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Learning the Hard Way

post #1 of 34
Thread Starter 

As someone who is attempting to make their way into the competitive world of cakes, I'm sure (or hope) I'm not the first person to make this mistake...

 

A mutual friend of mine approached me about making her wedding cake. I was ecstatic! So far, I'd only gotten business for small things. I knew I could pull it off since I'd assisted on wedding cakes at other bakeries. The difference? This time, the money would be going directly into my pocket instead of someone else' while I continue to make an hourly wage. The couple whose cake I made are not incredibly rich. Their wedding was VERY low key. And I knew the only reason they approached me was because they knew I would work with them with payments. And I did. I agreed to let the bride make payments to me (over the course of 3 weeks) so that they wouldnt be SO strapped for cash. No big deal. 1 week BEFORE the wedding, I got the first payment. No problem. It has now been 2 weeks SINCE THE WEDDING and I have not received any more payments. And I'm starting to feel like I'm not going to. I've texted her and all she says is "Blah blah blah, mix up with vacation pay, blah blah blah, I have to see when I can pay you next, blah blah blah." I think she is just waiting for me to go away so she can say she got a cake for nothing.

 

If anyone has advice on how to handle this further, by all means, let me know!

But more than that, share your stories on lessons that you had to learn the hard way!

Misery loves company :( 

post #2 of 34
Tell her you need payment within 36 hours or you will send balance due to a collection agency.

Liz

Follow me on my Twitter handle: @Sugar_Iowa

Or on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SugarFineBakedGoodsAndConfections

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Follow me on my Twitter handle: @Sugar_Iowa

Or on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SugarFineBakedGoodsAndConfections

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post #3 of 34

yup, I'm with Liz, time to get tough!

 

Carolyn

post #4 of 34

No hagas el pastel!

Don't make the cake!

Ge's

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Ge's

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post #5 of 34

Too bad we can't re-possess cakes!  Definitely go after her with a collection agency, or find someone who sounds like a collection agency to call her.  I hope you at least made enough to cover your supplies and ingredients

post #6 of 34

And this is why we always say, "Don't turn on the oven until you are paid in full."

Answers to the most often asked questions re: SPS. SPS instructions are on Page 15 of the Sticky at the top of the Cake Decorating Forum. Supplies can be ordered from Oasis Supply, Global or BakeryCrafts.
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Answers to the most often asked questions re: SPS. SPS instructions are on Page 15 of the Sticky at the top of the Cake Decorating Forum. Supplies can be ordered from Oasis Supply, Global or BakeryCrafts.
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post #7 of 34

That's such a bummer! Especially since it sounds like you were doing her a favor from the start.  Next time I would get it in writing that a payment plan has been agreed upon, with signatures from both parties and clearly outlined time frame.  Maybe even get it notarized.

post #8 of 34
You could also offer to waive the late fee if the remaining balance is in your hands in cash within 24 hours.
post #9 of 34

what i do is call them at work ;) and this is why i chat folks up during the consult about who works where ;) rarely do i need to do this but i am going to be paid--and if she writes a bad check we can work on that too--

 

when you call--you cannot say that this in regard to a debt if you speak to anyone but her for example not to any random person  who answers the phone not to the receptionist nor to her supervisor-- if you are told by her or her super not to call her work again--you have to honor that and stop calling but otherwise you can call once or twice a week--even getting through once will shake the s out of her--even just getting a message to her through work or from her mom or dad or husband--did you get the wedding coordinator's #--was she married at a church or a meeting place where she's a member--her apartment complex clubhouse or any connection like that?

 

you can give your name and the name of your business and your phone number--

 

but if it's not her on the phone though don't mention the debt--just leave a message that it's important that she call you--if they ask you to stop calling--stop immediately--but continue to call her on her personal phone--

 

remain pleasant and professional and simply ask for the balance due--over and over and over--

 

sure you can chalk it up to a loss for being new but i would not--

 

everybody who thinks it's awful to have to do this i agree with you--

 

i doubt there's a collection agency that would take a one of thing like this--i don't know-- but i do know you can do it yourself--get your frkn money!

anytime you judge somebody and
you judge something that makes them happy 
that's your weakness speaking ~~ hilaria baldwin
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anytime you judge somebody and
you judge something that makes them happy 
that's your weakness speaking ~~ hilaria baldwin
Reply
post #10 of 34

increase the late fee

anytime you judge somebody and
you judge something that makes them happy 
that's your weakness speaking ~~ hilaria baldwin
Reply
anytime you judge somebody and
you judge something that makes them happy 
that's your weakness speaking ~~ hilaria baldwin
Reply
post #11 of 34

oh and for that matter--just get cash like jason said--if by some chance you take her check out of desperation -- cash it in person for CASH at the bank where her account is located--do NOT deposit her check into your account--especially if you both bank at the same bank--CASH IT for green dollar bill money--

 

if she fails to sign the check properly or whatever--do NOT write on the front of her check in any way shape or form--even if she tells you to--

 

her bank will call her for you when you present the check--hopefully while she's at work  :grin: 

anytime you judge somebody and
you judge something that makes them happy 
that's your weakness speaking ~~ hilaria baldwin
Reply
anytime you judge somebody and
you judge something that makes them happy 
that's your weakness speaking ~~ hilaria baldwin
Reply
post #12 of 34
Here's the thing - your friends are going to think you should have just done the cake for free. If you start making life hard for her when she's publicly known to be short on cash, you'll be the one who comes out with the bad name.

This is why you don't do favors for people that you can't trust 100% to appreciate it. You are entitled to get every penny you owed of course, no doubt about it, but most people don't understand what is involved with making a custom cake and I doubt your friends are any different from the sound of it.
elsewhere.
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elsewhere.
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post #13 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by kikiandkyle View Post

Here's the thing - your friends are going to think you should have just done the cake for free. If you start making life hard for her when she's publicly known to be short on cash, you'll be the one who comes out with the bad name.

This is why you don't do favors for people that you can't trust 100% to appreciate it. You are entitled to get every penny you owed of course, no doubt about it, but most people don't understand what is involved with making a custom cake and I doubt your friends are any different from the sound of it.

 

I disagree here - OP said her "friend" isn't incredibly rich - but does that mean poor?  And she allowed this "friend" to make payments so she wouldn't be so strapped for cash . . .

 

OP, if you want to be in business, you need to have cake balls.  Which includes having the guts to call and collect money that is due you.  If you want to "play" at business instead, let it slide.

 

If calling and collecting what is due gives your business a bad name, then there are a lot of us out here getting drug through the mud. :)

 

Liz

Follow me on my Twitter handle: @Sugar_Iowa

Or on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SugarFineBakedGoodsAndConfections

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Follow me on my Twitter handle: @Sugar_Iowa

Or on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SugarFineBakedGoodsAndConfections

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post #14 of 34

Send her a demand letter, including a late fee, by certified mail. 

Give her 10 days to pay and accept cash, or a USPS money order, only as payment. 

 

When she doesn't pay, take her to small claims court for the balance and put a lien against her if she doesn't pay the judgement. 

 

If nothing else, she'll tell people that you don't mess around. 

 

And never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever deliver a cake without payment in full again.

post #15 of 34
I didn't say it was right for her friend to walk all over her like this, only that there would be repercussions if she tries to rectify her mistake of not being more professional upfront and getting paid before she turned on the oven.

I think it's disgusting when friends take advantage of people's kindness like this. And I hate it even more when their other friends don't back them up, but I see it all the time.

When you start threatening people you know with collection agencies and court action it is never going to end well. That's just the reality of it.
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