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Question about payments

This is just a general question for commission artists as I've encountered a situation I never had before. I usually pay immediately or well in advance to an artist (that I trust) when it comes to buying commission work. I recently ordered some custom metal work, from someone. He lets customers know immediately that there's a long wait period up to 10 months, and then once the product is made they pay in full. This person doesn't take advance payments. Most people take full payments immediately before anything gets done, so I'm a little surprised.

The only reason I can come up with is perhaps to avoid chargebacks and paypal issues?

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( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 5th, 2016 05:13 pm (UTC)
There is that, and there is the mindset of not being paid for work you haven't done (or at least are about to start), not getting caught having to refund folks because RL sent you a hard curve ball, or the buyer changes their mind. Probably a few other reasons as well.

Quite a few drawing artists I know of insist on being paid after the sketch is approved but before inks and colors.
Jan. 5th, 2016 06:02 pm (UTC)
With such a long wait time, the artist/craftsman may feel uncomfortable holding that money in "limbo" while there is no product to show for it. Since technically they haven't earned that money yet, they shouldn't spend it until the product is complete, so it's just gotta sit there waiting.

At least that's my feeling on the matter, when I have a longer queue. I often don't require payment right away until I'm ready to start the piece.
Enn Shaw
Jan. 5th, 2016 06:59 pm (UTC)
Those points are also true, and I see why they would have the customer pay once the product is done. It's just that I've seen some stories here about some people do the work first, and then customers run off with the free art,(sketches, non-watermarked stuff,etc) and the artist duped out of money, which was my first thought when he told me not to worry about paying until he was done.
Jan. 5th, 2016 08:23 pm (UTC)
In this case, the artist still has to ship it, so I would imagine they would require payment before they shipped the item out.
Jan. 5th, 2016 09:12 pm (UTC)
Exactly this. This isn't a digital sketch/piece of art/photo or scan of a traditional artwork that you can run off into the sunset with, it's a physical object that has to be shipped, and therefore as long as the artist gets the money before it's shipped, their risks are minimal.

Also, unlike digital art, the artist can probably sell on the piece should you fail to stump up when it's done, whereas digital art would have to be altered/repurposed into a YCH, for example - and if it's traditional art the entire piece may need to be scrapped full stop, which means the artist was essentially working for nothing. At the end of the day, the artist isn't really taking any risk in saying "pay me when I've made it" because if you don't pay, you're the only one who loses out - the artist can resell the physical piece and you get nothing.

This is pretty much the distinction between digital products and physical products.

[I'm a physical item artist myself, so I can see exactly where the artist here is coming from. :)]
Jan. 9th, 2016 12:11 am (UTC)
This is also exactly how I work, because my work takes a long time, and I no longer take very specific commissions on physical items so "generic bird" can be resold if the original customer bails after the item is made. This also makes my taxes a little easier to keep track of!
Jan. 6th, 2016 01:34 am (UTC)
I'm a digital artist that also prefers payment after approval of the first sketch. For me, the first pass sketch takes me a minimal amount of time and effort so if someone were to ditch right after I wont be out too much time. I do this both because I feel more comfortable doing this and particularly for new client so that they, theoretically, can get an idea of what they getting before things get too involved and before they commit any money to anything. Also, if things already are messy in the prelim sketch phase, it'll likely be a good indicator it's not going to work out and we can cancel stuff out without having to refund anything. I actually get a little uncomfortable when people sent payment early, especially if I'm not in a position where I can work on a sketch right this second.
Jan. 6th, 2016 11:54 pm (UTC)
With such a long waiting time, it's understandable to not want to hold onto the money. After all, things happen, even to the most professional worker, and whether it's being unable to finish the piece, or some kind of emergency that ends up dipping into funds they did not intend to dip into, it's something to avoid. It's a little odd to me to not require money until it's done (in this situation I would let the client know when I'm ready for their job and charge then), but each person is different and has their own comfort level in this sort of situation.
Jan. 7th, 2016 03:01 am (UTC)
I take commissions similarly. Though I take a deposit of around 30% of the projected cost that covers the materials cost and first hour or so of my time. I do not take any payments in between -- I am not a bank, so it is easier to keep track of deposit amount and final amount for me. The client can use a credit card if they want "payments"

The reason for this is that I only need a little bit to get started, cover materials, and I use that to guarantee a client's spot in my queue. At the end, the client is paying me for the rest of the work spent on the piece. I can offer shipping cost at the end as well.

I can understand this artist forgoing a deposit if they are not comfortable holding the money. My deposits go into a savings account where they are not used -- in case I need to refund a client for any reason I can do so. Not everyone is prepared in that way, however.
Jan. 7th, 2016 09:39 am (UTC)
I find this pretty smart to be honest, especially for something that is physical. Things can pop up in 10 months.

This is probably a way of his to make sure that those interested in his work understand that custom metal work can take a while, especially with other orders, and balancing all of that with a personal life. I think it's his own way to make sure that when things spring up, it will be less trouble for both sides when it does.

Also, chargebacks can happen any time, sadly.

Hope that makes sense, having a difficult time trying to type what I'm trying to say xD
Enn Shaw
Jan. 8th, 2016 06:44 pm (UTC)
^_^ Thank you everyone for your input! I now have a better understanding.
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )


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