I commissioned an artist who will remain nameless for now back in February. Full color, two characters for $50. They were under hard times, and needed money fast. I've commissioned her in the past, and she had my piece done in a fairly reasonable amount of time. I figured since we were in the same fandom, and basically online acquaintances, that I'd give her some support. She said she was excited to do the piece, because she liked my characters. I sent the money and all was supposedly peachy.
Months went by, and nothing ever came of my commission. I sent her a note on Dec 4th basically saying, "Hey, I know life is crazy, but is there any progress on my commission? If there is none, I understand." The note was read the next day and not responded to.
My question is, would it be overstepping any boundaries if I contacted the other person that commissioned her in her journal to see if they got their piece? Also, I don't want to be too pestering to where she won't finish my work, but how many more times should I try contact before I say, "Ok fine, I'd really like a refund or the work." The last thing I want to do is bring her name here, because she seems like a generally nice person, and I don't think anyone's had problems with her in the past. Googling her name didn't bring up any previous grievances.
I just wanted to let everyone know of something that just happened to me and may happen to you if you sell via FurBid. I woke up this morning and saw that one of my auctions had been bought out for $200 through the Buy-It-Now Feature (which was my asking price). Elated, I began to read the email and quickly began to realize it was a scam. Here is a copy of what the email said:
"Hello [my REAL name],
First of all, I would like to tell you how happy i am to commit myself in buying your item. This is to notify you that i have ended your auction and agreed to pay the final amount for the item. Payment will be made via cashier's check and I am using this medium to notify you that the amount on the cashier's check will be more than your item fees due to the fact that it has already been signed for. I don't really know the exact overage amount because it will be issued by my client so once you receive it, Make sure you deduct your item fees and go to the nearest western union money transfer to send the remainder balance money back to client manager in the United Kingdom, the item is also going to UK. There sure will be no problem about the shipment because my client manager will be personally responsible for it, the same day you receive and cash the cashier's check from the bank after you must have deducted your item fees and western union back the remainder balance money to my client manager in the United Kingdom. However to assure you that i really want to buy the item. I will add an extra $5.00 to your money, if you end the auction for me asap. Email me your FULL NAME, ADDRESS+MOBILE PHONE NUMBER, so that the cashier's check can be mailed out as soon as possible.
Below are the questions i have for you:
1) Are you very sure the item is in good condition?
2) Do you have any western union money transfer location where to send the remainder balance money around you?
3) Can you allow me to send DHL for the pick up and complete the transaction,same day you receive the cashier's check?
4) Do you agree to send the remainder balance money,same day you cash the cashier's check from the bank?
Thanks In Anticipation.
Mr. James Bailey."
What is so odd is that his questions are irrelevant to a DIGITAL COMMISSION. >.< Plus, the whole thing had me on edge the moment I began to read it. I have also informed the FurBid admin about this email. What's more sad is that this auction is now a waste. Moreover, a SECOND person bought the other $200 auction for a digital commission from me today, however, he/she might not be a scammer, although I could pull no user information for this person, and now I am uneasy about it all. I think it's really sick we FURRIES can't even sell our artwork anymore because those stupid scammers are now weaseling their way into our auction sites.
So, if someone buys your auctions on FurBid and the email sounds like this, don't follow their instructions. Check with other people first and let FurBid know. :( I'd hate to see less-suspecting furry artists get scammed.
Okay, I'm not going to name names because the client in question was never anything other than polite, but I'm not quite sure if I handled the situation properly or if maybe I'm just too paranoid, or if I maybe dodged a big bullet.
Basically, Nameless commissioned me for a bookmark and once it was finished they told me that they had a friend who had fallen upon hard times and wondered if I would be okay with them printing copies of the bookmark and selling them for $5 each to raise funds and help out the friend. I was a bit leery of this at first, but I wanted to help, since I know what it's like to be down and out in a bad personal situation. So I told the person that I'd be okay with it so long as I got $1 royalties per bookmark sold, so that it wouldn't be like me giving up my rights to the art, but they'd still get most of the profits to help out their friend. After thinking some more about it, I contacted the person again and told them that we really ought to work out the details of the deal, as in, how long did they plan on offering these printed bookmarks, and where would they be distributing them? I wanted to make sure that, if my art was being sold, it was only being sold for a limited time, and I wasn't giving the person permanent printing and selling rights. Well, after that, Nameless said they'd rather give up because if we tried working out the details this way that we'd run into disagreements and they didn't want to get into it, and told me to nevermind. They mentioned not particularly liking that I didn't trust them on their word that they'd sell the bookmarks honorably (what?), but that there were no hard feelings.
So on one hand, I feel kind of bad that I'm now not helping someone supposedly in need, but at the same time I think I probably avoided a lot of trouble, since there was no contract involved and when I tried to work out details the person backed out of the deal. I mean, how am I supposed to trust the word of someone I don't really even know?
So, did I handle this okay, or am I being overly paranoid? I've only been seriously selling my art for about 6 months and this is the first time I've run into something like this, so I wasn't entirely sure what to do. Thanks in advance for any feedback.