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Christmas present from a new client


today i recieved a christmas present from a new client, that was
refered to me, a $2,350.00 bounced check. it was such a delight to
recieve this check back especially with the wonderfully tanked
economy in the Detroit area and my yearly sales down 30%, and
working 12 hours a day just to make bills. so i would like to say
merry christmas to the that stole the food right out of my
childrens mouth.

happy holidays



A piece of advice- Dont take checks from strangers!. No matter how
hungry you think you are, its very possible to become even more
hungry. I post a sign in my store that we do not take checks, no
exceptions, and then I let my regular customers know that they can
write checks, just on the sly. If I dont know the person, its plastic
or cash. If they dont have either one, then they probably arent worth
being concerned about. In this day and age, if you cant get a credit
or debit card, theres usually an extremely good reason for it.
Nowadays, almost all checking accounts come with a debit card that
draws from their account. When I get an approval from my card
processor, its as good as gold at that point. Whereas, the check
approval services seem to have far too many loopholes in their
setups. I havent accepted checks from nonregulars for nearly ten
years now, and I dont believe that I have lost any business
whatsoever. In fact, what inspired me to stop taking checks from
strangers was an $800bummer for a diamond bracelet. And small claims
court is a joke! I did manage to corner the guy somewhere oneday and
threatened $200 out of him, but the rest was gone. An attorney friend
looked into his personal estate only to find that the only thing he
owned was a hungry german shepard, and everything else was in his
fathers name. Oddly enough, as a classy lady started to write a
check a few yrs later, I told her thatBlankety blank Jr. had ruined
it for every one else. She got a funny look on her face, and told me
that he was her son in law, but that she had not seen him or her
daughter in a few yrs, even though they all lived in the same town.
And that she had been told the police were looking for him. A few yrs
later she stopped by to let me know that he was now in prison for
some other tasty tidbit, and she was sure I would want to know. By
the way, nowadays I will let this lady and her husband write checks
for any amount they like, as her hubby is also my oral surgeon. Two
of the nicest people you would ever want to meet. But first, get to
know your customers, before you get any hungrier.

Ed in Kokomo

today i recieved a christmas present from a new client, that was
refered to me, a $2,350.00 bounced check. 

Don’t just let it go. Pursue the person. “might” be an honest
oversight. Otherwise, and if you can’t collect, including a
reasonable collection fee, prosecute. Even if it costs you a bit more
to do so. You might also try contacting whomever referred this person
to you for help…

good luck


matthew -

from a new client... a $2,350.00 bounced check 

check with your sheriff’s department for bad check restitution
recourse; florida has a good system - at least until the powers that
be kill it off too.

good luck -


I have a check on my wall written in 1980 on a closed account. The
guy told us that the check was no good momentarily, but would be good
in a day. He called the next day and told us that it still was not
good. In fact, he called us almost daily with the same news for a
couple of weeks. Finally, we took the check to the bank and ran it
through. It came back on a closed account. Sound illegal to write a
check on a closed account? The bank manager told us to take it to the
cops. Here is the interesting part, In being naive and telling the
cops the exact course of action, we managed to allow that yes, indeed
he told us it was bad the moment he handed it to us. In their view,
it was an extension of credit. Not a criminal case. This cop that
stood about 6’6" leaned down real close and personal like and said to
me. “Sounds to me like it’s time to go break some bones”. I suspect
that that would have given us an aggravated assault charge good for a
twenty year stretch. Make sure that you didn’t extend this guy


Ed… And others…

A piece of advice- Dont take checks from strangers!.

Any suggestions on what to do at trade shows? (I mostly wholesale)
I’ve tried the “Credit Card only for first time accounts” thing and
some stores get kinda offended that I won’t take a check. I hear:
“I’ve been in business for a million years… I’m the biggest
jewelry store in Nowhere, NJ… Everyone else here takes
checks…” and so on and so forth. I’m still trying to find a polite
way to say “Well, I don’t know you from Adam, and would you take a
3,000 check from a customer in your store from out of state?” I guess
I could say the check has to clear the bank before I ship, but I’m
not sure how that would go over either.

Still trying to figure this one out!


PS-- I used NJ as a example 'cause I was born there which gives me
the right to bag on it a little :slight_smile: I actually have two amazing
accounts there-- have more bum accounts here in California- go


Hi Amery:

"I've been in business for a million years.... I'm the biggest
jewelry store in Nowhere, NJ.... Everyone else here takes

Thank you from someone who is exhausted right now. This is the
biggest laugh I have had all month! I was in NYC a couple of months
ago buying beads. All was quiet and I was picking out a couple nice
strands. All of sudden the door burst open and this woman comes in
yelling “stop everything…all of you need to stop working on
anything else you have going on right now and help me. Drop all your
work, drop all your customers! I have a store, I have many clients
and I am going to be a VERY BIG customer and I NEED A BEAD!” Needless
to say, people rushed, people helped, work was dropped…this woman
left without buying a thing. What a hoot.

I’m the biggest jewelry store in Nowhere, NJ…that just kills me.

Actually, I was wondering about the need to really accept checks at
all. Do many people even use them anymore? I may be an outsider on
this one, but I don’t even carry cash. Credit and debit cards seem
like the safest, most convenient way to do business. Doesn’t the bank
automatically issue a debit card with every checking account now?

Have a very happy holiday season everyone. Thank you, truly, for all
of the helpful advice. I am most looking forward to the year ahead,
eager to keep learning from everyone.

Kim Starbard
Cove Beads



I guess I could say the check has to clear the bank before I
ship, but I'm not sure how that would go over either

Anyone who would object to the above suggestion is someone with whom
you should not do business. It’s fair, honest, makes sense and is
common practice.




A piece of advice- Dont take checks from strangers!

I guess I could say the check has to clear the bank before I ship,
but I'm not sure how that would go over either. Still trying to
figure this one out!

You don’t even have to say that you will wait for the check to
clear. Just wait for it to clear, usually only a few days for out of
state checks. Then ship.


Joel Schwalb

I guess I could say the check has to clear the bank before I ship,
but I'm not sure how that would go over either. 

Each and every day, thousands of times daily, sellers say that very
thing to customers on Ebay, for even much much smaller amounts. And
its accepted by nearly all buyers on ebay that pay via check. So why
shouldnt you say this to someone for $3000.00? In a wholesale
situation, as well as a retail scenario, hunger is a sign of
weakness. Bad check people/businesses look for weak victims. In a
retail situation, if your customer doesnt have a credit card, and /or
a debit card, chances are good that he shouldnt be buying jewelry for
$3000.00, but should be putting his money elsewhere, like food and
shelter. Thats a very risky customer to deal with! I am most
certainly not that hungry. In all business transactions there are
certain degrees of risk for all parties involved, and one shouldnt
let greed/hunger get in the way of sound business decision making.
And if you are truly hungry for business, thats even more reason to
make your decisions with care- after all, a small loss could mean all
you have. Maybe consider reevaluating your business plan or product.
Big guys can afford risk better than little guys. If a big guy gets
hit with a $3,000.00 bad check, he gets mad, sicks his attorney on
anyone he can sick him on, and then he moves on to the next deal. But
if a little guy gets hit with a $3,000.00 bad check, he cusses,
screams, cries, and hopes he can hang on long enough to make the
cash flow again.

I only accept checks from customers with long standing reputations
in my store, and I just finished my best Christmas season ever… And
this is in a community that has a high probability of its 2nd largest

employer (Delphi-5,500 employees) cut its payroll by more than half
within the next six months. In addition, our largest employer,
Chrysler, will be laying off back to 8 years seniority in about 2-3

Ed in Kokomo


We accept debit cards, checks are dinosaurs. If you swipe the card on
a machine you can pay as low as 15c per transaction.



I know it seem silly, but I know several people who will NOT use
debit cards. Either because they don’t trust banks, or because they
don’t trust themselves. And, in these days of rampant ID theft I am
meeting more people who feel that way.



Up here in Canada, I have to wait 21 business days ( it’s a Canadian
banking law) for an American check to clear all the banks and the
routing too. 21 banking days is equal to almost a month of waiting. I
use only PayPal for the sales on my setting book. If the person is
from Orchid, I then surmise they are in good $$ standing, so far none
of these checks have gone sour. Thank you all Orchid folks!!!..



People who come in your business after the banks are closed so you
can’t verify, who pile up the goods and seem spendy might be doing
what happened to us for several hundred dollars.

They break into a house, steal checks, and using a computer, produce
checks with their fake id info on the check, yet with legitimate
bank account number. sucking the blood of hard working honest
business people.

telling me something was wrong, I could not logically figure out what
was making me feel that way, so I forged ahead, and every time I did
not pay attention to that feeling, it bit me on the ass.

Especially if they are in a hurry, or get pushy, have reasons why you
should accept their check, and you cannot afford the loss, please
wait till it clears to give them their merchandise. Honest
reasonable people will wait.


well i have good news! there must be a g-d out there looking over
me. the woman that bounced the check call me and decided to make
good on it. she said she did not realize her check bounced. i did
not want to make a big deal about it again with her, i already sent
her the forms that said i was going to turn this into the county
prosecutor. this was definately a very good lesson. i will not be
accepting checks from people i dont know. and i will be getting
check verification.

well i guess it was not such a bad xmas after all.


We accept debit cards, checks are dinosaurs. If you swipe the card
on a machine you can pay as low as 15c per transaction. 

My DH Mike forgot to add that using debit cards guarantees the money
is there at the time of the transaction and is automatically
transferred to your account. Technically, they can’t “bounce” a debit
card. I suppose they could still “stop payment”, but it’s more of a
hassle for them than with a check. We don’t take checks at all -
cash, debit or credit cards only.

Deb Weller
Weller’s Jewelry and Beads



Congratulations on the timely recovery of your (almost) lost
payment.Now you have but to determine whether it was conscience,
fiscal irresponsibility, or the threat of prosecution that wrenched
the cash out of your customer. In the spirit of the season, forgive
the tardy payment…but I suggest that you post a discreet sign
somewhere on your premises reflecting your policy, for example: “We
accept only cash, credit cards and debit cards.” If they insist on a
check, you might accept a check if the customer is willing to wait
until the check clears before delivery

of the merchandise. The only question I have is: do you think she’ll
ever buy anything from you again? And if she does, would you accept a



Its great to hear that your Christmas present may work out for you
Mathew. It isnt always that way. During my first ten years or so of
retail business, I recieved very few bounced checks, and every single
time, it was a result of unintended oversight by regular clientel,
who were greatly embarrassed by their mistakes, rather than any
attempts to sting me. Every single one was made good, sometimes even
before I was able to contact them. Sometimes it was a result of hubby
wrote a check on the wrong account, and wifey would swoop in to make
good right away, and sometimes it was simply bad math that caused the
problem. But when I recieved one that was an intended bad check, is
when I found out that your local prosecutor makes the difference in
the final analysis. My stance on checks is a result of finding that
our local prosecutor has no interest in bad checks. Basically, if
your prosecutor isnt interested in these types of scenarios, then it
means that any statute on the books to protect you is useless if the
prosecutor wont help. Unfortunately, the bad guys usually know that a
local prosecutor wont go after bad checks, so they make use of the
local void in the law. Just hope that your local prosecutor is a real

Ed in Kokomo


I rarely use cards because I don’t want anyone to be able to keep
track of how I spend my money. Not my bank, insurance company, IRS
or any other government agency.

you never know who’s watching,


While we are on this kind of subject, how about the client who
charges an item and upon receipt of her credit card bill claims she
didn’t buy it and has the CC company do a charge back? I found the
receipt she signed and presented proof to my company and got my $100
back. Unfortunately, I still lose the $20 that the bank charged me
because of the “error”. The client didn’t lose a penny. I sent her a
note letting her know that I really thought she owed me $20 since I’m
not concerned about having her as a client again, not surprisingly,
she didn’t feel the need to reimburse me for her mistake. Her name is
seared in my memory and she is a common sight at a couple of shows I
do. I will probably run into her again.

Karen SE