I received an email from a prospective bride asking if I would be willing to barter cake/dessert services in exchange for web design services offered by her.
I do need a new website that I haven't been getting a chance to work on, but I am not sure if this would be a good exchange? As in, the cake will be eaten and done with, but what if the website is not delivered/completed as promised?
Has anyone else done bartering and has any tips/advice on if this should even be considered, and what to look out for?
I would suggest contracts are still signed and she pays you and you pay her back once her services are received so that there was still an exchange of money, that way the contract will hold up in court. Also make sure you see some of her work to make sure it is worth the cake she is asking for.
AEVERYTHING in writing. EVERYTHING. Be sure to trade value for value. Are you giving a discount? Only charging costs? She needs to do the same.
I'd also find out if she is knows how to be Professional. Capital P.
I mention this because I've seen the lack of professionalism in many small businesses.
I just wouldn't do it. If she has to get services this way she's working on a stone age system, it also kind of cheapens your own craft.
Do you really need a website that badly?
Bartering is fine, I bartered birthday cakes to a lawyer for doing my cake contract. But I agree that you should get everything in writing including the value of each service, with the stipulation that if the website isn't designed to your specifictions by X date, you will receive X amount for the cake, or whatever you want to do. Also only do it if you've seen her work and you like it, because there are just as many people trying their hand at web design these days as there are "bakers" who are trying their hand at cakes. Their work can be less than excellent.
AI would barter to a lawyer too,or a heart surgeon lol. But a web designer...I would certainly want to see the portfolio as you rightly say there are too many people having a stab at unregulated cottage industries
Web design is cheap, probably cheaper than the wedding cake she wants. You can get good web design for $100 from people who actually do this for a living (my friend did of commercial accounts). But bare in mind design, doesn't constitute maintenance, so if something breaks because of her "design" (or code) you're up the creek without a paddle. I would say NO! I maintain my church's website and it only takes a couple of minutes to do. We use Yahoo and they have a program with templates that makes it easy to use and maintain. I believe we pay under a $100 per year for that and it includes email addresses too. There are tons of free templates out there to help as well. So everyone and their grandmother thinks they can design a 'good' website these days.
P.S. don't forget you can ask these lovely cake people for website feedback too ;)
Thanks so much everyone!! Really appreciate your input! :) I will see if she can share a portfolio, and think about this.
Oh heck no - that's my thought!!
It's one thing if it's a well known lawyer in the area who's willing to write your contract for you... Or jeweler willing to barter for gold... or heck, even the local garden center owner. Web design, sorry, nope... Not tangible enough of a product and difficult to gauge value (I can go on to GoDaddy, pay the website builder, and buy the site for FAR FAR less than the value of a wedding cake)... Everyone's a web designer - but designing, launching, maintaining, and updating a site are WAY different things...
Thanks CoutureCake! I told her I wouldn't be willing to barter... she said she was on a budget, so we didn't go ahead :)
regarding bartering. some people use it very successfully. My dad runs a community newspaper and has bartered goods for ads with a lot of success. A guy in pittsburgh, my home town, bartered printing for a 4 year college degree at LaRoche College!
There are many successful barter networks around the company, too.
But having a clear contract is the key. It doesn't have to go through a lawyer, you just have to be clear about what your are giving and receiving.
One caveat, I believe you have to count what you're bartering for as income and declare accordingly.
And thats the bottom line, she's not bringing much in from her business yet so I think you dodged one there.
AMEN Cakebaby2!!! The question is how many other vendors is she trying to work this same deal with... It's like the "If you donate a cake we'll give you free advertising in our flyer" - "thanks, I can still get paid for the cake and have the advertising because people know my product...and I won't be out the money for the cost of that cake!"