Unethical dance mom?

Wife owns a dance studio that I assist with. Majority of our revenue is from lesson fees, maybe 10% is from retail (shoes, tights, etc). Found out one of our moms has been soliciting other moms and selling them the exact same type of shoes we sell. Conducting this “business” in our studio. We are offended, find it very disrespectful. Are our feelings reasonable? Arent the other moms OUR customers, at least when they are in our studio?

yeah, i’d kick her out of your studio

The mom has every right to sell a product on her own time at a lower markup. But on your property? Aw hell no.

This is the time to be direct and neutral. Don’t tell them that you are “offended” but do speak directly to the offender and tell them its not allowed.

Unethical and immoral.

Wrong forum?

Bar her and her snowflake from the premises and make it clear you will pursue trespassing charges if she comes back. You rent that space in part to be the exclusive seller of shoes there. She comes in and secretly sells shoes to compete? That’s nuts.

Yep. Despite the fact that she might get indignant about it, she is being rude and taking advantage of a partner business (you).

Soliciting customers on the property of a competitor is inappropriate to the extreme.

It’s as if I started trying to recruit voice students from people waiting in the waiting area of my voice teacher’s studio. Totally not ok, and I would likely be not welcome as a student anymore.

ETA: heck, in the performing arts, where a thriving environment means more students for everybody, and you count on other professionals to send potential students your way, I am very careful about how I market myself to and accept gigs from anyone who already has a teacher/regular accompanist/etc. This mom/businesswoman can’t have her cake and eat it too. Your studio succeeding means more potential customers for her shoes. By undercutting your business and making it harder for you to make money/stay in business, she is potentially killing a market for her product.

Having been a dance mom for a few years, when my youngest was little, I find this unethical. Can she run her own side business- sure. But to do it on your property is not cool. She shouldn’t even handout flyers or ads at your place of business.

Appreciate everyone’s input. I’d welcome a suggested forum,I am a complete novice and just joined this group.

Moderator Action

Welcome to the SDMB, Dancedad.

General questions is for questions with factual answers. Questions seeking advice and opinions like yours belong in our IMHO forum. You don’t have to do anything. I will move the thread for you.

Moving thread from General Questions to In My Humble Opinion.

I’d also put up at least one sign advising everyone else that soliciting within the studio isn’t allowed (at least not without your permission.)

If it makes you feel better, I’ve when I find those little bags of Mary Kay samples around my store with a business card I’ll call or email them and nicely ask them to knock it off. These are my customers in my store that I spent my advertising money or kept my prices low to get them in here. If they want to leech them from me, they can discuss it with me and maybe we can negotiate a deal. Now, this isn’t a direct competition, but I still find it off putting that they felt it was okay (or rather they clearly didn’t because they hid the bags) to just freely advertise all over my store. Same goes when I walk out to my register and find a stack of someone else business cards or flyers for something going on at a bar down the road. Waste of money since I just toss them right in the garbage. Even if they did ask, we almost never do that kind of stuff (we just don’t have the space to have stuff all over our check out counter).

Come to think of it, I haven’t seen one in years, I wonder if they stopped doing it. But I used to find them all over the place.

Anyways, next time you see her I would nicely say “Susan, if you’re going to compete against me, you need to at least take it off my property, this really isn’t fair. How would you feel if I came into your store (home) and started undercutting you”. If she keeps it up, I’d revoke her membership (I assume she has one) and tell her again in a much sterner way that at that point she’s not welcome anymore (since she’s stealing business). Hopefully that’ll be enough to do it.

I don’t find it immoral or disrespectful, there shouldn’t be a morality or respect involved in selling something if you aren’t actively deceiving the customer. But I don’t think you should allow it, it is bad for the bottom line.

I think a sign is appropriate.
Think of it from the cold hard reality of business instead of emotional. WIll the amount of money you lose from sales be greater or less than the amount of money you lose from kicking her out (along with the bad blood it will cause).

I would think kicking her out is not worth the sales you are losing. But I would politely confront her and ask her not to solicit while on your property. Or maybe cut a deal with her, where you provide her access to your facility and customers for a cut of her action.

Heck, get out to the shoe sales business completely, let her take it and charge her a finders fee that allows her to conduct her business on your property. Charge a fee that is equivalent to the profit you make on the sales anyway.

It’s not unethical for her to sell shoes or to have her own business, but it is inappropriate for her to think that it’s ok to be a competitor of yours on your premises. It’s interfering with your business and you have every right to tell her to stop. She is poaching.

Sounds like a great reason to double her kid’s lesson fees.

Even if morals don’t necessarily come into play, it’s still unethical.

I think it would be a good idea to fire her (and her children) as customers, but give her the opportunity to pay your lost profits retroactively first. This will make an example of what will happen if someone else tries to do the same thing later on, but also gives her a chance to make it right.

The other women is deceiving the customers. By selling on the OP’s property, she is falsely representing herself as having the OP’s permission.

It’s unethical - and really, really strange. I’d send her a letter/email/phone call telling her, in very formal tones, that what she’s doing is not appreciated. Chances are she’ll stop right away. But I’d try not to take it out on her kid with higher fees/kicking them out - it just seems a bit unfair, as the child isn’t involved in any of this.

I think this is beyond talking to her nicely about it. Expel her child and bar the offender from the studio.

They can just do the sales in the car park ANYWAY, it won’t help you to be upset about it occurring inside.

Hey, let your clients be friends, friends with each other and friends with you.
They come to dancing not only for dancing, but to find friends, for social life, and so on. Let it be.