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This is kinda simple but I'm a little puzzled as to what I should do.

This past weekend I had a table in Connecticon's Artist Colony. I was selling $5 custom I.D. badges along with buttons and other junk. I took orders for them by having people fill out the bottom (which has a list of things like Name, Favorite Character/Pairing, etc.), I would take a picture of them, and work accordingly. Most people paid up front while others paid when they came to pick up the badge and, by my own fault, I didn't keep track of who paid and who didn't.

Somewhere in the craziness of the weekend and the long queue for the badges, I missed reconnecting with three customers and left the weekend with their finished orders. If they paid for them, which I assume they did, I'd like to be able to refund them or mail the badges to them (or both). I didn't get real names or any way to contact them, though. I also don't know what to do with their orders now...I can't reuse the materials and I can't resell them or anything.

So far I've put up a post on the convention forums hoping that there's a slim chance they read them, but the forums themselves seem kind of bare so I don't think that will go very far. I'm just really really trying to avoid any possible chance that people think I purposely took their money and didn't give them their order. :/
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Comments

( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
kiriska
Jul. 12th, 2010 10:26 pm (UTC)
I don't think there's much you can do besides posting on the forums and such. Did you have business cards for them to contact you with?

I'm sure you've already learned your lesson in all this, but be consistent in whether you want to be paid upfront or not. Make sure you both have the other's contact info. If you have a form for them to fill, have them include a phone number so you can text them when it's done. (You can also return the slip with their number on it when they pick it up, so they know you aren't creepy and keeping their info or something?) Don't put yourself in this kind of situation again. :o
vaxtorino
Jul. 12th, 2010 11:53 pm (UTC)
I screwed up with the business cards too, my design ended up printing completely backwards so I have 500 cards at home that say "moc.cam@rgrbyckiv" on them :/

I definitely will be clearer next time though. I never took contact info because it's never had to come up before, and I also didn't plan on being so swamped that I couldn't remember who had and hadn't paid @_@
neive
Jul. 12th, 2010 10:27 pm (UTC)
Were you giving out business cards or anything for them to have means of contacting -you-? Cause if so, make sure you post on your website/on DA or FA wherever (if you do post to any) the situation. Maybe then they can find you :C

Otherwise...I really don't know what to say aside from definitely take this as a lesson for next time. Make sure to get contact information from everyone ;A; As for payments, they sell little receipt books for like $3 at Walmart etc which are useful for in person commissions. It lets you keep track of your orders, as well as gives them physical proof they did purchase something from you. :)
vaxtorino
Jul. 13th, 2010 12:02 am (UTC)
I had to hand-write cards on a "when people asked for it" basis because I also ruined my business cards so they all printed backwards :/
A friend of mine actually uses the receipt books which I'm sure I told myself I would get, especially since this is the first year I also have to do a tax return. Like I said to the above poster, I think I underestimated how busy it would be, combined with the fact that I normally work with at least one other person.
stormslegacy
Jul. 13th, 2010 03:02 pm (UTC)
I second this--not only does it give them proof but in places like Anthrocon where there are literally hundreds of artists it also reminds them who they got the badge from and where to pick it up >_< So many people forget!
lastres0rt
Jul. 12th, 2010 11:29 pm (UTC)
Some clown at FWA convinced me to do a little doodle in his sketchbook, which I did since he was buying an icon commission.

Then, he "ran to the ATM for some cash"so he could pay for it, and... never came back. :/ it was a very simple sketch, but STILL...

This is just one more reason doing commissions at cons, especially before getting paid, is a bad idea.
vaxtorino
Jul. 13th, 2010 12:04 am (UTC)
Egh yeah, part of me is like "Well it's only $5" but $5 is still more than $0. The other part of me was thinking that if they paid me ahead of time and something happened where I physically couldn't finish what they wanted - which has happened before - then I'd also feel bad. At least now I've learned my lesson.
lastres0rt
Jul. 13th, 2010 12:29 am (UTC)
Well, I don't work until I get paid, and I enforce this on all clients -- so all he got away with was the little sketchbook sketch.

At least he left behind a commission form with lots of nummy contact info, so I can keep "reminding" him to pay up. >:3
gel_wolf
Jul. 13th, 2010 01:02 am (UTC)
oh god, last year at CC I had SUCH a problem with this. Honestly? There isn't much you can do at this point. Anime cons are the kind of place where there's not a lot of community spirit, so finding people by asking about them on the internet is next to impossible. All you
can really do now is bring these badges around to a few more anime cons in the area and hope you recognize them or they recognize you =/

In future, I suggest ALWAYS getting both an email address and some other form of contact. I usually go with address, in case they never answer emails. Cons are big, crazy, confusing places, and often people ( especially at anime cons ) forget they bought art or who they commissioned and will leave without picking up their art and never even remember they were supposed to be getting something!

Also, I would suggest not giving refunds if you've already finished the badges. Free shipping, yeah, but a refund after you did the work and are willing to ship it out just isn't fair to you at all.
snobahr
Jul. 13th, 2010 02:10 am (UTC)
even if you don't use a receipt book, when you redo your form, have a check-box on if paid.
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )

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