Do you really expect a receipt when going to someone’s house?

Posted Thursday, September 13, 2012

I found this Yelp! review below funny, and characteristic of the often unrealistic expectations of some Yelp! users. There are many people out there who are of touch with reality.

I believe businesses should always issue receipts without being asked. However, the expectation that a one-guy-in-his-apartment business issue receipts is silly. The reason you go to a guy based out of his apartment is to save money. If everyone in the area wants $100-$120 for something, and a guy out of his apartment can do the same thing for $70, that’s awesome! If they can do the same job with the same or better quality, also awesome! However, one must understand that these savings are not without compromise. The $30-$50 you save going to the one man operation in his bedroom are taken from

  • The money not invested into a proper receipt printer & invoicing software.
  • The taxes people who refuse to print receipts probably aren’t paying.
  • The $500 DCA license to refurbish consumer electronics they probably didn’t pay for.

And damn near anyone with some common sense probably knows this. Maybe he does pay his taxes, but lots of people working out of their apartment are not paying taxes on this income, and are unlicensed. Why else do you think they are refusing to provide a receipt? Why are you going to this unlicensed business that does not pay their taxes and then asking them for a receipt, so they can get busted and not service someone else like you who wants to save money?

Do you need a license to fix cellphones? To pay taxes? A receipt printer? A real office or storefront? No. It is silly to assume to that you NEED any of these things to do a good job in this business(although not paying taxes will bite you in the ass, so pay your taxes!). For all we know he pays all his taxes but simply does not feel like investing in a receipt printer at this time, and if you’re doing this out of your apartment, that’s totally fine. You shouldn’t go into one of these places and expect the same ability to demand a receipt you would get from going to a, for lack of a better word, “real business.” I do hate the wording here, because as stated, you do not NEED to meet any of the above requirements to refurbish a cellphone, and if someone walks in with a dead phone that you revive, that’s enough for me to consider your business “real.”
I find it obnoxious that someone finds the less expensive option, utilizes it, then complains that it does not offer the bells and whistles of the standard priced option. If you want proof a transaction occurred, or for them to accept your business AMEX, then go to a store and pay retail price. They’ll happily print out an invoice with company logo that you can show your employer. If you want to save money, scour craigslist and find someone who seems competent and honest who simply isn’t fully set up yet. Don’t go to the guy in his apartment then complain when he doesn’t issue a receipt. You’re setting yourself up to be disappointed, and I believe people with common sense will see this.

Also, keep in mind I am not using this blog entry as a soapbox to shit on the apartment based business model. I salute people who start at the bottom doing this kind of work out of their apartments. More power to them. I am using this blog entry to express my opinion that this reviewer has an obnoxious viewpoint.