1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  

How long do you allow a customer to take to make the final payment?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by tjclem, Nov 17, 2006.


  1. tjclem

    tjclem Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass
    I have been doing custom orders for a a few years and have never run into this problem before. Normaly when the bass is ready the customer sends the payment fast. I now have 2 bases that have been done for over a month each. Both customers have been telling me they don't have the $ and they will get it to me when they can. I am not a bass storage facility despite what my wife thinks. :rollno: What would you people do about it?.......tom
     
  2. guy n. cognito

    guy n. cognito Secret Agent Member

    Dec 28, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    Do you have a contract with these clients? If not, you should. I would say that 30 days is more than reasonable, then the item goes up for sale.
     
  3. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol

    The local luthier had issues with this.
    Now he will keep them for 3 months after completion and after that they're for sale at a rebate price.
    The initial customer gets back the money of the sale minus the amount he owes to the builder.
     
  4. tjclem

    tjclem Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass
    They each supplied the hardware and a deposit. What I have told them in October is that they had until December 1st to be paid in full or I will keep the bass and refund only the $ they have sent me. How does that sound? My recent custom orders I now require a 50% deposit on after this mess.t
     
  5. Rodent

    Rodent A Killer Pickup Line™ Commercial User

    Dec 20, 2004
    Upper Left Corner (Seattle)
    Player-Builder-Founder: Honey Badger Pickups & Regenerate Guitar Works
    for me, it depends on


    * the relationship I've established with the specific customer

    * if the delay is with a long-standing, high volume customer I may issue extended grace for a much longer period depending on the specific circumstances (self inflicted problems ... maybe not - outside of their control type circumstances ... most likely)

    * on the final amount still owed, and whether we can establish a timely pay-off plan that may include interest

    * if I like the bass enough to want to keep it instead of having it paid off :eek:

    all the best,

    R
     
  6. tjclem

    tjclem Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass
    First time customers on both basses. No I don't want to keep any more basses. The wife is going to shoot me.
     
  7. guy n. cognito

    guy n. cognito Secret Agent Member

    Dec 28, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    Don't return their money until the basses have sold.
     
  8. Rodent

    Rodent A Killer Pickup Line™ Commercial User

    Dec 20, 2004
    Upper Left Corner (Seattle)
    Player-Builder-Founder: Honey Badger Pickups & Regenerate Guitar Works
    you could always give them notice of a specific date (like you did with Dec 1), and that 24 hours after that date the bass will be put up for sale on eBay. You would refund them any amount as such:

    net amount you obtained from the eBay auction
    minus
    net amount still owed you by the client
    minus
    a fee (fixed or percentage) for having to handle things this way

    EX: $950 auction net - $250 still owed - $100 fee = $600 refund. If this was a $1500 project, that's a pretty big loss to swallow for not finding a means to pay off the remaining $250

    as you are not a world famous name (yet), there is very little advantage for them to go this route, as they would lose a significant amount of their investment in the project

    hopefully you don't need to go this route

    all the best,

    R
     
  9. guy n. cognito

    guy n. cognito Secret Agent Member

    Dec 28, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    I would look at it a slightly different way:

    If this bass is sold on ebay, then I will guess it will sell for less than the original order price. That is a loss to the luthier, for which the customer (who has violated his contract) should pay. In this scenario, we will assume the contract amount was $1,500, the client has a $600 deposit and the bass sells on ebay for $950 net. So:

    $1500-$950=$550 loss to luthier
    $600-$550= $50 refund to client.

    This scenario is obviously more punative to the client and might be difficult to enforce without a contract. The more marketable the bass, the less of a loss to the client.
     
  10. +1
    I would do something to this effect going forward. Check with a contract lawyer.

    You should definiately do business using a contract. State on the terms of the contract that upon completion, Customer must pay balance in full within 30 calendar days after order has been completed. Failure to pay money owed after completion will result in storage fees applied at $25.00 per week for a total of 3 months. After 3 months company retains merchandise without compensation to the buyer.
     
  11. eleonn

    eleonn

    Aug 24, 2006
    Lima - Perú
    Be careful with contracts that stablished dates. I review LSAs (Level Services Agreements) for the company I work for with another companies and I always ask for payments in case the dates are not met.

    For example I want you to make me a $2000 bass which is going to be finished in 60 days and I have to pay 1000 in advanced and the other 1000 at the end. In the case I haven´t payed you the last 1000 30 days after the bass have being finished you can sold the bass, get your 1000 and refund me the rest of the money paid for the bass.

    As the custormer, I can ask you to include in the contract also that for every day after ther 60 days you will have to refund me 5% (for example) of total cost of the bass.

    Both, you and the customer have the right to put such things in the contract.
     
  12. guy n. cognito

    guy n. cognito Secret Agent Member

    Dec 28, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    Yeah, but as with most purchase orders (which is, essentially a contract) those types of clause are never included. There are typically only penalities for customers. Custom bass builders typically never give a hard delivery date, and custom bass clients typically don't expect one.
     
  13. eleonn

    eleonn

    Aug 24, 2006
    Lima - Perú
    Nope. Penalties are not just for customers. Any of the parts that sign a contract can ask for them, it is just not common but can be done. Actually usually customer are the ones that ask for them (in software development bussines this is really common and depending on how critical is the product for the customer penalties are a must in any contract).

    I know that bass builders usually don't give a date about the finishing of a project but if ask for a hard date to be paid the customer can ask for a date for the project to be finished.
     
  14. guy n. cognito

    guy n. cognito Secret Agent Member

    Dec 28, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    Yes, I understand that delivery dates CAN be part of a contract, but they are typically not for custom items like basses. The luthier wouldn't include a "hard date" for payment, but more likely state that "final payment is due within 30 days of notice of completion." This type of language is very typical in the simple types of contracts used by most luthiers.
     
  15. Musiclogic

    Musiclogic Commercial User

    Aug 6, 2005
    Southwest Michigan
    Owner/Builder: HJC Customs USA, The Cool Lute, C G O
    30 days from date of completion. Deposit refundable minus $250 handling fee. My customers always pay 65% down and 35% upon completion. You may lose out in labor, but make sure your materials are covered in such a situation. Establish your ethic and only povide leeway to those that are regular customers.
     
  16. What's the purpose of a deposit if you refund it after non payment of the balance?? :eyebrow:
     
  17. RWP

    RWP

    Jul 1, 2006
    +1 You and I are a lot alike. We are nice guys and tend to get pushed around by customers. Business is business. Maybe you could have your wife run the collection department, that way you are not seen as the bad guy? Hope it works out for you!
     
  18. All deposits are non-refundable. Payment due 30-60-90 (whatever) days after completion. In the event of non-payment, luthier retains ownership of the instrument.

    IMO, deposits filter out the non-serious customer and gets the serious customer a spot in the queue, while covering the material costs of the luthier.
     
  19. tjclem

    tjclem Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass
    Some good posts. Thanks. I wanted to be sure I wasn't being too harsh. I would be keeping the hardware they sent so they wouldn't be getting everything back. Tom
     
  20. eleonn

    eleonn

    Aug 24, 2006
    Lima - Perú
    Tjclem ...is there any possibility to see a few pics of those basses so we can see what those guy just loose???
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.