Pearl645 Posted 30 Jun 2012 , 2:49am
post #1 of

So I had a meeting with a wedding planner. She is now starting off and at the end of the meeting she told me her business is structured like this - she gives me wedding cake jobs to do and I give her 15% from each wedding cake job she sends my way. She also sent me a long contract stipulating some really strange things like I must never advertise who I am or my business to her clients. She will handle all wedding cake affairs on my behalf and communicate my info to her brides. I told her typically a wedding planner charges a fee or % of the customer's bill for co-ordinating all wedding activities and not taking 15% of each suppliers business. Does this also seem odd to you? She said she would only send business my way if I signed her contract...which was in no way in my favour. In fact, it asked me to ensure I would always be available to do wedding cakes for dates she has need for and that I must offer a reasonable price. Who is she to tell me I must be competitive and offer competitive prices. My operating costs will never be the same as another decorator and supposing those other decorators don't know how to cost their wedding cakes properly and I get compared to financially illiterate ppl. Come on...this wedding planner seems to have lost her mind. What yal think?

42 replies
TheSweetTreat Posted 30 Jun 2012 , 3:17am
post #2 of

Actually, a lot of wedding vendors like to operate this way where when they pass on business to you they take a small cut of your profit you received from that client. It usually just stops there. For instance, I refer someone to you for cake, they hire you, you give me 10%, done. You have to view it like it's money spent on advertising. Some people are ok with paying commissions like that, and others, like myself, are not. I'd rather find my own clients and keep all the money. Some people also work on a flat fee. Before having my second child I was a wedding photographer and wedding planners approached me about this. Again, there were never any stipulations like the ones you were given. The planner is clearly trying to keep you from recieving more customers from word of mouth (from the client she sent you). You would essentially be paying the planner to be one of her preferred bakers. They know that most brides who use a planner are going to go to them first and more than likely recieve referrals on where to go for their other vendors. Being on that list is a good thing for the amount of business you recieve, but there are plenty of planners who will put you on their list for free if they feel you have something great to offer. You'd be on a visible list to the brides and they would know your name. Just setup an appt with a few planners in your area, bring photos of your past cakes, bring some cake, and have a chat about you. You'd be surprised how easy it is to become a referred baker without paying a dime. If you like the planner then it becomes a 'you scratch my back i'll scratch yours' kind of thing. No money involved. I would personally pass on this arrangement, it's too sticky and not worth it personally.

AZCouture Posted 30 Jun 2012 , 4:05am
post #3 of

Oh hell no. H-E-L-L-N-O. Oh, and hell no.

mommachris Posted 30 Jun 2012 , 5:16am
post #4 of

The way I read it you'll end up with brides that you don't really want to bake for. Nope, I'll choose the the people I work with, thank you very much.

CWR41 Posted 30 Jun 2012 , 5:26am
post #5 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheSweetTreat

....there are plenty of planners who will put you on their list for free if they feel you have something great to offer.




Exactly.

You want to be referred because you're good, not because they're getting a commission to say you're good.

SoFloGuy Posted 30 Jun 2012 , 5:50am
post #6 of

Sounds like a shake down. I would tell her thanks but no thanks, you don't need her to bring clients to you in this manner and that you hope that if a bride does choose you to make her cake and her as the planner that you can remain civil about the situation. Tell her in order to give her 15% you would have to raise your prices by that much. Plus it sounds like she wants you to charge less than you do. She probably charges her clients extra for arranging a cake maker so she is a greedy double dipper, and she'll probably keep the difference if you lower your price anyway.

cambo Posted 30 Jun 2012 , 5:53am
post #7 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by AZCouture

Oh hell no. H-E-L-L-N-O. Oh, and hell no.




^^^ Yeh, what she said.

Pearl645 Posted 30 Jun 2012 , 6:25am
post #8 of

My thing is, cakes are very labour intensive esp wedding cakes. Things go wrong with wedding cakes at times. You have to re-do something or you need more ingredients than planned for because something went wrong along the way. If my avg 3 tier wedding cake is $500 US and she gets $75 from it every time that is cutting into my profits and it's not like I'm selling a 10" square fondant cake like popular cake studios for $1000.00. When I told her all these things about labour intensive work, expensive materials etc she said "so just raise your price by 15%". And I'm thinking, guess what! I'll definitely not be competitive with my pricing if I add on an extra 15%.

rosech Posted 30 Jun 2012 , 6:44am
post #9 of

Hell no indeed!

vgcea Posted 30 Jun 2012 , 11:27am

She needs to share whatever she's smoking.

Bluehue Posted 30 Jun 2012 , 12:12pm

ROFL... tell her she is dreaming.

She also sent me a long contract stipulating some really strange things like I must never advertise who I am or my business to her clients. She will handle all wedding cake affairs on my behalf and communicate my info to her brides

And how will you ever know what she is charging the bride for your cake.
You might tell her that the cake is worth $500.00
She then tells the bride it is worth $600.00
Then she charges 15% on top of your $500.00

So she makes $75.00 + $100.00 = $175.00 just for referring you.

I never work through a wedding planner - for the simple facts - which are.

I sit and discuss the design of the cake with the bride
I sit and talk flavours and fillings.
AND i am the one who makes the samples for the bride to taste.
Not the wedding planner.
I match cooours - and at the end of the day - no one tells me how to conduct my business.


And as for her saying *You are not allowed to advertise or discuss who you are *WITH HER CLIENTS* ......pffffttttttt who the hell does she think she is.

Run away from her Pearl - and run away fast.
She will chew you up and spit you out - and if ever there is a problem with one of your cakes - she will push the bride in your direction and blame you all the way to the high court.

I bet her motto is - all care and no responsability.
RUN AWAY.....she is what we call here in Australia a leech.... sucking others dry so as to make HER living.



Bluehue

Dayti Posted 30 Jun 2012 , 1:42pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluehue


And how will you ever know what she is charging the bride for your cake.
You might tell her that the cake is worth $500.00
She then tells the bride it is worth $600.00
Then she charges 15% on top of your $500.00

So she makes $75.00 + $100.00 = $175.00 just for referring you.




Yeah, what Blue said. And if the bride doesn't know the planner is already getting 15% from you, and the planners way of charging the bride is a % of her overall wedding spend, say 10%, she would also get an additional $60 from the bride if she says it costs $600. Planner gets a total of $75+$100+$60 = $235 for doing next to nothing, and you are getting $425 for lots of work and a fabulous cake.

cakesbycathy Posted 30 Jun 2012 , 4:18pm

Run away. As fast as you can.

I would email her:
Dear (Crazy) Wedding Planner,
After careful consideration I don't feel a partnership with you is in the best interests of my business. Thank you for thinking of me. I wish you luck in the future.
Sincerely,
(Luck as hell not to be working with you) cake decorator

Don't call her because that's just a invitation to get into an arguement with her and since she's clearly already off her rocker that's just asking for trouble.

Pearl645 Posted 30 Jun 2012 , 6:51pm

Realize everyone agrees that this wedding planner was really smoking something DIFFERENT!

LoveMeSomeCake615 Posted 30 Jun 2012 , 7:22pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by AZCouture

Oh hell no. H-E-L-L-N-O. Oh, and hell no.




thumbs_up.gif If only Pearl could just send this as her answer to the planner.

rosech Posted 30 Jun 2012 , 8:42pm

So after reading this post and talking to hubby about it I received a msg from a bridal consultancy asking me to advertise with her for $150 per month! That's $1800 per year! @&%*§#! HELL NO!

jgifford Posted 30 Jun 2012 , 8:47pm

You say she's just starting off and this is the type of contract she expects you (and probably other vendors) to sign? Don't worry about her - - she's not going to be in business very long.

AZCouture Posted 30 Jun 2012 , 8:52pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by jgifford

You say she's just starting off and this is the type of contract she expects you (and probably other vendors) to sign? Don't worry about her - - she's not going to be in business very long.


thumbs_up.gif

BakingIrene Posted 30 Jun 2012 , 10:43pm

Well non-compete clauses are common but they have rarely been upheld in court fights.

I would NEVER sign such a deal.

LoveMeSomeCake615 Posted 1 Jul 2012 , 1:40am
Quote:
Originally Posted by rosech

So after reading this post and talking to hubby about it I received a msg from a bridal consultancy asking me to advertise with her for $150 per month! That's $1800 per year!




WHAT?!?!? No, really, what ARE these people smoking? icon_eek.gif

tinkertoi Posted 1 Jul 2012 , 4:29am

I am totally new, I bake quite a bit and folks love it, so this is all new learning for the decorating part, and shoot fire I haven't even touched fondant yet, still working on learning piping designs and how to control the stuff while I do it, pressure, angles and stuff...but even I know this is bad business risk...how would you know she not only would be making the money off the other people and you like the other members said, but what if she's looking for someone goodhearted enough to sign this contract and the don't advertise yourself clause is so that she can really portray herself as the baker and use that as a way to get more business for herself..I can hear her now, come over on thursday honey and I'll have some of MY flavors for ya to sample and designs to look at, by wednesday she's had a baker make her a bunch of different flavored cupcakes or something and has them come try them saying she cooked them...if I ever learn enough to actually be good enough to have the business I'm dreaming of, the wedding planner that would get to use me might receive a token cake for herself on each wedding or something along that line to show appreciation but she would also know that I would be setting up my cake at the wedding, the couple would definitely have been to me for personal arrangements of the details and there would be a contact label on the bottom of the base cake board and they would also have cards given to them personally by me...it's your business, and nobody can tell you what you should do, but when asking what others would do I feel free to say I agree with BluHue and the rest...RUN

tbkimber Posted 1 Jul 2012 , 5:10am

I would be worried that you could never get a cake to be what the bride wants because you never get to talk to her. Using the planner as the go-between is a recipe for disaster because you know that you are going to be the one blamed if something is not right.

Cakery2012 Posted 1 Jul 2012 , 5:00pm

Id have to tell the WP good luck with That !icon_wink.gif

sugarpixy Posted 1 Jul 2012 , 5:26pm

Cakes are hard work and you should keep as much from your sales as possible icon_biggrin.gif.

louanne Posted 1 Jul 2012 , 9:35pm

First as someone who was an ABC registered consultant, I find that arrangement appauling. I know many wedding planners try to get commissions like that, but by top professionals it is frowned upon big time. Planners should be charging their brides their fees, yes they may work with people enough that they offer a 10% discount, but that is strictly passed to the bride and not a kick back to the planner as an incentive for brides to use a planner ( the bride deals directly witht he baker, the planner is available to the baker the day of for any issues,)

My suggestion is find out if this planner is a memeber of the ABC, if so, report her to them, they will mostly revoke her certification as this type of operation is frowned on.


I would tell her to kiss it, and trust me, operating like that will gey her nowhere with vendors.

shanter Posted 1 Jul 2012 , 11:45pm

Does the Association of Bridal Consultants have members outside the US (Pearl is not in the US)?

BakingIrene Posted 2 Jul 2012 , 1:35am
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pearl645

...She also sent me a long contract stipulating some really strange things like I must never advertise who I am or my business to her clients. She will handle all wedding cake affairs on my behalf and communicate my info to her brides.




Boy this planner has never dealt with a real bride has she?

But she's not talking about anything realistic, she's talking about what bankers call a "hostile takeover" of your business.

Should she contact you to follow up about signing that joke of a contract, then make sure you respond by email asking her when does she plan to set up her board-of-health certified location for baked goods that includes a walk-in refrigerator, and when does she plan to buy a refrigerated van to transport the cakes, and how much liability insurance does her business carry....she will run.

Denise Posted 2 Jul 2012 , 2:39am

I would have been hard pressed not to crack up laughing if someone suggested that to me.

I get calls all the time from people wanting to sell me advertising for bridal this, that and the other thing. I will sometimes listen to their pitch but the answer is always the same. No.

I would tell wedding planner thanks but no thanks to her nutty proposal. I like Cakes So Special money in my pocket!

G icon_surprised.gificon_surprised.gif gle has called me a zillion times wanting me to use their website/marketing for gee...just $2700 a year to put me at the top of the list since I am "so far down on the list for searches." I said, "Really? Then why do I get calls on a regular basis from out of town brides?" I did my own research...the next day an out of town bride called. I asked how she found me...on G icon_surprised.gificon_surprised.gif gle - I was at the top of the list she said.

Don't believe what this snake oil salesman is telling you. It is not a win/win for you!

I used to be in advertising and marketing for newspapers and radio. It is hard for them to sell me anything. LOL I used to be the one selling so I KNOW what is BS and what is not.

costumeczar Posted 2 Jul 2012 , 11:15pm

There are a LOT of planners who have arrangements like this with rental companies and anyone else who will be enough of a sucker to go for it. It's a kickback, which is illegal in most parts and just wrong otherwise. I don't work with planners who do it, but I do know of some in the area (and some venues too) who only refer to certain people because they take a percentage of the sales price.

On the other hand, those clients know who did the rentals and who did the flowers that are being kicked back, so the idea that you can't tell people who you are makes it pretty obvious that the planner is going to charge the bride more than you did, then take the 15% from you on top of that. Let her go steal from someone else, that isn't a good way to do business.

I've had planners who are brand new tell me that they won't give me their brides' information because they're the "gatekeeper" for all of the appointments and contracts. I tell them that's not how I work and I'm sorry that they won't be able to make an appointment for their client. Too bad, go find another sucker.

Apti Posted 3 Jul 2012 , 12:08am

You guys rock!

No snake-oil sales for y'all!

Rah rah Ree, Kick 'em in the Knee,

Rah rah Ras, Kick 'em in the ........*


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*other knee

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