Deposits on installation only

Discussion in 'Kitchen Fitters' Talk' started by andyarmando, Sep 20, 2007.

  1. andyarmando

    andyarmando New Member

    Hi, I've been fitting kitchens for about 2 years now and things have gone ok. But i've just had a couple of customers who either didn't get their act together so the kitchen was delivered a week late or had to postpone because of personal reasons.

    I try to be flexible and move work around but i inevitably loose money when this happens. Do you guys take deposits to help avoid this? I only do installation at the moment which may make a difference.

    Cheers far any help, Andy
  2. Fat Bald Martin

    Fat Bald Martin New Member

    This seems to be the story everywhere, I kind of view the "grief" as just an integral part of being self-employed.

    I do not take deposits for "labour only", infact I would feel a bit "dodgy" doing so but I am interested to see what other people do.


  3. andyarmando

    andyarmando New Member

    I can see it from both sides, loosing a couple of hundred pounds might make some cusomters think twice about cancelling. But for years the watchdog progams on TV have been saying to never give a deposit before work has begun.

    I don't think i would give a deposit so maybe i'm answering my own question. My next question is How can you tell which customers will cancel on you?
  4. the panda

    the panda New Member

    I see no reason why you should not ask for a deposit. As a seller of kitchens I obtain all of the money up front (2 weeks before the kitchen is delivered) without a problem.

    The secret is to post a written quote / contract for each job which clearly indicates when you expect payment. Your quote asks them to confirm your "start date" in writing and to send your deposit by return.

    Customers have no problem with staged payments (they almost expect them) so give it a try - if you don't ask you don't get!!!!
  5. Captain Leaky

    Captain Leaky New Member

    Just make sure when you agree the timing of a job that the customer has allowed enough time for the goods to be delivered and that the goods are delivered early and cheked before you start.

    Some customers are unrealistic when it comes to lead times and you need to bring your experience to bear to help them realise they can't order a kitchen on saturday and expect it all to arrive by monday etc.
  6. andyarmando

    andyarmando New Member

    Thanks for the advice guys, i think i'll give it a try next time and see how it goes.
  7. Jonny Round Boy

    Jonny Round Boy New Member

    For installation only jobs, I get a deposit of 25% up front. Then I get 50% mid-way through the job, and the final 25% becomes due only when the job is complete to the customer's satisfaction.

    I do always give the customer a receipt for any payments - I've never had someone who's not happy paying a deposit.
  8. makita49

    makita49 New Member

    Where you from johhny if i ask for what you do id have no work.
  9. Stretch

    Stretch Member

    I think if you are doing an installation only it is going to be difficult to ask for any money up front. I certainly wouldn't pay anyone for work they hadn't yet done.

    I rarely get involved in installation only work.

    I always make sure I have a deposit on the first day of the job, usually about 25%, a further stage payment at the start of the second week as most of my installations are complete refurbs, and then the balance upon completion.

    Whichever way I do it, I always make sure that the initial two payments cover all my outlay ie cost of kitchen and all other associated fitting costs.
    At least if the customer decides to ** me over at the end (and touch chipboard it's never happened) I can settle my bills with my suppliers and not be out of pocket in that respect. I can handle working for nothing but not having to pay out of my pocket to do a job.
  10. Jonny Round Boy

    Jonny Round Boy New Member

    Where you from johhny if i ask for what you do id
    have no work.

    West Yorkshire.

    I wouldn't book a job in without taking some kind of deposit, unless it was for someone I knew.

    By booking in a job, you're making a financial commitment to do the work, as you'd be potentially turning away other work that you could have done at that time. What would you do if you turned up to do a job on the Monday morning, and they said, 'oh, sorry, we got someone else to do it. Didn't I tell you?'. You'd be sat on your ar5e for a few days not getting paid. If I'm going to make a financial commitment to a job, then the customer should too.
  11. makita49

    makita49 New Member

    If ur supplying it yes i agree but if its just an installation job i dont see how you can ask for a deposit i wouldnt do it and im sure 99% of people wouldnt either.
  12. makita49

    makita49 New Member

    What i mean by the above comment is if it was me having the work done i wouldnt had money over not if it was just installation
  13. HudsonCarpentry

    HudsonCarpentry New Member

    Personally i hate asking for a deposit but do if the materials cost over £100, i only ask for a deposit on materials and no labour.

    Its writen everywhere and its on TV that if tradesman ask for money upfront thats for labour not to use them, in big sites where there are alot of rouges then its hard for clients to trust tradesman and it costs you work if you ask for deposits thats on labour IMO.
  14. cosworth

    cosworth New Member

    if you can get it great i say but for me i'd feel cheeky asking for deposit on installation only.if i supply then i do ask for the money on the day of delivery for the kitchen only.
    its a trust issue on both sides-i trust they will pay at the end and they have to trust i will do a good job.
    its hard enough getting work as it is for me without asking then to open their wallets before my toolbox.
    ideally tho i'd love money up front so if it works for you,well done.
  15. lamello

    lamello New Member

    To be honest with you I would never ask for a deposit for labour only. As for asking for a deposit on jobs that have materials over £100. Do you not have a balance on your business account or something. In my personal opinion I dont need financial commitements off my customers in advance. I dont have a bad word to say about my customers because they always pay on time. If you ask me its always the same people who have trouble getting paid, perhaps you should look at yourselves in order to establish why you arent getting paid. I have never had a customer not pay and never had a customer back out on a job. The only time I would even consider taking a deposit would be if I needed to lay out more than around £3k on materials. You come across as amateur if you are going to a customer asking for £100. If you operate in the way I do by keeping the customer informed about the costs but invoicing them right at the end for everything it is all a far more professional operation and the customer will notice that. The occasional date change is just part of the job. Those who moan about their customers generally are rubbish at their job
  16. makita49

    makita49 New Member

    lamello i dnt knw you but you obviously cnt read as you dont seem to understand the original post at all.
  17. HudsonCarpentry

    HudsonCarpentry New Member

    I have never had a problem with customers not paying and never had a problem when asking for a deposit when the materials are over £100, i all ways give them a receipt there and then and at the end of the job i ask them to fill out a feedback form on how our system works regaurding payments & deposits and the work thats been carried out and they all say its a great system and a professional way of doing it.
  18. HudsonCarpentry

    HudsonCarpentry New Member

    And its hard for new business to have a large enough balance in the buisness accounts to pay for large amounts of materials, i will ditch the deposit over £100 scheme when my business account balance gets up to around the £1000 mark after overheads and my wages, for a lot of people its the only way they can start there business.
  19. Stretch

    Stretch Member

    With respect Hudson, you should have a handful of trade accounts so that you don't need to pay up front for materials. I have trade accounts with kitchen suppliers, builders merchants, plumbers merchants, electrical wholesalers, tile shops, the whole lot. You'll find branches of most major trade outlets in most towns you work in which will give you terms of 60 days. This means anything materials you take out on the 1st October, say, won't need to be paid for until the end of November and that, to me, is plenty of time to get the job done and be paid for it.

    Besides, the point of this thread was should we take deposits on labour only. In my opinion, no, and if a job is not more than £1000 labour and materials inclusive, I wouldn't bother taking a deposit on that either. I don't rely on the local rags and the Yellow Pages to get my work as it all comes via recommendation, therefore, anyone who has commissioned you to do work on recommendation alone is unlikely to stuff you for money at the end of the job - unless anyone here has had a different experience!!
  20. lamello

    lamello New Member

    I read the original post and I wasnt really commenting on that. What I was commenting on was the fact that I dont believe it comes across as proffesional to go to a customer for £100 deposit. Also what I was commenting on in essence was the fact that lots of people seem to always have an issue with their customers and have trouble getting paid. They seem to regard their customers as some kind of enemy who is just waiting to rip them off. I treat my customers almost as friends. I have the same network of twenty or so customers who come to me time and time again. I wont leave until they are perfectly happy otherwise they wont have me back. The same people who have issues with customers and getting paid are the same people who struggle to get work in. The reason for that is that clearly their customers arent happy with the standard of their work, thus they dont want to pay them, and wont have them back

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