Railway Preservation News

Payment issues
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Author:  rswebber [ Thu Feb 15, 2018 2:57 pm ]
Post subject:  Payment issues

One of the more current news stories here brought this to mind.

Some of us are both conservators and we provide services & material for fees. Due to the nature of the beast, many of the netities we deal with are on shoestring budgets (if any at all) - not unlike some of us.

Ho then do you handle people that order and don't pay? People who order - you prepare - and they disappear. Entities that bounce checks? Entities that demand special discounts because they are ,after all, non-profit / saving something / paying for it on their own / on a fixed income / long time "friends" / etc. ?

We typically require a check - the check doesn't get turned in until the order goes out. But ... what we do costs money (and time) - discounting for everyone is impossible, discounting for some unreasonable for the others. I've always been in fixed cost/price businesses. The things people want - for free or cheap - are not mine, but we put in the work. I'm just wondering how people handle such issues. Do you "blacklst" non-payers? Ignore further requests? Request (and deposit (escrow account?)) payment upfront? Just...curious...

Author:  Dennis Storzek [ Thu Feb 15, 2018 5:32 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Payment issues

rswebber wrote:
We typically require a check - the check doesn't get turned in until the order goes out.

Bob, that's your problem right there. When people send a check, that means there is an agreement; you provide a service, and they intend to pay for it. It is ridiculous to hold a check until you ship... that's just asking to get stiffed. When you receive a check, log it in, and deposit it. If there is any doubt as to the validity of the check, don't ship until it clears.

Now, in the distant past, people used to hold checks so that they wouldn't be accused of taking too long. That's BS. Just state up front that materials will be shipped within 90 days of payment, or better yet 180 days, and deposit the check. In the unlikely event you can't perform, that gives plenty of time to ascertain that the check has cleared, so no danger in issuing a refund.

Author:  jayrod [ Thu Feb 15, 2018 5:45 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Payment issues

I can only speak officially for my own service business. Prices or rates are fixed. Non-profits get a 10% discount on my labor and my supplied materials. Period. For small orders and if I don't know you, it's payment up front and I don't deliver until the check clears. If you're an established customer you get your stuff with an invoice due net 30. For large projects, it's 50% up front, balance due at completion. That limits my exposure. For internet media, I don't turn over credentials for access until final payment is received/confirmed - you don't pay, your media is taken down. Burn me once, you're on my s#!t list. Burn me for more than $500, we may go to court. Doing business is kinda like gambling but you need to limit your exposure as much as possible.

Author:  Dave Lewandoski [ Thu Feb 15, 2018 6:48 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Payment issues

cash on the barrelhead BEFORE product is made

Author:  Trolleyguy [ Fri Feb 16, 2018 11:06 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Payment issues

The organization I headed would not accept checks, corporate or otherwise, from anyone we didn't know. We set up merchant accounts for credit cards and PayPal. Otherwise it was cashiers checks or money orders. Payment up front, no problems, no bounced checks. The credit card transaction fees are not onerous, just build the cost into shipping and handling.

Author:  HudsonL [ Fri Feb 16, 2018 12:31 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Payment issues

I would be careful with Money Orders, I know a couple of People who have been taken by altered Money Orders.


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