Loki (angelonanangle) wrote in artists_beware,

Multiple Late Payments from Commissioners.

How in the world should I go about confronting customers who owe me payments?
I make costumes/fursuits, and I offer payment plans, with a 30% deposit that needs to be paid upfront. My payment plans consisted of weekly and biweekly payments that I originally set up to have no less than 50$ send every 2 weeks. Very generous plan, yes? At least I thought so.

It turns out that I am collectively owed over 700$ from 3 commissioners now, with my deadlines for the suits being only months away. One commissioner flat-out told me that they would pay 30$ biweekly, without discussing it with me. I was a little too stunned to argue, as I did not know how to counter that. Yes, I did give them my full TOS to read through, which includes acceptable prices for my payment plan.
Honestly, money is one of those things I hate talking about. I'd rather just give them a date to pay, have them pay it on time, I can buy my supply, and we would all be happy, but having to hunt down my commissioners to remind them of their late payments? It just makes me so upset and anxious when I have to look like the bad guy. And those are just my commissioners! I still have an auction items that I am awaiting a down payment on!
Honestly, I have no idea how to handle this. I need to pay for more supply, as I have been using my own personal funds to keep the progress going. I do send photos, I do keep in contact with everyone, though I have been slower due to the holiday and wrap-up stuff.

tl;dr version: Basic question- What do I do when people are not making their payments on time when I need to meet their deadline? Should I drop their commission and refund all but the down payment? Should I send reminders, though often ignored or given excuses?
I do understand that life-stuff happens, but, I too, have bills to pay, and to make the deadlines for their suits, I have been paying out-of-pocket for their supply because they cannot keep up with payments.

For the record:
Commissioner 1 paid a deposit Sept. 23, and made one more payment November 2, and has not contacted me since. I wanted to get the suit done by April.
Commissioner 2 paid a down payment on Oct. 1, and has yet to make another payment. Wants the suit delivered in April. 
Commissioner 3 has been very good on payments, but I let one payment slide due to personal reasons, and have not seen a payment since. Last payment was Oct. 27; suit is due February.
Tags: advice for artists, fursuit
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