I am from a small country and I advertise on some local sites. Therefore almost all of my commissions are from people from my country. Because this country is rather small I offer the option that commissioners can pick up their product from my home to cut delivery costs.
When commissioners decide to come and collect the commission, they can pay at the time of collection. I also do send the clients pictures of what I am working on before they come to pick it up, but those are previews of low quality with watermarks. I have been doing this for years and I only had troubles once.
This one time the commissioner agreed to come pick up the work and pay then, however when the commission was finished they changed their minds and told me to send it to them instead. I then told them I would ship it to them as soon as I recieved the money, including the costs for delivery, and how to pay. I never recieved the money. Granted, I probably could have tried harder to get it. In the end I got stuck with the commission. (I draw personal portraits mostly, so it is not like I can recycle the work).
Either way, this was one time and it has not happened since, but I would like some advice on this. I suppose I could just tell future clients to pay up front, even when they want to pick up the commission, but the mentality of most of the locals is "seeing it before buying" (or even "looking, looking, not buying". I could also stop offering the pick-up service all together, but I would like not to. What do you think? Are there anyr possibilities I'm missing?