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question on taking deposits for jobs?

pghlandscape

LawnSite Member
Location
pgh,pa.
does anyone take deposits on jobs that will not be scheduled for several wks?if so what do you say and how much do you take?i would like to get deposits on work we schedule to get done down the road.do you deposit them or hold them until you start job?
 

Grassmechanic

LawnSite Silver Member
Location
S.E. Michigan
Personally, I don't take deposits. I let the customer know that I trust them to pay in full when the job is completed. All my customers are long term, so I know them well enough to do this. In your case though, taking a deposit and holding it might make sense. Deposit should only cover costs of materials.
 

Georgiehopper

LawnSite Member
I always ask for a deposit, especially because I've been stiffed a few times and people also can change their minds.

Depending on the job, I ask for either 1/2 or 1/3 right up front. I've never had a problem with this policy.
 

Lizard

LawnSite Member
Location
Michigan
Our policy is 50% up front. I recently did a large city job and let that slide. It has now been 6 months without payment and I've learned a good lesson. Just when you think that you know a person or trust them, you get screwed. Some of our smaller jobs are not required to pay upfront, but if it goes beyond three months I bring in collections after a warning to the customer. Our contracts state that the customer will be responsible for all expences incurred along with late fees to obtain payment!
Lizard
 

sgtgm5

LawnSite Member
Location
West Haven, CT
50% up front on small amounts, 100-1000

1/3 up front for big amounts, 1000 and ^

Nada for weekly maintenance but will take prepay:D


Long term customers will adjust a little for them. Can't bite the hand that feeds ya.

Bottom line - Give me the money
 

newleaflandscape

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
Michigan
I wont go into anything without money down and a contract unless it is under a thousand dollars. If it is over twenty thousand I do it in thirds. But for the most part I ask for half down.
 

dougaustreim

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
Brookings SD
1/3 down to schedule and this time of the year it might be quite awhile before your turn comes. I got tired of people making deals with us and then spending the time before the job was actually to be done shopping around or changing their mind. It takes all the argument out of where a job should be on the schedule the first check in is the first job done.

Also we deposit immediately, what point is there in getting money up front, if you aren't going to use it to buy the material for the job etc.

We do quite a bit of commerical work, where we aren't able to get deposits, those are the ones that often end up being real problems waiting to get paid.

Doug
Austreim Landscaping
 

Acute Cut

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
Bellingham WA
im new at this side of the business, but here is my 1/2 cents worth. I say ATLEAST materials up front. I think as our jobs start getting backed out a month or so i will ask for 25% deposite and then 25% as the job starts. Then the rest is billable.
 

Henry

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
Northern NJ
If you're going to sign a contract to do a job that requires you to buy materials you must be crazy to not get a deposit. And if you have the money to finance other peoples projects than why the hell are you working for them? If I'm gonna commit time in my schedule for them then I want some kind of commtment from them as well.
 
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