Watermark or Payment in Advance?


Jri

Member
Hello!

Lately I've been getting a bit of work from white van men wanting logos for their various trades. The work is OK paying and really easy going in comparison to large scale corporate branding.

By and large the clients are really reliable - but every once in a while you get a runner (sometimes before the logo is even finalised).

How do you protect your finances against this?

There are a couple of methods for getting round this that I can think of:

1) Full payment up front
I've never tried this, as usually there's some sort of implied 'word-of-mouth' based trust with most of my clients and I get the impression that most of the tradies that I've been dealing with might be put off by this (I work online primarily, so I can sympathise with people not wanting to put money down for a stranger's service over the internet).

2) % paid in advance
See above, same issue with this really - only people might be less intimidated by it as it almost seems like more of an agreement than a gamble on their part.

3) Watermarking
This one has been briefly covered here. I'm a little skeptical about how much of a deterrent this would be as I've seen heaps of low-res Shutterstock et al. watermarked images shamelessly used on the rafts of tree surgeon and take away flyers that seem to flow through my letterbox.

I'm just interested to see what everyone else is doing. Fortunately, it's not even necessary nine times out of ten - but I want to be secure against the odd Del Boy.

What are your thoughts? Any alternate methods?

Cheers,

Jri
 

Wardy

Well-Known Member
Same as Scotty, with small businesses or individuals, NEVER send any high res files until they've paid up. It's the same as buying anything else on the internet I say, you have to pay first
before you get the product.

Turn it round the other way if they complain - I bet they make sure they get paid at least a deposit before they do someone's bathroom etc.
 

scotty

Moderator
Staff member
When I quote I just say "My terms are....." and add "which is standard" to the end which makes me feel justified.
That way, whatever you put in the middle is fine.
 

Paul Murray

Moderator
Staff member
Do both. Take money up front (this will see off the majority of people who won't ever pay) and use a matermark or send low-quality drafts until the final payment is received, then send the files. Smaller jobs, I'd just ask for all the money up front.
 
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Jri

Member
Thanks for the replies on this, seems pretty logical. I like the 50-100% advance idea - particualrly based on Wardy's rationale.

The more of this type of work that I get, the more tempted I am to just send out a stock questionnaire/pricelist type document as it would outline the specific deliverables fairly clearly and gives an opportunity to include any T&Cs. A well defined set of terms would make my whole workflow heaps faster I reckon.

Has anyone tried this type of document?
 

Paul Murray

Moderator
Staff member
I thought about it, issue is design is bespoke, what takes 3 hours for one client, might take you 6 for another. I now split my time into days and half days, makes estimating projects much easier, and if you go over by a couple of hours it's no big deal since you've likely already got a day or two in your pocket. It's not suitable for every desiger/project, but I prefer mid-sized jobs I can do in a few days rather than fiddly stuff that takes me two hours and charging this way helps filter out the clients with smaller jobs.
 
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Jri

Member
Yeah, this is true - most of my decent paying jobs tend to vary too heavily to be pigeonholed.

Recently, I've had a run of tradesmen setting up businesses and they've been a simple case of whipping up a letterhead and bob's your uncle (i.e. low pay but low stress). This type of job it seems to me, lends itself to a set price package - whereas more nuanced design briefs would certainly merit much closer inspection and deliberation about is being charged/delivered.

Good talk team.
 
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