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Author Topic: Payment time?  (Read 1339 times)

luke213(adamsholsters)

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Payment time?
« on: November 18, 2016, 12:48:01 PM »
So I'm curious if anyone out there has any opinions and why? I've had it setup this way for well 6 years now, and it's mostly worked but it's also pretty heavy on the side of manual work. IE I have to make phone calls at the end of the process, emails etc and it really eats allot of shop time I could be building holsters rather than jumping through hoops getting payments. My long standing concern and the biggest reason I take payment at the end is because if something happened to me then Sarah wouldn't be stuck trying to unravel problems of who's orders are built and refunding etc. I've seen that happen with holster makers over the years who've passed away suddenly etc. Granted I'm in pretty good health and fairly young still but it's one of those things you just don't know. So I've always felt it was a benefit to the customer. But I've also had guys that really don't like the current system and would rather pay up front, and typically I take their payment and mark it in the system and go on.

So I'm curious since as I see it, I could probably cut allot of time doing payment requests and emails out of my schedule, but if it's something guys like with the way I do it. Then I'd be happy to keep it as is. Oh and I should mention another option I considered and haven't done is taking payment information up front, then running it when I'm ready for the payment at the end. From what I understand this is how Sparks and a few other shops handle it. Personally I don't like that one myself because unless it's an actual credit card I always want to make sure I'm not going to overdraft someone because I ran the charge several months later etc.

So either way I'd love to hear some feedback since this is something that has long been an issue but I'm getting to the point I think I may just go ahead and change it if guys don't really have strong opinions one way or the other on it.

Take care!

Luke
MichiganI am the owner/proprietor of www.adamsholsters.com Custom holsters made for you. To contact me please use E-mail rather than Private Messages, luke@adamsholsters.com

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    StevenTing

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    Re: Payment time?
    « Reply #1 on: November 18, 2016, 12:57:27 PM »
    I prefer to pay up front.  When I'm ordering something, it's because I have the funds now.  Plus, if someone doesn't remember that they ordered something, they may be like WTF, who is this guy?  If it saves you time, then that's great too.  That's more time you can either spend with your family, or working on more holsters.  If you happen to die, there's other things to be worrying about rather than trying to see who's paid and who's not completed.

    I know Square has an API that can be integrated in a website.  PayPal too. I'd rather give money to Square than PayPal, but in the end, they're all anti-gun. 

    https://squareup.com/help/us/en/article/3853-square-s-e-commerce-api-faqs



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    luke213(adamsholsters)

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    Re: Payment time?
    « Reply #2 on: November 18, 2016, 01:01:31 PM »
    Yeah that's actually the plan, I originally looked at both hoping I could automate the process. In the sense take the order and payment info, then at a later date run the card. But at the time I never figured out a way to do it automatically and I decided to handle it all manually.

    Personally I'm completely in agreement. If I have the money now that's when I want to pay for something, if I've gotta pay down the road I have no idea what sort of financial changes might come up between now and then. It would mean a bit more book keeping for me, but I think time wise it would shake out to be far less than I'm spending now on tracking down guys. And I should mention I'm not complaining at all, most guys pay very promptly and there aren't allot who require more calls etc. However it's time and I'm on a pretty crazy schedule between the kids and shop anyways, so it's tough to nail down times to make phone calls when guys are available etc.

    Luke
    MichiganI am the owner/proprietor of www.adamsholsters.com Custom holsters made for you. To contact me please use E-mail rather than Private Messages, luke@adamsholsters.com

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    Re: Payment time?
    « Reply #3 on: November 18, 2016, 01:22:17 PM »
    Either way is fine for me.  I always try to leave a good cash reserve sitting in the bank so an unexpected expense won't bite me.   

    The one downside with paying early is that I have had other vendors forget about my order until I come back later and remind them.  I don't think you will have that problem though.
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    Re: Payment time?
    « Reply #4 on: November 18, 2016, 01:25:41 PM »
    It's your business and your your family, Luke. If you have done it this way to save Sarah trouble in case the unexpected happens to you, then I don't even consider that as part of you taking care of the business, I consider it as part of you taking care of your family. I know you want to do right by your customers (and you have!), but family always takes priority.

    My vote is unless you really want to change it, then leave it as is. Your logic for doing it the way you have been all these years is solid  :thumbup1.
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    luke213(adamsholsters)

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    Re: Payment time?
    « Reply #5 on: November 18, 2016, 01:55:22 PM »
    Well my biggest reason for the change would be it would save me time now, which if I'm honest I haven't been able to put as much family time in as I would like to. The shop takes allot of my time, and if I can make things go quicker that means likely a little less stress and some time. Which means I can get holsters out quicker, but also maybe spend a little more time with the kids and Sarah especially while they are young since this time will not come back around.

    I really started thinking about this a few months ago, since you guys who are on my Facebook have probably noticed I've been working some pretty crazy schedules for a year now. I haven't seen much of the kids this last year trying to keep up with the shop. Granted I need the income from the shop so don't stop ordering to give me free time;) But I've gotta find a little better balance, and this past year I've been looking at allot of options to do that. One is the laser, which should generate some cool projects that won't necessarily take more hands on shop time. More prep, then it can do some work while I'm working on other projects. But also the drum dyed hides I've been integrating into my orders(which are flat out awesome by the way;)).

    So this is just another thing I'm considering to hopefully give me a little more family time and let me plan a little better. Because that's another snag I failed to mention above. When I'm planning out what I'm building, if I request say $2,000 worth of orders. Then a week later only $1,000 came in, then I move up and request another $1,000 worth of orders while the first $1,000 is waiting. Then sometimes that whole block of $2,000 comes in the following week. So then I'm in a situation where I wanted to build $2,000 worth of orders but instead I've got $3,000 worth to build. And in those cases I end up with some on the tail end of the batch that are going to either end up slightly late. That really drives me nuts;) I HATE being late on an order, but sometimes it comes to the point where I've been working 12-13 hour days for a week, the kids haven't seen me the wife hasn't seen me;) So it's either a slightly late order or I don't get to see the family.

    So that's the main reason I'm looking at this, is hopefully it would make things easier on my end. But at the end of the day it might actually be easier for allot of customers as well.

    Luke
    MichiganI am the owner/proprietor of www.adamsholsters.com Custom holsters made for you. To contact me please use E-mail rather than Private Messages, luke@adamsholsters.com

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    Re: Payment time?
    « Reply #6 on: November 18, 2016, 02:28:51 PM »
    How do you feel about deposit + balance?  Deposit when the order is placed, balance when the order is finished? Too much PITA?

    luke213(adamsholsters)

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    Re: Payment time?
    « Reply #7 on: November 18, 2016, 02:48:00 PM »
    That's a possible option too, my concern with that setup is that I think it's going to shake out to be the same amount of work more less if not a little more than what I've been doing. The only real positive I can see from that approach is it would shake out some guys who might not be serious about ordering without putting down money. That said it's really a very small percentage of my customers then, so I don't think it would really change things much.

    Most of the guys who aren't able to afford the rig once it comes up for payment have some sort of change like getting laid off or something along those lines between ordering and payment. And those same guys I've heard allot of times over the years had the money when they placed the order, still want the rig but just can't swing it because of things coming up. And at least for me, I've had the same thing happen countless times over the years, I've never been a guy who has allot of money in the bank. Typically we've lived paycheck to paycheck over the years with a few exceptions. So I'm more than understanding that things come up, but I know putting myself in their shoes. Well I'd rather pay up front then it's covered and done with, rather than having to worry about when it's going to hit the account etc.

    Luke
    MichiganI am the owner/proprietor of www.adamsholsters.com Custom holsters made for you. To contact me please use E-mail rather than Private Messages, luke@adamsholsters.com

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    Re: Payment time?
    « Reply #8 on: November 18, 2016, 03:28:22 PM »
    Well I'd rather pay up front then it's covered and done with, rather than having to worry about when it's going to hit the account etc.
    That sounds about right.
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    Re: Payment time?
    « Reply #9 on: November 18, 2016, 04:48:20 PM »
    It is your business and life, so you can really run it however works for you.


    I've done both when getting holsters done, and only had a problem one time, and that was with a guy who took the money up front.  But he has a rep for being glacially slow and customer hostile, that I was unaware of before doing business with him.  So it was the person, not the process.  That ain't you.


    I voted for leave it as it is, but I'd be ok with changing it.
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    Re: Payment time?
    « Reply #10 on: November 18, 2016, 06:04:30 PM »
    I have no issues with paying up front.
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    Re: Payment time?
    « Reply #11 on: November 18, 2016, 06:22:40 PM »
    I prefer to pay up front.  When I'm ordering something, it's because I have the funds now.  Plus, if someone doesn't remember that they ordered something, they may be like WTF, who is this guy?  If it saves you time, then that's great too.  That's more time you can either spend with your family, or working on more holsters.  If you happen to die, there's other things to be worrying about rather than trying to see who's paid and who's not completed.

    ^^ This is how I feel about it as well.

    Keep in mind though that with this particular demographic, your feet will be held to the fire.  If you always make deadlines and your wait time is consistently accurate, then fine.  But once you have their money and you're one or two days off schedule, you'll quickly become the company with the worst customer service evar! 

    Something to think about.  For my part though, I like paying now.  Paying later requires some planning that I might not be inclined to do.


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    freeman1685

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    Re: Payment time?
    « Reply #12 on: November 18, 2016, 09:17:15 PM »
    Have you thought about something like Quick Books, they have a feature for just this issue.  I only suggest this because they're playing a commercial right now on TV as I read this.

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    Payment time?
    « Reply #13 on: November 18, 2016, 09:47:58 PM »
    I use Square and can send invoices when needed. I don't have the same kind of business, but you could get the order, make the product, and send an invoice to their email. Once they pay it with a card online, you can send the product.

    I know some companies get payment info up front, and charge the card when the product ships.
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    Re: Payment time?
    « Reply #14 on: November 19, 2016, 12:42:57 AM »
    I have no problem paying up front and if you are worried about it becoming an issue for Sarah should something happen to you - don't.  If something happens to you and my holster doesn't get finished its a damned small inconvenience compared to what Sarah would be going through without you.   Sometimes stuff happens and that's just the way it is.   We all know you're a one man shop and that is simultaneously part of the appeal and part of the risk we assume - IMO .    The only other option I might add is this -  50% up front and the remainder when the work begins on the order.   I know some of the custom gunsmiths operate on that model and it seems to work OK for them.
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    Re: Payment time?
    « Reply #15 on: November 19, 2016, 02:22:24 AM »
    I have tried to pay upfront before, just because I know what a pain in the ass it can be to get a hold of me.  If I am not at work I tend not to carry my phone, and being unemployed last year made that habit worse.  I am good with whatever you decide.  Up front, when you start the work, deposit or whatever works best for you and your family.
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    Re: Payment time?
    « Reply #16 on: November 19, 2016, 02:50:28 AM »
    An alternative I haven't seen in this discussion is to get the credit card number up front, but not run the charge till the normal time.  Send an e-mail letting them know you're about to run it so the buyer doesn't go "What's this charge from Michigan?  I didn't buy anything from Michigan?"  Of course, with your company name on the charge, anyone who orders a holster should remember that they ordered.  If they're that absent minded maybe they shouldn't be handling loaded guns.

    Another alternative is available if you accept checks.  Get the payment up front but don't actually deposit the check till you start the build. 

    But like most above are saying, whatever is easiest and best for your family.
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    Re: Payment time?
    « Reply #17 on: November 19, 2016, 12:10:18 PM »
    i'd rather pay up front. usually when I order something delayed payment I'll physically remove the money from the ready account so I don't spend it. but it's easier to pay up front.
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    Re: Payment time?
    « Reply #18 on: November 19, 2016, 01:59:00 PM »
    Up front. Easiest all around.
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    Re: Payment time?
    « Reply #19 on: November 19, 2016, 02:56:41 PM »
    Little bit different, but I've sent plenty of guns off for custom work and nearly everyone demands payment up front.

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    Re: Payment time?
    « Reply #20 on: November 19, 2016, 05:14:50 PM »
    It doesn't bother me too much either way. I don't use my credit card too much so I'll usually use it if a credit card is easiest. Or I usually use the envelope method of saving. But either up front or the usual way doesn't bother me all that much.


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    luke213(adamsholsters)

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    Re: Payment time?
    « Reply #21 on: November 22, 2016, 03:05:38 PM »
    Just a note guys I had read this through I was short data this month(long story but I'm now capped on overall data monthly).

    On the splitting the payment in half IE half up front, my concern with that sort of system is it's likely twice the amount of time involved. But also rather than making it easier I think it's going to be more difficult;) So while I like the idea, I think it's not going to help any more than doing it the way I've been doing it.

    From this thread and other places I asked this same question I do think I'm going to change payment setups but that's not likely to happen today or this week unless I end up with time to make all the changes.

    Oh and I forgot someone above mentioned checks or taking payment info then running it. On Checks my concern is convenience since I know that if it's difficult it will cut into sales. So I'd like it to be as easy as possible for my customers, that's actually why I take paypal etc now I don't like Paypal. But if that's how someone wants to pay it's easy for them and I'm willing to make it work.

    On payment info early, two issues I see. One that the person will give me a debit card and then I'll run it when it's not good for them. Or I've got to contact them to run it which is again just more time there. Or alternatively I've gotta hold that information for those several months either on my site, or in person. Both make me nervous;) I'd rather handle that info as little as possible or pass it through a processor ideally without me having to handle it at all or retain it in any way.

    So we'll see but I'm leaning the direction of taking payment up front just to make it easier for everyone myself included and give that a try. If there are problems with it, then I'll go back to this system I've been using since it's proven it works. But I suspect that it will run smoother overall and hopefully save me some time as well;)

    Luke
    MichiganI am the owner/proprietor of www.adamsholsters.com Custom holsters made for you. To contact me please use E-mail rather than Private Messages, luke@adamsholsters.com

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    Re: Payment time?
    « Reply #22 on: November 22, 2016, 05:30:15 PM »
    I think this is the right move.  Though, perhaps retain the option for guys to change their orders up to closer to the time of build.  That always helps when guns come and go.

    Another thought, to address the concern that taking payment up front will get Sarah in a bind if you die: What if you were to enter into a private agreement with another small holster maker - one of similar quality and order volume - where both of you would agree to 'have each other's backs?'  So if you kick, the other guy honors all of your orders for you, (in exchange for inventory and tools to make up the cost) and you would offer the same guarantee for him.  Would that be an option?
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    luke213(adamsholsters)

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    Re: Payment time?
    « Reply #23 on: November 22, 2016, 05:44:21 PM »
    My plan if I do this change is that when I get ready to hang the order maybe 2-4 weeks before that I'd send out an automatic email basically saying you've got say a week to reply with any changes etc, otherwise the rig is being built as ordered. That way it gives a chance for guys to make changes during that time frame but also lets me plan batches better. Since for instance I could take an entire week building pocket rigs, or things like that. Basically line things up to run more efficiently hopefully;)

    On the other holster maker it's tough, since I do know some guys but they would have a hell of a time building rigs of my design as well as I do, and vice versus;) Not because of skill but repetition and a heck of allot of stuff that isn't in the pattern or on paper;) Allot of what I do is purely because I've done it a bunch of times, so as I make a holster of a particular design there are a million little tricks I've learned over the years to make it easier or better. And another guy even of the same type of designs that I do would be really hard pressed I think to jump in and do it the same way without making a few hundred of that design first.

    I think what the plan will be is putting together a plan to hold the incoming funds until building. Then transfer them to a working account, and build up another holding account that basically is a fail safe in case something happens to me. Then Sarah would just have to go through the orders in the "starting" status, and refund those guys from the second holding account. Then refund all the orders in waiting status etc. Shouldn't be too hard so long as I put in place all that stuff before making that change in the system. More less just going to have to think hard on it now as I make the change and insure I've got a plan in place that will be pretty easy for her or someone else to handle in that case. Actually as I'm thinking about it, likely I'll have it setup so one of my brothers can do it. Since they are both tech savvy enough to pickup the systems I use and make everything work easily and if that were to occur I'd rather not have to lay that on Sarah with everything else that would be going on.

    Either way I'll run through it in depth before I make the change to insure it keeps everything going the right direction if something happens to me. That's always been a big concern of mine over the years, and I guess it's time to take care of it;)

    Luke
    MichiganI am the owner/proprietor of www.adamsholsters.com Custom holsters made for you. To contact me please use E-mail rather than Private Messages, luke@adamsholsters.com

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    Re: Payment time?
    « Reply #24 on: November 22, 2016, 05:45:30 PM »
    I think this is the right move.  Though, perhaps retain the option for guys to change their orders up to closer to the time of build.  That always helps when guns come and go.

    Another thought, to address the concern that taking payment up front will get Sarah in a bind if you die: What if you were to enter into a private agreement with another small holster maker - one of similar quality and order volume - where both of you would agree to 'have each other's backs?'  So if you kick, the other guy honors all of your orders for you, (in exchange for inventory and tools to make up the cost) and you would offer the same guarantee for him.  Would that be an option?

    That's actually a pretty cool idea  :hmm.

    They would have to be quite a quality individual to be willing to agree to that, wonder where you would find such a person?
    Texas
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