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to refuse this sale?

(164 Posts)
CharliesSister Sun 02-Apr-17 13:27:47

I run a small business making bridal hair accessories.
I've been contacted to create a headpiece that matches this woman's bouquet, and she needs it by next weekend. (Rush orders for weddings are astonishingly common, but thats a whole other thread!)

She asks for a quote, which I provide. In retrospect, I massively under-quoted as I wasn't thinking straight, but obviously can't go back on that now, but I'm already losing out when you factor in the time taken to make the piece (I quoted £21 and its at least 3 hours + work, I'm an idiot).

I set up a custom order for her (Etsy) but she's refusing the pay for the piece, or a deposit, until she's seen photos of the finished item, in case she doesn't like it. I can kind of see where she is coming from but I can't really afford to spend hours designing and making something without at least a deposit to barely cover the material costs.


She's getting very stressed as her wedding is next weekend and I feel really guilty as she's saying this is spoiling her big day.

EduCated Sun 02-Apr-17 13:28:33

YANBU at all.

Fauxgina Sun 02-Apr-17 13:28:58

Yabu for 20 quid and an etsy page I'd take what I was given. As she's not I'd tell her she needs to try someone else.

raspberryrippleicecream Sun 02-Apr-17 13:29:13

Agreed, definitely YANBU

Fauxgina Sun 02-Apr-17 13:29:15

Whoops sorry I meant yanbu

Floggingmolly Sun 02-Apr-17 13:29:52

If she's not willing to risk twenty one quid to avoid spoiling her big day...

MovingOnUpMovingOnOut Sun 02-Apr-17 13:30:40


Let her find someone else to do it.

LadyPW Sun 02-Apr-17 13:30:42

Insist on a deposit because it's custom-made. You can't sell it if she decides to not buy it so you have to have a no-refund deposit. It's standard practice for so many bespoke items. She sounds like she's taking the piss - and all for £21 quid finished price so how little a deposit are you asking?!!!! For that amount you've nothing to lose by insisting on your deposit first. If she walks away (in a huff) then it's her issue not yours.

Expellibramus Sun 02-Apr-17 13:31:05

I think it's a perfect get out clause for you given you've under quoted - just say it's not how you do business so unfortunately can't proceed and wish her well on her day. She sounds like trouble anyway.

RNBrie Sun 02-Apr-17 13:31:57

I commissioned a hat for a wedding and I paid for it in full upfront. I was sent a couple of photos beforehand of the type of style so I could pick which detail I liked best but the rest was done on faith. Tell her to pay or not pay but you won't start work until you've recieved her money.

ohdoadoodoo Sun 02-Apr-17 13:32:06

YANBU in the slightest

CharliesSister Sun 02-Apr-17 13:32:41

I've asked for a 50% non-refundable deposit, having learnt my lesson the hard way before! (Think neon green and pink floral hair combs - I'm not going to be able to sell that on!)

HirplesWithHaggis Sun 02-Apr-17 13:32:51

Yanbu. At best, you make a loss on your time, at worst you have a further loss on materials she may not buy - or may accept, tearfully, at a further discount... [/cynicism]

Her needing a headpiece at the last minute isn't your problem. She'll live without it.

MarchEliza Sun 02-Apr-17 13:33:05

Surely that's just not how bespoke orders work?? Normally I'd guess you'd ask for a deposit but when the amount is so low it would just all be payable up front. If she's not confident in your abilities why did she ask for the work?

Is there a chance you're not the only supplier she's asked and she intends to pick her favourite?

weeblueberry Sun 02-Apr-17 13:33:57

Did you read the threat here where the woman made the birthday cake for the woman who ended up trying to wiggle out of paying etc.

That's very possibly what you have here.

I would tell her if her wedding is next weekend she might be best ordering an off the shelf item so a) she knows what it's like and b) she knows it will be ready in time. Saves her hassle...

CharliesSister Sun 02-Apr-17 13:34:14

Is there a chance you're not the only supplier she's asked and she intends to pick her favourite?

I didn't think of that... maybe!

HeyRoly Sun 02-Apr-17 13:40:09

I think it's a perfect get out clause for you given you've under quoted


You owe her nothing. Just say the deposit is non-negotiable and you wish her well in finding another Etsy seller who will meet her expectations.

You feel GUILTY? Don't!

Resideria Sun 02-Apr-17 13:44:02

Her refusal to pay is hopefully your lucky escape. However, if she should suddenly agree to pay upfront, just tell her that as she has delayed the transaction you are now unable fulfil the order in time for the wedding.

MiladyThesaurus Sun 02-Apr-17 13:49:35

Honestly, her 'big day' means nothing to you (and nor should it). If the accessory was such a big deal to her, and she wanted to avoid stress, she shouldn't have left it so late.

It's like my undergrads who are told what their deadlines are (and what the tasks are, and when all the support sessions are) months in advance. Still every single time a handful of them try to make it my problem that they did nothing all term, didn't attend any of the support sessions and left it til the last minute to start even thinking about their essays - and therefore created a whole lot of unnecessary stress for themselves. Some of them send me emails telling me that I'm making them stressed because I haven't replied to their last minute emails immediately (always over the weekend, or one who berated me for not checking or answering my work emails on bloody Christmas Day in one memorable instance - how I laughed when I checked my email on returning to work in January). The thing is, they've created their own stressful situation and it really isn't my problem, especially not when there are c.8 of them who all think I should be making an exception for them.

You're in much the same situation OP. You're running a business, and your customers presumably are all brides looking to have their perfect 'big day' (except, of course, that they actually decided on the deadlines and timing). You can't make every individual bride your immediate priority, nor can you jump or change how you work because one individual bride has gotten herself into a tizzy. She's so caught up in her own drama that she's failed to realise that you may well have have several other customers all in a tizzy of their own making too and, frankly, you've got a business to run.

Just stand firm. Given the short notice, you'd be within your rights to insist on full payment upfront for this kind of custom order, not just a non-refundable deposit.

Pigface1 Sun 02-Apr-17 13:50:56

I paid £120 for my wedding headpiece. At £21 she can suck it up. What a dickhead.

Butterymuffin Sun 02-Apr-17 13:52:19

No, just say that for last minute jobs like this you need full payment up front. That's your get out and I would take it!

HereThereThen Sun 02-Apr-17 13:53:42


I think you should tell her that you are sorry that you can't help and that you hope she can find something else to her likings. Then don't worry about it. Don't feel guilty either. It's not your fault.

Butterymuffin Sun 02-Apr-17 13:54:28

Yes say what Resideria.suggested - it's now too late to fulfill the order at all. Otherwise, there's a very high chance you'll never get your money for this.

JaniceBattersby Sun 02-Apr-17 13:54:38

£21?! Can't she go to bloody Claire's Accessories or something?

ScarlettFreestone Sun 02-Apr-17 13:56:56

Why would you feel guilty?

Not your circus. not your monkeys.

If she won't meet your terms, politely decline.

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