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Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by drsogr, Mar 24, 2006.

  1. drsogr

    drsogr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,275

    Would you take a job where the customer was unwilling to give you more than a $200 dollar deposit for a landscaping job. The landscaping job is relatively small.....$1400.00 I have not been asking for deposits, because I usually feel comfortable with the people I am dealing with. But after more and more advice I have been.

    Whats your take?

    This was an oriental customer...I believe they will pay..they always do. Unfortunately these people are really untrusting. Almost every oriental person I have met is. I ended up taking the deposit...and taking the job. Should I have ran?

    The whole deposit thing really scares me. I don't know why...it should come natural. I think if maybe I told them up front that I require a deposit on any landscaping jobs...it would make it easier to get the deposit in the end.
  2. Coffeecraver

    Coffeecraver LawnSite Senior Member
    from VA.
    Messages: 793

    1/3 to 1/2 deposit is normal

    466.00 or 700.00 down before the job gets on to the schedule

    It's Just good business

  3. NickN

    NickN LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Alabama
    Messages: 1,009

    I won't do it,even with established customers who I've had for a few years.I'm not in the financing business.You have to make others' money work for you,not the other way around.
  4. Doug Z.

    Doug Z. LawnSite Member
    Messages: 93

    That's not even close to the 1/2 down that I require. Any job I do is 1/2 down, or 1/3 down on any job over $10,000, 1/3 upon start, and the last due upon completion. If somebody is only willing to give me that little bit, in my opinion, your going to have trouble getting the rest of your money out of him when your done. Also, by getting 1/2 down, if he were to screw you, the worst you'd be out is you labor!
  5. procut

    procut LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,852

    If it is a customer you've been doing business with for somethime with no problems, then I'd say you made the right decision. If it was a firstime customer however, I'd say red flag.
  6. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,112

    Agreed..you should not have to use your own money if you don't have accounts with your suppliers for materials.
  7. jblawns123

    jblawns123 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 340

    I ask 1/2 down on every landscaping project, not on maintenance. Have been for 7 years, never had a problem, never an arguement.
  8. Trinity Lawn Care  LLC

    Trinity Lawn Care LLC LawnSite Senior Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 946

    I agree 1/2 down 1/2 when complete. If someone will not give me 1/2 down that puts up a red flag to me. We will not do it. If they are not going to give you the money now chances are they are going to try to not give it to you later (slow pay / no pay). Not worth it. As Sheshovel said, especially if you don't have accounts with your suppliers.
  9. LawnScenes

    LawnScenes LawnSite Member
    Messages: 177

    I require 1/2 down on everything. Sometimes I include an option in the contract that allows me to request another 1/4 during the job and the remaining 1/4 at the end, but so far I've never needed to enforce it. I only include it on large jobs. Just in case I run into a problem or something is slowing us down.
  10. drsogr

    drsogr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,275

    I have only asked for deposits with people that I have felt uncomfortable with in the past. People I feel comfortable with I don't even ask for a deposit. But it just seams that every time I ask for one people feel real hesitant. Now this may be for several reasons.

    I am a young business owner....people always take notice.

    I am not a salesman

    I have a tendancy to be a pushover....

    I don't know if its the standard in my area.....

    I am always afraid that I will lose the job if I don't ask for a deposit.

    I have never had a problem getting paid when the work is done...just sometimes I don't exude confidence. I haven't been in the business for a long time. It would definitely make doing business easier with a deposit.

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