What is "The Pampered Chef"?
- La Dolce Vita
I got invited to yet another "Pampered Chef" party. Guests are invited to buy various kitchen gadgets, and the hostess of the party gets a percentage of the sales. I think it is the same concept as the Tupperware party.
I don't plan to go, because these kinds of events are not my cup of tea, but I am curious to know more.
What is the Pampered Chef all about? What are the demographics of the target buyers? Do serious cooks buy stuff from this company, or is it more for "wannabe" cooks? I tried to do a search on the internet, but all I found were sites that pitch you on becoming a hostess/salesperson for the company--no business plan, no marketing profile.
Anybody know something about it?
"What is the Pampered Chef all about? What are the demographics of the target buyers? Do serious cooks buy stuff from this company, or is it more for "wannabe" cooks?"
It's definite a Tupperware-type of situation. I think they're selling their products to regular cooks who are aiming for a higher quality of product, but not restaurant quality. They also like the "party" type of sale.
I have friends who buy some of their products - friends who I know cook very well - and they like what they have purchased. The most favorable thing I've heard about them is their pizza stones. Maybe they have a money-back guarantee, regardless of years of use, similar to Tupperware?
I don't think you get any huge bargains in the items you buy - they have a set of 3 stainless steel mixing bowls that are "on sale" for $27.50 - regularly priced $69.50. You can get a set of 3 stainless mixing bowls at Bed, Bath & Beyond for $19.99, less those 20% coupons, for a total of $17.99 + tax. (There is a comparably priced set at BB&B of 4 bowls with lids for $59.99 - not sure of the quality on any of these - just using them as examples.)
I personally just don't like feeling obligated to go. You're usually invited by a friend, who makes something off of it with all the orders that are made through her party...hence, the obligation to "help" your friend by buying something. Plus I'm not particularly wild about the party games usually played, although I do know my friends say there are PC-related recipes made at these demos and you get to eat what is made - but YOU don't get to try things out - the hostess demostrating does all the cooking.
re: Linda W.
The Pizza Stones are great - my wife bought one at the first party she went to several years ago, it was the only thing she thought we needed at the time. We ended up liking it so much that we recently put in a request for my sister to order a larger one at a party she was invited to.
Can't swear that theirs are the best out there, but I have one , about 16" I think, that we've been using for the past 15 years or so. It just stays in the bottom of the oven; it's a good size, and it's smooth enough that food doesn't stick to it. I think we got our money's worth out of it.
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My mother has bought me a few things from Pampered Chef over the years. They sell some quality goods and some "Walker's Gadgets" (as we call them in my family). Often they sell some new gadget just before you start to see it everywhere in stores, but for 5 or 10 times the price. Those pump them yourself oil sprayers, for example, or plastic bag clips.
My mother bought 10 plastic bag clips for $20 at Pampered Chef and 3 months later, I bought 20 of them for $4 at IKEA.
I had a friend that had a lot of their stuff and I loved cooking in her kitchen. Some really neat gagdets but probably not anything you can't get at William Sonoma or any restaurant supply store although I don't know about their guarantee.
It is just like Tupperware or Partylite Candles or Mary Kay or Longaberger (sp?) baskets or one adult toy party I went to (now THAT was fun!)....all the same deal - hostess gets stuff the more that is sold, they want you to host a party too, you leave believing that these are the best products ever created, someone, somewhere gets a pink Cadillac out of the deal....
However, one reason TO go: free stuff. They usually have a small gift, and prizes. I love those kinds of things: free food, free gifts, social time. However, I never feel obligated to buy anything. Maybe tell the person who invited you, "I'm more than happy to come, but I have to be honest that I probaby won't buy anything - if you're ok with that, I'm ok with that" and if they aren't, then don't go.
Everyone is on the right track- the products are nice (and some are things you can really use), but very overpriced. Definitely scan through the kitchen gadgets sections of big stores (Target, Ikea, Sur La Table) to get an idea of prices on items before you go, and keep in mind that it isn't magically better because it comes from Pampered Chef.
I am reminded of one time a friend had invited me and some friends out to dinner to hear a pitch for the ubiquitous (and annoying as hell) Quixtar (aka Amway 2.0). The friend's coworker had said as part of the get-excited warm-up "If you're perfectly happy with your job, you don't need to listen to anymore of what I'm saying." Poor guy didn't know I played and sold board games for a living at the time... I just said "OK", and went right back to enjoying my miso soup amid gales of laughter from all of my friends. If the guy could demonstrate just how much more money he was making by *paying* for our dinner, I might have been more interested in the product...
re: JK Grence (the Cosmic Jester)
Very very very over priced for the same goods you can get elsewhere. I think wannabes are more likely to attend than serious cooks. The serious people either have the stuff already or know where to get it when they want it and have a good idea of what they want and don't need a "party" to introduce them to the gadgets.
Thankfully people have quit inviting me to these things.
LDV, Your local commercial restaurant supply house has much better, more durable products at far lower prices. (They all sell to the public.) Pampered Chef is just Amway revisited upon those that don't really cook.