Making payments

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by msf, Sep 5, 2010.

  1. msf

    msf TPF Noob!

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    I was just wondering if anyone here allows people to make payments for a portrait, and how you do it.

    I want to make it easier for people to justify spending a lot of money on a portrait package and offering them a monthly payment system. But this may require them getting the goods before the amount is paid off.

    I think paypal offers something for ebay customers to finance their purchase, but I dont know if this can be done outside Ebay.

    What do you all do?
     
  2. mwcfarms

    mwcfarms No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Make them pay up front.
     
  3. njw1224

    njw1224 TPF Noob!

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    Definitely don't let them get any product before the total is paid in full. It's fine if you want to set up payment plans, but if I were you I wouldn't produce anything until they're down to the final payment. Then you have most of the money, and if they don't come back to pick up the prints and make the final payment, you're not out much. Also, if you're doing payments, you'll want them to sign a contract stipulating how many payments, how much, in what timeframe, and that payments are non-refundable. Personally, I wouldn't get in to payments unless you know the people very well. Then I'd require 50% down minimum.
     
  4. msf

    msf TPF Noob!

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    I was thinking of something that was no risk to me, gave them the option to make payments, because $40 a month looks alot better than $800 all at once. Nothing like them promising to give me $40 a month and give them the $800 product.
     
  5. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    When you start talking about more than 3-4 payments (maybe 2-3...), I think all you're going to do is attract customers that can't actually afford your services...
    (And then you'll end up doing work that you will never get paid for...)

    Who is going to wait a year to pay off a photographer so they can get some pictures...?

    edit

    Half down, half on delivery sounds like a good compromise...
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2010
  6. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Many retail photographers let clients make a limited number of payments.

    Administratively, and contractually, it's a PITA.

    It is questionable you could make the payments non-refundable if you have not provided some kind of service to the client. Providing some kind of service would effectively make the payments a retainer, not a deposit.

    Deposits generally cannot be made non-refundable.

    If you don't already have the capability, look into accepting credit cards.
     
  7. mwcfarms

    mwcfarms No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    +1- I might not have wanted to drop 2000 on a wedding photographer but I did. Paid a quarter as a deposit and the remainder on the day.

    Now that of course is much different than a family photo session. But if your charging a flat fee of so much for the session and they want x amount of prints you could do what was suggested. Half down and the remainder on delivery. I think you will attract the wrong clientele with anything else.
     
  8. DennyCrane

    DennyCrane No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Yeah, $40 a month- do you really want to wait 20 months for your money? And if they stop paying, do you really want to go into the collection business?

    At least half down and then a very short payment period, but no longer than 6 months.... and that's IF you can somehow verify they'll be able to pay and have paid debts in the past. Do you really want to get into the credit rating business?

    I find it simpler to deal only with the people who have the ability to pay up front.
     
  9. njw1224

    njw1224 TPF Noob!

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    Amen. And do you want to have to refund the money when they get half way through the payments, can't continue, and ask for a refund (because by then they've lost the interest and excitement in the photos)? I think what you're hearing from everyone is do a VERY limited number of payments and a short payment schedule. Good Luck
     
  10. ghache

    ghache TPF Noob!

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    get paid upfront
     
  11. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I think that in most 'monthly payment plan' scenarios, there is an actual credit application process. Which I'd guess is a real PITA, as mentioned. (I'm paying for a new roof with 36-month no-interest payment plan...and they tacked on a $149 'set up fee'....:roll: )

    If you want to offer more flexibility to your customers, then set your self up to take credit card payments. I guess you could even offer to only charge so much per month, onto their card.
     
  12. GerryDavid

    GerryDavid No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I decided nto to get a credit machine, I havent been asked to take a credit card yet, and when I do Ill just refer them to paypal or google payments, maybe even amazon payments, I gotta look into that one, it seems to have no charges.
     

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