How long do you give your customers to pickup their mounts after you call them, and after that time period, then what ?
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Before they start paying storage fees as stated in my contract that the customer signs. After 60 days it becomes my property and will be sold for the amount owed. On the contract there is three contact periods; when the mount is finished, two weeks after that then 30 days after that. If they fail to pick up the piece after the 60 days I send out a certified letter to them and give them another 10 days (pretty nice guy I'd say) to respond. After all this then the piece is sold for the amount owing. Legally I can only get what is owed on the piece. Hope this helps.
What ever you decide, make sure it's in a contract that is signed by the custome and they receive a copy of what they have signed.
Mark H. gives some good guidelines there but do what you are comfortable with. Just make sure it is all spelled out in your contract. Let me tell you about my own situation. I live in a tourist dependent area in northern Wisconsin. Many of my clients are visitors from afar. Many others own vacation homes here. If one should bring me a fish in August and I promise to have it completed in February I can't very well expect them to drive 300, 400, 500 miles to pick it up in the next 2 weeks. So I routinely hold mounts, with no storage charge until their next trip to the North. I DO, however, insist that they send the balance due within 30 days of notification of the jobs completion and deposits are not refundable. Failing that, the mount becomes mine and is put up for sale. Here in Wisconsin I can sell it for whatever the market will bear except for miratory birds (wild ones) which can't be sold under any circumstances. I demand 100% payment up front for them with exception only for long-time trustworthy clients.
I had a customer, that when he left his deer, his cell phone went off 5 or 6 times during our deal. He was self-employed and was very busy. This guy hardly had time to hunt. When the job was done, I called and left only two messages, about two weeks apart. I knew he was over worked and he would pick it up on his time. He did latter on in summer. I knew he would be slow at picking it up, and just planned on it. Now if I call for a pickup and get excuses and no shows, I just keep trying and recording the attempts and so far, have never been stiffed. Each customer is different, but most are there at the door an hour after I call for them to come and get it.