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Deposits


askey
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We have recently started asking customers if they want to leave a deposit. We don't say they have to, just if they want to. I've been surprised by the number of people who then say they will pay for the whole order there and then. I wouldn't want to make it compulsory as some people simply don't have spare cash.

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This used to be a big problem for us. When we started using POS software and collected complete name, mailing address, telephone number, etc. the amount of orders not picked up is very small. We either call, send a note or email after the order is two weeks old. We continue to call on a weekly basis. At two months we mail them the best picture out of the order. This really works.

When we get tired of fooling with them we mail them the negatives and destroy the photos. We do this because of possible legal problems if we throw the negatives away.

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This topic comes and goes.

We charge up front for passport photos and work done on our kiosks.

I have to admit that looking at the amount of uncollected work I have here I am very close to charging up front as a matter of policy for everything.

Then if they don't pick it up, tough titties- I've got their dosh  ;D

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we have noticed something very strange. People off the street (the great British Public) quite often offer to pay with their order, and walk away seemingly feeling priveleged when we tell them there is no need. It is the professionals that we find are slow to pay - sometimes even slow to pick up their work - one notable occassion , one of our wedding photographers left his work for over six weeks. That was over

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If taking deposits is causing problems why not simply ask for a telephone number or first line of address?, we have had people get cranky over giving phone numbers but if you get there house number and street name, you already have there surname so you can look in the phone book for there tel number. Our card machine broke down recently and a customer with a

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That was a misunderstanding, or badly put by me.

Most customers are good, we never ask for payment with order.

Some 'customers' however, exude a certain hesitation, unsure of what they actualy want. usualy end up ordering several prints to a large size. Having been stung by a couple of customers who came to collect their work (after spending ages not being able to make up their mind) then sorting through the prints and expecting to be able to pay for only those they wanted. One person ordered 10 12x18's and only wanted one. having given them a substantial discount for quantity they then expected to pay that price for the one. very awkward. you want to keep your customer , but you can't afford to print 10 and only get paid for one. It is this type of customer whom we ask for a deposit. It seems to crystalise their thoughts, they either cary on regardless ,or think seriously about their order.

  With customers like that we now find it easier to get the images on screen so they can see what they will get. It is amazing how many people around here have digital cameras and either no computer or unsuitable computer.

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For digital work we always get the money up front, ;) it is made easier by the fact that the kiosks produces a receipt straight away, no one has objected to this yet.

We don't ask for money up front for other processing unless it is a big order then we ask for a deposit. We do a lot of photo restoration and we always ask for a 50% deposit on this type of work, same for the framing side.

Joan

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We changed to payment up front on everything a few years ago. We really didn't loose anyone to it. Many tourists actually expect it. If anyone can't we take a phone number. On the odd occasssion we will allow an order without payment.

There was an initial bedding in period where we had our hearts in our mouths listening for every malcontent. We also allowed a months transitional period where people were asked but not required to pay upfront. We have dramatically reduced our uncollected orders. Interestingly the orders that we do have uncollected are mostly those that we have allowed through without payment!

If anyone grumbles we would point out that all work will get paid for in the end, we have two choices either put our prices up to cover what's not being picked up, or get everyone to pay for what they are having done. That way "you aren't paying for some other customers pictures." It seems to have a very placating effect, I mean naturally we're only thinking of them ;-) We haven't had to explain that one to many people recently but it may be helpful that Boots and Jessops charge upfront around here.

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