Deposit for custom cue build

whammo57

Kim Walker
Silver Member
What's the usual down payment to a cue builder for a custom cue?

I never have taken a down payment for a cue........... that way they don't own me and if they back out of the deal when the cue is finished.... I just walk away and put it up for sale

Kim
 

Worminator

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
Most top makers will not need a deposit unless the cue is very unusual, or someone wants a name or something specific to the person in the cue.

As someone else stated, a deposit usually means RUN! Especially if it is a newer maker. Too many horror stories out there about unfulfilled orders and no refunds on deposits.
 

Z-Nole

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Randy Mobley took a small deposit, and I patiently waited. It's been awhile but I'm thinking $500 maybe?? Whatever it was it was insignificant. Lo and behold the cue was done almost exactly when he said it would be. And I paid him the balance due when I picked it up. It's hard to hear all the horror stories when mine was so freaking simple.
 

West Point 1987

On the Hill, Out of Gas
Silver Member
Deposits aren't that unusual...I've paid deposits for the two custom cues I had made by two different cue makers, one of them highly regarded. If he's got to special order a big piece of something like Abalone or MOP or something unusual, or a hard to get wood and then starts on your cue, it might be hard to sell to someone else unless they order it very close to the way you did. There are some with a reputation of taking the deposit then never getting around to making the cue, just do a search. Jerry Rauenzahn made me a cue to my specs with 100 year old Brazilian rosewood and a HUGE wedge of abalone he had to special order...so asking me for a modest deposit was no biggie to me at all. I'd say if you go with one of the more respected makers and they ask for a deposit, go for it.

To answer your original question, I'd say about 10% - 15% ($200-$500?) would be more than reasonable, and if he wanted more, would depend on what you're asking him to do and the reputation of the maker.
 
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Black-Balled

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I'd ask for terms of the arrangement- including timings and consequences of failure to meet them- in writing.

But I also wouldn't buy a cue I cant touch.
 

Kevin Lindstrom

14.1 Addict
Silver Member
I want to order more custom cues but will only do so if the down payment is minimal.

We shall see what happens.

Years ago a down payment would not have been a problem. That being said the cue building business has changed over the years and not always for the better.

Kevin
 

cuesblues

cue accumulator
Silver Member
I just paid a 25% deposit to a very reputable cuemaker, plus I supplied a nice John Davis blank for the project.
Nothing to gain for anyone to mess this deal up.

Beware of internet cuemakers.
I think it's important to establish a local presence outside the internet first.
At this point I've seen too many guys take money who don't have the ability or funding to build cues.
The whole process of building a cue is not cheap to do it the right way, and it takes some technical and business sense to deal with problems.
In the good ole days we had Tony Zinzola, Lee Peppers, and a few others, but since Facebook there are several more.
People are sending money to some of these Facebook jokers, who aren't even qualified to install a tip from the local feedback you read.
 

measureman

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
A friend of mine gave a local Colorado cue maker a deposit and waited over 6 years to get the cue.
But in the cue makers defense the cue is drop dead gorgeous.
And the wood is probably well seasoned. LOL
 

maha

from way back when
Silver Member
if sure he was honorable.only a verified reliable cuemaker. then only a small enough deposit so he doesnt lose money if you back out. yet small enough if he starts to ask for more money or doesnt fulfill his end of the bargain you can walk..

anyone that operates just out of his house i wouldnt give a dime unless 100 honorable.
 

JoeyInCali

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
20% when the cue is assembled is reasonable imo.
If you request some special lengths and some oddities , 20% up front is reasonable imo.

That is with a maker with a good rep of course .
 

Bavafongoul

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Assuming you have checked the cue-maker's reputation as best you are able.
then 20% -25% with order placement. If there's a long wait list because of the
cue-maker's reputation or limited annual production, then probably less but I do
not have experience with that arrangement. The longest I waited was 15 months.

Just remember that a carpenter, plumber, painter, architect etc. requires money up
before starting a big project and cue-makers aren't any different when it comes to
custom cues. If you aren't serious enough to commit money up front and along the
way as progress payments, then the cue-maker is probably better off without you as
a customer. Remember the cue has to be paid in full before you can get it so why be
concerned about advancing money unless the cue-maker is unscrupulous and in that
case, why the hell are you even doing business with that person, let alone ordering a cue.
 

Z-Nole

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Assuming you have checked the cue-maker's reputation as best you are able.
then 20% -25% with order placement. If there's a long wait list because of the
cue-maker's reputation or limited annual production, then probably less but I do
not have experience with that arrangement. The longest I waited was 15 months.

Just remember that a carpenter, plumber, painter, architect etc. requires money up
before starting a big project and cue-makers aren't any different when it comes to
custom cues. If you aren't serious enough to commit money up front and along the
way as progress payments, then the cue-maker is probably better off without you as
a customer. Remember the cue has to be paid in full before you can get it so why be
concerned about advancing money unless the cue-maker is unscrupulous and in that
case, why the hell are you even doing business with that person, let alone ordering a cue.



Well said. There's so many threads about unscrupulous cue makers but I don't remember seeing any about the guys that keep their word and stay in touch. There has to be more Mobley's out there.
 

Type79

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
These comments are only useful in the context of the cue maker you are dealing with.

I'll just leave it at that.
 
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