Wedding Retainer

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by msf, Aug 23, 2009.

  1. msf

    msf TPF Noob!

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    Heres a question for all the wedding pro's here.

    When you book a wedding, what forms of payment do you accept for the retainer and remaining ballance? Do you only accept cash/check? Or do you also take credit cards? If you take the latter, do you use paypal, google checkout, or sign up for a merchant account?

    I was thinking, and if a person were to pay with a cc, they could file a dispute and probably get their money back. Or perhaps later find they cant pay their CC bill, will the CC company come looking for the money? Cash seems safer, but not everyone has $$$$ in cash laying around, and not everyone might be willing to get a bank loan to pay the photographer.
     
  2. William Petruzzo

    William Petruzzo TPF Noob!

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    I accept cash and check. Eventually, I'll accept credit cards through a merchant account. Personally, I won't offer credit cards though PayPal or Google until I have a private merchant account as well. I just think it doesn't look all that professional.

    Ideally, your contract should debunk any attempts to file a claim with the credit card company, provided you showed up and delivered the product you agreed to deliver. But truthfully, if you find someone so dissatisfied with what they got that they'd like to file a claim with the credit card company, you should consider offering them their money back on your own. It might salvage your reputation.

    Cash and credit cards are technically the safest because the funds are credited to you immediately. A check has the potential to bounce.
     
  3. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Yup. I haven't had much of a problem with this. When it happens, it's school pictures, memory mates... that sort of one-shot prepay thing.

    Weddings have never been a problem. I had one, very rare situation where the couple had separated before receiving their album and before making final payment. I did get paid. My bill was part of the divorce decree.

    But yeah... I take checks, cash and credit cards. I do all business face-to-face... nothing online.

    -Pete
     
  4. msf

    msf TPF Noob!

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    Hmm, many large online companies take payment by paypal or google checkout now, I guess they are not afraid of not looking professional. :D
     
  5. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Well... more than appearances, there's compliance. I don't store any of my customers credit card info. My terminal is not connected to any computer. This makes it very simple.

    So, if Paypal is handling your credit card processing, you have no worries about audits or fees.

    -Pete
     
  6. msf

    msf TPF Noob!

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    Well, there are fee's. : ) I dont know how they compare to having merchant accounts with each cc company though. My guess is they are slightly higher. Ive heard of some people charging an extra 5% if people pay with credit cards, or increase their prices by 5% and offer a 5% discount for people paying with cash. Do any of you use this practice?
     
  7. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Everyone I know just adds a bit to the price of their goods to cover the credit card fees, whether the customer pays with a credit card or not.
     
  8. William Petruzzo

    William Petruzzo TPF Noob!

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    I didn't mean to say that I think it looks unprofessional in general. I just think it looks unprofessional if it's the only checkout option available. Most of the large companies who use Google and Paypal also offer another checkout option as well. Personally, when they don't, I feel a little uncomfortable purchasing from them. To me, it makes the company appear less legitimate--like, why can't or won't they sprint the $20 a month for merchant services?

    I don't know. It might just be me. But that's why I don't plan to do it until I have another merchant account as well.
     
  9. msf

    msf TPF Noob!

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    But if you have a merchant account, why bother with paypal? :)

    A company I use to work for had a website that could handle cc transactions. I forget how much it was, but it wasnt to much higher than a merchant account according to my boss. Customers would give them their cc information, and then they would go to the site and enter it in.
     
  10. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Cash only. If they pay by cheque, they do not get the photos until 90 days after the cheque clears through my account and the complete price rises by 2%. Once the client hears that, they never have any issues paying cash. I did that on purpose to avoid the hassle of NSF, late or non-paying clients.
     
  11. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I'm not referring to processing fees.

    What I'm talking about is compliance with the PCI DSS.

    Take a look at the Self-Assessment Questionnaire. I'm "Type 2." Makes life simple.

    - Pete
     
  12. Photochick

    Photochick TPF Noob!

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    I take all forms of payment. I have never had a problem with a charge back on a cc. I like to make it easy for people to pay me!
     

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