Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

What should I do?

I want to start this off by making it clear that this commissioner has really done nothing to make me believe they are trying to rip me off. I hope I'm not falsely accusing her of doing anything like that, but this has been hovering over my head for a while now and I'd like some closure.

February of last year, I received an email from this girl, asking if I could do a headshot commission of her character, Blue Fox. She didn't provide any other internet alias and Blue Fox is a rather common name, so I'll link the piece she sent me as reference to see if anyone knows of/has had experience with her: http://img118.exs.cx/img118/9317/bfbadgeshadowolf5cz.jpg

I sent a response the next day asking for a few more details and telling her what the price would be. Didn't get a response confirming that she was okay with the price, nor any email saying she had sent payment. I figured maybe she'd forgotten or lost interest, so in June, when I went through old emails and found it again, I sent another email to her asking if she was still interested and saying it was perfectly okay if she wasn't. I ask for money upfront and therefore hadn't started the commission, so while every bit of work helps, it was no big loss or anything.

She replied the same day saying she had in fact sent me the money (didn't specify when) but hadn't emailed me because she didn't want to bug me. She also said she'd mailed out two other commission payments at the same time and had only heard back from one person saying they'd received it (Jax the Bat...if anyone knows him maybe he could confirm this?). She asked if I could make sure I hadn't received it and said she'd double-check her own PO receipts. I replied immediately again, telling her I'd take a look and asked when she sent the payment. She replied saying she'd sent it in Feb, so not long after our first email discussion. Some more discussion continued back and forth, I couldn't find the envelope anywhere, don't remember receiving it, and my mother (who often picks up my PO box mail while I'm at college and is most definitely a trustworthy person) said she hadn't seen it either. I asked again about the PO Box receipts to make sure she had sent it. Never got another response after that. I emailed her again a few weeks later and didn't receive a response to that either.

Hello there! I am interested in commissioning you for a digital headshot of my character. I've gone ahead and filled out the order form for you to review and quote me.
Your Name: -deleted for her privacy-
Your Email: -deleted for her privacy-
Your Address: -deleted for her privacy-
Are you under 18 years of age? No.
If so, do you have the permission of a parent or guardian? N/A
Commission Type: ) Digital commission type # 3
Character Description(s): Blue Fox is, well.. a blue fox. Her typical outfit consists of a black t-shirt with a red star in the center, a black collar with four small silver spike-studs running along it. The collar also has a small, heart-shaped, metallic pink tag hanging in the front between two of the studs. She wears a pair of black, medium-thick rim glasses (think of "emo-kid" glasses. I'm sure you've seen them!) Anything below the shirt I don't think you'd need, seeing as this is an upper body thing. :) All facial markings, hair details and such can be seen below in the reference picture.
Link to reference picture of your character(s): http://img118.exs.cx/img118/9317/bfbadgeshadowolf5cz.jpg
Payment Method: (check or money order): Money order
Additional Information: I was wondering if an image like this: http://fs5.deviantart.com/i/2004/326/0/0/70s_British_Rockstar_Spirit_by_spiritwolf77.png
constitutes a # 3 headshot? If not, how much would something like that picture be? I'd like the same kind of thing for my order. I love the way you fade the colors out where the body begins. I would want the nature of my commission to be done in a similar style--happy, cheerful. Although, I'd like to note that Blue Fox is a bit devious, so her grin would be a bit sharper and cunning, but still express happiness like your British Rockstar gal. :) I'd also like to request that for this picture, that Blue's hair be put up into a ponytail, rather than her limp hanging hair as in the reference image.
Any other questions, please ask! Thanks much!

Blue Fox


Hi there,
I actually had told myself I wasn't going to be taking any commissions for a while, because I have a pretty big workload at the moment thanks to school. But this isn't too complicated of a piece so I could probably take it on, provided you'd be okay with possibly waiting a bit for it. At the -very- latest I should have it done the week of March 20th because I go on spring break then, but I will try my best to get it done before then.
Yup, that sort of thing would be a number 3, do you have a color preference for the background?
The number 3 commission is $15, plus...I think it's just a dollar for shipping since you live relatively close and within the US, so it'd be $16 total.

The PO Box address to send payment to is:
-Chelsea Brown

Note: This all took place over two days in Feb, didn't hear from her again until I emailed her in June.


Hey there,
Was going through m archived emails and I found this one. You requested a commission a while back and I replied with the total and the address to send the payment to, but I don't ever remember receiving the payment for this or doing this particular commission.
This was back when I was in school, so things were chaotic and there's a chance I could have gotten it and misplaced it. I just wanted to make sure that didn't happen, because if that's the case I need to find it and still owe you a commission.
-Chelsea Brown


Oh, yes! I was tentative on whether or not I should e-mail you. I didn't want to bug you! >3 I believe your payment was sent out with two other commissions I had grouped together (getting to the post office is hell for me! I do it all at once). I heard back from Jax the Bat, but he was the only one who confirmed that payment was received. Maybe you want to double over your mail stuff and double check that it's there? I'll do the same with my PO receipts. Thanks much for keeping in touch! ^^ I appreciate it!

Blue Fox


Uh oh! Yes I will most definitely look into this. Around when did you send them? If I was off at college then my mom probably got the mail from the PO Box. I'll ask her about it. I checked it recently so it's not still sitting in there for sure. Glad I emailed you.
Sorry about taking so long to do so. And never worry about emailing me about anything, it takes a lot to bug me. ;)
-Chelsea Brown


I believe I sent it off the Monday after you returned my initial email. That'd be February 20th, I think. I too have since come home from college, so my mail records from the school are at home. Good thing I'll be going there tomorrow for a family member's b-day. I'll be sure to double check!
-Blue Fox


My mother doesn't recall picking up anything from there since the last commission I did. I'll tell her the exact date tomorrow and see if she remembers checking any time around then. Any idea why the other person didn't reply? Maybe the post office made a mistake? I hope it's not lost. What did you send? If it was cash, there's a chance it could have gone "missing" en route somewhere, in which case I'm not quite sure what to do...but if it's a check, and your records do confirm it was sent, my suggestion would be to check your bank statement and make sure it wasn't cashed by anyone, and cancel the check.


I believe I sent all 3 with cash, as the University's post office was undergoing reconstruction, and the tellers were rarely there. It was essentially a drop and pick up place for a while. I'm pretty sure yours was included, but it might not have been! We'll just have to see what both our mums can turn up, eh? This is nuts!
-Blue Fox


Still no sign of it on my end. I'm going to the PO Box again on Friday to pick up some new commission money, I can try to see if they've got some sort of records system where they might have the arrival of mail to my box listed. Any further clue on your end whether it did make it out with the other two?

Note: I never got a response from her after I sent this. I sent one more email a few weeks later.

Hey there,
Just wondering, did you ever get the chance to check your postal records to see if the payment was sent out? Also, would it, for any reason, happen to have been sent as an oversize package (like a large fedex envelope or anything of that sort)? Because my mom stopped by the PO Box yesterday and said I had an oversized package in the office. She wasn't able to get it then because it was after hours and our key only lets us into the building and our mailbox, but I'll try to go back sometime soon to get it, hopefully it's the missing mail!
Not sure when exactly I'll be able to pick it up...things are a bit chaotic around here at the moment, dealing with a bit of a family emergency regarding one of our dogs so the whole family's focus is on that right now. But I just wanted to let you know that it may have arrived afterall and we just didn't notice the oversize notice before.

In retrospect, I probably should have emailed her again after I picked up that package, since it ended up being from someone else. Though I sort of assumed she'd let me know she had sent it in a regular envelope (which is what I assume). Unfortunately, as I said in the email, I had a bit of home chaos since one of our dogs had been bitten by a black widow and it was touch and go there with her for a while (she pulled through just fine in the end, thankfully). I never heard back from her so I eventually just forgot about it. I rediscovered the email again when I was cleaning out my mail archives today. I'm not really sure why she wouldn't have emailed me back.

Has anyone else dealt with anything like this? Or this particular commissioner? I don't want to jip her on a piece if she did indeed send the money...but I never received it and when contact stopped I didn't know what to do. Should I try emailing her yet again? A year later? Or is this a lost cause? Like I said, I never started the commission since I never received payment, so it's no loss on my part...I just don't want her jipped on her money if she did indeed pay me.
Artist's beware has moved!
Do NOT repost your old bewares. They are being archived.


( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 16th, 2006 07:50 am (UTC)
Sending cash in the mail = bad idea. :/

If she had sent you a check or a money order, there would be either a receipt of her paying it, or some indication of whether you had cashed or deposited it.

if she sent three envelopes with cash all at once? I'm guessing some postal employee noticed and nabbed it.

It's my belief that the buyer assumes responsibility for all risks associated with sending cash in the mail; if you never received payment, you're not jipping her, no matter what the reason is.
May. 16th, 2006 07:56 am (UTC)
Yeah, I specifically say on my commissions page that I discourage the sending of cash because if its tendancy to get "lost" in the mail. :/ She had originally stated in the first email that she was going to pay via money order, so I'm a little confused as to why she ended up sending cash instead. I wish she had contacted me before sending it as I would have strongly suggested she find another method and given my "I'm not responsible if it gets lost" disclaimer upfront.

I do have that disclaimer on my site itself though...so...

I just wonder why I never heard from her again? I feel kind of bad...but I guess there isn't really anything I can do about it.
May. 16th, 2006 08:03 am (UTC)
I'm a little confused as to why she ended up sending cash instead.

She wrote in one of the emails: "...the University's post office was undergoing reconstruction, and the tellers were rarely there. It was essentially a drop and pick up place for a while."

On her part, it still would have been better to contact you before sending the cash.

I just wonder why I never heard from her again?

I could pull out the "she probably has finals if she's at university" excuse, but that's just one of many possible reasons. From her "I don't want to bug you!" email, it wouldn't surprise me if she's the kind who is reluctant to come forward about a mistake (like "oops, I didn't actually send your payment...") or something like that. I don't want to assume too much about someone I don't know, though :)

if it's really pressing on you, I'd say email her one more time. otherwise, it's time to let this one go.
May. 16th, 2006 08:08 am (UTC)
She wrote in one of the emails: "...the University's post office was undergoing reconstruction, and the tellers were rarely there. It was essentially a drop and pick up place for a while."
D'oh. For some reason I missed that as a reason she couldn't get a money order. I have never sent one myself so it didn't really occur to me that this might prevent her from getting one.

Yeah, finals is a viable excuse. That's the reason I was going through my inbox in the first place, so I definitely know how that can distract a person.

I may try sending her one more email to be sure. Thanks for the advice!
May. 16th, 2006 01:12 pm (UTC)
She still could have gone to Wal-Mart to get money orders. Also, did she disguise the cash well, or just stuff it in an envelope?

Personally, I would apologize, but tell her I would not do the commission. You have a "please don't send cash" warning on your web site; she stated she would be sending one form of payment and supposedly sent another; she also sent payment without shooting off one of those "Okay, it's on its way!" e-mails which is a DUMB thing to do. Every commissioner I've worked with, that's mailed a payment, has told me that their payment went into the mail. That's just a way of confirming that you know it's coming, that you want the commission, and that you should keep your eyes open for money in the mail.

Could it be, she's claiming to have sent cash, hoping that you'll think "Oh, I must've received it, and probably spent it, cuz it was only $15 cash." Or maybe she did indeed send money out, but sent it to someone else she wanted to commission, but thought it was you?
May. 16th, 2006 09:36 pm (UTC)
That I didn't ask (how she sent it), probably should have. That's why I wish she would've informed me she was sending cash. If she really needed to send it that way, after my "I'm not responsible for it" warning I would have also told her to wrap it in construction paper or something.

I considered that, but I don't want to jump to conclusions, especially since other people seem to have commissioned her with no problems. My guess is that either she forgot to send it and for whatever reason lost interest in the commission and stopped responding, or she did send it and someone nabbed it. And yeah, I suppose it's possible she could have accidentally sent it to someone else if she was sending them all at once.
(Deleted comment)
May. 16th, 2006 08:25 am (UTC)
Hmm, mayhaps a postal worker nabbed the cash then? Do you think I should try to get in touch with her again? Any idea why she may have stopped responding?
May. 16th, 2006 08:59 am (UTC)
yeah I had a commissioner "send money twice" and I never got it.. but I really don't think she ever sent it. Unfortunately I didn't ask for money up front that time...
May. 16th, 2006 09:09 am (UTC)
See, that's why I don't think she's being dishonest with me. It's not like she'd get free art by doing this since I asked for the money upfront. I don't feel she's trying to cheat me, I'm just utterly confused by the fact she stopped responding.
May. 16th, 2006 09:12 am (UTC)
yeah. I know what you mean. :/ I had a friend recently stop responding to me about a commission and I sent her like 5 notes.
May. 16th, 2006 01:12 pm (UTC)
If the money was lost or stolen, it's not your fault and you don't owe her anything.
Start the commission when you have payment in hand.
May. 16th, 2006 03:04 pm (UTC)
Agreed, completely. You did nothing wrong and after a year there is little point, in my opinion, of trying to get in contact with her. By not replying to your last email, I feel it is her way of showing she decided not to go through with the commission.
May. 17th, 2006 05:05 pm (UTC)
Agreed. Lost payment wouldn't fly on ebay, it shouldn't fly here either. It /sucks/ and it could very well happen, but that's why I tell people "send cash at your own risk" and prefer paypal.
May. 16th, 2006 01:25 pm (UTC)
If the commissioner sent cash, and it didn't get to you, it's THEIR fault, not yours. She should pay you again, this time preferably NOT in cash, or you should not have to do the commission.

Simple as thet. =)
May. 20th, 2006 04:13 am (UTC)
:O seconded!
May. 28th, 2006 09:06 am (UTC)
After reading the above comments, I feel it might be useful to note this...

Due to certain, ah, extracurricular pursuits of mine, I know a great many tried and more-or-less true ways to send cash (and other things) via snailmail. I trust my methods enough to use them without hesitation if cash is all I have available, which sometimes is the case. And when it is, I don't have enough spare to 'convert' it... and sometimes, cash is the best course, no matter how risky sending it is, because using something else is even riskier for buyer and seller. And not only for the stuff I tend to be working with, either -- drawings of certain things could be considered risky in today's environment.

The best way to do it that I know is to mimic a friendly letter -- fold the bills (never, ever change, unless you want to include some reference to foreign currency as though you're sending a friend a neat coin from a vacation, or whatnot) into as small a shape as you possibly can; I prefer to roll them into a tiny, tiny tube.

Then get some paper. Write on it. It doesn't matter what it says beyond the first, oh, quarter of a page on the front, but that much at least should be legible and logical if you want to be secure. Printed or handwritten doesn't matter either, but I always go handwritten despite that being a huge pain in the ass for me because it holds up that oldschool 'friendly letter' image. I never use less than six pages, in any case, and I accepted payment for a tail once that came wrapped up in roughly twenty or so, which was overkill, and it wasn't folded the right way, but hell, it got here.

In any case, the best way I've found to do it is to take your decoy faux-letter (or, if you wanna be thorough, write a real one; can't hurt) and fold it exactly the way you would a normal letter, leaning on the creases. Then paper-clip it together, again normally, and slip the money beneath the clip. And refold. If you do it right, you should have what looks like a normal letter, with a tiny little square of cash pinned down by the paper clip in the center of a mass of paper, invisible and all but completely indetectable -- and if someone does feel it, they're not going to think of cash until it's too late.

That's one way. I know many others, but what kind of criminal would I be if I tipped my hand? *laughs* That's something for you surface types, anyway. Pass it on to anyone who insists on/absolutely must pay cash-by-mail, it should be of some help.
( 16 comments — Leave a comment )


A_B icon
Commissioner & Artist, Warning & Kudos Community
Artists Beware

Community Tags

Powered by LiveJournal.com