ShaunPepe Posted 18 Oct 2011 , 3:08am
post #1 of

I was asked by a start-up event planning business if I wanted to be put on their vendors list. She asked for my pricelist and said she was only going to have a couple of vendors in each category to offer to her brides. However, in the next email she told me I had to offer a discount to her brides (if I wanted to be on her list). In exchange she would give me a couple of coupons for her event planning services every year.

I guess I will not be on her exclusive list of vendors because I do not plan on giving her a discount. However, I just want to know if this is a common practice that wedding planners expect? I only do cakes part-time and don't need the extra business this wedding planner MAY bring, especially if I am going to be making less money if I get a cake order through her.

Do any of you offer discounts like this, when working with wedding planners?

28 replies
KoryAK Posted 18 Oct 2011 , 3:21am
post #2 of

Nope! Any no one in my area has ever asked for one.

BlakesCakes Posted 18 Oct 2011 , 3:34am
post #3 of

That sounds out of whack to me...........I thought these planners often charged the bride a percentage of all of the total fees and/or, in some cases, by getting a percentage kickback from each vendor.....

Wouldn't it be in the planner's best interests to have you charge as much as you can????

I can't see her gaining anything by your offering a discount.

I also can't see you gaining anything with a few coupons that you'd probably never use..........

Too many of these "event" planners popping up...........especially when it's easier than ever to plan your own events using the internet.............

JMHO
Rae

LoveMeSomeCake615 Posted 18 Oct 2011 , 3:54am
post #4 of

There's a planner here that does that. They have on their webpage that the vendors on their vendor page are "special-priced" through their company, and then say that if you are a vendor that wants to be a part of that and be on their vendor page, it's a $19.95/month advertising charge.

This is weird to me, because other vendors in this area don't charge for a link on their website. We just "swap links".

We have never been asked to offer a discount to be a part of a preferred list, but if we do, we would say no.

indydebi Posted 18 Oct 2011 , 4:00am
post #5 of

Any reputable or credible planner will not do that. Repeat .... reputable. credible.

Just as FYI, I had a friend who was taking a wedding planner certification course and was talking to me about pricing and how could she get discounts from vendors LIKE THE COURSE INSTRUCTED HER TO. icon_surprised.gificon_eek.gif

I was shocked. Right then and there I called a couple of wedding planner friends and told them, "I have a friend sitting here right now with a question ....." My planner friends were appalled that this idea was being taught in a certification course!!! icon_surprised.gif

So the fact that you said she was a "new" planner leads me to believe she's been duped by the same type of 'teaching'.

This practice will give you zero credibility. Eventually people will believe "Oh they only give out her name because she pays them to!" which leads people to believe YOU are somewhat less than 'credible".

ShaunPepe Posted 18 Oct 2011 , 11:55am
post #6 of

Thanks for the info everyone. I had never heard of this practice and could not find any information on the topic over the internet (I guess because no one really does it). I'm happy to hear it is not common. Right away it did not stand out as anything I wanted to be part of and I could not see any benefit to me.

I guess the planner has this idea that maybe by getting vendors to offer her discounts she can advertise to potential brides that she has these discounts that the bride could not get without her? I will be interested to see if any vendors agree to her terms.

QTCakes1 Posted 18 Oct 2011 , 7:16pm
post #7 of

Um, heck to the nah!!! This is a major pet peeve of mine, cause to me, key word to me, this ranks of "KICK BACK", which I think is SO WRONG! If I work with a planner and she reccomends me to someone, I would hope it is because they thought I was a solid vendor, not cause I paid to be on their list or cause I give them exclusive discounts. So, no for me. icon_wink.gif

jgifford Posted 18 Oct 2011 , 7:38pm
post #8 of

I do not pay, bribe or kick back my way on to any list for any one for any reason. If you recommend me, it's because I did a good job and you were thrilled with your cake. And this is what I tell wedding planners.

cakelady2266 Posted 18 Oct 2011 , 7:56pm
post #9 of

This is a pet peeve for me too. I don't give discounts or kickbacks for referrals. I actually had a venue ask a for 25% referral fee and said they could have one when I got a 25% referral fee for every bride I sent to them. If a florist, photographer, venue, or planner wants to send business my way that's all good and fine but it has to be based on reputation not their revenue. I'm not paying for it.

LoveMeSomeCake615 Posted 18 Oct 2011 , 11:10pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by QTCakes1

this ranks of "KICK BACK", which I think is SO WRONG! If I work with a planner and she reccomends me to someone, I would hope it is because they thought I was a solid vendor, not cause I paid to be on their list or cause I give them exclusive discounts. So, no for me. icon_wink.gif




I agree completely! It seems unethical to me.

I was actually shocked to find that out about the planner here. They are a well established event business here, so not newbies or anything, and I was surprised they would do that, or that all the businesses on their vendor pages would agree to it!

QTCakes1 Posted 18 Oct 2011 , 11:39pm

And the person I feel bad for is the BRIDE! You think your getting these vendors, cause of their well known quality, but no. It's cause they paid to be on a list!

Melvira Posted 19 Oct 2011 , 12:18am

I've also heard that some request a 'discount' from you, and then 'resell' the cake to the bride with a big markup. Some people say it's "just business" to do that... I call it "just criminal". Everyone wants to make a buck out of everyone elses hard work. Well, not EVERYONE, but you know, there are tons of people like that out there. I have a person who thinks she should be able to hand me an expired cake mix out of her pantry and I should turn around and give her a gloriously decorated cake with no extra charge. Dream on, lady.

tokazodo Posted 19 Oct 2011 , 12:46am

I work very closely with a local wedding planner. I do not give discounts. I am also on several preferred vendors lists and it didn't cost me a dime.

Also: I have recently gotten rid of a 'middle man'. Last year I lost a money. The middle jacked up the prices on my cakes. It didn't 'cost', the middle man a dime and he marked them up more then 100%. This year I more then doubled my prices so my business could float itself. When the 'middle man', saw the prices he asked, "Is this the same price list for me too?!" I simply said, "Yup'. and turned and walked out the door.
I have gotten tired of the middleman screwing up cake orders and getting between me and my customers. Too many orders came in late and to be quite frank, this person (the owner of a bakery who didn't have a cake decorater) knew diddly squat about the cake business and nothing at all, about the delivery of a wedding cake.
So....long story longer, I sent written notice( after the 3rd cake order screw-up this season) and told him that after September 30th, I would no longer be available to do cakes for them.
He has contacted me twice since 9/30 about cake orders and I simply said, "Sorry, I am not available".
If anyone is going to make a buck off of my hard labor, cost of ingredients and overhead, it's going to be me! thumbs_up.gif

Melvira Posted 19 Oct 2011 , 1:05am

tokazodo - GOOD FOR YOU!! But man, how did you keep from choking that person!? You're better than I am. I'd have been in jail!

FabBrunette Posted 19 Oct 2011 , 4:52am

This is a new trend - it's boutique wedding planners. My girlfriend is trying to start up one of these. The whole concept is that this well-established wedding planner has very many clients (say at least 3 weddings a weekend, every weekend for the whole year), and decides to offer her clients the cream of the crop by working with her. That's her new marketing scheme, to say, I only deal with the best vendors around, I have established trust and I know they do their job properly.

Then she goes to her favourite vendors or finds new ones and says, "Listen, I'll give you X amount of clients if you a) spend $250 a year to be in my vendor listing of which there are only 3-5 vendors in each category, and/or b) give my clients a discount."

The thinking is you'll receive so many more clients that the discount wouldn't hit you hard anyway (I mean, 10% off? Just charge 10% more, ha ha. I kid. But seriously.)


This is a new trend people are trying to make happen, and my friend has been fairly successful with her venture - she's been on TV a few times and it's working out for her and her vendors.

But if you were seriously considering this, I would demand to see her client listing, her last years schedule, her upcoming schedule, and try to figure out to yourself how many propective clients you might actually get. 10-15% is not that big of a deal. Charge more.

And yes, I took a wedding planning course about 6 years ago (I'm certified, woohoo, lol) and they "taught" us that too. I use the term taught very loosely since it was a big binder of print outs that they went through over one weekend - and boom, certified!

They told us that we need to find up to 5 vendors in each category, and try to work out deals with them. Yeah. So there you have it, horses mouth.

tokazodo Posted 19 Oct 2011 , 9:50am
Quote:
Originally Posted by Melvira

tokazodo - GOOD FOR YOU!! But man, how did you keep from choking that person!? You're better than I am. I'd have been in jail!





I work with special needs students all week long. I have adopted the 'Flubber Principle". (for ever action there is an equal and opposite reaction?) Flubber, when it hits something gains momentum until it is ricocheting off the walls. I have learned to say something once, twice as a reminder and then walk away and not get into an argument. Because If I keep going, with it, I am going to turn into flubber and start bouncing off the walls! icon_lol.gif

ShaunPepe Posted 19 Oct 2011 , 12:36pm

What it sounds like here and that the woman has taken one of these event planning courses that informed her she could ask vendors for discounts. She is just starting her business. I emailed the woman and informed her I could not give her a discount. I figured I wouldn't hear from her again, but then she emailed me and told me she still wanted to put me on her list and wasn't expecting a discount. However, some other vendors were offering discounts so she was curious to see if others would.

QTCakes1 Posted 19 Oct 2011 , 1:26pm

I know several wedding planners that have been business for EVER. They would not be happy to hear that is the new trend to wedding planning. They would never ask for any kick backs or special discounts. The prefer to find solid, reputable vendors they can reccomend and in turn, that brings them business.

Melvira Posted 19 Oct 2011 , 2:29pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by tokazodo

I work with special needs students all week long. I have adopted the 'Flubber Principle". (for ever action there is an equal and opposite reaction?) Flubber, when it hits something gains momentum until it is ricocheting off the walls. I have learned to say something once, twice as a reminder and then walk away and not get into an argument. Because If I keep going, with it, I am going to turn into flubber and start bouncing off the walls! icon_lol.gif




Hahahaa!! Good stuff!

Chef_Stef Posted 23 Oct 2011 , 3:13am

Um, NO.

I work with all the best planners in my area, and not one of them has ever even hinted at such a thing.


I price my cakes where I do, for a reason (profit, duh icon_cool.gif ). Period. The customer gets my price, whether they call me themselves, or have someone else call me. :=P

and that's all I have to say, about that

tokazodo Posted 23 Oct 2011 , 10:13am

And then you have them do this to your cake! Do ya think there's enough flowers on the cake? I stopped with the topper. Even that was over stated for a small 8"5" cake.
I'm about the axe another middle man. I'm getting tired of dealing with this wedding planner!

http://cakecentral.com/gallery/2187259

sleepiesaturn Posted 1 Nov 2011 , 3:45am

I had someone approach me last summer with a deal like this here in Colorado. On;y her prices were like, 200 a MONTH to be listed as one of her preferred vendors. It took a lot of effort not to laugh in her face.

costumeczar Posted 1 Nov 2011 , 6:32pm

This has been going on for years with skeevy vendors. The tipoff is whether they will let you deal directly with the bride on your own, or whether they want to have control over all the contracts and payments. They're just jacking up the price on the bride if they're doing that. Getting payments from other vendors to be on a list is nothing new, too. Those "preferred vendor" brochures a lot of venues pass out are paid for by the advertisers. I get requests from a lot of the big wedding blogs "inviting" me to be on their "super best of the best list" for only a small payment of $2000 or whatever it is.

I tell brides that the benefit they get from working with reputable planners is that I will make an effort to be available for them if the planner is someone I've worked with in the past. If they call and say "Naomi sent me" I'll go check the calendar to see if I can work them in, instead of immediately saying that I'm booked on that day if it looks like I'm already booked. No $$$ passes handsto planners in booking clients as far as I'm concerned.

I've written about this kind of thing several times on my blog because it comes up all the time. http://acaketorememberva.blogspot.com/2011/06/i-am-not-wedding-pimp.html

http://acaketorememberva.blogspot.com/2011/04/you-won-meaningless-award.html

http://acaketorememberva.blogspot.com/2010/11/weird-coordinator-requests.html

ebraxtonr Posted 7 Aug 2013 , 4:39pm

Well, You actually should allow them to place on that list because whenever she has a bride she will refer you or even use you as that brides vendor. SO you get your profit off of that sale. By the way, you also are the one that decides how mcuh to charge so it may look like a discount to them but it really may not be. So JUST DO IT!! It helps you out.

howsweet Posted 7 Aug 2013 , 11:29pm

Wow -- Why do you go to a wedding planner? So you can have  great wedding.  How does your wedding planner choose her venders? She chooses vendors who are willing to bribe her? Basically she has a bribe fee?

 

It's a conflict of interest, an organized kickback system and tacky. What a way to treat your customers...
 

Phaedramax Posted 8 Aug 2013 , 9:05pm

Yes I owned a cake business for over 30 years and the caterers,wedding planners ect who brought us business we gave their brides a10% discount  in return.It was less then the hotel,country clubs in which we gave a wholesale price and we got all their wedding ect business.I sold my shop last year to a 6 year employee and she is doing well.If you don't need or want the extra business don't do it.
 

Phaedramax Posted 8 Aug 2013 , 9:11pm

One of the things wedding planners job is to get the best vendors and the best price for the clients.Some charge a flat fee for their service and others get a % of the wedding total cost.
 

daryll Posted 9 Aug 2013 , 12:12am
Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar View Post

This has been going on for years with skeevy vendors. The tipoff is whether they will let you deal directly with the bride on your own, or whether they want to have control over all the contracts and payments. They're just jacking up the price on the bride if they're doing that. Getting payments from other vendors to be on a list is nothing new, too. Those "preferred vendor" brochures a lot of venues pass out are paid for by the advertisers. I get requests from a lot of the big wedding blogs "inviting" me to be on their "super best of the best list" for only a small payment of $2000 or whatever it is.

I tell brides that the benefit they get from working with reputable planners is that I will make an effort to be available for them if the planner is someone I've worked with in the past. If they call and say "Naomi sent me" I'll go check the calendar to see if I can work them in, instead of immediately saying that I'm booked on that day if it looks like I'm already booked. No $$$ passes handsto planners in booking clients as far as I'm concerned.

I've written about this kind of thing several times on my blog because it comes up all the time. http://acaketorememberva.blogspot.com/2011/06/i-am-not-wedding-pimp.html

http://acaketorememberva.blogspot.com/2011/04/you-won-meaningless-award.html

http://acaketorememberva.blogspot.com/2010/11/weird-coordinator-requests.html

 

I love your blogs Costumeczar! Funny and informative!

costumeczar Posted 12 Aug 2013 , 12:10am
Quote:
Originally Posted by daryll View Post

 

I love your blogs Costumeczar! Funny and informative!

thank you!

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