Okay I have a potential asking for me to make her mothers 75th birthday cake. She's tasted and seen my work before so that's not an issue. However she called me today asking for a contract and a drawing of what we discussed so she could be clear that "I" stood what she wanted. She goes on to explain she's been burned in the past and I needs to know she can trust me to deliver what she is asking for. Oh she has a point. I'm don't this out of my home. It's not like I have a store front.
So I let her know that I have a sketch of the cake already complete and I will give her a copy of it. Also I will have a receipt and a contract for her. (That joker will be detailed out to the last design with the notification that the down payment is non-refundable and particle refund will be given with full return of product. I don't wanna hear any buyers remorse. Now if something is truly wrong with the cake then that's different but you can't eat half the cake and then what your money back.
However, I go on to tell her that cakes are art work and may change a little in design but her general theme and concept will remain the same as we talked. Now she knows I do this out of my home, I have this feeling this chick is gonna be a headache for me. Now I understand the feeling of giving money to a person you really don't know and trusting them to give you the product you paid for but dang!
Does anyone have any solid advice?
So because she wants a detailed description of her order, you are concerned she will be difficult? I'm not sure I understand why you are wary of her. It's perfectly reasonable to ask for a contract/order form so she can make sure you understand what she wants and make sure you are on the same page. This is standard procedure for a business. We do an order form that has all of the details for every order we do, and have the customer look over and sign. It's good for the customer AND for you. That way there is no confusion or uncertainty.
She sounds a little "once bitten, twice shy" because of whatever has happened to her before. But she doesn't necessarily sound like a problem child to me, unless there's something I'm missing.
I always confirm what I am going to produce with an email. That way it is in writing for both of us. I can print out the email and use it for the a guide as I work. Phone conversations are great, but an email puts it in "stone".
AIf you are running a legitimate business, every single order should include an invoice and/or a contract describing in detail the goods and services you are providing and how much the customer is paying. Along with the other legal disclaimers on your invoice/contract you would also typically mention that certain components of the product may deviate slightly from the final design based on the baking and decorating process.
I would be prepared with a detailed invoice or contract like the others have stated, but I would wait to hand over the sketch until you have received her 50% deposit (or whatever amount you take).
Love me some Cake,
I left out the 4 calls to make changes to her order within a two week time frame and the affair isn't until the past week in June. I understand the once bitten thing but she met me through an event with a organization I'm affiliated with and knows where I work. Small town thing. If she is that concern about being bitten again then maybe she needs to think about getting her cake from Walmart or Sam's.
No I don't mind her asking for contract, I do a little contract any and I always give clients a sketch of the cake I have in mind. But I will admit she have prom ted me to call our family lawyer to have him draw up something very detailed so I am covered.
She don't use email. I wish she did.
Liz at sugar,
I do require 50% deposit and full payment is do 2 weeks (for wedding) and 1 week (for cakes).
Overall, I think I offended when she said "she needs to know she can trust me". She felt comfortable enough to ask me for a card and call me to do the cake in the first place. So why they worry now. IMO
However, when I meet with her I give her my contract and sketch of what we discussed and see what happens.
Thanks you for your feedback.
DO NOT give her a sketch until you have gotten her non-refundable deposit.
ACakesbyCathy ok I won't.
I think the no sketch thing is protect you. She could take it somewhere else.
Something along the line of " I'm sorry, I don't like the contract so I changed my mind. Thank you for your sketch ! :D "
You both have a point! I sketch without signed contract and down payment for cake. Thanks you