So I've seen a few other decorators have all these "Wedding Wire Approved" blah blah blah stickers on their websites. So I thought I'd post my company on there and see what kind of traffic I get. I went in, created an account, and then today a sales rep contacted me from Wedding Wire; saying my account wasn't yet activated and she wanted to go through a few things with me.
Well this is where a ton of red flags start popping up. So basically unless I am willing to pay there are no guarantees that my company will be found when a bride does a search of local cake decorators; she said I "might come through in a search on one of the back pages 'once in a while'". And that the only way to be featured in Brides Magazine was to also pay..from start to finish I was consistent in that I wasn't looking to pay for this type of advertising; and she just pushed and push the fact that basically I needed to pay or my business would fall apart and fail. Which really annoyed me, my business is fine, I'm confident in my work, I just wanted to see if Wedding Wire would be a good way to meet a few extra brides a year.
I was kind of flabbergasted by the fact that basically any exposure and it even sounded like good reviews were based on how much you were willing to pay. So in the end I just told her to cancel my account and remove my company from the site. But I'm just wondering what other people's experiences were and if you have had any paid or unpaid success with Wedding Wire?
I hate Wedding Wire with a passion. Their salesman called me incessantly for months, left a million messages that I never returned. He finally left a rude message saying "you obviously don't want your business to succeed since you're not returning my calls."
They give you the option to have a free listing on there, but they bury it unless you pay for it. Which is okay with me, because there have been people who posted fake reviews on there since ANYONE can post reviews without any verification on your part. I had one person post that I did the wrong flavor cake. I checked my contracts and baking schedules for the year before and it didn't happen. I protested the review and WW basically told me they verified it but they wouldn't tell me how they did. You can be a competing vendor who posts bad reviews on a competitor's page, and when they question it WW will basically say "show us a signed contract. If you print off a generic contract and sign it and show it to them they accept that as proof because they DON'T check with the vendor to see if it's their contract! I know this because they wouldn't verify anything with me and they didn't give me any information about the information the supposedly verified in my case.
I also know someone who said that when she started paying them the one bad review that was on her page suddenly disappeared, so they manipulate reviews that way too.
I don't know anyone who says that hey get business from it, but I'm sure that depends on whether you respond to their cattle call "referrals." I get one occasionally where people have obviously filled out a form for anyone within a thirty mile radius. It's never anything that's appropriate for my business so I don't even bother responding. I DO know people who advertised with them then stopped, and they got the same rude treatment that I got, and the same hard sell that you got.
I also saved my correspondence with them in case they ever deny they told me what they told me, because they seem like weasels who would say "we don't do that" when it's clear they do.
I would guess that you can also go on there and post fake good reviews for yourself, since nobody verifies anything and they won't look at it unless you protest, which you wouldn't do if you were hypeing yourself.
Then there's this, which is my favorite thing ever...This guy set up a fake account to show how ridiculous their "award" system is. Be sure to read the reviews, they're hilarious. http://birdsongphotography.com/2014/01/why-i-killed-weddingwire-deep-thoughts-on-bs-tulsa-wedding-photographer/
Yes, the sales woman did elude to the fact that paying more = better reviews and that bad review would be "buried" which was another huge red flag. I don't want that kind of business where I'm paying to look better than I am.
Wow, that's pretty bold to tell people that as a selling point. Yelp does the same thing, and they suck, too. There was some court case a couple of years ago that said they can do that, too, so maybe they don't think they need to be sneaky about it.
I listed my biz on Punchbowl for free and I get a lot of orders through there. I kept googling all kinds of key words, i.e. custom cakes, birthday cakes, etc. to see if my website was anywhere in the 1st few pages because I was working on my seo's. Anyway, I noticed that Punchbowl was always on the top of the google page.
I wasn't sure about it but I figured no harm since it was free. I believe you can pay to have a premium listing but if someone looks for cakes in my general area, I come up on the 1st page already. I don't feel the need to be #1 rather than #3 or 4 on the page.
Turns out, a lot of potential clients do look at it. Most times a client says they found me by googling- it's thru Punchbowl.
I have gotten calls from wedding wire as well and I never called them back either. I figured if they were calling me, it was to sell me something.