About three years ago, I got a commission for a bodysuit. I never got the commissioner's measurements. For a while (over 2 years) we lost contact, but now we are sort-of in touch again. Before I make any firm commitments on how to process this, I'd like some advice.
The original payment was $350 for a bodysuit
I purchased roughly 5 yards of fur at $25/yardish
In my TOS, the downpayment of 30% is nonrefundable.
I have been wanting to refund this for a while and my initial idea was to keep the deposit, send the materials, and then refund whatever remains after deducting for postage.
I still have the fur, but it's in America, 11,000 miles away. And I can't post it, obviously. I have attempted getting in touch with the commissioner while I was visiting my family, but it didn't work out.
How do I process a refund here? I shut down my main bank account to transition to a Chinese bank. I've been living on a cash basis. My finances are all in RMB. This is a mess, but I also can't live my life and base my finances on a commission from three years ago.
Should I hold off even longer until I can get home and send off the fur? I may go home within the next six months, or sooner if a visa run requires it.
Should I refund everything but the deposit? $200ish is enough for a month's living expenses, and I'm still left with a big box of fur (that's been sitting there for years now).
What do you all think is reasonable?
(Also, I wanted to add: I didn't wait on this project forever because I didn't want to do it. I tried to get contact with the commissioner multiple times and it was established on an intermittent basis. Keeping contact was so hard I even posted a lost contact post here. I was never able to get the necessary measurements because he held off on taking them. It's hard to keep finances in perfect condition when making a big move, especially internationally. Things happen. It's not like I spent that money on candy and burritos.)
An additional problem: the email that the commissioner used consistently bounces, even after contact was re-established following the lost contact post here, and I don't feel comfortable refunding to a paypal that may be inactive.
At this point I'm going to try to find a way to do a full refund, even if it's a struggle to get paypal or alipay or a bank transfer done.