DJing from a balcony...

MIXMASTERMACHOM

DJ Extraordinaire
Oct 16, 2011
1,206
61
She mentioned booking me for a future party and i said... if/when you do... consider your downpayment made... no biggie for me...

cc
That has me thinking what other vendors do when it's a cancellation. Especially since they broke up. Do they refund the retainer or keep it? Or do they offer to apply it to an event they're having in the future if they are?
 

djcrazychris

DJ Extraordinaire
Jun 12, 2018
3,900
46
The way i see it... i keep the deposit money...and im almost guaranteed to be given the rest of my money to dj a gig with less pressure...win win

You can draw a hard line in the sand and keep the money...and expect a new deposit in the future...but i doubt they book you ever again... ive made a friend...and a referal....and im out nothing

cc
 
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steve149

Veni, Vidi, Lusi
Staff member
Sep 26, 2011
35,091
Prospect, CT
explain?

cc
In general, a deposit is for a future good or service and is generally refundable if a contract breach occurs. A payment is a partial fee toward a total amount and might cover services rendered prior to the event and therefore less likely to be refunded.

Of course, it all depends on the contract wording.
 

djcrazychris

DJ Extraordinaire
Jun 12, 2018
3,900
46
In general, a deposit is for a future good or service and is generally refundable if a contract breach occurs. A payment is a partial fee toward a total amount and might cover services rendered prior to the event and therefore less likely to be refunded.

Of course, it all depends on the contract wording.
gotcha!

on a side note...as luck would have it... this date just booked up 10 minutes ago...lol

cc
 

djcrazychris

DJ Extraordinaire
Jun 12, 2018
3,900
46
Just double checked my contract... it refers to it as a non refundable deposit... would u guys recommend a wording change? if so what?

cc
 

wifedj

DJ Extraordinaire
Mar 20, 2008
2,007
Just double checked my contract... it refers to it as a non refundable deposit... would u guys recommend a wording change? if so what?

cc
Have a legal professional advice you as to the governing laws and practices in your state/jurisdiction but I suggest, Yes, and here is why:

A deposit, more akin to a down payment in this discussion, is tendered or, if you prefer, pledged and held as part of the full price paid either at the time of purchase or delivery with the balance to be paid later.

A deposit has been generally treated as a refundable consideration for another consideration, in this instance, the contracted service.

If the service does not occur, it is logical, and more often than not it is adjudicated that the deposit is to be returned.

Most boilerplate agreements used by deeeeejays, are so skeletal that the "service" they agree to provide can be narrowly defined as providing disc jockey performances for a specific time at a specific place...and that may very well be all they provide.

However, to avoid potential conflict and confusion, it is best to include in the service description, those activities that are offered, accepted, contracted and provided but are outside the "disc jockey performances for a specific time at a specific place."

If you identify the first tender of payment as a deposit you create potentially unnecessary interpretation issues.

I have benefited by specifically identifying all monetary tenders as payments so that, in the event there is a challenge, my position is that the payments are/were for the ongoing and continued activity and efforts to plan, arrange and prepare in order to produce the promised and expected results.

I'm sure some other proformer will offer contrary opinion but it will be nothing more than opinion.

P.S. You can write whatever you desire in a contract, you can call a turd a gold brick, but it don't make it so, LOL...SEE FIRST LINE IN THIS RESPONSE.
 
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djcrazychris

DJ Extraordinaire
Jun 12, 2018
3,900
46
i can dig it!!

my contract goes on to explain it all quite well...but i can certainly see the motivation to keep it as understandable and streamlined as possible to avoid the inevitable missunderstanding

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DJ Ricky B

DJ Extraordinaire
Mar 9, 2015
3,995
37
Non Refundable Deposit is fine. Your agreement must explain that the payment is NON REFUNDABLE.

That's all. Rule of thumb is that your initial payment be "reasonable" which courts usually see it as anything up to 50% being reasonable depending on the amount of time before the event that the client cancelled. The court may not see 50% as "fair" if they cancelled a year out, and you decided to keep it all. However, if they cancelled 1 month prior, then the court may find that amount fair ...If you asked for 75% to 80% up front, no court is going to see that as "Reasonable"


"Enter: The Non-Refundable Deposit

So, you, the wedding business professional, have learned to get at least some money up front. That way, should the bride cancel, there is less need to go through the time intensive and costly litigation process: proving your case, proving your damages, showing the court that you mitigated the damages, etc.

The non-refundable deposit(s) (retainer, installment, etc) is basically the vendor’s way of saying, “These are my damages if you cancel, and I am entitled to them without having to do anything else….punk.”

The law refers to the non-refundable deposit as a Liquidated Damages Clause (the “LDC”). As stated, the LDC must reflect a good faith effort to estimate the damages suffered from a breach, or should represent a value amount of the contract that you would be happy with if the bride bailed at a particular point in time prior to the wedding.

Courts typically require the amount to be reasonable and that the harm suffered (your damages if the bride cancels) be difficult to accurately quantify at the time of the breach. For wedding industry professionals, harm at the time of breach is difficult to assess mainly because (1) booking an equivalent wedding on the same date is almost always a difficult proposition and (2) expenses incurred vary depending on how close the breach occurs to the wedding.

To put it another way, the purpose is compensation, not punishment or trying to deter the bride from breaching. Where the purpose is punishment, an LDC becomes a penalty and is no longer enforceable. Often, courts find sums that are too large or unrelated to the loss suffered to be penalties, but the burden will be on the challenging party to prove the unreasonableness."
 
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djtaso

DJ Extraordinaire
Apr 4, 2017
4,966
32
NJ
www.djtaso.com
Non Refundable Deposit is fine. Your agreement must explain that the payment is NON REFUNDABLE.

That's all. Rule of thumb is that your initial payment be "reasonable" which courts usually see it as anything up to 50% being reasonable depending on the amount of time before the event that the client cancelled. The court may not see 50% as "fair" if they cancelled a year out, and you decided to keep it all. However, if they cancelled 1 month prior, then the court may find that amount fair ...If you asked for 75% to 80% up front, no court is going to see that as "Reasonable"


"Enter: The Non-Refundable Deposit

So, you, the wedding business professional, have learned to get at least some money up front. That way, should the bride cancel, there is less need to go through the time intensive and costly litigation process: proving your case, proving your damages, showing the court that you mitigated the damages, etc.

The non-refundable deposit(s) (retainer, installment, etc) is basically the vendor’s way of saying, “These are my damages if you cancel, and I am entitled to them without having to do anything else….punk.”

The law refers to the non-refundable deposit as a Liquidated Damages Clause (the “LDC”). As stated, the LDC must reflect a good faith effort to estimate the damages suffered from a breach, or should represent a value amount of the contract that you would be happy with if the bride bailed at a particular point in time prior to the wedding.

Courts typically require the amount to be reasonable and that the harm suffered (your damages if the bride cancels) be difficult to accurately quantify at the time of the breach. For wedding industry professionals, harm at the time of breach is difficult to assess mainly because (1) booking an equivalent wedding on the same date is almost always a difficult proposition and (2) expenses incurred vary depending on how close the breach occurs to the wedding.

To put it another way, the purpose is compensation, not punishment or trying to deter the bride from breaching. Where the purpose is punishment, an LDC becomes a penalty and is no longer enforceable. Often, courts find sums that are too large or unrelated to the loss suffered to be penalties, but the burden will be on the challenging party to prove the unreasonableness."
This is why my nonrefundable retainer is low ($300 flat rate), and I collect my large balances prior to start times (but most pay further out).
 
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DJ Ricky B

DJ Extraordinaire
Mar 9, 2015
3,995
37
This is why my nonrefundable retainer is low ($300 flat rate), and I collect my large balances prior to start times (but most pay further out).
The days of asking for 50% or even 40% are over for me (With the exception of late bookings within 28 days of the event date)

I have a set amount between $200 and $350 depending on the package/date and final cost. My basic party events are booked on a $200 deposit now.

With weddings I am asking for $200 for most dates though out the year, but $350 if it's a Saturday in October, June, or NYE.

I ask for 50% still on late bookings, and I actually suggest they pay in full at that point, but they can still pay balance at the event prior to starting if preferred.