HannahsMomi Posted 2 May 2013 , 9:23pm
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I'm preparing for opening my home-based bakery and I just finished putting together my contract and terms and conditions for wedding cakes.  I'm also offering celebration cakes for birthdays, anniversaries, etc.  I for the most part will not be seeing these customers in person until I deliver these cakes.  Do those of you who do this have contracts for these types of custom cake ?  If so, how do you go about doing them?  How do you get a signature without meeting face to face?  I'm just not sure how to do this part.  It's not necessary to meet face to face for a birthday cake but I still want to cover myself in case something happens.  Also, do you get a down payment for these cakes?  They aren't wedding cakes, but some can be just as complicated...

Anyway, thanks in advance for any help!!

16 replies
Relznik Posted 2 May 2013 , 9:36pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HannahsMomi 

How do you get a signature without meeting face to face?

I post it to them and get them to sign and post it back (with a cheque for their deposit).

 

Suzanne x

jason_kraft Posted 2 May 2013 , 9:56pm
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AFor smaller orders (under $150 or so) we do not require a deposit or a contract. We have some legal disclaimers on the invoice, when the customer picks up their order and signs the invoice that acts as the contract.

Sweetface421 Posted 2 May 2013 , 10:23pm
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Hi HannahsMomi!

Congratulations on starting your home biz!

I know there's probably a better way of doing it, so I'm always open to suggestions... but I have an order form for my occasional cakes instead of a contract. It seems the weddings always seem to require a bit more in the way of legality so a contract is a must. But for the regular ol' birthday cake, I just have an order form that I email to my clients which they sign & date and then scan and/or take a picture of it with their smartphone, and they e-rmail it back to me.  And I make sure that I'm paid at least a week in advance.  Being able to take credit card payments over the phone is a huge help!

It's worked so far but if anyone else has a better way of doing it, I'm open :)

 

- Renay

HannahsMomi Posted 2 May 2013 , 11:27pm
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Relznik, that sounds easy enough.  I don't know why I hadn't thought of that  icon_biggrin.gif  My only concern about that is time.  If I have an order placed with short notice, there might night be enough time for that.

jason...if you don't mind me asking, what disclaimers do you include?  I'm assuming it includes something about having received their cake in good condition and to their liking.  Anything else? Thanks for your advice, by the way.  I've seen many of your posts and I trust what you say!

Thanks Sweetface421!  I'm very excited about officially starting my business!  It's been a long time coming with lots of hard work!  I have thought about emailing the order form/contract, I just wanted to see if it has worked for others, so it's good to hear that you do this.  I'm planning on getting the Square so I am able to take credit card payments via the phone and during deliveries.  Do you get full payment 1 week in advance?  Or just a portion?  I'm not sure if I should require a portion down, then require full payment a week in advance or if I should just get the remainder at delivery.  

Who knew there would be so many details to figure out!!!  icon_eek.gif

Please keep the advice coming everyone!  I need all the help I can get!

IAmPamCakes Posted 2 May 2013 , 11:37pm
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AI was actually wondering about this too. Most of my orders are smaller celebration cakes or baked goods. I've been trying to figure a way to ensure I don't get no-shows or flaky people.

jason_kraft Posted 2 May 2013 , 11:38pm
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A

Original message sent by HannahsMomi

jason...if you don't mind me asking, what disclaimers do you include?  I'm assuming it includes something about having received their cake in good condition and to their liking.  Anything else? Thanks for your advice, by the way.  I've seen many of your posts and I trust what you say!

No problem! Our niche is allergy-friendly products, so if the customer orders (for example) an egg-free/dairy-free cake the disclaimer would say that the product is egg-free and dairy-free but contains gluten and soy; by signing the invoice they agree to pay in full by cash or check (we don't accept credit cards), and that the cake they are picking up is in good condition and is what they ordered. It also includes directions on how to store the cake until it is ready to serve.

Regarding no-shows, IIRC we only had 2 people fail to pick up their cake (out of 700 orders over 4 years), they were both simple orders so we were able to resell them to other customers without too much difficulty. If no-shows ever got to be a problem I would probably require an upfront deposit by check or credit card when I email the invoice to the customer (which is the trigger for finalizing the order).

Relznik Posted 3 May 2013 , 6:40am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HannahsMomi 

Relznik, that sounds easy enough.  I don't know why I hadn't thought of that  icon_biggrin.gif  My only concern about that is time.  If I have an order placed with short notice, there might night be enough time for that.

 


If it's short-notice I email the order form as a pdf file (so they can't alter anything!) then ask them to email back with their confirmation that all the details are correct or advising of any amendments. 

Crazy-Gray Posted 3 May 2013 , 7:40am
post #9 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by Relznik 

 


If it's short-notice I email the order form as a pdf file (so they can't alter anything!) then ask them to email back with their confirmation that all the details are correct or advising of any amendments. 

 

I do the same as Suzanne and I always ask for a deposit even with small orders; especially if a rush fee is included. I state on the deposit payment page:

 

"payment of a deposit secures your delivery/collection date and indicates agreement with our terms and conditions of sale, if you have not received these conditions by email please read them (here) before paying your deposit:"

 

I do think I have lost out on the odd "I want to pay in cash in full when I collect/you deliver" person and although I never had no-shows before I implemented this I still prefer the certainty.

Relznik Posted 3 May 2013 , 7:48am

I take a deposit (I accept cash if delivered in person, or cheques if there's a decent time-frame between when paid and the date of the order or direct bank transfer).
 

How much deposits varies...  if the cake was, say, £85, I would take £35 deposit with £50 payable in cash upon collection.  I don't accept cheques (unless I know them quite well) for the payment of balance on collection.  I know it sounds RIDICULOUS but I hate being paid in full TOO FAR in advance, because then I feel like I've worked for nothing! LOL!!  I like them giving me money when they pick up their cake!!!

Crazy-Gray Posted 3 May 2013 , 10:46am
Quote:
Originally Posted by Relznik 

I hate being paid in full TOO FAR in advance, because then I feel like I've worked for nothing! LOL!!  I like them giving me money when they pick up their cake!!!

ME TOO!!! lol I get this strange 'why haven't you paid me!" feeling when I drop it off and then I remember it was prepaid! lol

HannahsMomi Posted 3 May 2013 , 4:35pm

I feel so much better now about how to handle celebration/occasion cakes and how to put together the order form/contract.  There is some really good information here!  I'm going to work on putting it all together and sorting it out today.  Hopefully, I'll get it all settled.  If not, you all will be seeing another reply from me! icon_biggrin.gif  Thanks for all the help and if there are any more thoughts/ideas please post them!!  I love how this site is so helpful

AZCouture Posted 3 May 2013 , 8:13pm

Oh yes, I use the same contract for all cakes. Wouldn't dream of not doing that. I suppose if you are offering small inexpensive cakes, then maybe not. 

FromScratchSF Posted 3 May 2013 , 8:24pm

All of my stuff is paid in advance by credit card.  I don't do contracts for anything under around $300.  I have a catering contract and a wedding contract.  I generally use the catering contract for everything but weddings that is $300-600. If it is over $600 because of complexity of design or it's a really large order, I use the wedding contract but edit out the word wedding.

HannahsMomi Posted 3 May 2013 , 10:53pm

AZCouture....so you use the same contract for wedding and occassion cakes?  Do you include terms and policies?  My wedding cake contract is long when you include all of the terms.  I was wondering if occassion  cakes require as much focus on terms and policies as wedding cakes.  That's why I wasn't planning on using the wedding cake contract.  There are so many details in the wedding contract, I was trying to avoid that with the other.  Or maybe I should include all of that?  Don't know...

What do any of you think?

jason_kraft Posted 3 May 2013 , 10:57pm

A

Original message sent by HannahsMomi

AZCouture....so you use the same contract for wedding and occassion cakes?  Do you include terms and policies?  My wedding cake contract is long when you include all of the terms.  I was wondering if occassion  cakes require as much focus on terms and policies as wedding cakes.  That's why I wasn't planning on using the wedding cake contract.  There are so many details in the wedding contract, I was trying to avoid that with the other.  Or maybe I should include all of that?  Don't know... What do any of you think?

It really depends on what your terms are and the scope of your occasion cake orders, as well as what the applicable state and local laws are. If you don't want to require the entire contract with each order, I recommend contacting your lawyer to see which terms are needed for different order types.

AZCouture Posted 3 May 2013 , 11:06pm

Well, my average cake order is $250 and up, plus there have been many birthday/celebration cakes that were way more involved than some of my weddings, so I just treat them all the same. Makes life easier.

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