There’s an odd craze hidden in the shell of suburbia: Pearl Popping – where participants plunge the depths of the Internet for value. But do they know it’s a scam?




Facebook Live is blowing up with the seemingly exciting and edge of your seat action of…oyster opening? Here’s what I know about oysters. It takes four year to farm one oyster. They’re an aphrodisiac. End of oyster knowledge.

Until now.

Crowding around Facebook Live waiting for someone to pop open an oyster, to present a pearl, is why Channel Ten has entered administration. Seriously. The whole concept is bizarre, but then again, I didn’t think “unicorn food” would be a trend and I really thought Sophie Monk had eclipsed media exposure. I’ve been wrong before. A Pearl Party is just another scam, ladies. Sorry to burst your pearl.

Oyster opening, more commonly known as a Pearl Party, is the new tupperware party, or lingerie party if you had a saucy mum. Back in the day, let’s say the ’80s, some women invited their friends over to their house, made proper snacks like homemade corn relish, carrot sticks and a mean cheese board, and then went through all of the different, time saving, life changing tupperware options you, yes you Chloe, can have in your kitchen. Well guess what? First it was tupperware, then sex toys (so I’ve heard), and now it’s pearls. Have we lost our marbles? Possibly. And instead of using the sale of not-for-need items such as tupperware or more sexy lingerie, because everyone’s Mum’s had plenty of that, right? The home party was the best excuse to get the Betty’s over to your joint, kick “the men” into their man caves and have a super fun chicks’ night in.

Online parties are where it’s at today, so no cheese Doritos for you Doris, it’s just you and your screen getting cosy as Harriet the host pops open oysters a few suburbs away. But how exactly does it work? Is it like an Easter egg hunt but for pearls? Are they strung up in a piñata and beaten open with an oar while others watch in awe? Not exactly.

Here’s the inside scoop on the pearl poppers of 2017.

First, you look through the online catalogue, there is usually a link on the consultant’s (code for your friend who got shucked into this scam) Facebook page. Once you buy the oysters (between one and five), you notify the consultant (again, you’re friend who is asking you for money) via private message, or I’m sure you can text or WhatsApp. You provide your details (mainly for invoicing purposes I would imagine). On that note, this isn’t too dissimilar to the process I go through to order organic staples from a food co-op I belong to. Hmmm.

That used to give me shivers and I wasn’t even a contestant on the show. It was something about the creepy looking models, and the jeopardy of whether it was a new car or a JVC home entertainment package, that would have me on the edge of the couch.

Prices can vary from party to consultant but you can pay between $20-$80 for an “oyster”. Once you pay, up front, you are then in the line to have an oyster opened, online, so you’re in line, online. Then you watch the Facebook Live stream and carry on like a stage mum at Glee Club regionals with whoops and over the top cheers at each pearl that is popped, one of them being yours to keep forever and ever. It’s like a Kinder surprise, but with no chocolate and not even a toy, just a stone that I guess you make into a necklace or something. Chances are it’s just a freshwater pearl and only cost the host a couple of dollars, and here’s a pearl of wisdom just for you, the re-sale value on that spec protruding from the oyster’s mouth, or butt, depending on how to look at an oyster, isn’t going to be buying you a studio apartment in Camperdown anytime soon.

I am left wondering why this became a thing. Maybe we are addicted to suspense, or that “super adrenaline almost sick in the stomach, so much anticipation I may faint or explode” feeling you get before you find out something that you can only speculate about until the moment arrives, like a scaled down version of the showcase reveal on The Price is Right. That used to give me shivers and I wasn’t even a contestant on the show. It was something about the creepy looking models, and the jeopardy of whether it was a new car or a JVC home entertainment package, that would have me on the edge of the couch with a face half stuffed full of Cheetos.

The sad reality of Pearl Parties is that there’s a golden opportunity for the tupperware and Pearl Party industries to collaborate and no one has taken advantage of it. I hear that the oysters are vac-packed and sent to the hosts house (I imagine they arrive how my ASOS packages do: knock, drop and run). But why aren’t they being shipped statewide in a range of tupperware options that can be on sold to customers? I mean, it’s a pyramid scheme made in branding alignment heaven.

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