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Advice on payments?

Hello again!

I've been holding onto a premade fursuit head for about 3+ months now. The buyer paid half of the owed money back in late February/early March.

I'm VERY frustrated. I understand they're going through some stuff right now involving their own health (a pregnancy), but I keep getting promised the remaining amount "by the end of the month"... And it's been 3 months. Every month they say this.

I honestly don't know what to do at this point. I can't financially afford to pay them back the money and attempt to re-sell the head because I may not be able to re-sell it.
I sent them a friendly note asking when they'll pay again and reminded them that they've been saying that they will ending with a no show.

Help?
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Comments

( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
RadCatastrophe
Jun. 13th, 2014 01:14 am (UTC)
You should be sending out invoices to them, along with a reminder. It's been three months, excuses can only work for so long but they don't put money in your pocket or ships them the head, but also on that note you shouldn't be spending the money (unless its for materials) until the commission is complete so you don't end up with "I can't afford to return the first payment".
oceandezignz
Jun. 13th, 2014 01:15 am (UTC)
You most likely can (and honestly need) to find a way to come up with a plan to repay them if they can't give you the last half of the money within a hard-set deadline.

Its unfair to you to sit on this head while they give you excuses, you likely could have either repurposed the head or sold it off again at this point.

So just be firm with them that they have x-time to give you the rest of the owed money (invoice them over paypal if you can); if they can't, you'll just end up paying them back $20/biweekly or half of profit from the resale of the head.

In the future, strict payment plans should be outlined, and a missed payment = tough luck.
gatekat
Jun. 13th, 2014 01:15 am (UTC)
Give them a final warning on time, at which point the deposit is forfeit and you'll sell it to someone who can pay.

They broke the contract, not you. You do not owe them money.

Edited at 2014-06-13 01:17 am (UTC)
jakejynx
Jun. 13th, 2014 02:38 am (UTC)
No, this person cannot keep the money if they decide to cancel the purchase. It wasn't a deposit, it was a partial payment towards a purchase. Even if this were a situation where there was a "nonrefundable deposit" stipulation in the TOS, you still don't get to keep the deposit unless actual work has been done.
yuki_fox_demon
Jun. 13th, 2014 05:08 am (UTC)
This, unfortunately. Keeping the money on a pre-made is pretty much theft, regardless of the circumstances, because they weren't being paid for labor or materials, even if they did make the head themselves before putting it up for sale. At least, that's how I've come to understand it.
jakejynx
Jun. 13th, 2014 02:43 am (UTC)
Seems to me, bottom line is that you should not have spent money that technically was not yours. And until the transaction is complete, and they have the head in their hands, the money is not yours.

If you cannot afford to refund them the payment made, you basically just have to wait until you can, or until they finish making payments.

You may want to consider a compromise, if you feel that this person is reasonable: ask if they would like to cancel and receive a refund. You can explain that the funds have been used, so if they would allow you to list and sell the head to another buyer, you can refund them with that payment.
kadaria
Jun. 13th, 2014 02:12 pm (UTC)
Agreeing with Jake's advice to set a hard deadline, use time to get a refund together (or a timeline for a refund) and look into reselling the head.
Also in the future you may want to reconsider taking payment plans. I work at an animal clinic and we don't take any sort of payment plans which frustrates people to no end but the bottom line is, we are not a bank or a credit institution. While we are not selling goods, it does cost us money to hire a collections agency or have our financial manager devote time to overdue accounts.
Technically, instead of spending this money without shipping the item you should have just sat on it until the buyer paid in full and you were able to ship the head. I know that is incredibly hard to do when you are budgeting. Maybe in the future your TOS could say something like "if you are not paid in full by X time, then you will be refunded and the item will be resold". It's all well and good to be nice to people in certain circumstances but it really only works when you know and trust the people involved.
kattotang
Jun. 13th, 2014 07:45 pm (UTC)
I think your animal clinic is a bit different, since if someone's pet gets hurt it becomes an unexpected emergency cost, so the frustration at the lack of payment plans is valid (though I also understand how it would cost the clinic money and why that system is in place). I do agree with your points though. After all, a fursuit head is not some unexpected cost and definitely isn't a necessity. If someone can't afford it up-front, they probably just shouldn't buy it to begin with.

Also, echoing everyone else...OP, you should never spend money that isn't entirely yours. It sucks when you need money and there's some sitting right there, but you just have to pretend it's not there. If you don't feel comfortable leaving money sit in your Paypal--or if you need to make payments with Paypal and the money is "in the way" as it were--open a savings account with your bank, link it to your Paypal, and transfer money that you need to leave alone to that account when you get it. In the event a refund is necessary, it's right there for you to pull to Paypal to send it. And if the transaction is completed, it'll be primed to be instantly transferred to your checking account for use.
kadaria
Jun. 14th, 2014 03:14 am (UTC)
I saw it as buyer had an "emergency" and is now unable to finish paying. Instead of being upfront they seem to be stringing the OP along with no payments in sight. Unfortunately if you're running a business you can't just be the "nice guy" who holds onto this item until they pony up the money. I think it's a common mistake to make in the furry community (this isn't the first post like this) but it doesn't work outside of the fandom. I brought up my personal experience because we get a lot of non surprises like breeders who don't budget for c sections railing at us for not being a bank after being burned so many times by delinquent customers. Heck my human hospital has a notice in triage that if you are uninsured, or on state health insurance and not actively dying they will boot you to another hospital. So I guess I'm not sure why the OP thought that giving the buyer so much slack was acceptable? I really hope they can recover some cash from this and learn from th experience though.
laughsatthunder
Jun. 13th, 2014 07:55 pm (UTC)
Posting here because of too many comments to reply to!

I didn't spend the money, I'm actually able to refund the buyer if I wanted. I chose to say "financially unstable" because I'm attempting to save up to head off to college and live with a friend of mine in 2-3 years, so I need to plan more carefully.

The buyer has agreed to send me the rest of the money by August 1st. They said they should have it by July.
jakejynx
Jun. 14th, 2014 01:56 am (UTC)
Er... "I can't financially afford to pay them back the money"

That's where people are getting the impression that you've spent the money.
yuki_fox_demon
Jun. 14th, 2014 02:37 am (UTC)
I actually almost commented that maybe they had the money, but needed it and couldn't afford to give it back, but the way that sentence was written made me think they'd spent it.

And I know you probably want to save the money, but I say that if they don't pay the rest by that deadline, refund them and call it good.
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )

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