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Questions about TOS

I was interested in selling home made knitted scarfs and hats, eventually moving up to blankets and what have you when I get larger needles.

I've been watching on here and often I've seen in the past advice on acquiring a TOS. I must be super slow, because after an hour of searching, I could not find these comments. As I am new to selling things online like this, I wanted to set up a TOS, for both me and the customer. I want them to know whats going on as much as I would want to, and I know reading over something like that would help.

What exactly should one put in a TOS though? I'm not fully sure.

I am sorry if you'd rather I not ask this here, but I know that you guys have it down pat what to do. I saw that advice asking is still ok, but did not see an update on the profile or a mod-post on what is exactly permitted.

I did google it, by the way. Didn't come up with any kind of helpful guide or anything.
Thank you in advanced.

Edit #1 - Oh man, thank you for all the advice. I have to actually sit down and put something together, so I'll upload my idea after its finished.

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( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 18th, 2009 06:48 am (UTC)
I'm doing the same thing. Hats, stuffed animals, tails, scarves, the like. Here are my terms of service:

I put how I can refuse service to anyone if I deem the need too, how I won't make mature rated items, how I require the person to do A,B, and C so I can do my end of the deal, that kind of thing. Mostly, how you run your business.
Dec. 18th, 2009 06:58 am (UTC)
Aaa amigurumi <3

Ah thank you, its really good to see something down on paper like that.
I do have an additional question, coming in rather late here:

Shipping. How do you decide on shipping? I've used the calculator before and been WAAAAY off.
(no subject) - fenris_lorsrai - Dec. 18th, 2009 03:31 pm (UTC) - Expand
Dec. 18th, 2009 04:42 pm (UTC)
Also added to this; careful with the boxes. If you're shipping soft goods like hats, use an envelope. I shipped only twice using boxes. I used FedEx ONCE, and it cost me twice as much as the hat they bought. Don't use FedEx, UPS, or any other third-party shipper. USPS does just fine. For USPS, boxes are about $5 flat to ship, depending on what size. Not worth it. Not locally, anyway, like in the continental US.

Even tails I pack in envelopes. The customer doesn't have to sign for them, they are cheaper for you, and are normally a couple days faster because they aren't considered a package.
Dec. 18th, 2009 04:36 pm (UTC)
I offer free shipping if you're within the continental US. I send everything through the tax-payer mail, so I counted it as about $2. It's about $1.30 for the large padded envelope that fits a standard mouse tail, and $0.40-something for the stamp. If it's out of country, I go to the USPS site and use their international calculator, and have them pay half the shipping cost. Which isn't much, normally. I think it was just an extra $5 for Mmm-Dumpling's tail to go to Canada.

I don't make much money off my things. A $20 mouse tail, I get about $3 after the materials are bought and the shipping paid for. A $10 hat I get about $2. I'm trying to keep my prices low so people will buy. Doesn't put much food on the table, but it's better than nothing. Since you're just starting, keep it low. Once you get your name out there and have constant commissions coming in, start to raise them to create more of a profit.
Dec. 19th, 2009 01:41 am (UTC)
I use the flat rate Priority Mail boxes and envelopes. The Post Office will send them to you in large quantities for free and no matter where in the US you send them it'll be the same price. You can even stock up on special stamps to put on them so you don't have to make a special trip to pay every time. It's a pretty awesome service.
Dec. 18th, 2009 06:56 am (UTC)
Are you making your own designs or using someone else's to make things to sell? A lot of patterns put out by designers will specify on the bottom that you CANNOT sell items you make from the pattern. Granted, it's not likely they will catch you themselves, but it can stain your name, especially amongst knitters who are more likely to be willing to actually pay what your time is worth instead of just somewhat above your materials.
Dec. 18th, 2009 06:59 am (UTC)
Oh no no its going to be simple stuff, rather cheap.
Just scarfs and basic hats. Boxnit, cable, the works like that. I'm working on lace stuff right now, kinda messing around with it myself.
Dec. 18th, 2009 04:45 pm (UTC)
I have a dragon I'm going to sell. I scoured the pattern for copyright. I got lucky, it said that I CAN sell the product, just not the pattern itself. So if you get above hats, socks, and scarves, check three times before offering for sale. Or modify the pattern. I have an elephant that using the original pattern I can't sell. So I modified the brains out of it. The only part of the original pattern on it now is the idea of an elephant. The gauge, the stitch, the shape, even the size have all changed drastically.
Dec. 18th, 2009 06:08 pm (UTC)
And of course, there's always the patterns that don't actually SAY if you can sell them or not, so make sure to get a hold of the designer and double check on those.
Dec. 18th, 2009 08:28 am (UTC)
You ToS is basically set in place to protect not only your customer, but YOU as well.

What should be included varies depending on the service you offer, but you should include things like what payment options you will take (if you do custom work that would need such), your return policy, things like that. deadlines on custom/ordered work, Your rights as the artist, and your buyer's rights as your customers.

I make costumes and props for cosplay, so mine is a bit more inclusive, as sometimes projects can bring in a pretty high price, but I'll link here for an example, but something like msmanuscript's is good enough for what you're looking for.


I took a business class, and what I learned there was try to be as clear as possible, as your ToS can be used in court if someone feels the need to make a huge fuss about something.
Dec. 18th, 2009 10:06 am (UTC)
You might want to include-

How much things cost.

What the buyer actually receives (obvious but misunderstandings can arise on this)

How you want to be paid and when.

How long roughly it will take to make.

Whether or not you work out of order.

How many alterations you'll make before charging and how much.

Postage- whether or not you include insurance or offer it etc.

How long it will take you to ship something out.

Copyright and moral rights (who owns it, who can change it, whether prints can be sold etc)

Cancellation and refunds (if they cancel or you cancel).

The right to refuse a commission.

These seem to be the main issues that come up :)
Dec. 18th, 2009 07:58 pm (UTC)
I believe at least some of the more recent comments on TOS' were made in posts that were deleted by asshat OPs.

Always include a clause that you can back out of a commission at any time for any unspecified reason. It'll protect you from assholes. If you did 50% of work on someone's commission, refund them 50% - shipping&cost of materials and ship the half-finished item.

For shipping, I tend to judge it on a case by case basis for unusual packages.
Dec. 18th, 2009 11:31 pm (UTC)
Like others have said, its basically a how you run your business and something for them to agree to to protect you from douchey customers.

I'd say for the best help after the advice you currently have - Edit the post to show us what your ToS is after you write it. And then we can help with whatever holes it might have including what Thaily said - Refunding issues etc. :3
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )


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