Houseparty.com

A few months ago, I was collecting my coupons from the Sunday paper and reading The Savannah Savvy Shopper’s weekly column. Someone had asked her how to get free stuff, so she put together a little list of places that will send you free stuff. One of those was Houseparty.com. This is a really interesting site that combines a few things: promotional items from various companies, parties, and people who want to throw those parties. Sounds great, right?  It sounded like a WIN-WIN to me! WIN1- I get to throw a party (which is a ton of fun, especially when you’re playing with saving money doing it!) and WIN2- they send me the stuff I would’ve spent WAY too much money on!

Here’s how it works. You go online, create an account at Houseparty.com, and then you look through all of the available parties (there’s usually more than one!) and you pick one that sounds interesting to you. The list of options ranges just about anywhere you can imagine, from Wii and Playstation, to Redbook Magazine and Bicardi drinks. You can find the current collection of parties here without even creating an account! 

I signed up to host a Redbook Happy Hour party, because it sounded exactly like something my fellow teachers and I could get into, especially after the CRAZY year we’ve had this year! What’s even more cool? They CHOSE MY APPLICATION! I was so excited!!! There’s nothing like being handed an excuse to throw a party, right? Especially with the list of goodies they were going to be sending to their hosts? Cosmetics, hair color, fingernail polish, coupons, recipes, shampoo and conditioner samples, free Redbook subscriptions… just a great list of goodies!

So, let me walk you through the process from the minute I got the e-mail saying I was chosen, so you can get a feel for it.

First, I got the e-mail (duh, right? I already said that!) from houseparty.com saying they’d chosen me to host this party. I had a little bit of leeway with the date and time, but since most of the other options were during the week, I chose to stick with the date they suggested to begin with. I had a bit of a scare, at first, because most everyone I wanted to invite was on my facebook list, but I didn’t have person e-mail addresses for them. Since our system has a strict “e-mail is for business only” policy, I was a bit stuck! I had to submit 10 e-mail addresses in 30 minutes of accepting the invitation or I’d lose my spot! Luckily, I had 10 addresses that I could add pretty quick (yes, they let you add more later! THANK HEAVEN!), so I got past that hurdle! What’s really cool is that the addresses I submitted got a personalized invitation through the houseparty.com website. I didn’ t have to create my own, set up an event on facebook (though I did, anyway, to catch the ones I didn’t have addresses for), buy invitations, mail them and pay postage, or wait to hear back about RSVP’s. The website takes care of all of that for you! Handy, I think! 🙂 I wish it was a bit more integrated so I could just use the event feature on facebook (or use my facebook list to invite people, since you can sign in with facebook…), but it wasn’t horrible having two lists going.

I got another e-mail about this party, directing me to a spot that listed all of the side contests rolled into this party. I know, right? MORE FREE STUFF? One of the options was creating a pinboard on Pinterest for your party and pinning stuff you intended to do. Since I was already doing this, it was a matter of changing the name of the board I created and sending an e-mail to the people who needed the link! Another option is for folks who mail in their subscription cards all together (no, I didn’t have to sell anything. More about that in a minute.). They are giving away Nook readers! How can I say no to that?

Then, a few weeks ago, this HUGE box arrives care of FedEx. Inside are all those goodies I was promised PLUS goodies for the hostess (yours truly!), too! Full sized mascara, nail polish, eye liner pencils, face moisturizer and primer! Samples of shampoos and conditioners for every hair type! One of each color (blonde, red and brunette) hair coloring that tempted me to color my hair! Hot tea samples (and I love some hot tea!), coupons for mayo complete with recipes! Subscription cards so that EACH GUEST GOT A FREE 1 YEAR SUBSCRIPTION TO REDBOOK MAGAZINE (that’s right, I didn’t sell JACK SQUAT! They got all of this FOR FREE!)!  And goody bags to keep it all in, nice and neat!

All that was left was the party, itself! I decided to mix some of my favorite things together for this party: pinterest, luau, food, and social time. With the addition of girlie stuff in the goody bags, we were SET!

So, all I have left to do to close up my party is 1) BRAG! (please note, this is step one, cloaked in a product review!), 2) post pictures (so we can laugh about this for a while to come!),  3) mail off my subscription cards and 4) share it with HouseParty.com!

 

So, what are YOU waiting for?

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