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selling art to minors?

hi all, i need some advice!
i have it stated in my TOS that i require my commissioners to be over 18(regardless of content) because of paypal's policy. however, i know it's possible to use paypal if the account is under a parent's name, but doing business with someone who doesn't own the account makes me pretty wary. i put this rule into effect after i recieved a chargeback on an adoptable from someone who's dad was apparently charging back ALL of her commissions, and i didn't want to find myself in that position again.

the only problem is that i really don't have a way to tell whether or not someone is underage unless they have it listed on their profile, and i have no way of telling whether or not their paypal account is -their- paypal account, so i'm not really sure how to enforce that. should i just allow minors to commission me(sfw, obviously) and hope for the best? or use my best judgement? i'm curious as to how my fellow artists deal with this and whether or not a lot of you accept commissions for minors, and how nsfw artists make sure their clients are of age, too.


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( 40 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 27th, 2015 08:47 pm (UTC)
This isn't exactly a foolproof way of knowing but sometimes you can tell by the email/name on the Paypal account vs the email/name of the commissioner.
A friend of mine recently accepted payment for an auctioned character, but the winner ended up needing to have the money refunded because an emergency came up in her family.
When she told my friend what email to refund to, after checking the Paypal information she noticed the email she gave didn't match the one that sent the payment.
She questioned the winner and sorted it out, apparently she had used her mother's Paypal because she was only 16, so the refund was sent back to her mother's account.
Jul. 27th, 2015 10:11 pm (UTC)
I wouldn't say this is a good way of telling if the user is underaged, just because I have had plenty of customers who explain to me that they are a couple or are even roommates/housemates who use each others' paypals or have a single one for the pair or group.

OP, I should also say that I have had a customer who is a grown adult who used her own paypal, but whose bank issued chargebacks after her account was compromised. And I have heard of others. So I wouldn't say that allowing minors to commission you will more likely lead to chargebacks than only allowing adults would.

My policy is to check their FA's profile age and if it's over 18 or blank, that's the extent you can reasonably do. People will lie and you can't stop them, but if you check the listed age, your butt's covered on your end.
(no subject) - blot - Jul. 28th, 2015 12:05 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - chronidu - Jul. 27th, 2015 11:09 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 27th, 2015 10:26 pm (UTC)
You're right, this is the internet, and it isn't always possible to verify someone's identity or age. I would say just use your best judgement. If you have any question about someone's age, better to err on the side of caution and not allow them to purchase NSFW items.

I don't accept commissions from minors. They can buy my premade stuff all day but I'm just not comfortable taking a risk by accepting a commission from them. If anything goes wrong I'd likely be out everything.
Jul. 28th, 2015 12:14 am (UTC)
This is the internet, so knowing for sure just isn't always possible.

I would take every step you can to avoid doing business with minors though, even completely SFW art. If it turns out the minor was using their parents' card without permission and the parent starts doing mass chargebacks - there's just not much you can do about it. Unless it's something like a $10 adoptable where the transaction going sideways wouldn't be the end of the world, why take the risk?
Jul. 28th, 2015 03:31 am (UTC)
While not exactly foolproof, you can tell a lot about someone's age by how they type... and I've yet to be wrong.

I've had people inquire about a commission, email me multiple times until I reply, are incredibly pushy and impatient, "I want this!" "I changed my mind!" "I actually want this instead of this, how much does this cost?" ... and turn out to be 13 years old... not that I'd work with someone like that if they weren't a minor! Though I digress.

I've done business with a minor and their parent, and the parent was involved the entire time, and professional, and it was a great experience.

So I guess what I'm saying, is use your better judgement if you can't find their age. There's no surefire way, but trust your gut and everything will be okay.
Jul. 28th, 2015 10:31 pm (UTC)
good point- i've definitely noticed that too. i guess my gut is really my best tool in this situation :x
Jul. 28th, 2015 12:47 pm (UTC)
I am not an Artist but i had in the past to deal with issues regarding minors buying things. What i highly recommend is that before the payment is done you request ID. As long as this is provided and the ID is not modified and the Age is okay then you are pretty much on the safe side :) Cause if the ID was tempered with the guy then has a serious problem. Tempering and modifying an ID is pretty much major criminal stuff (at least where i am from)


Edited at 2015-07-28 12:48 pm (UTC)
Jul. 28th, 2015 01:24 pm (UTC)
Requiring that kind if information for a quick commission is likely going to drive away a lot of clientele. Especially when we're talking online transactions. I would never scan my id for any random person on the Internet.
(no subject) - whitepelt - Jul. 28th, 2015 01:40 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - gatekat - Jul. 28th, 2015 01:49 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - whitepelt - Jul. 28th, 2015 02:03 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - gatekat - Jul. 28th, 2015 02:10 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - celestinaketzia - Jul. 28th, 2015 01:53 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - whoop_zi - Jul. 28th, 2015 10:28 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - celestinaketzia - Jul. 28th, 2015 10:34 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - whoop_zi - Jul. 30th, 2015 12:20 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - gatekat - Jul. 28th, 2015 01:39 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 28th, 2015 02:07 pm (UTC)
As you are worried about possible future chargebacks, would setting up payments via invoice be a safer way of doing things? That way if they are using a parent's PayPal account, the parent will get the email to pay the invoice and if they are not okay about it, the commission stops right there.

Otherwise, the only other way around it I can see would be to request ID, and to be perfectly honest, even though I'm 35 I would still never send a copy of my ID to someone online.
Jul. 28th, 2015 04:05 pm (UTC)
Invoices dont stop charge backs.

But, whenever I send or receive a payment it is emailed to me. And I get dinged on my tablet as well. The parent should get the email regardless of invoice or not.
(no subject) - tysharina - Jul. 28th, 2015 05:29 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 28th, 2015 02:24 pm (UTC)
Unfortunately this will always be a risk of operating online. Having a line in your ToS is good, and ensuring you have proof of them agreeing they are over 18 and are using a funding source they are authorized to use could drastically improve your chances when it comes to Paypal disputes. Charge backs are a different beast entirely. I know that Paypal has been known to reimburse chargeback fees if they're fraudulent.
Jul. 28th, 2015 09:05 pm (UTC)
One thing I do is I send my TOS to the e-mail associated with the paypal account. I won't send it to any other email address.
Jul. 28th, 2015 09:07 pm (UTC)
Also check the address associated with the paypal and cross reference it with the address they give you if you require an address.

Honestly if you feel that there isn't a way to avoid minors, make it public that under 18 can pay with a money order (safer for you) and many will probably be more open with their age.
(no subject) - whoop_zi - Jul. 28th, 2015 10:27 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 29th, 2015 12:59 pm (UTC)
As a minor myself I can easily understand why most artists wouldn't want to work with them. I don't even want to work with them myself. Generally speaking they don't have the money, they ask a lot of questions and use text talk even I don't understand.

Aside from that, just check their profile for their age and if you're really suspicious, just ask. An answer like "it's a secret!! x3" will prove your suspicions right. I know many fursuit artists ask for parental permission and I've started to do the same, seeing that the kid shouldn't be commissioning for something that the parent wouldn't want in their house or on their computer (including NSFW art).
Don't be afraid to put your foot down and say no either. You'd be out a sale but in the long run it may be well worth it.
Aug. 1st, 2015 04:06 am (UTC)
1) It's generally illegal to provide minors access to pornography.

2) If you are a minor, you should not be taking commissions either. You cannot legally enter into a contract, and anyone doing business with you is opening themselves up to a potential shitshow.
(no subject) - laughsatthunder - Aug. 1st, 2015 04:39 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - spartanwerewolf - Aug. 1st, 2015 04:03 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - wuvvumsoc - Aug. 1st, 2015 01:13 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - spartanwerewolf - Aug. 1st, 2015 04:05 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - wuvvumsoc - Aug. 1st, 2015 05:40 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - spartanwerewolf - Aug. 2nd, 2015 05:19 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - wuvvumsoc - Aug. 2nd, 2015 05:25 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - spartanwerewolf - Aug. 2nd, 2015 06:11 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - hidden_kyuubi - Aug. 5th, 2015 03:44 am (UTC) - Expand
Aug. 4th, 2015 09:24 am (UTC)
I know it's been a bit but I thought I'd put my two cents in.
If you absolutely don't want to work with minors, Paypal is not a payment method to use. I found this out after digging into legalities of selling drawn porn up here in the great white north (Canada) - I HAVE to check my client's age legally, and if I don't, a minor lying to me about their age to buy porn isn't a defense in court.

So, I had two options:
1) Ask for proof of age (photo ID) - Get a photo of the customer holding their ID and allowing them to black out all information other than their date of birth, legal name, and the photo on the card. It's a decent method but restricts a lot of customers out of lack of trust.

2) Get a different payment method. I found Square, which ONLY accepts credit cards, and even gives you a free card reader you can take to cons and use with their phone app (bonus!). It does not accept debit cards, which pretty much guarantees the card used to pay belongs to an adult (18+ yrs). Now, there is still the issue of the kid using their parent's card, but outside of chargebacks your ass is covered.

Sadly, you can't prevent chargebacks if you get commissioned by a wiley kid who isn't as wiley as they thought, and there is no REAL way to garuentee your customer's age outside of asking for photo ID through skype or something/meeting them IRL. Also, if you're taking clean commissions, you can always just, y'know... /ask/. They're probably more willing to be truthful because they're not already tiptoeing around the legal barrier.
Aug. 4th, 2015 03:16 pm (UTC)
a bit late here but minors can indeed have paypal accounts under their own names. it's called a student account. i used to have one when i was younger.
Aug. 5th, 2015 10:27 pm (UTC)
Well, the big problem with doing anything involving minors is that they can't legally enter a contract to being with, so they can't legally agree to your ToS, so you're pretty much without recourse if you're trying to collect. Not that many furry art cases go to court either way, but you know.
( 40 comments — Leave a comment )


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