How long to wait.

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Forum topic by nate22 posted 05-28-2015 09:50 AM 1420 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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476 posts in 3384 days

05-28-2015 09:50 AM

I had a lady order some beds from me a couple of months ago and I have heard back from her for over a month. My question is how long should I wait before I decide to do something else with them. I have tried to get a hold of her a couple of times in the last month and no response back. So how long would you guys wait?

-- Gracie's wooden signs. Middlebury, In.

10 replies so far

View pauljuilleret's profile


107 posts in 2162 days

#1 posted 05-28-2015 10:06 AM

I hope you got a up front payment for the product. I think what I would do is send her a letter return receipt requested or certified stating that she has so many days to pick them up or they will be disposed of. I think I would give her no more than 30 days less time if you think you can get away with it but you need to be reasonable good luck hope you come out of it okay.

View lunn's profile


215 posts in 2817 days

#2 posted 05-28-2015 10:58 AM

I got into the same thing a few months ago. A couple ordered a custom walnut pie safe. When finished, their phone number had been disconnected. No way to contact them. I didn’t take a down payment because pie safes are a easy sale for me. It sold in about 3 weeks and the people that ordered it are SOL ! At my shop everything is for sale until it’s paid for. No I won’t hold it till you get back. No I won’t take payments. You held up your end of the deal, built it, contacted them, no response = FOR SALE !

-- What started as a hobbie is now a full time JOB!

View Tennessee's profile


2901 posts in 3023 days

#3 posted 05-28-2015 11:11 AM

People change their minds, get buyer’s remorse, the list goes on.
That is why I always get a deposit. I require it just to make my list of builds, and it also covers most of my parts and wood expenses for the piece. Labor is not in the deposit, I always figure that I can at least sell the item for the labor only if someone defaults and loses their deposit.

It has happened once in five years. Guy gave me a deposit, then moved and never tried to get his deposit back. Six months later, I still could not get ahold of him but had not finished the build, either, so that part was lucky. I had no way to return the deposit since I could not find anyone who seemed to know where he went. Just moved on from there.

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

View FellingStudio's profile


93 posts in 2191 days

#4 posted 05-28-2015 03:04 PM

You have a contract right? What are the storage terms/fees that you have in said contract?

I know, you probably don’t have a contract, but the point is that for commissioned work, it makes good sense for all parties to have a written agreement.

Things to put into a contract …

- Scope of work (what and how many pieces are you building)
- Price with deposit, draw(s) (if appropriate/necessary)
- Timeline to complete work (with penalties if appropriate)
- Start date
- Work delivery date
- Contingencies (buyer walks away or can’t make final payment, arbitrator over disagreements, change order process)

And I’m sure that I’m missing some other important details at the moment.

-- Jesse Felling -

View FellingStudio's profile


93 posts in 2191 days

#5 posted 05-28-2015 03:14 PM

As for how to deal with your immediate situation …

How difficult is it for you to store the completed beds?

Can you sell them somewhere else?

I would suggest that you attempt to communicate with the customer in first the normal way that you have been communicating whether that is phone, email, Facebook, or in person. If you cannot get in touch through the usual channels, attempt an alternate form of communication, with a certified letter being your last resort. Inform them that their beds are complete, and you are waiting to make delivery arrangements. They will likely have some sort of difficulty making the delivery arrangements. Either they are sick, out of money, no longer want the beds, or some such thing. But, they may still want them, and be willing to pay you to store them until such time as they can take delivery.

If they fail to communicate entirely, you have done your due diligence at this point, and can feel justified in selling the beds elsewhere, breaking them apart and reusing the lumber, or just keeping the beds for yourself.

And, to answer your question, I wouldn’t wait longer than 60 days total.

-- Jesse Felling -

View bonesbr549's profile


1584 posts in 3576 days

#6 posted 05-28-2015 04:48 PM

I require 50% min down. As others have said, try to reachout with certified mail, and if no response document, and sell them and move on.

-- Sooner or later Liberals run out of other people's money.

View Ghidrah's profile


667 posts in 1731 days

#7 posted 05-28-2015 05:46 PM

The type of, cost of and amount of time spent to fulfill the project, (fabrication) determines what I ask for a down payment. The minimum is all expenses materials and permits if required. And I always have dupe hardcopies signed and dated for both parties. That’s covered me a few times and was developed because of customers that tried to and or did weasel out of paying their bills. As for furniture and or baubles I never had anyone disappear on me.

Everything in my contracts/estimates is there to protect both parties if there’s ever a dispute. I stopped taking cash for construction projects since 1988. The owner claimed in his taxes that he paid me $4000 more than he did. Even though I had noted each payment in my daily work diary, in my dome log and saved every bank receipt as proof the IRS took his word instead. Neighbors to either side of him stopped by and spoke to me saying, “Keep your eye on him he’s a shyster”. When he disappeared from his property I stopped work, I left letters , I called once a day I sent mail. None answered. If I had been clever I and asked for help I would have learned about property liens that might have helped me when it came to the IRS.

I don’t know how much it will cost to ask a lawyer what your responsibilities are regarding your situ, especially if you took a down payment and you have no written paperwork regarding none payment of and or no customer response to project completion.

-- I meant to do that!

View hotbyte's profile


1000 posts in 3484 days

#8 posted 05-28-2015 06:05 PM

Odd problem. I just read yesterday on a boat forum of a fellow selling his boat, buyer paid for it and 2 months later hasn’t picked it up!

View DrDirt's profile


4592 posts in 4251 days

#9 posted 05-28-2015 06:05 PM

half down is typical…. from the other side of the fence… what did the lady expect from you time wise?

Did she order/expect something that would take a couple weeks, but after waiting longer, decided to buy something commercial for immediate delivery?

To your question – - make the official contact by certified mail, so you have ‘hard proof’ of due diligence, and if no reply, sell them and move on.

I suspect she bought something else and is now avoiding you. A “trick” would be to call from a friends cell phone, so that her caller ID won’t show her it is you calling, and she may pick up.

-- “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” Mark Twain

View distrbd's profile


2252 posts in 2955 days

#10 posted 05-28-2015 06:32 PM

Odd problem. I just read yesterday on a boat forum of a fellow selling his boat, buyer paid for it and 2 months later hasn t picked it up!

- hotbyte

That’s free storage for the buyer.

-- Ken from Ontario, Canada

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