Q&A :: “Finders Fee”

The Question:

My friend was responsible for bringing in a referral for a wedding that we booked. He asked if he got a “Finders Fee”. Does anyone pay any type of incentive to people who bring in weddings, if so, what. And if you pay a percentage what percent is common?
Designer in California

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The Answers:

Different communities handle this differently as far as I understand. Kickbacks and finders fees are not standard practice where I am (Oregon). For my friends in the industry, I try to reciprocate with well-matched referrals or help out with photo shoot flowers or something similar. For friends not in the business, I say thanks with gifts, usually a restaurant or spa gift card or a bottle of their favorite spirit. Nobody has ever asked me for a finder’s fee though, and I feel like that would be bad form!

anastasia ehlers, Oregon

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There is no such thing as finders fee unless you are selling real estate. If someone sends you a referral it’s because they appreciate your work, think that what you do is amazing, love doing business with you, know you will handle that person with kid gloves and make them happy. OR that you will be paying them a so called finders fee….. or a referral fee, or what it really should be called a kickback. If you really want to know most people pay 10% of the total amount. So if they spent $200 then you would pay then $20. But in reality you would have to increase your price by $20 in order to keep your profit margin intact. We all know that margins in the floral industry are already pretty tight as it is because so many things can go wrong in floral. I live in a town that many before me expect that, and ask for it without batting an eye. It has gotten so bad that a lot of the venues ask for 10% from the florist, the caterer, the rental company and even the entertainer. So as you can imagine in the end the client ends up paying that 10% finders fee in additional costs that they never even knew they were paying and in the end they are either getting a lesser amount of flowers, food, service, one less musician, etc.

My advice to you, don’t do it. Don’t open the door to it. If one vendor does it, the venue/planner/caterer will expect it and it will become the norm as it is in my town.

anonymous, Illinois

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Paying a finders FEE – NO way. I would never pay someone a fee to send someone to me. My venues are always good about sending brides my way. BUT, I have built a great relationship with them, too. I also send a nice gift card to anyone who is sending me business. Its shows I am thankful.

Tracy of Park Place Design, Michigan

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If it is a colleague or business associate, maybe a nice floral arrangement would be in order.
Laurie of Fleurie, California

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If a friend refers a wedding I will drop off extra flowers to them as a thank you.
Jane of Budget Blooms, British Columbia

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I recommend other vendors all of the time–planners, music, cake makers, lighting, officiates, etc. And only vendors that I know are good, reliable, etc. I only ask the bride to tell the vendor who did the recommending. I do not expect any finder’s fee. Nor do I pay a finder’s fee when I am recommended.
Kitty of Jubilee Flowers, Alabama

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I never pay a finder’s fee. If this person is really a friend, then they would want you to succeed and sending business your way is something a true friend would do. When a friend sends a piece of business my way, I thank them with words, flowers and perhaps take them to dinner.

Melody of Fleurish Floral Designs, California

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Comments

  1. In Rome, Italy, where I have my business, sadly, its very common to add a finders fee. People, especially vendors in the business request a 10% commission it in a form of “contract” and what usually happens is that by the time the clients receive the budget there may have been 3-5 folds of these 10% commissions added on! The worst of all are some of the Priest, if you dont give them a cut, you dont get to decorated “their” churches! I personally never accept nor request money, commission, add-ons, and like most of you mentioned I would just return the favour by referring them to my clients. Only last week a colleague passed a job over my way and asked for a 10% add on, the Villa where the wedding was being held asked for a further 10% . By the time I finished the budget for this small wedding was so high that I would have ended up as the bad guy! so I just made some excuses and refused the job. Thank you for you invaluable posts…

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