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Canceled Order - Refund? - Ressolved~


A customer commissioned me about a year ago for a quadsuit (four legged mascot costume) for $1,200. I gave her a nice discount on the quadsuit because she can commissioned me previously and sadly I missed the deadline (which was refunded in full, though :) ). From last year until now, she only paid $140 out of a $1,200 for the suit to be completed in August, which is barely enough to pay for materials. I offered to downgrade it to a fullsuit to help lower the cost and she agreed.

I don't mind when customers take a while to pay off suits, just as long and they don't expect to have it until it is paid in FULL. She expected to have this costume done in August.

Today, she emailed me and told me she wants to cancel the order since it is now August and she doesn't think she'll pay in full before her event. My question is that am I obligated to refund her her $140? Like I said before, the money was spent on materials, so I assume it is a deposit payment?. I am guessing I should reply "Sorry that you had to cancel this order. Best wishes!" or something along the lines.

I looked back our emails and it looks like the seller is aware that deposits are non-refundable and knew the $140 was spent on materials already. since I told her. Sorry for not mentioning earlier!

Edit Two - Resolved!:
Thank you all for your advice! I offered the commissioner to either send the materials back or make her something equilavent to $140. She likes the second option and seems very content/happy! =)

This never happened to me before, so I'd love some advice! :) Thanks in advanced!
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( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 2nd, 2010 10:55 pm (UTC)
I've never dealt with suit commissions or anything of the like, but most of the time (that I've seen) in these situations, the materials bought with that money was sent to the commissioner. And that was that!
Aug. 3rd, 2010 12:12 am (UTC)
I am thinking I will go this route if the commissioner doesn't want an item equilavent to $140. Thanks!
Aug. 2nd, 2010 10:59 pm (UTC)
Seconded. All the professional suit makers I've seen charge a deposit for materials and prep/to hold the commission spot. If you've already bought the materials, and the 140$ covered them, then let her know, and figure out how much shipping the materials to her will cost. If she's willing to cover that cost, pack em' up, send them along, and wash your hands of the situation. It sucks, but these things happen. At least you aren't out the money out of pocket.
Aug. 2nd, 2010 11:01 pm (UTC)
What if the customer would rather have a refund though, and I don't feel right refunding her for /material/ costs. What should I do? Sorry, forgot to mention that.
Aug. 3rd, 2010 12:02 am (UTC)
you should hold your ground, thats why every shop has the "re-stocking fee" when someone returns products.
Aug. 2nd, 2010 11:00 pm (UTC)
What's your TOS say?
Aug. 3rd, 2010 12:14 am (UTC)
I did make it obvious that I cannot refund the $140 in a previous conversation since it was spent on materials. That is when I recommended her to get a fullsuit instead of a quadsuit to help lower the cost. She agreed, and it went from there.

Of course, a well written TOS is definitely something I should do.
Aug. 2nd, 2010 11:01 pm (UTC)
Well, the thing to do is get a TOS that addresses refunds, deposits, etc. so that next time the customer knows where they stand.

For now what I'd do in your place is to offer her three options.

1. A refund in full. Without you explicitly stating that her payments so far aren't refundable she's probably expecting her money back. It may not be fair to you to refund it, but if you keep the materials you can always use them for other projects.

Which leads to... 2. Send her the materials you've bought. Her money paid for them, so if you keep the money you don't have much right to keep the materials too, especially not without a pre-stated policy about not refunding.

Or 3. Offer to make her something worth $140. This is what I usually do in these cases. My TOS says that down payments are not refundable, but even with that, I still want to make my customers happy, so I always offer to make something for the money they've paid. Hands, feet, a couple of tails, a small plush, so at least they'll have something for their money.
Aug. 2nd, 2010 11:10 pm (UTC)
She emailed me previously wanting to cancel the order since she couldn't pay, and I said the deposit was non refundable. I offered to downgrade the suit and she was okay with it. She should be aware that I don't refund deposits.

I think I am going to go with 2 or 3 of your options, though, since I don't want her to walk away empty handed.

Thanks a lot for your help!
Aug. 2nd, 2010 11:34 pm (UTC)
If you have already let her know the deposit is non-refundbable, and the commissioner agreed to those conditions, then, well...

Apologize, wish her the best of luck, and keep the $140.

I'd say the best thing to do for her is consider her commission indefinitely delayed. If a couple years down the road she gets the money, well, she already has a deposit.

But she knows deposits are non-refundable, and so she shouldn't expect the deposit back, simple as that.
Aug. 3rd, 2010 12:15 am (UTC)
Good idea about having a deposit for a future commission.
As much as keeping the $140 and leaving it at that sounds nice, I will most likely either send the materials back or make her something small that is worth $140.
Aug. 2nd, 2010 11:54 pm (UTC)
If you said the $140 deposit is non-refundable, keep that note, e-mail, etc. No refunds.
Aug. 3rd, 2010 12:11 am (UTC)
Yup, I got it.
It looks as if she is not looking for a refund, but I did offer the "Get something equivalent to $140" and see seems interested in that.
Aug. 3rd, 2010 02:04 am (UTC)
Off topic --Are you the same Koisnake who had navy blue fur for sale a long while ago?
Aug. 3rd, 2010 02:16 am (UTC)
Sure is, PMed. :)
( 15 comments — Leave a comment )


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