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#1 rickeyfro

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Posted 18 May 2011 - 08:52 PM

A few months back I was contacted by the guys at Sucker Punch Sallys Motorcycles. They had seen a couple of seats I had done for some customers in their area and were interested in having me do some seats for them. These are the guys that Dave Theobold had done seats for ,
imagine my excitement to be asked to do seats for a professional company that had previously had their seats done by Dave. Maybe I should preface this by saying that Daves work is one of the main reasons I got into leathercraft in the first place, guess you could call him one of my idols. Anyway things started off great, I agreed to do a seat at no charge so they could see my work up close and personal. Before I finished this seat they ordered a second with a design picked out by a customer. One of the main things we had discussed on our original conversation was their need for a quick turnaround. With this in mind, and looking to impress I took a couple of vacation days and knocked both seats out in about seven days. Shipped seats, got thumbs up but no check, Sent a couple of emails and finally got a check in the mail for the second seat.
A week or two later another seat was ordered for a customer of their's, same thing 7 to 10 day turnaround just like I promised. About a week after this seat was delivered I was contacted to make another just like it, the first one had been sold to someone other than the original guy so I had to make one to replace it. Heres where things start to get funny. Someone got paid for that seat, only it wasnt me, that seat was delivered about three months ago. Another couple of emails asking for payment and told check was on the way. Then another order for two more seats, Same thing, quick turnaround and thumbs up but no checks. so heres where I contact the main man that I originally spoke too instead of the shop foreman who Id been communicating with. He assured me that it wasnt a problem, some venders were paid every thirty days, some every sixty. Hed make sure the office manager knew that my seats were a pay on reciept item.
Relief, I thought, everything was cool now, well another week goes by, still no check but another seat completed and shipped, so now im out four seats still waiting payment.I contact them again to be told the office manager had been out sick but he'd have her mail the check in the morning. Nope. I talk to him again, this time I guess it was a little more obvious that this was bothering me, I explained how twice, I'd set aside other customers seats tthat were in progress, but with no real deadline, in order to meet the SPS quick turnaround. He tells me he wasnt aware I was awaiting payment for that many seats and that, being friday he would get a check in the mail Monday morning for the grand total and send it second day mail so Id have it by that wednesday, soooo after no check on wednesday or thursday I get with him again on friday. He lets me know he's at the airport catching a flight and that the check is on the way, and he will even send me the tracking # when he returns Sunday. Which was this sunday, so far since then ive tried 2 or 3 times to get this tracking # but now no one even responds.
I know I was partly to blame by not getting paid before shipping, but I figured that these were pros, numerous dealerships around the country, no way theyd rip off a fellow craftsman. Live and learn.
Im writing this long winded post for two reasons, to warn any fellow leathercraftsmen who might be asked to do what I was asked to do (especially if asked by who asked me). And also if anyone can tell me if I have any recourse to get paid. Ive got copies of all invoices, delivery confirmation showing all packages arrived, and numerous e mail threads documenting everything Ive written. They have nothing but the one cancelled check for the second seat, first one being free. Thanks for letting me vent if nothing else. Rick

Edited by rickeyfro, 18 May 2011 - 10:13 PM.


#2 benlilly1

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Posted 18 May 2011 - 09:44 PM

Wow, I feel for you...I think I wouldn't have shipped anymore until paid for the first. Just goes to show you it's hard to trust anyone these days. Maybe they thought they found a sucker (no pun intended). Good luck

A few months back I was contacted by the guys at Sucker Punch Sallys Motorcycles. They had seen a couple of seats I had done for some customers in their area and were interested in having me do some seats for them. These are the guys that Dave Theobold had done seats for ,
imagine my excitement to be asked to do seats for a professional company that had previously had their seats done by Dave. Maybe I should preface this by saying that Daves work is one of the main reasons I got into leathercraft in the first place, guess you could call him one of my idols. Anyway things started off great, I agreed to do a seat at no charge so they could see my work up close and personal. Before I finished this seat they ordered a second with a design picked out by a customer. One of the main things we had discussed on our original conversation was their need for a quick turnaround. With this in mind, and looking to impress I took a couple of vacation days and knocked both seats out in about seven days. Shipped seats, got thumbs up but no check, Sent a couple of emails and finally got a check in the mail for the second seat.
A week or two later another seat was ordered for a customer of their's, same thing 7 to 10 day turnaround just like I promised. About a week after this seat was delivered I was contacted to make another just like it, the first one had been sold to someone other than the original guy so I had to make one to replace it. Heres where things start to get funny. Someone got paid for that seat, only it wasnt me, that seat was delivered about three months ago. Another couple of emails asking for payment and told check was on the way. Then another order for two more seats, Same thing, quick turnaround and thumbs up but no checks. so heres where I contact the main man that I originally spoke too instead of the shop foreman who Id been communicating with. He assured me that it wasnt a problem, some venders were paid every thirty days, some every sixty. Hed make sure the office manager knew that my seats were a pay on reciept item.
Relief, I thought, everything was cool now, well another week goes by, still no check but another seat completed and shipped, so now im out four seats still waiting payment.I contact them again to be told the office manager had been out sick but he'd have her mail the check in the morning. Nope. I talk to him again, this time I guess it was a little more obvious that this was bothering me, I explained how twice, I'd set aside other customers seats tthat were in progress, but with no real deadline, in order to meet the SPS quick turnaround. He tells me he wasnt aware I was awaiting payment for that many seats and that, being friday he would get a check in the mail Monday morning for the grand total and send it second day mail so Id have it by that wednesday, soooo after no check on wednesday or thursday I get with him again on friday. He lets me know he's at the airport catching a flight and that the check is on the way, and he will even send me the tracking # when he returns Sunday. Which was this sunday, so far since then ive tried 2 or 3 times to get this tracking # but now no one even responds.
I know I was partly to blame by not getting paid before shipping, but I figured that these were pros, numerous dealerships around the country, no way theyd rip off a fellow craftsman. Live and learn.
Im writing this long winded post for two reasons, to warn any fellow leathercraftsmen who might be asked to do what I was asked to do. And also if anyone can tell me if I have any recourse to get paid. Ive got copies of all invoices, delivery confirmation showing all packages arrived, and numerous e mail threads documenting everything Ive written. They have nothing but the one cancelled check for the second seat, first one being free. Thanks for letting me vent if nothing else. Rick



#3 Scary Leatherworks

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Posted 18 May 2011 - 09:52 PM

That sucks. I've always thought of them as more stand-up. You'd think a company that started off small would understand that you NEED to be paid sooner than some large corporation. You should post this on chop-cult too (for some reason I'm thinking you are a member there also)
Scott

#4 rickeyfro

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Posted 18 May 2011 - 10:04 PM

I plan on it Scott and every other chopper forum I can find. No reason for something like this. Especially since I was making them seats for under $400 and they have em listed on their site as an option on the bikes for $800

That sucks. I've always thought of them as more stand-up. You'd think a company that started off small would understand that you NEED to be paid sooner than some large corporation. You should post this on chop-cult too (for some reason I'm thinking you are a member there also)
Scott



#5 BIGGUNDOCTOR

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Posted 18 May 2011 - 11:22 PM

What you may not see from the "reputation", or advertising , is a company saddled with debt, slow sales, or just plain mismanagement. Not your fault, just good BS on their part. I know we all need cash flow, and don't want to turn down work, but when the first seat wasn't paid for is when you should have said "Sorry guys, no payment, no more seats.". How would they feel is someone didn't pay for a bike? Of course this is easy for us to say now since hindsight is always 20/20. As a small businessman myself years ago I also made mistakes that cost me. As Dave Ramsey says, we just paid some stupid tax. It is hard to tell someone that you won't do the job when you can, but you can't make a profit for someone else, and stay in business.


Hope this all works out for you. Keep good records, and be careful of making any possibly slanderous remarks, just stick to the facts, and nothing but the facts.
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#6 Spinner

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Posted 19 May 2011 - 01:14 AM

That does suck. If you do go about telling the real deal on the forums, don't forget to report them to the BBB in their area and the national. You also still have the option, I believe, of taking them to small claims court since it's under $5k.
4 seats x $400+/- = well worth your time to pursue it. Thanks for letting the rest of us know.
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#7 Mike Craw

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Posted 19 May 2011 - 07:05 AM

They want you to turn a seat order around in seven days but they want to pay you in thirty to sixty days? What's wrong with this picture??

Mike
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#8 BillB

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Posted 19 May 2011 - 08:11 AM

Sounds like their company is appropriately named: "Sucker Punch". Sorry that you were the target.
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#9 DuaneBallard

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Posted 19 May 2011 - 10:36 AM

Welcome to the world of Christian Clayton. I did a bunch of seats for them over the last couple years and finally just quit answering the phone. It's not worth it. I had to go there the last time but did get paid. It's best for everyone to just stay away and they will eventually vanish. Christian has run what was once a great company, when Donny and Jeff owned it, into the ground.

#10 King's X

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Posted 19 May 2011 - 11:46 AM

I would prepare and send a certified letter with copies of your records demanding payment to the company and CC the Better Business Bureau. In the letter, I would include a notice that your time put chasing your money will be added as extraordinary fees to your claim if they continue with non-payment. Your time is worth something. Chances are if you pushing to get paid I am sure that your contract time is done with this company. Small Claims is an options, but this notice and letter will be part of your evidence that will assist you if you happen to go the court way. I do some contract custom work on occasion from three operations and I request payment on delivery of the item. I do not start any new projects until payment has been made for the previous orders. If I do not know the operation, I request 50% down with the delivery of the leather. If they are not reputable to start out with a good gesture like this................well............move on!

Side note: I also stay far away from demanding customers...................I mean way too demanding......................like down to the exact spacing for lettering..........just too much trouble for me...............there is no fun in it.

Either way, I wish you the best of luck and I hope you get paid
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#11 billymac814

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Posted 19 May 2011 - 02:17 PM

That really sucks. You should absolutely have recourse against them. Just out of curiosity is Dave still doing seats for them? The worst part about it probably wasn't really the money, I can just imagine being excited about a new steady gig with your seats going on nice bikes then having it all pulled out from under you on top of being out a bunch of time, money, materials, etc. Thanks for the heads up though, I'm sure they'll be looking for other people to make seats for them.

#12 JohnBarton

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Posted 26 May 2011 - 01:05 PM

In God We Trust. All others pay Cash!

Sucks to hear this. I almost went broke once year with $80,000 owed to me from various suppliers among them some of the biggest names in the business. It's really really really hard to say no to terms when you are dealing with a distributor. BUT you have to consider what happens if you don't get paid on time.

What I recommend is for you to get a credit card number from them and charge it. A lot of small companies these days pay with credit cards to build up miles and also use the bank's money as long as they can.

If you currently don't accept credit cards then you can send them an itemized invoice through paypal. With it they can pay you using any credit card or via paypal.

And as a general rule, custom work gets paid for BEFORE you start it. Stick to it or get burned. Because the alternative is you're stuck with product you can't sell to someone else or worse no money and no product.

As I said, I have been there and it isn't fun chasing money. And you never get paid for the time and aggravation you endured doing it either.

Good luck.
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#13 dirtclod

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Posted 26 May 2011 - 02:13 PM

Rickyfro i feel your pain because i have had the same thing happen to me. Only difference was it was a friend or somebody i though was a friend. For years i trusted only a couple ( and i mean 2 ) people and the rest it was cash only !! A couple of years ago i started trusting some folks again. My expernse has been as log as you have something they want, sugar wouldn't melt in their mouth because their so sweet. But as soon as they get what they want you out in the cold. No emails, no phone calls no nothing. In this case i sent them a couple of things to try out. All i wanted to know what they though about the product after they used for it a little while and it was theirs to keep. So far nothing and i don't expect to hear from them either or not until they want something else. So for me it's back to only trusting the 2 people that haven't screwed me. It's better to make no sale than to make one on credit and not get paid. It's like i was told once. If you get ever job you bid on your working to cheap, and i have that to be true to.

Edited by dirtclod, 26 May 2011 - 02:15 PM.

I'm old enough to know that i don't know everything.

#14 rickeyfro

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Posted 01 September 2012 - 09:54 AM

Had to re open this in hopes of saving any of you guys some stress and head aches. Was recently contacted by the shop foreman asking me to build a couple seats, This was after the original problem was settled and after Christian, the owner of Sucker Punch had died. So I figured Id take a chance, this time making sure payment was sent before seat was sent.
I assumed the bad business practices in the pass was just Christians way of doing business, Im not trying to speak bad of the dead, just trying to tell the story. Well its not that way anyway, its Sucker Punch Sally as a whole, no matter whos in charge. DO NOT do leather work for these un professional losers, they will try to contact someone, this is how they found me on this forum. It will be the biggest mistake youve ever made to do work for SUCKER PUNCH SALLY. Save yourselves some stress...avoid these guys like the plague. I still have the seats this time but still no payment, but Im still out because of the custom design isnt something anyone else could use. Be WARNED SUCKER PUNCH SALLY will rip you off. Guaranteed.

#15 DoubleC

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Posted 01 September 2012 - 10:17 AM

Ricky, I feel for you. I am the world's worst at getting money from people. I have a project that's been sitting here for a month that I didn't get 1/2 up front because the man was recommended to me by a friend. Nothing like the cost of your projects but hurts me more than it being the money. I did it twice because I wasn't happy with the first one and never got paid. And like you, not something I can sell to someone else. But I still took a dog collar and belt off a guy I just know as a bartender from the place the Guy advertising one of my straps works. Now the bartender is a sweet kid and I don't expect anything to go wrong, but ordered around $30.00 worth of materials yesterday to finish both projects. And for all I know he could quit tending bar tomorrow. I just have a hard time asking for money up front. It's not that I think they won't be happy with the project, or that I don't do good work which improves each time I do a new job, it's just hard. I hope you can get some satisfaction from these deadbeats. Cheryl

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