It’s rare for a Pawning Planners Client to barter a prison weddings but it’s happened.

When you are in the bartering business though you learn quickly who sets the Appraisal. Heads up folks it isn’t the person coming to us for help.

Why? Because taking items in trade can be expensive. How so? Well, large items require renting a box truck, storage and almost always a refurbishing expense. Bear in mind that all these expenses are up front for us meaning we are out money at the beginning of the barter and until we can flip and successfully sell the trade.

Because of this I’m cautious about barter deals. I write the checks around here.

Now and then we have someone who thinks they are making the price on the trade. Enlightenment is key to who is actually in charge though.

If we are helping you when no one else will you aren’t in charge we are.

For five years on location now there has been a number of times that I should have taken a hard pass. But a soft heart is one of my pitfalls from a business standpoint.

We all recall the two headed 3 eyed fox stole in Huntsville. I had envisioned a beautiful fluffy foxtail with the glamour of a 50’s movie that could easily be incorporated into our inventory for photo shoots with clients. What we were presented with was something different entirely. Cindy and I worked it out but we didn’t work it out by flipping those two foxes together. No one was going to buy or wear that monstrosity.

Five years ago, Lisa and Terry came to us wanting a band, flowers for the entire wedding party, clothing for the flower girls, two cakes, tables and chairs and photography. Lisa and Terry “had a list.” Lisa and Terry also “didn’t have any money.” Lisa and Terry were the first Pawning Planners Clients to “throw a band into their wish list but they wouldn’t be the last.”

We don’t have a band on staff or a DJ. If you are bartering you are effectively bartering services we do have not services we would be forced to retain from another vendor. Period.

Reeling in what a client wants or expects verses the value of their trade is an ongoing fiasco for not only myself but also my twin sister.

Fast forward to April 2020. The entire world is in the midst of a pandemic. Eighty percent of Americans are unemployed. People who could have written a check two months ago can’t anymore. Enter The Pawning Planners. “No money? No problem? We take trades.”

To clarify… we don’t take ANY TRADE. What we take to flip at Texas Twins Treasures must have value. Must be flip worthy. If it isn’t we are out on the trade.

Three years ago, Cindy and I stood in shock looking at a box of homemade moonshine while the father of the bride argued “it’s value.”

Moonshine might have value to someone but if we can’t list it at Texas Twins Treasures, we can’t flip it so it has no value to us. A lengthy conversation ensued with this father who began to go over the quality of his homemade item. While hilarious now it wasn’t hilarious then. He believed his case of moonshine was worth $750. It was effectively worthless to us and after a few days of going back and forth with him we finally settled on an antique desk and pocket knife collection instead. He decided to serve moonshine at the wedding. Cindy and I declined. We don’t drink on the job.

“I’ve got a rare shotgun that doesn’t work but it’s a collectible item.” Umm hmm. We don’t barter firearm deals whether the item is in working condition or not.

“I’m in Tennessee Colony and it’s only two hours from you why are you THROWING IN travel expenses?!” Because two hours one way is four hours round trip and at least two hours on location hence my estimate of 6-7 hours rather than your estimate of 1-2 hours.

Let’s review travel and why I rarely ever make an exception to barter outside of Dallas/Fort Worth. First, I have to travel to YOUR LOCATION from my location just to appraise the item in person.

Second, if I have to travel back with a box truck it’s a second trip and added expense.

Third, I have to travel back with my team for your event. Travel adds up. It’s not free for my staff and I to travel and it’s not free to you either.

“I’m offering this and thought you took ANY trade.” No buddy. We don’t take any trade and no one else will either.

Cindy and I have been flipping items for thirty years. We know what sells and what won’t. Because of our extensive knowledge, we aren’t going to take any trade offered. If there isn’t a market for a flip there isn’t a deal.

“Look I lost my job and I have this old set of tires.” We don’t own a tire shop.

“Hey I’ve got a bunch of old stuff from my last wedding and you can use it in your rolling photos booths. I’ve been on your other sites and saw that you provide your own inventory.” Let me clarify that real quick. We don’t have anywhere to store tables or chairs you bought for your past wedding. We don’t provide tables and chairs to clients either. If they want them they rent them and pay for delivery and pick up too.

The items we pack and bring to location are bouquets, tiaras, hats, fascinators, furs, Bouteniers, signs and fun stuff that we buy or create on our own for our clients as a courtesy. We aren’t interested in chairs or tables that clients might then expect us to load and transport simply because we have them. Also storage is expensive. We drive suvs not box trucks. Box truck rentals are expensive so please don’t tell us what we need. We know what we need or can use.

Four years ago at Trinity Park… the mother of the bride asked “where are you going to put the tables and chairs?” My response? “What tables and chairs? We were booked to officiate and provide photography. If you want tables and chairs though you can call Taylors and pay for them yourself. I offered to bring my own floral designs to loan fot this event to the bridal party, provide photography and officiate this wedding. Please read your contract.”

Whether you are booking through Texas Twins Events, The Pawning Planners or TDCJ Officiant, you have signed a contract outlying exacting what I’m offering and exactly what you will be receiving. There are no add ons. Read your contract.

Four years ago in Parker County. “I just need an officiant for my ceremony.” Over the course of the next three months? “I need two photographers, a set up team, help with catering, centerpieces and your team on site eight hours.” WTF? Read your contract! My staff aren’t volunteers. Don’t attempt to add on items you haven’t paid for and aren’t entitled to.

“I had photography in my contract why can’t I have two photographers and a videographer?” Read your contract. We were providing one photographer. Not two and not a videographer. If you want additional vendor services though I will refer you and your can pay other vendors.”

“Where are my photo’s? I had a photographer in my contract.” Yes you did and your photos were posted and sent digitally. Read your contract. There is nothing about providing prints. If you want prints be prepared to pay for them.

“I want to throw my bouquet.” Oh you mean the bouquet you didn’t pay for that I’m loaning to you from my inventory? Read your contract.

“Why can’t I keep this bouquet? I really like it and it’s my wedding.” Read your contract. If you want to keep one of my floral designs you will pay for it.

Let’s review why I created an inventory to loan my clients.. at my expense and as a courtesy to my clients. I didn’t spend thousands of dollars to give away my inventory. I created it as a courtesy so clients events could look pulled together with the flowers and frivolity that they wanted but couldn’t afford. I am not your fairy Godmother. I am a businesswoman and is my twin sister.

No one in the events industry is going to loan you a bridal bouquet, bridesmaids bouquets, veils, tiaras and even bouteniers for the groom and groomsmen except Texas Twins Events, The Pawning Planners and TDCJ Officiant. NO ONE. Why? Because items can and do get lost, damaged or stolen on location. We take a risk by loaning inventory that no one else will. Why? Because we want your event to look pulled together. What we don’t want is to argue with you about wanting to keep items that you didn’t pay for.

“Why won’t you provide a venue too?” Are your crazy? Read your contract. The cost of a venue is $1500 and up. No one is going to provide a free venue. You can use a park, your backyard, a military base or other free location like any other Pawning Planners client. BUT if you CAN find someone willing to just give you free use of a venue let us know and we will meet you there. Read your contract.

I’ve had a flood of barter requests the past month. I’ve also had a flood of cancelations of traditional bookings through Texas Twins Events and TDCJ Officiant. These cancelations weren’t the client’s choice. Quite the contrary. The venue or the Unit cancelled on them.

Due to the number of reschedules we have (51 to be exact), barter bookings are on the back burner. We must focus on the congregation (our current booked client’s) and turn our back on the choir (new requests to barter event services).

Cindy and I work as a team. My son and his wife are on paternity leave and offering elopements from their home in Lake Worth. Leigh Ann is in California and booking elopement ceremonies near her location at Point Hueneme.

We cannot and will not line jump our existing clients by moving new requests up front.

What we can do is offer elopements at our location or yours or move you to July or August.