Partial Payment Frustration

Business By VirtuouSol Updated 27 Jan 2016 , 10:34am by 810whitechoc

VirtuouSol Posted 26 Jan 2016 , 3:33am
post #1 of 12

Good evening all! I am writing this conversation out of frustration right now. I have allowed Partial payment via PayPal for clients in the past. They can be annoying, but I try to understand that folks are on a budget. Pssh, that's partially why I began decorating cakes! I wanted to know how others handled their payment/deposit policies. Do you allow Partial payments? How far in advance do you require the total of the order to be paid? Most of my clients reach out for an order within a month of their events. I currently require total payments to be deposited 7 business days prior to the event. I know this business has growing pains, but the grey hairs are building up! Any help would be great. Thank you all in advance!

11 replies
810whitechoc Posted 26 Jan 2016 , 7:58am
post #2 of 12

I require a deposit to secure the booking then final payment 7 days before the event, though I have found a lot of people want to pay the full amount on booking .

I'm not sure what the problem is or why you are finding the process you are using frustrating. Maybe if you explained why it is frustrating people could offer suggestions on how to make the process easier?

julia1812 Posted 26 Jan 2016 , 8:15am
post #3 of 12

No cake is leaving my house without being paid for. Full stop. No exception. 

I understand that someone might be on a budget or a bit tide but that's their problem not mine. If they can't afford what they want they should go for a smaller/ simpler cake or go to the grocery store.  A cake business is no well fair institutions! 

costumeczar Posted 26 Jan 2016 , 1:18pm
post #4 of 12

Are people sending you $5 here and there, and it's hard to keep up with the payments? That's irritating, but if people do it all you can do it keep track of the amounts they've paid as they pay it.

I require payment in full 2 weeks before and a deposit to secure the date. Usually people don't pay bit by bit but I do have the occasional person who will send me $100 at a time over the course of a few months, so I know what you're talking about.

cakesbycathy Posted 26 Jan 2016 , 2:52pm
post #5 of 12

My policy is that they can either pay the full amount up front  or a 50% deposit to hold the date and then balance due 2 weeks prior.
All orders less than $100 must be paid in full. 

VirtuouSol Posted 27 Jan 2016 , 1:15am
post #6 of 12


The frustration came with the run around regarding payment. I thought I made everything pretty straight forward, but I felt a bit played. This is the 2nd time this has occurred, and it just makes me not want to offer payment instalments. Its like all have to suffer for the poor planning of a few.

VirtuouSol Posted 27 Jan 2016 , 1:20am
post #7 of 12


Oh I'm with you! If its not paid in full before I begin baking, its not baked! But I'm frustrated in thinking if I should even offer instalment options. 

VirtuouSol Posted 27 Jan 2016 , 1:25am
post #8 of 12


I was definitely thinking to pull my deadline back to 2 weeks instead of 1. The week an order Is due, I want to have all materials needed already on hand. I live in a rural area, so if i can't find my needed supplies at Michaels, I'm ordering offline. My closest supply shop is 1.5 hours away! I just try to be as organized and timely as possible, but non payment slows that process down for me.

VirtuouSol Posted 27 Jan 2016 , 1:31am
post #9 of 12


That sounds reasonable to me! When installments are requested, I ask for 50% up front & final deposit no later than a week prior to the event. I've had folks wait to pay the initial deposit & miss out on booking their date. I definitely think I am going to require final payments to be made 2 weeks out. I also like the idea of anything under $100 being paid in full. Thank you!

Jinkies Posted 27 Jan 2016 , 1:46am
post #10 of 12

I'm a little late to the party, but here's my process.  I require 50% and full payment 2 weeks out.  If it's ordered 2 week or less out, it has to be paid in full.  I always make it very clear to potential clients that they are NOT on my calendar unless their deposit is paid.

I'm always sticky sweet and gung-ho in my emails but I always state that "I require payment......".  

You can be sweet and still wear your business hat :)

Pastrybaglady Posted 27 Jan 2016 , 3:37am
post #11 of 12

I vote no for more than 2 total payments!  If they can make installments why can't they put that money in an envelope until they have the full amount 2 weeks in advance?  50% deposit and full payment period.  Anymore than that is a nightmare. You're not Walmart!  Most of my customers think it's too much of a hassle to remember to make two payments and prefer to pay all at once.

810whitechoc Posted 27 Jan 2016 , 10:34am
post #12 of 12

Hi Virtuosol

I get it, sorry for being slow on the uptake.  I very rarely have people paying in small installments and yes it can be annoying keeping track of the money.  As I said most people pay a deposit or pay the amount in full at time of booking and most pay well in advance of the cutoff date, which for me is one week out.

I also understand the difficulties of being in a rural area and having to make sure everything is ordered well in advance.

Taking everybody's comments into account maybe rework and reword your payment policy?

50% at time of booking and one more payment due 2 weeks before order is due?  As most of your orders are placed within a month of the function that is just two payments two weeks apart.  As Pastrybaglady said can't they put the money in an envelope themselves and hang on to it for a week or two.

 Why are you taking on the role of their money manager?  I understand that people have budgets and I understand that you may want to be sympathetic and helpful, but if it is causing you frustration and stress you are paying the price for other people's financial issues.

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