LovelyCakes4Us Posted 27 Jan 2013 , 7:36pm
post #1 of

AI sent out a few emails to party planners, florist, ect. I offered them a free sample of cupcakes in return to have a few of my business cards laying around. I got a response right away from a party planner, he first asked if I was licensed and worked in a commercial kitchen. I reply ed yes with the information, he then said let's me over coffee we set up a time. Then he emailed me the email below. I'm not at all new to cake decorating, but I am newish to the business part. Does this sound like a legitimate thing? What questions should I bring up during our meeting?

[I]" contract out wedding venders. If you are interested in becoming part of my team, let me know.

I send you the folks, and am paid only if they book you. You and I would have a contact, and I disclose this to my customers.

I have this relationship with several event venders" [/I]

37 replies
-K8memphis Posted 27 Jan 2013 , 7:41pm
post #2 of

i don't think so

 

no pay ugh uh

Izzy Sweet Posted 27 Jan 2013 , 7:45pm
post #3 of

So you would have to pay him a finders fee ??? Am i getting this right?? Would you have to raise your prices to compensate for that??

jason_kraft Posted 27 Jan 2013 , 7:56pm
post #4 of

AIt depends on what the contract says.

LovelyCakes4Us Posted 27 Jan 2013 , 8:03pm
post #5 of

AWould it be rude of me to ask him to email me the contract to go over before we meet?

jason_kraft Posted 27 Jan 2013 , 8:06pm
post #6 of

A

Original message sent by LovelyCakes4Us

Would it be rude of me to ask him to email me the contract to go over before we meet?

Not at all, if the contract doesn't work for you then there's no point in meeting.

Babe2dabone Posted 27 Jan 2013 , 8:07pm
post #7 of

Hello Lovelycakes4us, i read your post and sorry but i must admit that i dont know much about business but i am planning to conduct my daughters sweet 15 (i am puerto rican and we celebrate 15 instead of 16) but i am going crazy trying to find someone to help with this and honestly i am having trouble looking for a party planner...anyway, are you near me and if yes how can i go about to contract you?...thanks and sorry for the bother Angie AKA Babe 2dabone, please email me...thanks icon_lol.gif

LovelyCakes4Us Posted 27 Jan 2013 , 8:14pm
post #8 of

A

Original message sent by Babe2dabone

Hello Lovelycakes4us, i read your post and sorry but i must admit that i dont know much about business but i am planning to conduct my daughters sweet 15 (i am puerto rican and we celebrate 15 instead of 16) but i am going crazy trying to find someone to help with this and honestly i am having trouble looking for a party planner...anyway, are you near me and if yes how can i go about to contract you?...thanks and sorry for the bother Angie AKA Babe 2dabone, please email me...thanks :lol:

Hi, you can look on Craigslist.com in the Event or Creative sections, that is were I found this party planner.

LovelyCakes4Us Posted 27 Jan 2013 , 8:20pm
post #9 of

A

Original message sent by -K8memphis

i don't think so

no pay ugh uh

Can you explain more why you wouldn't think its legitimate?

-K8memphis Posted 27 Jan 2013 , 8:27pm

i mean why cut him into your affairs

 

so he's gonna pay you if you refer him as a planner and he gets the gig

 

you can get tons of cake orders w/o him by just playing the game

 

and building it up yourself as you are doing

 

i don't know if it's legit or not legitimate per se--i din mean that exactly but i would not wanna do that

 

i don't wanna be part of anyone else's team unless i'm getting a nice fat hourly wage

jason_kraft Posted 27 Jan 2013 , 8:38pm

AThere's nothing wrong with selling products through other people at a markup, businesses do this successfully all the time. If the contract says that the planner will just give customers your name in exchange for X% that probably wouldn't be beneficial, but if you can work with the planner to provide your cakes as a component of party packages at a markup (meaning that you would make the same as if you had sold the cakes yourself) that could be a very good deal for you, especially if you rent a commercial kitchen and need to spread out your fixed overhead.

-K8memphis Posted 27 Jan 2013 , 9:17pm

it might be beneficial and it might be too complicated for words

 

the cake biz is hard enough dealing with brides, financials, humidity, scheduling, rising prices, the competition, family etc etc

 

add in some more business minded professionals

 

just say no

 

that's me

 

my sister says it this way

 

y'know what people call people they don't like?

 

entrepreneurs

 

icon_biggrin.gif

 to me this is what a good deal looks like

 

if you became the exclusive baker for a venue

 

like if they had a kitchen and wanted you to do the cakes

 

or even if you did them from your kitchen

 

now that's worth the extra effort to allow in another business entity

 

or at the least got on their recommendeds list

 

those are good deals to me

 

but a party planner making money off my hard work? where's the beef

 

just my jaded little thoughts

costumeczar Posted 27 Jan 2013 , 9:32pm

AI would say no, no planner who's legitimate around here would ever ask for a kickback/finder's fee/whatever. There are some who probably do mark things up, but I refuse to work with people who want to be the middleman. My contract is with the bride, not with a planner. If you found the guy on Craigslist that sends up all linds of red flags for me personally, since Craigslist is skeevy.

I'd get the contract before meeting with him and find out what he thinks he's getting out of the deal just for a laugh.

LovelyCakes4Us Posted 27 Jan 2013 , 9:55pm

AOkay I went ahead and got a contract from him, to bad I can't copy/paste it!! Anyways it talks a lot about his share, paying him on time, his percentage ect. Yes I found him on Craig's, odd enough the email that I emailed him originally from is a private email, meaning I do not list it ANYWHERE I have another email for marketing and such. Out of no where I got a email asking about 250 cupcakes, asking if I did cakes and the cost. I found this odd knowing darn well I never ever give out my private email to take any cake orders, this person emailed me this about 5 minutes after I asked the wedding planner for his contract. Then once I replied to this unknown person the wedding planner emailed me straight away I found this odd.

I looked the wedding planner on Google, Facebook, website he seems very legitimate, maybe I am just paranoid!

-K8memphis Posted 27 Jan 2013 , 10:09pm

you can track people through their website domains & stuff--did he have your website?

 

you're not in business to support him

costumeczar Posted 27 Jan 2013 , 10:11pm

AOh hell no..lf only he has that email then he's scamming you already. I'd pass on this so-called opportunity, it just has a bad smell to it. Anyone can set up a legitimate looking website and facebook page, but it doesn't mean they're doing any business. I can tell you about a bunch of businesses that have come and gone in my area over the past ten years. They all had websites and looked legit, but they weren't making any money and ended up closing. A website proves nothing.

itsacake Posted 27 Jan 2013 , 10:26pm

I often work with caterers.  When they want their clients to hire me to do a wedding or bar mitzvah cake or a dessert buffet, they send the client to me and I deal with the client.  The caterer does not get a kickback, referral fee, or anything like that.  Often, one of the caterers will ask if I can do components of a dessert or items for a dessert buffet that they will include in an event they are catering.  In that case, I often will give a small discount (if it isn't last minute) just for good will and because I appreciate the ongoing volume of business.  However, this is up to me, and is not a for sure thing.  

 

My attitude is that a venue, planner, caterer, etc. should be referring to me because they like my work, not because I am paying them.  I have turned down several who wanted a contract and paybacks.  I suppose there isn't really anything wrong with doing that if everyone agrees to it, I just would rather not.  

jason_kraft Posted 27 Jan 2013 , 10:28pm

AI recommend doing a google search for your private email address, it may not be as private as you think.

Izzy Sweet Posted 27 Jan 2013 , 10:38pm

On the net anything is accessable, I have even googled myself one time and was surprised what came up.Not surprised because it was bad but because I did not think stuff like that would come up.

kikiandkyle Posted 27 Jan 2013 , 10:49pm

AI would say that if this guy will recommend anyone to a bride/client so long as he's getting a kickback, then you risk being tarred with the same brush if he has a reputation for making bad recommendations.

costumeczar Posted 27 Jan 2013 , 11:01pm

AThe timing of receiving a request on a non-business email at exactly the same time she was emailing the planner is suspect, IMO. I agree with itsacake that a planner should refer to you because they like your work, not because they're getting a kickback.

Annabakescakes Posted 28 Jan 2013 , 4:13am

I won't work with people who expect a kick back for recommending me. I bet you dollars to donuts that they wouldn't want to give you some of their hard-earned cash when the times comes that you have recommended them, either! 

 

I was looking at a retail location to rent in a little shopping strip that also had a seamstress, a dress shop, a florist and a DJ, and they were super excited to have a cake business in the center, and were trying to market it as a one stop location for wedding vendors. The dress lady gave me her card, then said she would take as many of mine that I could give her, and would expect a "donation" for recommending me, and SHE HAD NEVER SEEN MY CAKES, OR TASTED THEM! I just smiled and nodded and waved, and beat feet outta there. 

SugaredSaffron Posted 28 Jan 2013 , 8:33am

This situation sounds odd, I'm not a big fan of the finders fee or whatever but I'm not against it. A lot of wedding planners don't use them and instead prefer you to pass on the discount to the bride, but it's not uncommon for planners/venues to do it the other way. They usually take a 10% fee from you and they are transparent about it. Luxury planners and venues do this quite a lot, we just don't know about it!

If a reputable external business is bringing you regular orders over $1600 for example then the 'kickback' is minor imo, and chances are you wouldn't have been able to secure those orders even if your cakes are great because of how they work. I don't know, I just don't feel that its that much of a shady way to work.
 

costumeczar Posted 28 Jan 2013 , 12:53pm

AThe way that the planners I know work, though, is that the advantage that they have when they refer people to me is that I'll try to make room for their client if I'm already semi-fully booked. Nobody gets a kickback or whatever, and the client doesn't get discounts for being referred by someone. When the planners try to control the contracts is when I know they're telling the client that the cost of the cake is what I told them plus some extra $$$, and they're keeping the extra. The client has no idea that the planner jacked the price up and skimmed some off the top. Those are the people who I won't work with. Also the ones who want a finders fee,as I said before...

-K8memphis Posted 28 Jan 2013 , 2:32pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by SugaredSaffron 

This situation sounds odd, I'm not a big fan of the finders fee or whatever but I'm not against it. A lot of wedding planners don't use them and instead prefer you to pass on the discount to the bride, but it's not uncommon for planners/venues to do it the other way. They usually take a 10% fee from you and they are transparent about it. Luxury planners and venues do this quite a lot, we just don't know about it!

If a reputable external business is bringing you regular orders over $1600 for example then the 'kickback' is minor imo, and chances are you wouldn't have been able to secure those orders even if your cakes are great because of how they work. I don't know, I just don't feel that its that much of a shady way to work.
 

who could argue with this

 

however the reality in this case is

 

the guy is trying to gain enough control of the market so other's will spin sugar into gold for his pocket

 

if an already well established maybe even a big name party planner wanted a decorator signed up to be at their disposal (in a good way) that's a different story

 

but percentage boy--naw

-K8memphis Posted 28 Jan 2013 , 2:33pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by SugaredSaffron 

This situation sounds odd, I'm not a big fan of the finders fee or whatever but I'm not against it. A lot of wedding planners don't use them and instead prefer you to pass on the discount to the bride, but it's not uncommon for planners/venues to do it the other way. They usually take a 10% fee from you and they are transparent about it. Luxury planners and venues do this quite a lot, we just don't know about it!

If a reputable external business is bringing you regular orders over $1600 for example then the 'kickback' is minor imo, and chances are you wouldn't have been able to secure those orders even if your cakes are great because of how they work. I don't know, I just don't feel that its that much of a shady way to work.
 

who could argue with this

 

however the reality in this case is

 

the guy is trying to gain enough control of the market so other's will spin sugar into gold for his pocket

 

if an already well established maybe even a big name party planner wanted a decorator signed up to be at their disposal (in a good way) that's a different story

 

but percentage boy--naw

Stitches Posted 28 Jan 2013 , 4:33pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by SugaredSaffron 

This situation sounds odd, I'm not a big fan of the finders fee or whatever but I'm not against it. A lot of wedding planners don't use them and instead prefer you to pass on the discount to the bride, but it's not uncommon for planners/venues to do it the other way. They usually take a 10% fee from you and they are transparent about it. Luxury planners and venues do this quite a lot, we just don't know about it!

If a reputable external business is bringing you regular orders over $1600 for example then the 'kickback' is minor imo, and chances are you wouldn't have been able to secure those orders even if your cakes are great because of how they work. I don't know, I just don't feel that its that much of a shady way to work.
 

I totally agree!

 

Any reputable service business needs to generate income based on the services provided. If a party planner steers their business clients to your business they should reap some sort of reward, that is how their business makes money. Otherwise, what's in it for them? Seriously, there's plenty other decorators they could steer their client to. Do you really think they should pick you because you're superior? NO, repeat consistent business from a party planner is providing you with a service in return (it takes the place of having to spend money on advertising).

 

It's exactly like selling your product wholesale to a grocery store. The store has to net a profit or they can't afford to keep their doors open selling your product.

 

When your engaging in an exclusive agreement (a signed contract) with another business you have to give as well as take, somewhere, somehow. Otherwise your just networking with other vendors. You can network with other vendors until your blue in the face, you may never get any real business from those people. The people you network with may offer brides the names of several other cake decorators they like.

 

One way or another you have to pay to play. Sales people of food companies give Chef's "perks" for their repeat business....like taking them to a ball game (once upon a time they used kick backs directly given to the Chef, now companies don't allow that) or Chefs that buy XXX amount of products get a better price then clients whom buys X.

 

I'd never get into an exclusive agreement with someone I didn't know, nor someone I met on Craiglist! But we built a catering business off of just a couple party planners who generated constant business for us, so we didn't need to advertise, we didn't need a prime location, etc... In return, the party planner added a dollar or two, to our per-person price, plus they had a flat fee with the client for their general services.

ellavanilla Posted 28 Jan 2013 , 4:38pm

Can I just say one thing in defense of the party planner? It's not a kickback, it's a commission and very common in every service industry. That alone, doesn't make him nefarious or shady.

Stitches Posted 28 Jan 2013 , 4:51pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by ellavanilla 

 It's not a kickback, it's a commission and very common in every service industry.

I second that!! It is a sales commission!

jgifford Posted 28 Jan 2013 , 8:17pm

Since he said he was working with several vendors already, I'd be interested in hearing what they had to say before making any kind of commitment.

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