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Bartering with clients

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  • Bartering with clients

    So, I bartered with a client who's husband is in the meat biz. 20-25 lbs of raw bones for their smooth dachshund's bath, which he gets once a month. I'd bought a few stew bones in the store and thought this was a good deal. The first time the bones were fantastic...all sizes and lots of meat. The second time, the box, which was labeled from a local butcher shop (not theirs), contained pretty much 4" marrow bones. I called and inquired about their dog bone prices. I was surprised at how cheap they were....and surprised that the cost of the bones was 20% the cost of the groom. I feel cheated, although I keep trying to talk myself into believing it's still a fair trade considering I'd have to drive to the butcher and back which would take an hour. Anyhow, now I don't want to trade again, but feel awkward as to how to tell her "Thanks, but No Thanks" next time. Am I justified in my feelings? Any suggestions? Thanks.

  • #2
    It's hard to barter and make it fair for both parties involved. I would just say that you can't afford it....

    I've bartered in the past and usually ended up on the losing end myself so I stopped doing it. I get tempted to at times especially when I look around my dirty house and know that I groom a dog whose mom owns her own cleaning business.
    ~*~*~Shawn, C.M.G.~*~*~
    Apparently common sense isn't all that common
    *~*~emipoo on egroomer*~*~*

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    • #3
      i would simply tell them the last box you received didn't MEAT your expectations and that the others you got were FANTASTIC, but you thought they ought to know that there must have been a mix up in what they sent you.

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      • #4
        Seems like everytime I barter I end up with the short end of the deal. I do not do it anymore. I still have clients who try, I just tell them I am not comfortable doing that. I would rather exchange money.
        So I don't think you are wrong to feel cheated.
        Tell them your dog has been diagnosed with something that it cannot eat the raw bones anymore. Just a white lie...

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        • #5
          I barter with my hairdresser and allways feel like I owe her!

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          • #6
            One of the reasons we bought our facility was because of my husband's sister - she found it for us and she and her husband run a successful upscale restaurant near us. Her husband mentioned bartering, but my husband and I discussed it and figured it wouldn't work. We don't go out to eat very often (maybe 6-7 times a year), and we usually go their restaurant. But we figured at $60 a crack for the two of us - $420/year, and if our kids and spouses come, we pick up the bill - we probably spend about $900/year there. It wouldn't be any where near what they spend here: 4 times a year to groom their Shih Tzu ($140) and they might go on vacation once a year and board their two dogs here - maybe $200. Plus that, when one is dealing with family, it's best not to let finances interfere. One party usually feels cheated.

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            • #7
              To make a barter work you MUST both put a value on the service. I would suggest for a $50 groom you get $50 worth of ... . The best way to achieve this is "issue bills", have them give you a bill and you give a bill, keep a running total.

              I would tell them for "Tax Purposes" you need to do a bill and can still barter just what ever you buy also needs a bill. Keep the bills detailed.

              Remember, they may feel it is equal because they think your labor is free and they are using their money to get the bones, by creating a bill you are showing your value and worth.

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              • #8
                Most of the time

                when we barter,we do seem to get the short end of the stick, the only time it worked out for me was when I bartered my grooming services for a tattoo ,it's permanent and their dogs hair grew back. Only did it twice with them,then they moved. I guess I've got enough tattoo's anyhow

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                • #9
                  We have a few really great clients.. one a union electrician, another is in union heating/cooling, another is a professional sign business etc... What we have done is simple and it may help you.. WHEN you need to, you can barter, but when you dont need to... dont. We set it up like this so both sides feel all is fair. We get our heat/AC checked & cleaned ( I think it is twice a year and I certainly dont want to climb on top of our building!) the electrician has come in a few times to 'fix' stuff, the sign guy... well we have some awesome signs.

                  My favorites from years back - a mechanic (harley mechanic that is) worked on re-building my bike...flooring company - floors professionally done twice a yr....I have traded for tat's, cleaning, mechanical, general building stuff etc etc etc...

                  So long as both parties know... it can be a great deal... never fails, something breaks down and all I have to do is call whoever... we schedule it for x amount of grooms.. done!

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                  • #10
                    Bartering

                    I barter with one client for my hair cuts. Her little schnauzer is an easy groom, my hair is a short style. I feel this is equal. I offered this to her initially. She refused until she was comfortable with my work and the happy attitude of the dog. (fair enough). She has a nice upscale salon that I may not be able to afford on a regular basis. I am happy with our arrangement! Ocassionally the dog is due before I am ready for a hair cut. she has always offered to pay me if I'd rather have the $$. I feel she is a fair and honest business person, as well as someone who values me and my time!


                    sittingpretty

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                    • #11
                      There's actually a bartering website (darned if I can remember the name of it now) that a groomer friend of mine used to post her services on. It was interesting because, when you sign up, you set a 'points value' for the services you're offering. So people who are also members of the website set up an appointment with you and when they confirm you came through you get your points. Those points can then be spent on the services of other people on the site. For instance my friend mostly traded her points in for massages.

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                      • #12
                        This is why I don't barter- someone seems to always feel cheated. Real money is great because everyone understands it.
                        The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit. ~Nelson Henderson

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                        • #13
                          I have bartered with good outcomes. I had a collectors numbered print matted and framed in exchange for a corgi's groomings. He was already a client, so when I took the print in for framing, the owner gave me an estimate and I groomed him at no charge until we reached the point of having their bill paid off. Then they went back to paying. I paid my website designer to make my website, however we exchange services for my monthly website fee. She is getting a little bit of a better deal than I am, but I'm o.k. with it.
                          Lisa VanVleet, RVT

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                          • #14
                            I barter with my chiropractor. I groom his two bichons that cost $xx and he credits my account the same number of dollars.

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                            • #15
                              I bartered today. I did a chow shave down today in exchange for some exhaust work on my truck. Had both tail pipes replaced with new exhaust tips, hangers and all welded back into place. Dollar for dollar trade......worked for me. We was out material and labor, same as I.

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