This post originally published on a previously-owned blog and was imported here to simplify my life. Please excuse any confusion due to this merge. I hope you enjoy the content!
If Usborne is a new word to you, it is a children’s book publishing company that has jumped on the online party train. It’s really quite clever – all these parties on facebook – and smartly planned out!
My Experience at an Online Usborne Party
I was unsure of how it would work at first but the host explained it well ahead of time. She had a set number of posts she would put on the Event page (one at a time) and we would interact with that post. A few were videos to watch and reply with questions/answers to questions or just various conversation starters.
You were entered into drawings and prize possibilities based on how many comments you made (or other factors). Because some people were quicker than others, it got a little crazy. Almost stressful! I was trying to keep up with all the conversations on all the posts by the end – if you’re not familiar with facebook notifications, you get notified if someone comments after you so my computer was dinging constantly! It really was more enjoyable than stressful and not a little weird to be doing it all by myself with the rest of my household asleep and no one else in the room.
Coming from a person who was just introduced to these books via this party (so remember, I’m not THAT experienced with them), here are some thoughts I had on the whole experience. I thought a list form would be easier to read:
- The party itself was very fun.
- Some ladies connected with others enough to possibly form a new friendship, just like might happen in an in-person party.
- The books Usborne sells are of extremely high quality.
- The host gave good explanations with the videos and pictures.
- I really had great impressions overall of the company and their products.
- You can wear sloppy “home” clothes and no makeup!
- You can’t actually feel or examine the books since you’re shopping online.
- The facebook format gets a little hectic (but I’m really not sure how they could make it better, it wasn’t that bad. You just have to be quick on the mouse).
- The books are a bit (sometimes radically, in my opinion) expensive.
- I won one of the drawings and she asked me to send her my info. I didn’t hear back from her for several days, so it left me wondering if I would get the prize. I did receive an app, but it mostly has in-app purchases.
- You don’t get to interact with humans in real life – sip coffee together and have a “getaway” like a traditional-type party would provide.
It’s difficult to justify spending money on things like this, in all honesty. The best reason I can see are for special gifts for others. I did buy one book for my son, a small set for my new baby on the way and a special fun book for my niece, but I shopped for a long time to find non-outrageous prices. Yes, I realize that sounds dramatic, but I try to be frugal!
Technology is amazing these days. It can’t ever replace everything – like human relationships on a deeper level – but these online parties sure are a clever and, I’m sure, successful endeavor for product companies.
I have only been to one other party on facebook and that host actually did several things throughout the week before the event to get people pumped up. I don’t remember exactly, but it included various trivia questions, preferences on the product she was selling, etc. Usborne representatives have a whole world of book and reading trivia they could use like this! Not to mention, polls about reading styles, children, and so much more. This Usborne host did do a couple things before but it was small. This wasn’t negative – I just remember the other one being more exciting beforehand. Perhaps Usborne really controls the environment, though, I’m not sure.
Overall, I don’t regret going. I’m glad to have had the experience but I also must be a faithful steward with the money God has put me (and my husband) in charge of. Splurges and special gifts are one thing, but I can find excellent books for my children at used places and the public library, too.
P.S. I waited a while to post this because I have no intention of singling out anyone. This is just constructive criticism and something I would appreciate reading if I was going into a party like this for the first time. Please know my heart!