Shadchanus – How Much?
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- This topic has 284 replies, 40 voices, and was last updated 13 years ago by feivel.
October 19, 2009 8:02 pm at 8:02 pm #680902cholentkugelkishkeMember
Bemused – it doesn’t have to be huge change. It can be done slowly. If people express their hakoras hatov to a shadchan who put in 20 hours working on a shidduch that didn’t work, and give the shadchan $200 – that’s not a massive change. If you can’t afford that – give the shadchan a bit less. If you can afford more – give the shadchan a little more. It will encourage people to keep redding you shidduchim & in the long run – you’ll wind up benefitting!
As you wrote – change is hard – yes, but sometimes needed…October 19, 2009 8:07 pm at 8:07 pm #680903
Would you consider a scenario where the boy and girl go out more than a couple of times simply a “silly suggestion” from a “yenta”? I beg to differ. Clearly it was on the mark and as such the shadchan did what can they can be expected to do.
Perhaps we can debate whether the threashold a real good idea is 3 dates 5 dates 10 dates (probably on different dating styles). But you would agree that not only when a date results in marriage has a shadchan provided a legitimate service. Ones unhappiness with the result – so long as it is not due to the shadchans not doing their job – should not diminish from the shadchans right to compensation.October 19, 2009 8:46 pm at 8:46 pm #680904
If society dictates shadchanim must be compensated (not flowers, chocolate, gifts, etc., but real money) for shidduchim that are legitimate suggestions. Please answer this question honestly:
Will this new phenomenon cause more shidduchim to progress past the “serious-level” threshold (If I’m forced by society and am paying anyway, might as well go through with it) OR will it cause potentially viable shidduchim to fall apart by being prematurely called off by boy/girl because it’s not worth the fee?October 19, 2009 8:52 pm at 8:52 pm #680905
It should be no different than the other expenses incurred in the dating process: rental cars, cleaners, parking, hairdressers, manicures??, entertainment, etc. Certainly people take all kinds of factors into account when deciding whether to continue to pursue a specific shidduch forward. Why do we suddenly get all jumpy when the idea is to pay the shadchan (less than the rental car).October 19, 2009 9:06 pm at 9:06 pm #680906
“Rental cars, cleaners, parking, hairdressers, manicures??, entertainment, etc.” These are all items people do for hishtadlus to put the right foot forward in the hope that this boy/girl will be “it”. These items benefit the potential courtship. These are all items to help complete the sale.
Paying a salesman for not completing the sale benefits no one besides for the unsuccessful salesman. Most salesmen are given a base for trying, so it would be nice to give the unsuccessful salesmen, flowers, chocolate, gifts, etc.October 19, 2009 9:15 pm at 9:15 pm #680907
I like the comparison to the violinist; it makes sense. But it’s not *exactly* the same, because no one is seeking out the violinist, begging him to practice for a possible gig- if they would, the artist might well say, “well, if it means so much to you that I put in this work specifically for you, I’m going to charge per hour”.
In general, the violist waits the the big gig, the artist waits for the big break, but it’s self-oriented- they are doing the work of practice and attempts for themselves, and if they get recognized by others, they’ve made it. In that sense, the comparison doesn’t work; the shadchanim are sought after and requested to make efforts on the “consumer’s” behalf. I would say more similar to a gardener who is asked to put in efforts towards tilling the soil, making choices of seeds, planting it and tending to it, and the desired end results don’t always materialize, but the efforts are still paid for. Of course, if a gardener gets a bad rep, he will be out of business, and similarly people usually gravitate to shadchanim who are known as successful, though the term has very different ratio meaning for gardener and shadchan.
I think I’m getting carried away with my metaphors, and should just stick to doing what I feel is right in my own little backyard and keep quiet on the rest. I think I’ve more than used up my pixel space on this board :), and I want to mind my manners :).October 19, 2009 9:20 pm at 9:20 pm #680908
artchill: in other words selfish!! If I benefit I will pay but if its the shadchan benefit I won’t. You can be sure that if the shadchanim weren’t so nice and stated their fees up front for their efforts- many people WOULD start paying.
Most salesman do not have their phones ringing from 7am-1am. It’s the reverse they go out and make the calls hoping to make a sale. People calling shadchanim asking, begging, demanding (due to frustration) their help, should be ready to pay for what they are asking them to do on their behalf.October 19, 2009 9:47 pm at 9:47 pm #680909
Have you ever met a person who has paid a salesman for walking him around on a tour of the car dealership, when he didn’t buy a car from him?
No ticky, no washie! it’s just that simple.
If shadchanim had the audacity to ask for fees upfront for their efforts, they would become FORMERLY successful shadchanim.October 20, 2009 11:55 am at 11:55 am #680910
Have you ever met a car saleman who was hounded from morning till night day after day to find him just the right car?
“if shadchanim had the audacity to ask for fees upfront for their efforts, they would become FORMERLY successful shadchanim.”
You obviously are very distant from active shadchanim. You can rest assured they would have plenty of people still banging down their doors (phones), and the few that would choose not to would be a welcome break for the shadchanim. Perhaps by being slightly “very slightly) less busy they might even enjoy 10 min of quiet time with their families each day.October 20, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm #680911pgMember
The legal industry is bound by a very, very, very strict code of ethics, procedures as well as civil law–where a lawyer can be disbarred, sued, etc., if they do not adhere to these rules. Therefore, clients know what they are paying for and have ample legal recourse if they are disatisfied.
I would not at all equate shaddchanim with lawyers.October 20, 2009 1:07 pm at 1:07 pm #680912
pg, I don’t think the analogy works for other reasons, but just to nitpick: clients have ample legal recourse if their attorney did something in violation of these codes of ethics, procedures and civil law, NOT if they are dissatisfied with the outcome. If the outcome is unsuccessful, they have absolutely no legal recourse to recoup the fee for services, so long as the payment was not predicated on successful outcome (as is sometimes the case).
So unless the shadchan violated civil law or ethics/morals (I’m sure it can happen), “ample legal recourse” in the case of a lawyer has no bearing on this conversation.October 21, 2009 1:30 am at 1:30 am #680913
I guess the consensus is that there is nothing wrong with expectingdemandinghounding someone (a shacdchan) to put time and energy into helping me (my child) and not offer anything in return for their efforts – unless i get what i want.
How selfish.. but maybe it’s just me.October 21, 2009 1:59 am at 1:59 am #680914oomisParticipant
AS, I don’t think ANYONE here believes it is ever ok to hound another Jew for ANY reason. And I DO agree that a professional shadchan should receive some type of financial consideration for his/her efforts. I just question the “accepted” amount.October 21, 2009 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm #680915
If you think that is never okay to hound another jew please explain how it has become acceptable to treat the shadchanim that way. There is no other way to explain what they endure.
As for the specific amount:
That should be determined by a free market like everything else in our society. Why have we decided that a token hakaras hatov (which by the way even that almost never comes) is sufficient.
Truth be told the shadchanim do it to themselves. If they weren’t so nice and kind they wouldn’t be taken advantage of. By and large they are very nice and bashful and don’t have it in them to ask for fair compensation, therefore they are abused.
Doesn’t excuse the abusers.October 21, 2009 1:40 pm at 1:40 pm #680916mamashtakahMember
Perhaps this is because I and the shadchan did not live in the NY/NJ area at the time, but she was quite up-front with how much a successful shidduch would cost ($1,500 total) which I was quite happy to pay. I gave her a check during the week of our sheva brachot. I was also lucky; not only was that the first time I ever used a shadchan, but also because I married the first girl she introduced to me!October 21, 2009 1:51 pm at 1:51 pm #680917jewish and working 22Member
“Would you consider a scenario where the boy and girl go out more than a couple of times simply a “silly suggestion” from a “yenta”? I beg to differ. Clearly it was on the mark and as such the shadchan did what can they can be expected to do.”
In matter of fact I do consider it a “silly suggestion” from a “yenta”. But that is my personal opinion. Talking about a person you personally do not go to, but “chases” you, I do not think it should be a requirement to pay a person that is doing you a favor. I think you should give, and I will give when I get married, a gift, monetary or otherwise, to the shadchan, to show my thanks. However, a requirement to pay a person for doing a mitzvah? That I do not agree with in the slightest.
However it is not like I disagree with you. If someone is actively “hounding” after a shadchan I think they should pay, but they should pay for a finished product. The number of dates DO NOT MATTER. Compare it to a real estate broker. Does the broker get paid for all the time he/she puts into the sale of the job even if the house does not sell? Do they get paid according to how many people they show the house to? Or do they get paid when the contract is signed.
So too by shidduchin. Just because the shadchan “showed” (i.e. set up) a girl or boy twenty, thirty, or even forty times does not mean she/he should get paid until they “sign the contract” (get engaged).October 21, 2009 1:55 pm at 1:55 pm #680918oomisParticipant
“That should be determined by a free market like everything else in our society. Why have we decided that a token hakaras hatov (which by the way even that almost never comes) is sufficient.
Truth be told the shadchanim do it to themselves. If they weren’t so nice and kind they wouldn’t be taken advantage of. By and large they are very nice and bashful and don’t have it in them to ask for fair compensation, therefore they are abused.”
The free market is determined solely by what people are willing to shell out. Law of supply and demand, you know. If people would stop paying such exhorbitant amounts, which apparently they can afford, then perhaps those others who cannot afford it would be able to benefit from those services as well at far lower costs. I would love to see a truly GREAT shadchan refuse to take mroe than $500 for the shidduch. I am betting that she would get more people coming to her, and the others would be forced to lower their fees. Of course, if she got that busy, she probably would start RAISING her fees. It’s a vicious cycle,what can I say? And “nice and kind” are not the terms I would use to describe many shadchanim in my circles. With one exception, they are pushy, too businesslike (brusk) argumentative, and berating of the girls primarily, who are not interested in the boys they push on them.October 21, 2009 2:05 pm at 2:05 pm #680919JosephParticipant
jewishandworking22: You are disagreeing with HALACHA which is clear you must pay the shadchan (full customary rate) regardless of what type of shadchan he is. Clear halacha.October 21, 2009 2:25 pm at 2:25 pm #680920
Aside from the fact that perhaps you are unfamiliar with the mekoros stating you need to pay customary rate to a shadchan (not a “gift”- that you can save for me for educating you :)), I like your analogy to a real estate broker. Finally, an analogy that makes sense to me, better than the ones I’ve come up with.
“If people would stop paying such exhorbitant amounts, which apparently they can afford, then perhaps those others who cannot afford it would be able to benefit from those services as well at far lower costs. I would love to see a truly GREAT shadchan refuse to take mroe than $500 for the shidduch. I am betting that she would get more people coming to her, and the others would be forced to lower their fees.”
I think it’s the amount that bothers you, which as I noted before, is so puzzling to me. I think it’s much more important than a band, wine on the men’s tables, or a shmorg. I am the type that buys my children’s shoes in Target, gets hand-me-down clothing from relatives, and doesn’t know what the inside of a restaurant looks like, because of financial reasons. And yet, 1500 to pay my child’s shadchan seems far from “exorbitant”, it even feels like underpaying. If parents think it is important enough to save up for chassunahs, this is an important piece of that. When a parent writes a list of chassunah expenses and how much to save up, the shadchan’s fee should be front and center, although much less than so many other, almost frivolous things that are “must-haves” on most lists. A band is a “must-have”, and the shadchan fee is “exorbitant”? Something has happened to our priorities along the way…
And I thought I wouldn’t be posting on this anymore…sorry 🙂October 21, 2009 8:06 pm at 8:06 pm #680921
Certainly a shadchan that chases after a boy/girl wouldn’t expect to get paid when they get the boy/girl to listen to their suggestion. However I don’t know what planet you live on. The shadchanim I know whose phones ring incessantly by people begging for their attention and their help, ceratinly wouldn’t constitute chasing after those people.
oomis1105: It seems like you also are not with reality.
“I would love to see a truly GREAT shadchan refuse to take mroe than $500 for the shidduch. I am betting that she would get more people coming to her, and the others would be forced to lower their fees.”
Do you think shadchanim have a problem with poeple coming to them????? They wish they had fewer people hounding them. Why don’t you pay a visit to even a semi active shadchan and spend a day in their home. They are NOT looking for more people to work on. They by and large can’t say no when people beg them for help..
Bemused: Real Estate broker- bad analogy.
Real estate brokers make far more than 2,000 on a copmleted sale. Say on a 500,000 home 4% commision thats a nice $15,000. On a 1 million dollar home that’s $30,000. Surely if shadchanim received that on a average shidduch it would be worth more than their while for all the non succesful attempts.
However receiving a total of 2g-3g (high end) for a succesful shidduch creates a need to pay for the service not just the result.October 21, 2009 9:13 pm at 9:13 pm #680922
AZ, I wasn’t saying the fees were similar, but the analogy of being paid per successful result after numerous attempts seems to work.October 22, 2009 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm #680923
Not if in one case (real estate) the fee makes all the other efforts worthwhile. In that case its reasonable to not pay for the service. If the fee upon successful result (shadchan) doesn’t make it worthwhile for all the unsuccessful efforts – than it isappropriate to pay for the service – not just a modest fee upon successful result.October 22, 2009 2:30 pm at 2:30 pm #680924JotharMember
Competition to lower prices of shadchanus would work if there is an oversupply of shadchanim. I do not believe that is the case.October 22, 2009 4:01 pm at 4:01 pm #680925cholentkugelkishkeMember
Jothar – I don’t know if there are enough as it is. There’s far from an oversupply.October 22, 2009 5:50 pm at 5:50 pm #680926
Jothar: correct. Oversupply is far from the problem
And yet the boys (almost) all get married relatively quickly. How does that happen???October 22, 2009 6:29 pm at 6:29 pm #680927jewish and working 22Member
I’m living on a normal planet. Where people get together and talk to each other. And friends set up their friends with others. I tried doing the whole shadchan thing, I still do listen to strangers who come along with a girl (one never knows), but I finally realized a while back that it just DOES NOT WORK. It’s a degrading, broken system. As proof to my case, a lot of people (and especially young singles (18-25) ARE complaining of a shidduch crisis and the process, instead of praising the system.
To tell the truth, I never officially met a professional shadchan, but my cousin is one, and have a few friends who are also considered “professional” and I tell them straight out that I do not believe in them setting me up with complete strangers from their “lists”.
My friends who do go to meet professional shadchanim come back and complain to me each that it was the most degrading 30 minutes – an hour, of their lives. Furthermore, none of them think, coming out of that meeting, that any goods will come from it. And in the end, very little has come from the meetings (can’t say nothing but definitely not worth it in the grand scheme of things).
As I posted in a different thread, I believe that we should shut down the system we have now and go back to the what we had 10 plus years ago. Word of mouth. Friends, family, and neighbors setting up people they KNOW, not COMPLETE STRANGERS. This process will most probably make more shidduchim, with less complications during the dating process and throughout the respective marriage.October 22, 2009 7:15 pm at 7:15 pm #680928JotharMember
It took me years to get married. My shadchan deserved way more than the final fee I gave her.October 22, 2009 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm #680929ronrsrMember
Many real estate brokers do work for fixed or hourly fees these days. You trade some of the risks for a potentially lower fee.
Google “fee for service real estate” to read more about this.February 14, 2010 3:07 am at 3:07 am #680930realtalkMember
For anyone interested- Halachically the sides have to show Hakaras Hatov- this can even be in the form of a thank you note or a gift. There has to be something given- I have heard stories about couples who did not pay their shadchan anything and had trouble having kids.February 14, 2010 5:41 am at 5:41 am #680931anuranParticipant
I got invited to the wedding and was invited to make the first toast. My wife was given the signal honor of staying with the kallah before the ceremony with instructions to tackle her if she tried to bolt – serious pre-wedding jitters.
We feel that we were well paid. Their little girl calls us “auntie” and “uncle” which we consider riches beyond measure.March 1, 2010 12:13 am at 12:13 am #680932AZOI.ISParticipant
I’m not about to read through 130 posts, so
1- What is the going rate in BP/Flatbush these days when you’ve mae a Shidduch with comfortable people on both sides?
2- When is it usually paid?March 1, 2010 2:35 pm at 2:35 pm #680933
I don’t know about “comfortable” but common in the trit-state area is 1,000-1,500 each side usually paid around the time of the vort but some pay at the wedding.March 1, 2010 6:12 pm at 6:12 pm #680934HIEParticipant
It depends how much each side can afford, I k ow of one shadchan that charges $10000March 1, 2010 8:19 pm at 8:19 pm #680935
HIE: that wasn’t the question. there are about 3 shadchanim in the country that have “Prices” the tens of others have no prices no have specific demands and graciously receive what they are given. (which by the way is why they are abused and taken advantage of).
It is that style shadcahn that Azois.is was asking about.March 1, 2010 8:51 pm at 8:51 pm #680936
Listen to this one: I was discussing a shidduch possibility with my parents when my father says maybe we ask Mr. X about this guy he charges $20. I said, “what? $20 for every shidduch he redds?”
“No, $20 for every shidduch that goes through!”
Basically, he doesn’t have a fee – everyone gives what they can – it seems the minimum is $20….
This Shadchan has made over 200 shidduchim.
This is one person in it Leshem Shamayim!March 2, 2010 1:55 pm at 1:55 pm #680937
Please double check. It’s impossible to comprehend that parents of a newly engaged child would express their hakaros hatov in the form of twenty dollar bill. I don’t care what they do for a living. They’d be better off writing a beautiful card and apologizing and sending nothing.
EDITEDMarch 2, 2010 3:45 pm at 3:45 pm #680938
AZ – i did not say my Dad would give 20 bucks – I think he’s gonna be in a very expansive mood when i get engaged- and will give alot more than this 😉
This Shadchan is his close friend – and he knows how he works quite well.
Shadchan works for a certain yeshiva, so he knows all the boys and their families.
This is not his only parnassa, so money is not the only deciding factor when he thinks of redding shidduchim.
Obviously families with wealthier means give a larger shadchanus than those that cant.
but he doesn’t demand it…March 2, 2010 8:01 pm at 8:01 pm #680939
Bodek: The overwhelming number of shadchanim have NO demands. They take whatever is offered. That still absolutely does NOT justify handing a shadchan a twenty dollar bill after your child gets engaged.March 2, 2010 8:18 pm at 8:18 pm #680940
You’re right about that one AZ. My mother-in-law is a very popular shadchan. She never demands and is almost always happy with the amount people pay her. The only time that she feels that she is underpaid is when the party promises her an amount and does not pay.March 2, 2010 8:24 pm at 8:24 pm #680941
Rochelle: please ask you mother in law how she would feel if she was given twenty dollars as shadchanus. Its so degrading. And then we complain that there are not enough shadchanim around.
In addition Rochelle: please enlighten the CR as to the time and energy your MIL puts into shidduchim (and she’s not a “professional”-whatever that’s supposed to mean.)March 2, 2010 8:35 pm at 8:35 pm #680942
Twenty Dollars is laughable. She would have given it up long ago..
Personally, I feel that my mil expends way too much effort on every shidduch. People are sooo desperate they drive her bananas. Every day she comes home to a minimum of ten messages from people calling to beg her to find them a shidduch. And aside from that she has to act as a counsler, physcologist, advisor and what not… But when it comes to paying, I dont think people realize the effort.March 2, 2010 9:21 pm at 9:21 pm #680943
AZ: I totally agree with you that $20 is not an appropriate ammount to pay a shadchan.
Most shadchanim my family deals with demand alot more… I just wanted to point out to the CR that there are some special individuals out there…
Rachelle: do i know you from somewhere? you seem to be following my posts avidly…March 2, 2010 9:28 pm at 9:28 pm #680944
“Most shadchanim my family deals with demand alot more.”
funny you write that. I have been in contact with tens of shadchanim in the last couple of years and not a single one has a price, and they certainly don’t “demand” anything….
Do you have any siblings that have gotten engaged via those shadchanim and they demanded a specific amount or have they told you up front?
I am aware of two shadchanim in the country who have fees up front. Two – that’s it. (there may be more but its kind’ve of like a needle in a haystack). Those 2 shadchanim tend to focus on the rich and famous-which is their right if they so choose.
The tens and tens of others-like Rochelle’s Mother in Law-have no fees have no demandsMarch 2, 2010 9:32 pm at 9:32 pm #680945
Rocehlle: Thanks for the insight into the life of a shadchan.
FYI-ten messages is relatively low. the busier shadchanim get close to 100 calls a day….
and you see how it takes over your Mother in Laws life with a fraction of that volume.
Then we compensate the shadchan by giving $20- and wonder why there are no more shadchanim..March 2, 2010 9:40 pm at 9:40 pm #680946
I’m sorry AZ – demand was the wrong word to use, shadchanim EXPECT more is probably be more accurate…
BTW AZ are you a shadchan? do you get over 100 calls a day?March 2, 2010 9:51 pm at 9:51 pm #680947
My mil is a Professional in a different career besides being a shadchan. She is an extremely busy women, and still listen to all the crank calls.
The recent most upsetting shidduch that she made was; girls parents promised 10,000.00 if she got her engaged. This girl had massive problems. She worked days to get this girl engaged, when she finally did the Girls parents paid her 2000.00. And its not like they dont have money, these people are loaded. My Mil was very upset about it. Dont promise if you dont feel like paying. End story is they ended up getting divorced boy and girl had to many problems to live together. Dear mil still feels guilty about it.March 2, 2010 9:55 pm at 9:55 pm #680948boredjewishguyParticipant
AZ: It doesn’t sound like anyone is suggesting that someone pay a shaddchan $20. It sounds to me like that shaddchan might tell people he charges a $20 minimum, as a way to make them comfortable paying whatever they can afford. It would be ridiculous to give a shaddchan $20, but I don’t think every shaddchan should get paid $1,000 or more from each side. If I go to a shaddchan who is not very helpful but happens to pick the right girl for me, I would be comfortable giving him $500 or so. If the shaddchan is helpful and spends a lot of time working for me, I would feel obligated to pay something even if the shidduch didn’t go through. Also I’m curious, how would you feel if the parents of a chosson or kallah didn’t give you an acceptable amount and the chosson/kallah offered to pay you in a few years when they can afford it?March 2, 2010 9:58 pm at 9:58 pm #680949
Bodek: I am not a shadchan by any stretch of the imagination. But I am in contact with shadcahnim frequently – due to my involvement in the close the age gap concept.
Yes shadchanim do expect a lot more then $20. Do you think they shouldn’t????
As I posted above “common in the tri-state area is 1,000-1,500 each side” and Shadchanim are okay with that.
What the shadchanim can’t accept is how they are totally not appreciated for all time and energy invested when the shiddcuh goes to 3/4/5 dates and then falls apart.
I’m sure Rochelle can fill us in on this angle..March 2, 2010 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm #680950
Boredjewishguy – you explained the $20 concept really well – thank you!
AZ- i am very greatful for your involvement in the “closetheagegap” issue – these days many shidduchim are being redd for me of boys my age.
five years ago (i was not in shidduchim then thank goodness!) this would have been unheard of…March 2, 2010 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm #680951
“What the shadchanim can’t accept is how they are totally not appreciated for all time and energy invested when the shiddcuh goes to 3/4/5 dates and then falls apart.”
Really now? do you want people that do not feel they are suitable for each other to get engaged just so that they should not hurt the shaddchans feelings?!?!?
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