Advanced search think a Body Shop stall at a baby group is exploitative?

(124 Posts)
PurdeyBirdie Fri 30-Jan-15 09:17:21

I'm a new member at a baby and toddler group and on their fb page yesterday a mum posted to say she would be setting up her Body Shop stall for 'all the mummies to take advantage of the massive 30% sale which finishes Saturday. I can also tell you more about how easy it is to earn a bit of extra money yourself (on average about £250 a month), and all the benefit of hosting your own Body Shop party.'

I commented that I thought it was inappropriate to flog yet more stuff at new mums who assemble at baby groups to engage with their babies and make friends. I was told that the group is happy to support new businesses for mums and I should basically shut my gob (that was from one young mum). I asked if there was a line to be drawn: would hairdressers be able to set up a chair? A spray tan booth? Nail bar? The answer was: 'Barring health and safety issues I don't see why not. We are all about supporting new mums with any ventures to better the lives of themselves and their kids'.

Another mum popped on to say that her bread company took off massively after she began selling it to this group and she would be forever grateful, blah, blah..she went on to say 'After seven years on the baby circuit I find it can all get a bit 'yawn'. Bring on the Body Shop stall, I say!' I said there was a difference between selling home made wares (perhaps for charity or to raise funds for the group) and flogging beauty products from a massive organisation like Body Shop.

In response to this another mum came on to say: 'The body shop although a massive organisation has excellent ethics and stays true to those ethics and original beliefs. The company also does a lot for charity and environmental issues around the world, help one mum.... Help the world!' confused

Am I being an unsisterly turd? Do I have a point at all? I'm just uncomfortable with the notion that anyone can set up business at a baby group and target assembled women who simply want to make friends and play with their babies.

Honeydragon Fri 30-Jan-15 09:19:36

Will they flog you and lock you in a cupboard if you choose not to buy anything?

Only1scoop Fri 30-Jan-15 09:20:55

And you are a new that went down well....

Floggingmolly Fri 30-Jan-15 09:21:20

Set up an Ann Summers tupperware stall on an adjacent table.

HowCanIMissYouIfYouWontGoAway Fri 30-Jan-15 09:21:36

I'd find a different group.

Or only arrive with £2 in my pocket.

Doesn't matter what they're flogging - if you don't want it - say no. If they try to put pressure on them then tell them that's out of order.

I think stuff like that is trying to take advantage of people who might feel awkward to say no. It certainly changes the dynamics of a group. I wouldn't be happy about it at all.

SinkyMalinks Fri 30-Jan-15 09:22:21

But the women in the group seem pretty happy with it. Prob does make another baby group a bit different. As long as there's no hard sell, seems fine.

Find a different group?

waithorse Fri 30-Jan-15 09:22:32

You might have a point, but you're new to the group and clearly a lot of people are ok with it. I would have kept quiet and maybe said something further down the line if it happened again. I would cringe at a grown woman describing a group of woman as "mummies " though. I know they are, but it just sounds odd.

MrsRayOfSunshine Fri 30-Jan-15 09:23:38

Don't really see the problem...

I'm guessing you're not made to buy anything, and I personally think it's great these mums are trying to set up by themselves

Justwhy Fri 30-Jan-15 09:23:53

Hardly does any bloody harm does it. I certainly wouldn't describe it as exploitative. Just don't go near it. Although personally I would give the group a swerve now if I was you, seeing as you accused them of exploiting you.

TranquilityofSolitude Fri 30-Jan-15 09:24:09

I'm not sure that The Body Shop's ethics are quite what they once were - you might want to check that out and respond accordingly.

I am completely with you. When my DDs were in primary school I was sick of people trying to sell me cheap necklaces etc from their bags!

Mintyy Fri 30-Jan-15 09:25:16

I agree with you actually OP. I hate being sold to, whether by mums or anyone else. Not every meeting is a selling opportunity and I get tired of it. I block anyone who tries to sell me something via Facebook too. If I want to buy something from Body Shop I can pop into any shop in any town centre, or do it online if I'm desperate. I am quite hard-nosed about this sort of thing though.

5dogsgoswimming Fri 30-Jan-15 09:25:37

I agree it would make me feel awkward.
Yes it may help to start someone's business but my first thought was actually you are rather strapped for cash when on maternity leave and don't need the pressure

PurdeyBirdie Fri 30-Jan-15 09:26:00

You're right, I'm not being forced to buy anything, I just can't shake the feeling that it's exploiting the fact that new mums - who are probably feeling rubbish about their skin and hair - will be gathered as the perfect target audience.

I also feel an idiot...I told them I shall be boycotting today's meeting but going next week as I 'like the group' confused What a pompous knob sad

BaffledSomeMore Fri 30-Jan-15 09:26:14

We occasionally had stalls at our group. No active pressure to buy and the group took a fee frrom the stall holder. Nobody thought it was a problem.

expatinscotland Fri 30-Jan-15 09:27:38

I would not go to such a group.

YoniMitchell Fri 30-Jan-15 09:27:45

I think you're getting your knickers in a twist over nothing. You don't have to buy anything from the mum selling and no one else in the group seems to have an issue with this established practice.

I think it's quite nice that mums are being supportive of each others' business ventures.

PurdeyBirdie Fri 30-Jan-15 09:28:10

I really have no concern about the fact I am a new member. I really thought the group setting was smashing and liked all the mums there. I just feel strongly about stuff like this.

JudgeJudyKicksAss Fri 30-Jan-15 09:28:15

I would imagine for each person at your group cheer leading the stalls there will be at least another thinking "oh no, not again". There is a lot of peer pressure to buy at these events and support them even if you don't want to/need the product/can't afford to buy.

You are new to the group so I'd be interested to see what reception you receive after your Facebook exchange and you may find you get some whispered solidarity, if not I would look for another (better?) playgroup as, from experience, not fitting in with the clique can be a lonely experience.

mayfridaycomequickly Fri 30-Jan-15 09:28:31

Yip - pompous I'm afraid! It's not exploiting anyone. If people don't want to buy they don't need to!

PurdeyBirdie Fri 30-Jan-15 09:32:18

Can I just add that (and this isn't drip-feeding; my husband just reminded me) the lady who is flogging Body Shop today isn't a member of the baby group at all; she's just coming to make some cash.

TarkaTheOtter Fri 30-Jan-15 09:32:42

I don't think it should be at the baby group either, mainly because it would be one extra thing I'd have to stop my toddler from touching.
I don't see these social selling ventures as real businesses either. They almost all seem to rely upon the charity of friends. The products seem to be either much cheaper elsewhere and/or really poor quality at high prices.

Only1scoop Fri 30-Jan-15 09:34:19

'A mum will be setting up her stall'

I thought she was part of the group.

PurdeyBirdie Fri 30-Jan-15 09:34:44

Judge, I'm not afraid of being sent to Coventry (they have great toys and make an absolutely cracking brew) as I really didn't sound too imperious in my comments. I specifically went down the gently-gently route and praised the group saying I had really enjoyed my time there and wished to return next week.

Snowsquonk Fri 30-Jan-15 09:35:45

I volunteer at a bumps and babies group - we have a "one per month" rule - so only one meeting out of four will we have a visitor of some sort - might be someone doing a taster session of their baby class - sing N sign, that sort of thing or it might be someone selling their wares.

That way, it's not every week and doesn't get overwhelming for new parents - we also advertise it on Facebook so if someone is skint they can opt out of coming - it's all very low key and sometimes the visitor is pretty much ignored but that is their risk - we don't like it if they start hard selling, being a new parent is expensive and stressful enough!

PurdeyBirdie Fri 30-Jan-15 09:35:51

The seller is a mother but does not attend this particular group; she has associates there.

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