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The MADE in MORAY BLOG

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Hi there! this is our Blog here at Made-in-Moray. here you will find hints and tips...general information and much more!

July 2017

'what to do when the shop that stocks your goods fails to pay you for goods sold'.

 

This is not a problem that we come across very often thank goodness.. But conversations with a crafting friend very recently prompted me to give a bit of helpful advice for when it does happen.

Usually but not always, this is as a result of a general turn down in the fortunes of the shop involved. It often means that they are near to breaking point and the one thing that you must do when you realise this is get your stuff out of there as quickly as possible. Whilst I know that that sounds pretty horrible like 'rats abandoning the sinking ship', the facts are that if this business goes bankrupt, you may not be able to get your stuff out at all through no fault of your own... indeed you may never get it back because it may be simply used as assets... and proving that the goods are yours doesn't always guarantee that they are returned to you. So this is the first thing to do if you suspect that there is any possibility of the business going bankrupt.

 

There are signs that this may be the case..

What to look for?

One of the first giveaways is if the shop has previously taken credit card payments and then suddenly for a seemingly variety of reasons they no longer take credit card payments and you have to pay cash in their shop. This seems to be the first thing to go when there are financial difficulties.

You may also notice that there isn't the same range of goods anymore... that there are gaps and if the shop sells art then that's where the gaps usually are.... and then there may be a longer and longer time between your payouts, so that if you are paid monthly say on the last week of the month it gradually stretches... problem with this is that it is possible to lose track unless you are very organised with your admin, and anyway, it simply should not be allowed to happen.

Then there are the inevitable excuses... and although you may have been dealing with one person for a long time, suddenly there seems to be someone else dealing with you who doesn't really know what's going on... This is often used to create a little confusion, and your instinct is a craft worker might probably be to let the situation carry on and wait and see what happens.... Don't do it my friends! Remember, if this business goes bankrupt you could lose not only the money that you are owed for past sales, but also all of your stock.

 

If you're worried about this sort of scenario, then the first thing is to speak to the owner... again this may be difficult because they may be avoiding speaking to anyone! or they may simply not be present for a great deal of the time and the shop may be being run  by a worker who is carrying on because there are hoping eventually to get some wages....so all this must be weighed in the balance. The next step is to take note of some of the other goods that are being sold in the shop, some of them will be people you know and craft workers perhaps that you are friends with. Have a word with them... see if they are experiencing the same problems and what their opinion is? and try not to feel that you are 'ratting out' the person you supply or ganging up on them... If they had any integrity they would have warned you that they were experiencing difficulties

and give you time to make your decision in full knowledge.

 

By this time if you are right, you will be beginning to get very fidgety about it all, particularly if your payments have dried up altogether... this is the time to make a definite move, and 'get the hell out.' Once things get to a certain point it is very unlikely without a big injection of cash that things will get any better, these things tend to accumulate...and as I said earlier there is a possibility that you can lose your stock and any payments that are due you, so better to face this head-on and get out before things get worse, even if you lose the money that you are owed..

The next thing you need to do is put in an invoice to them, totally up-to-date and

stating that it needs to be paid on receipt.

This doesn't mean you will get your money necessarily, but it does mean that you have got something to give to your accountant or to the taxman if it is not paid, and you can claim this against your tax so a very useful thing to do.

 

Having said all this, you really don't want to jump the gun until you have a pretty good idea of what's going on, so asking round other craft workers and any other providers of goods and services connected with the shop is essential. and then use your judgement.

Worst-case scenario, you may lose the payment due to you because the owner despite the fact that they are in the wrong will probably get very annoyed and push the blame back on you. And you may have to threaten legal action to get your money. consider this carefully but don't jump the gun. The law can be a minefield...

 

Remember however that it is comparatively easy to take people to the small claims court at the moment and quite effective, but in this sort of case where the person is obviously one step away from losing a great deal themselves, the thought of legal action will often push them into making you an offer and trying to settle without causing a great deal of trouble.

 

As I said earlier, it doesn't often happen. But the signs are all there... we missed them at our peril!

The patchwork cat.

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