Exceptions To Your Deposit Policy?

Business By Kitagrl Updated 4 Jan 2010 , 10:04pm by johnson6ofus

Kitagrl Posted 2 Jan 2010 , 4:15pm
post #1 of 32

I have a lady wanting a sort of last minute 3D cake for next weekend....but its a surprise for her husband (she seems to be maybe an older lady). Since its pretty much last minute I went ahead and requested prepayment instead of a deposit (I do that for last minute orders). She wants it as a surprise so she wants to pay in full when she picks up as she does not want her hub to find out. I understand that so I told her okay, she can pay when she picks up but I still need a $50 deposit. She wasn't comfortable with that because she says her husband will see it (I requested she pay online since the cake is due in a week). I had to stick to my guns and request I get the deposit no matter what...I said she could drop cash by tomorrow or Monday am at the latest...because its so last minute we don't have time for mailing checks or whatever other options there would be for a surprise.

She asked if I could take her credit card numbers and hold them without charging anything until she picks up, but I wasn't comfy with that either.

I felt kinda mean to be so unbending but I explained that the deposit policy protects both of us and that I cannot bend that one....just waiting for her reply now. She started calling me over Christmas week but I was on vacation and although I emailed her we didn't really discuss it in depth until I got back.

Any of you ever bend the deposit policy? I would consider it for a faithful customer but I don't think a new one...I don't want to get burned. Without a deposit she could easily decide last minute she doesn't want to spend all that on a cake and call and cancel while I'm halfway done.

31 replies
Mensch Posted 2 Jan 2010 , 4:17pm
post #2 of 32

I make exceptions. Not often, but I do it.

What is your gut feeling telling you? Is she a skeezy no-show, or does the ol' gut say okay?

_Jamie_ Posted 2 Jan 2010 , 4:18pm
post #3 of 32

Tough sh*&! Seriously! Yep--I make exceptions to the no deposit rule all the time. It's called payment in full.

Kitagrl Posted 2 Jan 2010 , 4:20pm
post #4 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by _Jamie_

Tough sh*&! Seriously! Yep--I make exceptions to the no deposit rule all the time. It's called payment in full.




LOL! Yep that was my original idea..... so I backed off on that as a favor for her but trying to explain I have to have SOME money before I start this cake.

_Jamie_ Posted 2 Jan 2010 , 4:21pm
post #5 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kitagrl

..I don't want to get burned. Without a deposit she could easily decide last minute she doesn't want to spend all that on a cake and call and cancel while I'm halfway done.




Exactly. And we don't have the luxury of putting our product back on the shelf for someone who may purchase it later. Now yeah...for someone who has proven to be a good customer, yeah. For a new one? Not a chance in Hades.

I think she is treating your business as if you are a little hobby.

Kitagrl Posted 2 Jan 2010 , 4:22pm
post #6 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mensch

I make exceptions. Not often, but I do it.

What is your gut feeling telling you? Is she a skeezy no-show, or does the ol' gut say okay?




My gut says she is an older lady who is probably reliable but that there is a small chance she may call Thursday and say "We decided we can't afford that much for a cake, I need to cancel my order" if I do not have the deposit in hand.

Its a design that will take some thought and work so its not something I want to risk working on for nothing. A sheet cake, yeah...a 3D cake involving detail work...no, not worth it.

CakeForte Posted 2 Jan 2010 , 4:22pm
post #7 of 32

Good you stuck to your guns but A $50 deposit is way low. ESPECIALLY for a last minute order. Since it was so last minute...that order should have been paid in full.

Kitagrl Posted 2 Jan 2010 , 4:24pm
post #8 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by CakeForte

Good you stuck to your guns but A $50 deposit is way low. ESPECIALLY for a last minute order. Since it was so last minute...that order should have been paid in full.




I did request payment in full but she begged that I not because she doesn't want her hub to see the $200 entry in the card. So I backed off on that and allowed cash upon pickup, but I can't back off on the deposit.

Its pretty much my standard deposit for everything.... unless its a last minute order in which case I do generally request full payment online, immediately.

indydebi Posted 2 Jan 2010 , 4:30pm
post #9 of 32

Don't you feel sorry for a lady who can't spend a dime without fear that her husband will "find out"? Does he habitually question every penny she spends? Does she have no say in how the household money is spent?

If I pulled $100 out of our account and hubby asked what it was for (not an unreasonable question between a couple), but I'd tell him, 'Your birthday is coming .... shut up." And he'd happily back off. icon_biggrin.gif

As I read this to hubby, the pessimist in him says, "She's trying to get something for nothing ... she'll find something wrong with the cake when she picks it up .... she'll contest the credit card payment." (see, hubby is kind of a "the glass is not only half empty, but the faucet is ALL THE WAY over on the OTHER side of the room!" icon_lol.gif )

Here's another thing to consider .... she's an older lady who seems to be unable to spend any money w/o hubbyknowing about it, she's ordering a 3-D cake, and Kita's cakes aren't in the walmart price range ..... it just bothers me that she's ordering what will be an expensive cake, with fear of hubby finding out she's spending the money, and the price is going to be just fine and okey-dokey on pick-up day? (She DOES know the price, right?)

Stick to your guns.

Mensch Posted 2 Jan 2010 , 4:30pm
post #10 of 32

I would tell her that since it is a last minute order then she can't cancel the cake.

chefjulie Posted 2 Jan 2010 , 4:35pm
post #11 of 32

Could you get a post-dated local check and cash it on the day of the order, BEFORE she picks it up? A bit of the PITA, I know, but it may get around the "he might see" issue...

DDiva Posted 2 Jan 2010 , 4:38pm
post #12 of 32

I'd like to start off the new year asking one and all to repeat after me:
I WILL ALWAYS REQUIRE PAYMENT IN FULL; I WILL ALWAYS REQUIRE PAYMENT IN FULL!!

The only exceptions are cakes costing over (insert your figure here). I then will require at least a non refundable 50% deposit with a signed contract.

I will not make business decisions based on everyones personal drama. I will remember that many large corporations operate on a prepay basis (try buying a computer from Dell without prepaying).

I will remember that I am a business person at all times and make decisions that will help my business and not kill my spirit.

I will have a Happy, Healthy, and Prosperous New Year!!

indydebi Posted 2 Jan 2010 , 4:41pm
post #13 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by chefjulie

Could you get a post-dated local check and cash it on the day of the order, BEFORE she picks it up? A bit of the PITA, I know, but it may get around the "he might see" issue...


If it's made out to a business, that could be a problem. My bank won't permit me to "cash" a check made out to my business name. It has to be deposited.

And you still run the risk of stop payments, bouncing, etc.

This woman's problem is between her and her husband. Hubby is at this minute sharing story after story of one spouse telling hubby what to tell the other spouse if they came in asking this that or the other. Hubby would never play that game ..... he's not a marriage counselor and he's not getting in the middle of their communication problems.

_Jamie_ Posted 2 Jan 2010 , 4:54pm
post #14 of 32

I share an account with my hubby. If I did something like this, he would totally know. It would ruin the surprise...I get it. So when I need to do stuff like this, I start taking an extra $20 out each time I am doing something else, and save it up for when it's time to pay.

Can't expect you to bend your rules for her lack of planning.

artscallion Posted 2 Jan 2010 , 4:56pm
post #15 of 32

DDiva said: "...I will not make business decisions based on everyone's personal drama."

I'm getting this printed on a t-shirt. And on the back it will say, "If you want to be treated like a business, rather than a hobbyist, it would behoove you to act like one."


(This is not directed at OP, just my personal feelings on situations like this, in general
icon_smile.gif )

Kitagrl Posted 2 Jan 2010 , 5:02pm
post #16 of 32

Yeah I think its the surprise element...I'm with Indy though...I'd just say, "Its your birthday! Don't look."

Haven't heard back yet but then I don't think she hangs out online like I do. haha.

WykdGud Posted 2 Jan 2010 , 5:04pm
post #17 of 32

Is she not buying him a gift as well? Do you think she's asking the store to take home the gift so she can wrap it up in advance but not to charge her for it until after his birthday??! I think he knows his birthday is coming up, and I would hope she usually buys him a cake. I don't see what the whole "SURPRISE!!!!!!" issue is...

Kitagrl Posted 2 Jan 2010 , 5:17pm
post #18 of 32

Looked back at the emails and she says "I don't want him to know what I am spending" so....

I dunno. haha.

Sagebrush Posted 2 Jan 2010 , 5:57pm
post #19 of 32

It doesn't matter whether her reasons are simply to surprise him or to hide the amount she's spending, I would tell her no and explain to her that the reason you can't is that you use the deposit money to purchase the supplies to make the cake. Without the deposit, how are you supposed to get started? You can't pay for the supplies with the hope that she's as nice as she seems. People are rarely burned by those they can tell are untrustworthy, it's the ones that are so sweet and sincere you can't imagine they would break their promises.

And, as Jamie said... if you make her cake and she changes her mind or her husband finds out and tells her NO in no uncertain terms, it doesn't matter how sorry SHE is about it, you are still out all the time and money you put in on the cake because you can't just sell it to someone else.

- Leisel

indydebi Posted 2 Jan 2010 , 6:34pm
post #20 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by sagebrush

I would tell her no and explain to her that the reason you can't is that you use the deposit money to purchase the supplies to make the cake. ..... it doesn't matter how sorry SHE is about it, you are still out all the time and money you put in on the cake because you can't just sell it to someone else.




I never told customers that I use the deposit to buy supplies. THis can lead to problems such as "It only costs her $50 to buy the supplies and she has the NERVE to charge me $200!" Nope ... not even opening that door.

Stick with it's a security deposit to help insure that you dont' get burned because unlike a shoe store, you can't just put the cake back on the shelf and hope that SOMEONE might kinda maybe sorta MIGHT want to swing by and buy a cake that looks EXACTLY like what she ordered.....within the next 24 hours.

Sagebrush Posted 2 Jan 2010 , 6:47pm
post #21 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi


I never told customers that I use the deposit to buy supplies. THis can lead to problems such as "It only costs her $50 to buy the supplies and she has the NERVE to charge me $200!" Nope ... not even opening that door.




Hadn't thought about that... that's a good point! There are definitely people who wouldn't be able see beyond the deposit price that I was thinking applied to eggs/flour/sugar/butter to get the cakes started to all the extra costs involved rent/electricity/equipment/time/talent/etc. to get the cake finished and out the door and would walk out without even asking so you would get to explain those.

- Leisel

cblupe Posted 2 Jan 2010 , 6:59pm
post #22 of 32

I have to say you need to stick to your guns on this one and even up the deposit to $100.00 (50% of the cake order). Then when she has 'buyer's remorse' and doesn't show up to pick up the cake the sting won't hurt as much.

WykdGud Posted 2 Jan 2010 , 7:08pm
post #23 of 32

Honestly, this sounds like HER problem. Surely she can borrow $50 from someone she knows in order to keep the cake a "surprise"...

I only make accomodations for long-time customers who I know won't screw me.

Deb_ Posted 2 Jan 2010 , 8:47pm
post #24 of 32

I would only make an exception for one of my loyal clients definitely not a "first timer".

Is this woman a referral from one of your other clients?

I would say if you don't know her and if none of your clients know her then I'd pass on this one unless she can come up with the money.

I mean she wrote "I don't want him to know what I'm spending" That's a red flag to me.

Nchanted1 Posted 2 Jan 2010 , 9:27pm
post #25 of 32

I make exceptions to my deposit/payment policies for the following people:The Queen of any nation, Prince William (Soooo cute), Prince Harry (Soooo bad) The Pope, and the Dalai Lama.

But only if they pick it up in person.

George Clooney gets his cake for free!

LaBellaFlor Posted 2 Jan 2010 , 9:27pm
post #26 of 32

Theres NO WAY I would do this without a deposit or depending how short of notice, payment in full. And like someone else said earlier, I'm not a hobbist, so I don't expect to be treated like one. Repeat, loyal customers are the only ones that may get special treatment like this, but not even for someone they reffer.

Kitagrl Posted 2 Jan 2010 , 11:19pm
post #27 of 32

She wrote back asking for my location so I think we can work out an in-person payment.... we'll see!

LaBellaFlor Posted 3 Jan 2010 , 12:19am
post #28 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nchanted1

I make exceptions to my deposit/payment policies for the following people:The Queen of any nation, Prince William (Soooo cute), Prince Harry (Soooo bad) The Pope, and the Dalai Lama.

But only if they pick it up in person.

George Clooney gets his cake for free!




ROTFLMAO!!!! icon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

johnson6ofus Posted 4 Jan 2010 , 6:03am
post #29 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by WykdGud

Surely she can borrow $50 from someone she knows in order to keep the cake a "surprise"... .




This is EXACTLY what I was thinking. Give me a break.... if you can afford a custom cake, you can afford a deposit or have a friend or family member who can spot you a few bucks for a week.

Kitagrl Posted 4 Jan 2010 , 6:04am
post #30 of 32

She actually had her brother send the deposit online so all is well now. icon_smile.gif Only now she can't figure out which day she actually wants to pick it up....LOL....this is a fun one!

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