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Sorry I've never posted here before so please forgive me if the format is wrong. I'm coming here seeking advice. A sticky situation arose yesterday. I shall be vague to protect identities and not incite drama.

So I made some hand paws and posted them to sell about a week and a half ago. Someone came along wanting to buy said paws and pay full price (lets say 75$) but they would need some time before they send money. I tell them I can hold it for a little while And after that this person disappears. I hold the paws for at least 10 days. I email asking for payment or else I'd be forced to sell the paws. I've got bills to pay and I live off my arts and crafts so I couldn't afford to wait. I waited for a reply and I got none.

Enter someone else who wants the same paws. Just to give a bit of history they've commissioned me in the past back when I was going through my "dark days". I wasn't able to send out the badge of the commission so when I finally got back on my feet I gave them a full refund even though the digital art was on FA. So this sets the mood for the current situation. They only only offer and pay 25$ for the paws. Everything was good until the next morning my paypal was 75$ richer with a note saying there'd been some storms and the previous buyer's net was out. I was at a loss for what to do so I messaged them telling them I've sold the paws but let me see if I could work something out.

So I emailed the person who paid 25$ and I was upfront and honest telling them what happened and that I was honestly more interested in the 75$ deal. But I didn't want them to go empty handed. I had the exact same pattern and I could make the same paws or something slightly different and still send it to them. Or I could refund them if they didn't like that. I was willing to work things out. (I told the 75$ buyer this and they were fine if I chose to make the paws the same for 25$ person since they'd never meet being in another country or I could make them something else and they wouldn't mind waiting)

25$ buyer sends me a rather angry reply saying they've had it with dealing with me and they want the paws or their money back an I'll never get business from them again. I understand being angry but being really uncivil and dredging up old stuff to throw at me was kinda uncool uncool when everything was civil (leaving off what they said). 75$ person didn't mind waiting til I made them something else so I told 25$ person that I'd honor the original dealing and send them the paws as agreed.

But now I feel some kind of way about this whole ordeal. Even though Everything was worked out I really don't want to deal with 25$ person anymore. I'm so put off I really don't want to send them something I've worked hard on. I honestly want to refund them and be done with them (Mind you these are personal feelings I won't act on them)

This situation has caused me stress to the point I've had a bit of panic and anxiety. I just want to know does anyone else feel I was practicing bad business? What can I do right in the future if I have? I honestly didnt think I did anything wrong by trying to let them know what was going on and trying to work things out between people. If someone can help me and put me at ease this would be helpful.

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( 27 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 1st, 2013 06:33 am (UTC)
You had every right to sell off the paws to someone else after client A was gone for roughly 10 days. Its unfair to you to, to have to hold ANYTHING sell able for that long. But what you never should have done was gone back to client B and told them someone else had already 'paid' for them, etc. That's shady behavior, so their ire towards you was moderately justified.

Client B essentially paid first, you should have just apologized to A and offered to work with them for new paws. B never EVER should have found out about this, even if you did want the extra money.
Jun. 1st, 2013 06:40 am (UTC)
I agree.

As to how to fix it, I'd recommend contacting Client B (the $25 person) and apologizing for handling things poorly. Then offer to send the paws or a refund, and let them decide. The paws are already made, so you wouldn't be working with them on a custom item, and can be quit of them after you send the paws off (with tracking!!). Remain polite and all business, and you'll come off all the better.

Then work out a new set of paws with Client A (the one paying $75).
Jun. 1st, 2013 07:41 am (UTC)
I see, thank you for clearing things up for me. I honestly didn't realise I was practicing bad behavior. I was trying to honor buyer A because they bought the item and I'd said I'd hold it for them. They had no net to reply so they didn't have the chance to defend themselves when I asked for an update in my eyes. I guess I didn't think that quite through.
Jun. 1st, 2013 07:52 am (UTC)
Except Buyer A hadn't actually bought the item yet, it's only theirs once they paid for it. You don't own things in your shopping cart until you paid at the register either. Sure, they didn't mean to wait that log, but what if you had already sent the paws when they paid? Would you have asked Buyer B to sent them back?

And see it from Buyer B's perspective: they buy an item for 25$ and suddenly the person selling it comes along and tells them they got a better offer (it doesn't matter that the other buyer asked first, they hadn't paid yet and as far as you knew they weren't going too), so now they are not getting the item they paid for. It doesn't matter that you offered them to make new paws for them, they wanted the product they paid for. On top of that this wasn't the first negative experience they had with you, even if the original conflict got resolved. Their reaction might not have been polite or nice, but I can see why they would be upset.
Jun. 1st, 2013 07:58 am (UTC)
I understand now. And yes I can see how and why they reacted that way. I didn't understand before but I do now. Thanks for shedding the situation in another light for me.
Jun. 1st, 2013 07:45 am (UTC)
See my problem was I did offer to make A the new paws. Which was good. But I also tried to make the same offer for B?, I don't know exactly my thought process was now but thank you for clearing things up for me. I didn't want to go on in my own belief that I didn't do anything wrong when I could have.
Jun. 1st, 2013 04:53 pm (UTC)
Yes, whoever paid first should have got the paws, no discussion about "other buyers". The one who paid second, while it was bad luck, should have gotten the "I'm sorry but I hadn't heard from you for over ____ days, however I can make you a new, similar pair if you want to wait a little longer" conversation.

And there's no need to make sure the first buyer would be okay with "someone else having similar paws" unless they were advertized as unique, never to be made again by you.
Jun. 1st, 2013 06:35 am (UTC)
Unfortunately, you did handle part of this situation badly. It sucks too, but it is bad form to deny someone a product after coming to an agreement. (*extreme/special circumstances may call for different actions.) It was good to keep the original potential buyer in the loop tho' so you could work out an additional deal with them.

Don't take such lowball offers in the future. Thank the potential buyer for their interest but insist you'll take no less than [$x] and you understand if they aren't interested in that price. If the won't budge, move on. You can always go down, but you can never go up.

You have every right to refuse to do business with the second person (and vice versa) after this transaction is completed. Go ahead and send them the product then wash your hands of the ordeal. At least you have the original potential buyer who is still interested in a second set at the proper price.
Jun. 1st, 2013 07:50 am (UTC)
You are very right. I shouldn't have taken the lowball offer and that was my fault. But luckily everything is ok now between A and B I'll just try to exercise better judgement in the future. Or if I'm unsure in the future I'll post here! Everyone is really helpful!
Jun. 1st, 2013 07:55 am (UTC)
Thanks for the help everyone, I appreciate your honesty and for being nice about it. I was worried that everyone was gonna grab their pitchforks or something so this was a good experience. Even though things are worked out I feel I owe buyer B an apology which I shall go write promptly. Lesson were learnt here and I thank you kindly.

And if I'm ever in a predicament I shall try to remain calm and if I can't think of anything I'll get help and ask next time :)
Jun. 1st, 2013 02:55 pm (UTC)
You handled yourself very well here and writing an apology to client B sounds like a solid idea. Whether you have future business dealings with them or not they at least will see you owned up to a bad call and made good on the situation.
Jun. 1st, 2013 07:59 am (UTC)
From my standpoint, This seems ultimately like a situation of too much information shared with the clients.

If you are in a situation where you can re-create the item (paws/tail whatever) with the same materials. You, as a businessperson, do not need to tell your clients every detail about your other clients. It does not matter to them. All that matters is your product (or one like it) that you have made, or is to be made, is created and mailed in a timely fashion for the agreed upon price. If anything you can thank them for their payment and let them know it will be mailed out in the next few days (it is the weekend afterall). Whomever is the more pressing customer, perhaps the nasty-attitude $25 one, can get the first set mailed first. And the delayed-payment customer, can get the newer pair.

If it were me, and I was stuck in this situation, I would set aside an hour or however long out of my schedule and recreate the item and just simply mail the identical sets to both individuals for their respective paid prices and learn from it. Unless you advertised this item as one-of-a-kind, I see absolutely no issue with that.

Its a little bit too bad you agreed $25, unless they took you less than an hour to make and cost nothing in terms of materials to create it is a STEAL for the client to pay that much, $75 is much more reasonable, and you are better off accepting that as the price for your efforts.

Just my thoughts if this were ever to come up again in the future. I do not have much else to impart about pleasing the angered $25 customer. Its such a low price, I would just move on and block them from further purchases, unless you feel a need to keep up a tense business relationship that is stressing you out.
Jun. 1st, 2013 08:19 am (UTC)
I agree. I realize I was under stress and just spewed everything like a guilty kid lol

Mg trying to be fair and honest kinda back fired.

As for the price tags everything about this story was changed to hide the identities of the buyers and to not insight any drama. I just wanted to see if and what I did wrong. With out anyone coming along and getting offended.

In reality the item was a decent price but buyer B paid 25$ less. I won't say exact numbers but I hope that gives you an idea.
Jun. 1st, 2013 08:55 am (UTC)
Ohh good, I'm not lookin' for real numbers -- just I am glad/relieved to hear you didn't undersell yourself too badly then!

As a fellow costume maker its always hard to see folks undersell themselves on items so often when fursuit making has a steep time and materials cost commitment.
Jun. 1st, 2013 08:21 am (UTC)
And no I didn't advertise as one of a kind so you are right. I should've just done as you said. Now I'm sitting here hitting my head like a V8 commercial.
Jun. 1st, 2013 09:54 am (UTC)
And on a minor thing that hasn't been covered yet, did you specify a set time you would hold the item for person A? If you didn't, it might be worth remembering to do that in future should a buyer request a hold. It gives you a little more protection should you have a non-payer and want to resell.
Jun. 1st, 2013 02:16 pm (UTC)
I was wondering that as well, I suspect 'at least 10 days' might have meant to have been 'at most 10 days'?
As in that was the max they were willing to hold the item.

Jun. 1st, 2013 03:57 pm (UTC)
I did not specify how long I would hold the item that is the amount of time I held it for them before taking action.
Jun. 1st, 2013 03:55 pm (UTC)
No I did not and very true. I usually don't think to do that because people usually pay within the week. But with their internet being gone I can see where problems like this can arise. I shall remember to be more clear in the future.
Jun. 1st, 2013 04:59 pm (UTC)
-- don't work with someone you don't want to work with
-- when you sell things, have in mind a price you wouldn't be comfortable going below, and don't accept offers below that
-- have an easy-to-find TOS that states publicly how long you will wait on payments/hold items for
-- never tell one buyer about other buyers, unless it's to tell them that the item has already sold. It really is TMI and, in a case where you are trying to change an agreed-upon, paid for deal, feels like bait-and-switch to the buyer.

Good luck :)
Jun. 2nd, 2013 06:57 am (UTC)
I shall remember this for the future. Thank you!
Jun. 2nd, 2013 05:16 am (UTC)
I kinda feel like buyer B freaked out a little too much. I would have done the same thing, gone back and taken the 75$. Thats a damn good deal, compared to 25$.
Jun. 2nd, 2013 05:28 am (UTC)
B deserved to be upset. They already paid upfront (a price that was not actually $25, the OP changed numbers around for privacy), the item was theirs.

It is shady dealing to go back and renege on one confirmed deal (this was NOT an auction) to go after a shinier offer. Unprofessional 1000%.

I'd beware any seller in a heartbeat if they were to do that to me, hands down.
Jun. 2nd, 2013 06:54 am (UTC)
I wasn't looking to go after a Shinier offer per say. I was trying to make everyone happy. I told buyer A I'd hold the item. They lost net and had no way of telling me. My thought process was to try and cater to them to give them a fair chance. I didn't realize my thinking was flawed until I posted here.

I did handle it ok for the most part, I should've never involved buyer B as others have said. And I probably should've waited til I was calm.

In any case I corrected, admitted and learned from my wrong. I am no professional and I never label myself as such as I am still learning. I try to act professional but it's not like I've went to school for such things. I'm learning everything as I go and based on what I've learned from observing others who do consider themselves professional. If you are so inclined don't ever commission me. I wouldn't want anyone to deal with me if I give them a bad vibe.
Jun. 2nd, 2013 06:56 am (UTC)
I changed the numbers to preserve anonymity. It was a difference of 25$ though.
Jun. 2nd, 2013 07:35 am (UTC)
Hi, I received your PM however you have your privacy settings set so I can't reply to it. Please go here: http://www.livejournal.com/manage/profile and scroll down to LJ Message Settings and change the setting so I can reply to you, thank you.
Jun. 5th, 2013 01:10 am (UTC)
I think this was handled badly but if I had a mix up in this manner I would explain it to both parties and offer the same thing. buyer A had tried to contact and pay for them first. buyer B was right to be a little upset but was still quite rude and didn't want to work with the seller in the least (I think they were out of line but that's my opinion). I understand it's not great buisness but if someone was rude to me in that way I would send the money back and not let them commission me(or buy from me) again.
( 27 comments — Leave a comment )


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