I need advice as this is the first time this has happened to me. Client signed a contract for a cake due next weekend. I just deposited the check this morning. She emails me today and said that they had to cancel the party. I honestly don't think that is the reason as I have spoke to her many times and she has the decor and big thing planned. Maybe I'm wrong . Anyway, she wants her deposit back. It says on the contract non-refundable as it holds your date. I have turned two orders away both around $100-$150 due to her order. I also ordered $15 worth of stuff to make her bees for the cake. I told her I would try to contact the other clients to see if they have found anyone to take next weekend so I coule re-coup the money. The deposit was $50.00.
Thanks for any input-
Keep the deposit. If she complains, reiterate your explanation that you have already ordered non-returnable supplies for her cake and turned away other business for the date in question.
If the even was still months away it might be a different story, but next weekend is short notice for a cancellation.
I put the following on my contracts and website. You might want to offer something the same. This might save face for a future project.
"In the event that your delivery date is changed or canceled, your deposit will remain valid for one year after the original deposit date and can be used towards another cake order. I require one week notice on party cakes and one month notice on wedding cakes. Without proper notification, your deposits will be forfeited."