July 28th, 2010

Rabbit grin

Color ref when there is only one.

I make hand-crafted items. Such as hats, scarves, and stuffed animals. I crochet all of them out of Red Heart Super Saver yarn. It’s soft, washable, less chance of an allergy, and comes in a large verity of colors. When someone buys from me, I offer different shades of the color they want. Such as there is two types of pink, two types of blue, three types of green; some colors have three or four, some have one. Just one. Brown, orange, and grey, for example, have just one color option. When this happens, I try to offer other types of yarn, which might change the price.

Recently, I had a customer want an item where the color is not common. Red Heart is the ONLY provider of this color (in solid, some other companies offer it in stripes with other colors mixed in,) and they only offer ONE shade. Having literally no choice, I used this color. When the item was done (I’ll admit, it took me longer than I would have liked, and I’m sorry for that) I was told that they would have liked to have more say in the color. I felt like I had been slapped. I make it pretty clear what yarn I use, and that I try very hard to make exactly what the customer wants. I however did NOT have a choice in the color I used.

I need advice. What do I do in a case like this? This particular one said it would be okay, and just to go ahead and ship the item. I’m afraid in the future, however, if I get someone that ISN’T so easy. I can offer to dye it, but that still won’t give them a picture color reference until I dye the item, as yarn doesn’t dye alone without problems, if it dyes at all. So I’m still stuck with “give me a color reference” when there IS no other color. Ideas on how to handle something like this?

Edit :|: Thank you all very very much for the help! From now on I'm going to link everyone that commissions me to the yarn's site that has swatches, rather than just have it linked on my site. "Assume they don't read" kind of thing. And offer them to ship me yarn that they have if they wish for a discounted price. Thank you all again! You are all very helpful, and I'll take all this into practice.

Redistribution of Original Commission

Recently, I've had an issue with Razz (razzek on FA and DA)regarding a commissioned piece back in January. This was a piece for a fundraiser of a mutual friend of both the artist and me. She completes the piece and via notes tells me it's finished; it's subsequently uploaded to FA. I'm quite satisfied with the piece and the work she put into it. As luck would have it, both of our lives become crazy and hectic.

Fast-forward to July 12, When Razz notifies users that old commissions would be going into scrap-bags for re-sale. I contacted Razz to have her hold my commission. Unfortunately, I didn't follow up until her "last call" journal on July 23. I contacted her again and pointed her out to the piece she did for me. Much to my horror, she apologized and notified me that the piece had already been sold. She also notified me that she had made "several journals" about needing shipping information and she assumed that I did not want the original. This was only partially true: She did make one additional journal on January 19, requesting my shipping information. I missed this particular journal and this led on to my piece being sold to "a good home" — yet she cannot remember who obtained this particular piece.

My grievances are these:

1. If you do a piece using real media, unless otherwise stated, it is presumed that the buyer wants this piece. I'm not thrilled about having a product that I paid for being re-purchased by someone else. Yes, the money did indeed go to the target of the fundraiser. However, I feel like that I've been "double dipped" in that the artist sold the original piece. It's my feeling that under no circumstances should a paid-for and approved original be re-sold by the artist unless there's consent to do so otherwise.

2. I try to be understanding of situations. Sometimes things can't be shipped right away. Given that this artist re-located cross-country with her husband, I figured that my commission was the least of her worries and didn't press the matter — I'm no stranger to playing the waiting game. Plus, I had recently re-located across state and since then things haven't been that especially good for me either.

3. If the artist was indeed ready for me to provide shipping information, then she should have contacted me via a note or shout — something that's directly addressed to me. If she had done that and I still left no information, then she'd have a much stronger case of me simply defaulting on the original piece. Sometimes we miss journals. As much as she shifts the blame onto me for not notifying her, I shift the exact same blame onto her for not noting me.

4. This is more of an auxiliary sort of complaint, but do not attribute "disability" as means of absolving yourself of professional responsibility. So that we're all clear, the artist is legitimately disabled and I'm not mocking/insulting her for it.

I earnestly hope that there can be some resolution in this matter.

First of all, here's the piece in question:

http://www.furaffinity.net/view/3240540/ (SFW)

Next, the three journals notifying buyers about art:

http://www.furaffinity.net/journal/1155011/ (January 19, the one I missed)
http://www.furaffinity.net/journal/1547998/ (July 12, this is the first note I sent)
http://www.furaffinity.net/journal/1578718/ (July 23, most recent)

Finally, the exchange of notes between Razz and me. Excuse the large dimensions, but I wanted legibility. On the last note, there are gaps because I've erased the identities of third-parties that aren't involved in the transaction itself.


EDIT: The artist and I have worked out a suitable agreement. We both admit fault for our communication over this transaction and we shall take this experience to be a very teachable moment on how artists and buyers should be on the same page from the very start of a transaction.