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Asking for advance payment


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In my store in most cases we ask for full payment before processing any order....But sometimes some people doesn't have enough cash with them to pay any advance so they just say that they will pay it when the comeback to collect the order.....But sometimes they either forget abt the order or  they simply don't comeback ??) ....and the whole order ends up as a waste of time and money....Recently we had a small bunch of orders which went like this...

So how do you guys deal with customers who can't or not able to pay anything in advance :)

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well if they don`t leave a deposit or pay for the order in full for big orders (moneytry wise) then you would make a profit by not doing the job. Especially when they are buying personalised items, they may walk out the shop and then see something in another shop which they would buy as a gift , you going to lose out

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You need to be firm with these people! At the very least take a deposit to cover the cost of the job you are doing. If they are serious about getting the job done, they will pay upfront. Explain to anyone who makes a fuss that sometimes people don't come back and that leaves you out of pocket, most customers will understand.

It does not take long for people get used to the idea of paying up front instead of when they collect.

This pay when you collect came from the old days of film when orders were charged depending upon how many pictures came out and were printed, and at least you had their negatives so there was more or an incentive for them to come back.

But now with digital printing you know exactly how many pictures there are to print, so it can be priced and paid for there and then. Also you don't have anything of the customers to return, so if they change there mind they simply don't bother to come back, leaving you out of pocket, and wasting your time.

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yes i ask for full payment on all large jobs or at least 50% deposit ortherwise i let it go.

I`ve just spent two hours today clearing out old uncollected jobs, as iwas doing this i was jotting down the amount of each job. I`ve just added them all up and it has come £755.86

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I agree with you.

With film we don't use to take an advanced payment  because we don't know the final price, but

in digital we know exactly the price.

When is about individual prints we are very fast in delivering time (300 prints per hour) and ALWAYS it has to be payed in advance. We didn't do it a couple of years ago and we loose 100 or 200 prints

from customers that didn't came back even we had their telephone number and we called them

time after time.

When personalized gifts customer can: Pay it all in advance or 50% in advance.

We are sorry about it because some customers don't like it, they feel that you don't trust in them, but when prints are made: What do i do with the chemicals-paper-time-energy that I have

to throw out to the bin.


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seems like you also went through the same path as i do....lol...and yeah don't ever discard  the orginal photos of customers...we had a incident at our shop earlier because of this...

now we just ask for the advance payment and if they are not willing to pay we just color correct the images and delay the printing until the customer returns.....we are using a drylab printer..so there are no processing time required....each 4x6 comes out in just 3 seconds!!..(and customers don't have a choice to complain as they are not paying anything upfront..which is the cause for this delay)

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Yeah agree with Nash, if they can't pay upfront now who's to say they will ever return and pay after placing an order with you?

At the very least you have to take a deposit to cover the cost of doing the job, otherwise what is the point in being in business?

If they are truly interested they will return when they have the funds.

Promises don't pay the bills!!!

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  • 2 weeks later...

All kiosk orders are paid up front.

If a customer leaves an item of value to them, eg a memory card, usb stick etc then I'm happy to wait for payment if the customer is a regular. If nothing of value is left behind then I either charge the full amount or ask for a deposit. I don't normally have any complaints with this and I am increasingly getting customer's offering to pay in full up front.

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  • 3 months later...

Where I work, we are supposed to take advance payment for both digital and film orders.  However we allow customers to pay on collection on film orders, as they are less reliable and we would have to do more refunds on them than with digital orders, and refunding is a difficult process in my store.  Also as customers are leaving something with us when they place film orders, the idea is that they are more likely to come back for them.

I also assure customers that if they aren't satisfied with the results we do refunds or replacements, depending on whether we can solve the problem or not.

Most customers are okay with advance payment when finally told about it.  However too many of them assume that they pay on collection despite the great big sign that appears on the kiosk screen at the end of the order saying that the order won't be processed until it's paid for.  And I do get the odd customer who thinks that some fundamental sacred right is being taken away from them.

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