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Asking for payment

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 
I hate asking/reminding someone they owe me for a cake......how do you handle that?
Last weekend I had 2 people tell me they would put a check in the mail....it's Friday.......no money.

How do you give someone their order and then accept "oh, can I mail you a check this week?"........it's so hard for me to say no.........what am I going to do with a cake?.......

I'm angry at myself
post #2 of 31
Simple....invoice them.

Type up a date they ordered the cake, the date they received it, whether it was delivered or they were picking it up, their full address, your full address, a complete description of the cake, the total, taxes, delivery charge and PAST DUE (if you really mean business!) icon_evil.gif
post #3 of 31
No pay, no cake! I've been stuck too many times like this myself .. now, I just straight out tell them "If you went into a bakery, would you leave with a cake without paying?" Of course they wouldn't .. they're taking advantage of your good nature and don't let them do it to you!!
Cheryl a/k/a ntertayneme (n-ter-tayne-me)
www.legateaux.com
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Cheryl a/k/a ntertayneme (n-ter-tayne-me)
www.legateaux.com
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post #4 of 31
No cake leaves my house or is delievered without payment. The ONLY exception to this rule is the couple of corporate accounts that I service that send out a check on the following Friday and that I supply an invoice for at delivery.
post #5 of 31
I don't make a cake until I have full payment 5 days before the wedding or event. For wedding cakes I get 1/2 of the price up front. Then 5 days before the wedding I get the other 1/2. For smaller cakes I ask for payment up front too. If you do this way then you won't have problems.

I'm not into cake decorating to be used by others. Make a contract & get them to sign it. Make receipts too. If they don't get the final 1/2 paid 5 days in advance then call them & tell them there will be no cake if they don't get the money to you by a certain time AND they forfiet the part they already paid.

In this mean, mean world you have to cover your butt~
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"Learn from a turtle... it only makes progress when it sticks it's neck out"
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"Learn from a turtle... it only makes progress when it sticks it's neck out"
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post #6 of 31
I usually contact customers a few days before I will be making their order. I confirm what they want and time of delivery/pick-up. I politely tell them what the total will be and that I accept cash or check. That way they should know they need to pay for it at the time they pick it up. I had someone tell me that they would put a check in the mail...and until this day...I have never seen it. So I always make sure I get payment when the cake is given to the customer.
traci icon_razz.gif
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post #7 of 31
The reason I ask for payment 5 days in advance is that sometimes (more often than none) the bride & groom or their parents are too busy & have way too many things on their minds to remember to bring the check. You always have to cover your own back~
"Learn from a turtle... it only makes progress when it sticks it's neck out"
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"Learn from a turtle... it only makes progress when it sticks it's neck out"
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post #8 of 31
That is very smart TC...especially on a wedding cake! And you are right...the brides do get very busy and scatterbrained that week before the wedding!!! Overall, I have been very lucky with my customers...but you still have to be careful not to be taken advantage of! icon_smile.gif
traci
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post #9 of 31
My policy is a 50% deposit to book the date (100% refundable up to 30 days in advance of the wedding) and the remaining 50% balance due up to 7 days AFTER the event. I find that the couples are really appreciative of the "post-wedding" payment and I am often tipped nicely because of it! icon_lol.gificon_lol.gif
post #10 of 31
While these are all wonderful pieces of advice, what do you think she should do NOW? She has outstanding balances due for those orders and no money delivered.

I would call them or visit them personally and tell them you need to be reimbursed for it now. But what if they refuse? Any one else?
post #11 of 31
What should she do now? Hound them. Call them daily, if they are not far away, drive over and ask for payment, if they could put a cheque in the mail, they could pay by cheque at the door. Send them an invoice by mail and state there is interest due. And from now on either change your policies or demand cash on delivery or do not deliver. Customers like these are often the customers that write NSF cheques.
I don't accept cheques at all unless it is from someone I know well. Otherwise it is cash or a cashier's or certified cheque or a money order. For wedding cakes it is the cost of what the cake will cost me, upfront and the balance two weeks in advance and a cah deposit for anything that must be returned. I find with a lot of folks, once the celebration is over, they forget about the cake and forget about paying for it.
A lot of folks expect to receive payment upfront before the date of the cake. Our local specialized bakery works that way, you pay when you go in to order. So why shouldn't we?
If you were late paying your hydro electricity bill, you would be in the dark. It works the same for cakes.
Hugs Squirrelly Cakes
post #12 of 31
Good point Squirlley Cakes! icon_smile.gif
traci
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post #13 of 31
That's right Squirrelly! She needs to go to where they live or even to their work place. Call & tell them that you want your money. If you know the parents numbers call them too. On my contracts the bride & groom has to give parents #'s too. Someone will pay you. If not then go to the police. I sure hope it won't have to go that far. But I would do like Squirrelly said HOUND THEM!! icon_smile.gif
"Learn from a turtle... it only makes progress when it sticks it's neck out"
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"Learn from a turtle... it only makes progress when it sticks it's neck out"
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post #14 of 31
I guess it works differently wherever you live but here you would have to take them to small claims court. I wish you could call the police! I like your idea of hounding them at their work place if they don't pay up though, if that is possible to do, that would likely embarass them into paying. I hate when people pull stunts like this. If they can't afford a cake they shouldn't order one. I am not too sympathetic about it either. I figure that most especially with wedding cakes, if it isn't in the budget then don't order one. You can get yourself into debt quickly if you get a few of these types. Most especially if you do wedding cakes and this is why so many folks charge the costs upfront. Not to mention that you are reserving the time. A lot of work is done ahead of time too. But even for regular cakes, you wasted your time when you could have been doing a cake for a paying customer. Plus you have your bills incurred.
Hugs Squirrelly Cakes
post #15 of 31
For wedding cakes, I charge 50% up front to book the date... you don't pay it, you're date for your wedding can and will go to the next paying customer .. the remaining balance is due one week before the wedding .. If you don't cancel your cake a week before the wedding date, the 50% down payment is not refundable .. I buy most of my ingredients by that time and I'd be out the money for them.. For the expense of the ingredients, travel to and from to get them and the time I spent shopping for them, I feel it's worth the 50% of the cake ... Such as the groom's cake I'll be doing for August 6th (Italian Cream), I have to sugar coat about 4 cups of pecans to put around the tiers of the cake .. no way I'll refund the money if I"m not called by tomorrow to cancel .. I've already spent $25 for just the pecans .. it's a big cruel world out there and we have to look out for ourselves.
Cheryl a/k/a ntertayneme (n-ter-tayne-me)
www.legateaux.com
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Cheryl a/k/a ntertayneme (n-ter-tayne-me)
www.legateaux.com
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