Hello everyone, it's been a busy week with lots of emails and quotes going out, but managed to keep on top of the groups which I am admin on, but it does take a lot of my time up.
I have been hearing more and more about scammers in the industry and how a lot of brides are getting taken to the cleaners, so I decided to update the rules on the groups, but not everyone's happy about it, but as far as I am concerned my first priority has to be the brides who use the groups . I cannot give guarantees for all the suppliers, it's just impossible, so I do my best, so brides can make a reasonable decision if to contact the company they are interested in!
I believe if suppliers are reputable and legit then they should not have a problem with putting the basic, which are as follows:
1. Business Name
2. Business facebook link or website or both
3. A start from price for the products/service they are selling.
4. Their own original photo's
5. Contact Number
If you have the business name you can search for the company, if there is a facebook page you can see what their reviews are like, website is a bonus as not everyone has this. Start from price just gives an indication to brides if you are in their price range. ( this is more for the brides then suppliers I know).
I do understand that some suppliers will find it hard to estimate a starting from price, but they should have some basic tariff which they go by.
I just find it all so silly, it’s like suppliers don't want to get business, especially when they just show the deposit, what’s that all about, I would want to know what the deposit is but first I want to know their start from price./s
1. Individuals Names ( they don't have a facebook business name or a website).
2. The review button has been removed of a business page. (This could mean they have had some bad reviews)
3. Don't have a contact number. (An email is not enough)
4. Don't have original pictures of their work. (Means they may not have done what they say they have done)
4. Price is too good to be true, remember the old saying "you get what you pay for"
What should you be looking for, and what should you do?
You find a facebook page and you’re interested in their services / products, scroll down their page and have a good look. Look at their reviews, read what they have put about them, make sure they have a contact number, find out where they are located; you need to know this, will you be able to collect or will they have to post and will it be recorded delivery? Have a good look at the pictures of their work. Check other groups to see if and where they advertise look for comments from other people. Don’t leave it there, brides always comment on a group when they receive a product from a supplier; like stationary. Then go to their website have a good look around at that.. Some websites can look fantastic and straight away you think they must be good, not always the case, like me I have a website and yes I advertise all my work but I do build my own website but I’m still learning, so I may have some mistakes but I am honest about this on my facebook page, I’m not technical minded and get very frustrated with it but you can see from my facebook page all my reviews and yes I am quite happy for potential clients to speak to any of my past couples and I know they would be happy to confirm their reviews and what they have written about me and the service I provided.
Research done, what’s next?
So you done all your research, well as much as you can and the supplier looks great, but there is still no guarantee’s, you can only do so much, so at this stage send them a message on their facebook or use their contact form on their website,don't forget to google them aswell, as they should show up on a search engine, ask for a meeting if they are located near to you, like me I always offer an initial consultation, I would prefer for the potential client to meet me, as it gives me a better understanding of what the client needs are. You cannot beat old fashion body language. If they are not local then ask about delivery and how you receive your products and what’s the turnaround time and will they be sent recorded delivery? will a signature be required? If they are sending out byt 1st class mail what’s their procedure if not received in the time scale which was specified.
You place your order, what’s next?
Ask for an invoice which should show the following:
The name and address of the business including contact number and usually email address. Check the date on the invoice, make sure they have put the right month and year. Read through the summary of what you have ordered and what you will be receiving and the price is correct. Check if you have to pay the full amount straight away or just a deposit, usually if it's usually a deposit, most suppliers would ask for a 15-25% deposit and don't forget to ask when the balance is payable, usually this is not due until 1 month before your wedding date (I always issue an invoice and it always has all my information on, even more, I’m abit over the top, it has the clients names, contact number, address, email address, date of wedding, what time they are getting married and venue, as I said a bit over the top but it helps me.
P.S. Some suppliers will offer a reduced price if you pay in full, personal I see this as a red flag, and if you pay in full and something goes wrong, then that could be a lot of money you are losing. Always double check and make sure you are happy with this arrangement before paying any money!
Payment: How to pay?
I know there is a lot issues around this but people do it different ways, some will take paypal, some will use bank transfers and then some will use cash. The problem with paypal is that they can charge the supplier which has to come out of their profit, but you can be protected if something goes wrong; always check what your rights are. Then there is bank transfer and everyone says keep away from this, as it’s harder to get your money back if something does go wrong and yes it can be, but a lot of suppliers do use this method. Then there is the cash method, yes on the old occasion I have taken cash, which I hate doing, I don’t want all that money on me (it worries me carrying cash around with me especially as it’s a clients), but some companies are fine with this, just remember to get a receipt there and then even if it’s a hand written one, with a signature from the supplier and dated. Which way you pay is up to you, but you must feel comfortable with your decision, if you are not sure don’t do it!
I am not going to go in to this in this blog as it would take too long, and it’s already becoming a novel. If there is one, all I can say is read it carefully, if you are not happy with some of it, don’t be afraid to ask the supplier what it means, if still not sure, then again don’t do it!
Once you have received your service / product please do leave a review on the supplier’s facebook page or in a group that they advertise, maybe on a post just like the one you saw. If you are not happy with their service / product contact the supplier explain to them why you’re not happy and how can they resolve it for you. I could continue but feel this will have to be another blog about if the supplier does not resolve your concerns to a satisfactory outcome, and I don’t have the spare few hours, which it would take to continue.
At the end of the day if you are not sure, listen to your gut, it usually guides us right!!!
If this helps one bride from making a terrible mistake from booking a bad supplier, then it's done it's job and it was worth the long blog!!!
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