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Seeking some advice regarding a trade

No names will be mentioned yet because I still have hope, and I'm positive that the artist will come through, but I'm just slightly concerned about how long this trade has been dragged out.
We initiated the trade at the beginning of May 2014, I was originally interested in a pair of pre-made handpaws that were being sold, and the artist asked about trading for a custom hoodie. Since the price of the hoodie was more than that of the paws, we agreed on a pair of sleeves and a fairly simple tail from them as well.
I finished my part around the end of June. I've messaged them once or twice every few months just to check in, but they never actually messaged me first to give me updates. Response time has been decent. The artist has gone through a lot over that period of time (moving, technical difficulties, etc.) which I completely understand because I've been through all of that myself, but as a fursuit part crafter myself I know that it really shouldn't take more than two weeks to make this tail and sleeves, and since the hard part (the gloves) are already finished I'm honestly not terribly sure why it's taken 9 months.
I never gave them a deadline because I'm okay with waiting, and I know they have other commissions ahead of me. The thing that concerned me most I suppose was that they just opened more commission slots and don't have a public queue listed anywhere, so I have no idea how much longer I'll have to wait.
If I could get some advice as to what to do, that would be fantastic. Should I wait it out longer? Should I set a stern deadline? I feel like a lot of times trades take a lot longer than this and I really don't want to rush the artist because I'm sure they have things going on that prevents them from being able to finish it right away.
I'm pretty wishy-washy so I'm terribly sorry if this was difficult to read haha.
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Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
kayla_la
Feb. 11th, 2015 10:22 pm (UTC)
What I would say:

"Heya! We're approaching a year on this trade now and I was just wondering if we could set a solid deadline for me to get my half. Hope to hear from you soon!"

Do you still have their half? If they respond being wishy washy about it or miss the deadline you two set, I would just cancel the trade and sell what you made. If they already have your half, I would ask for it back so you could cancel the trade and sell it off.
punkspacewafers
Feb. 11th, 2015 10:33 pm (UTC)
I definitely still have my half, I've learned that lesson!

That's fantastic advice, thanks so much! I'm awful with wording and phrasing, but that's exactly what I've wanted to say but never knew how to say it.
kayla_la
Feb. 11th, 2015 10:44 pm (UTC)
Just keep in mind that you're not a bad person/being mean/whatever for expecting what you're owed in a timely manner. You need to be polite but firm, and please don't apologize for asking for a deadline because they're less likely to take it seriously if you do.

Though definitely be prepared to cancel. A lot of people just don't take trades seriously. There was a time where even here in AB, the majority of commenters would act like it was silly to expect your half of a trade, and making bewares over trades was pretty much unheard of. I'm glad that perception appears to have changed. In my opinion, it's no different from a commission.
punkspacewafers
Feb. 11th, 2015 11:22 pm (UTC)
I do still have hope because they seem to be pumping out fursuit commissions regularly, and they don't seem like the type to just drop out of a trade randomly, but if worst comes to worst I'll have to just cancel and sell the hoodie like you said. Hopefully setting a shipping deadline for the both of us will help!

I remember doing a trade for a hoodie that was worth over $450 a few years ago, I didn't get my part for over 2 years, and when I posted a beware about it people were so rude and hostile towards me for expecting the other part of the trade?! I'm so glad the viewpoint has turned around so much now because I was a bit nervous about asking for advice.
It's definitely no different from a regular commission because time and money is sunk into the product, the payment is just other tangible items (or artwork) rather than cold cash.
kayla_la
Feb. 12th, 2015 09:01 am (UTC)
Exactly. I'm sorry people were rude and hostile to you over that! That used to be the norm in regards to trades, thank goodness that's changing. I hope you do get your half!
snobahr
Feb. 11th, 2015 10:33 pm (UTC)
This was basically what I was going to say.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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