I require 25% deposit to "secure" date and balance due 10 days before. I explain that no order is confirmed until at least the deposit is received. if someone says to me. "great I want the cake and I will be mailing deposit on Friday" (I did offer online payment via paypal-they chose to mail)
would you give them a courtesy "remember, no order confirmed until payment received" email?
or just be like whatever they know my policy.
at this point, I don't have inquiry for that date or anything like that. I just don't want to seem like wither the pushy salesperson or the desperate baker.. at the same time, I will act a fool if someone even THINKS about getting upset with me becasue I booked for a date they didn't pay! (a very professional sounding fool who can tell u off in an email without you knowing )
Doesn't seem pushy or desperate, it's just business.
Just send an email that says something like:
This is just for your records.
Order details - XYZ
Terms & Conditions -
Order is not considered confirmed until a deposit it received by this date mm/dd/yyyy.
Balance in due on mm/dd/yyyy.
I'd suggest a 50% deposit - non-refundable, or paid in full if it's under $300...so they're more invested an not likely to cancel.
I haven't ever said deposit by this date, so that may be the thing I need to add. something like 7 days or something like that.. i just really hate when people say oh I'm putting it in the mail today ya right..every one i usually deal with is about a day mailing.. 2 at the most LOL
I haven't ever had anyone cancel that has paid a deposit, but that (50%) is something to consider.. 25% of 100.00 is only 25! but I don't only do one cake a week,so it's not like their cake blocks my date, just puts them down and lets me assess what else I can take
That's pretty much what I use for party cake orders, but I also include a link to all of my policies and procedures, just like you see on amazon.com or whatever, and basically say "by placing an order you agree to this. If not, cancel your order."
I'm open to negotiate if something REALLY bothers a person....but so far it's worked for me.
Cakeforte is SPOT ON! I have noticed the bigger deposit (mine's 50%) the more serious they are about their cake.
Lately, my business is picking up but alot of it has been last minute, like calling 2 days ahead. Since my business is still part-time and I work a full-time job, I'm not open during the day, I arrange pickup times at the shop etc.
So, most of my business has been through phone calls and emails. I don't accept credit cards (yet) or paypal. For those in my situation, how do you arrange for payment prior to the cake. Most people have been very willing to pay me ahead of time but arranging for that can be difficult. I have just allowed them to pay when the pick it up. However, I know that it will bite my in the backside at some point and someone won't come to pick up a cake and I'm out that money (and my time). any suggestions?
tracycakes I would suggest you sign up for a business paypal account pronto! It is easy to set up and doesn't take long. Then you can accept payments right away from your clients. Also if you request the Paypal business debit card the money is available the minute they pay and you can go right then and buy supplies if necessary. Really helps with those last minute orders.
I use google checkout (similar to paypal) for the reason you stated at the end...one day you will be out time and money for a cake. When that happens you will be so PI$$ED, that you'll change your policies immediately. Luckily, the person that flaked on me last minute did end up paying about a month later because they felt bad (it was someone I knew)...but that's the only time that will happen, so I got lucky. It was a random/ chance meeting, I wasn't expecting to ever get the money.
Using paypal or google checkout is to make it easier for you, not the client, and for a last minute order, you can request payment due in 24 hours, and still have time to make the cake. It's doesn't cost anything to set up an account, but you do have to pay fees on the money. That's still a lot cheaper than not getting paid at all though.
I just signed up for PayPal invoicing. They don't have to have a PayPal account. You just e-mail them an invoice and then they can pay with their credit card using a link in the e-mail. It worked great! I used it for the 1st time yesterday. Emailed them the invoice, and I had the money in my PayPal account last night. So much less of a hassle than trying to send a check through the mail, especially for last-minute orders. I do plan on getting set up to accept credit cards in the future when I get more consistency with orders, but for now, this PayPal invoicing thing works for me.
I don't even bother with invoicing. I have a "Make A Payment" Paypal button on my website, and they can fill in the amount they owe and make a payment. My dessert cake orderform is set up with a "shopping cart" buttons I created on Paypal and added to my site. If you don't have a website though the invoices are a great deal.
Thanks everyone! These are great ideas, especially the paypal button on the website. My website is minimal with just a logo, contact info and some pictures. We've been trying to get all of our information together to get it finished and this is something we hadn't really thought about. But it is a great option to get payment without being face-to-face. We've been looking into accepting credit cards but I really like the paypal option too.
i got screwed over with a credit card machine. (the company itself...not the credit card companies...go figure) My suggestion is to stay away unless you are doing a high volume of business on a daily basis like a walk in retail location or something.
paypal all the way.. love that debit card.. I haven't ever had a problem with a customer paying via paypal, except one time she acted like it took the refund too long to get to me, but she didn't think I knew that she had a paypal account. if they don't have an account the card goes right back to their method of payment, if they do have an account it sits there until they do a withdrawal.. (it's nice to be informed about what you use)
I even had a page that was just for payment with a button that said buy now, so they can click and enter the amount they were going to pay. that was, I didn't have to email and invoice etc.
However, I rarely, if ever do a cake with 2 days notice.. I would consider it if it was a rectangle (as in sheet cake) or just a dessert style. As a matter of fact, my bff ask me last night if I cud do a "small cake for Thursday" I was sleep when she ask so I didn't get the mssg until this morning.. Haven't gotten the details yet, and if I don't soon, I won't be doing a cake
If you don't get payment when they tell you they are sending, yes, a gentle reminder is nice. It might have slipped their mind.
Great advice given!
funny, I posted this on 12/1.. I DID go ahead and send a reminder email to which I received the response "oh no I do want the cake, Im going today to get a money order, etc.. never did receive it
also, i had a previous customer mention to me that he wanted a cake for 2/6 for a big event.. then i "checked in" with him a couple of weeks ago. he ask me if I had any design ideas. I told him no because I had no idea of how many servings, what type of budget etc.I also reminded him that no order was confirmed without deposit. he "chatted" me the other day on facebook saying he was going to forgo the cake.. I said "I figured as much since you didn't respond to my email"
TODAY, a "customer" called me to cancel a cake he ordered for Saturday and told me I can keep the deposit.. i laughed.. the order was placed Thursday, he was supposed to pay the entire amount on Saturday but "only had half-120" and was gonna pay the rest today.. of course I'm keeping the deposit sweetie... thank you so much