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Old 12-09-2010, 04:12 PM
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Default Should I charge a customer in advance for a large hardware purchase?

For me 'large' is relative. This is a part time job for me and most of my work is for home customers. One of my existing customers wants me to purchase a computer for them and get it up and running. It will be be a bit of a hardship for me to float them the money for the new computer until it is shipped, I have it up and running and they pay my bill. I'm wondering if I should ask my customer for the price of the computer in advance of the purchase. If so what is the best way.

I understand that many of you build computers for customers and/or have ready cash for these things but my business is not to that point yet.

Thanks
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Old 12-09-2010, 05:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gsander View Post
For me 'large' is relative. This is a part time job for me and most of my work is for home customers. One of my existing customers wants me to purchase a computer for them and get it up and running. It will be be a bit of a hardship for me to float them the money for the new computer until it is shipped, I have it up and running and they pay my bill. I'm wondering if I should ask my customer for the price of the computer in advance of the purchase. If so what is the best way.

I understand that many of you build computers for customers and/or have ready cash for these things but my business is not to that point yet.

Thanks
Even with big companies, I charge 100% on the hardware if it is anything over say $100. You're not a big brand store and can't afford to take on net-30 necessarily (and if you can, then more power to you!)

Especially in the cases where your customers can say NEVER MIND and you're stuck with either a) the product b) the 15% restockng or any other condition of the sort, get a deposit.

On Server installs in fact I charge 50% of the planned labour on the day of the work itself. When it comes to big money you have to be very careful.

Hope that has helped!

Majestic
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Old 12-09-2010, 05:43 PM
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I'd want the money for the PC before I bought it.
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Old 12-09-2010, 05:52 PM
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Deposits is how we do things. Usually 40-50%
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Old 12-09-2010, 06:01 PM
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Absolutely. At the very least request a deposit. Especially if you aren't in a position to eat the cost. It is actually the norm to request a deposit, so don't feel like you are inconveniencing them by asking.
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Old 12-09-2010, 06:05 PM
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Yes. If you want to justify it think about ordering stuff online.
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Old 12-09-2010, 06:07 PM
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I have a $500 limit on hardware purchases without prepay. has never been a problem.

Customer last month needed to buy a ReadyNas. Told him he could pay in advance and get it from me or buy it from the link i sent him.
He bought it from the link and i set it up. Also appreciated that i gave him the option to save a few hundred dollars.
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Old 12-09-2010, 06:36 PM
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I have customers pre pay for parts before I order them. The only exception is if the item is under 50 bucks, like power cords and such for laptops, a stick of ram, etc. But for PC, I charge the parts, shipping, and tax ahead of time, then the customer pays for my labor which is a flat rate of 150 bucks when they pick the computer up, never had a problem. If someone balks at it, most likely they dont have the money and are waiting on their next check to pay you anyway...these customers are also the ones that tell you to go ahead and fix thier computer, then it takes them a month or more to come and pick it up..
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Old 12-09-2010, 06:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Majestic View Post
Even with big companies, I charge 100% on the hardware if it is anything over say $100. You're not a big brand store and can't afford to take on net-30 necessarily (and if you can, then more power to you!)

Especially in the cases where your customers can say NEVER MIND and you're stuck with either a) the product b) the 15% restockng or any other condition of the sort, get a deposit.

On Server installs in fact I charge 50% of the planned labour on the day of the work itself. When it comes to big money you have to be very careful.

Hope that has helped!

Majestic
Thread done in one. Filler filler
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Old 12-09-2010, 05:50 PM
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I don't think it should be a problem to at least ask for some kind of deposit, maybe 50%?

My business is probably similar in size and funds as yours is, and I was just considering the same issue. I was thinking about asking for some kind of deposit for part orders totaling over $100 or something along those lines, but I don't want to cause any issues with potential customers.
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