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Advice Needed - Fursuit Commission Issues

In March 2014 I commissioned a local fursuit maker to make a partial of my character Zaria. Communication was good at first, I received emails within a day or two and usually got updates on her progress and such. I was given a completion date for July 1, 2014. Unfortunately the commission didn't even start being worked on until around July 8, 2014. When I got my first progress photo (which was the tape on the head), it was all I had for about 5 or 6 months.

At this time the emails started coming less and less and I only heard from her probably a couple times a month, or even not at all. When I did hear from her I got 2 more progress photos (just of the head) but by March of 2015 the head was still not completed (no eyes, hair, or eyebrows attached) and I never saw photos of the tail or paws (feet and hands) and from what it looked like on the furred progress photos there was no neck fur added (unless it was tucked in, not sure). By July 15, 2014 my entire suit was completely paid off, except for the shipping. As of today I still haven't seen the head with the eyes and everything else attached.

Just recently on May 18, I received a photo of the tail and hand paws, but the feet paws were missing. I was told that they weren't made yet because it was accidentally forgotten about. Last bit of information I received was that it would be shipped on May 25th, but since the last email on the 18th I have not heard anything new, let alone received any information as to how much shipping costs would be. I understand that personal things can get in the way, but the fact that I didn't even get a short email or anything saying that they are really busy and that they'll email me when they get a chance, that is what makes me frustrated. Because it is my first time commissioning a fursuit and I've already paid it in full, I'm just a bit nervous.

If anybody has any advice on what I should do on a go-forward basis I would greatly appreciate it! :)

Edit: On May 30th and 31st, I received a photo of a "dummy foot" to eventually make a whole foot from, and I was informed I'd get more progress on Thursday (June 4). Also my maker apologized for the lack of communication and for how long it's taken. As an apology/thank you for how long I've held out she said she'll cover the shipping costs, which is very nice of her to do and I'm very happy with that. There still seems to be no exact set date for when it'll be completed/shipped.

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( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 4th, 2015 07:53 pm (UTC)
"There still seems to be no exact set date for when it'll be completed/shipped."

I suggest you ask for one. Although it's probably not a good sign that the maker has given you several dates and missed them. As a fursuit maker myself I do understand that estimates can be wrong and time can get away from you pretty easily, but skipping a hard deadline by this much time is a sign of somebody who's either super new at this or super unprofessional. Still, at this point it may help if you give the maker a specific deadline. I suggest sending a firm but polite "I would like to have this by X date, please." If they still don't deliver by the new deadline, then you can inform them that you'll post here with a name, perhaps, which may help motivate them to actually finish the work.

Also, just as something to know in the future, I highly advise against paying in full up front for a large commission, especially one that takes as long to make as a fursuit. Nearly all experienced makers will be happy to accept some form of down payment up front, and full payment after the suit is finished, which gives the maker motivation to actually do it. Since a suit nearly always takes too long for paypal disputes to be filed, you need something to protect yourself from scammers and from those well-meaning people who end up overwhelmed.

A reputable maker shouldn't object to such an arrangement, so anybody who insists on full payment up front is waving a pretty big red flag.
Jun. 4th, 2015 09:35 pm (UTC)
My maker is supposed to be emailing me tonight with another update hopefully, I will ask about getting it done by a certain date and see how that goes.

As for paying ahead of time, since I'm still pretty new to all of this I wasn't sure about the paying upfront part. You have a point though about needing something to protect myself. I'll use that advice in the future.

Thanks for the advice, I really appreciate it!
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )


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