She was my friend.

We met on a whatsapp group chat, we soon discovered that we had a lot in common and clicked.

‘Babe, I love that item you put up on your BBM profile, how can I get it?,’ she asked.

‘I will send the money to your account,’ she said.

I did not get the payment and decided to send her a message after 2 days, she casually said she will send it to me.

I asked after some days again and she was angry…she felt insulted, afterall she was not going to run away.

‘How much is it sef that you are disturbing me like this?,’ she said.

It’s been 6 years and she is yet to pay. I have since written it off as a bad debt.

This and many more happened in the past.

Many of us have been burnt by the ‘pay at the end of the month strategy’, so much we will rather keep our goods than to sell on credit. After all, like my mum will always say, they don’t expire; sooner or later a customer who needs them will come.

Over the years, I have devised these methods to avoid selling on credit; I hope you’ll find them useful.

  1. a) Introduce payments by installment:

This is where you will advise your customers to pay ‘small small’, but give a condition of paying a certain percentage for the first payment, make them pay at least 50% for starter, they can now pay the balance in a span of either 2 weeks or a month. This entirely depends on you.

They will get their jewelry after they complete their payment.

  1. b) Introduce discounts or benefits attached to paying on the spot or pre-orders:

The price of jewelry pre-ordered or bought and paid for on the spot should not be the same thing as the jewelry paid at a later time.

Make sure those who pay immediately get some form of discount or benefits while those who buy on credit do not enjoy some benefits that come with paying on the spot.

  1. c) Bring your business online:

Strangers do not buy on credit; the moment people are able to trust you with their money, they will buy. If you find people who prefer to pay after receiving the item then you look for other means to ensure someone trustworthy delivers to them and gets the payment for you.

You can, as well, ask them to pick up from you and pay.

  1. d) Ensure you have a business line separate from your personal line. This will ensure that you post, advertise on your whatsapp story, safely without the prying eyes of those who will possibly ask you for items on credit. If they want an item, let them chat with the ‘assistant’ who handles your page and business line.

It is better not to sell on credit because there is no guarantee that the customer will pay back even if the person intends to, events can happen that will make the debt irrecoverable.

You lose income when you sell on credit, thereby hindering the growth of your business. They will use you as an example when your business folds up eventually when in fact, they were the architects of your problem.

It will lead to strained relationships especially when it involves family and friends or even customers that you value so much.

Take care if you eventually want to sell on credit…remember that you are not a bank.

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