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Old January 6th, 2009, 11:42 PM   #1
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Final Payment Upon Delivery... Question

We are contemplating changing our payment policy... Now we require a set deposit to hold the date and the remaining balance 2 weeks before the wedding. This has worked for us and most clients and I am nervous about changing ("fixing something that isn't broken"). BUT...

I tried something for a nervous bride and I am happy how it worked out. She didn't want to pay in full because her sister had been burned by another fellow videographer here in my area and never got her video after paying in full. So I told her I understood her concerns and did a 1/3 deposit, 1/3 2 weeks before the date and 1/3 upon delivery... only for this one instance. It went great and was actually nice to have the "reward" after the final product was delivered instead of putting in all the grueling hours of editing after already putting the money to... eh... other use.

Okay, I am rambling here, but I am wondering if anyone who has done the final payment upon delivery has had any problems. I would (I think) require it to be a cashier's check or cash, so no worry about bounced checks, but what else am I overlooking here. I know payments have been discussed here, but I don't recall seeing the plusses and minuses to either.
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Old January 7th, 2009, 12:14 AM   #2
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Dawn,

IMO, I think you should keep to your older ways instead of the new one but that's similar to how I do things. Payment must be made prior to wedding date(10 days prior) to be exact.

I have had VERY LATE payments made to me when I didn't have the policy of payment in full prior to wedding date which was a long time ago and I would never go back to those ways.

One of my current clients used to work for a credit-fixing company and she told me that one of the most common stories she heard from clients was that they way over spent on their wedding to the point of not being able to make credit card payments and such. Now, that is just a story she told me but I don't doubt it. I think it's easy to over spend and go over budget on a wedding....especially when a bride has been thinking of what her wedding should be like since she was a little girl.

My point is, I don't want to be a "collector"...not fun.

In the end, it could work out fine for you so do what's best for you.

I'm sure you'll get a lot of mixed replies with your question.

Best of luck...
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Old January 7th, 2009, 12:34 AM   #3
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No mixed reply here... full payment up front before the day. Non-negotiable.
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Old January 7th, 2009, 12:39 AM   #4
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No mixed reply here... full payment up front before the day. Non-negotiable.
...or else John will throw you in a Zorb and toss you down a black diamond ski run!
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Old January 7th, 2009, 12:46 AM   #5
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Although I haven't had as much experience (less than 10ish deliveries, most of them being friends), I have never had a problem with payment upon delivery, but then again, my clients have been very good about it so maybe I've been lucky.

Payment on delivery likely works for them as it helps with their probably-tight budget during wedding planning. It works for me because, like you, I like that reward feeling that I get money again! Also it motivates me more to work harder and deliver on time.

I believe that if your client isn't ready to pay you, you're not obligated to deliver the product until they are...
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Old January 7th, 2009, 12:50 AM   #6
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I believe that if your client isn't ready to pay you, you're not obligated to deliver the product until they are...
Once you start cranking out weekly weddings, the reality of relationship breakups, wedding budget blowouts, and brides trying to trim back their spend will catch you out eventually.
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Old January 7th, 2009, 01:01 AM   #7
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...or else John will throw you in a Zorb and toss you down a black diamond ski run!
I have NEVER "tossed" anyone inside a Zorb! :) (Except myself)
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Old January 7th, 2009, 01:09 AM   #8
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I have NEVER "tossed" anyone inside a Zorb! :) (Except myself)
of course....we need one of those things here in Cali!
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Old January 7th, 2009, 06:24 AM   #9
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I would also agree with keeping it as you have it now...collect the full balance prior to the wedding. There are too many potential problems with waiting until delivery of a product. I have never done it any other way but know a few other guys that do and they'll wait 6 months for some people to get their videos and finish paying for them. It may be a nice reward at that time, but it's better business sense to collect before.

Matt
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Old January 7th, 2009, 06:52 AM   #10
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What is likely to happen is that you will end up sitting on many of your customers' final product and receivables until they get around to picking it up and paying. Could be weeks, could be years and you've just reduced your cash flow.
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Old January 7th, 2009, 08:35 AM   #11
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I would be firm in getting full payment before or on the day of the wedding. I use to be so lenient that my scheme is 50 % deposit, 50 % upon delivery. Right after the wedding, couples usually ran out of money & in some instances gets divorced. I just had a couple last season who got divorced 1 month after the wedding, had I not collected the payment in full, I don't see myself collecting from them anytime soon.

You could always give them references if they think you'll burn them after the shoot.
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Old January 7th, 2009, 08:57 AM   #12
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Once you start cranking out weekly weddings, the reality of relationship breakups, wedding budget blowouts, and brides trying to trim back their spend will catch you out eventually.
This is the kind of information I was looking for... I didn't even think of that. I had 2 weddings this year that didn't even intend to watch their DVD because of divorce. So chances are, if they still had owed me money, I wouldn't have gotten it.

I really like this discussion. Thanks for all of your input. I think I may be convinced to stick to the way we did it.
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Old January 7th, 2009, 08:58 AM   #13
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You could always give them references if they think you'll burn them after the shoot.
I have done that in the past... works pretty well. Payment up front it is!
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Old January 7th, 2009, 10:30 PM   #14
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I think it really depends on what your turnaround time is and the expectations relating to that wait. If they are informed of the wait and are willing to give you the payment upfront then all is well. For some people dealing with substantial backlogs with long turnaround times taking 100% upfront can get you into trouble.
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Old January 8th, 2009, 11:10 AM   #15
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You just need it to happen once where you deliver and they dont pay for some pittiful reason and your asking yourself "Why did I change"
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