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Photography Conundrum: She doesn't accept credit cards

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#1 landwlkr

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    Posted 22 June 2009 - 04:40 PM

    Hi All!

    After searching high and low, I FINALLY found a photographer I like, and have negotiated a package that fits the budget. She sent me the contract and asks for 1/3 the cost as a deposit. That's fine too. I was surprised, however, that she doesn't currently take credit cards. She says because she is in the process of changing merchant accounts.

    I am nervous about this, since I have heard everywhere that paying cash deposit is very risky. With the credit card you have some protection if she goes out of business, doesn't show, etc.

    What do you think-- should I be concerned about this? I don't want to go back to the search, but this just seems a bit off, though she comes highly recommended and has great reviews all over the internet.

    Thanks for your advice!


    #2 TammyB

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      Posted 22 June 2009 - 04:43 PM

      I wouldn't be concerned as long as the contract states that if SHE backs out for whatever reason and she can't find a suitable replacement, that you get your deposit back.

      #3 tylersgirl

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        Posted 22 June 2009 - 04:44 PM

        hmmm....I wouldn't pay in cash for sure. That does sound a little off, but maybe she is right. Maybe some other girls have gone through the same thing and can offer their words of wisdom. Good luck!

        #4 ~Jessica~

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          Posted 22 June 2009 - 04:46 PM

          I paid my deposit with a check and as Tammy said as long as the contract states you can get it back there will be no issues. So I wouldn't be afraid especially if she has a reputable business. Otherwise maybe you can work out a deal with her that she will hold the date and when she gets the new merchant deal figured out she can get your credit card info then. But I really think it is quite common for photographers to request the deposit in cash.

          #5 Blkatz

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            Posted 22 June 2009 - 04:53 PM

            my deposit was made in cash and I paid the rest in cash also. A lot of my vendors required cash

            #6 *Meagan*

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              Posted 22 June 2009 - 04:55 PM

              I agree with future mrs.griffith.

              See if she can hold the date until she does get her new merchant stuff. I mean cash is cash there is no documentation of it. I think it is a little iffy and I would be concerned.

              #7 frazali

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                Posted 22 June 2009 - 04:56 PM

                I paid the deposit and balances for both of my photographers by check - it was fine. As long as she doesn't require literal cash, and as long as there's a stipulation in the contract that covers if she cancels, it seems that you'd be fine.

                #8 rodent


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                  Posted 22 June 2009 - 04:58 PM

                  any time you use a credit card the business has to pay a percentage. I recently learned it's against the terms of use with the credit card company (or paypal) to pass that cost on to the customer. It's not even OK to offer a discount for paying cash.

                  So instead of charging a fee to use a credit card, some people just don't take them.

                  I do prefer using my credit card, but I also try to pay cash or check when I spending a large chunk of money to a local business or individual. I don't bother when it's target or a big chain store. Just if it's a small business & I want them to get all the money instead of paying the credit card fee. We also always try to tip in cash.

                  I'd make sure she has a good reputation and a contract that also protects you. Like tammy said, photographers will often have a part about what happens if for some reason they can't make it. Usually they send a suitable replacement. Someone as good if not better than them.

                  #9 rodent


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                    Posted 22 June 2009 - 04:59 PM

                    she means cash or check right? if she will only accept cash I'd be concerned. That would make me think she is doing business under the table or something.

                    #10 landwlkr

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                      Posted 22 June 2009 - 05:01 PM

                      I asked her if she knew when she would have her merchant account set up and she replied:

                      "I am not sure when I will have the merchant account set up because I am searching for prices. " So, no offer for alternative. She's basically saying pay by check or leave it.

                      The contract states currently about cancellation on her end:

                      [Photographer] may substitute another photographer to take photographs in the event of photographer’s illness. In the event of such substitution, [photographer] warrants that all studio photographers are competent professionals.

                      There is no verbiage about getting deposits back. I am thinking I need to add something like this:

                      If [photographer] is a no-show or cancels service for any reason and is unable to find a suitable replacement, all deposits and prepayments shall be refunded to client.

                      How does that sound? What if she says no to the change? This is very confusing! Thanks for the advice...keep it coming.

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