Kickbacks to Wedding Planners?

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by haring, Aug 27, 2010.

  1. haring

    haring TPF Noob!

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    I have had some experience when wedding planners expressed their desire to receive kickbacks from me, the wedding photographer. I am kind of hesitant to give kickbacks because brides should hire me based of my wedding photos rather than on how well I "bribe" wedding planners.

    (I refer to kickbacks, or commissions as they are more commonly referred to,which are often paid by the vendor to the planner for the "privilege" of getting to work with them. Most often, the vendor will pay it because it essentially guarantees that the planner will continually refer them and send future business their way. )

    What is your experience? I find it a little bit unethical. Have you ever given kickbacks to wedding planners? How do you deal with these situations?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Referral bonuses to wedding planners, florists, and wedding dress vendors are a way of life. It's a good way to get referrals. Planners, florists, and wedding dress stores are in a position to channel many,many clients to you.
     
  3. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    If you can and do get all the bookings you want, without the help of these refferals, then don't pay if you don't want to.

    But if you could use more business, then this is certainly a viable option. Think of it as spending your marketing budget in a different way...and you don't have to do any of the leg work.

    If the money bothers you, then just raise your prices to cover the fee.

    I don't have such a relationship with any wedding planners or venues...but I wouldn't mind if I did. I do have a verbal agreement with a few photographers where they refer potential clients to me and I give them a fee if I book them. I think that's fair because they spend a lot of money on marketing, which brings in those clients in the first place.
     
  4. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Hehe. Maybe I flatter myself, but it will be a cold day in hell before I ever do that. If anything, they should be thankful I allow them to even approach me.

    I've sent more than one of 'em packing.

    Planners and DJs... most of them nothing but a nuisance to me.

    -Pete
     
  5. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    In other types of business, people can (and do) go to jail for paying/accepting kickbacks, whatever they are euphemistically called.

    What is different about photography that seemingly makes it acceptable, and a "way of life", to quote Derrel?

    From Dictionary.com: Note: My bold and underlining.
    kick·back
       /ˈkɪkˌbæk/ [​IMG] Show Spelled[kik-bak] [​IMG] Show IPA
    –noun 1. a percentage of income given to a person in a position of power or influence as payment for having made the income possible: usually considered improper or unethical.

    2. a rebate, usually given secretively by a seller to a buyer or to one who influenced the buyer.

    3. the practice of an employer or a person in a supervisory position of taking back a portion of the wages due workers.

    4. a response, usually vigorous.

    5. a sudden, uncontrolled movement of a machine, tool, or other device, as on starting or in striking an obstruction: A kickback from a chain saw can be dangerous.
     
  6. newimage

    newimage TPF Noob!

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    Looked at your site. Your obviously not in the position where you have to reply on the recommendations. Your perfectly capable of marketing it in yourself. So I would say yes you will get a kickback but there's a catch. For example, they have to bring you at least 3 $5000 wedding jobs a month or something like that and my kickback aint gonna be that much LOL
     
  7. njw1224

    njw1224 TPF Noob!

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    A good experienced wedding planner shouldn't and wouldn't ask you to give them money. It may not be outright unethical, but it's double-dipping for sure. They are paid by the wedding couple to know the wedding market and refer qualified professionals. So they've already been paid for the referral. If they ask you to pay them too, that's slimy & greedy. It also speaks to how low their standards are - because a good wedding planner should be referring quality leads to their brides, not just selling out to the highest bidder, regardless of the bidder's quality. So the planner is obviously out to make a buck, not provide the best possible leads to his/her clients.
     
  8. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Ya know... they're not always the first in.

    I've had planners approach me asking for referrals. Somehow I usually "loose" their card before I get back to the studio.

    -Pete
     
  9. Flash Harry

    Flash Harry TPF Noob!

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    Totally agree, imo these people are the true parasite at weddings, give them sweet FA. H
     
  10. DanEitreim

    DanEitreim TPF Noob!

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    I agree that an ethical planner, DJ etc, won't and shouldn't ask for a kickback. But, on the other hand, not all of them are good. If they've already been hired by the couple, you aren't lowering the wedding standards by getting the job. If you need the work, let them get it for you.
     

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