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Nicolas Jordan
06-04-2013, 07:39 PM
Since starting up my new business doing architectural renderings there have been many decisions to make and one of the biggest ones that I need to figure out is my payment policy. I have seriously been considering a Payment on Delivery policy and attempted to impose it once.

One potential client that I was trying to hammer out a deal with said that he would give me a large quantity of renderings if I reduced my price by 30%. I told him that if he wanted that kind of discounted price he would have to pay on delivery to get the finished renderings at high resolution with watermarks removed. After telling him he would have to pay on delivery he then began to back peddle out of the deal and said he wasn't sure he wanted to have the renderings done anymore. I left his office and haven't heard from him since. I'm guessing he wasn't planning on paying anyway.

What kind of payment policies work best for other business owners here? How many of you require payment on delivery?

Tzan
06-04-2013, 07:56 PM
I do architectural design.
We sign a contract.
I get 1/3 up front.
1/3 after they approve the design drawings.
Final payment after construction drawing are finished and printed, I put them in their hand and get paid immediately.
If they cant pay, I dont leave drawings. I always make sure they understand all this before hiring me, its in the contract.

Printing cost is extra.
Structural engineer's fee is extra.

People that complain about the up front payment, I dont mind losing them.
This is usually all face to face or over the phone. No real long distance stuff, because I need to measure a house to make plans.
So people get to see me and talk with me a bit and understand I am a nice guy and skilled.

Megalodon2.0
06-04-2013, 08:01 PM
For me, it was 50% up front for new customers. Once we have established a good working relationship, payment is "due on receipt' and I usually say within 30 days. Of course some large companies don't work that way and they pay when THEY feel it's time. With the recent Great Recession still fresh in the minds of ALL builders, even our big name customers are taking three to five months to pay.

It would also depend upon the size of the job. If you have 50 renderings, then I would say 33% up front, 33% upon delivery of the watermarked preliminary renderings and the final 34% due on delivery.

Anyway... that's how I've worked for more than 12 years. In that time I've only been screwed twice. Not too shabby for hundreds of jobs over the years. :)

Also, you should probably seriously consider contracts. I've never used them, but the market is quite a bit more nasty now and if someone feels they can pay you in... 12 months or so... they will.

Davewriter
06-04-2013, 08:20 PM
I know this is a completely different business... but a lot of similar things apply. I work for a theatrical supply company. Customers always need it quickly ("oh, I forgot that I was putting on a show!") It is always a custom build, with a gazillion changes made in the middle, can you install it for us because we don't... and can't you cut us a deal? We're just starving artists...

Depending on the size of the job - if it is small to medium - we would get 50% up front and 50% on delivery. Period!
If it was a bigger job or if we had to bring in special goods - 30% up front, 30% when the special goods came in and balance on deivery.

I had come from a background where it was just a given that a company offered up open terms. When I came to this job it only took about a month before I painfully learned that what "we" do is different. When you are offering custom work you just have to admit that once it is out of your hands - it is gone. Paid for or not.

Not that people are intentionally trying to jerk you - although you'll meet enough who are - but once they have used your item, they have moved on to their next job and the cycle starts all over again.

mikala
06-04-2013, 09:19 PM
50% down and no signing over of IP until full payment has occurred.
So if I get left without the final payment(which hopefully is mostly covered by the first 50%) I can also reuse or sell the assets made elsewhere.
All in signed contract form. That way they can't say they did not know the assets were mine until they paid me.
I feel that there are a lot of people out there trying to get the free lunch so don't feel bad when they don't sign up.
They were most likely never going to pay anyway.
Oh and congrats on starting on the new business road!

geo_n
06-05-2013, 12:35 AM
Probably use an escrow service.

Megalodon2.0
06-05-2013, 12:48 AM
Unless you're working for another archviz firm, NEVER include the models in your pricing unless it's quite a bit more than a typical rendering. We have NEVER included our models and textures and the client is ONLY expecting to receive an image. In many of our scenes, we would use purchased models and textures - particularly foliage - which you cannot legally include with any model files. In all our years in business, we've only been asked for the model files once. We declined their business.

There was a thread over in the (I think) General Discussions area at CGTalk about just this topic.

Nicolas Jordan
06-05-2013, 08:50 AM
For me, it was 50% up front for new customers. Once we have established a good working relationship, payment is "due on receipt' and I usually say within 30 days. Of course some large companies don't work that way and they pay when THEY feel it's time. With the recent Great Recession still fresh in the minds of ALL builders, even our big name customers are taking three to five months to pay.

It would also depend upon the size of the job. If you have 50 renderings, then I would say 33% up front, 33% upon delivery of the watermarked preliminary renderings and the final 34% due on delivery.

Anyway... that's how I've worked for more than 12 years. In that time I've only been screwed twice. Not too shabby for hundreds of jobs over the years. :)

Also, you should probably seriously consider contracts. I've never used them, but the market is quite a bit more nasty now and if someone feels they can pay you in... 12 months or so... they will.

At the studio I worked previously we simply sent out invoices for jobs and never took anything up front. Similar to your experience we had some clients that would take many months to pay but we almost always got paid eventually. The closest I have to a contract is that I require the client to agree by replying to the quote I send by email that includes any terms etc. I don't think it's nearly as good as a signed contract but it's probably better than nothing.


50% down and no signing over of IP until full payment has occurred.
So if I get left without the final payment(which hopefully is mostly covered by the first 50%) I can also reuse or sell the assets made elsewhere.
All in signed contract form. That way they can't say they did not know the assets were mine until they paid me.
I feel that there are a lot of people out there trying to get the free lunch so don't feel bad when they don't sign up.
They were most likely never going to pay anyway.
Oh and congrats on starting on the new business road!

I think I will consider a policy like this especially for clients I have never dealt with before or clients who are not local. Hey by the way if all goes well with my new business I plan on being back in Vancouver for Siggraph 2014! That convention center is pretty awesome! Maybe Newtek will have a Lighwave booth this time but I don't think I'm going to hold my breath.


Unless you're working for another archviz firm, NEVER include the models in your pricing unless it's quite a bit more than a typical rendering. We have NEVER included our models and textures and the client is ONLY expecting to receive an image. In many of our scenes, we would use purchased models and textures - particularly foliage - which you cannot legally include with any model files. In all our years in business, we've only been asked for the model files once. We declined their business.

There was a thread over in the (I think) General Discussions area at CGTalk about just this topic.

I recently added a line to my quotes that says "The finished product will be a image in digital format at a high enough resolution for the purpose it is being used for." so I think that covers that issue to some extent.

Nicolas Jordan
06-05-2013, 08:56 AM
Probably use an escrow service.

That could come in handy especially for very large projects.

cresshead
06-05-2013, 09:01 AM
staged payments, with watermarks on renders, animatics no water marks as they can's use them for anything

so modelling - payment
layout/texturing - payment
animatic - payment
renders - final payment

watermarks removed on finals once paid

this is for a client you have not worked with before btw.

btw do not change this if you EVER work for "friends"...they are more likely to be bad payers than strangers.