≡ Menu

Preserving The Jam Turf

I live in a fairly large but close-knit neighborhood. One of the ways neighbors communicate about pretty much anything is via a Facebook group. Since I’m one of three administrators of this group, I’ve seen lots of etiquette faux pas over the years, but this one left me scratching my head.

My husband recently was laid off, and I had been thinking of ways to make a little extra money to see us through. I’ve always enjoyed canning and decided maybe I could make extra to sell. I decided to put feelers out before jumping into the endeavor and made a post to the page asking about interest in homemade jams, if I were to make some to sell. There was a surprising number of people who said they would love to purchase any jams I made. But one commenter, I will call her Joy, simply stated that she already bought locally made jams from “Company P,” and linked to their page. I was a bit confused as to her response, but didn’t think much of it.

A couple weeks later, my first batches of jams were ready. I posted to the page with availability and prices and was pleased by how quick people were to purchase a jar or two. But again, there was Joy: “Don’t forget about Company P!”

Another  neighbor later posted that their fig tree was full of fruit and invited neighbors to come and share the harvest. Someone mentioned me and commented that it would be wonderful to let me make some fig jam. Not two minutes later, Joy chimes in: “Company P could make a wonderful jam with those!”

I was beginning to notice a theme: if I was mentioned, Company P would be mentioned on the same thread–or within the same conversation for those who don’t use Facebook. I’d seen it before as an admin: when one person would post a comment offering services, sometimes another person offering the same services would post shortly after as to not be “forgotten.” But I’d never seen anyone blatantly do it directly within the “opposition’s” thread.

The kicker was when I attended the monthly neighborhood Girl’s Night Out event. Always hosted in someone’s home, it is a great way to meet new people or neighbors you haven’t seen in a while. As I introduced myself to a few people I’d never met before, one lady speaks up. “You are the one who makes the jams! I’m Joy!” She then proceeds to go into lengthy detail about how she has been purchasing from Company P for years, how she just came from a 4 hour birthday party at their place, and how great her jams are. Every time someone at the event brought up my jams, there was Joy. One sweet lady said her nectarine tree was loaded and invited me to come can them, as long as she got a few jars. Joy was right there to remind us how, Company P’s owner lived in the neighborhood and that making jam was HER living. The way in which she offered her information, if you were just listening to tone, was extremely friendly.

After having multiple conversations cut off by Joy, I finally got a word in and informed her that I myself had purchased from Company P in the past and that her jams were very good. She seemed to be doing extremely well selling at local farmers markets, but I’d be more than happy to see her post on the Facebook page. I, myself, was trying to get my family through a tough time and was grateful that I could do something I loved to help out. I avoided Joy as much as possible after that and at the end of the night, she left by informing me she would tell her friend at Company P “what a nice lady you are.”

The only lesson I can share out of the experience is–while friends always appreciate word of mouth enthusiasm for their businesses–please make sure you are respecting what you perceive as their opposition. You may be creating a turf war that no one cares about but yourself. 0716-15

If you ever figure out how to make canned praline pecan “butter”, let me know.


Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Erglala July 17, 2015, 8:32 am

    This seems to be a common trend among facebook groups. I am a photographer and you wouldn’t believe how horrible some people can be when they view you as competition. Most around here do weddings and portraits. I don’t. I do macro photography, something totally different. I’ve seen comments where if someone mentions me when they are looking for a photographer along the lines of “Oh I do REAL photography! Here go look at my facebook page!”. Makes me wonder if they even realize how insulting that is. I absolutely refer people to other photographers when they want a wedding or family photo done. I explain that it isn’t my area of expertise. It by no means I am not a “real” photographer. If anything what I do is far more challenging and I enjoy how it’s unposed. There is nothing staged about it. The few times I have done portraits were as a favor to a friend and they paid me in stuff from their farms. Fresh eggs and sausage anyone?

    Because of the attitudes of these other photographers I make a note on whom not to refer people to though. I am also more apt to refer people to ones whom are not as established and well known whom do amazing work. They need the exposure more than the person running a studio out of their home and dominating the FB market pages. We have a saying in our house…Go Local or Go Home.

    • DanaJ July 17, 2015, 11:20 am

      What the heck is “real photography” supposed to be? That’s like an orthopaedic surgeon telling an otolaryngologist “I practice REAL medicine” when their specialties have to do with completely different body parts.

      Honestly, if someone says “I’m a REAL photographer” it actually really undermines their credibility because it demonstrates they don’t understand the various genres of the artform and/or the specific skill sets required to do them well and master their artistry.

      • Ergala July 17, 2015, 1:41 pm

        In a few groups I am in for photographers there is a select few that believe real photography involves no editing at all. With what I do there is editing in contrast, hue, saturation, sharpening and then artistic touches. I try to explain that anybody can point and click a camera…editing is about 80% of it. The other 20% are camera settings and pure dumb luck.

        • Rebecca July 18, 2015, 1:24 am

          That drives me nuts too. I am not a pro photographer but a hobbyist who enjoys the post-processing aspect too. Then there come the comments, “Well I prefer to nail the shot as taken” as if post-processing is all about making up for poor exposure, lighting, etc. It’s not. I want to tell these people to read up on Ansel Adams and his darkroom techniques to bring out the best in his perfectly exposed negatives. Same thing.

          • Ergala July 20, 2015, 12:24 am

            Exactly! If they seriously think that famous photographers are publishing raw images they are in for a rude awakening. I don’t think any photographer worth their salt would boast that. Editing is our friend!

        • Jen July 18, 2015, 7:27 am

          Best [pics I have gotten were by accident!!!

          • NostalgicGal July 18, 2015, 6:21 pm

            Amen. Here too. Look at your take later and be blown away by what you didn’t know you’d managed to take. (I have a bee in flight in front of an iris, I didn’t know I’d gotten it at the time. I could NOT have managed to frame that shot if I tried.)

          • Ergala July 20, 2015, 12:25 am

            The one of mine that won 3rd place over all at the local fair was a complete accident HAHA! Grasshopper on a rose. I had my new macro lens and wanted to try it out. AMAZING image!

        • DirtyWeasel July 18, 2015, 4:14 pm

          Well then Ansel Adams must not have been a real photographer because he used to spend hours in the darkroom burning and dodging his photos until he was satisfied with the results.

        • SJ July 19, 2015, 7:52 pm

          Interesting. I wouldn’t hire a wedding or portrait photographer that didn’t do any post-editing.

          • Ergala July 24, 2015, 8:52 pm

            I just had to do that for someone. She posted in our photography group really upset about the photos she received. No editing. So I did it for her. She loved it.

        • Ulla July 20, 2015, 1:49 am

          Isn’t that bit of the same attitude there though? If you try to explain anybody can point and click camera, you are saying that your method is the more “real” or professional one. And they are saying that no editing is the real way to go. Unless you refer to your specific field only with the point and click and pure dumb luck, that is as rude and elitistic comment as the attitude with real photography needing no editing at all.

          • Ergala July 24, 2015, 8:57 pm

            No I don’t care how you do your photos or what camera you use or how you develop the images. It’t not my place to determine whom is a “real” photographer. And it really is point and click with DSLR with what I do. I don’t have the option to stop and change focus or switch from shutter priority to aperture when my subject is about to either fly away, melt or disappear. I don’t do staged photos at all. It’s why I am so irritated at the photographers whom do do portraits and only portraits pretty much spitting on what I do. I don’t get a second chance at a shot typically. They do. To disparage what I do is just outright insulting and ignorant. I could spit back at them that staged photos are a cake walk because they are in control of their subjects. They don’t have to do it on the fly or by the seat of their pants. I do not however. It takes skill to make people happy with your work when they are the subject. It takes creativity to set up a setting that captures the people perfectly. I don’t like doing it.

        • siamesecat2965 July 20, 2015, 8:46 am

          Totally agree with this! I am not a photographer, but did take a class back in college, before digital photography. I still remember the complexity of developing the photos, and doing that was needed for the light, contract, etc. And now, with digital photography, there is so much more to it! And I know the value of editing; my cousin got married and a friend of her’s who does photog. as a hobby took a photo of me, and “glammed” it up, with editing. WOW.

          • NostalgicGal July 22, 2015, 12:58 pm

            I had two forays into photography, the darkroom days and the digital days. Darkroom days, I loved it but found out I was allergic to all the chemicals and not in good ways. Digital came about and I embraced it because even though there are things film can do that digital can’t, I don’t get sick anymore. And yes, I am a pro at max-factoring a shot if needed. I’m also not doing stuff that gets printed in ads or magazine covers! (a little white lying for a bride is legit!)

          • Ergala July 24, 2015, 8:59 pm

            We did a little test last year with a photo of me. We photoshopped the snot out of it but not in huge obvious ways and had people on FB guess where the edits were. 3/4 of them pointed out stuff that was never altered. However nobody caught my eyes. One of them we copied and flipped over the other eye due to it being blood shot. Nobody caught it. They did see the teeth whitening and small blemish removals though. But the rest…they didn’t catch it.

    • PrincessButtercup July 17, 2015, 12:10 pm

      I know the frustration. I had a photography business for multiple years and the attitude of most other photographers was plain disgusting. I actually had a photographer complain about a portrait I did of a soldier because they didn’t like the guys last name!
      I provided photography for people on a budget, so my clientele was people who couldn’t afford the regular photographers. (I did my own wedding on a little over 1000$ so these photographers that say they won’t even consider shooting a wedding for less than a thousand dollars is something I could never consider. I know I’m not the only one so I helped other broke people like myself.) I wasn’t in the same bracket as most photographers. Most of my clients could never consider most photographers. Yet I still got angry, rude photographers who complained I was devaluing the trade…

      • Ergala July 17, 2015, 1:43 pm

        Yeah I had a friend that “specializes” in every type of photography. She cannot stand anyone having a superior shot and would tear my portfolio apart with her criticism. The thing is I AM really good at what I do. I’ve been published locally and have placed in competitions. I placed 3rd over all last year at a huge fair here. Pretty big deal because of all the submissions. She has never placed in anything or gotten a paying gig.

        • just4kicks July 18, 2015, 9:40 am

          An image just popped into my head in response to the person who hijacked your conversation with “I do REAL photography!” of you walking around with pretending to hold a camera and saying “click….click….click.” 🙂

          • just4kicks July 18, 2015, 9:46 am

            ….And… at my wedding, my husband’s oldest brother and his wife had a wedding photo/video business, they did our pictures and video as their wedding present to us, and everything was absolutely lovely!!!
            A “friend” of my husband’s was bitching in the ladies room that we didn’t hire HER (her photography was strictly a hobby) to do our wedding, and didn’t we know how much she needed the money, she would’ve taken MUCH better pics, etc….
            When I came out of the stall, she turned purple and began back peddling furiously….
            I said the photographer is my new brother in law, and isn’t charging us a dime…It’s their present to us….hope you’re enjoying yourself!!!!

          • Ergala July 20, 2015, 12:27 am

            Oh my word I would have flipped! This “friend” of mine actually wrinkled her nose at the different photos at the county fair last year. She kept criticizing them all and making really nasty comments about technique and everything. However she didn’t submit a photograph or piece of artwork to be judges and ranked. I almost pointed that out and when she came to my submission she said “That one is so obviously photoshopped and faked. You can see the cut and paste outline”….um no it wasn’t photoshopped except to enhance the green on the grasshopper and red on the rose….and I had the raw image to prove it. She had no idea it was mine.

        • NostalgicGal July 18, 2015, 6:47 pm

          There was a club meeting fiasco some years ago, member’s daughter was trying to become a pro photographer and took classes and bought a fancy camera. She was hounding all the members (mom’s friends) to be hired for weddings and such. So we had a ‘glamor shot’ meeting. A free picture and if you wanted more you could buy them. Went pretty dismally. Out of 20 she gave away 5 pictures. I have issues with makeup so I didn’t even participate (her mom was doing the make up then you went and had the picture). Next meeting everyone pretty much agreed the shots I’d taken at the previous meeting (for the Christmas party) were better. I don’t think the gal ever got her business launched…. just because you buy a camera it doesn’t make you a photographer.

    • JWH July 20, 2015, 7:37 am

      If you don’t mind my asking … could you suggest a good macro lens for the Nikon D5100 for somebody who’s on a budget?

      • NostalgicGal July 23, 2015, 12:30 am

        Sorry, I have Canon, Olympus and the film camera was a Pentax… 🙁

      • Ergala July 24, 2015, 8:52 pm

        My secret…Ebay. I bought my macro lens for $20 on there from a wholesaler.

  • Jewel July 17, 2015, 8:47 am

    On Facebook or any other “forum” type boards, Joy’s behavior is called “hijacking”. As the admin for your neighborhood’s Facebook page, you could have removed her posts on your thread about Company P and sent her a private message telling her not to poach your topic thread with support for your “competitor”. If you were feeling generous, you could remind her that she is free to start a separate thread about any topic of choice, including about Company P, if she wished but that it’s poor form to undercut another’s thread by advertising a competitor’s product.

    You certainly handled yourself with class at the Girls’ Night Out when she started up this nonsense and interrupted your conversations with other neighbors. I would have been tempted to glare and say, “We’re not talking about Company P right now, we’re talking about MY business.” Fortunately, your neighbors seem to have ignored Joy’s prattling. It’s likely more than one commented to others about how oblivious she is.

    • MamaToreen July 17, 2015, 10:29 am

      Or they all know her and don’t think quite so highly of her as they do of you

  • Tracy P July 17, 2015, 9:21 am

    Sounds like Joy has a stake in Company P’s business and is worried about the competition. I’d either ignore her or send a PM asking her to stop it. Until she lets up, try to see it as a compliment so she doesn’t drive you insane. Your jams must be pretty spectacular if she has to keep reminding them of an established business whenever your jams are mentioned.

  • Devin July 17, 2015, 9:26 am

    It would be good to find out if the owner of Company P does in fact live in your neighborhood. If she does, you might be able to partner with her and have her carry some of your jams that are different that her normal stock. If she does a strawberry, and you do a strawberry rhubarb then you would be adding to her offering. You could help with setting up at farmers markets, and offer to advertise in the neighborhood in exchange. “Company P, now serving homemade jams by OP”
    If she doesn’t live in the neighborhood then it would be easy for you to ask Joy to stop advertising on the neighborhood Facebook for someone who doesn’t live in the neighborhood. Since the owner of Company P hasn’t messaged you, or met you, it sounds like she might not live in your neighborhood and/or consider you a threat to her business.

    • Lerah99 July 17, 2015, 11:30 am

      It sounds to me like to OP is making jams in her kitchen.
      Unless her kitchen is a commercial kitchen, she can’t sell them publicly at a farmer’s market or through a store. The regulations on food product sales are very strict for public safety.

      That’s why many small goat dairies package their milk and cheese as “meant for pet consumption only” because they can’t afford the additional inspections and requirements to produce dairy sold for human consumption.

      • Z July 17, 2015, 1:27 pm

        This depends on the state. In my state, you cannot sell hot food you made in your home kitchen, but you can sell things like muffins that you cooked and then packaged up. I would think jams would fall into the latter category in my state.

        (A former coworker of mine started a muffin company with her friends. I had the same question. The lawyer among them looked up the regulations.)

        • NostalgicGal July 18, 2015, 6:57 pm

          I am putting this in because it’s very important and worth every penny:


          “Homemade For Sale: How to set up and market a food business from your home kitchen”

          I wanted to sell fresh produce and home made salsa at our local farmer’s market and bought this when planning my garden. It gives what you need to know, where to find, how to look up what your state requires and everything. I live in a state where it is kind of a grey area; but with this book was able to sort it out about an hour after I bought the book e-copy; and a little internet poking and downloading some handbook pages and forms for my state.

          This book is about the best for cutting through the glurp so if you want to sell jelly made in your own kitchen; what the law requires where you live.

        • Lerah99 July 20, 2015, 7:11 am

          That’s interesting.

          In my state, Florida, even creating a muffin mix to sell requires that it be done in a commercial kitchen. Also, if you want to make PB&J sandwiches and give them away to homeless people – our state statues require that the sandwiches be made in a commercial kitchen.

          I’m surprised your state allows food made in home kitchens to be sold commercially. In my state the only exceptions are things like school or church bake sales.

          • Amanda H. July 21, 2015, 4:01 pm

            I’ve gathered from some cursory research that there are actually several states where all you need to do is have your home kitchen inspected (to prove it’s not a health hazard), and get licensed yourself in order to sell certain products out of your kitchen. Most of them are baked goods and mixes, but jams and jellies are on the list for several as well.

          • Dani August 30, 2015, 3:35 pm

            You’re mistaken about Florida requiring a commercial kitchen for things like PB&Js, baking mixes and such. Florida has a Cottage food law. Fruit or nut Butters, roasted coffee, bread, home ground flour or grain, jams, jellies, candies, dry seasoning or baking mixes, ect. Can be made in an unlicensed private kitchen and sold at markets or by word of mouth (but can’t be sold in a licensed establishment). More info can be found here: http://www.freshfromflorida.com/Business-Services/Search-by-Business/Food-Inspections/Cottage-Foods

            A funny tidbit that makes no sense though… While you can make and sell home made cookies for human consumption without a license. You can *not* make and sell dog biscuits, pet treats or other animal foods without a license & inspection last I checked.

            It would be nice if Florida could expand their “Food freedoms”. The Cottage food act was a nice start, but its in need of some expanding.

        • CJ July 20, 2015, 6:06 pm

          In Arizona it is a horrible process to sell jam. Commercial kitchen, grease trap, and on top of that you have to send every batch to be tested. Baked goods are allowed for sale but jams and jellies fall under a dif category due to the botulism risk. I make great jelly and looked into selling it but it is a start up cost of over 10,000 and that is if you are renting space in a commercial kitchen. To retro your house was crazy I stopped estimating after the 20,000 mark.

      • WillyNilly July 18, 2015, 3:55 pm

        In my state a person can get their home kitchen certified for commercial food production.

  • Lisa July 17, 2015, 9:34 am

    My first thought is that Joy is getting some sort of cut for sending customers to Company P. Because otherwise it’s kind of… weird… to be selling someone else’s business so forcefully.

    • Michelle July 17, 2015, 9:54 am

      Either she’s getting a cut, or maybe Company P is owned by a family or close friend.

    • shhh its me July 17, 2015, 10:51 am

      Or company P. is owned by her daughter.

    • magicdomino July 17, 2015, 11:16 am

      I was wondering if Joy is either employed by or related to Company P. She seems too pushy to be just a happy customer.

    • AnaMaria July 17, 2015, 5:20 pm

      I wonder if company P is one of those network marketing companies where you sign up to be a distributor. Maybe Joy is either a distributor or has a friend who is one. But, I’m a distributor for a large, international company and we are always taught 1) to praise our competitors, assing said competitors run a fair and honest business and 2) to NOT waste our time trying to steal satisfied customers from other businesses. Joy is really hurting Company P with her passive-aggressive actions!

      • iwadasn July 19, 2015, 11:49 pm

        I agree. If I were one of Joy’s friends and witnessed this behavior, I would make a mental note to avoid that business!

    • ArtK July 19, 2015, 1:10 pm

      Not necessarily. Her investment in Company P may be purely emotional. Often, when people make a choice to like something, any alternate choice is seen as a criticism of their own. There doesn’t have to be a financial interest or a relationship for this to happen.

  • Jessica July 17, 2015, 9:55 am

    I had this problem. One of my boyfriend’s close friends had (unknown to me) started a facebook page selling jewellery. I started my own selling gothic items which I already had much of from my teenage years. Thats all I sold.. if anyone is familiar with the band Evanessence, that is the kind of thing. Well Debbie* found out about my page and sent me a private message telling me she was dissapointed in me as some of her stock was similar to mine and therefore she would appreciate it if I stopped copying her. I had no idea she even had a page but when I looked she sold a LOT of jewellery, just jewellery and yes there were one or two goth style items but I sold a little bit of jewellery with gloves, writing paper, hair accessories ect.
    What grinds my gears is when you have buy and sell pages on facebook and you put a wanted ad for something, like I did the other day when I was asking if anyone was selling any handbags. A few people replied to my thread with pictures and prices, while I was looking another woman came and said SOLD on one of the items on the thread. Not even waiting to see if I wanted it first.

    • Devin July 17, 2015, 3:16 pm

      While the community ‘garage sale’ sites can be annoying for that reason, it usually is a first come first serve basis. The person who posted on your comment probably had her item listed further down the thread as well. The person who claimed ‘sold’ saw the item on your post, but just as easily could have claimed it on the post further down.
      The group I follow, the common courtesy is once someone claims ‘sold’, they have a day to arrange payment and pick-up. Otherwise it goes to the next person on the thread (people will line up for certain items with ‘next’)
      I lost an item I wanted because I was messaging the seller to get more information on a item when someone claimed ‘sold’. I could have claimed it first then asked questions, but since I wasn’t sure I was serious about it I didn’t want to waste the sellers time. The seller asked if I wanted ‘next’ on the item, and it turned out it wasn’t exactly what I was looking for, so I declined.

      • Jessica July 18, 2015, 2:32 am

        If they had written SOLD on her original ad then by all means the seller could say to me ‘oh sorry it just sold’ or something thats fine. But to say sold on a post I myself put up seems rude to me.

      • mommaof3 July 21, 2015, 1:02 am

        On our buy/sell groups if we want to purchase something we post “interested” first. This allows a buyer time to ask questions about an item without missing out. Others who are interested in the item will post “next”. If the original person doesn’t want the item they say “no thank you, I will pass” and the item becomes avilable to the next person in line.

  • Melissa July 17, 2015, 10:07 am

    I had something similar happen a few years ago. An acquaintance had started a spray tanning business, and I had shared her business page on Facebook after getting a really great spray tan. Another friend commented on the post with another spray tan business’ contact info, saying what a great job she does, how she will come to you, etc. The girl who commented isn’t exactly known for her tact, but I was still so gobsmacked that someone would be that clueless and rude (now that I read ehell, I know that’s nothing compared to the stories I’ve heard here!).

    A friend of mine (L) accidentally did this to another mutual friend (J). J is in the same line of business that my fiance is, but my friend L didn’t realize it. J posted a status about looking for someone to hire, but she misunderstood and thought he needed the service that my fiance and J both provide. So she commented with my fiance’s business’ name and said what a great job they did for her. J seemed to take it in good humor and of course it seemed funny to us but I’m sure he was really irritated, although she apologized for the honest mistake. I never checked but I’m betting he deleted the comment or the entire status!

    Either way, the jam pusher was definitely a little rude, especially since the OP was just trying to make some extra short term money and wasn’t exactly trying to put Company P out of business.

    • Amanda H. July 17, 2015, 9:29 pm

      Your situation with L and J sort of happened to me once at a casual dinner my husband and I were invited to. We were sitting around chatting over dessert and the hostess said something about piano lessons I didn’t quite catch. I mentioned that if she was looking for someone to teach piano lessons, I knew someone who taught, only for her to explain that SHE taught piano lessons too. Oops. I had only just met her that day (my husband and hers were work acquaintances), so I didn’t know before then.

  • Geek July 17, 2015, 10:20 am

    This happens all the time in my area. What confuses me is how often the person hijacking the conversation or forum thread does not offer the service/sell the product. I make and sell enrobed truffles, cakes, jams and wine for sale and frequently encounter ‘oh, and Company X does that too, I use them all the time’ online and in person, even as I hand over product to a client.

    On the rare occasions that I have commented on this behavior, I experience similar to OP ‘oh, s/he makes a living on this work’. Which is wonderful, but so do I. In my area, ‘local business’ is used as an excuse to be rude, as the ‘race card’ is here and in other areas. I do not look like the local minority groups, despite being part of the largest one, and therefore have no ‘right’ to promote my own local business; I should know that ‘locals’ are the only people who should sell their products in the area.

    As for the praline butter, it’s so low-acid you’d need a pressure canner.

  • just4kicks July 17, 2015, 10:22 am

    Friendly tone or not, I consider it very rude to “jump in” every time your endeavor is mentioned.
    If there was a neighbor near us who made homemade jams, I surely would buy from them.
    My mom once got caught up in an “Avon” war between neighbors years ago.
    One lady mentioned at a gathering what a great way it was to supplement her household income, and another neighbor, the neighborhood gossip, decided to get in on the action.
    It started peacefully but ended up being a very nasty “turf war”.
    My mom just started splitting her order between both of them, and eventually stopped buying from either one.

  • Shannan July 17, 2015, 10:34 am

    This seems to me to be “hijacking” as well. The worst is when someone posts a news article about say, same sex marriage, and then you read comments and there’s a comment about a “great way to make $7,000-8,000 a month part time using your computer”. I’ve noticed that people don’t seem to respond well to that. People seem to be almost resentful when someone posts about their home based business on another person’s thread or page. I hope the way I worded this isn’t too confusing.

    • Ashley July 17, 2015, 1:16 pm

      Actually, those types of posts are almost ALWAYS made by spam bots that are deliberately designed to go post that in as many places as possible regardless of the content of the original post. It’s not an actual person doing it ever.

    • magicdomino July 17, 2015, 3:37 pm

      “there’s a comment about a “great way to make $7,000-8,000 a month part time using your computer”. I’ve noticed that people don’t seem to respond well to that. ”

      That because a lot of scammers and bots use that kind of comment as bait to find victims. Either the link loads malware, or the employment is a scam. The subject of the legitimate comments doesn’t matter.

      • Cat July 17, 2015, 5:55 pm

        That is true. The only way to make that kind of money using your computer is to be selling drugs, porn or yourself. I am amazed at the number of my friends who have asked me if they should look into responding to those ads.
        If it sounds too good to be true, it is too good to be true.

    • PB July 23, 2015, 5:41 am

      That’s because it’s done by an automated spambot and I’m always amazed how naive people are about the internet, and that there are people who actually think actual people are behind this. Same as the kind of people who think spam emails are sent specifically to them by actual people and that they’re being rude by not responding. Learn how the internet works, people. Stop being dim.

  • SJ July 17, 2015, 10:41 am

    This strikes me as bizarre. From the OP’s description it almost seems like “Joy” is oblivious.

  • SJ July 17, 2015, 10:43 am

    Also, apparently owner of Company P has never utilized Facebook on her own behalf for selling, so . . . she must not be that worried about OP’s competition. Wouldn’t you think?

  • Lerah99 July 17, 2015, 10:54 am

    Letter writer: It seems like Joy felt you were elbowing into her friend’s business.

    Which is silly.

    If her friend is making jam on a professional level to sell at farmers markets, boutique grocers, online, etc… and you are simply making a few batches in your home kitchen to sell to friends and family – you are working two different markets.

    The amazing thing is all this rabid defense of company P wasn’t coming from the owner but from her friend.

    I saw a similar issue pop up in my local pagan community.
    There are about 4 festivals a year where people camp and there is a vender row where people sell things.

    Two different ladies were selling homemade soap, bath bombs, bath sachets, etc…

    One of the ladies, Diana, had a successful business doing this year round. She sold her products to local organic food stores, yoga studios, new age shops, etc….

    The other lady, Morrigan, did it as a hobby and only sold at the festivals.

    Both ladies were perfectly happy selling side-by-side on vendors row, but somehow their friends decided this was unacceptable.

    Sides were chosen, lines were drawn, and two different stories were spun.

    In one, poor Diana was simply trying to preserve her business! Morrigan had stolen her recipes and was now trying to steal her customers at the festival.

    In the other, poor Morrigan was simply trying to make a little money at the festival with products she made for fun. And Diana was acting like a cut-throat business person and trying to stop any competition from happening.

    The crazy part was that both Diana and Morrigan said the kerfuffle was ridiculous. There were both happy to sell side by side with the other one. There were enough people at the festivals that both of them made money.

    Sometimes I think people have too much time on their hands and simply create drama where there isn’t any.

    • SJ July 19, 2015, 7:54 pm

      How sad that their friends acting in such an unfriendly manner! Especially when the two business owners were above it all.

  • GeenaG July 17, 2015, 11:20 am

    Ignore her and block her. Life is too short to put up with people like this.

    • Stephbwfern July 18, 2015, 4:08 pm

      Don’t block her. If she hijacks your selling thread again (an action considered very rude in almost all online communities), you want to be able to see it. If this is on a group, you could quietly pm an admin about it. I admin a large group that often buys/sells and this kind of behaviour would not be tolerated at all – her “don’t forget about Company P” comments on your selling thread would be deleted and Joy would be cautioned. It really is considerably rude online behaviour. This woman sounds like a blithering twit, tbh.

      • Willynilly July 21, 2015, 9:27 pm

        If the OP blocks her, she will never see OP’s posts again. So OP can post about her jam daily if she wanted and this woman would never see a single thread, and could therefore not post on the threads. Blocking is a two-way action: the blocker cannot see the blockee, and the blockee cannot see the blocker.

        I suppose it would mean OP would also not see if this woman was hijacking *other people’s* threads (such as ones offering fruit off their trees) but since those aren’t OP’s threads, as annoying as the hijack might be, they are also not appropriate for OP to police… except as her role as admin.

        Which is the only reason I can think OP might legitimately not want to block her; because OP is an admin to the page, and probably should be able to see all posts by all members.

  • Ashley July 17, 2015, 11:50 am

    I hate when people do stuff like that.

    I mean seriously, you clearly were not discussing Company P’s jams, so what even was she trying to accomplish by bringing it up. Everyone else is clearly invested in your jams and knows why you are doing it and is helping you by offering you fruit.

    I think you handled it well at the party, and if it comes up on Facebook again, perhaps reinterate the situation in writing, and ask her politely to stop hijacking posts.

  • kingsrings July 17, 2015, 12:17 pm

    I am active in the theatre and film community and run into this issue frequently, both online and in person. The online happens in social media groups. Someone posts inquiring about a good headshot photographer or acting teacher to hire, and they get all kinds of responses – hire this guy because of such-and-such, hire that guy because of such-and-such. And sometimes they do get snarky and nasty about it, slamming the competition because they want the business to go to a certain person. That I absolutely can’t stand, not only because it’s mean and hurts our community, but because when I’m trying to decide who to hire, I want genuine, helpful, constructive feedback that will help me make my decision.
    That said, it’s just plain rude to hijack someone’s thread in order to turn it into your own plateau to sell or recommend for your own needs. When someone does that to me, I politely ask to stop and explain why it’s rude and recommend that they start their own separate thread for their needs.

  • Dee July 17, 2015, 12:48 pm

    Okay, so you want to use your group’s Facebook page to sell a product, but you are upset that every time you do someone else wants to use the same page to sell someone else’s product? Huh?!? If I was on that Facebook page I would be upset that ANYONE is trying to sell me something. That’s not what the page is for, right?

    • Ergala July 17, 2015, 1:49 pm

      No she is upset that someone is posting competition on her own post. Like if you made a post selling a pool table for $100 and people were asking for info and wanted to buy it. Suddenly someone else posts on YOUR thread stating “Oh I have one too only I’m selling it for $85”. That is hijacking and it’s rude. You make your own post for your product, you don’t piggy back on someone else’s.

    • Jewel July 17, 2015, 1:53 pm

      If I’m reading the OP’s letter correctly, she’s not upset that someone else wants to use the same Facebook page (the neighborhood’s page) to sell another company’s product. The OP was upset that someone else wants to use the THREAD she started on that Facebook page about her product to sell another company’s product. That’s just all kinds of wrong in terms of tech-etiquette.

      And, yes, Facebook is used for all kinds of purposes, including sales. Our neighborhood’s Facebook page contains selling posts, “in search of” posts, recommendations for vendors, neighborhood news posts, and all manner of other posts. If you have “liked” a page or are a member of a Facebook group that posts stuff you don’t like — in your case, product sales — you are free to “un follow” the page.

    • MamaToreen July 17, 2015, 2:18 pm

      I think it’s that Joy keeps hijacking the OP’s threads. If Joy wants to sell something, she can start her own threads for that purpose in the community

    • Vrinda July 17, 2015, 2:20 pm

      If you read the OP’s post properly, you’d see that she is one of three administrators for the group page, so she would be aware of what the groups’ rules are better than anyone. She also phrased her post to let people know that she was selling those jams in case anyone was interested. It was up to the readers to decide if they wanted those jams and if so, to contact her. She wasn’t pushing them in people’s faces or advertising them up and down the page. She just made one post advertising it. Just because someones posts a comment about selling an items or items, it doesn’t mean anyone is being forced to buy it.

      The administrators set the rules for the site, which may allow for selling items or disallow it. Maybe the group allows people to advertise their products? Even then, if Joy wants to plug Company P, she can start her own post to do so, not take over the OP’s.

      • NostalgicGal July 18, 2015, 7:11 pm

        MANY years ago when things were all dialup and such; a moderator on a bulletin board would jump all over everyone for getting the slightest bit off topic on that particular forum, and one thing that was forbidden UNLESS you were paying to advertise on there; to post ads for something. The fellow would chew you out in one posted message for posting something that might be an ad (about a week or two after it was posted), and the next posting after that was a blatant blurb for his business. He was NOT supporting the board monetarily. He also harassed several of us over our real names and wanted several of us to send a partly blanked off copy of our Drivers License to prove that was our name (block off your SSN and the license number and your address). Which was above his powers. I became friends with the person who owned the hardware that the BBS ran on; and he finally dumped that particular moderator as he had not been checking and had ignored the complaints sent to him. I look at the great grandson of this stuff (like Facebook) and just shake my head…. (so a good 30 years as I try to count this off)

    • Devin July 17, 2015, 3:06 pm

      It seems like there isn’t any backlash about the OP posting she’s selling jams, but that Joy keeps ‘hijacking’ her posts to comment about a company not owned by a member of their group. If Joy owned Company P, and made a separate thread reminding the group she will be set up at next week farmer’s market then that would be fine.
      I’m sure a community group often posts items similar to this. “Jane just finished a safe sitter course and will be available to babysit during summer break” or “We’ll be having a garage sale next Saturday, hope to see y’all there”. The rudeness comes in if someone else posted under Jane’s post “Don’t forget Pam, she also babysits”.

    • Mary July 17, 2015, 3:14 pm

      I don’t think OP has a problem with the competition using the community page to sell their items. It’s someone hijacking OP’s own posts about her own business. I’m sure it’s fine if the competition creates their own posts.

    • Kimstu July 17, 2015, 3:20 pm

      @Dee: “If I was on that Facebook page I would be upset that ANYONE is trying to sell me something.”

      Isn’t that overreacting a bit? The OP says that she made ONE post on the neighborhood Facebook page to put out “feelers” for local interest in her product, which sounds perfectly reasonable to me. Then, because she got a lot of positive response, she made ONE other post to notify them when the product became available. For a neighborhood Facebook group that exists to talk about anything and everything neighborhood-related, that seems like a legitimate use.

      By my count, all the other sales pitches were posted by “Joy” whenever OTHER people happened to mention the OP or her jams.

      I think the OP handled the encounter at the party very graciously, and while I’m glad that “Joy” was at least pleasant and friendly in her tone, I’m not sure her eagerness in “protecting” Company P’s “turf” is going to be a net positive for Company P. Nobody likes being hit over the head with sales pitches whenever the word “jam” comes up.

    • AIP July 17, 2015, 3:54 pm

      But not on the exact same thread/conversation surely?

      If you were, for example, mentioning your child and friends had a lemonade stand with a cute photo of said urchin and lemony goodness, but this complete randomer keeps piping up about another child in the general vicinity who also has a stand and it’s very good. Then every single, solitary time a photo or mention of the stand is mentioned, or someone offers lemons, this one interrupts to say “but don’t forget Little Madam’s stand which blows this operation out of the water”. That wouldn’t strike you as being a little odd, up to borderline inappropriate: a whole separate thread should be created for “the competition” rather than riding roughshod over someone else’s.

      • Dee July 17, 2015, 7:21 pm

        A community post is supposed to be for the benefit of the entire community, no? So people posting person business would be, at the very least, annoying, and certainly not something that is for the benefit of others. If I play devil’s advocate I can imagine Joy’s take on this and her not-so-subtle hints about the inappropriateness of using the communal site for personal purposes, hints that the OP is too obtuse to get. Surely the OP has her own Facebook page where she can sell things, and she can let people know about her page on the community site, but I certainly would be more than annoyed if my neighbours try to sell me something on a site that is supposed to be for community announcements. And, no, I would NOT use the site to advertise my kid’s lemonade stand because I would respect that the site is not for my personal use. If I did, then I would have to expect everyone else to do the same, which is exactly what is happening to the OP, and then the purpose of the site would be compromised and it would be a chore to try to get through the site to see if there are any important announcements that AREN’T ads. After that it would be just another clogged site and nobody would bother to read it anymore, making the whole exercise pointless. If the site is for everyone to use to try to sell stuff to their neighbours then I definitely think the rules should be clear that ALL can use that site for their own ads, which is all that Joy is doing.

        • Jessica July 18, 2015, 2:45 am

          I don’t think you quite get the gist of whats going on…

        • YersiniaP July 18, 2015, 2:56 am

          I think you are not understanding the distinction between community page and community post here.
          There is no community post in the OP’s story, but a facebook page that everybody in the community can post to. (On Livejournal, these used to be personal LJs and LJ groups, if you maybe used that service?)

          I am not on Facebook, but several other forums, and the rules are pretty much the same in every one: it might be a community forum, but your own post or thread on said forum is always your own thread, and not everybody else’s.
          As it has been said numerous times before now, it’s called hijacking a thread when you do what Joy does.
          It’s perfectly fine for Joy to start her own thread in a community forum, but it is rude to try and pull attention away from the OP and towards yourself in a comment to somebody else’s original post.

          And maybe it’s a bit awkward for the OP to call Joy out herself, even if she is an admin for the community page, because she is directly involved, but I am amazed that none of the other admins has talked to Joy about this yet.
          In most of my forums, admins do not take kindly to people hijacking other people’s threads over and over and over again, especially when it looks almost like some kind of personal vendetta like OP’s case certainly does to me.

        • another Laura July 18, 2015, 7:13 am

          OP first posted to see if anyone in her community would be interested *if* she started making jam to sell. It seems to me that having notices like this would be part of a community page’s purpose. A section for events, perhaps one for local news or human interest stories, perhaps a lost and found tab, then a “classified” section like in a newspaper where community members can buy, sell, swap, etc. You only need go to the classified section if you are interested. And as another poster pointed out OP is an administrator of the page so she must know what is acceptable to post. The point is, you don’t tag an ad for your product onto the ad for a similar competing product. What if that happened in real life? In the middle of a spot for Sunkist, a corner of the screen says, “don’t forget about Fanta!” Both companies are free to use the same medium to hawk their product, but one is not allowed to hijack the other’s promo. In the same way, both OP and Joy/company P are welcome to offer yummy, homemade spreadables on the community page, but they should do it in separate threads, unless someone asks “hey, where can I get locally made jam?” Both would be free to respond to same post then.

        • Ergala July 18, 2015, 11:30 am

          I don’t think you are understanding how these pages work, or the etiquette surrounding them. I would much rather buy homemade goodies from my neighbor than buy from a large stand. It wouldn’t even phase me to see it on a neighborhood page because to me that is what it is there for….to support your neighbors. I have a fb page for my business and no matter how much I link it I have like 60 likes. That’s it. It’s not because my work is inferior it’s because nobody really goes to those pages unless it’s sponsored (which costs money). I rely on posting in local groups. If another person whom does what I do was advertising on my post I would be livid. This just happened with someone else and the about 3/4 of the group came down on them like a hammer. Someone was looking for a small dog and a woman responded she had a year old small breed dog she was looking to rehome. Another woman came onto the post and started asking for pictures and price and location. She then declared she could give her more money and come that day to get the dog. The response to her hijacking was swift and brutal.

          • Dee July 18, 2015, 3:17 pm

            And this is the reason why I can’t stand social media. It just seems as if “anything” goes, the rules of how to engage with people are thrown out the window. No, it is NOT okay to use a community resource to advertise personal issues. Like mixing office and personal business – it’s not going to work out well. As in the example OP makes. She wants to post personal business but gets offended when someone else posts her own personal business in response. But, as evidenced by the responses here, acceptance of inappropriate postings is the new “etiquette”, and such evidence makes me very happy I do not have to have anything to do with social media if I don’t want. Good fodder for websites like STFU Parents, though.

          • Amanda H. July 21, 2015, 4:08 pm

            But Dee, the situation here isn’t that OP is upset that Joy is posting personal business. She’s upset that Joy is doing so in OP’s own thread/conversation every time it comes up. This is actually reflected in the Girls’ Night situation OP mentioned where every time the jam selling came up in an actual face-to-face conversation, Joy was there to jump in with “Don’t forget Company P!” Given that OP is one of the admins for the Facebook page, I would assume she knows first-hand what is and isn’t acceptable posting on the page. Joy can go ahead and make her own posts about Company P and OP wouldn’t have a problem. But Joy is instead hijacking OP’s conversations.

            It’s like if OP and Company P were both selling at a farmers market, only Joy kept standing in front of OP’s booth to pitch Company P’s products. That’s terrible etiquette. Company P is all well and good to sell their stuff, and Joy is fine in mentioning it to people, but in this case Joy is actively derailing every conversation about it instead of trying to start her own conversation.

          • NostalgicGal July 22, 2015, 1:04 pm

            Yes, Amanda H., your last paragraph, that’s exactly what’s going on and that’s what the bad part is. Company P may be just fine but Joy needs to quit butting over and trying to grab anything and everything for the glory of Company P that comes to or is said or typed by the OP.

        • C July 20, 2015, 8:27 am

          “A community post is supposed to be for the benefit of the entire community, no?”

          Yes, and that’s why OP is using the page to post about her jams, because she’s selling to her local community. She isn’t starting a business where she sells and ships internationally, it’s so she can sell locally and help out with a bit of a hard time in her family. And if it’s only temporary, I could see why she opted not to start her own Facebook page to promote her jams.

          Alternatively, if she was starting a business and created her own Facebook page to promote it, it would still not be rude to post on her local community Facebook page that she was starting a new business selling homemade jam and a link to her page. Unless the rules state otherwise, it is not rude to post about your business on your local community page, provided you start your own post about it and not reply to another person’s post about your business.

          Also, I think you missed the part about OP being the admin of her community page, meaning she makes the rules along with her fellow admins. Unless they collectively say no local advertising on the page, it’s fine. So it wouldn’t matter one lick if Joy, or you, had an issue with it because neither of you are an admin. If you have a problem with it you are free to start your own Facebook page.

        • AIP July 21, 2015, 1:15 pm

          I appreciate that, but it is poor “netiquette” to constantly hijack another’s posts/threads or direct messages to discuss or promote a rival venture; just as it was poor form to do it to the OP in real life. Once is no big deal, but to do it on multiple occasions and in multiple settings strikes me as very odd.

          To clarify: there was nothing stopping SuperJam from making a new thread/post to mention the competition, which would’ve been the most appropriate way of promoting her friends, particularly after the first comment on the OP’s thread.

          • PB July 23, 2015, 5:45 am

            Dee, you clearly don’t understand a thing about how these pages work. I’d stop posting if I were you – you’re making yourself look extremely foolish.

    • Sarah B. July 17, 2015, 4:42 pm

      I read it as it’s a very tight-knit neighborhood where most of them are friends, often good friends, and this Facebook page is to keep up on how everyone is doing and any neighborhood concerns, thus OP mentioning that her husband had been laid off and she’s selling homemade jam to bring in some cash until he finds work would not be inappropriate at all. Certainly, nobody but Joy seems to have any problem with it and even offer excess fruit they don’t need to her cause. If it was really a problem, surely other people would kick up a fuss. (Better she puts hard work into selling a product to keep body and soul together until he finds a job than just asking everyone for ‘donations’. *That* would be rude and worthy of e-hell.)

      OP isn’t upset about “competition” — she’s bought Company P’s products in the past and really liked them. Joy’s thread hijacking to mention Company P didn’t bother her the first few times. A little odd, but so what? If Joy had simply created her own thread(s) about Company P or mentioned it every once in a while, it doesn’t seem like OP would’ve had a problem at all. It’s only the fact that Joy has to hijack the conversation, both online and in person, every… single… time OP’s jams are mentioned by *anyone*, no matter how casually or in passing, that annoys OP. Broken records (or skipping CDs for the younger crowd) are annoying. People who imitate broken records are obliviously obnoxious at best and deliberately rude at worst.

      I give Joy the benefit of the doubt and say she comes down more on the obliviously obnoxious side, but that’s still a pain in the etiquette to deal with graciously and politely, which the OP has. Kudos to the OP for handling both the selling and Joy with equal graciousness and class.

      • Dee July 17, 2015, 7:28 pm

        “… nobody but Joy seems to have any problem with it …”. Do you know this is true or, as is likely more accurate, nobody else has complained but Joy? Because if one person is unhappy with the way something is run usually they are not alone. I could imagine that this “close-knit” community is not so close-knit that people are willing to criticize a neighbour who is using the sympathy card to try to sell stuff to her neighbours. So, Joy speaks up but others do not, which does not guarantee that all are happy with OP’s actions. So many groups disintegrate because of situations like this, because people were afraid to speak up amongst friends when they don’t agree with the way things are being run. Why not keep the site on topic and allow people to do their selling on their own sites? Seems to me that that would guarantee fairness and prevent anyone stepping on others’ toes, the latter of which seems to be what Joy is feeling.

        • Lucretia July 18, 2015, 12:22 am

          Respectfully, it seems a bit like you’re projecting onto Joy here. In any case, the way to voice your discontent with the way a thread is progressing is not to throw an ad out for a rival business, but to say something along the lines of “I wish you the best of luck, OP, but is this the right forum for this?” or something similar. Joy isn’t speaking up about what the OP is doing and calling it inappropriate, she’s every bit as inappropriate in that case since she’s doing exactly the same thing for a business that isn’t even hers.

          • Ai July 19, 2015, 12:34 pm

            I agree with Lucretia. There is no evidence in the Op’s post about Joy not liking ads on the Community page. In fact, the real issue is that not only is Joy hijacking the Op’s thread, but also interjecting Company P’s name every time someone mentions the Ops’ homemade jams in conversation. Which is really bizarre and in my opinion very rude.

            Joy is advertising Company P’s product on the same Community Page too, so wouldn’t Joy be just as inappropriate as the Op? Why are you so fixated on the Op and ignoring the fact that Joy is hijacking the Op’s thread to do the VERY same thing you seem to disapprove of?

        • SJ July 19, 2015, 8:04 pm

          Some pages have rules that say “no home-based businesses,” or “no ads,” etc. We don’t know whether this is the case here, but it seems that this sort of ad is considered acceptable in OP’s forum. It’s the hijacking of the thread that bothers OP.

          Certainly, there are such forums where it would be rude and unacceptable to post ads as such. Until someone lets the OP know that it’s not meant to be used that way, she hasn’t breached etiquette.

        • Ulla July 20, 2015, 2:14 am

          But that exactly is the topic of those sites generally. Of course, I haven’t been on the exact site, but, we had a community for our largish apartment complex I used to live. And that kind of stuff was exactly what it was for. It was not for official announcements, nor there was “exact topic” in which the discussion should be kept. It was so that people from that complex could reach each other, for whatever they had in mind.

          So there was stuff like “I made too much cookies, does somebody want few?” or “I have bed I don’t need, does anybody want to buy it?” and “Can somebody longer-than-me help me install a lamp.” Selling bit of homemade jams would have been exactly on topic there too.

          In addition, given that the neighbours are approaching OP about the jams and offering her fruits so she can make more jams, I really doubt that there is huge amount of people who stew in silence over this. As others have said, it would be perfectly fine for Joy to make her own posts about Company P or whatever. But hijacking threads is rude behavior always, no matter the topic.

        • C July 20, 2015, 8:35 am

          Joy isn’t “speaking up” about the etiquette of posting a jam business on a community Facebook page, she is in fact advertising herself what she views as OP’s competition, on threads that OP had started. If her complaint was about seeing advertisements on the community page, her replies would have said just that.

        • Sarah July 20, 2015, 2:03 pm

          You seem so insistent that you know exactly what this community FB group is for, talking about how it’s supposed to be “for community announcements” and the like, but how do you know that? It’s a Facebook group. Often community Facebook groups are for community announcements but also for news and other conversation between the neighbors. Anywhere from, “Hey, anybody know whose pickup truck that is parked next to the rec center? I noticed their taillight was out,” to “I lost my dog near 5th and Elm, black lab with white chest, if anybody sees him give me a call,” to, “I’m trying to pick up some extra money this summer since I’m not teaching, so if anybody needs a dog walker or pet sitter, let me know!” to “Hey, I’m gonna be having a yard sale on Saturday, *lots* of kid stuff (thank goodness everybody has grown out of plastic toddler toys, am I right?) so stop on by!” On that kind of forum, a post about homemade jam is perfectly appropriate. I think without knowing that the Facebook group is “for community announcements only,” you’re making unkind assumptions.

          (For the record, my community has an email newsletter rather than a Facebook group, but a feature of the newsletter is services and products offered or recommended by neighborhood families. Jam would totally be fine.)

        • Kendra July 21, 2015, 1:15 am

          It seems to me that Joy the is the one having trouble staying “on topic”. Not only does she hijack threads, she hijacks conversations. Both behaviors are rude. It seems that you had a bad experience with a community Facebook Page and are projecting that experience onto the OP’s situation. The OP didn’t say it was a community announcement page. She said it was a community page where the neighbors “talk about pretty much everything”, which means that the OP asking if anyone would be interested in homemade jams if she made them would be perfectly appropriate. It would even be appropriate for Joy to talk about how great her friend’s jams are in her own thread. It is not okay for Joy to mention her friend’s business in every thread mentioning OP’s jams. To put it in perspective, what Joy is doing would be like me replying to you, but instead of addressing your points, I just said “this post is okay, but you really need to read Ergala’s posts. Her posts are really inspiring.” (Sorry Ergala, yours was the only name I could think of off the top of my head.) That would by hijacking.

          There is something you said that is confusing me. You have said that Joy hijacking threads to promote her friend’s business is a form of protest? What makes you think that? It’s not the way I read it, but I could be missing something.

          • AIP July 21, 2015, 1:21 pm

            Imma let you finish … but Sarah writes the best responses OF ALL TIME!! ^_^

        • crella July 22, 2015, 2:25 am

          ” So, Joy speaks up but others do not”

          Joy isn’t ‘speaking up’, she’s plugging a rival jam maker on the OP’s thread about her own home made jam.

      • Rachel July 20, 2015, 10:48 am

        “Pain in the etiquette” Haha I like it (and may steal it).

    • InTheEther July 17, 2015, 9:55 pm

      The lengths “Joy” is going to is weird/annoying. The part that really cinches it for me is she is basically fishing for invitations for this unknown 3rd party to come collect fruit when other people in the neighborhood offer it to the OP. This is like if person A made way too many cookies for an event and invites person B to swing by and grab some and then person C jumps in and says how much their sister’s boyfriend loves cookies.

      • NostalgicGal July 18, 2015, 7:13 pm


    • Library Diva July 22, 2015, 11:09 am

      I’d suspect that “what these pages are for” tends to vary from neighborhood to neighborhood. Some will be all about people trying to sell their cars, their home-made goodies, and their MLM products, and they’ll be received enthusiastically. Others will ban all of that sort of thing. Many will probably be somewhere in the middle of the road. OP said: “I’d seen it before as an admin: when one person would post a comment offering services, sometimes another person offering the same services would post shortly after as to not be “forgotten.” But I’d never seen anyone blatantly do it directly within the “opposition’s” thread.”

      And then Joy takes it to the next level by doing the same thing in real life, following OP around a party and interjecting with “Company P! Company P!” anytime anyone so much as mentions jam. Joy is making this much more competitive than it needs to be. OP selling jars of jam for a few bucks to her friends and neighbors doesn’t represent much of a threat to someone who’s incorporated, who sells at markets and events, and who (presumably) has a web and social media presence beyond a personal Facebook page.

  • just4kicks July 17, 2015, 12:49 pm

    …..And what I wouldn’t give for some of my Grandma’s homemade apple butter right now…… 🙂

    • Firecat July 17, 2015, 1:52 pm

      I’m missing my great-grandmother’s chokecherry jelly.

      • just4kicks July 18, 2015, 10:27 am

        Chokecherry? That’s almost as fun to say as it must be to eat!

        • NostalgicGal July 18, 2015, 7:14 pm

          Best. Stuff. Ever. on pancakes.

        • Firecat July 18, 2015, 9:40 pm

          It is fun to eat. Chokecherries are (as you might expect from the name) a very sour fruit; I think they mostly grow in the northern part of the US. I know they grow in Minnesota, which is where I live. You can’t really eat them raw, so far as I know, but they make wonderful jelly and syrup. It’s hard to describe, but sort of like a combination between cherry and cranberry in flavor.

        • Mustard July 19, 2015, 4:27 am

          Very ‘Harry Potter’ too!

  • Weaver July 17, 2015, 3:15 pm

    From your post, OP, I can only imagine that Joy is making herself look ridiculous, not you. People clearly like your products, so if I were you I’d just continue killing her with kindness, while also enthusiastically accepting any offers to can or sell that would be helpful to you.

    • SJ July 19, 2015, 8:07 pm

      Right on. And since the actual owner of Company P has not made an appearance in this story, I wonder if she is feeling just as annoyed by Joy’s behavior.

  • Mary July 17, 2015, 3:16 pm

    Plus it sounds like this Facebook page is meant for the purpose of promoting local business. If you didn’t want people trying to sell you something, you wouldn’t be on that page.

  • PatGreen July 17, 2015, 3:21 pm

    Is this normal for her? I know people who only have one thing to contribute to a conversation but so badly want to be a part of it they just repeat the same thing over and over again.

  • Jays July 17, 2015, 8:26 pm

    A slightly different perspective. I have a food-based hobby. I am a hobbyist, but I’m connected with many people who do it for a living. To be legal, you need to jump through my food safety hoops. It can be pricey and time-consuming.
    I’ve read/listened to many a rant about prople who then start up similar food-based businesses at their houses, don’t go through any of the legal or safety issues, undercut the prices of the legal vendors and wind up taking customers away from those who did things the way they’re supposed to. Reading this, I wondered if Joy’s friend had gotten all her health dept. certification, legal materials, etc. and the OP hadn’t. And Joy felt the need to say something without absolutely hanging the OP out to dry.
    I don’t know the regs where you are, OP, but it’s something to consider.

    • Lucretia July 18, 2015, 12:26 am

      Truthfully, it would be better for Joy to send the OP a private message then, voicing her concern. That would be the ethical thing to do- if there’s a genuine worry for health and legal ramifications, you don’t go “oh, Company X exists too!” Either way, Joy seems well meaning, but rather clueless.

    • Ergala July 18, 2015, 11:33 am

      Here if I wanted to cook out of my kitchen I would have to make sure every single ingredient was listed on the packaging. For those whom are licensed they can be more vague (spices instead of saying nutmeg and cinnamon). Unlicensed must also have a contact number and name on the packaging.

      • Jays July 19, 2015, 7:53 pm

        It’s different in every state of the U.S., and the same elsewhere, I’m sure. The OP might be fine; she might not.

        I agree, Lucretia. Even if that’s the case, it could have been handled far better. Also, it might be less a concern for safety and more a certain annoyance that her friend went through all the time and expense of doing things “right” and the OP didn’t and is still reaping the rewards. (Of course, the OP might have. We have no idea. It’s just a thought.)

      • White Lotus July 20, 2015, 7:52 pm

        Some states have a “home kitchen” law that allows limited direct to consumer sales and imposes labeling requirements for very small producers. CA is one. To sell indirectly, not straight to the consumer, requires a specific and higher level of licensing. Sounds like P has indirect sales licensing and OP doesn’t. No direct competition. P doesn’t care, it seems, probably for this reason. Joy is trying to help P but going about it incorrectly and rudely. Sounds like P is not involved and might not know what Joy is up to. Call Joy on this: have one of the other admins explain that this kind of hijacking is not permitted or polite.

    • Amanda H. July 18, 2015, 5:57 pm

      Just doing a cursory review of general cottage food laws (the relevant regulations, so far as I can find), the OP might be in the clear if she’s only selling one-on-one to friends. If she moves to sell online or at local farmers’ markets and the like, then there’s a good chance her state’s cottage food laws would require her to get inspected and licensed.

    • Ai July 19, 2015, 12:48 pm

      That is a fair point and something for the Op to consider, especially when it comes to packaging and selling her jams.

      I think if Joy had offered some advice using Company P as an example of someone who went though an official licensing process, preferably through a private message instead of a comment, then she wouldn’t come off as so bizarre and pretty rude. Also, it still doesn’t explain the constant interjecting in conversations. That seems…almost obsessive to me.

    • Kendra July 21, 2015, 1:22 am

      I’m assuming that the OP checked out the laws in her local area, but didn’t talk about them because they weren’t important to the story. By the way, in my area, I could make anything in my kitchen and not necessarily need licensing or follow the same food safety as a professional. The big difference is that I can’t sell the food, but I can give it away in exchange for a “donation”. That is how local charities have fund raisers like bake sales and spaghetti feeds without having to get a food license.

  • Ashley Rush July 18, 2015, 12:34 am

    Admin- My favorite Praline Pecan Honey Butter! http://www.old-mill.com/shop/praline-pecan-honey-butter-12217

    • admin July 18, 2015, 3:05 pm

      Recipe! I want a recipe! Although that stuff is calling my name to order it.

  • AD July 18, 2015, 9:53 pm

    This is definitely hijacking. Here’s my post-jacking story.

    I don’t have a business anymore, but I do post “question of the day” threads on a local-culture forum to start conversations among members and keep the site going. One day, I had posted a question about the members’ favorite childhood holidays. It started out innocently enough, with some for Halloween and some for Christmas and some for Easter. Then came Lady X. She cast her vote for Christmas, and Gentleman Y cast his for Easter. They then both went on a religious rant comprising many posts about how the country’s going to hell with all the sinful gays and pagans, etc. I’m sure you can imagine. Soon(roughly eight posts into the total thread), they were the only people posting. I asked them to stop, and Lady X immediately became offended and cited her right to post whatever she pleased. I sharply reminded her that it is not nice to hijack another member’s post about fun childhood memories and insult their religion into the bargain. They stopped and other posters soon began using the thread for its intended purpose. It became quite popular.

    I swear I’m not trying to brag here. What I’m trying to say is that someone should perhaps point out to Joy on the forum that hijacking is a very nasty violation of netiquette, and perhaps pointedly ask WHY she’s so desperate to sell Company P’s goods. The answer might be interesting for everyone.

  • Jenn July 19, 2015, 9:16 am

    I’m a longtime reader, but I don’t comment very often, if at all. I’m coming out of the woodwork to answer admin’s request.

    This is a recipe for almond praline butter, but I’ve used pecans and other nuts to make nut butters. When making a praline, I use half white/half brown sugar instead of all white. Optional, you can add some heavy cream while running the praline through the food processor to make the butter part, for a creamier, more indulgent texture. http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/almond-praline-butter-14028

    When it comes to canning it, however, most blogs/experts and even the USDA recommend against it because of a pH issue. The acidity of nuts and nut butters aren’t high enough. I make a bacon jam, though, and add citric acid (pure citric acid I find from a home brew supply store) and can that and nut butters at the recommended pressure for meat for your climate, for roughly 60-75 minutes. If canning, I would not use the cream. However canning nut butters and meats always come with a risk. So, naturally, one would need to be sure to sterilize all implements and parts of the cans.

    If canning seems to risky, I’ve had luck with nut butters (Or praline butters) lasting in the refrigerator for up to 6 months in tightly sealed jars (assuming the family leaves them alone that long. The one jar we found closer to that 6 month date was forgotten in the shuffle – one rediscovered, it disappeared rather quickly).

    I hope this information helps. I enjoy the site, and the forum, but feel I’ve very little to offer in way of commentary, so I quietly follow and learn. Thank you!

  • Pam July 19, 2015, 9:28 pm

    I would just ignore it. Everyone with an ounce of sense can see that she’s more than a little tacky to hijack your post and taking the high road will bring more business than if you engage or block her. She is actually making Company P look bad…..

  • The Elf July 20, 2015, 9:33 am

    Oh man, I’m starting to tread these waters myself. We’re about ready to start a business and there is a fine line between promotion and being annoying; and I see people cross that line with things like facebook posts.

    A better way to do it would be if Joy just stayed silent on the OP’s jam posts and either PM’d the fig tree owner or posted something like “If you have leftovers, I bet Company P would love to have them for jam!”

    I hope you made some good money on that jam, OP!

  • Amara July 20, 2015, 10:17 am

    How is this, Admin?

    Praline Pecan Butter
    1 c unsalted butter, softened
    1/2 c coarsely chopped pralines (about 2 patties)
    2 tbsp Kahlua or other coffee flavored liqueur

    Put butter in food processor bowl? add butter and process until smooth, stopping once to scrape down sides. Add pralines and Kahlua; pulse 3 or 4 times until combined. Spoon butter into crock.

    • admin August 13, 2015, 4:16 pm

      I was hoping for a recipe that can be canned/preserved but apparently this is beyond the scope of mere housewives to do. Not sure how the inclusion of Kahlua will mimic the praline taste which is a brown sugar.

  • TheCatLady July 20, 2015, 10:35 am

    I have had the same experience, but with making Christmas ornaments. I make hand made ornaments that are updated, fancier renditions of old favorites, such as clothespin reindeer. I also created beaded ornaments and ornaments that are felt and sequin. Many ladies make ornaments, and everything is pretty unique and wonderful. However, every single year during our ornament fundraiser a lady in our church has to go on and on about how her niece makes THE BEST ORNAMENTS EVER. She will bust out photographs right there on the spot. If anyone complements my ornaments or anyone else’s she has to interject, often distracting customers that were going to buy something to support the cause. Last year our fundraiser organizer got to hear her download about these lovely baubles, and shut her up with a simple “Oh they are wonderful! how many can she donate?” Church lady stammered something about Niece having a webpage and maybe she can ask her.

    Turns out, None, since the niece makes them to earn a living and didn’t appreciate being asked to donate what turned out to be incredibly expensive and intricate works of art. (The ornaments WERE fantastic) The organizer quickly realized that Church lady was just trying to ring up some sales for her niece, (at the expense of the fundraiser) and said, “Your Niece is so talented, but I also appreciate all the ornaments that we have here today, isn’t exciting how many ornaments we have received in donations? the Lord is good.” It finally seemed to sink in to Church lady that she was being inappropriate, and she excused herself from the conversation and went to help at a different booth. Her cell phone did not make another appearance.

    We are all anxiously waiting on next year, to see if Niece is ready to donate some of those gorgeous ornaments for the cause… if the subject comes up.

    • Bellyjean July 21, 2015, 8:57 am

      100% class from the fundraiser organizer – well done!

    • NostalgicGal July 22, 2015, 1:12 pm


      I do work with some local things here, and just got back from a meeting about an event 3 weeks+ in future, and sorting out what I will be DONATING and bought my booth. (Donation involving some custom stuff, I make and sell and donate $ per item to them. They are not out anything, I am footing that as part of the donation issue). That is different. I try to make income but by the same token I need to be part of the process. In this case I added the donation amount to what I need for my cost and overhead, and it is still an affordable amount, and the nonprofit gets a benefit too. Last year this worked very well for us. Even when I was fully self employed, I knew the value of having to donate things; and often for something like the fundraiser mentioned might donate something for a doorprize. Net immediate loss, yes. Goodwill, on plus side. Potential for goodwill and free advertising, yes. I couldn’t and wouldn’t give to everything, but some things were worth the investment. Glad the organizer was able to turn it around nicely and the Aunt got the idea.

  • JD July 20, 2015, 11:35 am

    Joy would annoy the heck out of me, and I admire OP for not giving in to the frustration. OP, hang in there — with folks offering you fruit, it seems like you have most of the neighbors on your side. Nothing wrong with Company P selling jams, but Joy’s hijacking your every conversation, even in person, to Company P is ridiculous.
    In my state, jams, sweets, pickles, etc., may be sold out of a home kitchen quite legally. If Joy objected to the legality of it wherever OP lives, it seems as though she would SAY that was the problem, not just constantly advertise Company P. Since the OP is admirably working to earn money honestly in a difficult time, is restraining from telling off Joy, and carrying on with her life without adding drama to the situation, I salute her!

  • Cora July 20, 2015, 6:51 pm

    Anybody want to channel the Andrews Sisters with me? To the tune of “Boogie-Woogie Bugle Boy”:

    “Sheeeeeeee’s the Jammy – Whammy Drama Queen from Company P!!”

    • Lindenharp July 21, 2015, 6:17 pm


  • Enna July 22, 2015, 6:34 am

    What Joy should do is see if she can employ the OP. I think someone maybe one of the other admins should have a word with Joy. If the OP tries to speak to Joy about this as an admin it could be a clash of interests – something that Joy could use against her.

  • susse4PC July 24, 2015, 11:20 am

    Considering all this back and forth, I am wondering if the OP has had any communication with the owner of Company P? Can she expand on the relationship between Company P and Joy? OP, please give an update! Maybe some background as to why Joy is so flaky about this — is there a history between OP and Joy that would cause this behavior? Thanks!

  • Gertie November 5, 2015, 5:42 pm

    So many good articles i read here, i think you can make etiquettehell.com go viral easily using one tricky method.
    Just search in google:
    Roman’s Tips – SM Traffic