What Now?

Business By karateka Updated 25 May 2008 , 12:50pm by CupcakeTaylor

karateka Posted 7 May 2008 , 6:55pm
post #1 of 89

I got a tasting from a bride who is marrying a chef. They came, they tasted, she raved.

She said she wanted me, would bring a deposit by.

You guessed it, she still hasn't. I mailed her a contract with dates clearly spelled out as to when the deposit and final payments are due. Deposit has never been paid, final cake payment is due this coming Saturday and I have not gotten a cent. She did email me to say she does want to use me and she will get "this" (i guess she meant the contract and payment) out to me soon.

So how do I handle this? The wedding is May 24, and there is slim chance that she will find a baker in town that can do a wedding on that short notice if I dump her.

I was considering a nice email (seems to be her preferred mode of communication) stating that I'm pleased she is still interested, but I must have payment no later than Saturday, in full, or her wedding cake is cancelled and I will book someone else in her slot. Or does that sound snotty?? And what if she agrees to bring me cash by X date? How late would you wait? I'm not exactly swimming in orders, and have had no other interest in this date, but there is a principal involved, right?

Indydebi....I know you have an opinion here. Set me straight, willya? icon_lol.gif Despite my somewhat ballbuster reputation around here (family) I hate confrontation.

88 replies
trumpetmidget Posted 7 May 2008 , 7:07pm
post #2 of 89

I would say very clearly, that because the deposit has not been recieved, the date she has selected is not secured for her cake. If you get another cake order, you must take that order. Also, she needs to know that she may be loosing certain things she wanted on her cake because you can not begin her cake until it is paid for. If she has roses or soemthing that you are going to need to make ahead of time, that is going to affect what the overall outcome is if you can't start everything when you need to. Be honest and matter of fact with her. Don't be mean, but don't sugar coat anything. You are in a business and if you are not up front, you are going to become resentful. Plus, she will tell her friends - "oh, use this baker. It's not a big deal if you don't get your money in in time." You don't want that spreading around. HTH

karateka Posted 7 May 2008 , 7:11pm
post #3 of 89

Oh, I wish I could get her with that line about not getting everything she wants on her cake because of time. It's a very simple white cake with a ribbon around the bottom that she has already purchased and left with me. Then she said add some silk flowers. Nothing to it at all.

I just need money, honey!

littlecake Posted 7 May 2008 , 7:27pm
post #4 of 89

when they are that late i make them bring cash.

i don't think it's confrontational at all...like donald trump says..."it's not personal, it's business".

dinas27 Posted 7 May 2008 , 8:32pm
post #5 of 89

sounds like she still wants you so you need to put FEAR into her little white veiled head.

If you do not recieve payment in full by the date specified you will not be able to do the cake at the price quoted. Her order would then be considered a 'rush order' being less than two weeks from the event and subject to a charge of $XX due to rush ordering on supplies. You do not have her right now because she has not given you a dime.

She can come pick up the ribbon between the hours of x-x if the payment is not there by your specified date.
There are no compromises, she has had AMPLE time to get you your cash. Payment by your date OR no cake OR big rush order charge.

You're not snotty. You need paid to buy supplies and to plan. Are you going give up all your plan making ability (dinner and movie, girls night out) because she might still need you to do her cake. You have a life too, she needs to get her act together!

karateka Posted 7 May 2008 , 8:56pm
post #6 of 89

Ok...I've drafted an email, and DH says it sounds good.

Since she has stated that she still wants to use me, I felt free to use the "order cancelled" phrase, even though there has been no deposit.

Just checking in to remind you about the upcoming deadline for your final cake payments. This includes all monies due, including cake, equipment, and delivery. I also need a signed contract by the same date.

I need to have money in hand on the 10th of May (this coming Saturday) or I will not be able to make your cake. I am in need of this time for purchasing groceries and supplies, so the deadline is, unfortunately, non-negotiable.

I realize how stressful planning a wedding can be....you must be swamped. However, I feel I should remind you that since I have not received a deposit as yet, you do not officially own that date. If I do get another inquiry for that date without having received payment from you, I will book that date and your order will be considered cancelled.

If you need to contact me about the best time to run payment by the house, please use the numbers below. If you do decide to cancel, please contact me about the best times to pick up your ribbon.

Thanks! I hope all is well-

What do you think?

dinas27 Posted 7 May 2008 , 9:07pm
post #7 of 89

i would change it from "i am in need of this time" to "I require this time"

and I would state again at the end where you talk about the ribbon that you will not be able to do her cake if payment is not recieved by May 10.

otherwise sounds good... nice and friendly and to the point.

tiptop57 Posted 7 May 2008 , 9:23pm
post #8 of 89

Karateka just my two cents.....if you sent me this email I would delete it because it is too long and does seem rather harsh. Remember, she does not owe you a thing not even to return your telephone call until you get a signed contract. Up to that point she is a "tire kicker".

A simple:

Dear So and So,
I am just checking in to remind you about the upcoming deadline for your wedding cake order. In order to guarantee your date, I will need the signed contract and deposit by May 10th. If you do decide to cancel, please contact me about the best times to pick up your ribbon.

dinas27 Posted 7 May 2008 , 9:46pm
post #9 of 89

While it is a little long I think that you need to say everything that is in there. She might not owe you anything but you don't owe her anything either!

I think that some people need a little bit of harshness - I didn't read it that way at all. I am a young person - 22 and just got married so I'm not being stereotypical here but A LOT of young people think that things just work out, that they dont have to do anything to make it happen. She obviously doesnt care about her cake or leaves things to the last minute when SOMEONE always swoops in to the rescue.

The way tiptop's email reads to me is too soft. I can't guarantee.. .but I still might be able to do it. If you decide to cancel you may pick up your ribbon... give me your money two days before your wedding and I'll still be waiting to do your cake.

CelebrationCakery Posted 7 May 2008 , 9:48pm
post #10 of 89

I think sometimes we feel that we need to explain to people why we need the money, but really that part doesn't matter....
I would leave that part right out...sometimes I think people could feel weird about why (I know that sounds weird in itself but realistically it is really not an explaination they need to have...you just require what you do because that is how you work and that is it)
I would put...

Dear Soandso,
I wanted write today to remind you of the upcoming deadline for your wedding cake order. The full payment must be recieved by Saturday, May 10th. I have included an itemized list of the charges which we have discussed thus far.

(then I would itemize the charges and give a total)

Please give me a call at.... to make an appointment to finalize the order details. (I don't think I would let this stay with just emails...we cannot always rely on our computers...and other don't know that until after it is fixed)

I look forward to hearing from you very soon and hope your plans are going well.

The only reason I would not recommend mentioning canceling is because she may feel that you simply do not want to do it...I would act like you know you are doing it and let her make the move to giving any impressions otherwise

CelebrationCakery Posted 7 May 2008 , 9:55pm
post #11 of 89

The only other thing I wanted to add is that I know that your first email idea is good but I just know people really do get busy and sometimes, unfortunately, it is not just busyness that keeps us from things...there could simply be something honestly going on in her or her to be husband's life or family...so give her the benefit of the doubt and she will contact you after you contact her anyways...she will know the money is due and that is it....and if she doesn't you know there is definately something up...and that ribbon may be the least of her worries...

karateka Posted 7 May 2008 , 10:09pm
post #12 of 89

Ok, here is what I sent:

Just checking in to remind you about the upcoming deadline for your wedding cake order.

All monies itemized in the contract I mailed you must be in my hand by 9pm May 10, 2008. At that time the signed contract is also due. If the contract and full payment is not received by that time, I will no longer be able to make your cake.

Please contact me by phone to finalize these details.

I look forward to hearing from you, and I hope your planning is going well.

I tried to use all of your suggestions. I'll let you guys know what happens.


calynmom Posted 7 May 2008 , 10:27pm
post #13 of 89

JAT.... I would also go ahead and try to call her. That way you could say you tried every avenue possible to contact her.

CYA !!!

apetricek Posted 7 May 2008 , 10:32pm
post #14 of 89

I think your email was great and perfectly done! Don't worry about being snotty it didn't come across that way at all. People will try to take advantage of you any way possible, and I think you are totally correct in your doing. Remember you are doing this for money or a business and sometimes you have to get a little pushy to get things done! Sounds like a royal PITA to me! I hope you are at least getting paid well, when you do actually get your money. Best of luck with it and hope all goes well.

tiptop57 Posted 8 May 2008 , 12:40am
post #15 of 89

Ahhhh Karateka the second message you sent is just the ticket for your needs.

BigTexinWV Posted 8 May 2008 , 1:04pm
post #16 of 89

I think that the email that you sent was perfect. It was not harsh at all, but right to the point. thumbs_up.gif

karateka Posted 8 May 2008 , 2:31pm
post #17 of 89

Well, I got a call from her and she is bringing the money to me this evening! Thanks!

elainec Posted 8 May 2008 , 2:52pm
post #18 of 89

You email was efficient, but here in the south, we use a little more
of a respectful, personal approach. I would be a little offended, if I received a "cold" email like this. I think the facts were correct, but I would have changed the wording a little. (Put in a few please and thank yous.)

karateka Posted 8 May 2008 , 9:44pm
post #19 of 89

I wasn't aware it was disrespectful to ask for something you need in order to do someone a service.

Some might consider it disrespectful to leave someone hanging for this long, though....

costumeczar Posted 9 May 2008 , 6:03pm
post #20 of 89

Well, I'm from the south too, and I thought the email was fine. If someone says they're going to use you, then don't follow up, I see no reason to sugar coat it so as not to offend them. Some people are easily offended by anything, so all you can do is be professional, which the final email was.

karateka Posted 9 May 2008 , 6:06pm
post #21 of 89

Thanks, costumeczar-


Guess what happened? She called and said she'd bring the money by that night. She didn't. So deadline is tomorrow by 9pm. Anybody out there willing to put $20 on the outcome??? icon_mad.gif

dinas27 Posted 9 May 2008 , 7:02pm
post #22 of 89

this chick has no respect for anyone. I realize that there are life situations, things come up and some people need a break but COME ON.

I didnt think that your email was rude at all - letting yourself be walked on and saying too darn many please and thank yous and sorrys has led us to a society where to hear the truth and be responsible for your own actions would kill some people. Too many young people (I'm 22 so NOT being stereotypical) who's parents still rush in to solve all the problems. I wouldnt be surprised if the MOB calls you Sunday about poor little Suzy being under so much stress!

I am anxiously waiting to hear if she brings the money.

AKA_cupcakeshoppe Posted 9 May 2008 , 8:03pm
post #23 of 89

if she doesn't come through with the payment then it's her loss. you did everything. and a cake is an important part of the wedding. there should be time for it.

i wish this goes well for you, though. icon_smile.gif

Erdica Posted 9 May 2008 , 8:35pm
post #24 of 89

I think your email was fine.

I wouldn't give her another chance. If she doesn't show up on the second rescheduled time, I would email her and say that due to her not paying on the agreed amount of time, there will be no cake provided.

I know some people think email is not very personal, but I see it as a CYA. Because if anything ever went to court, having something in writing is better then he said/she said.

GL!!! Let us know what happens!

karateka Posted 10 May 2008 , 12:27pm
post #25 of 89

Ok, update.

I got a call from her around 7:20 last night, she is bringing by the contract and payment. Of course, she is only paying the final payment due. She never paid the initial deposit, though, so I'm still $123 and change short!

This is killing me. I guess if I cancel her butt for non-payment, I can't keep her deposit, since it doesn't state that in the contract (a fact I will remedy for my next customer), but I'm this close to calling the whole thing off and washing my hands of the matter. I shouldn't have to chase her like this. I mean, does she want a friggin' wedding cake or not?

I emailed her (it's only 8am on a Saturday) and plan to call her when I get back from karate this morning around 11:30 or 12. And I'm NOT backing down on my deadline. I'm really pi**ed off now. tapedshut.gif This is ridiculous!1 icon_mad.gificon_mad.gif

apetricek Posted 10 May 2008 , 12:53pm
post #26 of 89

ok not for nothing but this lady is really starting to Pi** me off TOO!!! I guess since she is a bride, she thinks that everyone should bow down to her, and kiss her feet ERRRRRRR! I hate people like this customers or not! Definately put in your contract there is no refund on deposits IMMEDIATELY. I learned this the hard way too...had a customer order a cake with tons of gumpaste flowers, worked for almost 2 weeks and she cancelled 2 days before and I was out a ton of work, time, and money...I have it stated in mine that there are no changes 10 days prior to event, and if there are changes additional fees will encrue. Also if there is a cancellation then all deposits and monies received to that point will be lost. If it is something that there is an excessive amount of money out for I will also charge them for that, and I make them aware of that at the time of booking! I don't even know if I could make the cake for her now, paying or not. I think that I would be SO irritated by the whole situation that her cake may take the brunt of my frustration! I would dedutct the money she gave you, and keep that as a deposit if you can, and tell her good luck in trying to find someone else. Don't keep trying to hunt her down, it is a waste of your time, and mental health icon_mad.gif Let us know how you make out. Also I think your emails were most appropriate, at this point with her actions, I don't think you should nor does she deserve the sugar coated version!

yummymummy Posted 10 May 2008 , 1:15pm
post #27 of 89

So if she is paying what is suppose to be the final payment due, and she hasn't yet given a deposit, wouldn't the "final Payment due" be the TOTAL amount for the cake including the deposit she never paid? I would mention this to her before she comes.

karateka Posted 10 May 2008 , 3:45pm
post #28 of 89
Originally Posted by yummymummy

So if she is paying what is suppose to be the final payment due, and she hasn't yet given a deposit, wouldn't the "final Payment due" be the TOTAL amount for the cake including the deposit she never paid? I would mention this to her before she comes.

Yes, it would. I emailed her this morning and will call her in just a minute. It was stated the way it is on the contract because if somebody paid the deposit due immediately to hold the books, like she was supposed to, then the total amount due on 5/10 is what she actually paid. But since she never did pay the deposit, that is still due!

She originally told me she was going to drop the deposit off the next day after the tasting. When I mailed her the contract, I was still expecting the deposit due immediately.

I'm so not in the mood for this.....

karateka Posted 10 May 2008 , 4:14pm
post #29 of 89

I called her and left a message explaining that she never paid the initial 50% deposit, and I need that too...haven't heard back.

I'm having visions of Judge Judy, and I can't tell if she'd judge in my favor or not.

Personally, if I wrote that 50% is due immediately, and the remainder is due 5/10 along with equip deposit and delivery charge, so the total due on 5/10 is $x, and I never paid the deposit (that was due immediately), I wouldn't think I only owed the "balance due on 5/10"! Is it just me???

If I'd that the total due on 5/10 was $x+ (50% deposit), then she'd be confused in a totally different way, right? Most people would say, "But I've already paid the 50%" (because most people would have!!)

Am I off base, here?? And do I call her again, or just wait until 9 tonight and consider cancelled, mail her back her check and ribbon on Monday morning and be done? Do you think she'd sue me? And who would win?

My DH says I am imagining problems that don't exist....(I say the don't exist YET).

HerBoudoir Posted 10 May 2008 , 5:41pm
post #30 of 89

You know what - I think you've given her enough options.

If she doesn't pay you the full amount today - and NOT by personal check - then no cake, good luck.

No need to call her or email her further.

Quote by @%username% on %date%