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Advice on refunds

Here's the situation:

I sold a partial fursuit (head, hands, tail) via an auction site to a buyer. They paid in installments and that was all fine, and I sent them the suit. It arrived safely, but upon inspection they decided they didn't like it because it was hot, the mouth was not as mobile as they would have liked, and the vision was not what they expected. I offered to take the suit back to work on it (make vision adjustments, fix the jaw, and add a fan) for free. They would still like a full refund, minus shipping charges.

However, I'm short the money for the refund. The payments came in in small installments and that all went right out the door to pay for printmaking class supplies (one of the reasons that I made and sold the suit in the first place). If the suit was returned I would be able to work on it and re-sell it, but there's no guarantee that I'd be able to get the same amount that it originally sold for.

Should I ask one more time to take it back for repairs/refurb or is a refund justified in this situation? Should I suck it up and borrow from a friend to pay the buyer back? I don't know how to handle this. Even if I did re-sell the suit I might still end up in the red. I can't responsibly take on more work/projects to make up for the shortfall, and I'm not having luck in my "day job" search right now.

Edit: It was a premade

Edit II: The buyer has been working on their own head and has realized they can be quite hot (especially in the summer sun). I am going to put a fan in the head (good experience for me anyway) and all will be well.
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Comments

( 31 comments — Leave a comment )
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greenreaper
Jul. 12th, 2013 06:43 pm (UTC)
If you go down the refund route, since you were paid in installments, perhaps you could propose paying the refund in installments? This would allow you funds to make any changes you need to sell the suit and ultimately ensure that everyone gets what they want. They just have to be willing to loan it to you for a while. Which is really only fair, since you made a suit particularly for them and now they don't want it and aren't giving you the chance to make reasonable amendments for free.
brownspotz
Jul. 12th, 2013 06:43 pm (UTC)
You went above and beyond by offering to modify the head. I wouldn't offer a refund.
alohawolf
Jul. 12th, 2013 07:32 pm (UTC)
This.
(no subject) - kusuriurii - Jul. 15th, 2013 04:21 pm (UTC) - Expand
intj_reflection
Jul. 12th, 2013 07:01 pm (UTC)
Was this an auction for a custom partial or a premade? I had assumed premade until I read Greenreaper's comment but now I'm uncertain.
springmoone
Jul. 12th, 2013 07:02 pm (UTC)
Premade
(no subject) - intj_reflection - Jul. 12th, 2013 07:07 pm (UTC) - Expand
kayla_la
Jul. 12th, 2013 07:09 pm (UTC)
For a premade, I wouldn't offer a refund UNLESS there's a real technical problem that makes the suit practically unusable or the like, and it's actually your fault. But so far, it sounds like buyer's remorse.

That said, if you decide you want to refund them in the end, doing it in installments as they did should be perfectly acceptable. But based just on the information in your post, I wouldn't say you owe them a refund just because they changed their mind.

In the future, you may want to consider adding something like this in your TOS, that you'll only give refunds on pre-made products in case of damage or the like (something that's actually your fault), and not because 'I've suddenly decided I don't actually like it even though I knew what I was getting'. Then you can point people to it if this comes up again.
zaulankris
Jul. 12th, 2013 07:09 pm (UTC)
If the product is outright defective, a refund would be in order but... do you think it is? I am being serious. Fursuits are hot, moving jaws don't work on everyone (especially premades) and vision is nearly always not that great. If you accurately represented the item at auction and the 'faults' are within the expected range of a fursuit, offering to make adjustments is more than fair. I don't know the situation, but refusing free adjustments and asking for a full refund sounds like buyer's remorse, which isn't your problem.


edit for word salad

Edited at 2013-07-12 07:11 pm (UTC)
springmoone
Jul. 12th, 2013 07:16 pm (UTC)
I don't think it's defective, personally. It is at par with my current generation masks (made in 2013), which have good build quality. I obsessively examined some big name maker heads at AC; my expressions aren't on par with them yet, but in terms of technical execution mine are equally sturdy and well-finished inside. I went to a rave in my personal head (built on the same base) and while hot it wasn't unwearable.

The price was very low. A partial with paws, tail and head for $300.
(no subject) - zaulankris - Jul. 12th, 2013 07:28 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - springmoone - Jul. 12th, 2013 07:20 pm (UTC) - Expand
vauvakolibri
Jul. 12th, 2013 07:13 pm (UTC)
Were how much of the things the buyer had issues with mentioned before they paid? Like mention of jaw movability/lack of fan/field of vision etc? (I don't know if these are generally mentioned how in selling these things)
Mainly because though I do think a buyer should have the option to get a refund, if they had info before hand and still bought the head... When buying these I think there needs to be some consideration by the buyer too.

Personally I think your offer to fix said issues would have been enough if those were the problem, but if it comes to the refund, I agree with greenreaper that you paying in small parts would be the most fair way to go. And if the buyer doesn't agree to that, then (especially after refusing the fixes) it smells like they're not wanting a refund just because the problems they have with the head...
sbneko
Jul. 12th, 2013 08:44 pm (UTC)
I'm sort of on the fence about the first part. On one hand, it does feel like issues should be mentioned, but at the same time, isn't it like buying a full mask at a store? It's hard to see, it gets hot, but this isn't mentioned on the package since it should be common knowledge or something you look into before buying.

I'm unsure how I feel about it, but it seems like it'd make more sense to mention issues that aren't the norm. But from everyone I know who's owned a suit, there isn't really a way to not have these issues, it's part of the costume.
(no subject) - vauvakolibri - Jul. 12th, 2013 08:54 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sbneko - Jul. 12th, 2013 08:57 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - vauvakolibri - Jul. 12th, 2013 09:37 pm (UTC) - Expand
clockmagic
Jul. 12th, 2013 07:30 pm (UTC)
I'm curious if the person who bought it has ever worn a fursuit because yea they do get hot, it's a premade the risk fo the jaw not fitting to move is chanced at times, and if you're new to it vision isn't as awesome in suits as people think for the most part.

Technically I think there isn't anything wrong with the suit so I don't see a refund being an option.

Edited at 2013-07-12 07:33 pm (UTC)
kaelstra
Jul. 12th, 2013 07:37 pm (UTC)
It was premade, and, presumably sold "as is", in which case, the buyer isn't entitled to a refund. You offered to correct the things (for free!) that they didn't like, and got told no. If you had further contact with this person, I'd say that you're not going to issue a refund for a non-custom piece. Offer again to fix up the things they're complaining about, and if they say no again, tell them sorry, but you aren't issuing a refund for the suit.
thefancyhorse
Jul. 12th, 2013 08:04 pm (UTC)
Since it was a pre-made, I'm of the opinion that if the buyer doesn't like it, then they need to try to sell it to recoup the money, and not bother you with it.

BUT, you could be nice and offer to advertise them selling it. C:They may or may not make the same amount on it should they choose to sell it.
mazz
Jul. 12th, 2013 08:04 pm (UTC)
Buyers remorse, you do not owe them a refund, offering to fix the suit for them was more than what anyone else would give selling a pre-made suit.
sbneko
Jul. 12th, 2013 08:39 pm (UTC)
It seems it's possible that maybe they've never had a head before so they didn't know that these issues are common place on all of them. I've never worn one, so I know I'd find it odd at first. I personally hate heat, so a head would be much hotter for me then others, which might also be his issue.

springmoone
Jul. 12th, 2013 09:20 pm (UTC)
yes, it's their first head.
skulldog
Jul. 13th, 2013 03:00 am (UTC)
Going to second and third comments so far. If someone bought an premade item, and decided it wasn't want they wanted, tough shit. As long as you were clear and upfront about sizing, and any small issues, it's up to the buyer to read, understand and deal with any common problems you as a creator were upfront about.

Premade items carry a little higher risk, and the lower price to buy one covers the fact that, buying a premade is not being done to your exact fickle personage, and that's why it's not a commission.
timelapsedecay
Jul. 13th, 2013 04:55 am (UTC)
I can't believe they would try to get a refund out of this to be honest, it's a premade. They need to resell it themselves if they don't like it
poizenkat
Jul. 13th, 2013 06:21 am (UTC)
since it was a premade, I'd say not to refund them. Besides, I have those issues with my current suits and I'm pretty sure it's normal. When you're wearing something covered in fur, it's supposed to be pretty hot and when you have something covering your eyes, it's supposed to be a bit harder to see.
the moving jaw thing is disappointing though and I'd be upset about that as well, but not only did you offer a fix but a premade suit that isn't going to fit extremely well is bound to have issues like that. for example, I cant use the moving jaw in my wife's suit because it's not fitted to me.
lackoflollies
Jul. 13th, 2013 02:39 pm (UTC)
I hope you have proof it was shipped and all that.

In case you say no to his refund request, and he does a paypal dispute for the money sent regardless.
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