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Advice: pick up commissions

Hello everyone!

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?

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( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 25th, 2013 09:13 pm (UTC)
Half upfront, half after getting the piece sounds like most workable thing here. I'd figure downpayment is something every person understands.
Sep. 26th, 2013 01:06 am (UTC)
Seconded the half up front.
Or require payment after the sketch has been completed and approved.
Sep. 26th, 2013 01:06 am (UTC)
Also, bring this up on your local sites. This person is a danger to all artists.
Sep. 29th, 2013 06:00 pm (UTC)
Is was years ago though and they haven't been active in quite some time.
(Deleted comment)
Sep. 26th, 2013 11:46 am (UTC)
In addition to the above, it's your life and your home etc, but I would really recommend with people you don't know well to meet in a busy public place to exchange goods/money. I have done it myself for some local furs but anyone I don't know well had to meet me at the mall or central station due to the potential "stranger danger".
Sep. 29th, 2013 06:09 pm (UTC)
You have a point, but I don't think I will change it. I might consider meeting people in the lobby of the flat building I live in instead though. I don't really see it as a big risk for people to come to my house to collect a portrait they commissioned, if I don't know the person I don't let them in and I do not live alone. I actually do more risky things quite often, like giving art class or draw people at parties in people's homes, though I always make sure there is someone who knows where I am.
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )


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