How to Handle Customs with Payment Plans

I know some of you avoid customs all together, but most of you do accept payment plans. I’ve had things set up this way for quite a while, and have not had any issues with people paying up until just recently. Right now I’m dealing with two at once. If you have a 3 month payment plan with someone who begins making payments, and then stops, leaving them with a big balance when the 3 months has ended, how do YOU handle it? Let’s say it’s an $800 doll, and they have paid $400 on it.
Would you personally:
Give them a grace period of two weeks-a month to finish payments?
Not give a grace period, and refund whatever has been paid over the deposit amount?
Give a grace period, but not refund any money if they have not paid within the extended deadline?
Wait around to see how long it takes them to pay, and focus on other customers work?
Offer no grace period, and no refund, and put up for sale?

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I only do customs by request only and even then I turn down a lot based on “vibes” I get. But accepted one last night and agreed to something I normally wouldn’t which is less than half upfront, however the customer requested a very reasonable timeline and payment plan so i was fine with it… HOWEVER given the scenario you have I would attempt to contact them and just say you understand that things come up and if thats the case you’re simply asking her to be honest and let you know butgive a perameter of time for her to respond, let her know you’d give her a week to respond and see if y’all can work out a different payment plan but if you don’t hear from her in one week she forfeits her deposit and doll. And then follow through. You don’t want to get duped for your time and money even though it’s hard to refund I know… But you’ve got a business to run.

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The one I truly believe is having an issue. The other keeps giving excuses, one right after another.

Yes I believe you can really tell. I feel like I can when you just know they are full of it. I’d go with your gut, one thing I’ve found is that even though refunding is hard and in this slow slump not fun it’s better for me than to risk a bad experience and bitter taste.


Thanks for sharing all this @Tiondra! It really is ridiculous the stories that some of these people come up with! I"m glad you’ve found something solid that works, and doesn’t stress you out!

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I only do custom orders and 99% of those are on payment terms. I do a 5 to 6 page contract that spells out everything that me and the client have agreed to. The payments when they are due . So for instance. a Baby costs $599.99 I give them 5 months to pay at $119.99 per month with shipping being added to the final invoice. This is put into the contract. The contract also states i do invoicing on the 25th of each month for payment by the 10th of the following month. If they do not pay by the 10th I charge a $15.00 late fee. Unless they have contacted me before to let me know something has happened. I do not have time to be a bill collector. If they do not pay the late fee and their payment by the 25th of the month and there has been no contact their order is cancelled and any money that has been paid is non-refundable. That is also in the contract. It is also in the contract that 50% of the entire order is non-refundable. I highly recommend using contracts. You can even upload them to paypal. I use Adobe which is great. I type it in word save as a pdf it uploads to adobe and I send it out to them for their signature. Once I get that back I create the invoice attach the contract and go from there. This protects not only you but also the clients. That way everything a time frame, kit choices, hair color, eye color, skin color, pricing all of that is in writing and signed by both parties. It also weeds out scammers.


Thanks so much for the awesome info! Would you be able to PM me your contract, so I have a starting point relevent to this business for creating mine?

As most ladies know, I am a custom order only person for the last 3 - 4 years now…

In a situation like this (have only had it a few times) I would generally work with the first person who you feel has a genuine issue…but do set perimeters so that they don’t go slack on you and do let them know that you will make this one exception but that if they don’t follow through as promised you will sell the doll. If it comes to that, I would refund payments made other than the deposit…It just saves you heaps of heartache pain and suffering…Then just resell the doll

With the second lady, I would just tell her that you have to have a payment of such and such an amount by a certain date that you agree to or that you will have to sell the doll. I would not communicate with her again after the date as far as trying to work with her if she does not pay, warn her or tell her again what you are going to do…Just let it lay how it was…If she contacts you just tell her that you have put the doll up for sale and will refund payments minus the non refundable deposit…if you don’t hear from her, just sale the doll and let it slide…after 6 months you won’t need to worry about it anyway.

I had a lady did this to me back with I first started doing customs only…I worked with her for 6 months…she would pay me $50 here and there…finally I told her that I just couldn’t deal with her any more - that she had to pay it off by a certain date or I was reselling…never heard from her for 4 weeks…I put the doll on ebay and sold it straight away…about a month later she comes back and asks me what she owed on her doll…I told her she owed me nothing…I had sold it…She asked if she could have her money back…I just sent a simple email that said. NO…Never heard from her again…I stopped doing payment plans for about 2 years after that but started them back in 2015, only I have stricter rules these days and I also pick my customers a bit better now…lol


Perfect! Thanks for such a thorough reply!! :slight_smile:

I only had one issue with payments. Ive been doing customs for 7 years now. I usually extend grace if they have been steadily paying. I ask for half down, balance due in 20 weeks as they see fit. Never had anyone take the full 20 weeks. One customers dropped off the face of the earth, only to resurface over 8 months later. …lol Told her her baby had been sold a long time ago.

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I think I’m taking way too small of a deposit, and I think that may be what weeds out the people with the ability to pay from those who shouldn’t be spending money on babies when they don’t have it. Do you ever make an exception?

I do occasionally. But only for about $75 tops.