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Mainly I want to complain! lol


cable_stacy
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I have had several customers order candles then never pay or pick them up! I am just starting out here and I dont really have "stock". I usually just do orders ..........so when I recieve an order I spend my money to fill that order,expecting the customer to pay for their order......yeah you all know how the chain goes. Anyway, I dont have a lot of extra money to put into this adventure of mine anymore..........I LOVE doing it and want to do these orders. Should I start having new customers prepay? Is that too much to expect? Advice? Please! lol

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I would definitely get the money up front if at all possible. I sell a lot to the ladies in my law school's office. I don't require them to pay upfront because I know they always pay promptly and I have never had a problem before. However, anyone else is required to pay upfront. My MIL's friends like to order and ask to pay later, but I gently explain that I require payment upfront before I begin to make their order. That way, if something comes up later, I am not stuck with an order that has not been paid for. I have a card with my return policy on it, so they know that if there is a problem, they can get their money back. It is a sticky situation to be in, but I have found many times that people who don't want to pay upfront have been the ones I have had problems with not paying at all.

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I had a lot of customers that I'd deliver to, then they'd pay me in a couple of days or they'd only have part of it, then I'd get the rest next week...etc.

These were all regular, repeat customers, so I knew I'd get my money, but there were times when I'd have up to $200 out there to be collected.

It's kinda touchy, in the begining. You want to get the orders, so you don't want to be too pushy about cash up front, but you have to get your money...

No easy answer. After a while, it gets easier because you start selling more. You get established. People know that you'll deliver, if they pay up front. And one guy not picking up 2 or 3 candles for a week or so, isn't so much of a hardship because your volume is higher.

Just try to get something up front, at least from people you don't know well. 1/3 will prolly cover your materials cost. You just have to follow your gut, from there.

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Try to get some sort of deposit. Of course, getting them to pay up front or enough to cover the cost of your materials would be ideal. But even if they only give you a few dollars as deposit, the responsibility is now theirs to pick up their order and pay for it. Those customers who never showed up probably changed their minds. Maybe it was an impulse buy and now they have gone home and realized they could use the money for something more urgent. If they've already put down some sort of deposit, most likely they wouldn't want to lose it, even if it's just a few dollars.

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I will ask for a 50% deposit or payment in full from customers that are new and have never ordered from me before. If they are repeat customers and I know that they will pay once the order is completed I don't ask for a deposit or full payment. If you ever get into doing large order such as parties or weddings ALWAYS ask for a 50% deposit no matter who they are since your going to be spending alot of money upfront for your supplies. HTH

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Believe me this has happened to me more than once too.I am tired of it.The one FO I will never sell.I did get a couple samples to her she wanted and guess what she must not have liked it.I thought OK she won't like that but I have 100 other scents to choose.WRONG.I think she went shopping with all the sales going on and got gifts.

LynnS

I have had some take my number and going to get back with me to order.Never hear from them either.Thank goodness I didn't make up the scent they wanted that air freshener in.I am getting to the point where I no longer expect call backs.They find something else.It is a impulse thing.Think they want it but change their minds.More trouble to call.Just find something else.

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It *is* hard asking for money up front for our creations when we first start out. But, if you are wanting to become a true business, not just a casual "uh oh too many candles in the house better unload them" type of seller, you're going to need to train everyone that you *are* a business, and businesses expect to be paid for their work. Always get at least some money up front. If you treat everyone the same, then you won't have friends that talk together "she makes me pay up front - funny, she doesn't make me pay.."

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If your customers were ordering from any home party plan (ie HI or PL or even tupperware) they would require full payment at the time they placed the order. Why should you not expect the same?

It is hard when we start out selling because it is usually to family and friends and we don't want to seem like it's all about the cash, but this is an expensive craft. It is also very easy to have friends and family "take advantage" and expect to get a deal. If you are consistent with your pricing and require the same from everyone in regard to payment, then everyone will know you are a business and not just a hobby.

Good luck and hang in there...

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I sell alot to the other hairstylists in my salon. When I first started I let them pay after I made the products for them. Now I encourage them to pay upfront so they don't have to stop with a customer to pay me or have to be there when I drop off their order. They have never not taken an order but I feel like I am buggin them if they have to stop working on a client to pay me, so it seems as if it is a real benefit to them to pay when ordering. Maybe you could make it seem like your clients would benefit somehow from paying first too.

It was hard to do this in the beginning but we're all used to it now.

The good news about having some candles already made up is that sometimes people ask what I have on hand when they are buying for gifts. They will usually take the ones made up instead of having me make another special order.

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I agree with all of the above.. Remember, we can't go to Yankee or Walmart or any other store and ask for the stuff and that we will pay later.. The world would be a mess if that was the case. This is your business and you have to treat it as a business. I will not send out product unless I have payment in hand except from repeat customers that if they say a check is in the mail, I will go ahead and mail it out. I only do that with people I trust. Once they burn me or dont follow through, they are back on the cash first

Christina

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Guest EMercier

When I first started I trusted the people I worked with (they were my first customers). I started with a small stock and had a list and they picked from there. It got bigger and I started making what they wanted and delievered on payday, but I didn't give up until I got my money. I had one lady that I told twice to get her stuff, after that, I let them go and they went. NOW, I ask for money up front or a deposit. That way, I'm not out, they are. It is funny how people will go to tupperware (or other) shows and wait forever for their stuff to come and the person could burn them, but with candles they have hesitation. I use that (home shows for other stuff), that they trust them more than me and I gladly give my contact information. I've never burnt one person yet.

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In my store, I require 1/2 the price of the item as a down payment on anything I special order. That covers my cost of the merchandise, so I won't be out anything if the customer never picks up the order.

If you feel funny about asking for it, I explain to your customer what has happened, and that because of a few bad apples, now everyone has to pay 1/2 down before you can fill an order. Normally, an honest person wouldn't hesitate to fork over the money, and most would probably feel sorry for you, and angry at the customers who ripped you off. In the long run, the new policy will help you keep your costs down by reducing money tied up in products that are not purchased.

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