Not Sure If I'm Being Petty...advice Please

Business By Tinabarena Updated 2 Jul 2010 , 4:12am by theonlynameleft

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Tinabarena Posted 1 Jul 2010 , 8:52pm
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I have a problem/concern that I thought I could get feedback from you guys (such wonderful advice given in so many other areas!)

Sorry if this is long, I'll try to keep it short. I recently created at business doing cakes and also other desserts like chocolate covered items/treats. To help promote my new business, I participate as a vendor in a bi-weekly Quarter Mania (not sure if anyone outside my area has heard of that). Anyway, it's just an event where a bunch of vendors get together and basically raffle off baskets of their product to the public. It is a great way to get business and spread the word, at the same time as earning some extra cash. At each event, I auction 5 baskets which include a fully decorated 8 cake and a bunch of the chocolate covered items. I also have a table in which I sell all the chocolate covered items.

Anyway, I've been doing this event once a month for a while. Now another vendor - who sells the same stuff that I do (just the chocolate covered items, not the cakes) has caused a stir because she wants to be a vendor on the same night that I am a vendor. The woman who runs the QM is a good friend of mine. Her partner (who is friends with the new vendor) is arguing that the new vendor and I should auction our baskets off on the same night.

Bottom line, I dont think it makes any business sense for me to continue doing the QMs. Why would I want to sell the same product as another vendor - we would BOTH lose money on the night, and as you all know, preparing for these kinds of things are costly and very time consuming. I dont feel it is worth my time or energy to participate when I am not going to get a return on it.

My friend is now angry with me because she is losing a vendor in addition to the people I would bring to the event (which ultimately earns her money). Am I just being petty by pulling out? I dont feel that I am and that I am making a business decision, but Im not sure. Any advice, suggestions would be great.

(again, sorry for it being long)

8 replies
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dldbrou Posted 1 Jul 2010 , 9:30pm
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Why do you think you are being petty?

You are making a very smart business decision that your friend does not comprehend. She does not realize the time and money that you are putting into the event and having it shortchanged by another vendor.

If you are bringing in enough people to cause her a loss, then she needs to understand your concerns and stand by you.

She needs to tell her partner that you had the night first and when you decide to give up that night, then she can offer it to another vendor.

Do not cave in because of pressure from her or the other vendor. You are in it for the exposure and the money so why should you compromise either one.

Good Luck.

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jillmakescakes Posted 1 Jul 2010 , 9:31pm
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This isn't a question of being petty or not. This is a question of what is best for your business. Make this decision based on that and not your friendship with the event planner/coordinator. If the numbers don't make sense, then yes, pull out. If it makes good marketing/financial sense to continue, than stay in.

I know that isn't horribly helpful, however I was just hoping to provide a little perspective icon_smile.gif

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BlakesCakes Posted 1 Jul 2010 , 9:49pm
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What you're saying makes perfect sense. Given that there are other nights, why generate unnecessary competition and losses on any of them?

I can't imagine why the other vendor would want to go head to head, either, unless she has some sick need for competition.

Stick to your guns on this one. Nothing would be worse than going to one of these and COSTING yourself money!


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Montrealconfections Posted 1 Jul 2010 , 9:50pm
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Obviously it doesn't make sense for 2 vendors to be selling the same thing, I don't see why "you" are walking away you were there first fight for your spot and if you friend is really your friend she'll also fight for you. How is it that this new person can just walk in and take your spot. If you want to continue doing this fight for what is yours!

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myslady Posted 1 Jul 2010 , 10:09pm
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Why leave at the first sign of competition. Stand behind your product.

Although you know the coordinator, it isn't realistic to not expect some sort of competition unless there was some prior agreement in place. If it doesn't work out financially for you then change your plan, switch your date just do what's best for you.

The best example is a state or fair: think about how many vendors are selling the same things and how their lines are equally the same length.

You just have to showcase your product and appeal to the buyers/customers more than the other vendor.

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Doug Posted 1 Jul 2010 , 10:16pm
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1. you do cakes and other vendor doesn't. So, you do cakes only and the chocolate items become something you upsell separately. Have cupcakes for quick sale.

2. Bluntly tell friend and other coordinator -- you want me to stay, sign this NON-compete clause. I'm the exclusive vendor for cakes and chocolate items.

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Tinabarena Posted 2 Jul 2010 , 1:58am
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Thanks for all your replies! I don't know why I was so quick to back down. I chalk it up to me being new to the business so I am not entirely confident yet. This other vendor is very good and I have to give her props when they are due.

I am going to stick to my guns. It's a toss up at this event - 2 events I made money and 2 events I broke even, which is a loss to me since it doesn't account for my time. I found another location that holds the QMs so I am going to check her out and probably try an event. See how it goes. The bonus is that it is in an entirely different area, so I would be reaching a whole new group of people.

Thanks guys!

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theonlynameleft Posted 2 Jul 2010 , 4:12am
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Originally Posted by jillmakescakes

This isn't a question of being petty or not. This is a question of what is best for your business. Make this decision based on that and not your friendship with the event planner/coordinator. If the numbers don't make sense, then yes, pull out. If it makes good marketing/financial sense to continue, than stay in.

I totally agree with "jilmakescakes". At the end of the day if this is the way they choose to run the QM ie; having multiple vendors that are offering similar services, that is their perogative. However. it is up to you to make decisions that you believe are in the best interests of your business, whether that means continuing or pulling out.

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