No, thank you, that isn’t my thing” doesn’t work? It always has for me. And I can’t imagine being offended if I invited someone to such a thing and they declined that way.

Edit to add: The “previous plans” excuse works once or twice, but then they keep inviting you to stuff. If you just happen to have plans every single time then it looks like you’re just making excuses. Go with “not my thing” from the start. It’s less likely to cause insult, in my experience.

jaytkay's avatar

…sex toy or [insert useless product here] ...

If you can insert it, then it’s not useless now, is it?

I agree with Ninyjobs below. I do tell people I am not in buying mode, it’s not in my budget, I need to save some $$...

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

I don’t need another !@#$%^__________! Thanks anyway,Sweetie! :)
Just tell them thanks,but you can’t make it

njnyjobs's avatar

I would honestly say that times are tough and am trying to keep up with essential expenses.. . . or you can tell a tale of an appointment previously commited to, however you can’t continually use this excuse everytime something gets set-up.

ucme's avatar

Those parties just aint my bag baby.That’s cool that you invite me to them, you can tell me all about them next day at work,you know the juicy gossip & all.

IchtheosaurusRex's avatar

You say, “Sorry, no.” No more is necessary. These people know the “party” is about selling something, so they’re kind of over the line trying to pull you in.

thriftymaid's avatar

You know, I just really don’t like those kind of parties; sorry.

wonderingwhy's avatar

You could always try a “No Soliciting” sign… though that may be too subtle. maybe just “Thanks but no thanks, just not interested.” Honestly, if they take offense to that (said politely of course, not dismissively), they’re probably not worth your consideration anyway.

anartist's avatar

It seems so easy to use any of the above-mentioned no-thank-yous, but if you can’t do that, go to one or two, be pleasant and charming, and don’t buy a damn thing.

laureth's avatar

Thanks everyone!

nebule's avatar

I’ve always found that using the ‘can’t afford it’ excuse usually entails the response… “oh you don’t have to buy anything…just come for the laugh/ fun/ socialising” etc. so I’d be tempted to go with…“they’re just not my type of thing to be honest…sorry…but thank you for inviting me anyway!”... or “I’m busy” or “let me look at my diary and I’ll get back to you” which case you can politely decline by text, email, phone, which might be slightly less difficult for you perhaps?

j0ey's avatar

….I usually just don’t reply to those invitations….. thats graceful isn’t it?

CyanoticWasp's avatar

“Thank you, no.”

Pandora's avatar

I just tell them the truth. I let them know that I will gladly go to a cook out or house party but as a rule I don’t go to these gatherings because I feel cheap if I don’t buy anything and later I suffer from buyers regret because I’ve purchased something I normally would not have. I ask them to let me view a their catalog and if I do find something unusual then I will purchase something. If not then I won’t. Usually I don’t but one time a friend showed me a catalog of unusual jewelry and I purchased a unique necklace for my sister on her birthday.

LuckyGuy's avatar

“Thank you for the invitation but I cannot attend.”
If asked why you say, “I make it a point to not attend these types of parties.”
If further pressed, “I have always felt a party is not a party if I someone is selling products. I would enjoy having lunch with you some time. Are you free next week?”

Exhausted's avatar

Although I value our friendship, I prefer not to attend these types of parties. Thank you for inviting me. ‘nuf said.

Cruiser's avatar

Just go drink their booze and snack on the food and don’t buy anything. Do that a couple times and they will stop inviting you. Problem solved.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

Actually, I think that @Cruiser has hit the nail on the head—again. You don’t have to refuse to go, you just have to “Oh, gosh, I just can’t afford all of any of this neat stuff. Pass the potato chips, please.”

susanc's avatar

“Oh I hate that stuff, I wouldn’t buy any, and frankly it would be really difficult for me to control my impulse to say sarcastic things about people who would buy it. Would you like me to come anyway? I hear you serve excellent hors d’oeuvres.”

jbfletcherfan's avatar

Just ask to see a catalog to take home & peruse. Then you can say. ” Thank you, but I just didn’t see anything that interested me.”

Jeruba's avatar

I don’t make up lies about stuff like this. They would stick in my throat, embarrassing me and embarrassing the person who has to listen to it and pretend to believe it. Why should anyone who invites you to these things have to be protected from awkwardness when they are the perpetrator of the awkwardness? It’s not as if it were a true social invitation.

“Sorry, but I’m really not interested in that sort of thing. Thank you for thinking of me.”

It doesn’t take many instances for them to learn to omit you in the first place.

tedibear's avatar

“Thank you for inviting me. Unfortunately, I’m not available. If you have a catalogue from which I could order, I can look at that.”

KatawaGrey's avatar

Are you interested in seeing these people outside of work? Maybe it’s just that they want to invite you to something and spend some time with you. If you say something to the tune of, “I’m not interested in these kinds of parties but maybe we can get together later in the week?” like @worriedguy said. This lets them know that you are simply uninterested in the activity but are not refusing the company. However, if you have no interest in hanging out with these people outside of work, thank them for thinking of you and let them know you are not interested in these kinds of parties.

Just curious, how do you usually handle these kinds of invitations?

jlm11f's avatar

Asked for the first time: “WOW That’s so cool! I didn’t know you were passionate about that. Unfortunately I don’t have the extra money to purchase anything of that sort right now, but now that I know you sell them, I’m going to keep you in mind if I ever need it. Thanks for the invite, can’t wait to hear about how it went later on.”

2nd time and more: “Thanks but sadly my situation hasn’t changed yet. I do miss talking to you. Do you want to hang out later this week?” Or something of that sort.

laureth's avatar

@KatawaGrey – I have a few methods for handling them. There’s the “Oh, the email invite must have gone in my junk mail folder – sorry I missed your party!” but that just gets me invited to the next one. I’ve done the “ask for a catalog but don’t buy anything,” which results in repeated askings of “did you get to look at the catalog? Did you find anything you wanted?” Then there’s the “peruse the catalog and buy the least bad, somewhat cheap item” that only encourages them.

The reason I feel bad about this one is that I know her husband was canned a while back and they’re relying on her income to make all their bills. She did a catalog thing before and I bought something, but while I feel really sorry for them (really I do), and I admire her initiative in trying to increase household income, I really don’t like the items and I really don’t like “parties.” The guilt is overwhelming.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

I would be honest about the items not being your taste.

windex's avatar

“oh gee I have this other [insert competitor] Tupperware Party I have to go to, sooo sorry”

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