cakelady Posted 29 Jul 2005 , 8:02pm
post #1 of

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

30 replies
antonia74 Posted 29 Jul 2005 , 8:05pm
post #2 of

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

ntertayneme Posted 29 Jul 2005 , 8:09pm
post #3 of

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!!

trisha1972 Posted 29 Jul 2005 , 8:22pm
post #4 of

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.

tcturtleshell Posted 30 Jul 2005 , 12:44am
post #5 of

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~
icon_smile.gif

traci Posted 30 Jul 2005 , 1:00am
post #6 of

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

tcturtleshell Posted 30 Jul 2005 , 1:04am
post #7 of

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~

traci Posted 30 Jul 2005 , 1:20am
post #8 of

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

antonia74 Posted 30 Jul 2005 , 1:26am
post #9 of

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

Calejo Posted 30 Jul 2005 , 2:41am

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?

SquirrellyCakes Posted 30 Jul 2005 , 2:53am

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

traci Posted 30 Jul 2005 , 3:37am

Good point Squirlley Cakes! icon_smile.gif
traci

tcturtleshell Posted 30 Jul 2005 , 3:41am

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

SquirrellyCakes Posted 30 Jul 2005 , 4:08am

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

ntertayneme Posted 30 Jul 2005 , 4:17am

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.

tcturtleshell Posted 30 Jul 2005 , 4:45pm

Ntertayneme....... Why didn't you just get some pecans when you were at my house for the DOS??? We have 4 pecan trees on our land. I have plenty of pecans in the shed!! You could have gotten all you wanted!! NEXT TIME!!! icon_smile.gif Italian Creme OHHHH my favorite!!! I'm making German Choc. groom's cakes on the 6th! Plus the wedding cake~

SquirrellyCakes Posted 30 Jul 2005 , 10:10pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by tcturtleshell

Ntertayneme....... Why didn't you just get some pecans when you were at my house for the DOS??? We have 4 pecan trees on our land. I have plenty of pecans in the shed!! You could have gotten all you wanted!! NEXT TIME!!! icon_smile.gif Italian Creme OHHHH my favorite!!! I'm making German Choc. groom's cakes on the 6th! Plus the wedding cake~



Shame on you, those pecans should be fed to squirrels, haha, where is my shipment?
Hugs Squirrelly

Gingoodies Posted 30 Jul 2005 , 10:18pm

ntertayneme... would you be willing to share that Italian Cream cake recipe?? my email is Gingoodies@aol.com

gma1956 Posted 30 Jul 2005 , 10:21pm

I require payment for a big cake in advance.... with at least a 30% non refundable deposit just to hold the date. All other cakes are "No Pay, No Cake" due upon delivery or pickup.

LemonLyme Posted 30 Jul 2005 , 10:33pm

Hi there guys ( it's been awhile since i've been on this site .. busy busy)
OK as for the dilema at hand you guys know my personal motto:

MY BUSINESS DOES NOT RUN ON YOUR GOOD CREDIT!!!!
.. well with that out of the way let's address her payment issue,
As for payment the best advice I've ever received regarding business is this.. If it's not in writing then it didn't happen( simple)
As far as calling the police well...even if she does or don't have a contract the police will tell her she has to file a claim in small claims court before any action can be taken,
The advice about hounding the person until they pay can backfire into some form of harassment from the customer and that person will still have a free cake at the end of the day.
I agree with everyone else run your business as you would if you were taking an order at say any bakery in town.
When you order a cake at the bakery you have to fill an order form out specifying what you like and also in the future I'd suggest you have the customer sign and initial the form so it makes it all legal.
Put the clauses in fine print like they do every where else and honey as long as you have a lawyer sign off on your business agreements you have on paper then it all becomes legally binding and when your customers forfeit payment well you have the right to make a small claim.
I learned that when the date was due on a final payment and the customer never showed I had my ducks in a row and let me tell you I had one steaming customer telling me she was going to pay ..( honey not after the due date she wasn't)
she had to pay me and court costs so who lost.. NOT ME!!
I hope this helps you in the furture.

Lemon!!!!

Gingoodies Posted 30 Jul 2005 , 11:02pm

I would at the very least make a phone call to the customer and say " I just wanted to let you know that I have not gotten that check in the mail as yet." Let it seem like you are under the assumtion that the check was mailed and the postal service is just slow icon_surprised.gif This way the customer knows you are not just letting this slide. See if you get a response. Maybe, just maybe, it has slipped her mind tapedshut.gif It doesnt hurt to pick up the phone! Good Luck!

ntertayneme Posted 31 Jul 2005 , 12:19am

Oh my tcturtleshell!! Had I known, I'd of taken you up on that offer!! I'm sugaring the pecans right now!! Next DOS, if the pecans are falling, can I pick some up?? lol

ntertayneme Posted 31 Jul 2005 , 12:24am

Gingoodies, I sent you the Italian Cream Cake recipe to the email address you requested. Enjoy!!

tcturtleshell Posted 31 Jul 2005 , 1:21am

Cheryl, send me tha Italian Cream Cheese recipe too please!! birthday.gif On the pecans.. Last year was the year that didn't produce many pecans so for the next 3 years we'll have a great crop! Come on up again & you can pick all you want!! Bob can help you!! I hate picking pecans! Even with that cool spring picker thingy icon_surprised.gif

Squirrelly... do you know how much pecans weigh?? icon_wink.gificon_lol.gif You'll have to come for a visit you & Cheryl can pick them together~ thumbs_up.gif

littlebubbieschocolates Posted 31 Jul 2005 , 1:47am

ha funny there should be a thread about this. my close friend that was supposed to be a bridesmaid at our wedding. did this to me. she begged my to make her son some chocolates and what not for easter. her total came to 40 dollars. i felt bad she said she would pay me.. never did and still hasnt i just saw her today at walmart she came me this big long story. i know i wont see that money..

so from now on i get paid up front.. and if they cancel i keep half of what the cake is.. if they dont like it then they can go to the store and get it.. ive been burned to many times.. i know my cake arnt that great but it still cost money to do them.

SquirrellyCakes Posted 31 Jul 2005 , 4:03am

Re: Hounding. May be different where I live, but the proper term is called collection and you have the right to go after unpaid bills when folks don't follow the terms of the agreement. So if you don't pay your bills on time a collector calls or someone from a collection agency calls. When you deal with a small business, someone from the business will call you until you make good your payment. Harassment is when you pester someone for something relentlessly without any legal grounds not for payment of an unpaid bill. Whether a contact is verbal or written, it is a contract. When you make a contract you have two people agreeing to terms of some form of exchange with limitations to when the exchange will take place and sometimes with penalties for not meeting the terms of agreement. So if a person asks for a cake, receives a cake and is to pay for that cake at some point that they have agreed to and they do not, you have the right to collect or you have the right to not deliver the goods as they are not living up to the terms of the contract. In some areas licensed busnesses and government agencies can garnishee wages and get folks in trouble with their employees. If the person in question works in a public place, you can try to collect from them at this place of employment if you have legal rights to enter their employment area. If you show up everyday where they work and the management sees this as an issue, they may ask you to leave. Of course you have to behave in a professional manner.
Hugs Squirrelly

cakelady Posted 1 Aug 2005 , 10:01pm

I want to thank everyone for your help...as it turns out....I was sitting at my desk and received a phone call from a collection agency......it was of course the wrong number. Anyway, it made me mad and I was rude to the caller........I was mad enough when I hung up I e-mailed the girls who didn't pay me.......I told them I needed payment for the cake.....gave my address and hit "send".
Today I got an e-mail back from one stating she was out of town and forgot all about it........she was sorry and it would go in the mail today........we'll see

I guess I just need to get mad!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

SquirrellyCakes Posted 2 Aug 2005 , 3:55am

Gosh you sound like me, I really hate having to be put in the position of getting mad to get folks to live up to their side of an agreement, any agreement. Haha, I should take my own advice. I have been waiting for this landscaper to come out to do work at my house and he keeps changing the date or not showing up. Hhhmn, stayed home all day today waiting and today was a holiday where I could have been doing other things. So kiddo, I will follow you example tomorrow and give him a call and not be so nice and forgiving as I have been.
Ggrh, I hate being put in this position.
Hugs Squirrelly

chixbaby27 Posted 2 Aug 2005 , 6:03pm

I probably would have sent an invoice, as a reminder. I've had to do this for people who don't pay dh when he does heating & air service calls...usually once they're reminded gently, they get the hint, and if they don't, I start adding late penalties to the invoices.

I'm curious to see if you get your payments now!

PolishMommy Posted 2 Aug 2005 , 7:50pm

Just curious...how much money do they owe you? What was the event? How long is it overdue?

Don't be mad at yourself, just learn from the experience!

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