View Full Version : Wholesale Order hasn't paid

Blooming Felt
26-08-2007, 10:44 PM
My first major wholesale order has had their order for over a month now and still hasn't paid, despite me phoning them 3 times. I very stupidly stated on my payment terms that payment was due within 30 days of receipt of goods so called them a couple of days after the 30 days and said I was a bit concerned that the payment might have gone astray because of the postal strikes, but was told that they hadn't even sent it and that they would do it that day - a week passed and still nothing, so another call and was told the owner wasn't in, but they would leave a message to say I'd called. Another week goes by, another phonecall and STILL no sign of payment.

Please help - I just don't know what to do. Originally I didn't want to be rude because I didn't want to lose any repeat orders, but now I really couldn't care less and am not concerned whether I get any repeat orders or not because if they take this long to pay ??

Any suggestions?

26-08-2007, 11:16 PM
I'm no expert at this and somebody else may come along with a more professional piece of advice, but if it was me I would write them a polite but strong letter, explaining that you have called several times and not had a response and that the payment was due x time ago, and that if you don't receive the full payment by a certain date say 1 week, then you will take matters further. I don't know if it applies to business but I have found trading standards a great help when it has come to a personal matter.

26-08-2007, 11:42 PM
It is a difficult but common position. Getting some legal advice regarding the contract you enter into when you supply someone can be helpful.

With this order you basically will get to the stage that if they do not pay you you will have to seek payment by legal action. Depending on the value of the items for which you have not been paid, you may be able to take them to court as a small claim. In Scotland this is possible for cases up to a value of 750. Anyway, you clearly don't want to sue them, but usually the threat is enough to make them get out their cheque book. If they don't pay heed to this threat. Get a lawyer (a friend maybe if you know one who will do it for free) to fire off a legal letter to them saying that an action will be raised on your behalf if they don't pay.

In future it might also be worth adding a stipulation in your contract that later payment will incur a surcharge, maybe 8% or something like that, and when they don't pay, send them another bill with the extra added on. I think some people do compound interest, 8% per month on the outstanding amount, but again, it might be useful to get legal advice.

27-08-2007, 12:09 AM
for my wholesale orders (not that i have many) i adopted the same attitude as the wholesalers i but from, first payment on or before the first order is sent out and a few only let you run account after 3 clear payments up front - i know its not much help now but it might be something to think about for future sales good luck :)

Bowed Over
27-08-2007, 07:31 AM
for my wholesale orders (not that i have many) i adopted the same attitude as the wholesalers i but from, first payment on or before the first order is sent out and a few only let you run account after 3 clear payments up front - i know its not much help now but it might be something to think about for future sales good luck :)

I am the same for new wholesale customers, make a pro forma invoice stating payment due before goods despatched.

Having said that a lot of companies really don't act on phonecalls, they wont do anything until they get reminders in writing (you then have traceability showing that you are chasing the money up if it needs to go further).

Sorry not much use.


27-08-2007, 09:14 AM
I completely understand what you are going through at the moment. I have a trader that hasn't paid me. The order was dispatched and received in March, to cut a very long story short, the bailiffs have been to her house now 3 times and she has a Court Court Judgment against her and I still haven't got my money!! :o
You need to send them a letter stating very clearly the situation, when the order was placed, when dispatched, when payment was due. Also include dates and times that you have called them following up the late payment. Re state your terms (which were 30 days I think) and that if you don't receive payment in 7 days from the date of this letter you will have no option but to take further action. Also state that if they do not respond you will not enter into any further correspondence with them. Make sure you send this registered post so that you can get proof that they have received it. (Well worth the 70p!) Can you tell that my partner trained as a solicitor??!
This hopefully will get them moving. If they send a cheque wait for it to clear before forgetting about the issue. If you get no response or money then this is the route that I took, you can start small claims court proceedings against them online. Now, you have to make the decision whether this is the most appropriate thing to do and I suggest that you go onto the site and have a good read as it will cost you a fee to start the proceedings and then further fees if it goes all the way to sending out bailiffs. In my case, 35 to start proceedings and an extra 55 for the bailiffs. These fees are added to the amount that you are owed by the trader so ultimately you should get it all back (you should see my fingers crossing!!) The site is https://www.moneyclaim.gov.uk/csmco2/index.jsp it is the official Her Majesty's Court Service Money claim on line. You will need to log in first of all to get to all the info to see if you want to proceed but it is really straight forward.
It is a hard lesson to learn when someone basically steals your products from you, one that I am still dealing with I'm afraid. I have also changed my trade terms and conditions so the first order has to be paid for up front. It's such a shame when one company can ruin it for everyone else.
Good luck and if you have any questions please PM me.
Anice xx :):)

27-08-2007, 10:18 AM
So Many companies will wait till the last minute to pay..

Many will take the pi** imho... But thats part of business...

Keep being polite... Keep phone emailing..

You need to work out if the person is just trying to delay payment vs trying not to pay...

I'd keep ringing make sure you get hold of the right person... Try not to be upset.. and get them to say the money has been sent.. Ring every day until they say its been sent and after 2days ring again and again...

It one of the hard things getting money... Even working with great and trusted people its alot to get the money out of people...

Deposits, pre pay for new accounts can help you in the furture...

As a last resport the cliams court... But thats a last resport imho..

27-08-2007, 10:34 AM
I totally agree Mr Media, small claim is the very last resort. I thought giving the link would be helpful to others as well as Picture in Stitches as in my horrible recent experience when that last resort is reached you don't know what to do next.
Anice xx :):)

27-08-2007, 12:44 PM
As others have said be polite but persistant. Try not to take it personally even though thats hard when you have put a lot of hard work into your products. Afraid thats just the way some businesses work.
Im sure persistance will pay off in the end

Blooming Felt
27-08-2007, 02:30 PM
Thanks so much for all your advice guys - I really appreciate it. I shall call them again tomorrow and follow it up with a letter as well.

I guess I've learned my lesson the hard way and been far too trusting saying that payment is within 30 days of receipt of goods. In future, I shall take a 50% deposit when the order is placed and then state that payment is due within 7 days of receipt of the goods and that late payments will incur interest charges.

This has really put me off doing wholesale orders (trouble is that seems to be my only form of income at the moment), but hopefully they're just a one-off and most other people will be a bit more business like about it all.

I'll let you know what happens !

27-08-2007, 05:16 PM
Also worth bearing in mind that until the goods are paid for they remain legally yours and you could technically go to their shop and remove them. Ownership does not pass until the goods are paid for in full - you could just go in and take them back - assuming they haven't all been sold!!

Tip Top
27-08-2007, 07:15 PM
Thats awful.
Let us know how it goes.
Failing that, we could always send Peter round....:D

27-08-2007, 09:43 PM
i have the dubvious pleasure of being a credit controller, so have the chase debts from companies who are determind not to pay. (My brother does a lot of contracting work so i also have to phone companies on his behalf... oh joy.) I'd usually give a couple of calls, then a written chasing letter, notice of proceedings, and then a letter from solicitors (the firm that i use will issue a letter for under 4). Have the company signed anything to agree to your terms and conditions?
I have draft letters that i use, so if you'd like copies please pm me!

28-08-2007, 03:04 PM
Just thought i'd give my two pennies worth...
Usually you will find the bigger the company, the longer they take to pay.
A lot of the time it's not that they don't want to, it's just that the invoice gets stuck in someones in box and the big companies don't think about the little person who's put all the hard work in sitting waiting for their money..
To you it seems ages waiting but to them it's nothing.. not right i know but that's how it is i'm afraid.
So don't take it personally.
Mother in law used to run her own business packing testing kits for a large high street ********, They were notoriously late payers and she even used to resort to going around and collecting the cheque from them!!
Hubbie is a self employed carpenter and he has figured out that the big companies won;t pay till the very last minute...again he will go to the office and ask for a cheque..
Any way hope they pay soon, you need to send a letter, give them another deadline, then threaten the small claims..(hubbie has used the small claims once and won, they were very good)

Blooming Felt
28-08-2007, 08:40 PM

Well, I sent them a letter today and a copy of the original invoice and basically said that despite several phone calls to their shop I still hadn't received payment for the goods. I said that I was disappointed (tried to keep it a bit friendly - but not too much !) that they hadn't paid within the agreed terms and gave them 7 days to pay up or I would have to take legal action to recover the monies owed.

Will wait and see what happens and let you all know.

Thanks so much for all your advice and kind words -I really appreciate it.

Blooming Felt
01-09-2007, 01:34 PM
YAY - they paid !! Amazing what the threat of legal action will do !!;)

01-09-2007, 01:38 PM
Glad it's all sorted for you.

01-09-2007, 01:59 PM
YAY - they paid !! Amazing what the threat of legal action will do !!;)

The "s" word was the only thing that got britsh gas to give me 300 back and get rid of the bailiffs from me door when they open 4 accounts in my name!

01-09-2007, 02:29 PM
Fantastic! That's great news
Anice xx :):)

01-09-2007, 04:53 PM
Late, I know, but there is some good information about chasing bad debts here (http://www.payontime.co.uk). It tells you your rights, how to deal with common excuses and all sorts.

Some online solicitors will write the initial letter for you for 3 or so, which can be worthwhile if it happens again.

Snow angel
01-09-2007, 05:31 PM
I bet your over the moon getting your money well done

02-09-2007, 01:52 PM
I'm just catching up as I've been away from the forum for a while.

I'm so pleased you have got it sorted out Sarah. Are you going to do 'pro forma' from now on?

02-09-2007, 02:53 PM
Excellent news. Now you know how to format your business dealings in future, and should it happen again it won't be so terrifying as you know how to deal with it.