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XP: Do you ask your hosts to pay for postage?

kdangel518

Advanced Member
Gold Member
Mar 5, 2009
933
1
If you mail invitations (which really, only about 1/3 of my hosts request I do- the rest prefer to use the email invites from my website...) do you request that your hosts cover the cost of the postage?

I've heard this before... that during checkout with your host you tack on the amount for postage, etc. Also, I just read something from Julie Ann Jones that said to collect postage from your hosts (for her party fest tip from 7/7)

I have never done this. To me, postage is a business cost. I would be quite caught off guard if say I held a Mary Kay party and the consultant asked me to pay for the postage to mail the invitations. Typically it is not an exhorbatant expense and is more than made up for by the results you see by sending invitations. Plus I just feel EXTREMELY uncomfortable asking my hosts to pay for postage!

Just curious- what does everyone else do? Maybe I'm being paranoid about this but it's a common business practice? :chef:
 

ChefBeckyD

Legend Member
Gold Member
Sep 20, 2005
20,466
33
I agree - for me it's a business expense, and I write it off. I know some ask for the postage, but I just can't imagine doing it.

Some will only pay postage if there are more than 40 names on the guest list - but to me, that seems sort of condescending - punishing someone who gives you a great list of 35, as opposed to someone who gives you an inflated list of 40? Nahhh...not for me.

I had a show last night -- the host gave me a list of 25.

I left her show w/ $550 in sales (and more to come), a booking, and a recruit lead. That more than makes up for the $ I spent on postage!
 

babywings76

Legend Member
Gold Member
Jun 19, 2008
7,306
59
I feel the same way. I mail them out and feel uncomfortable asking to be reimbursed for it. I have heard some say that they tell their hosts that if they have a list of 40 people, they will pay the postage, if it's less than that they will ask to be reimbursed.

I have only had one host bring me a list of 40 or more. Most will do some e-invites and some mailed ones, so the list is usually between 20-35 that I mail. I do go over the brainstorm sheets (40 in 4, or 50 in 5 or whatever) but people still struggle to get me that many names.

I feel like I'm nickel and diming my host if I ask her to pay me back. And if she's paying by credit card, then I can't easily have her add the amount to her payment to me.

I am curious to hear others who may do this, how they approach it. What wording do you use? What are the conditions you lay before your hosts? And how do the hosts seem to take it?
 

kimcooks4u

Member
Gold Member
Feb 5, 2005
59
1
I pay for postage and mail the invites for them. Huge response from my hosts that they really appreciate this and think it's incredible that I do it. I have seen an increase in show attendance BIG TIME! I started doing this to offer a "lower cost" to hosting because of where the ecomomy was heading. I told myself I'd do it for a year and see what happens. I'm thinking I'll keep doing it.
 

kdangel518

Advanced Member
Gold Member
Mar 5, 2009
933
1
Ok, glad I'm not the only one. It's almost like asking someone to pay for postage to mail their host packet as well. I think it's poor service... I will continue to do things the way I've been doing them, and just write off the cost of mailing the limited amount of invitations I do every year!
 

c00p

Veteran Member
Gold Member
Dec 15, 2006
1,273
0
I agree - if we "offer" to mail out the invites for them, then it's actually an unstated expectation that we will pay for the postage. I too have seen a big increase in attendance as well as outside orders. I get a kick out of folks when they bring the mini with them and say something like "I want to order this" and point to something in the mini!!! But then they always end up getting more than just that 1 item!!
 

cincychef

Advanced Member
Jul 18, 2007
596
1
I will have to say that as of right now I do mail the invites and pay for it myself. I am revisiting the idea of having them pay or pay if they give me less names. For the month of July alone, I have already spent over $130 in postage. I have another 60 or so invites to mail today and a couple of host packs. So the benefit is once I get the guest list the show usually won't cancel, but I don't know if I have seen a huge increase in attendance or outside orders since I started mailing them. I am just trying to decide if this large expense is worth it to me.
 

ChefBeckyD

Legend Member
Gold Member
Sep 20, 2005
20,466
33
I've had several hosts lately who have decided to just send invites themselves, or just do email invites...so I've figured out the difference between me mailing them (w/ a mini) and the hosts doing the inviting themselves.

Avg attendance w/o me mailing them: 7-8 w/ avg sales of $350 and an avg of ZERO online orders

Avg attendance w/ me mailing: 14 w/ avg sales of $672 and an avg of 3 online orders. (I give instructions for ordering online in the invite)


So for me - it has DEFINITELY been worth the $ to mail the invites!
 

taterbug

Member
Mar 31, 2009
252
0
If I can get the host to give me a guest list, I mail out the mini catalogs as invitations. I have had a few hosts who opted to verbally invite people instead of mailing invitations just because that is what they knew would work best with their friends. One host wanted to hand out her invitations, so I gave her sixty mini catalogs, which she mostly handed out but then mailed a couple out herself; her show was a little over $1300.
I think that if I expected the host to pay me back for postage, I wouldn't even offer the service in the first place. I mean, if they have to pay for the postage, what are we really offering - sticking some labels on the invitation for them?
Granted, when the host I mentioned told me that she wanted sixty invitations, I was a little weary of postage for all of those, but would have footed the bill had she not wanted to hand them out. Even if I had to mail out all sixty, a $1300 show would definitely have been worth the postage expense.
 

taterbug

Member
Mar 31, 2009
252
0
(I give instructions for ordering online in the invite)
I do this too, but have run in to this issue at my last two shows:
A guest at each of the shows apparently looked online and then called the host with the items they wanted, which is great except that they are ordering outlet items! I guess the hosts don't realize this and then when I get all of the orders after the show, I find the outlet items, which of course, don't count towards her show total.
I do the exact online ordering instructions (using the host name, etc.) on the invitations, but I am thinking that maybe these few people just go to PC's main site instead. If they were following the instructions I give them, they wouldn't even see the outlet items. I also think they are going to PC's main site just to look because they don't actually place the show order online but call the host with the items they want.
I am working on some type of disclaimer to add to the host's packet information and to the invitation labels to let them know that outlet items cannot be ordered through a show.
 

Melissa78

Veteran Member
Gold Member
May 10, 2009
1,122
5
Becky & Kimberly -
My 'great debate' at NC was what type of invites to do and how to do them to get the most bang for the buck and return on investment. How do you include your directions? Label? Paper insert? For the mini catalogs, do you put them in envelopes or just mail them as is with a seal to keep them closed?

From your experiences, do you get a better ROI on the mini catalogs vs Postcard invites?

Does the mini also increase online sales?

Any tidbits of info you are willing to share in this area would be greatly appreciated! I didn't have the option of minis to try b/c they sold out before I placed my first supply order. I've done postcards but want to increase my attendance and show totals.

TIA!
 

taterbug

Member
Mar 31, 2009
252
0
Melissa,
I don't really have stats and comparisons for postcard vs. mini catalog, but I do feel that the minis help the show overall.
I use a very large label that includes the following information:
Host Name, Date, Time, Host Address and Phone Number
Online Ordering Instructions
My Contact Info
I place the label on the front cover of the catalog and place it, along with a full page flyer highlighting the DCB bundle, in an envelope. I write the addresses by hand because I think that adds a more personal touch.
One of my hosts was given 60 minis to hand out but she decided to mail a few. She did not put them in an envelope and a couple of people at her show said the catalog was all torn up and part of it was missing when she received it in the mail.
 
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