A question of ethics

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Milo Desmond, Aug 28, 2003.

  1. Milo Desmond

    Milo Desmond Guest

    Oct 13, 2002
    Salt Lake City
    I sold a friend of mine a Warwick Corvette Std. 5 in April. He could not afford the entire sum at the time, so I agreed to let him pay me over an undefined period of time. (I bet you already know where this is headed.)

    As of today, he has not even paid me 1/2 of the agreed amount. It's not that he doesn't want to pay for it, stuff just keeps coming up. He moved into a new place and bought all new furniture and things like that.

    He is an amazing bassist, and has fallen in love with the instrument, but I cannot buy a particular bass that I want until he pays me.

    What would you do?
  2. tonedeaf

    tonedeaf Supporting Member

    Tough Situation :(

    What I would do:

    1. Never, ever give anyone an item again before they've paid in full , especially a friend. Friendships get damaged that way, worse than a friend getting mad at you because you don't "trust them"

    2. Try to get a set, written payment plan set up. After all, you're pretty much loaning him the money.

    3. Be real honest with this guy, as in "your friendship skills are lacking here if you can't pay me because you used the money for something else."

    4. At some point, repossess the instrument if you aren't going to get paid for it, or write off the money or the friendship, whichever one you want to have less.

    I am speaking from experience here. I had a very similar situation (non-bass related) with my brother-in-law about 8 years ago and the damage was long-lasting because I didn't handle it right.
  3. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    Great lesson here. Don't lend $$$ to friends or family unless you aren't going to get upset if you never see a dime of it back. Consider it a gift, then if/when you get paid some or all of it back, it'll be a great day, like free money.

    If you can't take that attitude and aren't willing to execute a promissory note and a firm written repayment plan, you have no business lending the cash in the first place . . .
  4. Exedore


    Nov 15, 2002
    Pasadena, Ca, USA
    I guess I can understand that sometimes you don't have a whole lot of choice in when you move into a new place, but did he HAVE to buy all new furniture? I remember one place I lived in, we sat on the floor for like six months because we didn't have a single chair. (And I'm sure others here have even better stories)

    I think the above advice is pretty sound. Tell the guy that while you're sure it isn't in any way deliberate, he's disrespecting you and your friendship. And try to set up a written payment plan...
  5. Thor

    Thor Moderator Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Another member of this board had a similar situation. My answer to him is about the same as yours. :

    5 MONTHS!

    Forget it, the guy's a deadbeat, he cannot afford what he bought from you. And never could.

    I love my bosses Porsche. I'm a great driver. If he sold it to me, do you think he would let me keep it just because I wanted it, yet was unable to pay for it?

    And now he's blocking your ability to turn your equity in your bass into a new bass. So you don't love playing bass as much as he does?

    Return the money that he has paid, with the stipulation that the transaction is cancelled as a result. And take back the bass. It is still yours as he has not paid for it, though he committed to it. And start over.

    Moral of the story. 'It ain't a sale till you get paid.'
    Moral #2. ' Sales have PAYMENT TERMS.'
    Moral# 3. ' If your buyer does not adhere to the PAYMENT TERMS, it is not a sale.'


    Go forth and sin no more.


    Professional Sales Guy.
  6. NJL


    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio
    have the guy do what Thor would do:

    pay in fish!


    all kidding aside, a great friend and awesome acoustic and electric player (who has played with some heavies in his short life), bought my SWR WM 12 from me for a really, really low price.

    it was turning out that he wasn't paying the balance, so i bluntly told him that i was going to break his neck unless he paid me by the end of the week. :rolleyes:

    he paid (and give a little extra). we didn't talk for a couple of months, but now were back to being best buds. he even subbed for me a few days ago.


    i really don't recommend this way of doing things, but it worked for me :D
  7. CaracasBass


    Jun 16, 2001
    Madrid, Spain
    What Thor said......... Money issues and friends doesn´t come alone very well. If you apreciate his frienship and/or you are REAL friends, go and talk to him. I think it´s the best advice.
  8. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    Brilliant! Couldn't have put it better myself.

    Have you thought about going the Judge Judy route? :)
  9. lneal


    Apr 12, 2002
    Lee County, Alabama
    As a business owner, I can tell you that business and friendship have absolutely nothing to do with one another. He's bought new furniture and moved but he can't pay you a few hundred bucks? Repossess the bass and tell him to kiss your ass.
  10. Don't be a jerk...no body wants to give money to an a-hole...

    Just tell him you're in need of the money,and yuo're not pressuring him...but you'd just like the money soon. Oh,and be nice about it...

    Show him you're serious...but not a jerk about it.

    Good luck.
  11. welcher? the guy who has been holding off on the payments? Yeah...I think so to a degree...but being one doesnt get you no where...

    "2 wrongs don't make a right"

    Just be reasonable...and if all else fails...go in there with force:)
  12. lneal


    Apr 12, 2002
    Lee County, Alabama
    Maybe, but it'll get his bass back.
  13. If worse comes to worse...than ask for your bass back,and give him back the money he gave you...
  14. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    :) You know what I like about you Osama. Even when you agree with us, your have to go around in a big circle to get there :)
  15. pyrohr


    Aug 28, 2001
    Pakistani compound
    The most important thing I tell people is if and when you must lend money only lend what you can afford to lose, that way what you get back will just be gravy (even though it was originally yours).Jmho
  16. Thor

    Thor Moderator Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    This is an excellent point!

    This was a point I often make as well. This applies to almost all sales situations where
    extending CREDIT is involved.

    When evaluating a customer's credit worthiness, 2 points to consider are the customer's:

    Ability to pay;
    Willingness to pay.

    Does he have the money?
    Is he willing to part with it?

    Either way, here one of these scenarios is controlling this situation. This is only going to get worse if you take longer.

    Bottom line - your discussion with him is as

    'Bring me the money by next Friday. Or the bass.
    I am buying a new one, and I need this resolved. Nothing personal, but I can't let it hang any longer. Bass or the money. Let me know what you want to do. Sorry, further delay is not an option... '

    You must be polite, but firm that delay of resolution is not acceptable. DO NOT CAVE ON THIS.
    And then you will be fine.
  17. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    And Thor wins the award for best advice in this thread! I agree with this 100%. Be nice, but be firm. If you do it this way, and you wind up losing your friend, IMHO he wasn't much of a friend to begin with. This is a polite, fair way to resolve the issue.
  18. Are you hitting on me Peter?;)
  19. Milo Desmond

    Milo Desmond Guest

    Oct 13, 2002
    Salt Lake City

    After reading everyone's advice, I calmly but firmly approached him and said, "money or bass."

    After doing this, he explained to me some of his financial situations that have been preventing him from paying me immediately.

    Through this conversation, we were able to set up a payment plan that worked for both of us, and I am happy to report that this Friday, he will be paying me the final installment!

    Thank you all for the wonderful advice.
  20. If I may add for the record: Do not lend out books or CDs, you will never see them again. ;)

    Many people hear the word "give," when you say, "lend."