i received a cape & antler in ealy november, i have contacted customer 4 times requesting a deposit and mounting instructions, each time being put off or given excuse. i finally wrote the customer a letter informing him again that work would not beging prior to a deposit being made and still have not heard from him to date. how long before the cape and antler becomes shop property?
( the 50% deposit prior to work is on all my brochures )
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Should have made him sign a contract. Is it tanned already? If so, then atleast you got a cape out of the deal. I won't touch anything without a contract next year. I am dealing with "friends" this year and they are the cheapest customers.
Send him a notarized registered letter informing him of final notice to come get his cape and antlers. If he doesn't reply within the time period you set then sell it or keep it as an extra. He has no legal right to the mount if you send the notice registered and keep a notarized copy for your record.
I give my customers 60 days to bring in a deposit or pay the balance. After that, they aquire a storage fee of $1 a day which will be paid in full ontop of their required deposit before work will begin. After an additional 90 days and numerous attempts at contacting them, I will dispose of their animal. I don't have room in my freezers for people who aren't serious about having the work done. The one time I may make exceptions for this is when it is a child or youth who is paying for the article themselves. I will generally work with them.
OF course this is all in the contract they sign before they leave the shop.
the problem is that I was never succesful in getting the guy to come to the shop to sign the contract. So where do you go from here?
If the guy doesn't contact you. Oh well, that's fine. I would go ahead have the cape tanned. Then store it as a replacment, along with the antlers. Then, if your customer does decide to ever come around, or show up. Then he would have to pay for the finished mount up front, and I would have him then sign the contract first before I would even consider doing the rest of the job. No questions asked. If he refuse's then the only way he would get the cape, and antlers back, is to to pay for the work already completed, plus storage. No questions about it. NO DEPOSIT NO WORK!
I would highly suggest that before you write him a letter and set deadlines, you should do some research into your states taxidermy and or commerce laws. There may be a specified time that is mandated by law that you must give before you can dispose of the items.
Take the information you receive on this forum as a guideline only. Laws are different from state to state and if you are going to be in business, it is your responsibility to know and follow them.
send it certified. Explain that no work is started without a deposit of at least 50%, or whatever your policy is. Explain that if he has changed his mind you would like him to either pick up his antlers/cape and pay for any charges that have incurred or after 60 days of the date of the letter you will automatically accept his forfeiture of the antlers and cape. Give him the option to simply forfeit the items up front if that is what he prefers to do.
Jerry s. has some sound advice. Check the laws first.
I had a guy bring me a real nice brown trout once. He paid the required 50% deposit but then got involved in some fanatical religion that didn't allow idols ( they claimed these trophies were such) and he didn't want the work done any longer. I had already mounted the fish so I had him sign something to the effect that he no longer wished my services and any materials or parts of the speciman was forfeited to me upon his signature. Funny thing is he ran into me about 3 years later and asked if I still had the fish. He had dropped out of the religion and was once again interested in his trophy. Lucky for him I still had it and he paid the remaining amount owed plus a monetary storage fee and we were both satisfied
with the deal.
has been given here. i will check the laws and send a cert letter giving him the option. i appreciate the input.
Make sure to send it US Mail and request a signature.. That way you KNOW he got it, and there is no way around it.