Family expecting “comps”

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SunDevil
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Family expecting “comps”

Post by SunDevil » Sun Feb 11, 2018 11:46 am

We have a small business and serve the general public. Friends and family occasionally come as customers and our policy has been to charge them if they come up to the register, but we usually give a discount or extra freebies as a favor. Well, we had an immediate family member come to the register yesterday, and they were charged regular price (under $30) but we gave them $15 worth extra. We assumed they would want to pay because they also have a business and we always pay if we use their services (at a friend rate). This morning they sent a nasty message saying that they can’t believe we would charge immediate family members. We offered a refund and they then said the money is not the issue but it is the principle. I think that there must be some resentment because we are fairly well off, although they are certainly not poor. Are we wrong to charge immediate family? If so, where is the dividing line between who should get freebies and who shouldn’t?

btenny
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Re: Family expecting “comps”

Post by btenny » Sun Feb 11, 2018 11:53 am

It sounds like your family members are being unreasonable. Some people are just difficult. I suggest you discuss it with some other family members like your Mom or Dad or old uncle or aunt. Then let them tell you how they see it. See if they have ideas. Then maybe they can use some "back door talk or rumor" to get this difficult family member to stop this crazy behavior.

Another Sun Devil here. Good Luck.

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Sandtrap
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Re: Family expecting “comps”

Post by Sandtrap » Sun Feb 11, 2018 11:58 am

Interesting. . . to be so easily offended. . . without mentioning it first. . .perhaps a misunderstanding. . and then quick to pass judgement with a "nasty message". Yes. an expression of "resentment" as you sense, perhaps entitlement to your riches.
Things like this reveal character, perhaps.

As it is "your business", the burden is on others to not take advantage of you, to reciprocate, to be appreciative. Your concern shows good character. The obliviousness of others does not.

It is said that one tiny action or expression reveals the entirety of one's character/person.
You can attempt to make amends, but it will not change the underlying issues, the path other's choose to take.
j :D
Last edited by Sandtrap on Sun Feb 11, 2018 12:05 pm, edited 4 times in total.

NYCguy
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Re: Family expecting “comps”

Post by NYCguy » Sun Feb 11, 2018 12:01 pm

The nerve of people! They choose to come into your business and then expect you to comp them? And then when you don’t they get up in your grill about it? It sounds like you have been more than generous.

Unfortunately I think you need to move on from these “family members“.
If your out-go is greater than your income, your upkeep will be your DOWNFALL.

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dm200
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Re: Family expecting “comps”

Post by dm200 » Sun Feb 11, 2018 12:02 pm

SunDevil wrote:
Sun Feb 11, 2018 11:46 am
We have a small business and serve the general public. Friends and family occasionally come as customers and our policy has been to charge them if they come up to the register, but we usually give a discount or extra freebies as a favor. Well, we had an immediate family member come to the register yesterday, and they were charged regular price (under $30) but we gave them $15 worth extra. We assumed they would want to pay because they also have a business and we always pay if we use their services (at a friend rate). This morning they sent a nasty message saying that they can’t believe we would charge immediate family members. We offered a refund and they then said the money is not the issue but it is the principle. I think that there must be some resentment because we are fairly well off, although they are certainly not poor. Are we wrong to charge immediate family? If so, where is the dividing line between who should get freebies and who shouldn’t?
Might there be something else going on? On the surface, seems you were more than "fair".

Pacman
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Re: Family expecting “comps”

Post by Pacman » Sun Feb 11, 2018 12:02 pm

Assuming you're not telling family members: "come on by! We'll take care of you" - then yes they are being unreasonable.

gtd98765
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Re: Family expecting “comps”

Post by gtd98765 » Sun Feb 11, 2018 12:04 pm

I think you were very generous giving a discount. I would never expect a family member to give me something from his business for free. It's not really any different from expecting you to give them cash when they ask.

Dottie57
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Re: Family expecting “comps”

Post by Dottie57 » Sun Feb 11, 2018 12:07 pm

I would.do business with a family member to help thwm with their business. I would expect to pay full price. I

If the value isn't there,wouldn't rdo further business.

tibbitts
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Re: Family expecting “comps”

Post by tibbitts » Sun Feb 11, 2018 12:09 pm

I don't understand the giving extra idea. If you're buying bananas, there are only so many bananas you can eat before they go bad. Even if you're buying hardware, if you end up with with 50% more nuts and bolts than you need, that's not useful.

Since you get a discount at their business maybe you should have just done the same, but it sounds like they wanted items for free and that doesn't make sense.

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Pajamas
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Re: Family expecting “comps”

Post by Pajamas » Sun Feb 11, 2018 12:14 pm

It is unreasonable for them to expect you to give them things for free, period.

In general, it would be generous of you to offer any discount and especially generous of you to offer them goods at marginal cost.

It would be reasonable for them to expect a friends and family discount since they have offered you one in the past.

It is not only unreasonable but also hypocritical of them to expect you to give them things free because they only offer you a discount rather than free goods. If you want to offer them a gift, that's fine, but for them to ask for one is rude. A discount might be considered a gift whether it is full or partial.

You are assuming that this is because they think you are well off, but that may not be what they are thinking.

Personally, I would not accept free goods of any but nominal value from a relative's business without at least insisting on paying the cost.

stan1
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Re: Family expecting “comps”

Post by stan1 » Sun Feb 11, 2018 12:17 pm

Family drama. Maybe there are some other underlying tensions? Seems doubtful this would have exploded all of the sudden if there's been a standard practice between your businesses for years.

Lafder
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Re: Family expecting “comps”

Post by Lafder » Sun Feb 11, 2018 12:18 pm

I used to give a discount to friends and family. But......it got complicated.

As long as you are consistent, you are in the right. What could be hard is if some family get "free" and others find out.

lafder

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happyisland
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Re: Family expecting “comps”

Post by happyisland » Sun Feb 11, 2018 12:23 pm

I have a small business that is popular with my close friends and family. A while back I decided to just charge them cost price for anything they wanted from us (and tell them that). Seems to keep everyone happy.
The OP's family sounds like they might have other reasons that are more important for the resentment, as hinted in the thread above.

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whodidntante
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Re: Family expecting “comps”

Post by whodidntante » Sun Feb 11, 2018 12:24 pm

It sounds like a problem of managing expectations. If it's a high margin business you could be generous if you want. But I'm not going to pay family $30 to visit me. Some people will always find something to be upset about.

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Doom&Gloom
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Re: Family expecting “comps”

Post by Doom&Gloom » Sun Feb 11, 2018 12:26 pm

If someone says "It's not about the money," it is about the money.

I have found that some relatives are worth spending less time with--for a wide variety of reasons. YMMV.

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midareff
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Re: Family expecting “comps”

Post by midareff » Sun Feb 11, 2018 12:26 pm

Sandtrap wrote:
Sun Feb 11, 2018 11:58 am
Interesting. . . to be so easily offended. . . without mentioning it first. . .perhaps a misunderstanding. . and then quick to pass judgement with a "nasty message". Yes. an expression of "resentment" as you sense, perhaps entitlement to your riches.
Things like this reveal character, perhaps.

As it is "your business", the burden is on others to not take advantage of you, to reciprocate, to be appreciative. Your concern shows good character. The obliviousness of others does not.

It is said that one tiny action or expression reveals the entirety of one's character/person.
You can attempt to make amends, but it will not change the underlying issues, the path other's choose to take.
j :D
Wise words IMHO.

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KlingKlang
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Re: Family expecting “comps”

Post by KlingKlang » Sun Feb 11, 2018 12:33 pm

Just wanted to point out that when you give family and friends freebies or discounts at your business you have to charge your other customers more to make up for it.

It's probably better policy to send them gift certificates or discount vouchers as gifts and then process everything at the store the same as for any other customer.

essbeer
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Re: Family expecting “comps”

Post by essbeer » Sun Feb 11, 2018 12:42 pm

Is there a chance that the "friend rate" they give you completely eliminates their profit, but they perceive your business to be higher margin and think you still made a little money off them even after the discount?

Jack FFR1846
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Re: Family expecting “comps”

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Sun Feb 11, 2018 1:17 pm

You don't say what their business is, but if they sold cars, would you expect them to just give you a car? Or a power equipment store, would they give you a free snowblower? Of course not. But if they come in 20 times during the year, at $45 a visit (including the extras), they're taking $900 out of your cash register.
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Jags4186
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Re: Family expecting “comps”

Post by Jags4186 » Sun Feb 11, 2018 1:21 pm

Pretty simple. Stop giving discounts to family members.

michaeljc70
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Re: Family expecting “comps”

Post by michaeljc70 » Sun Feb 11, 2018 1:33 pm

It seems not having a real policy has caused confusion. Sometimes you give them extra stuff, sometimes a discount, etc. I would just make it a straight % off that they (you can define they) get every time so there won't be any confusion and every family member gets the same discount.

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jimmyq
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Re: Family expecting “comps”

Post by jimmyq » Sun Feb 11, 2018 1:41 pm

I remember similar discussions when I was looking into becoming a piano tuner many years ago (never happened, but it intrigued me at the time). Friends and family will sometimes have the expectation that you will give them a free or almost free tuning. But this is basically charity unless you are getting something in return (something more than just gratitude). Gratitude is great, but won't put food on the table. So the consensus among tuners was that the best way to deal with this was to charge family and friends the same reasonable rate you would charge another customer, and hopefully they will be happy to support you in your career choice.

SunDevil
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Re: Family expecting “comps”

Post by SunDevil » Sun Feb 11, 2018 1:50 pm

michaeljc70 wrote:
Sun Feb 11, 2018 1:33 pm
It seems not having a real policy has caused confusion. Sometimes you give them extra stuff, sometimes a discount, etc. I would just make it a straight % off that they (you can define they) get every time so there won't be any confusion and every family member gets the same discount.
Great advice. I guess we have to explicitly tell all family what our policy will be. When this incident occurred, we were training a new, non-family member cashier and we don’t want her to think it’s okay to casually give discounts. We tried to explain this to our angry family member. I don’t mind giving some sort of family discount, but it is easier to give free food or drinks (our business) than it is to ask a new cashier not to charge people.

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Sandtrap
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Re: Family expecting “comps”

Post by Sandtrap » Sun Feb 11, 2018 3:06 pm

midareff wrote:
Sun Feb 11, 2018 12:26 pm
Sandtrap wrote:
Sun Feb 11, 2018 11:58 am
Interesting. . . to be so easily offended. . . without mentioning it first. . .perhaps a misunderstanding. . and then quick to pass judgement with a "nasty message". Yes. an expression of "resentment" as you sense, perhaps entitlement to your riches.
Things like this reveal character, perhaps.

As it is "your business", the burden is on others to not take advantage of you, to reciprocate, to be appreciative. Your concern shows good character. The obliviousness of others does not.

It is said that one tiny action or expression reveals the entirety of one's character/person.
You can attempt to make amends, but it will not change the underlying issues, the path other's choose to take.
j :D
Wise words IMHO.
Thanks "marty".
Perhaps a culturally asian expression.
The "onus" of reciprocity lay in the receiver of the favor. There are specific words to describe all of this in Japan, China, even Hawaiian, etc.
Thus, in many cultures, folks do not want to "take" or "receive a favor" because with it comes the burden of appreciation and reciprocity.
In the hilarious TV series, "Fresh Off The Boat", Lewis and his cousin have a giving/receiving fight.
mahalo,
jim :D

perl
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Re: Family expecting “comps”

Post by perl » Sun Feb 11, 2018 4:29 pm

Them: I can't believe you would charge a family member!
Your reply: I can't believe you would steal from a family member!

Mike Scott
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Re: Family expecting “comps”

Post by Mike Scott » Sun Feb 11, 2018 4:39 pm

Corporate policy: everybody pays full price. But you can give gift cards / coupons to anyone you wish and the cashier does not have to keep track of your family.

Spirit Rider
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Re: Family expecting “comps”

Post by Spirit Rider » Sun Feb 11, 2018 4:54 pm

Actually, I don't see a problem with a friends and family discount. After all, many employers offer discounts to employees and their friends and family. This should not necessarily be an entitlement, an option that the business gets to offer if it feels like it.

For instance, my ex BIL offered cost + 5% to my sister's immediate family. It would have never dawned on us to ask for it, but it was nice to receive.

P.S. He still gives me the discount fifteen years after the divorce.

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celia
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Re: Family expecting “comps”

Post by celia » Sun Feb 11, 2018 5:29 pm

SunDevil wrote:... our policy has been to charge them if they come up to the register, but we usually give a discount or extra freebies as a favor. Well, we had an immediate family member come to the register yesterday, and they were charged regular price (under $30) but we gave them $15 worth extra.
This doesn't sound very consistent to me. Do some relatives take food and just by-pass the register? (Doesn't that mess up your inventory?) Then if your employees notify you, you tell them that the person is a relative, so it's ok. But if not a relative....

Then some people get a discount, which can be useful.

Others get extras but pay full price for what they ordered...the extra food is to go??? left-over cold french fries, anyone.....?

Do you give discounts for seniors or active duty military or anyone else? It seems that you could give relatives and seniors and military all the same discount. (We already know who gives discounts to seniors. :beer )

How about coming up with a consistent policy, then train your staff to be consistent, then apologize to yesterday's relative that you didn't realize how inconsistent your policies were. Thank them for this situation helping you to see the discrepancies. Oh, and the new policy is...., and you are welcome to come visit sometime soon and test my employees on this. Then let you know how it goes.

Atgard
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Re: Family expecting “comps”

Post by Atgard » Sun Feb 11, 2018 6:00 pm

You say an "immediate family member." I know if I owned a restaurant, I would never charge my mother or father or siblings. (Can you imagine how many meals my parents gave me over the years?) I am an attorney and I would also not charge an immediate family member. Of course, when you get to cousins and wife's family and "Uncle" Joe who's not actually related, it can get complicated, and I can't afford to do all of that for free, but I do offer a discount. But unless my business couldn't afford it or they really took advantage coming in for free food with 10 friends every day, I wouldn't charge immediate family members, or maybe just charge actual cost, and I would give a discount to other friends & family.

All that said, it is still poor form for them to expect and demand free food, especially if you say they charge (with a discount) at their business? Something there doesn't add up. They charge you but expect you to give them stuff for free?

Grt2bOutdoors
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Re: Family expecting “comps”

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Sun Feb 11, 2018 6:07 pm

A relative of mine (distant) had a business I used to frequent. The relative always charged me a fair but reasonable amount that I knew was less what he charged his best customers. On more than a few occasions my relative charged me cost only. I never asked for a discount, but was always appreciative of the gesture and returned the favor in other ways. It seems the OP's relatives don't know the meaning of "respect" and "how to show it". :oops: OP - good luck, seems you are in a "no win" situation.
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Katietsu
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Re: Family expecting “comps”

Post by Katietsu » Sun Feb 11, 2018 8:08 pm

I agree with Atgard. I would not charge for a service or make a profit selling an item to an immediate family member. This is my family culture and I understand not all families are the same. Shortly after my brother married, his new wife tried to pay me for a professional service I provided to my step-niece. I was shocked and initially a bit offended. Then, I learned that her family culture dictated that everyone always pay their share so to speak.

I do think the OP has created an awkward situation when you are in a public setting providing the service and you have no consistent approach. On the other hand, if the family member really was nasty, that is also not appropriate.

123
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Re: Family expecting “comps”

Post by 123 » Sun Feb 11, 2018 8:51 pm

If your business is food and drinks and they expect freebies, maybe turnabout is fair play. You and your family should stop by the offenders home at dinner time and announce "It's your turn to be the host, we're here to join you for dinner".
The closest helping hand is at the end of your own arm.

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Elsebet
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Re: Family expecting “comps”

Post by Elsebet » Mon Feb 12, 2018 4:02 pm

My cousin and her family started a franchise restaurant business. I took my mom there and paid full price for our meal. My mom complained the entire time saying they should have given it to us for free since we were family. Obviously my mom has no idea how difficult it is to run a business. I was happy to pay full price and support them. I think it's terrible manners to expect free goods & services from someone trying to run a business even if you are family.

MathWizard
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Re: Family expecting “comps”

Post by MathWizard » Mon Feb 12, 2018 5:02 pm

Sorry to hear this.

This does not happen in my family.

If it's their business, I prefer to pay full price. That way there is no pressure on them.
I'll go out of my way to do business with them if it does not strain my budget to help a
family member get started, even for something I could get cheaper elsewhere, especially
the younger generation. My siblings feel the same way.

WL2034
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Re: Family expecting “comps”

Post by WL2034 » Mon Feb 12, 2018 5:21 pm

I think setting clear expectations with a policy is the important thing. Maybe this family member knows that other friends and family receive discounts, but they only got "extra" goods on top of their order. Perhaps giving all friends/family the same discount, or gift cards with no additional discounts is the best way to go. I can see how training non-family employees on which people get discounts would be difficult.

Is it possible that this family member did not want "extra," so that in actuality they did not receive any worthwhile bonus compared to being a normal customer? For instance, are these hot goods or perishables? If I order a to-go meal for my family for $30, and at pick up the owner decides to give me "$15 of extra food" that we didn't order it will probably go to waste. So in that case, selling me my original order at cost is a much better deal for me than paying full price and getting extra food I don't need or want. I still wouldn't feel like it's worth sending a nasty message about it, but perhaps if this family member offers you discounts and they didn't feel like they got the same in return that was part of it? It's family, so I'm sure there are other issues at play than just this one exchange in the store.

Seoulseeker
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Re: Family expecting “comps”

Post by Seoulseeker » Mon Feb 12, 2018 5:21 pm

I find this thread to be very interesting. I have a family member who owns a business that I occasionally buy from. They always mark down for family to their cost plus enough to cover their expenses. I would prefer to pay full price as I know how hard it is to run a business and the dispute that occasionally arises is over them offering a discount we do not need. Cost plus expenses seems like a pretty reasonable minimum to me. I would prefer that they take some additional margin at least, but that is their "rule". If they ever needed a hand I would gladly give it, and if I ever needed help I have no doubt it would be freely offered, but the idea of freeloading off of a family member when you don't need it is a bit surprising to me. My feeling is that a family discount might be offered, but it should never be expected.

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BolderBoy
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Re: Family expecting “comps”

Post by BolderBoy » Mon Feb 12, 2018 6:32 pm

SunDevil wrote:
Sun Feb 11, 2018 11:46 am
We offered a refund and they then said the money is not the issue but it is the principle.
Send them a response asking them to disown you as "family". See how they respond to that.
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miamivice
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Re: Family expecting “comps”

Post by miamivice » Mon Feb 12, 2018 6:36 pm

Here's an angle that hasn't been mentioned.

Business income taxes are based on income, which is the amount of revenue received minus expenses, including the cost of goods sold.

Merchandise given away to family and friends shouldn't be included in the cost of goods sold, as you really just gave something away rather than selling it.

So, someone has to pay for the cost of the merchandise given to family and friends. To be correct, that'd be the business owner and he'd need to pay the merchandise cost out of his own pocket.

(I think the chance of getting audited on that is pretty small especially if merchandise is given away occasionally. However, that'd be worth explaining to freeloading family who expect giveaways.)

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Re: Family expecting “comps”

Post by LadyGeek » Mon Feb 12, 2018 11:08 pm

This thread has run its course and is locked (relationship issue). See: Acceptable Topics and Subforum Guidelines
This is an investing and personal finance forum. We also maintain a subforum that allow our members to discuss consumer goods and services and recreational activities. Anything else is considered "Off Topic" and is not acceptable on this forum.
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