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No Deposit NO Cake order

post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 
I'm sure everyone had one of these experiences one time or another. But I had two.....I received 2 inquiries for cake orders and I explained to the potential customers that the phone consultation does NOT confirm your cake order and deposit is needed OR full payment.

In some cases I would follow up if I had some time on my calendar. However I recently received emails asking where their order was the DAY of or the day after their requested date.

My policy does state that orders are not confirmed or reserved without some type of payment or deposit....One customer called me (literally) 50 times on the day she wanted the cake because she spoke to me about the decorations and blamed me for messing up her sons birthday party.

There were no communication for several weeks and then the day of, she was expecting 60 cupcakes with special hand made fondant toppers.

Oh, and they both wanted some type of credit too..... icon_confused.gif

Does anyone have any advise to avoid any further "miscommunication"?
post #2 of 33
Is your policy posted on your website? Or do you follow up the calls with any type of email? I'm not even sure that this would help these crazy women, I don't think you can call in an order for a cake at a grocery store anymore. But the follow up with the information in BOLD might help and also very big disclaimer on you website. I just don't get some people, poor planning on their part just does not constitute an emergency for me! Also, sounds like people looking for freebies, which I hate unless they are deserved.
post #3 of 33
I agree with Jenise. I let my customers know that Only a signed contract and deposit guarantees a cake. Nothing to discuss. If they want to order by phone then I would take their credit card number and let them know I will be charging them for cake and email them the contract, which they will have 48hrs to sign & return.

Those customers let the ball slip and want to make you feel guilty for it. Hold your head up, NOT your fault.
Virginia 323.253.8213
www.urbanainez.com
He is the man of my dreams, my prince; He gives me the desires of my heart, He completes me. His name is Jesus
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Virginia 323.253.8213
www.urbanainez.com
He is the man of my dreams, my prince; He gives me the desires of my heart, He completes me. His name is Jesus
Reply
post #4 of 33
I prefer telling the customer their order has been placed, then if they don't submit the deposit within the agreed upon time I send a message indicating their order has been cancelled.
post #5 of 33
Nicely put Jason
Virginia 323.253.8213
www.urbanainez.com
He is the man of my dreams, my prince; He gives me the desires of my heart, He completes me. His name is Jesus
Reply
Virginia 323.253.8213
www.urbanainez.com
He is the man of my dreams, my prince; He gives me the desires of my heart, He completes me. His name is Jesus
Reply
post #6 of 33
Thread Starter 
This is what I have written:

"Geelicious Confections makes specialty cakes and cupcakes for all occasion. If you are interested in our services, please fill out the form below for a no-obligation quote, or feel free to call us to discuss your options.

Please note that this request does not guarantee availability. Orders are not reserved until a deposit is received. "
post #7 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by ApelilaRains

This is what I have written:

"Geelicious Confections makes specialty cakes and cupcakes for all occasion. If you are interested in our services, please fill out the form below for a no-obligation quote, or feel free to call us to discuss your options.

Please note that this request does not guarantee availability. Orders are not reserved until a deposit is received. "



You might add, under that, "This means no payee no cakee icon_wink.gif"

Make sure you email this to anybody who calls you and cc yourself. That way you have proof that you sent the written statement so they can't come after you demanding a "credit" or "refund" when they failed to enter into the binding contract.

Your phone message should say "Hi you have reached Geelicious Confections. I'm busy baking up some cakes. Please leave a message and I will return it as soon as I can" and use the voicemail ALL THE TIME. You let somebody talk to you 50 times in one day, you are sending the message that you don't have any work that day.
post #8 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by BakingIrene

Your phone message should say "Hi you have reached Geelicious Confections. I'm busy baking up some cakes. Please leave a message and I will return it as soon as I can" and use the voicemail ALL THE TIME. You let somebody talk to you 50 times in one day, you are sending the message that you don't have any work that day.


This. You can get a free phone number with Google Voice that redirects to one or more numbers of your choosing, and you can set it to go directly to voice mail on a specific schedule or all the time.
post #9 of 33
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BakingIrene

Quote:
Originally Posted by ApelilaRains

This is what I have written:

"Geelicious Confections makes specialty cakes and cupcakes for all occasion. If you are interested in our services, please fill out the form below for a no-obligation quote, or feel free to call us to discuss your options.

Please note that this request does not guarantee availability. Orders are not reserved until a deposit is received. "



You might add, under that, "This means no payee no cakee icon_wink.gif"

Make sure you email this to anybody who calls you and cc yourself. That way you have proof that you sent the written statement so they can't come after you demanding a "credit" or "refund" when they failed to enter into the binding contract.

Your phone message should say "Hi you have reached Geelicious Confections. I'm busy baking up some cakes. Please leave a message and I will return it as soon as I can" and use the voicemail ALL THE TIME. You let somebody talk to you 50 times in one day, you are sending the message that you don't have any work that day.






GREAT IDEA on the voicemail. Thank you! Also thank you all for your recommendations, I will utilize ALL of them!!
post #10 of 33
i've been baking cakes for business for a few months now (and i know you'll all crucify me...) but i've never known how to bring up the conversation of contract or deposit....i've received every payment on delivery or collection.....

I have a lot of contact with the clients right up until the day discussing design options etc....but i think i am perhaps setting myself up for a disaster after reading your replies....whoops. Too trusting? thumbsdown.gif
post #11 of 33
Looks like I need a new voicemail today! I have customers who call and call and call repeatedly just for one order and it's not even a wedding cake. Yesterday I had a customer emailing me constantly on changes to her birthday cake. I have a blackberry so I make use of that for answering business emails faster than coming onto my pc but I can't help but wonder how to control 50 emails with just one customer. I thought that if I wrote back once a day to them that it would take a whole week to finalize the cake order and the cake is due sometimes a week and a half away. I realize people can be indecisive with their cake design and colours so I have a back and forth going with emails daily with different customers to get them to finalize their order. I don't have an assistant yet to respond to my emails.
post #12 of 33
If you write out your policy for making changes, you can hand that out as a receipt for the deposit that has to confirm every order.

Some places charge extra for changes made too close to a party. That is written into the contract. Timing depends on size of party and your local market.

You can set up your email to auto-answer during the day, same sort of message as the voicemail that says "I'm busy doing cakes". As long as you sit down to answer email every day, it's OK to do so at the end of the day. Preferably when you can also have a beer or other drink...

I have had customers who email me every day to find out where their order of durable goods is. Funny thing--even giving them the tracking number and tracking website doesn't stop them from emailing me. But they are so rare that I write them off as the 1% that cannot be trained.
post #13 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by thebittersweetbakehouse

i've been baking cakes for business for a few months now (and i know you'll all crucify me...) but i've never known how to bring up the conversation of contract or deposit....i've received every payment on delivery or collection.....

I have a lot of contact with the clients right up until the day discussing design options etc....but i think i am perhaps setting myself up for a disaster after reading your replies....whoops. Too trusting? thumbsdown.gif



Yes, too trusting. It is not just a matter of lost money, but lost time - which you can never get back - if someone doesn't pay. But the main reason to have a contract AND deposit is for insurance to yourself and your client. They know exactly what to expect if something goes wrong (whether real or in their crazy head) and you know what to do if something goes wrong (real or in their head).
"who says you can't have your cake and eat it too?"
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"who says you can't have your cake and eat it too?"
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post #14 of 33
I only require deposits on large orders...On those orders, I always ask for an email address so I can follow up about deposits and balances. Also, when we have any type of consultation, I make sure to highlight the part in the paperwork about balances and deposits.

No his mind is not for rent, to any god or government...

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No his mind is not for rent, to any god or government...

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post #15 of 33
I'd just make sure to tell the person that they do NOT have an order with you until you have the deposit in hand when you talk to them. You probably do that anyway, but people don't listen.
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