One topic that comes up from time to time is that some folks question why we need to require a deposit before putting their project on the production board.
In the beginning we thought that we would be different than every other maker. We were going to be the one’s that did everything for the customer first while not asking for anything from the customer until they actually received their puppet. Over that long first year, we did just that. We would take an order and make a puppet. Then when we would contact the buyer to let them know that their order was ready, almost half of the time we would receive no response to several email contacts.
This became very discouraging to us. We were told by several of our close friends that we needed to request a deposit before beginning any work. We did not want to do that, but in light of the fact that we were losing our shirts by not doing so, we finally began to request deposits. We found that every reputable maker was doing the same thing.
We knew of one very good maker had gotten into a huge ethical problem by accepting deposits and then not delivering on her promises. When we would go to ConVENTion, almost from the very first we heard constant humorous quips about one very good maker who would require most or all of the cost of a figure up front and then would often take years to deliver the product. That maker was the humorous laughingstock of many at ConVENTion. We knew that this was also the wrong way to go about things.
What we finally settled on for a policy was this.
We require $100.00 as a deposit. To avoid ever getting into trouble like some, we never spend your deposit. It is not (yet) our money. When we receive a deposit, we cash the check and the funds go into our own “in house” escrow fund. If something should happen to us, such as a fire, tornado or other catastrophe, that money is still available to do the right thing with and return to the customer.
From the time we began this policy, we have not had even a single customer “disappear” while waiting for their puppet. Hmmm. Maybe that saved a lot of people from disappearing. While we want to believe in each and every person who contacts us, deposits seem to be the best method for both the customer and for us to insure that the honesty for all is kept in place.
We do suggest that if you contact a maker and that maker wants all your money up front, please for your own sake, look for another maker. We do NOT want all your money up front. Only by us not spending your money until it is legitimately ours at the end of the project, are we able to keep the incentive in place to perform for you at the highest possible level. If we took all your money up front and spent it, the human temptation would be strong to find other projects to work on and you would not stay in the position of highest priority for the date you have been promised.
So for those of you who did not understand “Why” on deposits, we hope that this helps you to better understand.
That’s all for now folks,
Steve and JET