Any suggestions as to where on the internet to post these names? Is
there a website? I’ve often thought about starting one, but time and
the fear of a lawsuit has stopped me.
I feel like I always have at least one bad account that I’m battling.
Right now, there’s two. Fortunately, they are both local accounts
and while they are too small for a collections agency to handle (from
what I’ve been told my many a collections agency), I am planning on
sending them to small claims court. I want to be a thorn in their
side and send them a message that even though I am small, I am
mighty!! Even if I take them to small claims court and they still
don’t pay, which I’ve been told does happen, it’ll be a black mark on
their credit rating. Sounds a little vengeful, but I’m tired of
rolling over and waiting a year for someone to pay a $500 invoice. I
think if someone is having $$$ problems, they are going to pay the
ones that are threatening first, and the quiet ones get ignored.
That’s what I would do!
I exhibit at wholesale trade shows, and pick up a lot of accounts
from these shows. What I have recently started doing is requiring a
current credit card on file if someone wants terms. I make them sign
a credit reference sheet stating that if they are granted terms, I
must have a current card on file for every order. Any order over 45
days late will be automatically charged to the card. If the card is
charged, then the terms revert to COD (meaning credit card payments
only, checks bounce!!), for the life of the account. Burn me once,
shame on you. Burn me twice, shame on me. If someone doesn’t want to
supply a credit card then I won’t do business with them. I find it
shady that one could run a successful business, where bills are paid
on time, without a credit card.
I think it’s crazy that some stores immediately expect terms when
you’ve met them once at a trade show. Oh sure, I’m gonna send you
$3,000 worth of jewelry and just trust that you’re gonna pay! When I
started out I was sooo trusting, good karma and all… but good
karma doesn’t pay my bills! Some people are put off by my terms, but
I explain very nicely that I have had some problems in the past
with overdue accounts and have learned that I need to cover my ass.
Sometimes, if they are very haughty about it, I blame it on my
"business partner" (hee hee), and explain that this is the agreement
set up between us and I am not “allowed” to break it. I make it very
business-like. Sometimes it’s hard being the “designer” and the
exhibitor as it puts you in a bad position. You want to be nice and
you want people to like you and your line and sometimes you just
need a “bad cop”.
I have also made many friends with other exhibitors at these shows
and we exchange info after shows such as “have you done business
with so-and-so? How are they?” Or, if someone doesn’t pay, I let my
friends know ASAP so they are forewarned.
I have just come to terms with the fact that there will always be
accounts that don’t pay. Even accounts that you’ve dealt with for
years can come up with money problems at the drop of a hat. But,
this is a business, and I have bills to pay as well, and my
suppliers expect to be paid on time.
My 2 cents, for what it’s worth. Hope it helps and thanks for
letting me vent a little- boy that felt good!!!