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Thread: I am going to ask for a deposit on ordered quilts

  1. #76

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    The 3 day law is only good for door-to-door salesman. At least, here in TX. I know, because I researched this once for my daughter who purchased something and couldn't return it (not a quilt; returns are not required by law and there is no 'Buyers Remorse' law here). However, she was stuck with it, due to the non-existent 3-day Buyer's Remorse Law here in TX that she thought would cover her. I don't know about other states though.

    I have friends who create beautiful quilts on commission, and they always ask for 1/2 non-refundable deposit, and have a contract terminating a clients interest should the quilt not be paid for within 15 days of completion. They also spell out they are free to donate, sell, give away, or keep the quilt if not paid for in full within the 15 days.

    I wouldn't hesitate to get 1/2 deposit - I think $100 isn't enough, but 1/2 would at least cover the majority of your financial investment in the quilt - not the time, of course, but the fabrics, thread, etc.

    Debbie in Austin

  2. #77
    Senior Member BRenea's Avatar
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    I ask 50% up front, that way at least my costs (fabric, batting, etc.) are covered.

  3. #78
    Super Member wolph33's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ramona Byrd
    she is still a friend but I feel taken advantage of.I had quilted about 6 quilts for free for her and it was the 1st time she offered to pay and didn't.
    ---------------------------------------------------------
    I'm betting that it was the last time you will do anything for her, isn't it? No more free quilting either.
    Yes no more freebies.I have over the yrs given her tons of fabric,thread,etc. no more-when I have freebies I will post them on here

  4. #79
    Senior Member Gabrielle's Mimi's Avatar
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    People seem to have no clue as to time, energy and cost of quilts! One thing that is never mentioned is the knowledge that we quilters spend time and money developing...taking classes, going to workshops, buying and reading books and magazines, etc. It takes years to become good at what we do!

    A year or so ago a friend of a friend of a friend asked me to make a tee-shirt quilt. I found 3 websites online that make these quilts. I told the woman that she needed to look at these websites to get a clearer idea of exactly what she wanted, and that I would take $50 off the website price for her. Needless to say, I never heard from her again. I think she had "sticker shock" when she realized that these quilts run about $350. I suspect she thought I'd make it for free since she was supplying the shirts! I am always amazed at the number of "friends" who feel comfortable asking for your services for free. Do they ask their dentist or doctor or lawyer for free services????

  5. #80
    Super Member desertrose's Avatar
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    I feel it's totally acceptable to ask for half up front and a quarter of the balance before quilting. This way you're not on the hook for the batting, backing and quilting. If they fail to make the last payment at least you know it will be a finish and sell quilt. There will be no more waiting until it's ready to be stiffed. If you were hiring any house repairs they ask for progress payments to protect themselves. Cover the cost of materials and quilting costs that way it's your labor that you're out.

  6. #81
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    Talk about under-appreciated? Quilters must encourage each other, because no one else will!

    Janet/Michigan

  7. #82

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    I, too have been"squeezed" out of items by "friends" I have painted ceramics for years, and crocheted many years and many items. I quickly learned to get "up front" money to cover cost of whatever supplies were needed. I then made and order in triplicate, of item and due date of delivery. I gave the customer one, and kept one to use for taxes, and one to be with order. I haven't had problems since I started that practice. I think it helps people realize we are in business, and not doing this just to "pass the time".

  8. #83
    Senior Member newbiequilter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaurieE
    Another option would be to have a contract between you and the client. Basically the client would have to sign a piece of paper stating the price and whatever other conditions you have (i.e. a deposit or other payment arrangements, etc) before you begin the work. They would think twice before signing the contract because that's a legal document and you could then take them to court since they commissioned work from you. That would certainly stop the 'I can't afford this right now' hoping you would lower the price.
    I agree - it should be a legal document binding the purchaser to the seller. You need to protect yourself before beginning a project

  9. #84
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    Ask for half up front and advise that it is non-refundable..that way if they back out you get paid for your time. I also would suggest that they buy the material. I have found that if they buy it they are even less likely to back out. Always have it in writing too. I have a receipt book with carbon copies, They get the original & I get the copy.

  10. #85
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    I make a copy of the agreement for the customer and I do also have a receipt book. Most of my customers like to go into my fabric room and pick out their fabric.Some want to buy their fabric and for those and I give them a print-out of the cut sheet from the quilt pattern. At the bottom of the agreement I cut a small square of the fabrics they chose and attach it to the agreement.

  11. #86
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    I have 1 repeat customer who pays me the 1/2 down and then comes in each week and pays on the quilt so that when her quilts are done, she doesn't owe me anything.

  12. #87
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    That's the same thing I do. When I finish the quilt, I call the customer. I tell them that the quilt is done and how long it will be available for pick-up. If they have not come to get it by the 4rd week, then I call to see if they still want the quilt. But if they say no,I am ready to give them their deposit back.

  13. #88
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    We were in another kind of at home business, and people want and expect you to do it for nearly nothing. Eventually we closed shop as we were loosing rather than gaining income. Go for the half down at least. People wont want to give up that much money for nothing, so will pay the rest. btdt

  14. #89
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    you have earned the deposit. They should not get it back. Maybe a small portion, if your feeling generous. Your expenses and time are worth that.

  15. #90
    Senior Member Shelley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lynmccoy
    That's the same thing I do. When I finish the quilt, I call the customer. I tell them that the quilt is done and how long it will be available for pick-up. If they have not come to get it by the 4rd week, then I call to see if they still want the quilt. But if they say no,I am ready to give them their deposit back.
    If they don't want the quilt, why would you give the deposit back? A deposit is yours. It goes toward the item if the customer takes it, and is yours if they don't. That's why you take a deposit.

  16. #91
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    I always ask for half up front. Fabric is expensive and i don't want to take it out of my pocket if they don't pay.

  17. #92
    Senior Member newbiequilter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shelley
    Quote Originally Posted by lynmccoy
    That's the same thing I do. When I finish the quilt, I call the customer. I tell them that the quilt is done and how long it will be available for pick-up. If they have not come to get it by the 4rd week, then I call to see if they still want the quilt. But if they say no,I am ready to give them their deposit back.
    If they don't want the quilt, why would you give the deposit back? A deposit is yours. It goes toward the item if the customer takes it, and is yours if they don't. That's why you take a deposit.
    You need to be specific that it is a "non-refundable" deposit. Also the prior posting re: contracts, receipts, etc. are right on. Treat your LA quilting like a business and others will also.

  18. #93
    ArtisticDesign's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Battle Axe
    Another thought is that by law the customer has three days to change their mind. So I would wait those three business days before I bought thread or fabric. Another hard lesson.
    Hmm, now that's something I hadn't thought about..This is a very good thread.
    I've learned a lot of this the hard way... I do Custom Faux/murals and learned some of this early on... I agree that like faux, most non quilters have no idea of the work involved.. I make sure in my contract to try to educate them by typing out the steps involved from research/travel and design to the durability and care of the final finish as well as the estimated hrs to completion...Same would work for quilting..
    I always ask for 50% non-refundable up front for design and materials..I also offer a 3 part installment for those that like the lay-away type plan..
    Another thing that has worked for me is offering options to lower cost ( some people would love a quilt/faux but truly can't afford everything they'd want)..So I'd have samples and let them feel the difference between the expensive buttersoft fabric and muslin ect... Let them decide what's more important. The look,the feel, the size, Hand quilting vrs machine etc = Bread and butter quilts lol..People love pictures..
    Some want an estimate right then and there... I wouldn't do this if it can at all be avoided.. You need to go home and figure out your cost/hrs involved etc. So that neither party loses out..
    I think if I ever become experienced enough to make the kind of gorgoeus stuff I've seen from some of you on this board..And find anyone wanting to buy them.. I'd definitely use the same business practices that have been mentioned in this thread.. #1 > Always get $ up front for at least materials! lol

  19. #94
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    If my customer decides that for some reason they can't afford the rest of the cost or they have changed their mind, then I feel I should give their deposit back. After all,it's not their quilt anymore. Most of the time it doesn't go that far. If there's a family or financial problem while I'm making their quilt,they will call and talk to me about it.I'll usually finish the quilt and sell it someone else .My repeat customers know that I run my shop like a business,but also know that there are unexpected problems. They tell their friends and co-workers about my rules so they what to expect.

  20. #95
    Senior Member Shelley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lynmccoy
    If my customer decides that for some reason they can't afford the rest of the cost or they have changed their mind, then I feel I should give their deposit back. After all,it's not their quilt anymore. Most of the time it doesn't go that far. If there's a family or financial problem while I'm making their quilt,they will call and talk to me about it.I'll usually finish the quilt and sell it someone else .My repeat customers know that I run my shop like a business,but also know that there are unexpected problems. They tell their friends and co-workers about my rules so they what to expect.
    What happens if you end up discounting the quilt because it is 'their' taste? Their deposit should be used to make up the difference. You should not take a hit in price because they are unable to pay for it. You can make an exception for special circumstances, but....

    We once had a guy come buy an old piece of farm equipment from my husband, then the check bounced. This was NOT an emergency purchase of farm equipment! Their excuse was that they had to make a payment on the NEW pickup they'd just bought. "Poor planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on mine, and it is not my place to make sure you can make your pickup payment." They were given 24 hours to bring us the cash or have the bounced check turned over to the Sheriff for prosecution. Funny....they came up with the money....

  21. #96
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    I don't take checks,so I have have the problem of bounced checks and I don't take credit cards. I deal in cash only and it is stated very clearly in my agreements.

  22. #97
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    Quote Originally Posted by joan_quilts
    Ok, I have 2 quilts people wanted. I told the one lady her quilt would be ready to ship the first of November. She saw it back in July, and she knew the price back then. She asked me last week if I would take payments. I said NO.

    She has ordered from me before, but this quilt is a twin size, all hand quilted and won 3rd place at a quilt show. Her story is she has bills and just can't afford it all right now. I told her that was ok, because I would hold onto the quilt until December and then I would offer to sell it to someone else.



    sadly this seems to be the way of the world, most of us wouldn't have the bare face cheek to do this . I totally agree with your new method AND I would stipulate that even tho a deposit has been paid the quilt will only be kept for a mth after completion and then it will be sold and deposit lost.

    Another lady, after seeing this quilt, asked me to make her a full sized quilt kind of like it. Her husband just loves John Deere and these quilts had a John Deere theme.

    So, I make this quilt, it also placed 3rd in the contest under its category, and I called the lady who wanted to come by and get it.

    She stopped by on Friday, said how much she loved it, but "just can't afford it" right now. Uh-huh, that meant she wanted me to lower my price, a price she agreed on BEFORE I made it.

    From now on, I am going to ask for a $100 deposit, non-refundable, on my quilts. I have close to that much in the fabric and other material needed alone.

    Why do people "ask" for things, offer to pay and then "change their minds"? If they can't afford a quilt, don't ask me to make one

    I guess this is another lesson well learned, sigh.

  23. #98
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    sadly this seems to be the way of the world, most of us wouldn't have the bare face cheek to do this . I totally agree with your new method AND I would stipulate that even tho a deposit has been paid the quilt will only be kept for a mth after completion and then it will be sold and deposit lost.

    SORRY don't know what happened!!!

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