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FORUMS Post Processing, Marketing & Presenting Photos The Business of Photography 
Thread started 05 Jan 2011 (Wednesday) 08:25
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Clients pay in advance for print orders?

 
Jonrobinson
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Jan 05, 2011 08:25 |  #1

Thanks in advance for taking the time to read this post!

Do you have clients pay in advance for print orders?


Thanks!

Jonrobinson


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ssim
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Jan 05, 2011 08:41 |  #2

Generally yes but it depends on who they are and how much they have used us in the past. It is difficult for corporate clients to pay up front in a timely fashion. I normally just bill them. For portraits, wedding, etc. I ask for 66% up front and the balance on delivery. I have a couple that I did a wedding for last year and about every 3 months they have been coming back to me for more prints. The last one was the 4th order from them and I saw no reason to demand anything up front as they always paid promptly. On the other hand I did some work for a small construction company last year and it took me 4 months to get paid for the prints that they ordered. Someone like this now has to pay up front. In short, there is no steadfast rule with us.


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Jonrobinson
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Jan 05, 2011 08:43 |  #3

Thanks for taking the time to reply Sheldon!


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namasste
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Jan 05, 2011 09:04 |  #4

Like Sheldon said, it depends but generally I require payment up front, particularly for sports. In exchange for the up front fee, do I offer clients a "satisfaction guarantee" so they can be assured that the final product is what they paid for.


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cdifoto
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Jan 05, 2011 16:25 |  #5

I don't want to be stuck with a bunch of prints I have no use for (not to mention the work in preparing the files and the cost to order), so absolutely. Unlike Sheldon, I treat everyone equally. Everyone pays up front, everyone gets the same treatment, same level of service, etc.


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RDKirk
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Jan 06, 2011 07:14 as a reply to  @ cdifoto's post |  #6

Here is my steadfast rule: I never tolerate a reverse cash flow. With personal clients, I have a minimum package. They pay half of that prior to the session. At the sales session, we determine how much more than the minimum they want, and they will pay me half of that remainer. So if they stuck to the minimum, they will have paid me 3/4 of the total by the time I get the actual print order. Then they pay the last 1/4 when I make delivery.

With commercial clients, I might have a reverse cash flow in terms of having expended time and talent, but because I'm only delivering a CD at least I haven't drawn on my bank account. If I have any expenses for the job that do draw on my bank account, I usually arrange to invoice those ahead of delivery of the final CD.

The only fee-oriented favor I extend to repeat clients is that I might not require half the fee prior to the shooting session. For repeat clients I may only require half the total when we make the print order because, as with commercial clients, I usually haven't actually had to draw money out of my bank account yet.


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cdifoto
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Jan 06, 2011 08:34 |  #7

Everyone agrees to a certain package before paying their deposit, so I require the whole kanoodle before opening the car's trunk to get the gear to shoot the first photo. Any extras can be purchased separately after the session, but I won't place that order until it's paid in full too. I just don't want to be bothered with tracking & chasing payments.


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GerryDavid
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Jan 06, 2011 11:04 |  #8

I require at least a good deposite towards the order. I try to get 100% but if thats not possible for the client Ill reduce it to 50%. This way they have an investment and will eventually pay the rest. Or at least thats the theory.

When I first started to offer press printed books, I didnt require a deposit, but most people paid anywase. One customer ordered one but didnt pay anything towards it and its been 3 months and im still waiting to deliver the $200 book, the cheapest one I offered.

Since then I required at least a 50% deposit on the books and I have two customers that have a $200 investment on a $400 book that seem to be avoiding my messages about making a delivery of the book. So so far that theory is just a theory.

Im going to create a contract for the larger orders and specify in it the amount that needs to be paid, and the penalty for not paying the balance within a month of being notified its ready for delivery. I would like to charge 18% divided by 12 on the remaining balance because the longer they wait to pay, the longer I have to wait to put the money towards the bills, but I dont know if thatll work. :)


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RDKirk
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Jan 06, 2011 11:17 |  #9

Im going to create a contract for the larger orders and specify in it the amount that needs to be paid, and the penalty for not paying the balance within a month of being notified its ready for delivery. I would like to charge 18% divided by 12 on the remaining balance because the longer they wait to pay, the longer I have to wait to put the money towards the bills, but I dont know if thatll work.

Be sure to check on the legality of that. In the US, only banks and the government (redundant, I know--banks are the government) are allowed to "penalize" anyone--nobody else can charge no more than actual additional processing expenses.

If it looks like you're adding interest charges to a retail item on which you're extending payments, you'll fall under your states probably heinous credit laws (something I make sure to avoid like the plague). If you'll notice, other retailers contract with banks to handle interest-bearing extended payment plans.

In my state, I can extend an extended payment plan without coming under the credit laws only if there is no interest charged and it's fewer than five payments.


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GerryDavid
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Jan 06, 2011 11:31 |  #10

Oh fun, I didnt realize that.

What methods can be used to encourage a speedy delivery?


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namasste
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Jan 06, 2011 12:31 |  #11

GerryDavid wrote in post #11585267 (external link)
Oh fun, I didnt realize that.

What methods can be used to encourage a speedy delivery?

mob connections? :lol:


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bohdank
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Jan 06, 2011 14:25 |  #12

Do it in reverse. $1000 if paid in 1 year, $900, if paid in 11 months and so on.


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cdifoto
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Jan 06, 2011 14:46 |  #13

Rewarding people for being responsible for their own voluntary obligations just ain't my style. Again, it's sooo much easier to just require payment in full before going forward. If I didn't retouch it I definitely didn't order it, so it's no big deal if they don't pay...and I don't have to chase payments for work I didn't do.


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bohdank
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Jan 06, 2011 15:56 |  #14

A lot of companies offer discounts if invoices are paid in < 30 days. For those that do not require payment up front, my earlier suggestion is a way around any legal implications one may run into by attaching penalties.


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Atl-Fotos
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Jan 07, 2011 07:56 |  #15

Here is my 2cents....

Weddings and other events are paid in full one week in advance of the event. Most of the excitement about images is gone after the event has taken place. I don't want to chase money. As far as private portraits go I charge a sitting fee and once the order has been place again I collect all monies before I actually send the images off for print.

As stated before never have a negative cash flow.....


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Clients pay in advance for print orders?
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