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More commissioner suggestions..?

I'm grateful for those who responded to my last post and now I am faced with a new cause to post once more... I have a commissioner (who will remain unnamed. They're a nice person but there's some trouble) They came to me about March of 2010 with a simple head commission. They provided plenty of ref pictures and sent me the initial $125 right up front. We proceeded, communication was good. College started and things slowed down a lot. Was still working on theirs and a few others when they had an idea and wanted to change the mask a little. Simple adjustment so I went with it. Things proceeded but no other payments came. I was made aware that they had no job and were running on credit cards for everything. It concerned me a little but I continued work. About May/June area they wanted to add a gas mask to the head. That set me back about 2 weeks to a month or so. They ordered a few supplies such as tubing, connectors and LED's (think rave gas mask) and I worked on the sculpt for the mask.  After about 2 weeks of sculpting I was finally able to gain approval on the sculpt and proceeded to cast. They wanted me to ship the gas mask to them so they could mark where they wanted the LED's to be so I could dremel out holes. They would them proceed to ship the mask back to me for me to do so. Then they would have me ship it back, they install the LED's and other items, and then ship it back to me once more for finishing touches (bear in mind this commissioner is in the UK where I am in the Northwest USA) so shipping all of that back and forth would have been a good bite to the wallet.

Not long after I'm made aware that they are close to bankruptcy and I put the commission on hold so they can get back on their feet. I liked the person and didn't want to see them put themselves in a hole in order to pay me. Yes, I know that's not my choice to make but I figured if they are unable to pay the full price at the time I would hold until they could. During that time I had sent them a pair of video goggles worth about $150.

I am now faced with wondering what I should do. I know this person will not be able to pay for this commission in full for a very long time if ever. Another commissioner made mention that, since I had given them the goggles that were worth equal to what they had paid me, at that time, the transaction was good and I don't need to worry about it any more. I know this person originally came to me to commission me for a mask but what do you do with a person who you know cannot pay? I've looked at both sides and find myself in the middle going in circles.. Help?

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Comments

( 41 comments — Leave a comment )
banrai
Jan. 11th, 2011 11:23 pm (UTC)
The really unfortunate thing is that more often than not, even people that are really badly in debt buy frivolous things they don't really need.

Arrange a reasonable payment plan with the guy, in my opinion. Even like $20-$30 a month is probably less than they're spending on other crap they don't need.
skulldog
Jan. 12th, 2011 02:12 am (UTC)
I agree with this. If you really like the person, and enjoy the commission, there's no harm in working out a small payment plan to finish it.

$20 a month is really not impossible even on a tight budget, lay off a bit of food or entertainment, and still be able to pay rent, and over a short period the fursuit work is paid off.
(no subject) - sharpecostumes - Jan. 12th, 2011 02:35 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - skulldog - Jan. 12th, 2011 02:43 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sharpecostumes - Jan. 12th, 2011 03:06 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - gizagiza - Jan. 12th, 2011 03:32 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - skulldog - Jan. 12th, 2011 03:58 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - shukivengeance - Jan. 12th, 2011 04:41 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - shukivengeance - Jan. 12th, 2011 04:42 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sharpecostumes - Jan. 12th, 2011 07:15 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sharpecostumes - Jan. 12th, 2011 07:27 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - shukivengeance - Jan. 12th, 2011 05:55 pm (UTC) - Expand
fatkraken
Jan. 11th, 2011 11:26 pm (UTC)
it's a little confusing since there's so much going on

How much have they paid, total?

What work have you done?

What have you sent them?

crisis_the_hat
Jan. 11th, 2011 11:49 pm (UTC)
Correct me if I'm wrong...
From the looks of it:

- So far the commissionee's only paid the assumed downpayment of $125
- For the gas mask stuff, they bought some of the material themselves.

- The sculpt and initial casting was done for the gas mask and I'm assuming the head itself.

- Sharpe's sent them a $150 pair of video glasses.
sharpecostumes
Jan. 12th, 2011 12:36 am (UTC)
I have made a panther hybrid with LED eyes (the head is finished)I made a gas mask cast, completely custom, only able to use that particular cast for that individual mask, none other masks and I sent them a pair of the MyVu video goggles worth $150. They've only paid $125. I know they want to send me more, but that would mean putting themselves into bankruptcy and unable to pay any more.
shukivengeance
Jan. 12th, 2011 12:39 am (UTC)
Their financial troubles are not your problem and you've been more than generous with them so far, which is admirable but not always the most sensible way to run your business. Honestly I hope they are trustworthy as the things you've done, like the work and sending them things worth more than what they've paid you, could very easily end up with you being scammed.

Work out some sort of payment plan. Accept installments from them, and only work on the piece as they pay for each amount of work required.
sharpecostumes
Jan. 12th, 2011 01:46 am (UTC)
The part I'm concerned about is they themselves have even told me they won't be able to pay for all of it :(
(no subject) - shukivengeance - Jan. 12th, 2011 01:57 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sharpecostumes - Jan. 12th, 2011 02:32 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - spiffystuff - Jan. 12th, 2011 03:40 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - gizagiza - Jan. 12th, 2011 03:45 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - shukivengeance - Jan. 12th, 2011 04:40 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - cissa - Jan. 14th, 2011 05:06 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - shukivengeance - Jan. 12th, 2011 04:39 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sharpecostumes - Jan. 12th, 2011 07:06 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - lilenth - Jan. 12th, 2011 01:09 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - shukivengeance - Jan. 12th, 2011 06:01 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sharpecostumes - Jan. 14th, 2011 01:00 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - shukivengeance - Jan. 14th, 2011 01:16 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - cissa - Jan. 14th, 2011 05:10 am (UTC) - Expand
sovy
Jan. 12th, 2011 02:00 am (UTC)
Have a candid talk with the commissioner and come up with a payment schedule or to discuss canceling the commission and selling the head to someone else.
anjel_kitty
Jan. 12th, 2011 05:22 am (UTC)
I know that you seem to like this person, but I advise not getting so benevolent with your customers if you want to run a business. It suck that things happened the way they did, but if this person is in bankruptcy it probably is on account from a long history of consumer debt and poor spending habits (I would suspect since Great Britain does have subsidized health care, which is often what drives a lot of young Americans to bankruptcy). Plus their inability to get a job doesn't lend well to you ever seeing your money. Personally were I in your position I'd consider recouping your loses, changing the design. A fursuit raver gas mask is rather novel and I'm sure you could sell that. Just apologize to the person but stay distant because this person's finical problems are not your problem, and unless this is just a hobby, you have no obligation to keep around a well worked product on account of consideration for a down-and-out former customer.
lilenth
Jan. 12th, 2011 01:05 pm (UTC)

If they're in the UK then even if they can't find a job they should still have an income unless they're too young to enter into a contract. Since they apparently have credit cards, they must be over 18, which means they aren't too young to enter into a contract.

Someone without a job should be entitled to Jobseekers/Income support in the UK, or a Bursary/loans that don't have to be repaid until they have a stable income if they're in higher education. Agencies are always hiring over here for the short term job market and they will take anyone for the most part barring serious physical health issues.

Bankruptcy is something one has to declare, you don't get it automatically and I'm not sure but you have to be in a certain amount of debt to declare it, by which point they should be eligible for all sorts of help programs specially designed to prevent bankruptcy since going bankrupt is not good for you.

In short you're being fed a line, the only way this person has no income is if he or she hasn't bothered to apply for benefits. I'd cut your losses and perhaps finish and sell the head, because I think you're being taken for a ride here. You're really too nice for your own good, if this guy is really going bankrupt then it's not your responsibility to hold off on getting paid for work you've done until he's no longer about to go bankrupt, I honestly doubt this guy will pay you since he's already got more out of you than he gave you in terms of the glasses.

If you want to run a business you've got to learn not to be taken in by hard luck stories, some of them are genuine but some are not. Somebody elses problems aren't your responsibility, their problems are their responsibility, your only responsibility is to yourself and anyone/anything that's dependant on you. It's hard but really if you carry on this way, well you could end up going bankrupt while waiting for people to pay you.
myrren
Jan. 12th, 2011 05:42 pm (UTC)
The Jobseekers/Income Support thing depends on a few things actually. For examply I only work 6 hours a week, and would be entitled to a top up via either of those, but because I was off sick a while I haven't paid enough National Insurance contributions to claim based on that. I can't claim the Income Based version of either as my partner works over 24 hours a week. No taking his income or our circumstances into account, more than 24 hours a week and that it, no questions asked. Now we are managing despite this, but I know a few people in similar situations who aren't so lucky.

Saying that, if this person can't afford to live on what they are getting, they shouldn't be buying expensive stuff like this. Food > fur suits!
shukivengeance
Jan. 12th, 2011 05:58 pm (UTC)
Yeah it is a bit more complicated than that, it depends on your work history and who you live with etc. But they don't work at all and are totally supported by their parents and should be able to get at least $40 a week in benefits, especially if they are 'depressed'. I know people who got DLA for that.
(no subject) - myrren - Jan. 12th, 2011 06:07 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - lilenth - Jan. 12th, 2011 06:29 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - shukivengeance - Jan. 12th, 2011 07:16 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - lilenth - Jan. 12th, 2011 06:26 pm (UTC) - Expand
shukivengeance
Jan. 12th, 2011 06:03 pm (UTC)
This!
(Deleted comment)
shukivengeance
Nov. 27th, 2012 10:08 pm (UTC)
Nope
( 41 comments — Leave a comment )

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