Just thought I'd share....I had a cancellation today for a detailed sculpted Groom's Cake with a small built stand that would have been a $400 order.
Everything seemed to be going fine, several months ago I got a $100 deposit.
The balance was due last week and I sent a friendly reminder email and never heard from her. Got busy and forgot to follow up (I should not have to babysit people but I still feel like I should send reminders). Realized she never paid. Left a couple voice mails today saying I needed payment today or would consider the cake cancelled.
About an hour later I got a terse email saying the order should be cancelled. I felt kinda bad, obviously something not-so-happy has happened to where someone would just throw out a $100 deposit like that.
Anyway...luckily I have not really spent any money on her order yet (although I was about to, tomorrow) except the wooden base board I ordered but probably won't have to pay for when I go pick up my other items (that or I'll just use it in the future, whatever). But the $100 pays me for time spent on her contract and her order...any supplies I would have purchased...AND any orders I turned away for the weekend that I have now lost (which is okay because I actually have plenty to work on this week without her cake and now have a little extra breathing room! Though the money would have been nice.)
Anyhoo...I say all this to say: "GET DEPOSITS!!!" I can't imagine if I did not take deposits, the people who would be leaving me high and dry...because occasionally I do actually get people who cancel, leaving me with their deposit...I think in 3 years of licensed caking I have had three cancellations, leaving me with their deposit. So...it does happen!
AMEN!! Thanks for sharing! Sorry you lost the order, but good for you for getting the deposit!
Good for you for getting a deposit, and thanks for posting your story so others can see how a situation like this can play out well. I used to never get deposits until I started reading posts on CC. Now, I always get one.
Deposits, and keeping them to cover your loses, is just good business. It helps pay for all you lost by their cancellation.
I am glad for the post to show you are not a "meannie" for doing just what you did.
I have people cancel AND they don't even use the money for future cakes, which I allow for a year from the date of the deposit. All of my deposits are 50%, so we're looking at at least $300.
Makes you wonder. I need to find more of those people...lol.
I learned the hard way this month. A good friend's wife asked me to make some cakes for her. I didn't get a deposit because the hubby is such a good friend of mine. Here we are 16 days after delivery, and I've yet to receive a cent from the wife. The total order was $577.23. If I don't get my money by Thursday night, I'm contacting her hubby Friday morning. This will be a BIG problem for her because she lied to her hubby, my friend, and told him the order was only $400.
Lesson learned: Get deposits!!! Even from friends.
My deposits are made through my e-commerce site. Without it, the computer will not schedule the order. No one questions it.
What a pain, but good for you. We get deposits too. I think it confirms your intentions to the customer just as much as it confirms their intention of getting the cake from you!
...AND any orders I turned away for the weekend that I have now lost ....
I am SO glad you mentioned this part of it! So many times, a caker thinks of "expenses" as just the money out of pocket on supplies. But "expenses" also cover the cost of our website, our phone bill to book the order, our planning time, etc., etc.
I spell it out in this article: http://cateritsimple.blogspot.com/search/label/deposits