I agreed on a trade with an artist in July. I had an 18" premade plush doll worth approximately $120 at the time I made it, but had been hanging around in my studio for a while and I didn't feel that it properly represented the quality of my work any longer so opened it up for offers or potential trades rather than attempting to sell it outright any longer.
A person offered me a trade, I thought their art was cute, and they agreed to pay me $10 and trade me 4 custom bookmarks for it (that they usually charge $15/each for). Again, not what the plush was really "worth", but I was happy to do a trade and they seemed nice & I wasn't/still would not be bitter about it if this had worked out. They sent the $10 promptly, and as we were both going to be attending Anthrocon, we agreed that I would bring it with me so they could pick it up there. They said they probably wouldn't be able to get my bookmarks done before the con, which was fine, but that they could probably work on them at the con or shortly afterward. They wound up not stopping by at all, and then asked if I could ship it, which I really didn't want to do because it would cost at least $10 to ship to them, bringing what I was getting for the plush even lower, but okay fine whatever. I agreed to.
Now here is the part where I am pretty sure I screwed up and should have handled more maturely, but after agreeing to ship it I waited. And waited. And waited. And waited more, but didn't tell them I was waiting, mostly because I am not a confrontational person and I didn't want to sound like I was being aggressive or pushy or something. I wanted to at least see some sort of indication that they were working on my half of the trade before mailing it, and a month passed, and then another month passed, and a couple of weeks ago I got a message from them on FB telling me that they were "disturbed" that I told them I would mail the plush and that I haven't, etc, etc. I apologized, legitimately feeling really bad about it, and told them I would mail it the next week (last week now, which I have, so if it hasn't arrived there yet it should be any day, and if this becomes a proper beware I've saved all of my shipping information to prove that and all). During the conversation that they expressed how disturbed they were to me, I inquired about the status of my half of the trade, which I'd still yet to have seen any evidence of. They said they'd mailed them already, but had it returned to sender. I checked the address I gave them, it was correct. I asked them what was on the envelope that was returned to them to indicate the reason it was returned, they said they didn't remember exactly. Okay...
Yesterday they made a really passive aggressive post on Facebook about how sad they are that it has taken so long for my half of the trade to get to them. I told them it was mailed, and asked again about the status of my trade, they said they would post pictures of it today. Now today they made a status update about how they know they owe art to people but they are having really stressful life circumstances and want to focus on uploading their personal art instead of the art they owe... and... I'm beginning to feel like I was ripped off.
I'm anxious because I KNOW I did not handle the situation professionally when I said I would ship their item and didn't, and the mature/responsible thing to do would have been to communicate with them clearly that I didn't feel comfortable shipping their half until I'd gotten an indication from them that my half was being worked on, especially being that the $10 that was supposed to be sent to me as partial compensation for the doll was going to be used on that shipping instead now. So I don't know. I feel a lot of guilt but I'm also beginning to feel anger too.