Ask an expert

Get free help from our community of tradespeople

Payment Deposit

Posted by Lek Kawonga, on
I have been asked by a 'trader' to pay him a deposit before he starts work. He gave a quote over the phone for £450, and wants a deposit of £300. Is this a standard request?
Shaun Whyley

Shaun Whyley

Everybody works differently I do myself ask for a deposit but it is not normally any larger that 20%. If you unsure maybe look at his previous ratings on here and ask for an invoice for the deposit if you do go ahead and have the work done.
David Knight

David Knight

Hi Lek. I would be wary at this point for a couple of reasons. Firstly you've only had a conversation on the phone which makes it difficult to judge this person or business on a number of levels. Secondly its a very high proportion of the total quote / estimate. If there is a high material outlay that you're aware of then this request may be justified, but you should ask for a formal written quotation so that you can see the breakdown of costs for labour and materials. If you're still uncertain ask the tradesman to come and talk to you first. This is the best way to establish a level of confidence. If there's any pressure from the tradesman or you just don't feel comfortable after a face to face discucssion, I would suggest you walk away and find someone else.
Brett Evans

Brett Evans

Most companies/sole traders ask for a deposit to book the work. I ask for 30% of the total estimate and although some customers may be wary of this most understand that there are always initial costs to any project and the deposit provides some piece of mind for the contractor but is also the first step towards a working relationship that needs to be viable for both parties. One of my customers commented "but you are a stranger and you want me to give you money?!" yes that's correct I am a stranger but I've been invited by you to price for the work and you are also a stranger to my so why should I trust you? It's all the first steps towards what is hopefully a good working relationship and happy results all round. I'm sure that no trades on Rated People would risk their whole reputation for the sake of a few quid!! A reasonable deposit in respect of the full estimated price is fair I believe.
James Clarke

James Clarke

Any quotation where a deposit is required should be given in writing with receipt of deposit paid. i ask for a deposit on all my jobs over £1000 to book the start date & cover materials.
Liam Newman

Liam Newman

No! I wouldn't pay a deposit of that amount. I would understand if the trader asked for you to pay upfront for the materials. If the materials are £300 ask to see a receipt and then pay.

What would you like to do now?

Find more questions Create my Job

Homeowner stories

Homeowner stories - Nick

Nick shares his story of finding local tradespeople in his new area.