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Is it appropriate to ask for a finder's fee? If so, how much?
August 23, 2009 7:29 AM   Subscribe

Is it appropriate to ask for a finder's fee? If so, how much?

I have a friend who does web design. A contact of mine, a consultant, has a client who needs to revamp their website. Consultant asked if I knew anyone who could do the work. I plan to recommend web designer friend.

If I make the referral, is it appropriate to ask for a finder's or referral fee? If so, what are the particulars of doing this: How much is "standard"? Who pays it - designer? consultant? both? Should I ask for a flat fee or a percentage? Should it apply to any further contracts that may result, or just the one instance?

Any advice, especially from those who have paid or received such fees in the past, would be greatly appreciated.
posted by melissasaurus to Work & Money (16 answers total)
 
No.
posted by @troy at 7:30 AM on August 23, 2009 [2 favorites]


no... what goes around comes around... let the karma happen
posted by HuronBob at 7:36 AM on August 23, 2009


To elaborate on @troy's answer, I'd see the main benefit to this sort of thing being reciprocity. You've hopefully put a couple of people into a good business relationship, and they'll do the same for you with their own contacts.
posted by monkeymadness at 7:37 AM on August 23, 2009


I plan to recommend web designer friend.

A web-designer friend? No, not appropriate.
A web-designer client? Absolutely.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 7:59 AM on August 23, 2009 [3 favorites]


If the seeker is in the brokering business, then they've asked you to help them do their job, asking them for a finder's fee is appropriate, as the broker will turn your referral directly into income. Most reputable brokers will offer it upfront. If you're doing a favor for a business contact who is not primarily in the brokering business, then [what others above me have said].
posted by TruncatedTiller at 8:20 AM on August 23, 2009


No, you should just recommend your friend because they're your friend. That's it. Asking your friend to pay you for that would be offensive, and asking the consultant to pay might turn them off from hiring your friend.
posted by creasy boy at 8:23 AM on August 23, 2009 [4 favorites]


No.

However, if your designer friend had asked you to actively find clients for him, then it would be appropriate for you to get a cut since you would be asking around for them.
posted by Sonic_Molson at 8:49 AM on August 23, 2009


It's a friend, so no. But, depending on the size of the job, your friend owes you a splendid dinner.
posted by theora55 at 9:14 AM on August 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


Agreed, finders/referral fees are only appropriate if (a) YOU are in the business of finding contractors to perform such work AND (b) if you have been asked to perform this service as a part of that business.

That is to say, if you don't take a referral fee when (a) and (b) above apply, then you are being asked to work for free.

However, if you were asked tangentially or as a favor whether you knew anyone, then asking for a fee would be akin to asking for money in exchange for a favor you are doing for two friends. In that scenario, I think asking for a fee would seem rather gauche and unprofessional. On the other hand, it would be rather gauche of the designer-friend, who you hooked up with a job, to not offer to take you out to dinner to say thanks. But in a favor scenario, I think that's the most you can look for (and you certainly should not ask for it).
posted by bunnycup at 9:16 AM on August 23, 2009


Another no. A friend who asked to be paid for passing along some helpful information wouldn't be a friend for long.
posted by the christopher hundreds at 10:56 AM on August 23, 2009


Yeah, the distinction here is definitely on the "friend" side of things. I wouldn't expect to give a friend a finder's fee, though I'd probably take them to dinner or give them a nice gift card or something.
posted by disillusioned at 12:24 PM on August 23, 2009


No. You don't ask. But I would tell him that he owes you dinner.
posted by yoyo_nyc at 4:11 PM on August 23, 2009


I have a friend who....

No fee.
posted by rokusan at 4:29 PM on August 23, 2009


Keep in mind that if this turns into the client from hell, your designer friend will also blame you.
posted by rokusan at 4:29 PM on August 23, 2009


A friend? No.
posted by Brian Puccio at 5:07 PM on August 23, 2009


...and if your friend does a horrible job (or the client isn't happy for whatever reason), then the consultant will blame you.

These matchmaking deals are tricky. If it all works out, then your role probably won't be recognized or remembered. But if it all goes to hell, you'll definitely get some of the blame.
posted by kamelhoecker at 5:33 PM on August 23, 2009


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