I was just royally screwed by a customer last night. I can go into the details if you would like but basically she didn't pick up a $261 cupcake order that she first said "my secretary was supposed to call and cancel" and then "I never actually confirmed." She was so rude that it left me physically shaking after dealing with her on the phone.
Moving forward, we want to start invoicing or sending email confirmations so there is a paper trail when someone orders in person or on the phone. We do have a walk-in retail shop and we of course take custom orders. I'm trying to figure out the simplest/efficient way to do email confirmations but I don't necessarily want to invoice every single person, who just wants to pre-order for the next day's cupcakes.
I'm also thinking that I want to start invoicing people so they pay in advance, even for cupcakes. I'm using square for my credit card processing so if someone pays over the phone it is an added cost compared to when they pay in person. Do I just take that cost as a "peace of mind kind of thing", or would you suggest having people pay through paypal?
I'm a home baker and don't get next day orders and maybe things are done differently with storefronts but I insist on deposits on everything no matter when the order is placed and full payments must be in my hands 2 days before delivery or pickup no matter the item. This is how I protect myself. And I mostly get paid through paypal and like it because of that paper trail. I don't see why you couldn't ask for payment in advanced for those pre-orders or some kind of deposit. That would seem reasonable to me as a customer getting a made-to-order food item in such a short notice. I think sending an email confirmation/having a paper trail is not going to guarantee someone won't show up for their order so to be safe, I would think getting the payment for next day orders upfront is the way to go.
I realized my first post wasn't clear. Whoops!
Here's what I'm thinking. Simple day before pre-orders for cupcakes that aren't custom (no custom flavor, no custom topper etc) can pay when they pick-up. It's something we can sell if for some reason they do not show-up. If a non-custom order is over $100, they would have to pay at least 50% at time of booking, and the remaining balance is due at pick-up. This would only be for non-custom items, which in our case would just be cupcakes. That way they don't have an excuse to say that they didn't place the order (like the woman last night) and if they still don't show-up, we can sell their cupcakes. Custom items (like custom cupcakes, cakes, cookies etc) would need to pay 50% to place the order and the remaining balance would be due one week prior. I really like what Sift Cupcakes in northern california has for their custom order policy: non-refundable and non-exchangeable within a week of pick-up date. So I will be adopting that policy.
What I need help with, is who does use invoices? Do you use a specific program (like quick books, paypal) or do you just send an excel invoice that you converted to pdf? If they pay in full, do you send an email confirmation?
I've been researching systems as well and PayPal has a feature that they will invoice your client and take payment
I have the cake boss software and have done invoices with that but if I'm expecting a paypal payment, I prefer to send my invoice from there. Kinda makes it easier having it all in the same spot.