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Account Payable

How To Write Shipment—held—for—payment Letter



Writing a “Shipment Held Up for Paymentletter [or email] may not be a big deal for an account executive (or marketer), where he/she just received an outstanding payment list from the account payable staff in accounting department. But in small medium enterprise (SME), it is common happened that “shipment held up for paymentletter or email is made by the accountant itself. If happened that you are required to write the letter, you do not need to blame yourself for not being literally with such writing. Accountants (account receivable staffs) never been trained for such writing. But leaving the task not done is equal to put a risk [a lost potentials] on the business. Accountant need to learn, me too, as a controller, I do learn a lot of writing such business letter/email. Here I am posting tips, strategy and example of “Shipment Held Up for Payment” letter [or e-mail] as if it is written by a professional account executive.



Tips for Writing a Shipment Held for Payment Letter [or e-mail]

  • Avoid negative language like “we refuse to ship” and “failure to pay”. Keep everything positive.
  • Create a desire to continue receiving the product. Reinforce that they want to get further items in the series.
  • Then tell them that you can start shipping again as soon as the account is paid up in full.


Strategy for Writing a Shipment Held For Payment Letter [or e-mail]

Format: Typed/word-processed. Business or personal letterhead.

Style/Tone/Voice: Use a formal, active tone or voice.

Structure: (1) Acknowledge receipt of the order and explain what prevents you from filling it, (2) State directly what information or action you need from the reader, (3) Close with an expression of appreciation and assurance that you will send the order as soon as you receive the necessary information or payment.

Handy Phrases: Your order is being held because we require; We need to receive either payment or the following information before we can ship your order; Please remit a check or money order for the full amount; We apologize for the inconvenience, and will ship your order as soon as we receive; Will ship your order as soon as your check arrives; We look forward to hearing from you so that we can ship your order without further delay.


Shipment Held for Payment Letter [or e-mail] Example

Here is a good example:

Dear [Customer’s Name/Company]:

As soon as your account is up to date, we can send you the next bracelet collection release for 2009. Each will be an exact replica of the original first collection that we sold successfully on the Christmas 2008 with additional precious hand touch arts at the rock bottom price.

For your convenience, you may want to have your first bracelet collection in 2009 charged to your credit card — please see the back of the enclosed statement for details, or call us toll-free at 1-800-000-0000, Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern time. One of our Customer Service representatives would be happy to assist you.

We don’t want to keep your collection on hold — there’s too much pleasure to be had! Please send your payment today and enclose it with the invoice in the reply envelope provided. Your next exciting collection is ready for shipment!

[your name]
[your title]

P.S. If you ever have questions about your collection or billing, please call us (again, the toll free number is 1-800-000-0000).


I hope you find this “shipment held for payment” letter writting tips and example useful.

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