How do I take payments?

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Forum topic by fazhou posted 03-18-2018 09:40 PM 1386 views 0 times favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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17 posts in 2363 days

03-18-2018 09:40 PM

Maybe you can help? How do I go about taking payments for something? Specifically, what kind of paperwork should the customer sign that acknowledges a payment plan etc. Example, I want to sell an item whose price is $4200. The customer will pay $3000 up front, take the object home, and pay $100 every month for a year. I really am clueless about what the signed paper should say. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

17 replies so far

View HerbC's profile


1804 posts in 3630 days

#1 posted 03-18-2018 09:57 PM

Perhaps the paper should say “I can’t believe I’m just giving you $1,200…”

You’re definitely leaving yourself open if you extend credit to someone on a sales contract.

Good luck!


-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!"

View Woodknack's profile


13384 posts in 3151 days

#2 posted 03-18-2018 10:23 PM

You want to pay for this kind of advice and there should be interest charges if they want to pay over time.

-- Rick M,

View GR8HUNTER's profile


7545 posts in 1483 days

#3 posted 03-18-2018 10:29 PM

bad idea :<((

-- Tony---- Reinholds,Pa.------ REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN

View Tony_S's profile


1329 posts in 3853 days

#4 posted 03-18-2018 10:52 PM

How do I go about taking payments for something?
- fazhou

With your hand out, In full, up front, or upon delivery.

-- “Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something.” – Plato

View bbasiaga's profile


1243 posts in 2766 days

#5 posted 03-18-2018 10:52 PM

Check legal zoom. See if they have something cheap you can download. Failing that, I’d write up a ‘bill of sale’ with what he is getting, any guarantees you make (or don’t make) about the item, and the payment terms. Include penalties in the language if they don’t pay. Then have him meet you at a notary and sign two copies of it. One for him, one for you.


-- Part of engineering is to know when to put your calculator down and pick up your tools.

View bondogaposis's profile


5786 posts in 3122 days

#6 posted 03-18-2018 10:59 PM

Tell them to put the full price on their credit card and pay you through paypal. They can pay it off that way and you get your money before giving them the item. I would not carry a contract as you do not have the resources to get your money if they fail to pay.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View 000's profile


2859 posts in 1670 days

#7 posted 03-18-2018 11:18 PM

If you must, bbasiaga pretty much sums it up.

There is so much that can go wrong. I wouldn’t even think about doing it unless I already came to the conclusion that I wasn’t going to get paid all of it back.

If it’s a friend, you could lose your friendship over it.

It would be great if every month on the 1st your payment showed up, but if they don’t have the money now, chances are they will be late making the payment and you will be chasing your money.

Even if they make half the payments at any point they may have some kind of hardship and not be able to pay, are you prepared to give them extra time that could lapse on and on, or take them to small claims court and spend the time pursuing it?

I could go on and on with scenarios that make it not worthwhile, but for 1200.00 it’s the best schooling you can get to find out how the court system works.

View tomd's profile


2218 posts in 4541 days

#8 posted 03-18-2018 11:37 PM

Send them to the bank, banks are very good at lending money.

-- Tom D

View John Smith's profile

John Smith

2423 posts in 933 days

#9 posted 03-18-2018 11:37 PM

this looks like a good episode for “Judge Judy”

-- I am a painter: that's what I do, I like to paint things. --

View woodbutcherbynight's profile


6069 posts in 3179 days

#10 posted 03-18-2018 11:42 PM

DON’T DO IT!!! Cash in hand, full amount and be done. Unless you want to become a bank, bill collector and give yourself ulcers thinking about how you got screwed for $1200. Doesn’t matter who it is, because the chances of success are slimmer than me winning the lottery. If it is a friend, consider if you want to end it this way because it usually ends up badly.

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View LesB's profile


2551 posts in 4214 days

#11 posted 03-19-2018 12:11 AM

You should be able to find a loan agreement form at one of the internet sites that you can use because that is what your are doing, loaning the person money. I agree with who ever said add in a penalty for missing a payment (make it painful, like 20% of the balance). If they live out of state don’t do it under any circumstance unless they can leave something of equal value (collateral) with you as security. Do NOT make up a “bill of Sale” because that can transfer ownership.
If per chance the person does not need to possess the item right away I would hold it until they make all the payments. Make the sale conditional on all the payments being made with no refund if the default on completing the contract. That puts them in the position of trusting you instead of the other way around. You do not need a notarization of the papers but a witness who will sign and testify in court would be enough. Take a picture of the buyer and the object being sold for identification if needed.

Now any contract is only worth the paper it is written on until you take it to court. So in the mean time become familiar with how to file a Small Clams suit in your local court and then you need to know about how to collect when (if) you get a judgement if the person does not pay. That involved going to the Sheriff or Marshall with a Writ of Execution from the Court Clerk, paying them the fees up front to execute (you get them back if they successfully collect) and telling them where this person has assets they can go after, bank, payroll, car, etc. Even then it is not always successful and you may need to repeat this collection process multiple times….or give up and take an income tax loss. How do I know about this? I was a Sheriff and we did that enforcement process.

-- Les B, Oregon

View waho6o9's profile


8906 posts in 3347 days

#12 posted 03-19-2018 03:57 AM

Simples. Get the Square app:

Add the service fee to your contract and when they pick up the product they

pay for the whole thing at once. Done.

View CWWoodworking's profile


778 posts in 949 days

#13 posted 03-19-2018 03:58 AM

From an Individual that I don’t know, I would never give credit. From a business, I would say it depends. I have a very few accounts that I extend credit to.

I opened an account once that ordered 2800$ worth of gift items in 2 months. Was a little Leary, but not she is one of my best accounts.

View unclearthur's profile


354 posts in 2558 days

#14 posted 03-19-2018 07:17 AM

If you want to extend credit, then best is probably a simple bill of sale plus post dated cheques for all the payments.

View JCamp's profile


1179 posts in 1321 days

#15 posted 03-19-2018 10:21 AM

Unless it was close family or a very very good friend I would not do it. I had a buddy one time that needed a mower, and I had a mower for sale. He gave me 50% up front and asked if id b fine if he made a couple months payments. I had known the fella for a long time and he had a very good job so I agreed to that. He paid me 3 times over a 12month period… I did get the full amount in the last payment but I will never sell to him or anyone else anything like that again.
It would be much easier on both parties to do the Paypal route. Youd get all ur money up front and they don’t have to bother writing you 12 checks (heck that saves them $6 in stamps). Paypal has some fees usually. If they don’t wanna pay the $4200 thro it they can give you 3000 cash and do the 1200 thro PP

-- Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with all thy might

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