Question About Setting A Deposit Fee

Decorating By shadowgypsie Updated 20 Dec 2008 , 3:03am by shadowgypsie

shadowgypsie Posted 19 Dec 2008 , 8:12pm
post #1 of 9

I am working on a contract for a wedding cake that is not for family or friend. My question is what percent of the price do you normally request as a deposit and is refundable or not?
Any help would GREATLY be appreciated Thank you.

8 replies
-K8memphis Posted 19 Dec 2008 , 8:15pm
post #2 of 9

A third of the total and not refundable.

chutzpah Posted 19 Dec 2008 , 8:15pm
post #3 of 9

I use a set fee. Many people don't understand what a certain percentage is, but they understand when the retainer (please use the word retainer as a deposit is something one returns) is $150.

kakeladi Posted 19 Dec 2008 , 8:17pm
post #4 of 9

I haven't done a contract for about 3 yrs but I only required $150 or 1/2 the total (which ever was greater....many cakes were less than $150)
I've seen many on this board and others say they ask for 1/2 down.
You can specify all or part of it as non refundable.
There has only been 2 times I choose to refund in 25 yrs. One time the groom was killed; another time it was only a week later and there was months until the date so I was able to fill the vacancy.

-K8memphis Posted 19 Dec 2008 , 8:18pm
post #5 of 9
Originally Posted by chutzpah

...please use the word retainer as a deposit is something one returns...

Ooh good point, Cake-Buddy.

chutzpah Posted 19 Dec 2008 , 8:21pm
post #6 of 9

The retainer is non-refundable, but they get their deposit back when equipment is returned in good condition.

leah_s Posted 19 Dec 2008 , 8:37pm
post #7 of 9

retainer = 25%, non-refundable for any reason. And I mean Non-refundable for ANY reason.

indydebi Posted 19 Dec 2008 , 10:53pm
post #8 of 9

I used to charge 10% or $200, which ever was smaller, because I just wanted a monetary committment and wasn't interested in tying up all of their money. Then I had someone cancel about a month prior to the event. The next payment wasn't due yet, so all I had in my hand was $200 (for a $3500 catering). I lost the booking, had no time to re-book and replace that business .... and that's where I learned my lesson on what the REAL purpose of a deposit/retainer is for.

I now charge 50% of the total invoice. So now if they cancel, I've at least been compensated for business lost because they had booked that date. Most of my non-refundable first payments are at least $2000 now (for caterings) .... so if something happens, I feel compensated for lost business.

shadowgypsie Posted 20 Dec 2008 , 3:03am
post #9 of 9

Thanks all, you've been a great help.

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