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I try to keep abreast of all the posts here, and I don't remember this discussed anytime recently (or at all, actually). But please let me know if this is a repeat.

I've not done a lot of commissioning lately, but in my past I've had situations where the artist I've commissioned comes to me with the finished product and lets me know that for whatever reason, the amount we agreed to/I paid them was not enough.

For instance, around four summer's ago I ran into an artist who made some amazing Silent Hill statues. I was horribly disappointed that McFarlane (or someone else) had not made any figures based on the movie, terrible as it was, so I commissioned this artist for one.

He quoted some prices to me, and I accepted. He was an absolute joy to work with, kept me updated constantly, was kind enough to answer my questions about his sculpting techniques, etc. However, when he presented the final product to me, he told me that he had been wrong in his estimation and that he had only broken even on the project.

That made me feel pretty bad, because this statue is just gorgeous, but at the time I was a college student who only worked during Christmas and the summer. I wasn't exactly rolling in money, and my parents still poke fun at me for dropping so much money on it in the first place.

I thanked him and praised his work profusely, but I did not send him any extra money (although looking back on it I wish I had, I'm still very much deriving a lot of enjoyment from his art). He deserved a tip, I think.

Later on, I commissioned a very famous DeviantArt artist to make me an icon. She offered still and animated options, and I opted for non-animated since I was a bit low on expendable funds.

Apparently she had gotten my order confused, because when she was done she presented me with an animated icon. I could have read her delivery note wrong, but I got the impression she would have liked me to pay her the difference for her mistake.

So, my question is, how do you feel about those sorts of situations? Would you feel responsible for reimbursing the artist for their mistake, or would expect them to honor your first contract? Would the situation change depending on your current financial situation? If you were the artist, would you expect the commissioner to pay you extra after the fact or resent them for not doing so?

All in all it's kind of an awkward situation, so I wanted to know how you would handle it.
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Sep. 27th, 2009 03:00 am (UTC)
I quote the cost for the item, and state that shipping is extra. Then, when it's done, we can work out what shipping meets both our needs.
Sep. 27th, 2009 04:38 am (UTC)
That's what I was thinking. It's rare, but if the shipping really was that high (and honestly, when registered w/insurance it can be) I can totally understand the "price jump".

My prices never include shipping. For cheaper items I use airmail or priority in the US. But for anything over 50 or so dollars, I never ship overseas without some from of tracking (I've been burned no less than 3 times now by people making Paypal claims who refused to pay for insurance even though it's offered! Now I require it on everything over a set amount.)--that boosts the costs up very very quickly, as technically you can't buy tracking on flat-rate envelopes + boxes overseas. It's not uncommon for me to quote $13 to send a 8X11 sheet of paper to Germany or the UK...this is because it's honest-to-god what it costs for me to ship with tracking.

I'm upfront about that though, so that people know that I won't ship a $150 piece airmail. I may not know the final cost, but i can tell you "It'll be over $20 most likely.) I'm not gouging anyone, and I'm certainly not going to eat the cost myself. I have been thinking of a "pay with money order if you want cheaper shipping" option (since it's paypal I'm wary of) but that looks a lot shadier than I mean it to.

Sep. 27th, 2009 09:35 pm (UTC)
I do tend to offer a pay with check or money order option when people want something shipped to a different address than the one on their account. Mostly they then decide the address on their account is OK.

I can get more draconian, though, if the client's given me warning signs that they're probably going to renege on a Paypal or charged payment. Ideally, of course, one rules those people out before doing work for them... but that's not always possible. I DO require 50% nonrefundable deposit up front, and usually my timeframe is such that they can't do a Paypal charge-back for the deposit, anyway. :P

I think requiring insurance- unless they want to pay via a non-renege-able method- is just good sense!


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