Ballroom and the economy

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by pygmalion, Apr 20, 2005.

  1. danceronice

    danceronice Well-Known Member

    I've just never found it NECESSARY to be able to go back to my room...I've only been to one or two comps that don't have changing rooms, I don't bring enough stuff that I need a half-acre of space just for makeup...if anything I find being able to go up to the room without having to actively leave the building means I spend a lot of time going back and forth and doing things I don't actually *have* to do and wind up feeling like I'm running behind. Of course I also rarely stay more than one night-usually I drive in before, and I'm packed and ready to leave when my heats are over.
     
  2. tanya_the_dancer

    tanya_the_dancer Well-Known Member

    To each his own. I didn't say it was necessary for me, but it is much more convenient in case you do need something from the room. I have had situations when I was staying off site and needed something I didn't take with me to the ballroom and didn't have enough time to go get it from off site. That usually meant that I had to buy it from a vendor (and pay a lot more than I would have elsewhere), but in one case, my zipper broke and I didn't bring my second dress with me to the ballroom, because I thought I was done with it. I got by with lots of safety pins, but it wasn't an experience I care to repeat.
     
  3. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    I hate competing without easy access to my room...I find it extremely stressful...I have done it many times to save money...I have always regretted it
     
    debmc likes this.
  4. toothlesstiger

    toothlesstiger Well-Known Member

    Back on the topic of credit cards, I'm surprised at anyone finding it takes too big a chunk. With a bit of shopping around, you can find relatively low fees.

    DW and I use CC for everything possible. It makes it much easier to keep track of expenses, and we pay it off every month. The cash back we get at the end of the year is substantial.

    From the merchant standpoint, yes, the fees bite, but CC has a way of lubricating transactions...
     
  5. Mr 4 styles

    Mr 4 styles Well-Known Member

    wife and i went shopping found great local jeweler bought her a paraiba tourmaline that really added to the cost of the comp LOL

    no more shopping in asheville lol
     
  6. JudeMorrigan

    JudeMorrigan Well-Known Member

    The thing for me is that if I'm not staying at the comp hotel, it means that I drove to the competition. Since I have my car, I can overpack it. That way, rather than having to run back to my hotel room when I forget stuff, I just have to run out to my car. While still not as convenient as having a room right there, it's manageable for me. (Admittedly, it's entirely possible it's easier for me to do that as a guy. Although you'd never know it from the mess I make while tailsuiting up. ;))
     
  7. tanya_the_dancer

    tanya_the_dancer Well-Known Member

    I have a card with 0 annual fees, as long as I pay the balance in full. I guess they collect enough from the merchants to offer it. But when CC fees are explicitly transferred back to you, you see how they add up, and it's not a stretch to come to conclusion that when they aren't explicitly transferred to you, the prices are set to account for them. And sometimes it becomes a deciding factor on whether or not you do business with the merchant. For example, a friend of mine was shopping for a resale dress. She found one on a resales website. They told her that they could ship it to her to try on and charge the price of the dress & shipping on her CC, and if the dress didn't work for her, they would refund that price minus their shipping + 3.5% of the price of the dress because that's what the mastercard or visa would charge them. When you're looking at a dress with a price tag over $2000, 3.5% of that is more than $70, which means it costs almost $100 or more to just try the dress on. She decided against doing long-distance business with them, and of course she told all of us locals about her experience, and now we know where not to shop for resales.
     
  8. danceronice

    danceronice Well-Known Member

    What fees? The only fee card I have is the business Amex, and the "fee" doubles as the Costco annual membership. The Amazon and Sears cards (Visa and MC) don't have annual fees. (Sears is getting tetchy, though, as I have that for big thing like buying appliances or a furnace or something through Sears and haven't used it for anything in a year.) I also have never run into businesses (at least major ones, like hotels) that will discount for NOT using a card. Heck, I've never run into comp vendors who change their pricing. (And in some states that would be illegal anyway, especially for gas stations, where I *have* seen it done in states where it's not against the law.) It's like interest rates don't really matter, as they only come into play if you don't pay the card off.

    And regarding needing something from the room, if I don't have a room, all my stuff is packed and in the dressing room or with me in the ballroom (the laptop stays with me. That's irreplaceable in ways even the dresses aren't.) Which is generally closer. But I find it too easy to get distracted and not pay attention to when I need to be places if I can go to the room easily. It felt like I spent half of Harvest Moon going back and forth because I'd crashed with someone who was staying multiple nights and didn't bring everything down first thing in the morning.
     
  9. tanya_the_dancer

    tanya_the_dancer Well-Known Member

    There are places, nonetheless, which will charge extra if you use a CC. My state charges extra if you pay for your car registration with a CC. Several comps I've gone to or considered had a blurb on their websites that if you want to use a CC to pay for the entries, you will pay a convenience fee of somewhere between 2.5 and 3.5%. When we had UCC Total Home membership, they also added extra 3% if you wanted to pay with CC. I've been to other, usually smaller, stores that did it. It's not a discount for those who use a different method of payment, it's a fee for those who insist on using a CC.
     
    jump'n'jive likes this.
  10. toothlesstiger

    toothlesstiger Well-Known Member

    To clear up some of the confusion my last post seemed to cause, I was referring to merchant fees, not fees payed by the credit card holders. The reason many merchants accept MC and Visa and not Amex is because Amex charges higher merchant fees.

    I've been on both sides. As a merchant, I prefer to assume the majority of my business will be in the form of CC purchases, and factor that into the cost. It's a lot easier to deal with, and, in effect, I'm charging a processing fee to cash and check purchases, because now I have to take the extra step of depositing the funds.
     
  11. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    The last studio I worked for took the CC merchant fee out of MY PAYCHECK when a student used a credit card for payments. Needless to say I am sure that is highly illegal, and I left as soon as professionaly reasonable.
     
  12. toothlesstiger

    toothlesstiger Well-Known Member

    That's really sad. I know some studios are struggling, but as soon they make it look like their incoming dollars are more important than their students and employees, regardless of whether it is true or not, it's all downhill from there.
     
  13. danceronice

    danceronice Well-Known Member

    AFAIK, Larinda, that's illegal (though I'm not actually sure in MA, as they seem to allow gas stations to vary prices.) As a merchant the only one I kind of find a PITA is Amex, which is why a lot of businesses don't take them (not only their fees but their payout schedule can be wacky) but like tt said, it's sometimes better to deal with it so more people can do business with you. But that's a doing-business cost and I don't factor it into item prices based on how people are paying. (And since I'm not in a stationary location it means that much less cash I'm carrying around, which is unnerving. Coming back from Madison a couple weeks ago I went straight to the credit union before I even went home to get rid of most of the paper.)
     
  14. Jananananana

    Jananananana Active Member

    That does sound pretty illegal.
     
  15. danceronice

    danceronice Well-Known Member

    That is another good point. I use my Amex when I travel because I get double bonuses at hotels and because they are better than a pack of wild dogs when there's a charge that has a problem. Even when there's NOT one--I recently did a large purchase over the phone, my card was rejected, I called Amex services and WHILE I was on the phone with them I got the automated call from them saying I had suspicious activity.
     

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