Six or so years ago when I started my business in the scrapbook industry, I had an unbelievable experience at a workshop I was teaching. It was at my friend's house - about 70 miles one way from me. So, I had to drive quite a ways to teach this class.
She had invited several scrapping friends, one of them being the former owner of the recently closed LSS. When we got done with our project and the catalog shopping had begun, she went through the catalog and kept saying, "Oh, I still have some of these I can sell you". Finally, she just said, "Let's go to my house after this is over and you can shop my basement. I still have all my inventory down there and I'll sell it to you at cost."
I was shocked out of my mind that someone would be so incredibly rude and thoughtless. What do you think that woman would have done if I had sat in one of her classes and sold my products to HER customers???
Are you a good customer or a bad customer? Yes, there is always someplace cheaper to buy something and there is always a 40% off coupon from somewhere. But, would you honestly be rude enough to sit at a crop that someone spent a lot of time and money setting up and think that you didn't owe them some courtesy for that?
Me personally, I believe that when I accept an invitation to a direct sales party, that I am agreeing to help the hostess out by purchasing something. I also feel (having been a direct sales consultant) that I owe a courtesy to the consultant too. She doesn't get paid unless people make purchases. So, I don't think I should expect her to work for free that night. I intend to pull my own weight, so to speak, and buy something from her - even if it's just some lip gloss or a pen.
As a consultant, I attended several crops and classes at my LSS. I would have never, in a thousand years, mentioned my business or passed around my catalog there. At one LSS, I had my Xyron X and everyone wanted one. The store didn't carry them and the store owner (who was in the class) had never heard of them. I was tempted for about 2 seconds to offer to sell everyone in class one since I carried them. But, it would have been inappropriate for me to do that since those people were gathered there for the benefit of that LSS, not me.
So, next time you attend a crop or class at the LSS, stop and think about the time and money the store owner or crop hostess has invested in the event. It's not a community center or non-profit event, it was put together by someone as part of their FOR PROFIT business. I think it's very rude to complain about prices or discourage others from making purchases during the event. And, it's unimaginable for you to bring your catalogs and pass them around. Put yourself in their place (a skill everyone should learn to do) and consider how YOU would feel if the shoe was in the other foot and it was YOUR event. No matter how you slice it, you would be VERY ANNOYED at that type of behavior.