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Help- How do I respond/react to this????

post #1 of 42
Thread Starter 
I am in ohio and do have my home bakery license. I am very diligent in making sure that I follow all the guidelines for home bakeries as well. I advertise my Home Bakery on several sites one of which is Craigslist. Well I reposted an listing for my Custom made Birthday cakes this morning and then I just got on there and seen a RE: to my posting.. Here is what it said:

Is your home bakery a licensed home bakery?

Has your bakery been inspected?

Do you have house pets? To get a license from the Ohio Department of Agriculture, you cannot have house pets. Did you know that?

From the looks of your poorly decorated cakes, I'd say you woke up one day, decided you were going to bake cakes to sell, having not looked into any licensure or inspections or any orther legal requirements.

If it was that easy, everyone would be doing it.

These licenses are in place to protect the public from eating the dog or cat hair floating in the air in your trailer, attaching themselves to the icing on the cakes you are selling to the public.

It's nothing to me if you eat the cat and dog hair on your cakes but it's a lot to anyone who might actually buy a cake from you.

In addition, you violated CL TOU, in trying to sell unpackaged foods, and posting a link.


Im not sure how to react to this. I know that I a legal and have gone through all the appropriate steps. I also know that others post for thier homemade goods as well. Weather or not those others are licensed or not is not my concern- Ohio has Cottage foods laws anyways. However I am licensed so that I can sell more than just cakes. On one hand I feel that I dont have to prove anything because I KNOW im legal, However alot of my buissness does come from this craigslist ad and I do not want to loose buissness because someone who doesnt know what they are talking about decided to run thier mouth for all to see. What do I do???
post #2 of 42
Can you just delete their comment? If not respond by saying that since they have no problem making false assumptions and unprofessional comments, you refuse to debate anything that has to do with your fully qualified business with them.
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post #3 of 42
I would say you don't have to react to it at all, if you are following the rules for your state you can just ignore it.

I didn't think that messages were publicly visible, but if they are just include in your posting that you are compliant with Ohio home baking license laws. CL is not a great place to advertise anyway, you tend to get mostly price-sensitive customers.
post #4 of 42
Thread Starter 
I can not remove thier comments. I can only flag them however it still doesnt remove the comments. Im mainly concerned that my buissness will be hurt from this persons posting. While I know that I am legal and my repeat customers know im legal -potential new customers may not want to contact me. My husband says I should respond but I want to do the professional thing.
post #5 of 42
You need to find a way to get that comment removed if it's visible to the public. Regardless of it being lies or not, people will view your business as a beat up trailer home ridden with hairy cats and dogs. That's out right slander what they did to you. icon_sad.gif
post #6 of 42
Thread Starter 
Im not sure how to get the comments removed. I will have to see if there is a way to contact someone that does the posting and removal of posts at craigslist. I know that craigslist customers are price sensitive but I do still pull alot of well paying customers from there. I have been advetising there for a while and never had a problem.
post #7 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjsirhunter

I can not remove thier comments. I can only flag them however it still doesnt remove the comments. Im mainly concerned that my buissness will be hurt from this persons posting. While I know that I am legal and my repeat customers know im legal -potential new customers may not want to contact me. My husband says I should respond but I want to do the professional thing.



That's horrible someone would be so low as to do that. I bet they don't care about the truth in anything the said, their only goal was to ruin your reputation. :\\ If removing the ad and re-posting it won't fix the problem, I really think you should respond. Just take your time, answer each of their accusations to the point and edit it for any heated emotion. It's really sick people like that will go around trying to kill people's business. icon_mad.gif

You should probably update your ad to contain all that information by default too..cover your bases... Just take a deep breath, and don't let them get the better of you. icon_biggrin.gif
post #8 of 42
Some people are such haters and jealous. Obviously they have too much time on their hands.
post #9 of 42
Thread Starter 
I have sent an email to the Craigslist people asking for the post to be removed. I will wait to see if I get a response and go from there. My ad does state that I am licensed however I do not have my license number listed. I have my certificate for any one questioning to see when they pay thier deposits, however that has never been an issue. Esp considering Ohio is a Cottoge Foods state anyways. Right now Id like to give the poster of this rediculous post a piece of my mind however I will refrain!
post #10 of 42
I think that is just awful. People are so brazen and hurtful when there's only a computer in front of them. I completely understand your concern. I would just politely respond with the facts about your your business. As long as you keep your cool and remain professional, potential clients will see that the slanderer is clearly just threatened by your competition and that you are a viable business.

Best of luck to you, and I'm sorry you are being bullied thumbs_up.gif
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You get more bees with honey!
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post #11 of 42
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone. The email I got in response to my complaint was a generated automatic email- go figure. It told me to flag it a certain way so thats what Im going to do and see if that works. If not a polite direct response may be what I have to do. The question there then is so I post it for all to see like this poster did or do I respond directly and only to them through email?
post #12 of 42
For all to see, they don't deserve a response, so it's not for them. It is for your potential clients so that they have the full story, not the fictitious one they posted.
You get more bees with honey!
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You get more bees with honey!
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post #13 of 42
If the comment cannot be removed, I would absolutely respond to this guy! What awful things to say! If this person was standing in front of you I bet he/she would never have the nerve to say such things! I can only imagine that maybe this person feels they have a stake in the bakery business and maybe broke some rules and got in trouble for it and therefore wants to take everyone down. Respond politely and completely. Maybe even offer a (small) discount if they want to order a cake from you! Just make sure you come out on top!

And good for you for being legal to begin with and for not jumping all over the post as soon as you saw it! Always good to have some time to think it over!

Good luck to you! Let us know how it turns out!
post #14 of 42
Usually it takes multiple people flagging a post to get rid of it, so it may not disappear for a while (if at all).

If you do respond I would do so publicly. Include your license number and a link to state regs so people can read more about it, and briefly mention how you follow food safety protocols, are insured, etc. If you do have house pets mention the steps you take to ensure they do not contaminate the kitchen.

No matter what you do you will probably lose some business because of this, but again this is par for the course with Craigslist and other free advertising sites. If you want to build your business I recommend abandoning CL and focusing on targeted ads (like Google AdWords, Yelp, etc) and networking with venues and wedding planners.
post #15 of 42
Don't answer the post at all. If you try to argue with this person, it will look like there's something to what they say. And I don't believe bakers are required to post their actual license number, which may not be a good thing to do in this day and age.

It sounds to me like they may be in competition with you (or think they are) and are trying to sabotage you. This is a case of libel; however, proving it will be something else since you have to prove intent to cause harm to you or your reputation.

I would update your ad to include that you are compliant with all applicable laws and regulations. That's about all you can do and maintain a professional attitude about the whole thing. But I would follow up with CL and be persistent.
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