I want to sell articles of clothing but it is possible that the individual doesn't have money on them. Can I put down their information and have them sign to where they can walk away with the article of clothing and pay me later?

  • 3
    How much stock are you willing to lose? There's a reason that the credit industry is so heavily orientated around only giving credit to those who will probably repay...
    – user28517
    Feb 20, 2020 at 22:31
  • This doesn't answer the question, but have you considered a lay-by approach? You put the item side as reserved and they can come back and pay and take it at a later date.
    – user28517
    Feb 20, 2020 at 22:32
  • That is definitely something that I will implement although form a user's side there is less need to have that item if they don't possess it already. In other words, they could drop the sale whenever they would like if its just put away for them as opposed to them having it and then paying.
    – user30056
    Feb 21, 2020 at 0:20
  • This is pretty much what cheques are. Feb 21, 2020 at 13:00
  • @Studoku I’m not sure what the situation with cheques is where you are, but in the UK most places wouldn’t accept a cheque for immediate transactions without a cheque guarantee card that covered the full amount of the cheque - then the bank will cover the cheque in full even if it bounced, because you did the additional checks (asked for and took the details of a second item that the real cheque holder would have).
    – user28517
    Feb 22, 2020 at 22:18

1 Answer 1



The document is called an invoice and the customer has taken the clothing “on account”. Most businesses of any size outside the retail sector operate this way.

Remember that you are effectively lending your customer money. What are the terms of this loan? What are you going to do when/if they don’t pay? You need to deal with this either in your sale contract or a separate credit contract.

  • I suppose you meant to imply this in your second paragraph, but I think it bears explicit mention: if they don't pay, are the costs of collecting the debt going to be justified by the size of the debt? (I suppose that the answer to this question, which is usually no, forms a large part of the basis for the credit industry.)
    – phoog
    Feb 20, 2020 at 22:57
  • Well I guess there aren't terms to the loan. I do not know what I would do if they didn't pay. I was just trying to find a way to ensure I get the maximum amount of customers. It seems from other sources that there isn't a way to do what I am trying. Thank you for your responses.
    – user30056
    Feb 20, 2020 at 23:32
  • @user30056, there is absolutely a way to do what you are trying. I all depends on how trusting you are, and how formal (or legally protected) you want to be. For example, have them give you an I.O.U., or simply write their name on a scratch pad next to your cash box. Jul 25, 2023 at 20:49

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