Hawkeyes2, I understand your frustration, but hard times like these can create opportunity. If the products you sell is generally a one time sell, I would totally agree with your comments. But if you have had long term relationship with a repeat customer that now needs some help and they are willing to work with you to get things resolved, now might be the time to consider options. It all depends on how much risk you can deal with and can handle. You will be surprised that the long term relationships you may lock in.
It is also my feeling that any first time customer, one should ask for cash or credit card up front. I would extend credit or invoices only returning customers that seem sound. If you don’t need invoicing to make sales, don’t do it! Asking for cash up front does screen a lot of the bad payers. I do also feel that you need to take along hard look at each case and sometimes take the hard line when you see too much risk. Remember credit cards can be bad too but if you have a good processing company they will help you screen the bad ones. Don’t make the mistake that desperate company’s that need sales make, do not accept an invoice when a credit card has been rejected! I cannot believe how many times I have heard companies have made this mistake.
One other point, you need to be careful of is if the customer is in or could be going into bankruptcy at the time you invoice and then demand payment. If you force them to pay you, the courts may come back to you later and legally get the money back. So be careful with strong demands during these hard times because bankruptcy is on the rise.
Bert at Harvey Software, Inc.
Multi-Carrier Shipping Software and Supply Chain Solutions for Internet Retailers
Also a provider of free shipping information and resources at Harvey Software`s Parcel Shipping Blog
along with free tracking solutions at TrackingPage.com