Weddings So yeah, still haven't got paid...good times!

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mikemerlin

DJ Extraordinaire
Feb 4, 2010
1,101
284
WIllimantic CT
Have a wedding this Saturday and still have not been paid. Contract calls for payment 3 weeks prior to the date. Groom told me his Mom sent it on Friday. We're going over everything tonight and going to tell him if the check doesn't come in the mail by Friday they'll need to bring cash or a money order, no checks. Sound about right?
 

Proformance

DJ Extraordinaire
Nov 6, 2006
6,681
3,991
Have a wedding this Saturday and still have not been paid. Contract calls for payment 3 weeks prior to the date. Groom told me his Mom sent it on Friday. We're going over everything tonight and going to tell him if the check doesn't come in the mail by Friday they'll need to bring cash or a money order, no checks. Sound about right?
I would not make a final payment to ANY entertainment vendor prior to their showing up and completing the contract. That's pretty much a standard practice with anyone who is not already a preferred and repeat vendor - and it's what we recommend to bride's as well.

From the Bride's perspective you are too high risk as a no-show to be paid in advance. They should always hold back at least 1/3 of your payment until you arrive on site ready to play.
 
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mikemerlin

DJ Extraordinaire
Feb 4, 2010
1,101
284
WIllimantic CT
Are you a bride? lol I've never (not once) had any couple complain about paying in advance. Most are relieved as it's one less thing to have to worry about. They don't have to worry about it on their wedding day and I don't have to chase down money or even better worry about the check not clearing (yes I'd ask for a money order but they'd probably bring a check) so that argument goes both ways. They have my address, my e-mail, my phone number and as I'm on the radio M-F most know where I work as well. As far as my Saturday wedding, problem solved I had them send it to me through paypal.
 
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Proformance

DJ Extraordinaire
Nov 6, 2006
6,681
3,991
Are you a bride? lol I've never (not once) had any couple complain about paying in advance. Most are relieved as it's one less thing to have to worry about. They don't have to worry about it on their wedding day and I don't have to chase down money or even better worry about the check not clearing (yes I'd ask for a money order but they'd probably bring a check) so that argument goes both ways. They have my address, my e-mail, my phone number and as I'm on the radio M-F most know where I work as well. As far as my Saturday wedding, problem solved I had them send it to me through paypal.
I didn't say don't accept payment in advance - I just wouldn't (myself) nor would I recommend anyone sign a DJ contract that demanded full payment in advance.

1.) It's not warranted by the work being done.
2.) It's removes all balance and equity from the contract.
3.) It's an unnecessary risk.
4.) It smacks of desperation.

I accept payment prior to an event, and some people do pay in advance. However, I do not require it. I also do not demand cash, bank checks, threaten, or throw hissy-fits over final payment. If the balance isn't settled and the event is over I invoice them, and amazingly people pay the invoice.

In fact - I've never been stiffed by anyone except other DJs - all of whom are the type who demand payment in advance. I think their fear of not getting paid is more indicative of their own personal payment performance than any threat posed by their customers.
 
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mikemerlin

DJ Extraordinaire
Feb 4, 2010
1,101
284
WIllimantic CT
Proformance;524254 I accept payment prior to an event said:
amazingly[/B] people pay the invoice.

In fact - I've never been stiffed by anyone except other DJs - all of whom are the type who demand payment in advance. I think their fear of not getting paid is more indicative of their own personal payment performance than any threat posed by their customers.
Then we have something in common as I do not do any of those things mentioned above either. And to be clear the main reason for having it paid before hand is that I find it uncouth to ask for money on someone's wedding day.

- - - Updated - - -

Also what is "payment performance?" Never heard of it
 

MIXMASTERMACHOM

DJ Extraordinaire
Oct 16, 2011
10,282
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I would not make a final payment to ANY entertainment vendor prior to their showing up and completing the contract. That's pretty much a standard practice with anyone who is not already a preferred and repeat vendor - and it's what we recommend to bride's as well.

From the Bride's perspective you are too high risk as a no-show to be paid in advance. They should always hold back at least 1/3 of your payment until you arrive on site ready to play.
You either need to get therapy or stop taking the drugs you're using!!!!!!!!!! Nobody should hold off paying in full before the DJ sho2ws up to do an event. Now I have had repeat clients that I don't worry about getting paid. I don't know you, then I don't trust you. It's called conducting business. Never is it personal.

Now to be fair there obviously have been cases where a DJ has gotten paid and they don't show up to do an event. That has happened. I just know I've never done such a thing. Have you? I take what I do seriously! Now what I would suggest since it seems you've never worked for this client before would be to get your money before you do anything. That means if the pay is to be the day of that it be in cash and in your hands before you let the music play. I would even go so far as to say even before you unload your gear.
 

rickryan.com

DJ Extraordinaire
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Dec 9, 2009
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Mike, I'd probably use a little caution in how I worded it to them. A demand for "cash at the gig" is going to be a real damper on any goodwill you may have with this client. You had the option of being hardball and using the non-payment at the 3 week point but didn't exercise it (I would've done the same). If it were me, I'd probably mention the event date payment, but allowing them to use a check, and a subtle (perhaps non-verbal) cue that "if you don't pay, I don't play". Good luck with it. Slow-payers are a pain but 95% they do pay up. Just don't spoil vibe over it.
 
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ittigger

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Feb 1, 2011
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... even better worry about the check not clearing (yes I'd ask for a money order but they'd probably bring a check).
I accept payment prior to an event, and some people do pay in advance. However, I do not require it. I also do not demand cash, bank checks, threaten, or throw hissy-fits over final payment. If the balance isn;t settled the day of I invoice them, and amazingly people pay the invoice.

In fact - I've never been stiffed by anyone except other DJs - all of whom are the type who demand payment in advance. I think their fear of not getting paid is more indicative of their own personal payment performance than any threat posed by their customers.
FWIW, money orders can be faked too - and regardless of having been stiffed before or not, it can and does happen - more than it should.
 
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mikemerlin

DJ Extraordinaire
Feb 4, 2010
1,101
284
WIllimantic CT
Mike, I'd probably use a little caution in how I worded it to them. A demand for "cash at the gig" is going to be a real damper on any goodwill you may have with this client. You had the option of being hardball and using the non-payment at the 3 week point but didn't exercise it (I would've done the same). If it were me, I'd probably mention the event date payment, but allowing them to use a check, and a subtle (perhaps non-verbal) cue that "if you don't pay, I don't play". Good luck with it. Slow-payers are a pain but 95% they do pay up. Just don't spoil vibe over it.
Agreed 110%. The way I worded it here was blunt as we all get it here. The conversation last night as we went over everything was upbeat with some laughs followed by me inquiring if they had had the chance to ask their mom if she had sent the check to the right address (she's in NJ) and they confirmed. We talked about other methods of payment and paypal came up and the money was in my account 15 minutes later. On a completely unrelated note half of their family are Yankee fans, the other half Red Sox fans. When I introduce the wedding party it's going to "New York New York" or "Sweet Caroline" depending on which team wins (they both play each other earlier in the day) Really looking forward to having fun with that
 

rickryan.com

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Dec 9, 2009
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Agreed 110%. The way I worded it here was blunt as we all get it here. The conversation last night as we went over everything was upbeat with some laughs followed by me inquiring if they had had the chance to ask their mom if she had sent the check to the right address (she's in NJ) and they confirmed. We talked about other methods of payment and paypal came up and the money was in my account 15 minutes later.
Great job. It's amazing how much easier a transaction can be concluded if the vibe stays positive. I had a single MOB last year who had over-spent and wrote me a bad check. Started to get pissed but I kept my cool, then called and emailed relentlessly (not hateful) until I got her to admit she was out of money. I took a post-dated check, held it a few weeks, got paid, and she still has a happy memory of her dealings with me. Again, great job and thanks for sharing this.
 
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steve149

Shine on you crazy diamond
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Sep 26, 2011
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Connecticut
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tunes4046

DJ Extraordinaire
Jul 24, 2008
4,376
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Fennimore Wi
I my requirement to be paid in advance is based on a few things,
1. Past history of not getting paid
2. Every other vendor is paid in advance
3. I am not a collection agency, nor do I want to be one.
 
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tunes4046

DJ Extraordinaire
Jul 24, 2008
4,376
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Fennimore Wi
I my requirement to be paid in advance is based on a few things,
1. Past history of not getting paid
2. Every other vendor is paid in advance
3. I am not a collection agency, nor do I want to be one.
 

SoftJock Rick

Industry Icon
Dec 29, 2006
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www.softjock.com
Net 30 days works for me, as it does for most REAL businesses.

The software business is different -- they make the payment, and as soon as PayPal gets to my server, they get their software. It could be 3 minutes, or 3 hours depending on the speed. Never buy software on a Monday, Friday or Saturday -- the internet goes into crawl mode.

Had a dude call me last week or so, and he said he didn't get his reg codes, so I ask him when he ordered it, and he says like a minute or two ago. I sorta wanted to shoot him for being an ass, but I held my calm, and told him that as soon as we got the payment in verified, he would get the reg codes.

I guess he had a "smart" phone, but no brains.

Anyway, there's no way I would pay weeks in advance for a service.
 

ahoustondj

DJ Extraordinaire
Aug 13, 2007
20,235
3,465
Texas
I my requirement to be paid in advance is based on a few things,
1. Past history of not getting paid
2. Every other vendor is paid in advance
3. I am not a collection agency, nor do I want to be one.
How are you going to know this part? Do you go around asking each Vendor if they have been paid? Lastly, do you claim to be a Vendor? I don't! :rolleyes:
 

TwinSpinDJ

Up-lighting
ODJT Supporter
Retainer required to hold date until Contract Agreement can be prepared and executed. When Retainer is paid their date is secured (talking primarily about weddings). When Retainer is received the event date is blocked on website Availability Checker so they can see as well as others the date is no longer available. Retainer is deducted from agreed upon fee and balance is due one week prior to event date.

Works for me...may not work for you. I don't like accepting money on the day of the event, with the exception of O.T. which is paid in cash.

Had a client call me on Monday of this week for a pool party (apartment complex) for this Saturday. Elected to hire me following our telephone conversation. Prepared contract, Monday, and sent in PDF via email. Received signature. Met with client on Tuesday and collected Full payment when I came for site visit. I was expecting check, but they paid in cash. Both of us were happy campers. Now if only the weather will cooperate for Saturday.

I have also had experience when "due date" has passed. All I do is send an update to make sure nothing has changed since the Reception Program has been finalized and remind them that final payment is due this week. I usually don't fret because of the interaction I have during the initial and planning stages. I've had clients email me to say that they missed the date but the check has been sent. Sometime the final payment arrives earlier than anticipated, too.

Whatever works for you...go with it. BTW, I have had a check bounce and resolved the issue in a positive manner.
 
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DJ_MJ

DJ Extraordinaire
Nov 30, 2006
437
167
N.D.
I learned a long time ago that without the threat of consequences, people will often drag their feet on making that final payment. I have since added a penalty of $50 for any final payment not submitted within 2 weeks of the event. I also arrange for an in person, final meeting, to go over all event details and collect the last payment. I have had maybe three people miss the deadline, in about 5 years. Prior to adding the clause, we were chasing and begging people far too often. Payment terms are in BOLD on the contract and always emphasized at the initial meeting. If this makes me look "desperate", I have no problem with that.
 
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Proformance

DJ Extraordinaire
Nov 6, 2006
6,681
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I learned a long time ago that without the threat of consequences, people will often drag their feet on making that final payment. I have since added a penalty of $50 for any final payment not submitted within 2 weeks of the event. I also arrange for an in person, final meeting, to go over all event details and
ollect the last payment. I have had maybe three people miss the deadline, in about 5 years. Prior to adding the clause, we were chasing and begging people far too often. Payment terms are in BOLD on the contract and always emphasized at the initial meeting. If this makes me look "desperate", I have no problem with that.
Getting customers to make timely voluntary payment is a function of two things:

1. The quality and credit worthiness of customers you attract
2. Your ability to understand and meet client expectations as well as your own sales hype

Two things will cause clients to drag their feet - one being their lack of qualified credit worthiness (which you should have been able to determine prior to booking) and the other being a lack of satisfaction with your monetary policy or actual performance of the services requested.

If you are afraid of not getting paid or having to chase payments and those fears have proven to be justified then you really need to take a good look at what you are doing to create that situation. Why are you attracting people without the ability to pay or what are you doing or not doing make otherwise qualified and enthusiastic clients less than willing to promptly reward you for your service? Are your business expectations of what is a reasonable payment term truly realistic or are you actually driven by your own personal financial stress?

It makes perfect sense as a matter of customer convenience to accept payment in advance where some people may prefer to have it done with. It makes no sense to be demanding it because you can't trust your own customers to make timely payments. You are the one in control of who you choose to market to and work for - so, what's the issue with the company you keep?
 
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rickryan.com

DJ Extraordinaire
ODJT Supporter
Dec 9, 2009
17,545
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Hendersonville, TN
www.RickRyan.com
Getting customers to make timely voluntary payment is a function of two things:

1. The quality and credit worthiness of customers you attract
2. Your ability to understand and meet client expectations as well as your own sales hype

Two things will cause clients to drag their feet - one being their lack of qualified credit worthiness (which you should have been able to determine prior to booking) and the other being a lack of satisfaction with your monetary policy or actual performance of the services requested.

If you are afraid of not getting paid or having to chase payments and those fears have proven to be justified then you really need to take a good look at what you are doing to create that situation. Why are you attracting people without the ability to pay or what are you doing or not doing make otherwise qualified and enthusiastic clients less than willing to promptly reward you for your service? Are your business expectations of what is a reasonable payment term truly realistic or are you actually driven by your own personal financial stress?

It makes perfect sense as a matter of customer convenience to accept payment in advance where some people may prefer to have it done with. It makes no sense to be demanding it because you can't trust your own customers to make timely payments. You are the one in control of who you choose to market to and work for - so, what's the issue with the company you keep?
Gee, that's funny. I thought it was just "diligence". Tap them before the gig, make it easy to pay (online), no receivables problems (at least on my end). I'm about to setup an automated payment reminder thing in my system that will send them balance due notices for the last few weeks. It always gives me a wet spot to open up email and find money I didn't know what coming in.