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Party Planner Wants A Contract. - Page 2

post #16 of 36

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.  

post #17 of 36
I recommend doing a google search for your private email address, it may not be as private as you think.
post #18 of 36

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.

post #19 of 36
I 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.
elsewhere.
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elsewhere.
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post #20 of 36
The 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.
post #21 of 36

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. 

Beginners, be sure to parrot advice and get your post count up as fast as you can. After all, it's not what you know, it's what people THINK you know.
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Beginners, be sure to parrot advice and get your post count up as fast as you can. After all, it's not what you know, it's what people THINK you know.
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post #22 of 36

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.
 

"Taste your words before you feed them to people."
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"Taste your words before you feed them to people."
www.sugaredsaffron.co.uk
www.facebook.com/SugaredSaffron
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post #23 of 36
The 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...
post #24 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by SugaredSaffron View Post

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

one baker's never ever do is the next baker's 'i swear by this'
 
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one baker's never ever do is the next baker's 'i swear by this'
 
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post #25 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by SugaredSaffron View Post

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.

post #26 of 36

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.

post #27 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by ellavanilla View Post

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

I second that!! It is a sales commission!

post #28 of 36

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.

post #29 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by jgifford View Post

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.

Great suggestion...talk to the other vendors and see what he is all about..read the contract over and over again..if you are interested in going this route you can sit down with him and make changes to the contract.. I do not think I would ever take this route but that is just me... he does not sound shady but it sounds like you will have to go over the contract with a fine tooth comb before signing or agreeing to everything.. will you get a commission if you recomend someone to him , maybe put that in there.

 

but this is something you really really have to sit and think about the pros and cons..ask his other vendors.

 

goodluck

post #30 of 36

I don't think a referral fee is an immediate turn off if the party planner brings you a large amount of work. This is fairly common in several different service industries. But I would not let them dictate the terms, I would make sure the contract was beneficial to both parties. I would not be shy amount asking them to change the terms to ones that you are comfortable with.

 

Apart from the 'fee' they are asking this does seem suspicious on several other different levels. Like the fact that they want a contract before they have ever met you and tried your products. Also, they have already stated that they have several other vendors with this arrangement, so if they have other cake vendors then they are not really going to be bringing you much work, if any at all. (they may have other vendors, but are trying to get a bigger percentage from you?) Or they may not have any contracts and are saying they do to try and make it sound more legit. 

 

If you do meet with them make sure you ask for references both from vendors they have worked with and brides. I would also suggest bringing someone with you to meet with this vendor, so you can get a better read on them. (if they are caught off guard by you bringing someone else you can see how they deal with unexpected change, which for a wedding planner is a must! they need to be calm and cool under pressure.)

 

If you like them, and their references check out, and the contract seems okay the last thing you NEED to do is have a lawyer look over the contract and make sure it protects both you and them. Also, there should be nothing in the contract stating you will work exclusively for them as there is no guarantee they will bring you business. Good luck!

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