Crystal
Expert March 2010

Hiring from Craigslist

Crystal, on September 3, 2009 at 7:57 PM Posted in Planning 0 28
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What do you ladies think about hiring vendors off of craigslist? I have found a DJ, photographer, and videographer that I am interested in. But I am reluctant because I am affraid to be scammed.

28 Comments

Latest activity by SCheecks, on September 5, 2009 at 10:20 AM
  • Ricardo Blackett
    Ricardo Blackett ·
    • Flag

    I have booked weddings from CL and make sure you have contracts with your vendors and see if you can get reference from past brides...

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  • Catherine Black-Ward
    Catherine Black-Ward ·
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    Good reputable vendors often post on CL. However, be warned, the scammers ARE out there. Often though , you can get a good deal from a vendor that is just starting out and needs experience. Try to stick with vendors in your area, and actually meet with them (with a big burly friend) in a public place. Good Luck!

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  • cnmnfe44
    Expert January 2010
    cnmnfe44 ·
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    I dont know about vendors but I bought my dress off CL like everyone said ask for references.

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  • Ellie C
    Ellie C ·
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    There are scammers out there so make sure you do research. I myself post on craigslist. If they can't provide their full name there is a problem. I also work with vendors who post on craigslist. My best friend is google. Google their name of the company name or email address and see what you can find. Again be very careful about giving money and ALWAYS use credit card for security/safety reasons. As Rev. Catherine stated, make sure you meet with them in person. Most importantly trust your instincts!

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  • Kristy Sowders
    Kristy Sowders ·
    • Flag

    I agree with Pocket Friendly Weddings, be very careful because there are scammers out there. Ask for references, their full names, and see if they have a website and if they are registered with any other organizations (like wedding wire, etc.) I also post on craigslist so there are real companies but just be careful and do your research with them. Also try to meet with them at their place of business or if they work out of their home try to meet with them there. This way if something does go wrong you know where to locate them. Good luck

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  • Heather Norwood
    Heather Norwood ·
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    I book events from CL but I agree you should always ask for references and google check them.

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  • naynay79
    Super January 2010
    naynay79 ·
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    I have been leerier of hiring someone off of cl however you can find some great people on there. Like everyone else do you research first before you hire anyone no matter where you find them.

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  • Adriana
    Expert September 2009
    Adriana ·
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    I booked most of my vendors on craigs list great prices and I got contracts with all of them!

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  • Mrs shdvl
    Master July 2012
    Mrs shdvl ·
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    I think Craigs list is an advertising tool. Scammers can set up websites, telephone numbers even business offices. I think all people buying services need solid contracts, contact numbers and references when it comes to services completed. I personally might use it when it gets closer to find vendors. I also might not depends on what we finally decide on.

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  • Brian Noah
    Brian Noah ·
    • Flag

    I actually post through craigslist regularly...

    I would strongly suggest making sure the quality of their work matches up to their price. for example look at the photographer's ad or website. If the quality of the photos in the gallery section don't match the quality of the site, there's something fishy there. if they are really cheap and the quality of their work is superb they might be stealing other people's work to make it look like their own.

    Askyour photographer to explain how aperture works, what is shutter speed. white balance, what lenses the use(if they use lenses with a higher number than f/2.8 be wary of them.) The standard lenses in most professional photographer's tool kit are the 24-70 f/2.8, 70-200 f/2.8(f/4.0 is ok) and a 50 1.8 If they don't have these lenses ask them to explain why they don't. most likely they are just new and don't have the experience. Nothing wrong with that, but do you want someone with little experience to be in charge of capturing your day?

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  • Matt Potvin
    Matt Potvin ·
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    I think that it really depends on your market. You're not terribly far from me, and you'd probably get some of the Philly market which might not be too bad. I got my first couple of gigs on craigslist. The problem is that brides are looking at $$ first and quality second in my area. I can't compete with the $200-$500 "photographers." That isn't my target bride & groom. I'd prefer to shoot less weddings at a higher price than burn out and put out a lower quality wedding at a lower price. After all my name is tied to my work.

    You do get what you pay for. Many times they are fly by night individuals. No insurance - what happens if they knock down a candle in the church and set something on fire? No business "liability" do they care about your images two months down the road? What if YOU have a fire and lose everything? My images are backed up in three places at my house and off site.

    As Noah said, the lenses a professional photographer use, aren't cheap.

    ..cont...

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  • Matt Potvin
    Matt Potvin ·
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    I also ran into someone looking to second shoot for me through CL. Since I aim for one wedding a month, I wasn't giving them enough opportunity, so they just went out on her own, started advertising with shoulder surfed shots on the website, called themself a photographer. Goal now for them is the low budget stuff. I've seen the work and am appalled. Nail in the coffin was one day I get an email saying the camera switched itself to ISO 1600 (for shooting in dark conditions) and how could the images be fixed.

    I was asked one day to beat a $100 bid on a wedding. That would put me working at around $2/hr. I asked how much she makes, and if she'd work for that much. That was the last time I advertised on CL.

    Check to see if they are a registered business. That would give a bit more peace of mind to alleviate the flight risk.

    Can't remember where I read this quote, but it is so true: If you think hiring a professional is expensive, wait until you hire an amateur!

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  • Matt Potvin
    Matt Potvin ·
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    Oh my gosh I forgot the most important thing!

    MAKE SURE THEY HAVE BACKUPS TO THEIR GEAR!

    I take 3 bodies to every wedding, and when my assistant is there, we have 6. We have backup lenses to cover all focal lengths should something happen to a lens. The one time I had a camera failure was mid-ceremony, no problem since I've got two on me at all times. Ironically my buddy had his fail later that night as well. There is no holding up your hand as a photographer asking them to hold the service.

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  • Crystal
    Expert March 2010
    Crystal ·
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    Thanks for all the great advice!

    • Reply
  • Lisa & Brian
    Dedicated November 2009
    Lisa & Brian ·
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    I'm a huge fan of Craigslist. On their website everyday actually. Adopted one of my cats off there, bought furniture, sold furniture and have found some of my vendors off there for my wedding. Before I signed anything, I made sure that they not only give me references or portfolios but I got to see things firsthand. I was able to pop in to a wedding where the dj was performing...for flowers, I showed them photos of what I was looking for but then they actually created my bouquet and a bridesmaid bouquet so I could approve it....and for hair and makeup, the trial is free.

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  • wonderful moment
    Master March 2010
    wonderful moment ·
    • Flag

    I had found some too. First I make sure they have an website that I can check out, then I will call them directly or visit their store. That way you will be safe.

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  • ivicphotography
    ivicphotography ·
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    CraigsList, like anything else, is a great tool to have when looking for vendors. We have ads posted on CL and have booked from there. We prefer meeting with clients in person, at a local coffee shop or bookstore cafe, to discuss their ideas and needs. It gives us the opportunity to show our portfolio and if we are a 'good fit'. We carry 4 cameras, a multitude of lenses & a zillion backups of everything else too. Is your vendor insured? Do they have a solid contract? Can they give referrals? Do they mind working with videographers? All good things to ask. We just shot a last minute wedding for a panicked couple whose photographer couldn't come shoot because his camera broke!! No professional photog only owns 1 camera.

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  • Kari95630
    Expert October 2009
    Kari95630 ·
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    I found my florist on CL! Couldn't be happier!

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  • MrsDevine
    Master August 2010
    MrsDevine ·
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    Yeah get contracts, and ask them to meet up with you and show you some examples of their work. if they refuse, or dont show, then they probably dont have any real credentials...

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  • Arlene Benge
    Arlene Benge ·
    • Flag

    My husband is an ordained minister and advertises on CL....mainly because its FREE and we just re-do the ad once a week because its only good for a week in our area. We've gotten several calls from it, we have references from other weddings we have done and so far everyone seems happy.

    We do customized ceremonies and afterwards the bride and groom get their ceremony in a book as a keepsake. I put verything in page protectors and add a couple blanks for their certificate after the wedding so they have a safe place to put it until after they get home and get a frame for it.

    Unfortunately, we can't afford large ads in the paper and in magazines at this time, and he's looking to permanently retire at 65, so we only have two more years....CL has been a big help to us.

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