When I started my leathercraft business, I really didn’t have a “Store Policy” on custom orders. At that time we were dealing with mostly local folks and I was pretty trusting of them.
Customers came into the store and wanted to get a belt made. I spent 30 minutes or so with them designing their belt. The question that followed was usually, “Do I pay now or when I pick it up?”
At the time, I was hungry for work and wanted to make a good impression on our new customer. I would reply with, “You can pay for it when you pick it up.”
This worked out well for the most part… For a while.
Eventually the items waiting for “pick up” began to grow and money tied up in finished products began increase. I soon realized that I had built many items using shop money that might not ever get picked up and paid for.
We then started taking a deposit of 50% of the job. This worked well to ensure that the customer would be back in the store to pick up their items. As well as to pay us the rest of the balance.
But this became somewhat difficult to handle from an accounting standpoint.
Over the years I have developed our store policy on custom orders into what works best for us. We take all the money up front on all custom orders. Continue reading