DEAR MISS MANNERS: I have often been asked to attend parties that are actually commercial events to sell products -- say, plastic storage-ware, wine or other home goods. I consider these events a cheap way to exploit friends and acquaintances.
Now I am being texted directly to buy things from friends. These products do not interest me and are usually subpar quality. I have no use for them.
How do I politely decline such invitations from people I will actually face at some point?
GENTLE READER: “Thank you for thinking of me, but I have a lifetime supply!” is both polite and sufficient.
Do not embellish, as that is where the trouble begins. “I have a three-month supply” is an invitation to call in four months. “I use Brand X” is an invitation to expand the offerings. And if you volunteer that people you know might be a better fit, you have only yourself to blame.
Miss Manners feels no remorse at not being a willing victim, as she agrees with you that leveraging friendships to boost sales is not a gentle activity.