Customer Makes Payments

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by GravelyGuy, Jun 15, 2007.

  1. GravelyGuy

    GravelyGuy LawnSite Silver Member
    from Indiana
    Posts: 2,517

    I just gave someone an estimate on a job and the total came out to be just under $5500 for the whole job. I agreed on payments. The customer gave me $2200, the cost of materials and then agreed to have the entire bill paid off within 4 months.

    How do you guys go about this? Do I write someothing up, have the customer sign it and then get it notorized?

    I have never had someone make payments so this is new to me. Thanks for the help.:)
  2. Lawnamus

    Lawnamus LawnSite Member
    Posts: 32

    Personally, I think you are in the landscaping business, not the financing business. If you agree to this, then by all means have a contract drawn up and signed and notraizing it won't hurt. Also, I would tack on an extra charge for the delayed payments (a finance charge so to speak). Since you already gave the price, be up front and tell the customer it will cost this much extra for him/her to finance it. Otherwise, do the job over 4 months. Don't get taken advantage of. I am not suggesting throwing away the job, but tit for tat if you ask me if your willing to finance.
  3. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    My experience has been that payments tend to lead to collections.
    So way I see things if they can't make one payment in full then they can not afford my services.
    I got tired of sticking my neck out, either they can afford it, or they can't.

    Because it really doesn't matter how much the amount, I've had people ask to make payments on $50 and $500 before too, so what's the difference? Either you got the money, or you don't.

    And if it's more than they thought it would be, then likely they're not financially ready to make the move.

    Up to you, but I'd advise against it, certainly DO draw it up if you do, I would.
  4. Ric3077

    Ric3077 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,113

    I did it once and never again....let's just say it's going to court and he owes me over $5,000
  5. GravelyGuy

    GravelyGuy LawnSite Silver Member
    from Indiana
    Posts: 2,517

    What did you guys include in your promissary notes/contract?

    If I understand correctly, it is relatively inexpensive to take someone to small claims court for issues like this. Am I wrong?

  6. Uranus

    Uranus LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Mass
    Posts: 1,624

    :nono: Don't do that again. 1/2 up front and balance due day of completion. Thats the only way I do work and have not had an issue yet.
  7. Mike33

    Mike33 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,649

    Advise them " If you can't afford it, don't do it " I will guarantee you there will be something wrong to them with the job at the end to not pay for all of it. Your price is not a lot of money when it comes to landsacaping. Also Landscaping is a luxary not a life nor death need.
  8. AGLA

    AGLA LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,742

    Set yourself up to take credit cards. Not only does it keep you out of this situation, it will sometimes get you work over others and make it easier to upsell.
  9. AJ Lawnscapes

    AJ Lawnscapes LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 322

    I agree with Uranus, at least 50% down, and balance upon completion, with a signed Contract and Terms.

    Best way to look at it is like Mike33 says, it's a Luxury.

    You're not a Bank, but they can go to one if they want it bad enough. How are you to determine their Credit Worthieness? You're not a bank.

  10. hoskm01

    hoskm01 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,690

    Definetly never again. Only ever leads to problems...

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