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fungusgeek
11-10-2014, 05:56 AM
How do people handle getting paid for an instrument?
Do you expect payment before the instrument is shipped?
Do you ship it, customer approves, then they pay?
Some sort of 'escrow' account?
Simple trust?

tobinsuke
11-10-2014, 06:06 AM
How do people handle getting paid for an instrument?
Do you expect payment before the instrument is shipped?
Do you ship it, customer approves, then they pay?
Some sort of 'escrow' account?
Simple trust?

Custom uke? Seems that 50% upon commission and the remainder when the instrument is completed is pretty common.

I'd expect that for a stock instrument you are paid and then you ship, like most other merchandise.

Lori
11-10-2014, 06:20 AM
You can do private purchases through PayPal using the "send money" option. That has worked for me.

–Lori

Yukon Cornelius
11-10-2014, 07:27 AM
How do people handle getting paid for an instrument?
Do you expect payment before the instrument is shipped?
Do you ship it, customer approves, then they pay?
Some sort of 'escrow' account?
Simple trust?

Is this one you have built?

If it is a regular uke, what I have done and what seems to be the common practice here, is payment received then uke shipped.

I have sold ukes before and offered a few days for a trial, if buyer wasn't satisfied, they could ship it back.

AcornHouse
11-10-2014, 08:10 AM
I always get a deposit that covers the cost of materials, then the balance due upon delivery. (I usually meet up locally.) If shipping, then payment is due before shipping.

Allen
11-10-2014, 08:33 AM
50% prior to commencement on any custom instrument. Balance due plus shipping upon completion before it's sent out. They have 7 days to decide if its for them.

If not, then no questions asked. They send it back. You have to realise that you simply can't please everyone nor should you try to, and move on.

Once in my hands and inspected for any damage, they get a full refund. Over the years I've only had 2 instruments returned because the tone just wasn't what they were looking for. And one of them came back later and bought another uke that he just loves....then ordered another custom build.

Pete Howlett
11-10-2014, 11:47 AM
Take a small deposit - if you get behind and you have really committed your client it can get very stressful. Take another instalment on commencement and then payment in full plus fully insured shipping on completion and before you ship. Better still make what you like and put it in your website shop...

Beau Hannam Ukuleles
11-10-2014, 12:56 PM
This is an interesting subject and i look forward to others responses.

I ask for a $500 deposit to get on my wait list- this immediately separates the time wasters from real customers. In the past, i've traded many emails back and forth with potential customers about custom ideas then never hear from them again. Now I limit the initial 1001 emails to a few good emails with ideas, then get a deposit before turning my mind to any specific custom creative thinking, which is the most difficult element for an artist.

When I get around to starting to gather materials for the build, i ask for the first of usually 3 installments-
1st- Beginning the build
2nd- Just prior to finishing, and
3rd The total remainder prior to shipping to the new owner.

I kinda leave it up to the customer to decide how much their installments will be (according to what they can afford), but i've found even amounts (3, or 5 or whatever) spread out is the best for my own book keeping.

I've had people pay everything at once which is nice until you spend it all way to soon :)

Allen
11-10-2014, 09:29 PM
You know what for me is the absolute best part of the business aspect in being a working luthier. It's the trust that people put in us.

Just think of this happening in any other aspect of our day to day life.

Someone from the other side of the world drops $1,000 into your bank account as a deposit, with nothing more than the dream of a custom built instrument made especially for them. You will get to it in due time, and it will be ready within reasonable time frame based on complexity of the build.

They have never met you. Not looked you in the eye. Not heard or played one of your instruments in person, but take that leap, and trust that you will do the right thing and provide them with what they ask for, or better in a time frame that you have laid out for them.

Is there any way that you would ever let that person down.....I sure won't.

For me that's the premise that I run my business, and I'm dead certain that my peers here operate under the same ethic.

Beau Hannam Ukuleles
11-11-2014, 03:08 AM
You know what for me is the absolute best part of the business aspect in being a working luthier. It's the trust that people put in us.

Just think of this happening in any other aspect of our day to day life.

Someone from the other side of the world drops $1,000 into your bank account as a deposit, with nothing more than the dream of a custom built instrument made especially for them.
Is there any way that you would ever let that person down.....I sure won't.


Spot on Allen.

Sven
11-11-2014, 04:04 AM
I have a complete refund policy. It goes like this: "Oh, so you're not happy with it? Ok, then you build me a ukulele in three months and send it over. Best builder gets to keep both, and all the money!"


(Not really. I take full payment when I'm done, ship it and if they don't like it they have a couple of weeks to return it for a full refund.)

fungusgeek
11-11-2014, 04:17 AM
Allen - good point. I ask about 'trust' because I hope that in the luthier business you folks seem to see honest trustworthy people. A long time ago I made pots for a living and took a lot of checks. I never once got a bad check. Seem that people who were buying hand-made pots were, by nature, honest. I'm glad to hear that the same seems to hold true in the instrument business.