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Advice Post: How long is too long?

Hello again.

Kind of in a sticky spot about how to handle a situation that just came up.

Back in mid-January I announced plans to make Homestuck fursuits. A local was super interested but she didn't have any money at the time but told me she would in a few weeks or so. We met at a furmeet and she sat down with me for a few hours; we discussed the fursuit then, she tried on one I had brought and was very satisfied. I told her that, because she's accepting my design, I would like to have the project completed for a convention in early July so all of the fursuits can be worn together. She agreed to this.

It's now the middle of April. I've asked her only once about a payment and she got very upset, saying that there was a convention that weekend and she didn't have the funds. Twice before this had she messaged me first and claimed that she would contact me shortly with the full payment.

It's not so much that I'm bothered that she's slacking off on the payment, but this convention is coming up fast and I need to start now to have it done in time for then. I'd hate to play the bad guy and tell her that I need to make the suit and offer it to someone else who is interested but I feel like 3-4 months with no payment is too much.
Yes, I have offered her a payment plan. In fact I've mentioned it several times, all of which she declined because she said she'd be able to pay (again) soon.

Am I really just biting off the wrong end of the stick here and waiting too long for something that will probably never happen? Should I offer her a date to collect at least SOME funds for it so I can at least start on the project?

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( 27 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 17th, 2015 01:46 pm (UTC)
She did agree to your terms and has had ample time to pay up something, so I'd give a deadline for at least half/all payment and then offer it to someone else when/if she doesn't comply. I think that's plenty fair at this point.

I'm not a fursuit creator or anything so someone else may have better advice haha.
Apr. 17th, 2015 01:47 pm (UTC)
I've noticed this as a reoccurring theme in your posts. You need to learn to assert yourself and very soon, especially with such expensive items as a fursuit.

When someone agrees they want a piece from you, they must pay you 30% deposit immediately before you even start. Then payments must be regular in intervals that you feel comfortable with until you've finished the piece. If they can't abide by it, then insert an abandoned suit clause into your ToS. There are a lot of great fursuit makers here who can help you with that.

In this instance, no, don't do anything on that suit. Give them one final deadline to send the deposit to start and then ask if they want to do a payment plan or a lump sum. Please be firm about this. Do not let that suit leave your hands until you have been paid 100%. They need to give you a definite yes or no if they want it.
Apr. 17th, 2015 01:59 pm (UTC)
Every suit maker I know of has a 30% down payment that must be paid before anything is started, and suits must be paid in full before they'really shipped.
Apr. 17th, 2015 02:57 pm (UTC)
I have both the abandonment clause and 30% non refundable downpayment listed in my TOS. I changed it to that a while ago and made sure she was fully aware of this.
I like to work with a small discussion of details, followed by the downpayment. Nothing is started until most/all of the payment is sent, also listed in my TOS.

Nothing's been sent. She claims she's made 2 fursuits for clients so she can pay me and yet here we have no improvement.

I used to be worried about coming across as an asshole and getting listed on here but it's my clients I'm having problems with, hence why I keep asking. The foot's staring to come down.
Apr. 17th, 2015 08:11 pm (UTC)
Asserting yourself is never a bad thing. You can be firm without being rude. Trust me, so long as you do what's right you'll not end up here. You can't be penalized for just attempting to get paid so long as you attempt to do so reasonably. This person is being unreasonable, and holding up your queue.
Apr. 17th, 2015 01:58 pm (UTC)
Email/message her. Tell her that you need at least a 30% down payment by a date not more than one month from that message. Tell her if you do not receive at least the down-payment, she forfeits her slot and will not be receiving a suit.

Do you have a TOS? If yes, do you have an abandonment clause? So that if she goes awol again, you'reminds not chasing her around forever to get payment.

Do not send a suit unless paid in full.

You don'T have to be mean. You have to be assertive.
Apr. 17th, 2015 02:18 pm (UTC)
Unless she can give a concrete deadline, "I will pay you on ___ day", and stick to that deadline, then yes it's probably time to move on. You can say something friendly but firm, along the lines of "Sorry it didn't work out this time! If you're still interested later on once you have the money, we can discuss ideas and pricing again."
Apr. 17th, 2015 03:10 pm (UTC)
I told her I'd like it for the end of March, this just occurred to me. She said she'd be able to pay in time for my birthday (March 17th). So yes, she's violated her own word.

Now here comes the awkward wording part, eck!
Apr. 17th, 2015 03:16 pm (UTC)
Writing business emails gets easier the more you do it.
If you want, I can look over your reply for you before you send it. :)
Apr. 17th, 2015 03:47 pm (UTC)
I won't be writing until I get home from school but I was thinking something along the lines of, "I'm very sorry but it has been over 3 months with no payment and because the convention is coming up, I will have to decline your commission spot. If you are interested in buying the suit when it is completed you can offer then but I will require payment fully upfront. Thank you."
Apr. 17th, 2015 05:01 pm (UTC)
This is probably the best course. If you had to spend all this time getting them to make the first payment, I can only imagine the hair pulling that would be necessary for the remaining payments.
Apr. 17th, 2015 05:05 pm (UTC)
That works! Nicely to the point.
Apr. 17th, 2015 11:50 pm (UTC)
perfectly said, i think! i hope things go smoothly for you.
Apr. 17th, 2015 04:38 pm (UTC)
To put it simply I'd say give them a hard deadline, if they don't make that deadline they forfeit the suit to someone else.

They've been dragging you around for far too long and honestly they don't sound like an ideal person to work with if they flip at you for requesting payment and then lie to you about having enough money for the suit.
Apr. 17th, 2015 05:10 pm (UTC)
She's had plenty of time - if she hasn't paid you yet (or even started paying you!) she can't be too interested. I would contact her one more time with a hard deadline and payment schedule, and let her know you're going to put it back out into the universe if she doesn't actually pay for it. In future, I would suggest actually using a contract with a payment schedule to back up your ToS, so that way your clients know that, for example, if they haven't gotten 30% to you within a month the contract's considered cancelled, or whatever. If you do that you have the discretion of being nice, but you're setting expectations before this is a problem for you. And definitely, definitely don't start the project before she's started paying!
Apr. 17th, 2015 06:57 pm (UTC)
I'd give one last *hard* deadline and if she still flakes, try to sell the spot to someone else. It is not fair to string you along like this.

My sister is dealing with something like that... only it is over selling her car. It has been six months for her and enough is enough so she is putting her foot down, and so should you.
Apr. 17th, 2015 07:14 pm (UTC)
Eugh, I can't imagine trying to sell a car and having that happen.

I'm just going to make it and sell it to someone else. At this point I've really had enough.
Apr. 17th, 2015 11:45 pm (UTC)
That's what I was going to suggest if you have the materials or the money to get the materials. I'm sure since it's a fandom costume, you'd be able to find someone to buy it easily after it's built and then you'd definitely have it for the con!
Apr. 17th, 2015 07:17 pm (UTC)
To be honest, it sounds like this person either a.) simply does not have the money or b.) is kind of lukewarm about the project...and is just stringing you along.

Give her a hard deadline and if she doesn't pay, move on.
Apr. 17th, 2015 11:48 pm (UTC)
^it also sounds like someone who wants you to make the costume so they can wear it to the convention and not have to make the commitment of buying/owning a fursuit.

i would definitely give her a hard deadline at this point, and if she wants to go through with it and pay, do NOT let her have the suit until you have her payment in full, although i think it would be much less of a headache to you to just decline the commission at this point. you are well within your rights to do so- don't let her guilt trip you over whatever you decide to here.
Apr. 21st, 2015 09:37 pm (UTC)
Not to be off topic, but didnt the creator of Homestuck say they didnt want any merch made for sale, or something like that?
Apr. 21st, 2015 09:43 pm (UTC)
I don't know Hussie's exact words (he makes terribly long posts about Q&A's) but he's totally okay with it.
Apr. 21st, 2015 11:21 pm (UTC)
Probably changed it then, because I know my friend tried to buy some horns or whatever for a cosplay and couldnt because unofficial merch wasnt allowed.
Apr. 21st, 2015 11:32 pm (UTC)
You sure? I see them up on Etsy and such all the time. How about all the people that cosplay the trolls?

I'm turning the suit from this journal into a dire wolf now so I'm not concerned anyways.
Apr. 21st, 2015 11:49 pm (UTC)
Yeah, this was a while back though. I remember issues on FA/dA too, where people would tell people they couldnt make fan stuff and link the post/article/whatever it was. I dont know if it was an outright no, or if you had to ask. But like I said, it was quite some time ago.

Edit, it's actually all right here - http://mspaintadventures.com/salesfaq.html

"Q: What about different kinds of commissions (plushes, etc)?

A: Those are pretty much all no-gos. We don't allow any sales of Homestuck items. "

Edited at 2015-04-22 04:18 am (UTC)
Apr. 23rd, 2015 02:40 pm (UTC)
I think this line item would be appropriate to reference here:

"Q: What about cosplay items?

A: Sales of cosplay items fall into "different kinds of commissions," above. It's true that we don't sell full costumes, but we do not allow their sale by third parties, either. Ultimately a cosplay costume is something that is so broad and can encompass so many items (many of which we are either selling or planning to sell) that the best move for us, legally, is to simply not allow any sales of any of those kinds of items. "
Apr. 23rd, 2015 02:46 pm (UTC)
I've already made 2 fursuits of the characters but for my friend and I with no intention to sell. People have offered to buy them off of us to which we declined.

Good to know that though, now I'll have to let the people who were interested know I can't do that.
( 27 comments — Leave a comment )


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