Need a bit of advice on a transaction.
Early September 2013 - I was commissioned to make a fursuit head. Extremely experimental, and the commissioner was a friend. I lowered the cost for them and was willing to work with them like that because they were a good friend of mine. They gave me some money for materials (I had the rest on hand) and I got to work.
October 2013 - They asked if I could finish it for halloween, but I didn't have enough of a heads up and was still waiting on materials. They also tell me they are having financial trouble, but has an interest in making fursuits. I tell them that if they starts to sew for me, they can use that to pay me the rest they still owe, and it gives them a new skill + form of income. They agree. I also ended up making them fursuit hands (expecting that they'd work to pay me for that) and cut them out some parts to sew together for a tail. I gave them instructions on how to do so, and gave them other fur + patterns + cut pieces to sew together as well. They badly butchered the tails, and ended up costing me more in supplies than what those tails could be sold for (they never sold.) and never ended up sewing more, despite having the materials to do so.
January 2014 - Head is finished, I am asked to hold onto it and add some more features (fan in the nose, magnet tongue, magnet-opening head flap) so it can be used for BLFC.
BLFC (March?) 2014 - Due to space constraints, we're unable to bring the head. At the con, due to some card issues, they pay for the room since we're sharing a room together.I just had to pay them back for it. I gave them some money when I was able to, but needed to give them a bit more later.
By the end of the con, I have the final amount that I didn't give them yet ($200) but they said to go ahead and hold off on that and wait until later.
I asked them for the following 2-3 weeks. At the time, I saw it as a loan, not the payment for the fursuit head since they were hitting financial trouble. But at that point, it was at the time that I was expecting they'd have started to pay me back for the head. So, I was just trying to get them to pick up the fursuit head instead. However, they felt their house wasn't safe for the head, so I was stuck holding onto it for longer. We start drifting apart at this time.
Quite some time passes, and they hit another financial snag, and start asking me for the money again. I tell them that since they owed me $200, I considered it payment since so much time had lapsed and I was expecting to have been paid in full by that time. They say they just need the money instead, and talk about how to sell the head to somebody or something to get me the money that they owe me. But, they lost interest in having a head otherwise due to the direction their life has been taking, and just wants money now. I kept trying to get them to pick up the head, but that's all I'd get instead.
That conversation happened a few times, and they generally just stop talking after I say something like "Well, when are you picking up the head?"
It instead goes back to them asking "When are you paying the money you owe me" and I try to arrange a meetup to give them the head, but our schedules keep clashing.
They are now threatening to take me to court over this, and completely refuses to take the head. They're now convinced that I owe them money, and that they never owed me money on the head. They remember the part where I said I could help them make fursuit stuff so they could have another form of income, but they don't remember any details on it. They think; They sew = I make them a fursuit head. However, they never even completed that exchange. A text I got literally says that they thought "the fursuit head was free, in exchange for sewing" (They never even finished any sewing, other than the couple of messed up tails that they couldn't do anything with)
They don't see it as sewing = sellable items = $$$ = can pay for head. So as far as they see it, I owe them $200, and a free head.
SO I guess the advice part...what should I do? I'm going to attempt to meet up with them sometime to give them the head. Once it's in their possession, that's it, right? What should I do to make sure they don't try to make that bite me later?
- Got commissioned for an item. Got $100 payment down on a $300 commission
- Finished item, and due to an unrelated circumstance, got the same amount the commissioner owes me ($200) from the commissioner.
- Over a month goes by before the commissioner decides they want that amount back, and now no longer wants the finished item. They're threatening to take me to court if I don't give them money instead. They still refuse to pick up the item, which I currently have in my possession.
Nothing is wrong with the item, they just want the money back instead, despite the item being finished. It's like going to your job, working for an entire week, then your boss tells you "Nah I want to use the money on something else, so I'm not paying you for all that work and time you did."