What is a Purse Party?

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

A purse party is similar to a Tupperware® party. When these parties are legal, purses that are sold are real designer purses. They may carry big brand names like Guess® or others, and women attend these parties, usually hosted by a friend, to survey lots of designer bags they may be interested in purchasing. Such parties are becoming common and are one direct sales method that is proving popular. Usually, a designated sales person has someone else host the party, and the host may be eligible for discounted merchandise.

A faux fur purse.
A faux fur purse.

You must make sure the merchandise being offered at a purse party is genuine and not “designer knock off” or counterfeit. Unfortunately, some purse parties have resulted in relatively innocent guests being arrested because they are purchasing items that are in violation of counterfeiting laws. People may attend these seamier purse parties to buy what appear to be designer purses but are really fakes, and production of these fakes is illegal.

A leather purse.
A leather purse.

Most people know they’re not purchasing the real designer label, but they may not know that production of “fakes” can be criminal. Getting counterfeit purses into a country usually means someone has had to smuggle them. It is possible for people selling these purses, hosting these parties or purchasing purses to be arrested, and law enforcement in many US states has been cracking down on smuggling of counterfeit purses, especially targeting purse party venues. It’s a good idea to avoid parties like this, and perhaps stay away from any purse party hosted by a casual acquaintance.

There are legal purse party events, but you should ask a few questions before you plan to attend any party of this type. Find out if the goods sold are truly designer goods or are being marketed as “just like the designer.” If the prices for goods are well below market value, the purses are probably counterfeit. Do not host or participate in a purse party where counterfeit items are offered. Leave a party if you realize you aren’t dealing with legal goods.

Another type of purse party can occur when women purchase simple purses and decorate them at a party. This can be a fun, legal event, and a great way to socialize. You might plan this type of event for a night in with others, or as part of a celebration for something else, like a bridal shower or birthday. You can also buy purse decoration supplies and purses at plenty of online locations and have this type of party for young girls or teens who want to decorate a fancy purse.

If you don't carry many items in your handbag, a small custom-made bespoke clutch might be a great purse party pickup.
If you don't carry many items in your handbag, a small custom-made bespoke clutch might be a great purse party pickup.
Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

Tricia has a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and has been a frequent wiseGEEK contributor for many years. She is especially passionate about reading and writing, although her other interests include medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion. Tricia lives in Northern California and is currently working on her first novel.

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Discussion Comments


@pastanaga - I went to a couple of these when I was in grade school and they were the popular thing to do with the girls my age. I think it also made it easier on the mothers because purse party favors aren't that difficult to sort out when you're getting all the guests to make their own little decorated bag.

But I never used the bags again after the party. It was all a bit cheesy for me.


@pleonasm - These sorts of parties can be fun though and they often have little freebies to go along with the items you're purchasing. They are trying to sell you something, but if you go along with some money to spend it doesn't really feel like too much pressure (depending on your friends of course!).

And I have some friends who are obsessed with purses, so they would really like the opportunity to spend a couple of hours oohing and aahing over some with other aficionados.

Purses aren't really my thing, but I think if I was on the look for one it might be nice to go to a wholesale purse party or something like that.

But then I'm the kind of person who likes going to conventions, so this just seems like a smaller version of one that happens to be themed around purses.


This doesn't seem like the kind of event I'd be into. I mean, I don't see the point of going to a designer purse party to buy purses under a lot of pressure from friends. I'd much rather go to a store and browse for a purse and I'm sure that a store sale would have prices at just the same kinds of discounts as anything that might be available at a party.

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